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Old 06-29-2006, 04:56 PM
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Question Set Up and Breakdown by Solo Owners

Greetings, TrailManor's Owners' Forum!

I have joined your forum because I have been thinking about purchasing a TrailManor 27Ft slideout as my very first RV, and have been reading about it for 3 years or so, but have a major concern that I hope other solo (especially female owners) can answer for me.

When I start my RV lifestyle, it will be a solo one. I will not have any other humans (two dogs and a parrot only) to assist me with the set-up and breakdown. While I am not a weakling by any means, I worry that it may be a bit difficult for me to get the tops up into position -- the video clips TrailManors provide always show two people setting up the trailer. And, more of a concern, I have not ever been able to locate any video clips or even any written description of the mechanisms that are in place and what it takes to snug the TrailManor back down to hit the road again. I feel that this lack of publicity on the breakdown means it is not one of the good points about the trailer, and that I would need help from soneone to snug it back down. I absolutely do not want to have to find someone at every campground help me ready my trailer for the road. If I can't do it all myself, I don't want a TrailManor, because I plan to do some rural camping without anyone else around on occasion, and what am I supposed to do then if I can't do it myself? And who wants to wake up neighboring campers at 6AM for help when I am ready to start the debarkation process?

So, is there anyone amongst you who are females who have had to set up and breakdown the TrailManor all by yourselves? What was it like? Is it do-able? I would hate to spend $26,000 on something that I end up having to sell in a hurry because later I find myself dependent on someone else to help me with it. Men can chime in, too, but unless you are 5'5", 140# and have less upper arm strength than an average man, your personal experience with solo setups and breakdowns probably won't be too valuable to me. But I would still like to hear from anyone who has insight.

Thank you, all!

Susyn Stecchi
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Old 06-29-2006, 05:04 PM
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I am 5' 9" and 125 lbs with so so upper body strength. We have a 2518 (no longer made) I am the sole setter upper, and tearer downer (all words I just made up) We travel with 3 dogs and I send hubby off to walk the dogs when we reach our destination to keep him out of my way so I can set up. He will usually do the leveling for no other reason than he thinks he's better at it. My TM is 10 years old. The only thing I can't do is back it up just cuz I haven't had to. Set up and tear down is no problem at all.
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Old 06-29-2006, 05:40 PM
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Bill Bill is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: The mountains of Scottsdale, AZ, and the beaches of Maine
Posts: 9,258

There was a discussion back in April from a woman in a similar situation. You might PM her. I don't know if we reached any conclusions, but you can look at the thread here.

Actually, there is a procedure for making opening a lot easier. I have recommended for people who are a bit frail, but the situation is quite similar. If you use it, you'll find an electric tongue jack to be useful, but that is an easy upgrade.

Check out this thread

I am encouraged by Cheri's response. But if everything went into the proverbial handbasket, I imagine that closing could be assisted with a lever.
1. Close the shells as far as you can.
2. If you can't get that last inch or two, to make the pin snap into the latch, I'm sure you could put a piece of hardwood dowel (closet hanger rod, for example) through the stirrup and use it as a lever to get that final inch.

2020 2720QS (aka 2720SL)
2014 Ford F-150 4WD 5.0L
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Old 06-29-2006, 07:20 PM
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I have a problem latching the rear shell because I don't have the weight when I step in the stirrup. So I push the shell in and go around the front, climb up on the front bed which is already slid into close down position, and push the shell down from above. It is very easy from above. Sometimes only one latch will lock but once one is latched, I can do the remainining one by stepping in the stirrup. I do it that way every time and it always works without a hitch (so to speak)
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Old 06-29-2006, 08:37 PM
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Default Set Up and Breakdown by SOLO Owners

I'm a fairly strong person and do not think it's practical for one person to set up and take down.
It can be dowe, but, it's not like opening a car trunk as the commercial says.
I had the 3023
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Old 06-30-2006, 12:09 AM
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B_and_D B_and_D is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Santa Cruz County, CA
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No problems for me to set up and take down by myself (I actually prefer to be left alone to do it). If you have doubts, go to a dealer and ask them to let you set one up and then close it down by yourself. I just wish that I was better at backing up and parking; this is something I usually leave to DH. I suppose that with practice it would be easier.

Everybody has different strengths and weaknesses; you won't know yours until you try it for yourself.
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Old 06-30-2006, 01:19 AM
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Denny_A Denny_A is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Greenville, WI
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Default Closing/Opening

Also, the opening/closing forces can be adjusted until everything is just-right for the owner. Best done by a dealer followed by a functioanal test by the owner. One can make it very easy to close at the expense of being more difficult to open. And vice-versa. The opening/closing mechanism (torsion bars) can be tweaked to suit just about anyone.

I've done it myself several times to suit my preferences.

2002 2720SL ....
New (old) 2002 Silverado 2500 Duramax Diesel (7/13/07) 2008 Copper Canyon 32' Fifth Wheel TT
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Old 06-30-2006, 09:44 AM
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I have a dh but he travels with me less than 50% of the time.. My 5'5", 115 daughter and I (5'8'' average weight, average strength) can both set up take down our new 3023 easily in just a couple of minutes. I know this because we have been racing each other each time just to help us learn the process. Of course this applies to only things that unique only to the trailmanor, it takes longer to hook up water, electric, etc but you have to do that with all rv's. Taking it down is no harder, and doesn't require any more strength than set up.

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Old 06-30-2006, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by B_and_D
No problems for me to set up and take down by myself (I actually prefer to be left alone to do it). If you have doubts, go to a dealer and ask them to let you set one up and then close it down by yourself. I just wish that I was better at backing up and parking; this is something I usually leave to DH. I suppose that with practice it would be easier.

Everybody has different strengths and weaknesses; you won't know yours until you try it for yourself.
Same here. I ALWAYS do the entire set up and tear down. I prefer it that way. I think my closing issues would be easily taken care of with some torsion bar adjustments. I just haven't gotten around to it. I think the best thing for a prospective buyer to do is find one on a lot and try it.
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Old 06-30-2006, 10:29 AM
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From the above messages and reading the link that Bill provided it would appear that your TM can be adjusted to work for you. I am pretty confident that it will work, but if it doesn't there are other options.

In my opinion your physical strength is not going be a problem, your lack of weight is. I doubt you want to go on an eating binge and gain weight yourself, but you could hang a weight of some kind on the stirrup as you close it. A filled water jug would do. 3 gallons will bring your weight up to mine. My 165 lbs and a small bounce will close my 2720SL without a problem. That is almost a worst-case scenario because my torsion bars are adjusted so it almost opens by itself but closes harder.

If you are boondocking and use up your water, you may have something else heavy you will be taking along anyhow like a small generator that could be suspended from the stirrup.

Better yet, you could store some heavy stuff in a backpack and just put it on when you take the TM down.

Now let me digress. You are wise to make sure you can do it by yourself for all the reasons you mentioned. On the other hand, even if you donít need it, I suggest you consider welcoming help when it is offered. I am not saying this represents you, but I have observed employees of mine, of both genders, who for there own reasons avoid asking for help. If I asked if I could help, they would respond saying they could do it by themselves. I usually knew that they could do it by themselves, but it was also obvious that it would be easier with my help. Many people like myself get a kick out of being able to help others. You could make their day. Itís also a good way to meet people. Some of them will turn out to be interesting and may add to your enjoyment of the RV lifestyle experience.

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