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Old 10-22-2007, 02:51 PM   #1
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Default Buying A Used Traimanor

Is there a list of what to ask about before you make a long trip to determine if it is what you want? Is there a list of what to look for or to ask that the seller demonstrate before buying when you get there? For those Trailmanor owners who bought used, what did you do to keep from buying a unit from a private seller that had been abused?
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Old 10-22-2007, 04:33 PM   #2
Leslie & Nick
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Default Buying a Used TM

Originally Posted by SCBillandJane View Post
Is there a list of what to ask about before you make a long trip to determine if it is what you want? Is there a list of what to look for or to ask that the seller demonstrate before buying when you get there? For those Trailmanor owners who bought used, what did you do to keep from buying a unit from a private seller that had been abused?
A very good question! I had the same thoughts a few years ago before I bought our TM from a previous owner. As you have probably found out by now, a new TM is not inexpensive. A good used unit can be a smart idea. But how do you locate a 'good' unit ????

First, I would say learn as much as you can about TM's in general. This Forum provides a wealth of information. At least you'll have some idea of what to look for (or look out for).

But buying a used TM is something like buying a used car, except that you probably know more about cars than you do trailers in general, and TM's in particular. At least that was my situation. If at all possible, try and find a current TM owner, maybe at a campground (?) Most probably, they would be more than happy to show your their trailer.

A better bet would be to go to a nearby TrailBlazer Rally. A bunch of TM owners get together for a weekend to socialize and show off their TMs. Check the TrailBlazer web site to see if the next Rally is anywhere near you. That would be an ideal situation for you. We just got back from a Dixie Chapter Rally in AL, and I picked up a wealth of ideas from other owners. You will see more TMs at one time, at one of these Rallys than you will anywhere else.

If you're buying directly from an owner, chances are good that he/she knows exactly how everything works (or is supposed to work ). If you go to a dealer, especially one who doesn't specialize in TMs, you might know more than the sales person, believe it or not.

In any case, get the seller or dealer to demonstrate how everything works.

Do the front and back shells raise easily without binding? Are the corner hold downs in place, and do they lock securely? What is the age of the tires (including the spare)? Tire tread may look great, but if the tire is an oldie it will have to be replaced.

Does the Air Conditioner work? Does the stove work? Does the heater work?Does the plumbing system work? Do the interior lights work? Do the trailer's stop, and clearance lights work? Does the refrigerator get cold on electricity, propane, and DC? Are there any apparent water leaks (check under cushions where water comes in from the outside). Does the awning roll out and in easily, are the awning parts (crank arm, and center support) 'present and accounted for'? Does the antenna raise and lower smoothly? Does the antenna power booster work? And last, but certainly not least - does the Thetford toilet work?

I'm sure I've not thought of everything, but these are some of things you might look for. But most of all, you need to rely on your 'gut feeling'. Does the trailer look like it has been well cared for, or has it lived a 'rough life'? Is the interior reasonably clean? Any evidence of water infiltration at the ceiling, door or windows? Some of the above things can be repaired without spending a lot of $$$, while other repairs can be quite costly if you have to make them.

This should at least get you started. I'm sure other contributors will chime in with additional things a prospective buyer should check.

Good luck with your search!!

2002 TM 2619
2002 Ford F-150
The Camping Canines - Aubie (RIP 7/14/08), & Klondike, Zeke and Grace, Mocha
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Old 10-22-2007, 06:58 PM   #3
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Default ck list

I have attached a "ck list"

Look at page 20.

This is for a "New" TM, but should work for used as well.

Attached Files
File Type: doc Checklist for 8X11.doc (240.5 KB, 928 views)
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:13 PM   #4
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Your Avatar is beautiful...but, waaaaay to big.
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:20 PM   #5
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i know but I can't figure out how to x it out!!!

I do, then it comes back - - I will keep trying
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Old 10-23-2007, 03:12 PM   #6
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About a year ago, the missus and I decided to replace our pop-up……too many sleepless, windy nites hearing the canvas flap, with the last time bending 1 of the support poles.

We looked for something lite under 3000 lbs. that could be towed with our 96 Blazer (tow package with 5000 lb limit). We checked out a couple of Aliners, some lite-weight 18 foot TTs, got a Casita brochure, and were preparing to drive ~150 miles to check out a TM at a dealer. Lo and behold the missus found a TM in the local trading magazine, so we decided to check it out.

Not knowing about this forum at that time, we went into this blind. This unit had sat for over a year unused. Dirty, black streaks down the side, and the back side (north side) was green… joke. Since the people hadn’t used it in a year, they had to get out the instruction manual to figure out how to raise it. Thank goodness they stored it in the down position, so the bottom was relatively clean. Too cold to check out the AC, no water to check out the pump, pipes, and water heater, couldn’t get the fridge to cool down (now I know enough that it takes some time)……at least we got the stove top working. I didn’t know a thing about the Thetford toilet. The unit smelled musty from being stored for so long. The vents had caulking caked around the outside to try to stop some leaks.

The only thing that I really knew to look for was visible damage. A couple of scratches inside didn’t really bother me, as well as a bad place on 1 of the dinette cushions…..1 of there kids spilled something. A few minor dents on the outside. The outside shower door hinge was busted. I really checked the frame and underneath for damage.......nothing apparent. Everything else looked pretty good.

The missus left the decision up to me. She wasn’t sold on this unit because of the way it looked, but I could see past that.

After about a week of cleaning, the unit looked new again. Most everything except the oven worked great…….we really lucked out there. Got the oven fixed. Dug all of the old caulk from the vents out, and redid that……I still have a tiny leak...I will find tha puppy eventially. Repaired a disconnected drain pipe. Replaced the wheels and tires with 15”s, replaced the dead battery with 2 new ones, and a few more upgrades that were suggested on this forum. The musty smell is no longer there......I think it just needed to be used some.

So to make a short story long, we took a chance and ended up with a great camper. The missus loves it, as I do. And we got it for less than half of what they paid for it just 3 years before.

BTW, we sold the 96 Blazer about the same time we bought the TM. Even with the beefier TV, we haven’t regretted getting the TM.

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