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  #1  
Old 06-15-2005, 04:13 AM
Bl95070
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Post Bigger Decision Than I Thought

Hi, everyone, I am deciding on TM and Checked out the trailmanor user's manual.

After reading the manual, I am havinng second thoughts about owning a travel trailer. I do not think that I can enjoy my trip with all the check list.

here is the list of the checklist:

pre-trip check list.

trip check list.

setup check list

take down check list

post trip check list.

Each check list has about 20 things and 2 hours of work to do. This would not be a vacation, it is a check list trip.

also, some of the stuff takes practice and skill to do. I may be too suburban for a RV. Having a RV by a pristine lake sure sounded good. Maybe I am not cut out to be a TM cowboy.

I will look again before I leap.
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  #2  
Old 06-15-2005, 05:07 AM
BrigCA61
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Wink

Don't let those checklists overwhelm you and cause you to not want to buy a Trailmanor. Owning a travel trailer is like anything else, there's a learning curve involved. The checklists were kindly provided by some nice members of this forum. I was grateful for that and have used them the first couple times out. At first we went through things slowly and carefully but we don't even refer to them now. If you have never owned a TM before, it might seem overwhelming at first, but it is really a simple process. We used to tent camp before. Set up and break down was much more time-consuming then with the Trailmanor... we are two people with two dogs and it usually takes us about 20-min. max to completely get unhitched, leveled and set up and you can even do it in the rain without getting everything inside wet!! I hope you reconsider your decision.
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  #3  
Old 06-15-2005, 08:51 AM
RockyMtnRay RockyMtnRay is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 823
Default Don't be intimidated...it's actually simpler than other forms of travel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bl95070
Hi, everyone, I am deciding on TM and Checked out the trailmanor user's manual.

After reading the manual, I am havinng second thoughts about owning a travel trailer. I do not think that I can enjoy my trip with all the check list.
Unless you're very wealthy and have an army of servants to take care of every travel detail, all travel involves some degree of checklist use, albeit the checklists may be mental. Even if you're going to stay in hotels/motels and eat in restaurants, you still have to remember to pack suitcases with everything you think you'll need. And once you arrive, you still have to go through the processes/checklists of toting the luggage to your room and unpacking the suitcases; then repacking the suitcases prior to departure and toting them to your car. And if you're traveling by air, then you also have all the processes/checklists that involve airports, luggage, security, etc...and all the processes of ground transportation at the destination end of the trip. Finally, hotel based travel also involves the processes of seeking out a good restaurant, finding a way to get there, being seated/ordering food, waiting for food to be served, etc.

If you decide to "just go camping" with a tent, you still have to remember to bring tent and accessories, sleeping bags and accessories, cooking gear and accessories, food and accessories (like coolers). And once you arrive there's a fair amount involved in "setting up camp" and "tearing down camp" on departure. Furthermore, even meal prep and post meal cleanup can become challenging because you don't have the normal conveniences (like a supply of running water and a convenient way of properly disposing of food/wash water after the meal). And if the weather is inclement, then cooking/eating outside can be even more challenging and even somewhat miserable.

The bottom line is no travel is really simple.

These checklists seem overwhelming largely because you're not used to the terms, not familiar with the processes therein, nor used to bringing so much stuff (especially food) with you on a trip. But keep in mind that most of the processes that have to be performed are individually super simple and become, as BrigCA61 notes above, quite routine and fast. And obtaining/loading most of the stuff the checklists tell you to bring/have/equip the trailer with is largely a one-time event or, at most, a once a year event. The best analogy I can think of is having a TM is much like having a resort-area cottage on wheels...it needs annual maintenance and a one-time (or maybe one-time-per-year) general stocking, but the rest of the year you just have to stock it with perishable consumables (like food and toiletries) and items like clothing, towels, and linens that need to be periodically laundered at home or at a laundromat. So, once you get the one-time stuff out of the way and learn the processes, here's how much time it takes me:

