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Old 03-02-2008, 04:39 PM   #1
Buck Mills
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Default Lots of Questions about TM and 3124Ks

First, forgive my long post. I have scoured the pages for few days but haven’t found direct answers for many of my concerns. I’ll be calling TM on Monday to get some answers from them but owners may have better solutions-advice?

I’ve pretty much decided on a 3124Ks. I’m even considering a brand new Anniversary Edition, unless I could find a much better deal on a recent model. The Anniversary Edition looks sweet! I currently have a 2005 Chalet XL1910. I considered the TM’s before I bought this one but I was sold on the VERY EASY and quick set up. I’m planning on retiring this coming December and spending a year traveling the US and to decide where to retire. It will just be me and my cat.

The TM set up may not be that hard but it still isn’t as easy and fast as the Chalet but for a year long adventure I would rather have more room and more comfort. I have not gone to a dealer yet but I have looked at a 2720SL when in Yellowstone a few years ago and believe the 3124Ks would work well. I would be using my 2000 v8 Tundra for TV. There is a RV show in Denver next weekend and if TM is showing I may go, there is also a dealer in Colorado Springs with a 2007 3124Ks which I may look at.

Of the options I could have built to order in a new model I have a few questions.

• Low Profile Roof Air Conditioning- Does this provide heat too, seems like I read somewhere it did?
• TV Antenna w/Amplifier - Would I need this is I got the Satellite system?
• Hanging cabinet over sink, Hanging cabinet over stove - Are these too much of a pain to setup, in frequent stop camping than they are worth?
• Microwave Box w/Drawer - What does this really do, is it necessary
• All Woodgrain Vinyl Floor - Would look nice, any concerns?
• Swing Hitch (reduces length by 2') Can this be changed later?
• TV Shelf Is this necessary if you get the 17” LCD?
• Satellite Dish/TV Ant Combination Can this be used with Directv or only Dish network?
• "17""LCD TV/CD/DVD w/TV tuner" Can these be used as a computer monitor for my laptop???
• Plumb Quick Connect for Ext Grill Is this necessary with the Anniversary edition, can it be used with an outdoor stove as well?
• Power Lift/Level Jacks W/Remote "$2,170.00 " Expensive, but it might be a valuable extra.
• Anniversary Edition Package *"$2,940.00" again an expensive extra, but I do really like the marble look countertops, the leather looks nice, the outdoor grill… If I am living in this for a year a pleasant environment would be a plus.

When added in all my desired options the bill came close to 40K. I suppose I could find a recent 2005-2007 model and add some of the custom items myself but I have seen 2006-2007 models with fewer options for 26000 anyway.

Additional Questions.

I like to boon dock in NF and BLM land when possible. Any suggestions for TM’s on somewhat rough roads? The wash boarding has shaken a few things loose in my Chalet, should I expect worse in a TM? Should I drop some of the luxury items because I may be on rough roads>
I couldn’t use some of the luxury features when boon docking, but I’d also be staying in commercial CG’s with power at times.

I also need a solution for internet but I’ll probably just get one of the ATT usb cards so I can connect when I am in more urban locales. The satellite systems are way too expensive.

Do you know if you can add an extra access door. I was thinking about a small door I could use to put my cat inside while the TM is closed for times when I stop and don't want to leave her in the car. I'd assume it'd stay more comfortable in there if I stop for lunch or something.

Thanks,
Buck
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Old 03-02-2008, 05:49 PM   #2
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I will try to answer a couple of your questions based on our setup. We picked up our 3124ks last spring and love it. We had planned on a 2720sl but after getting to look at both and comparing, we went with the 3124ks for the greater storage area and counter space. First thing we did was order it with a queen size mattress instead of the king. Still plenty big enough but it gives you an eight inch space along either side of the mattress for storing items that you would normally keep at your bed side, You wouldn’t have this with the wall to wall king mattress. It took a minute or two to hang both cabinets the first couple of times until I got the feel of where the hangers were. Now it doesn’t take ten seconds to lift them off the floor and hand them both. For us they are worth it. We have a small microwave that sets on the floor while traveling. Another couple of seconds to place in on the counter next to the stove. Never saw the need for the box w/draw but someone else that has one may love it and can help you on that. Do you really need a swing hitch with the 3124?. We skipped the built in 17” TV and got a 19” flat screen LCD w/built in DVD player for around $300. It only weighs a couple of pounds and rides nicely flat on the chair seat while traveling. Gives us an extra TV for our home when not on the road. This is a great forum and I’m sure you will get plenty of help from other members on the rest of your questions. Oh, the cat, I think it would be much happier in the car. There is little to no room in the TM when closed . It would also be dark and no windows or anything to look out.
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Old 03-02-2008, 06:00 PM   #3
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Lots of good questions here, Buck. Let me take a stab at some of them - others will chime in, too.

