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Old 09-17-2007, 03:15 PM   #1
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Default 1997 TM for $5000 -- Problems?

Hi all, I'm looking at my first trailer, a 1997 TM 19ft for $5000. It's a 4 hour drive away so I'm hoping to get some advice before I drive to it.

Being a 1997, are there any expensive maintenance items to consider? For example, fridge or electrical? What's the cost of maintenance items on a TM?

Also, did they move to aluminum frames by then, or still wood?

Any buying tips greatly appreciated!
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Old 09-19-2007, 01:09 PM   #2
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Your questions are pretty broad. I don't think they can be answered without some background on the unit. Was it cared for? Was it stored indoors?.
I have a 1997 2518 which I purchased 2+ years ago from a private party. It was well used to say the least. We are the third owners. We have done some work on it but it is more labor intensive than expensive. You can search my posts to see what we've done. The appliances have always worked fine (Knock on wood). AC included. There is nothing that I can think of that is inherent to the age of the unit that would be an automatic expense. Tires are always an issue. Even if they are seemingly unused, if they have been sitting a long time thay need to be replaced...even the spare.
As a trial member, you may not have access to some of the great info on this site. Believe me, anything that can happen to a TM has been discussed on this forum. That include repairs and modifications. If you are not a member, it may be worth the $12 to become one before you make that 4 hour drive.
Our TM has been great for us. This forum has really contributed to our understanding and enjoyment of our TM.

And we DO have an aluminum frame.

Good Luck,

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Old 09-20-2007, 01:46 PM   #3
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Default Buying a used TM

We purchased a used 1999 TM which was well taken care of - we just took a chance rather than testing each system. For the most part everything was perfect. There are some things that even an honest person may not know about to disclose:

Some examples:

1. The pump worked but did not pump water because the seals had rotted. Ask them if they ever dry camped. If not, water may not have been run through the pump. A new one was about $90 and easy to install.
2. Tires - they looked great but were original - we had to replace them (after a blowout that cost $$ to fix) I say replace the tires if they are over 3 years old because you don't know if they were overloaded or run low. Keep the new tires maintained (air pressure)
3. Adjustments - we paid a dealer $300 to adjust our TM, not sure if that was necessary. They also upgraded the shell latches, again just an optional upgrade.
4. Brakes / Bearings- the seals were broken on our bearings and grease filled the brakes - about a $300 repair for brakes and bearing seals.
5. Battery - never had been replaced so we bought a new one $75.

I say go ahead and test the systems before you buy. Plug it in and test electrical, test gas appliances. It is worth the hour of effort, and anything you find wrong should come off the price (although it seems like a steal to me)
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Old 09-22-2007, 11:41 AM   #4
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Our 1998 2619 water heater was propane only (3 gallon). The DSI (electric/propane combo) 6 gallon came along a year or 2 later.

I say, check it out thoroughly and then enjoy it. Remember, any RV that is 10 years old will require some immediate repair/maintenance. Then, after you use it a few times, you'll find some things you will want to change, modify, upgrade, to personalize it to fit your particular needs... most of all, enjoy it!
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