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Old 03-03-2008, 10:26 AM   #11
Scott O
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I think most of your questions have been answered. Concerning off-road use, my gut tells me the TM is just not robust enough for much banging around on dirt roads. We frequently visit the SoCal desert and I have decided not to take our trailer there as the roads are generally heavily rutted or washboarded. If you know the dirt road is relatively smooth, then it would probably be fine. But if the road is not well maintained I would really give some thought to taking the TM. There is also the potential issue of dust getting inside when you drive... We enjoy keeping our TM nice and that doesn't fit with much dirt road use!
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:52 PM   #12
Buck Mills
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Default Dirt Roads

I'm a little discouraged with what I am hearing about dirt roads. This just may not be the vehicle for me. My Chalet isn't the greatest on the dirt roads but I'd hate to have even less access.

Just talked to the Car Show in Colorado Springs and they have something almost like what I was looking for.
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Old 03-03-2008, 02:05 PM   #13
PopBeavers
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Personally, anywhere I would not drive a nice car, say a Corvette, I would not tow a camping trailer.

I have towed motorcycle trailers on dirt roads and at 45 mph down a dirt road they bounce a lot. It is interesting to watch a trailer bounce so high that the wheels are off the ground.

If you are willing to drive slow, say 25 mph, then I wouldn't worry about it. But to cover 50 miles on a dirt road is going to take two hours at that speed.

You did not specify if it was a maintained dirt road, such as some county roads in rural America, or a forest service road in a national forest. The former is probably graded once a year. The latter is full of ruts.

The dirt roads that I would like to travel down to go camping require a high ground clearance vehicle with four wheel drive. I won't take my TM there.
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Old 03-03-2008, 03:31 PM   #14
camp2canoe
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It looks as though most of your inquiries have been handled so I'll address your front hitch comment. I am a true believer in having a front receiver installed on any TV. I have years of towing experience with sailboats and consider myself a pretty good trailer backer, but it makes SUCH a difference when you can see what you are doing. You can also make very precise steering inputs as you don't need to be turning the entire TV before turning the TM. My driveway has both a hump and a curve. The garage doors are just inches wider than the TM. For me the front hitch means that I won't be scraping the logo off the awning (again). It is also invaluable for backing into primitive campsites where you may need to manuver between trees. Lastly, the front hitch is, as alluded to, a great place to carry a bicycle rack as you can keep an eye on them and don't need to worry about backing into something and ruining a nice bike. Yakima makes a front rack accessory and a canoeing friend uses that to carry a kayak way forward when towing his 5th wheel. Welcome to the TM family! - camp2canoe
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:11 PM   #15
sail_ski
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Default re lots of questions

I will address the boondocking questions as others have answered most.
I boondock 4-6 weeks a year where no power is available

Solar- I have a 115watt solar panel and controller this will re-charge your batteries. Notice I said batteries I have three. This will give you plenty of
capacity. I Have top for Pu truck. Made a slot for solar panel storage that slides in and is pinned. solar panel lays horizontal about 2.5 feet above truck bed.

Lighting- replace current overhead lights with LED type lamps. This draws
less than a third of power per bulb saving a lot of energy.

Water- Portable or colapsable containers-I have three- Fill these up at water station load in back of Tow Vehicle. Hook up to portable 12volt pump with garden hose & fill your TM without lifting . Harbor freight sell's a small 12volt pump which when connected to a trailer adapter plug on back of tow truck/van works great.

Inside water saving --Get plastic containers that fits in sink & tub to capture grey water. By doing this your grey water tank does not have to be dumped as often.

Tow Vehicle if pu. Made 4x6.5 ft rolling platform for truck bed. It's easy to make and put ball rollers underneath so platform will slide. The platform contains (8) plastic tubs for storage and space left over for other misc things. Will send you picture if you like. Above the platform the solar panel is mounted so all storage can slide out for easy acces have about $90 in material.

If you have any other questions feel free to email me @ [email protected]. Good luck with your travling I will be on north Padre Island for windsurfing April- Mid may. Wyoming in August Yeh for Semi Retirement.
Have F150 with 2720SL with windsurfers/Kayaks

Bob
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Old 03-04-2008, 01:54 PM   #16
markandanne
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Default Denver show

You probably found this out already from talking to the Car Show but I received a reply from them today and it said "We will have all of the floorplans at the show except the largest one - the 3326 King model."

- Anne
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:51 PM   #17
Buck Mills
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Default RV Show - Anne

Thanks Anne, I called the Car Show on Monday and talked to Dave Novak an he gave me the information about their being there and what models they'd have to show. I plan to go over probably Friday and Saturday.