* Roof air provides heat? Only a little bit. It is billed as taking off the chill, but not as a real heater.
* TV antenna. You may have heard that over-the-air-TV will go all-digital very soon, and older TV's don't receive digital. You will still be able to use the roof antenna, but you will need either a digital TV, or a digital converter box (supposed to be very inexpensive). However, this is relevant only to over-the-air broadcasting - if you have a satellite system, you will seldom need OTA TV, so I think the antenna would serve no purpose.
* Hanging cabinets are a pain? Our over-the-sink cabinet has not proven to be so. The trick is to load it/them with only lightweight stuff - paper towels, paper plates, plastic silverware, paper napkins, etc. When done this way, it lifts right up into place with virtually no effort.
* Microwave box. Certainly not necessary. In my mind, its real function is to fill an inconvenient and otherwise hard-to-use gap in the counter, by filling the gap up to the height of the adjoining countertop. We then put our microwave on this spot, leaving the space beside the stove free for cooking chores. The drawer is nice for cooking gadgets that don't fit elsewhere.
* Vinyl floor? Don't know, but I wish we had it.
* Swing hitch. If you don't order one now, it CAN be changed later, but to my knowledge there are only a couple welding shops that have actually done one. I don't know if the factory would do a retrofit. You are looking at some big-ticket options here - why not spring for this one right up front? It will increase the value of the TM at trade-in/up time.
* TV Shelf and 17" TV. It is NOT necessary, but it may be handy. Our members have found a number of ingenious ways to mount a TV, including simply setting it on the kitchen counter. Use the Search tool to find several discussions.
* Using a satellite dish with Direct TV or Dish? Don't know.
* External grill. The fitting is a standard propane quick disconnect, so it can be used with any appliance that has a matching fitting. On the other hand, a recent discussion on this board showed that many members were not enthusiastic about this option either. Use the Search tool to find it.
* Power Lift. Again, member feeling was generally down on this option, due to its high weight and high cost. Unless you are wheelchair bound, there are other options. Again, use the Search tool to find the discussion.
* Is the Anniversary Edition worth it? I think this is a personal decision, since it is largely esthethics. I'm not sure any of our members have reported it on it yet.
* Boondocking. I don't think there is anything to be aware of except that a longer trailer doesn't work as well on rough roads. It will tend to drag more easily, and won't turn as tightly. To my knowledge, none of the appliances/features are particularly sensitive to harsh ride.
* Adding a cat door. I'm sure it is easy to do, and any competent RV shop could do it for you. Personally, I would never put an animal in a closed TM. Besides the claustrophobe factor - there is very little space, and the space is irregularly-shaped and full of scary objects - you have no idea how hot it will get in there, and how quickly, from sun loading.

Bill
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Old 03-02-2008, 06:25 PM   #4
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Buck,

Just so happens that we have one of these so let me see if I can help here.

1.) the AC has a "heat strip" in it. We use a small electric heater because that sucker is just "too darn loud". We've tested it though and it works if you can tolerate the noise.
2.) TV set up. Get your own TV (cheaper) and yes get the antenna- even if you have a satellite set up. I'm guessing that there will be times when you can't hit the satellite but the site might have cable or, if it's nasty, you might just set up the antenna and troll for something to watch. BTW- most LCD TVs now have a VGA input you can use to make it a monitor. Also, you can use either the external input or an FM modulator to use the stereo as your audio source- Hi-Def video deserves a little higher def audio if you ask me.
3.) Swing hitch- primarily for storage. Have read a couple of older articles indicating that they may not be as sturdy as their fixed counterparts (something to think about or maybe someone else will respond).
4.) Cabinets- no problem- like Digger indicates.
5.) Floor choice is personal I think. We got the tile only because we didn't think it would show dirt as fast.
6.) Personally, I wouldn't buy either the auto leveling jacks or the anniversary edition- again, your choice though. One thing you should have is the electric tongue jack.
7.) We have the MW/convection oven. I think it's a great option. We had a gas oven in our class C and hardly used it. Of course, you have to be plugged in for this over to be of any use at all.
8.) I saw the anniversary edition on display at a local RV show. I don't really like the grill that close to the RV. I carry a little propane bottle powered grill and sit it on the picnic table away from the TM. Wish it had a few thousand more BTUs but I feel the same way about my stove at home. Perhaps I should have moved into a restaurant?
9.) Dry camping has a bit more to it. First, you can only carry 20 Gal of fresh water in this model. That's not a lot. You should figure out how to carry or retrieve another 20 or only plan a few days boondocking before heading for a full service place. Second is power. Lots of info on this forum regarding power options. 2nd battery would be a must. Other than that, the only other thing I'd consider would be a generator but they're noisy.
10.) Bad roads- problems are probably the same or maybe a little less with the TM since is compresses down and takes most things that flop with it. I think you should still be careful.

