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Old 03-13-2008, 09:30 AM   #1
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Default What to look for on used (2005-07) TMs

My family and I have been looking at trailmanors to use for a 6 month trip through the western states and Alaska. We got the trailmanor input from Rockymtnray on the Tundrasolutions web site.(Who i see lives here, too.) We checked them out at an RV show and liked them. We live in central Texas.
We have been searching for a used 3124kb or 3023 but have been having a difficult time finding a used one from 2000-2003 (which is more our real affordability range). We have looked at a couple of units in the 2006/7 model years at around $20K. I have some questions concerning used units and what to look for based on looking at these first two. We were really surprised at the condition especially for one of them.

- In general what are the weak points that I should be looking for? Here are some of my specific questions. (I'll start a separate thread concerning our planned trip!)

(1) How to check for water leakage issues and what are the weak points.
For example, One unit we looked at had experienced some leakage but the owners had the entire roof re-caulked and that had fixed the problem. The other unit we looked at had a small amount of water under one bed and other water dripped down from the outside when putting the unit down. The caulking from the front of the aircon was visibly separated. (This was a 2007 3124kb.)
(2) Hinges: The swivel hinges for the wardrobe and foreward wall of the head seem weak. Are there replacements for these that are sturdier? On one of the units that we looked at, the hinge from the head was cracked and the door had come loose.
(3) How should the bed slides work (the ones on the bottom on the outside)?
On one of the units that we looked at, it appeared that the slide bolts had dug into the particle board platform under the bed. I would think that there should be a metal or plastic insert here to act as a guide.
(4) On one unit, almost all of the windows would not completely close/seat and therefore wouldn't latch. Is this a common problem?

thanks for your help
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:27 AM   #2
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At least according to the factory rep I talked to at a show, you want to get one that is made 2003 or later. Starting in 2003 TMs were all metal and the hinge pockets did not have the problems earlier unit may have had.

On the majority of TMs I looked at I saw almost zero water damage. In fact the 2720 I looked at in north Louisiana was in good condition, with zero water damage. The 2006 3326 I bought had two problem spots, only one the owner knew about. 1 hour with a chaulking gun had fixed both of them.

When I was looking at units, I was told to check the ability to easily fold and unfold was very important. If the unit had a lot of trouble doing that then there were probably bigger problems within.

I would check every system, turn everything on, have the owner switch on the frig before you get there, learn how the systems operate so you don't have to fumble with them. Bring a crawler with you and check the underside. Gas tubing is exposed and in the south we typically do not salt roads around here but in other climates that could be a problem.

On the exterior there are power cables running up the clamshell arms. Check them for deterioration.

If the owner has high resolution digital pictures use them. You'd be amazed at what detail those cameras will reveal. For example, in a picture that showed the kitchen and livingroom in a 3124, I could even see the rust on the stove gas jets!

Before you get there check the NADA for the TM. Discuss with your spouse what the maximum you will be willing to pay for the TM if it is in pristine condition. Consider how far you are driving for that TM. A two tank trip means you've spent $100 to look at the unit. If the owner isn't going to come down into an acceptable range don't go.

Have your financing all lined up ready to go. Once you have a deal, close the deal. You don't want to lose the deal because it will take a few weeks to get the cash.

I learned a long time ago not to get rushed into making a deal. I can usually save about 3% on cars over many of my buddies by being a little slower. Ever been to an auction? Some people are dead set on winning that auction that they will pay many times what it is worth just to hear that gavel and their name.

Get alone with your spouse, away from the sellers. If you have done your homework you know what its worth, what it is worth to you, and probably what the seller thinks its worth. Take stock of everything you have seen and discuss it. Discuss your misgivings or surprises. Take your time, figure out what the max figure will be and how much you will offer first. If they offer you coffee and tea take them up on it and be only a little slow. If you are below what you think it is worth close the deal.
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:43 AM   #3
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You have seem some pretty sad TMs.
1. Water leakage. A few people have experienced minor leaks, and caulking usually fixes them right away. But leakage is by no means a common problem. Use the Search tool and review the threads.
2. Hinges. I know of only one case where the wardrobe hinge failed, and that was me, using a good dose of the idiocy that only I can muster! I was moving across country and loaded the wardrobe MUCH heavier than I should have. It was well over 100 pounds. Nothing broke, but the rivets pulled through the metal leaf of the hinge. When we got where we were going, I unloaded the wardrobe, removed it from the TM, re-riveted using backer washers, and re-installed. It has been fine ever since. I don't think I've ever heard of a failure in the bathroom wall hinge.
3. Bed slides. Again, not a common problem, but there has been some discussion about replacing the teflon tracks. You can read the threads here on this board.
4. Windows won't close? That should be fixed before you buy. They should all close, and you may have to slam them a bit to get them fully home. If they don't close, they will leak. Look for obtructions in the track, folds in the black fuzzy material, etc.

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Old 03-25-2008, 02:22 AM   #4
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The outside rubber molding sometimes inhibits the windows from closing if it is folded in.

My wardrobe track was busted when I bought it. I used long sheet metal screws to reattach it.
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