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Old 04-12-2008, 04:59 PM   #1
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Default TM's and kids...

We've been thinking about buying a Trailmanor to do camping with our 3 young boys (8 months, 4 years and 7 years) but hesitate a bit because we need space with 3 crazy little guys. We just camped with a rental camper that had a slideout and it was HEAVEN with all the extra room. Anyone do major camping with their kids (boys??) and still enjoy the trip in their Trailmanor? If so, what's the secret and is there enough room??

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Old 04-12-2008, 10:50 PM   #2
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I spent one weekend in Yosemite in the pouring rain with my son, and he was driving us crazy. He wanted to go outside, go to the village to the stores, ride his bike, etc. TM's don't have a lot of space inside. I don't know if having a bigger RV would have helped, either. If you can find something for them to do inside when it's raining, that helps. Watching TV wasn't enough for him and he didn't want to play games or read. He's older now so he's calmed down a lot.

When it's not raining or freezing outside, everything is wonderful. You can have a campfire, ride bikes, walk around, skip rocks, etc.

You know your kids better than we do. Try renting a smaller RV and see if it makes a difference.
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Old 04-13-2008, 08:53 AM   #3
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Default Camping with the kids

Originally Posted by dannlark View Post
We've been thinking about buying a Trailmanor to do camping with our 3 young boys (8 months, 4 years and 7 years) but hesitate a bit because we need space with 3 crazy little guys. We just camped with a rental camper that had a slideout and it was HEAVEN with all the extra room. Anyone do major camping with their kids (boys??) and still enjoy the trip in their Trailmanor? If so, what's the secret and is there enough room??

I've said for many years that one good way to take the rough edges off a woman is to marry her and have 3 sons. These days our sons all have kids of their own, but there's no question that their best camping memories were in their younger years in the old popups, rather than the bigger rigs we had later.

A few extra feet might have been nice, I suppose, but the #1 thing that we might have wished we had in those days was that indoor TrailManor bathroom. When it rained, we'd play a game with the kids or maybe watch a movie. An RV with twice the size would still be close quarters compared to what you're used to at home, but the close quarters are part of a great family building experience, and I wouldn't worry about it as long as there's some place for everybody to sit.
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:07 PM   #4
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I have noticed recently they offer travel size versions of Chutes and Ladders and Candyland. Old Maid and Fish card games are fun too. A screen room might come in handy too so the little ones can crawl around...not sure if they have floors or not. You could also pack along some match box cars...little boys like to play most with anything with wheels. You could let them help you make a batch of cookies.
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:35 PM   #5
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3 girls here rather than boys, so I won't even pretend that we have the same physical energy level that you have, but we spent a bit of time over the past year and a half renting different RV's from a pop-up to a Class A that we drove across the country last Christmas to visit our folks back East. We wound up in Kansas for a couple of days marooned in a blizzard until they re-opened I-70. The kids were 4, 6 and 8 at the time. The Class-A was a 34 ft with a slide, which sounds huge until you look at the actual floorplan space and realize it's really no bigger than the 3124KB that we bought. The main advantage the slide had was to allow easier maneuvering around each other, especially while cooking. Yes, we had to actively engage the kids to keep them from driving us crazy, but overall they enjoyed the trip.

Interestingly we all had as much fun in the canvas-sided pop-up as we did in the other RV's, which is one of the reasons we bought a TM (as a serious upgrade to the pop-up with a real bathroom and a much better sense of privacy; more important with the girls as they get older than the boys most likely).

One thing no one really mentions regarding young ones is that no RV or camping trailer is very safe compared to how you fortify your home with a toddler. The stairs will be hard to negotiate for the youngest for a couple of years. The cook-top is probably the scariest thing to me, even though our kids are now almost 6, 8 and 10 so absolutely no rough housing in the trailer while cooking. A microwave might have an edge here since the heat is contained inside, but they have other disadvantages (weight, shore power requirement, etc) so I'm glad overall I have the oven. If you keep the pilot off inside the oven it's actually pretty safe with the kids; even if they play with the knobs they can't get gas into the TM like they can with the stove because of the thermocouple. The TM toilet is probably far safer than a toilet in your house (for drowning risk) because you don't have a bunch of water floating in it. The chemicals may be problematic however; you don't want the kids wondering what blue water tastes like. None of this is specific to the TM; any RV will have similar issues.

Anyway, good luck with your decision, whatever it eventually turns out to be. I'm sure the kids will have a blast with anything you do with them.
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Old 04-13-2008, 07:30 PM   #6
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Give then Coca-Cola and chocolate and everything will be fine. I think it would take a pretty big trailer to keep three boys from driving everyone crazy. But you did not get a trailer to keep them couped up in a trailer.

The idea is to wear them out all day and into the evening so that they are tired enough to get along inside the trailer.

What is usually a good idea is to tell the forum what you hope to do with a TT. A TM is not a fifth wheel, with slides. If that is what you want or need a TM may not be the rig for you. My buddy really needs a toy hauler big enough for his wife, son, daughters, dog, and two motor bikes.

The downside of TMs is that you do not have floor to ceiling storage. There is limited storage inside the TM. It is better than any other hardsided popup without a doubt. You might beat it with some of the tent-style campers, but those are different than hardside units.

The upside of a TM is that it is a very nice hardside popup with a very nice interior. We got ours mostly for the bathroom. The wife does not like port-a-lets, that are the usual fare at Cowboy Action Shoots. The 3326 we have has lots of room the two of us and the two dogs.

The other thing that is great about a TM is the gas mileage. I am dragging a 33' trailer and getting 15-18 MPG at 60 MPH. I can pull that with a V6 engine and TV rated to pull 6500 lbs. The people I bought the trailer from new trailer is giving them a whopping 9 MPG. Their new trailer has slideouts and stuff like that AND also fits their needs better too.

So pick your mission, price, equipment and you should be able to pick the right TT too.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:18 AM   #7
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We have an 8 yr. old boy and 5 yr. old girl and are 12 days into a 6 month trip in our TM (3124kb). The size of the TM hasn't been an issue with the kids yet. We don't spend a whole lot of time in it though.We generally don't get back from activities til 7pm or later. We have not had a rainy day yet to see how we fare having to stay in it for an entire day.
A difficult thing for us is the schooling aspect. There is probably an advantage in having an RV opposed to a tow behind as one parent can do the schooling while you're on the move. We're trying to adapt in that regard.
Storage is the bigger issue for us for this long trip. I don't think it would be a problem for shorter excursions.

Stay tuned.

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Old 05-24-2008, 12:42 PM   #8
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We took our 3 mo and 2 yr old boys to Utah last year in the heat. Since then we've been all over. The TM is much easier than tent camping though. Big enough for us. The only problem being all the low buttons to press. The are getting over the novelty of turning the water heater on and off...
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Old 05-24-2008, 02:44 PM   #9
Scott O
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Contrary to popular opinion, size really doesn't matter. Our 4 kids grew up with our motorhome, and they would all fight over the special place to sit (among other things), even though there were a bunch of other places just like that one! You put a few kids in a space smaller than Rhode Island and there will be conflicts. The key is to have enough activities to keep them busy, involve them in daily family operations, maintain a sense of humor and have much patience. We always gave the coveted "Camper of the Day" award. It was really nothing more than a group recognition of the kid who had behaved the best that day...and the winner got the special seat the next day! They loved it and never did figure out that it was a rotating award and had very little to do with behavior. You just gotta figure out what works. And by the way, three of our kids have trailers and kids of their own. All still give the "Camper of the Day" award! Life is indeed very good!!!
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