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Old 02-12-2007, 09:24 PM
cybervanner
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Default prospective owner with roof questions

Okay, this is a different kind of roof question that doesn't involve the ever-popular leak question. I became intrigued with the TrailManors after looking at one at a camp show here in Richmond VA over the weekend. I currently have an old Fixed roof 18 foot Midas camper that weighs 4400 pounds road-ready, and makes the van VERY thirsty for fuel, and also has a nasty sway problem with it's single axle...obviously, I'm ready to trade up despite the good condition of this old classic. I tow with an Astro van I customized, and a TrailManor ought to be the perfect camper to tow behind it. I am looking for something with much better highway manners that will be easier to climate control than a pop-up, but have the good road manners of one. Now that I've got the road-trippin bug, I want something that will "dissapear" behind me! BTW, the one I have my heart set on is the 2720 because it's got room for my wife, and some friends (and maybe eventually kids too!)

Well, onto the questions. I have a Hobie Cat wave sailboat that I want to carry with me when I go camping. Only problem is I can't tow the boat on it's trailer, and the camper at the same time, relegating me to sleep in the van and not have the amenities of a trailer when I camp where there's good sailing. While my fixed roof camper definitely has a roof durable enough to support the boat, getting it up there is not going to happen! Getting up onto a pop-up or Trailmanor...now that's do-able! Only problem is I am wondering how much weight the Trailmanor can carry on it's roof. The boat weights 250 pounds approx, and I want air conditioning too...so there's another 100# or so pounds for a rooftop AC unit. The weight of course will be spread out since it's a catamaran, and I'm figuring the boat will straddle the Ac unit quite nicely!

The next question involves the roof material. I remember camping out as a kid in old Starcraft pop-ups. They had fiberglass roofs on them that although they didn't leak, they were *VERY* noisy in rainstorms! They literally sounded like someone dumped a semi-truck load of ping-pong balls on the roof. The noise in a summertime storm was deafening!!! You couldn't even hollar to another occupant to close the windows! My fixed-roof camper I own nowadays is very quiet in a rainstorm, and rain is pretty much unnoticable with the AC, fan or other appliance running, and I frequently sleep right through rainstorms. Having a quiet roof in the rain is a definite must since I plan to camp out in the summer in coastal areas where some big thunderstorms can build up. Are the roofs on the trailmanors quiet in rain?
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Old 02-13-2007, 05:51 AM
idaho-steve
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Regarding the sound the roof emits in the rain, I do not think the ping-pong balls you mention quiet covers it. For me, it is more like BB's. I have been full-timing since this fall and it is probably the only real objection I have found to this trailer. The shells (including the roof) are an aluminum cladding around a closed-cell foam board. While effective as an insulator, it also couples noise quite effectively. I just use earplugs and forget about watching TV when it rains. Steve
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Old 02-13-2007, 08:46 AM
camp2canoe
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Default roof questions

Re noise: We've never found the noise of rain hitting the roof of our TM to be objectionable. Also, ours has never leaked.

With reference to carring your Wave on the roof of a TM, I wouldn't consider it. A Wave weighs about 245# and the TM roof isn't made to handle that type of load. The TM is designed to be very light in weight and you have to realize that the lightweight construction places certain limitations on the unit. We travel with two canoes which we carry on our TV, a Ford SuperCrew with a shell on the back. That being said, we do store both a canoe and a kayak on our TM in the garage and use 2X4s or foam cradles to spread the weight of the boats. I wouldn't try towing with anything on the roof of our TM and wouldn't want to drill holes in the roof for a rack in any event. - camp2canoe
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Old 02-13-2007, 08:59 AM
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There has been a lot of discussion about carrying stuff on the roof of the TM. Use the Search tool and keywords like "canoe" and "kayak" to find it. The general concensus is that the TM roof is not designed to carry any load. There are problems with how to mount the carriers' bracketry - the TM roof is made of lightweight aluminum panels, which do not hold screws well. There is no steel up there. And there are no cross-roof frame members to take screws. And so forth. ON THE OTHER HAND, RockyMtnRay has mounted solar panels on his roof, using special brackets and special glue. Those panels must weight close to 100 pounds total. You could rummage around the Solar Power forum to find it. But I would point out that solar panels have very low wind resistance - a boat would catch the wind much better, and I am concerned that it would tear out any kind of mounting brackets. In the end, I think you would do much better to mount a carrier on your van, and put the boat up there.

Re the sound of rain on the roof. I think everyone agrees that a TM is not quiet in the rain. There is considerable disagreement, however, on whether the noise is objectionable. I would describe the sound of a light rain as "Tick tick tick". In a heavy rain, it becomes "TOCK TOCK TOCK". I personally like the sound - to me it is relaxing - but that's probably because I spent a lot of time in my youth in a woods camp where the sound of rain on the roof came right through to the interior. Wonderful place. City dwellers who haven't experienced this, though, may find the noise unusual and therefore disturbing. Your personal reaction is known only to you.

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Old 02-13-2007, 10:22 AM
PopBeavers
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Off and on I have thought about how to put a canoe on top of the TM.

I was thinking of constructing a frame out of light weight tubing. It would attach at 3 points. Two at the front onto the frame/tongue close to the front shell. The rear would be a single support on the rear hitch receiver. The rear hitch receiver is rated for 100 pounds. I'm sure the tongue could handle more than that.

This configuration would likely want to sway from side to side as there would not be very much width to the mount points. Straps going over the side down to the frame should take care of that.

This would allow carrying a canoe over the roof without touching the roof. Assuming that the weight ended up evenly distributed between front and rear then it would be limited to 200 pounds of canoe plus the weight of the frame.

I haven't considered the issue of the a/c being in the way, but a canoe might be wide enough to straddle it if it was upside down.

Since I have never owned a canoe this is just some random thoughts that I have had. My TV is a crew cab truck, so I could also easily put a canoe on lumber racks on the TV.

Someone in the last 2 years has posted a thread about putting their 3 wheel bicycle on top of the TM. You might search for that thread.
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:57 PM
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That's an interesting idea, Wayne. You may be onto something. The prime drawback, of course, would be that both the canoe and the rack would have to be removed before you could open the TM. In some situations, that's not a big deal. In others, it might be.

Could the same approach be used for carrying the canoe on the tow vehicle? Or maybe it is easier just to get a Thule or Yakima rack and be done with it.

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Old 02-15-2007, 06:21 PM
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Cybervanner,

I do not know about carrying anything on the roof, but it sounds like a great idea. Just make sure your towing vehicle can handle it.

As far as the noise on the roof in rain; it's like nothing I've ever really heard before. The best way to describe it: tiny suction cups being pulled off the roof. In light rain I find it relaxing, heavier rain is loud, but I personally have no problem sleeping through it.

Our TrailManor survived a hurricane in the Outer Banks; it was an interesting experience. At about 60 MPH winds we decided to vacate because it was extremely loud and scary. We were half expecting to come back to a ruined TM, but the darn thing was in great shape.

If you can handle the noise the TM will handle the rest

Enjoy the storms!
Margie Mills
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Old 02-16-2007, 07:29 PM
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At the risk of hijacking the thread, we also went through a hurricane - the remnants of Hurricane Rita - in our TM. We evacuated to North Texas and when the storm blew through there were still gusts up to 50 mph and quite a bit of rain. It was loud but no leaks. I don't recommend riding out hurricanes in campers as a general rule though
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