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Old 05-15-2008, 12:22 PM   #11
skiman747
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Thank you for all the response. It appears that everyone so far is happier with their TM over their previous popup. As far as cost the popup's we were looking at, they ranged from $10-12K for the nicest one's between 1-2 years old. It appears that TM's can be had for a little more but maybe a little older. We would like to get one as nice as possible without going overboard on price. Is there a year that I should look for that had any important or major upgrades?
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:38 PM   #12
ng2951
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I think the general advice is to look for a a 2003 or later. The reason why is that after 2003, TMs were almost all metal and used very little wood.
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Old 05-15-2008, 07:37 PM   #13
grill-n-go
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and I think in '03 they started putting the spare tire underneath which makes for a shorter 2720/2619 which can be stored in a garage, if that's an issue...
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Old 05-15-2008, 10:52 PM   #14
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Also, somewhere along 2003 or 2004 they changed the bumper from the square type to the more sleek modern looking one, changed the A/C to a low profile and moved it to the front shell - a BIG improvement. My 2003 3124 has square bumper and regular height A/C, but our friend's 2003 3023 has the square bumper but the low profile A/C. Must have changed sometime during that model year. This may also have been they year they moved the A/C on the 2619 and 2720 from the side to the roof, but don't know for sure. Also a great improvement from what I read here.
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Old 05-16-2008, 12:47 AM   #15
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If your budget is limited and you can find a clean older TM, I wouldn't hesitate one bit to buy it as long as everything checks out OK. Ours is a 1997 and it's solidly built; we have had very few problems with it. The appliances have worked well from day one of ownership (with the exception of the side A/C, but it can easily be replaced, but we don't need it so we haven't done so yet). We did do the wheelwell modification; it took a couple of weekend mornings plus some shopping. I think it will roll along sweetly behind us for another 10+ years, at least. We've had it for almost 5 years now and have never regretted buying it.
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Old 05-16-2008, 06:33 PM   #16
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I had a 2005 Fleetwood Sun Valley. Nice popup and had zero problems with it. What I really didn't like was whenever there was bad weather with setup/takedown in the rain or when it is windy. Our last camping experience in our popup we had constant wind/gusts, the sunbrella fabric was bowing in/out, the top was swaying, and it was very noisy. So noisy, we couldn't sleep, the kids were scared so we just popped it down and went back home. The only thing I really liked about owning popup was the low profile tow. So we researched all folding hard-sided trailers including the TrailManor. We decided on a Hi-Lo for various reasons and have been very happy with it.

TrailManors are very nice and have many advantages over a popup. I would spend time in both. The only thing that may be a stopper is the price. TrailManors are much more expensive than a popup, even Fleetwood's top popup the Avalon. Research this site and write down the pros/cons. Also post this question on a popup forum to get different perspectives. Have fun!
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Old 05-16-2008, 10:57 PM   #17
ng2951
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Take heed in what Nancy says. Popups have the big advantage of price. They are cheaper than Hi-Los and TMs.

Go out to the showrooms and look at popups. If you don't mind the limitations of those types of popups, go for it.

As far as hardsides go, there are only two choices Hi-Lo and TM.

There are lots of things I liked about Hi-Los. In many ways Hi-Los are a little more conventional than a TM. This is especially true when you get to their slide-out (maybe flip-out) models. This definitely gives you a larger living room than you will get in a TM.

Sue and I came pretty close to getting a Hi-Lo. What had been slowing us down was the weight issue. At the time our TV was rated for 3,500 lbs. That restricted us a lot to the smaller Hi-Los which we did not particularly like. When you got up to the 22 size they started getting to be fairly nice.

Even the 22T was beyond our 4 cyl Tacoma. Empty weight with a/c would easily put you beyond 3,500 lbs.

Just about when I had thought we had a TV that could handle a Hi-Lo, I found the TM. What I liked about the TM was the lack of power required to open and close the TM. I never found a Hi-Lo at showroom that had enough battery power to run a Hi-Lo up and down. That fact had a lot more to do with the sales staff than the Hi-Los, but it did influence our decision. We always wondered how reliant the system was on electric power.

The TM had several advantages over the Hi-Lo. It was a lot lighter, no power to set up, a better bathroom, gas/electric hot water tank, beds that required less set up.

Originally, I was concerned about the way the shells opened. I was somewhat worried about whether the shells were raintight or not. After looking at several used trailers, I never found one that had any problem with rain along the seals. There were certainly ones that had had leaks in some of the usual places, but nothing major even on older units.

TMs had all the advantages of Hi-Los but were far lighter, simpler erection scheme, but were much more expensive. Even TMs 3326 has a lighter gross weight than a Hi-Lo 22.

That doesn't make the TM or the Hi-Lo better, just different.
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:40 AM   #18
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Default Older TrailManors, personal experience.

I can't add anything to the comparison with popups. However, we did consider several older TMs before we purchased our current 2007 2720SL. We seriously considered two pre-2003 2720SLs, one from an individual seller in New England and one from a former dealer in New Jersey. The first we had checked out by MCD on Cape Cod and the second we checked ourselves. Both units had been advertised on this forum and described as in good condition. Both units had problems with wood rot in the roofs among other issues. This vulnerable area, we learned, could be initially checked by simply bringing a square drive screw driver with you. Check the screws on the vertical rear edges of the front roof section by seeing if these screws were snug, or would they just spin if tightened? On the New Jersey 2002 2720SL we inspected, we found only or two solid screws between both sides. This was an easy test.

Repair of wood rot was described back in 2000 or so. Using the Search tool for the word "pocket" turns up the following links. They describe repairs that we never wanted to make.

http://www.trailmanorowners.com/foru...read.php?t=392
http://members.aol.com/br768
http://members.aol.com/br1172/ind4.htm

This is not to imply that all pre-2003 TMs should be avoided. My understanding is that the roof design was improved from 2003 on. That said, there certainly are many earlier units which have been well cared for and which can be excellent values. Key to this is, in my opinion, is being sure to store your TM with the tongue raised and not allowing snow to stand on the roof. A TM sitting with the tongue even slightly lowered allows water to flow towards the roof seal. The soft seals between the roof sections cannot, in my view, be expected to hold back standing water.

As to the Hi-Lo, they have their own vulnerabilities. I would suggest that someone considering one should search the web for where and what to examine on these.

Respectfully submitted,

Arn
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:14 AM   #19
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As far as hardsides go, there are only two choices Hi-Lo and TM.


That is not correct. There are at least two manufacturers that have hard sided trailers (I suppose they could be considered a popup, but then again so could a TM), These manufacturers are Columbia Northwest (Aliner) and Chalet. Both well made trailers although much smaller than the TM.They are also considerably cheaper than a TM. We moved up from a Aliner to a TM for the room and the bath, and still could pull the trailer with our medium sized truck.

Mike Anderson
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Old 05-17-2008, 03:56 PM   #20
larsdennert
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The TM is very quiet inside. Nice for noisy neighbors and traffic. We figured that if we were moving up from a tent, we wanted a big step up. If money is a big consideraton look for a used one or check out Chaletrv.com for another option.
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