Quote:
pre-trip check list.
trip check list.
Once I got the trailer fully equipped and get the annual maintenance out of the way, pre trip and trip checklists take very little time to perform. I only need about an hour in total to open the trailer for loading, check tire pressure, fill the water tank, charge the toilet, load clothing/gear/towels, replenish general consumables (e.g. paper towels), stock the refrigerator (which I start precooling the day before departure), close the trailer and hook it to my truck. If I'm staying at a full hookups campsite, I can skip the loading of water. Keep in mind that if you were staying in a hotel, you'd need several minutes to properly pack suitcases ...and would spend several hours a day over the course of breakfast/lunch/dinner simply locating places to eat, traveling there, waiting for food to be served, traveling back, etc. Remember, they don't call the people in these places "waiters" for no reason.

All the rest of the required pre-trip stuff is either stored in the trailer or is kept in plastic bins which I can load into my truck in about 5 minutes.

Quote:
setup check list
From arrival at a campsite to having the trailer fully set up and ready for occupancy takes me about 20 to 25 minutes. And that includes hooking up the water/electric/sewer if the campsite has those amenities. The actual leveling of the trailer and opening (raising the shells, sliding out the bed/slide, etc.) is about 10 minutes.

About the same time it would take me to check in to a hotel, tote my luggage up from the parking lot, and unpack everything. Remember that once you load your clothing into the TMs wardrobe and drawers, it's already "unpacked" and ready for use. And the bathroom already has your toiletries just like at home. And the galley is ready for immediate meal preparation...no waiting or searching for a place to eat.
Quote:
take down check list
20 to 25 minutes again from start until the trailer is folded and hooked up to my truck...and that includes toting stuff to the truck that I'll want access to enroute.
Quote:
post trip check list.
25 minutes to unhook the trailer, open the trailer, unload/clean the fridge, unload the dirty clothing/towels/linens, close the trailer, and store it in my garage.
Quote:
Each check list has about 20 things and 2 hours of work to do. This would not be a vacation, it is a check list trip.
In reality, many of the checklists have less than 20 items and most of the items (with practice) take well less than a minute to perform. The only time I spend more than 2 hours at a time working with my TM is during pre-season preparation...and that's a once a year thing.
Quote:
also, some of the stuff takes practice and skill to do. I may be too suburban for a RV. Having a RV by a pristine lake sure sounded good. Maybe I am not cut out to be a TM cowboy.

I will look again before I leap.
Methinks you're not so much "too suburban" (suburban living requires lots of home and landscape maintenance, some of it semi-technical) but more likely "too hotel" oriented. The number of steps and total time involved in travel with a TM is, if anything, less than the number of steps and time involved in doing the same trip if you were staying in a hotel. Yes, there's a bit more pre-trip process/time for TM travel (in my experience mostly having to do with ensuring food is on board and the needed equipment for cooking the food is in the trailer)...but the time savings (and reduction in hassles) after arrival are huge.

During the summer months, I use my TM for all travel (even for business) because I've found I actually have more time available for activities and that it's overall much simpler than if I were to stay in hotels. In the winter, I occasionally have to stay in motels/hotels on my trips and detest the delays, multitude of steps, and lost time involved in the checkin/out, unpack/pack, and eatery searching/waiting processes.

And TM camping is so much easier and simpler (especially after arrival) than tent camping that there's really no comparison.
__________________
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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  #4  
Old 06-15-2005, 10:10 AM
Windbreaker
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With the increase of bed bugs in the hotel/motel area I just don't think I want to use those places any more. A trailer is my home on the road and I like that, if it is dirty, it is my dirt, not someone else's.
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  #5  
Old 06-15-2005, 02:37 PM
Bl95070
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Default

thanks, everyone. I also got a few private messages. I believe travel trailer people are really nice which is departure from hotel.

I am actually looking for reasons to buy a TM so did not take too much convincing. I came up with the following comparison:

Advantage:

-- Complete get away from internet and TV.