They have almost exactly what I am looking for in a new 2007 model. Anyone had any idea what kind of discount is appropriate because of the older model? I know they haven't changed much from 07-08 but in resale that extra year will make a difference, though the unit may be perfect.

I understand they give a discount if you buy from the RV Show but wonder what more I should try to shave off because of the older model.

I going over and ?may purchase while there. Anyone interested in an 05 Chalet XL1910.

Thanks
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:59 PM   #18
Buck Mills
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Default Sail Ski - Boon docking

Lighting- replace current overhead lights with LED type lamps. This draws
less than a third of power per bulb saving a lot of energy.

---Can you replace the lights without problems when connected to 110. I though I heard the LED lights couldn't handle the 110/

Water- Portable or colapsable containers-I have three- Fill these up at water station load in back of Tow Vehicle. Hook up to portable 12volt pump with garden hose & fill your TM without lifting . Harbor freight sell's a small 12volt pump which when connected to a trailer adapter plug on back of tow truck/van works great.

IN my chalet I had some portable water containers that I would bring inside, sit on the counter top and had a short hose that feed out the window to gravity feed the water tank.

Tow Vehicle if pu. Made 4x6.5 ft rolling platform for truck bed. It's easy to make and put ball rollers underneath so platform will slide. The platform contains (8) plastic tubs for storage and space left over for other misc things. Will send you picture if you like. Above the platform the solar panel is mounted so all storage can slide out for easy acces have about $90 in material.

:} I currently have a truck with a touneau cover which folds in four sections so I can access items all up and down the sides. Granted I can't carry as much which the cover as I could with a full shell. Was thinking about getting a full shell when I do the long trip which has the flip up side windows, but your solution may be as good or better and cheaper.


Thanks
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Old 03-09-2008, 02:50 PM   #19
sail_ski
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Default Re LED light power source/ Boondocking

Buck

The LED's can not be run directly by 120V ac power.There are LED lamps that step down the power but that is not what you want.

All of the overhead lights of the Trail manor are run at 12 volt's. The source of power is done two different ways but the results are the same.

1. TM is hooked up to Shore power @ 120VAC. The inverter in your TM steps the power down to 12 volts - actually its a bit higher about 13.8 to 14 to let your battery charge. the stepped down power runs the lights, Pump Etc

2. No connection to shore power. Run everything off of battery. If 120 volt
power is required an inverter from 12 to 120volts is needed to run TV.

- Easiest Replacement
12v LED lights. One of the many links is www.superbrightleds.com. The TM 12v incandescent overhead light is an 1141 bulb or equivalent. Also an automotive 1156 light bulb will work. So look for bulb with at least 19 led's These however are not cheap but fit in the existing bulb socket- no wiring required.

Another easy option
I have just discovered that Walmart carries a stick up or stick on LED light (Tap Light with 4 AA batteries) made by Meridan. Also Walmart has another called (Wireless LED puck lights) made by RiteLite. I'm in the process of testing these to see if they will work. LED ring camp lights. I'm looking for these locally.

The stick ons require no wiring. They work with internal batteries. Internal batteries can be eliminated by Wiring to the TM bulb socket I will post a voltage regulator that can be wired from socket to stick-on. The voltage for stick ons are 6, 4.5 & 3 volts depending on model.

More difficult option
Change wiring on tap-on or camp ring light & wire directly to existing bulb socket eliminating unit batteries. Voltage regulation is required and requires a few simple components. I'm an Electrical engineer so I can do this stuff and will post if cheaper lights work out.
Bob
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Old 03-09-2008, 05:37 PM   #20
Bill
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Sail_ski -

That's a good summary of the situation. Let me make a couple minor comments.

1. Terminology. The TM does not have an inverter. It has a converter, which converts 120 VAC shore power to 12 VDC. Of course, just as you said, the owner can add an inverter to go the other way - change 12 VDC to 120 VAC shore power.

2. I'm really glad you added the note about the voltage regulator. A few years back, one of our members had a terrible time with unregulated "12-volt" LEDs. There are higher-voltage transients in the electrical system which burn out unregulated LEDs, and that gets really expensive.

3. Don't forget to consider 12VDC powered fluorescent lights, such as those from Thin Lite. Your TM has at least one of them, in the bathroom. DC fluorescents draw a little more power from the battery than LEDs, but they illuminate a much wider area. They are great for areas that need "area illumination". LEDs tend to have a spotlight effect, which is great for "reading lamp" sorts of applications, such as the lamps under the front overhead cabinets. Both LEDs and DC fluorescents are a great improvement over the old incandescent bulbs.

Bill
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