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  #1  
Old 05-04-2005, 09:55 PM
brookside
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Default Trailmanor Compares With Tent Trailer?

We loved our tent trailers but gave them up because of safety/security issues but once stayed for 5 1/2 months and during that time decided that if we had a shower and a real refrigerator that it would have been perfect. Has anyone had experience with both and how much does the experience differ? Thanks, Cathy
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  #2  
Old 05-05-2005, 12:01 AM
BobRederick
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Cathy,

You will find most TrailManor (TM) owners were previously popup tent camper owners. I am one of them and have the model 3326. Coleman Williamsburg was my last camper. We owned a total of 3 different pop-ups.

You will find the same advantages and disadvantages with TM. I pull mine with a 6 cylinder GMC Envoy and am happy with it.

Everything is down low and you have to bend over to get it. The bottom shelves are right on the floor and up to 23 inches deep. I just tonight bought some Rubber Maid baskets at Wal-Mart to place in there. They allow me to a) stack things up to use all the space, b) get at it without pulling items out, c) see what is in there, d) stay off my knees to do it all, and e) take them into the house to load them between trips. I did the same thing on the Coleman except there was an outside door that I could push the baskets thru with the top down.

The shower is about 2X or 3X the area of the Coleman. It can be used nicely and I like it. The hot water is instantly there. I modified the curtain (Velcro) to stay against the walls and the shower space doubled instantly.

I had 20 gal of fresh water in both, however, I can open a cabinet door and see the remainder in the TM but had no idea what remained in the Coleman. I really like that and can now use the water for showering and enjoying camping.

The refrig is really small. I think this is the poorest feature on the TM. You have to put stuff in it carefully. I am now trying to figure how to put loose stuff in there without having it fall out onto the floor when I open the door. I am looking for little basket organizers that allow cool air to pass right thru them.

I could put water, battery, porta-potty, and groceries in my Coleman without opening it up. Can't do any of those on the TM. It has to be opened.

I hated the door seals on the Coleman. I don't hate anything on the TM.

I don't think any camper is very secure. The TM now comes with a deadbolt on the door.

Setup time is less with the TM. I don't have to worry about the crank-up not working. The Coleman was hydraulic and operated from the battery only.

The TM tows better than a Coleman and has no tendency to wag its tail at all.

The 3326 has gobs of storage space. I am only using about 1/3 of it now.

I hope that helps.

Bob
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  #3  
Old 05-05-2005, 01:16 AM
BrigCA61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobRederick
The refrig is really small. I think this is the poorest feature on the TM. You have to put stuff in it carefully. I am now trying to figure how to put loose stuff in there without having it fall out onto the floor when I open the door. I am looking for little basket organizers that allow cool air to pass right thru them.
Bob
You might want to check out these Refrigerator Bars sold at CampingWorld (and Walmart among other places). I use these and they work wonderful: http://www.campingworld.com/browse/p...25&prodID=3441

I like your idea about using plastic containers to store things in in the cabinets - I do that also.

Brigitte
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  #4  
Old 05-05-2005, 06:55 AM
Queeniereads
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Well, you about said it all -- and eloquently, too! We also bought plastic dishwashing basins for the kitchen cabinets and narrow ones for the bathroom cabinets. THe airy ones can be found at both Walmart and Target usually. We got the expandible rods for the refrigerator. And, we bought a separate cooler with AC adapter to keep sodas and snacks in while driving or even in the TM so it would be at a reasonable height for those of us with knee problems.

Yes, we were former pop-up owners, with a TT in between. We loved the fridge in the TT (full size) and miss it, but the TM fridge is better than the PU. I like having room to sit on simething comfortable (we bought the 3124KS) and I love not having a wet toilet seat to sit on (in the Coleman Shenandoah the shower and toilet were in the same place so the shower showered on the toilet). So far there is nothing I do not like about the Tm and there were many minor inconveniences in the PU. This takes about 4 minutes to set up and the usual time to connect to services in a campground. No more canvas to fold or doors to jimmie into place.

Happy camping! Queeniereads aka Judi
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  #5  
Old 05-05-2005, 07:37 AM
RockyMtnRay RockyMtnRay is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Default TM has many significant differences/advantages

Quote:
Originally Posted by brookside
We loved our tent trailers but gave them up because of safety/security issues but once stayed for 5 1/2 months and during that time decided that if we had a shower and a real refrigerator that it would have been perfect. Has anyone had experience with both and how much does the experience differ? Thanks, Cathy
As Bob notes, several of us either owned or rented tent trailers before buying a TM. There are several significant differences in the experience, namely:
  • Hard walls/glass windows vs canvas/plastic windows. Beyond the obvious issue of security, the 1 inch thick insulating foam in the TM's walls (and roof) makes a huge difference in temperature control, particularly if the outside temperature is fairly cool (50s and lower). Much of the camping I do is at high altitude where the nightime temperatures even in mid summer are often well down into the 30s. The TM stays reasonable comfortable at night without needing constant operation of the furnace, the tent trailer was always very cold.