-- Develop hand-on skill and common sense with your kids.

-- Save money on extended travel, possible in isolation.

Disadvantages:

-- Camping in a trailer gehtto.

-- Constant worry and work. Tire, hitch, axle, battery, water, security...

-- Trailer toilet needs to be addressed every few days.

-- A lot of cleaning. I mean a lot of cleaning throughout the trip. My wife is a clean freak, not really, she is just a clean person, so she will be constantly cleaning during the trip. How can we clean with only 10 gallon of water?

Conclusion:

Travel trailer is a ideal for for young family with a lot of time under budget. When I was young, I was under budget but had no time. Now that I am older and have a lot of time, there is not a budget problem. Now I have to convince DW.
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  #6  
Old 06-15-2005, 05:03 PM
Senorsedona
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Wink Why buy a TM?

I believe there is a certain amount of worrk assosciated with ANY thing you do.
I am 73 years old, I have owned an RV since 1963. Tent trailer, hard sided trailers, 5th wheels & motorhomes, up to a 38' pusher motorhome. They are all great in thier own ways. I have owned my TM for a little over a year and I would not go back to ANY of the others. I have far fewer worries about major repaires, easy to manuver, easy on the tow vechile. Plus easy in and out of hard to get into camp grounds.

You have more of a feeling that you are really getting next to Mother Nature. It's all mental.

It takes me 10 minutes longer to fully set up the TM the it took my to set up the 5th wheels or the motorhome. And take take down. Plus, I would rather be towing the TM behind me in a 45 MPH wind then the others.

I love my TM.

Jack

Good luck
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  #7  
Old 06-15-2005, 06:34 PM
BrigCA61
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Smile Pre-owning concerns/fears become non-issues after a little experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bl95070
Disadvantages:

-- Camping in a trailer gehtto.

-- Constant worry and work. Tire, hitch, axle, battery, water, security...

-- Trailer toilet needs to be addressed every few days.

-- A lot of cleaning. I mean a lot of cleaning throughout the trip. My wife is a clean freak, not really, she is just a clean person, so she will be constantly cleaning during the trip. How can we clean with only 10 gallon of water?
1- You don't have to camp in a trailer/rv park, but having full hookups is very nice. We don't always stay at the RV parks to get R&R, we use our TM as a kind of "hotel" when we want to see sights around a particular area. I don't have to board my dogs, they are with me which is nicer for them and us and they are very good in the TM while we are away for a few hours. There are some very nice RV parks though with lots of nice things within the park too.. get yourself a nice RV camping book, like Woodalls or Good Sam's and start planning your vacations... they are all rated and list the accomodations. If you want camping in a nicer setting (remote), then try one of the many State Parks or Nat'l Parks... some have hookups, but the nice thing about the TM is that it's also fully self-contained. Many even camp on public lands (BLM).

2- TM maintenance is not constant or any big worry as you state. Once you become familiar with your TM it's no more work then maintaining your home or automobile... it becomes routine. The pleasure obtained from owning a TM far outweighs any maintenance issues.

3- We have not had any "issues" with our toilet and it sure beats digging a hole in the boonies (lol) or walking into a smelly outhouse in the middle of the night in freezing temperatures. The only thing that took us a bit of time to work out, was which type of deoderizer to use.... there is literally a full isle at CampingWorld full of various products. Do a little research, search the posts others have left here and soon you'll find a product you are happy with. Camping where there are full hookups is great cause you can discharge your waste before you leave, or any time the toilet gets full. If you camp where there are no hookups, we either use their toilet and only expell liquids into the TM toilet, or you can purchase a "tote" for the longer camping trips. At home we take the cap off the sewer pipe and replace with another clamp that has a screen over it to air things out. All in all, we like our little toilet.

