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Old 03-29-2007, 11:15 AM   #1
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Default Longterm effects of unit closed

Going back and forth between a canvas popup and the TM. What is the long term effect of being closed up either outside or in a garage between a TM and a regular canvas popup like a Fleetwood? We are also planning a cross country trip from Florida to Vancouver Island this summer. It would entail quite a bit of one nighters and of course running into bad weather. I wonder which type of unit would work better for ease of quick setup and breakdown the next morning. Also being situated in the rain at no fault of our own!
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:26 AM   #2
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I started with a Coleman tent trailer. I prefer the TM for sound and weather insulation, security, comfort. hard wall bath/shower.
With a tent trailer, if you close down in rainy weather, your stuff will get wet and you will have to open up again at some point to dry out the canvas to avoid mildew.
With the TM your stuff will not get wet and there is no need to reopen, at least not for the purpose of drying out.
My TM stays closed in my driveway with an Adco (breathable) cover for 3 months at a time with no problems.
I think the difficulty of set up and tear down is close to equal leaning slightly toward the TM being easier.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:34 AM   #3
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From my experience of five years of using my TM quite a bit, the is no comparison in the time that it takes to set up the TM versus a popup. It takes me less than 10 mintues (by myself) to set up the TM. The popups that I've observed being set up and being closed down take much longer. I've had many a popup camper come and watch me either open or close. Most seem to be downright shocked at how easy it is and how different they are on the inside.

The TM was designed by a guy who was frustrated by a popup.

I've had to open and close my TM in some pretty serious rain and I'm still amazed that no water gets inside. I got pretty wet opening or closing but the inside remained dry.

2008 2720SL - 7 cross-country trips so far + ventures into western Canada
2002 2720SL - 70,000+ miles before being retired to the farm
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"A good life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less, smile often, dream big, laugh a lot and realize how blessed you are for what you have." -- Author Unknown
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:39 AM   #4
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On the few occasions that I have closed up in the rain to come home, it concerned me that there was water trapped between the shells on the roof of the rear shell. So after parking the TM in the garage I just pop the front shell up so it is resting on the torsion bars. After a couple of days it is dry and I close it back down.

I was never able to convince myself that I could do the same to dry out the fabric in a tent trailer.
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:39 PM   #5
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Ditto most of what Leon said. We had a Coleman (Fleetwood) Sequoia. It was a large, deluxe model pop-up - 14 foot box, king beds on both ends, hard wall bathroom with cassette toilet, built-in microwave, 3-burner stove and oven, roof A/C with heat strip, furnace, water heater, 3-way fridge, etc. It was really nice and fun to camp in. Towed it to Yellowstone on one trip and the next year to Zion/Bryce Canyon/Salt Lake City. However, the last trip was the one that did us in.

We went in mid-May, and it was very windy. Stayed one night in eastern Colorado - big thunderstorm blew in with wind advisories. It got so bad that, like Leon, we took the dogs and ourselves out to the tow vehicle to spend the night. About 2 hours later, storm passed and we went back inside. Not a restful night.

Then we got to Utah. No storms, but wind was very strong for the entire three days we were at that campground. The pop-up was parked so that the wind was blowing squarely on one of the bed ends, steady at about 25 mph and gusting to over 40. The gusts actually bent the canvas support rod on that end. We made our mind up at that time to look at other options. We decided on the TrailManor and haven't looked back.

Pop-ups can be difficult to set up and take down. When taking down in strong winds, just when you get the canvas tucked on one side the wind blows it out the other side. Gets very frustrating. The TrailManor goes up and down easy.

And, we only paid a few grand more for the TM than we did the pop-up. When you look, try to look at both and see if the dealer will let you set up and take down both - then think about the trip you're planning and decide which you think would be easier day after day. The TM, in our opinion, is much easier and less tiring at the end of a long day driving.

Good luck in your search,

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Old 03-29-2007, 02:59 PM   #6
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Just to further confuse the issue, I think I would go with something like the for that many days on the road. We've circled the U.S. with our TM and the up/down every day does get old. We talked to a couple on our recent trip to California who had move down from a 40' diesel-pusher motorhome to the Casita Freedom Deluxe and they seemed delighted with their decision.

As for the overall trip, you may want to consider driving on to the northern end of Vancouver Island and taking the short hop on a Canadian ferry to Prince Rupert, B.C. From there you can take an Alaska ferry on north to cover Alaska and return on the Alaska Hwy -- or just come back east through Canada from Prince Rupert.
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Old 03-29-2007, 04:33 PM   #7
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I will echo that of other posters. When the weather was nice, the popup is hard to beat, it's just in bad weather, having to pack up in the rain or when the wind is really blowing that a popup becomes a pain. We had to cut our camping trip short on one trip because of the wind was so bad, sides of the canvas was blowing in, the top was swaying back and forth!

For storage, keeping it inside a garage protected from the outside elements is the best. For long-time storage, we just ensure that no mice can get in and from time to time plug in the battery to charge. During the winter, we put RV antifreeze for the lines and take out battery.

For ease of setup and takedown or being caught in the rain, the TM beats a popup - no contest there! But then again my Hi-Lo beats both a popup and a TM, it goes up & down with just a touch of a button in 12 seconds! Good luck in your decision. I would recommend to go visit a dealer, spend a lot of time in each one and practice setup/takedown of each unit. We also wrote a list of things we liked/didn't like for each unit we were interested in and that helped too.
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:15 PM   #8
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I can confuse things also. Go to We have taken 3 trips that were each 6,000 mi round trip in one of these. We have just moved up to a 3023 because we plan on being out longer periods of time by next year. Still have the T@B & really love the little thing. We didn't want a canvas sided camper but needed something lightweight. Scamp is also a lightweight camper. Had a popup in the 70's & the setup/takedown in rain is NOT fun. All depends on your style of travel/camping, tow vehicle, prices & what you feel you can live with.
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Old 03-29-2007, 08:25 PM   #9
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We have had two Colemans, a couple of travel trailers,and a Palomino tent trailer. Of the three tent trailers, I liked the Palomino the best. The tires on the Colemans were too small so the tires heated up too much and threw the rubber off. The Palomino had 13" wheels and we never had any tire issues. (We even took a trip to southern Mexico with the Palomino) All three were a pain to set up in the wind or rain. The beds had pipe props that you had to lift the beds in order to put the props in. With a TM, you pull the bed out and the props are already in place since they're hooked up to the bed - no lifting. The tent trailers swing and sway in the wind and if the wind is just right they fill with air and then they deflate and it sounds like a shot gun. Try sleeping with that going on! As others mentioned - if you set up or take down a tent trailer in the rain everything is going to get wet. The regular travel trailers are a different story - sure they're already set up, but they also are harder to tow since the drag slows you down and the crosswind will make you sway all over. We had to have a sway bar with the travel trailer. One other thing, one campground we tried to stay at in Yellowstone wouldn't allow any tent trailers - the same with Glacier, except there you couldn't camp anywhere in the entire park with a tent trailer. We thought about a Casita (or a Scamp or Burro or a Canadian Trillium) when we decided to get out of the tent trailer, but they're SOOO tiny! The 17 ft trailer in these brands isn't as big as the main box on our 2619! We looked at the T@B but you have to stand outside to cook - that would be fun in the rain! We ended up buying a 2619 TrailManor on eBay and have traveled around 17000 miles with it. We're sold on TM as you can probably tell - even stopped at the factory last year for a tour.
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