I think you and the cat will be very happy. I doubt the TM is any nicer inside when you're parked. Consider a solar fan to keep the inside of the vehicle cooler. Good luck. I'm sure you'll have a blast. Oh, one last thing, since the cat can't help you back up (at least I don't think he can), you might want to consider some kind of backup camera. I'm thinking about putting one in and I have help.

Good luck.

Phil
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Old 03-02-2008, 08:04 PM   #5
CAmark
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Default A few more thoughts...

• Hanging cabinet over sink, Hanging cabinet over stove - Are these too much of a pain to setup, in frequent stop camping than they are worth?
We do not have this/these - we don't miss it but it would be nice to find at least something without getting onto the floor to look in the cabinets.
• Microwave Box w/Drawer - What does this really do, is it necessary
We did not get this feature but did find a plastic drawer that is stout enough to hold a small microwave on top and keep misc stuff in the drawer. It fits nicely where the micro-drawer is designed to sit.
• All Woodgrain Vinyl Floor - Would look nice, any concerns?
We have the all vinyl floor and just today, as she swept up some sand, DW said, "boy, sure glad we don't have carpet."
• Swing Hitch (reduces length by 2') Can this be changed later?
We have this on our 2720SL -- have not used it yet. The TM sure looks larger in a garage than a tape measure led me to believe it would, more a comment on wishful thinking...
• TV Shelf Is this necessary if you get the 17” LCD?
We use the TV Shelf as a "night stand" rather than to hold a TV...just convenience.
We have a stand-alone 17" LCD TV that sits on top of a set of 4 plastic drawers next to the refrigerator.

Mark
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Old 03-02-2008, 08:48 PM   #6
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Buck - just joined the forum and saw your post. It was interesting becaus we just put down a deposit on a 2003 3124KB at the dealer in Colorado Springs. I think most of your questions have been addressed, so I'd just make a comment - go to the RV show in Denver. The Car Show will be there and they always have a great display and lots of people to answer questions. Plus they make some really good deals at the show. As far as "boondocking," the Car Show has a specially equipped 2720 made just for the back country. You might want to talk to them about their mods and see what would apply for your unit.
Good luck!
Al
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Old 03-02-2008, 08:57 PM   #7
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Default RV show in Denver March 6-9

The Car Show will most definitely be at the show. I'm planning on going on Thursday when the show opens. I've emailed them to ask which specific models they will have there but I know they had 5 or 6 different models at the January show.

- Anne
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Old 03-02-2008, 09:26 PM   #8
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All I have to add is about traveling with the cat. I originally thought that the closed TM would be a great place for the cat, but there really isn't much room in there, as Bill already stated. If it's really hot (we take a portable, fold-down soft carrier with us) we put the cat in the carrier when we stop and take her out with us. We look for places to eat that have outside dining areas and shade; we've never been turned away because we've had the cat in the carrier at our outside table. We've had small restaurant owners invite us in with the cat at slow times. When it's cooler, it's not a problem leaving the cat in the TV; we always bring along a litter box and a water bowl, park the TV where we can see it, and crack the windows a bit.

Thinking about the TM when it is closed, I think it would be fairly difficult to put in a cat door that would make the inside accessible, since you have both top shells to deal with plus the lower shell.

I don't think our cat really likes camping, but I know she is definitely happier just being with us than being left at home. This will be our 19th year with her.
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:26 PM   #9
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If the cat wasn't 19 years old, I think it would be foolish to travel with one. Cats do not like a tolerate a change of scenery very well. But since this critter is 19 I would think the spring in its steps has long gone.
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Old 03-03-2008, 07:10 AM   #10
Buck Mills
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Default Thanks for all the answers

I have to say I like conveniences, I would prefer a TV that didn't have to be packed away each time I move but it is a pretty steep price. May just get a 17-20 iMac and an adapter for TV use. It is still cheeper and serves more purposes.

Convenience again when looking at the Leveling system, but it is expensive.

I think I've decided on the Bullseye DDS Mount instead of the roof mount for the satellite dish. Anyone doing high def in their TM?

Electric tounge lift was a definite as was the solar panel.
Awning was another definite.
Might just go with the plumb quick connect for the grill and supply my own.

And the cat, cat is 17 years old and mostly sleeps these days. In general wouldn't travel with her but if I'm to be gone that long I'd want her with me. May be the solar fan and the portable carrier are the way to go.
Another Idea I have had is to add the little door and some way to attach a kennel over the opening for those times I am camping. That way if I'm out hiking she could get outside if the weathers nice. Maybe have the cat box in there so it's not in side?

As for backing up, I've gotten pretty good with my Chalet, but was thinking about putting the front receiver hitch on my Tundra to carry bike and could use that in more difficult situations. There are times where the back up cam might be handy though.


Thanks all, anymore suggestions welcome.
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