    Furthermore, the solid walls and glass windows provide a substantially greater amount of sound insulation from campground noises...screaming kids, generators, etc.

  • Holding tank for waste water. Certainly modern tent trailers pretty much equal a TM for fresh water supply (20 gallon tank, pump, water heater, etc.) but tent trailers don't have tank(s) for waste water. A lot of the campgrounds I frequent are looking pretty askance at just letting the dishwater and shower water flow out onto the ground. Technically the stuff is a biohazard and the food particles/soap scum therein can produce a smelly mess. The TM has a 28 gallon grey water tank.

  • Toilet type. Although perhaps not as desirable as a true flush toilet/black water tank, the recirculating marine type flushing toilet in TMs is, IMHO, a lot better than the cassette toilets available on top of the line tent trailers.

  • Actual bathroom. Having semi-solid walls around an actual bathroom greatly enhances a sense of privacy while showering/using the toilet.

  • Refrigerator size. TM refrigerators are about 3.8 Cu Ft...most tent trailers have a 2.5 cu ft refer. That extra volume makes a heckuva difference in utility, for one thing it allows for a freezer compartment (albeit a small one).

  • Oven. Tent trailers have a 3 burner stove. TMs have a 3 burner range with oven. I've found the oven in my TM to be a very useful appliance (especially since I do a lot of camping in cool temperatures)...I have baked everything from Lasagna to cakes in it. And when boondocking without electrical hookups, it's a great way to warm up a variety of foods that a microwave normally would be used for. For me, an oven was a "must have" when I was shopping for a trailer back in '02.

  • Wardrobe. As I view my TM as a "travel trailer" and not just a "camper", I expect to be able to have a place to actually hang up clothing on hangars inside something that resembles a closet and not just have them stuffed into bags/suitcases...or dangling off some makeshift clothesline. The TM's wardrobe was a major selling point for me.

  • Towing stability, ease of setup, etc. As Bob notes above, a TM is inherently sway resistant and tows much, much better than any of the larger tent trailers. If you have to setup/tear down in the rain, the interior stays dry in a TM but will likely be soaked in most tent trailers. TM bed platforms have supports that automatically fold out/in with the beds so no mucking with supports.

The bottom line is a TM is really a folding travel trailer with essentially all the amenities and advantages of a true travel trailer. A tent trailer, even the heaviest, largest, and most luxurious will never be more than a "camper".
__________________
Ray

I use my TM as a base camp for hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and climbing Colorado's 14ers


The Trailer: 2002 TM Model 2720SL ( Mods: Solar Panels (170 Watts), Dual T-105 Batteries, Electric Tongue Jack, Side AC, Programmable Thermostat, Doran TP Monitor System)

The Tow Vehicle: 2003 Toyota Tundra V8 SR5 4X4 w/Tow Package (Towing & Performance Mods: JBA Headers, Gibson Muffler, 4.30 gears, Michelin LTX M/S Tires, Prodigy Brake Controller, Transmission Temperature Gauge)


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  #6  
Old 05-05-2005, 10:19 AM
brookside
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Default Excellent Info

Thanks so much as that is exactly the kind of info I needed. We had a 1995 Coleman Sequoia - roof replaced twice, needed it a third time but someone stole it from our yard, hitch-lock in place (now we use a Trailer Keeper - big orange wheel lock also acts as a chock on the fifth-wheel). I like that Trailmanor uses the Atwood range/oven and Norcold frig as we have that now, except bigger ones. We have bad luck with Dometic for some reason. We already have one of those AC/DC cooler we use for in the van or overflow when fresh produce is in season. Despite the disadvantages we are still seriously looking to line one up soon. Thanks so much, Cathy
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  #7  
Old 05-06-2005, 03:53 PM
smookie
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Smile TM vs Popups

We also had a number of pop ups before getting our TM. All of the comments made so far in this thread are exactly what I would have said. There is one more thing that sold us on the TM.

Whenever we were on our last night of camping in a popup and it rained, we knew that we were going to have an unpleasant time taking down wet canvas, soaking the sidewalls and our gear. Our moods would sink as soon as we heard the first rain drops hit the roof. We knew that we would have to get the popup opened the minute we got home so it would not turn moldy.

By contrast, when we hear rain on the roof in our TM, we just sit back, smile and enjoy the sound of it. The next day, it will be fine. We enjoy every day or our vacations, even the rainy ones. We might get wet while we take it down, but our belongings will stay dry and clean.

Regards, smookie
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  #8  
Old 05-08-2005, 08:59 PM
Texasgranny
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Because we had a TrailManor instead of a PU, when we visited Yellowstone National Park, we were able to spend 8 nights with full hookups. That would not have happened with any PU as they do not allow any canvas in that campground.

On the matter of safety in locking up - at a South Central Heartland Chapter rally held last fall, the owners of a 2002 model TM locked both their keys inside the trailer. Even though there were several people there who also own TMs and some are engineers, no one could figure out how to "break in" without damaging the trailer until a set of fortunate circumstances presented themselves. This was a TM that did NOT have the dead bolt lock.
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