4- Your wife will appreciate the TM because it really is very easy to clean up. To address the water issue.. if you have full hookups, use all the water you want... easy to dump the tank when the gauge shows it's getting full. If you don't have full hookups, I always keep a container of Lysol and Windex wet wipes to do my cleaning with. When doing dishes, I simply fill one of the larger bowls or a small pot with some soapy warm water and do all dishes with that (you can pour the soapy water down the toilet too if you want...helps clean it). I always pre-wipe any food particles off with a paper towel to keep the grey water tank clean. A supply of paper plates will keep the dishwashing to a minimum also.

All this may sound overwhelming if you are not familiar with it. We tend to get into all the specifics and details but what you decide to do or not do is really a matter of personal preference. Some things you really MUST do, others you can take or leave. Take the tips that you find useful and leave the rest! :-) It really amazed me because I was like you thinking "OMG, I don't know about this... it seems like soo much work!", but after you have gone out a few times you soon find out that everything becomes "natural" and is easily accomplished. We really don't even think about it much anymore... once we get out there, we can fully immerse ourselves into the recreation aspect and we, as do most all TM owners, totally love the TM's.
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  #8  
Old 06-15-2005, 07:00 PM
Queeniereads
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Well, we bought ours in April and have only been out twice. But, I would not trade it. It takes no longer to set up a TM than any other TT and much less than a PU. After you have been thru the set up or take down a few times in your driveway and once on a real trip, it will seem easy. Our dealer told us to put one responsible person on each side and do the same sequence each time. It takes us less than 5 minutes to be all set up on site, except for the connections to electricity, water, etc which are the same with any camper. Hope you join us all as happy owners. Happy shopping! Queeniereads aka Judi
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  #9  
Old 06-15-2005, 09:42 PM
rotor_wash's Avatar
rotor_wash rotor_wash is offline
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Location: Gainesville, VA
Posts: 94
Default

Well, maybe the trailer life isn't for you. If you read between the lines, you will note many, if not most, are former tent to pop-up to TM campers. For some, this is just a temporary stop on the way through 5th wheels, Class A and beyond. The point is most of us don't mind 'roughing' a little and some of us down right love it. After 30+ years of backpacking and tent camping I REFUSE to camp in a "Trailer Ghetto". I have only camped once in a site that had water AND electrical hook ups. Boondocking and dry camping in a TM as remote and primitive as possible is my preference. I still am not sure what I would need to do for a sewage hookup. I do know with minimal research I would find the answer here. So use this site and all of its collective knowledge to find where and how to enjoy the TM experience.
BTW, I quit using all the set up and takedown checklists as soon as I was comfortable (about 4 trips). However, I have yet to go without a completed packing list.
R_W
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  #10  
Old 06-16-2005, 03:44 PM
tritterbrew
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Default You're always pulling something

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bl95070

Advantage:

-- Complete get away from internet and TV.
-- Develop hand-on skill and common sense with your kids.
-- Save money on extended travel, possible in isolation.

Disadvantages:

-- Camping in a trailer gehtto.
-- Constant worry and work. Tire, hitch, axle, battery, water, security...
-- Trailer toilet needs to be addressed every few days.
-- A lot of cleaning. I mean a lot of cleaning throughout the trip. My wife is a clean freak, not really, she is just a clean person, so she will be constantly cleaning during the trip. How can we clean with only 10 gallon of water?
Hi,
We previously had a Motorhome and we feel that the truck/TM combination is far better. Talk about worries! If you have a Motorhome then you'll need to tow a car - now you have two complete drivetrains to worry about and to maintain.

I think it really comes down to you and your wife being happy. If convenience, cleanliness and comfort are the most important issues than I recommend that you go the Motorhome route - they truly are homes on a motor. If you do go the Motorhome route then go with a good one! Check out www.rv.org for information about Motorhome safety - you'll be amazed at the lack of safety in most Motorhomes.

Good luck with your decision. Take your time and go to RV shows and campgrounds and talk to owners of trailers and motorhomes. When you're through I'm sure that you'll buy a TM Seriously, focus on what makes you and your wife happy and let that drive your decision.

Cheers,
TR
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