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Old 08-04-2008, 08:29 PM   #1
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Question Questions, space, towing, upgrades???

We just discovered TM on the web a few weeks ago. We went to look at them near Dallas (4 hrs one way) and really thought they are neat! We are debating on size. It is my husband and myself and two large retrievers that will be traveling together.

We are debating the 2720 SL and the 3124 KS. No question about the room in the 3124KS but our current vehichle is a Nissan Quest. What kind of tow vehicle do we need for the 3124KS?

Also, we live in Texas and we are also folks who like our creature comforts. what type of upgrades would we want? Anyone tried the electronic levelers? Waht about bigger water tanks?

ANY input would be nice!
Thanks so much!

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Old 08-04-2008, 09:32 PM   #2
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Default Have fun deciding

First let me admit I am not an expert yet... We just went down this same trail and purchased a new TM this week after serveral months looking them over. These were also the two models we like best.

Some things we considered.

Storage of the TM, the 2720 fits in most garages.

You mentioned the tow vehicle and I am sure several other old hands will give you some good advice in the next day or two.

Storage space in the TM. The 3124 has a LOT more storage and that was important to us.

The wt difference is not very much between the two TM's you are looking at. The "towing" length difference is also not very much.

The king bed will prevent waking up the spouse at 2:00 in the morning.

Anyway I hope you have fun deciding and enjoy the process. I think you will enjoy either TM so you cannot really lose. You will get some good advice soon.
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Old 08-04-2008, 10:44 PM   #3
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As for upgrades, I don't know much about the electric stabilizer jacks, but do know that many people here use a 1/4" allen wrench in a cordless drill to raise and lower them, and that is way cheaper.

For me, the things that made the TM more livable were:

1. A better heater thermostat

2. I have a way to transfer fresh water and dirty water between tanks in my truck and the TM (seperate tanks of course!). This means I can dry camp somewhere (no hookups) for weeks at a time, but still use the toilet, sinks, etc, without too much worry - because I don't need to drag the whole TM to the dump station. If you always camped with hookups, I doubt this would be as important!

3. A portable generator lets me stay dry camping longer, especially in winter. It's also good reassurance that I'll have a heat source should something happen to the propane furance while camping (it wouldn't be impossible for me to be snowed into my TM while camping) - I could run my little electric cube heater. If I were camping frequently in heat without hookups, I'd want a generator to run the AC (assuming I'm not camping somewhere that would annoy people, of course!).

4. A little electric ceramic cube heater. This saves a ton of propane when camped in winter at someplace with electric hookups.

5. A set of "self-hitching" rods. Basically, these are two long fiberglass poles, with a magnet on one end of each. You stick one magnet on your trailer hitch ball, the other on the trailers' coupler, so they stick up into the air. You can then backup and hitch up without the need for someone to give directions - it means your relationships will be stronger by not having all the yelling you'll ferquently observe when a significant other is giving directions to someone else at a campsite.

6. Dual batteries are very handy if you do a lot of "dry" (no hookups) camping, especially in the winter.

7. I keep a spare propane bottle in my truck. In winter, when it is around or below zero degrees, you can use a lot of propane - even nearly a bottle a day! (for comparison, camping this summer I've not refilled a single bottle - and I don't try to conserve propane, and use the heater nightly - I've campeda about 20-25 days this summer) In winter, I don't want to be caught without heat (the little cube heater will let me survive, but I'll be under more blankets than I'd like).

8. Good dishes and cookware. I started with cheap pots and pans and dishes, and have learned that I enjoy having the same quality cookware in the trailer that I have at home - so I've slowly been adding to my cookware, just with slightly smaller pots and pans, and focusing on unbreakable plates and glasses (for instance, I use metal bowls). But I still keep plenty of disposable dishes in the camper too - sometimes you have no desire to do dishes!

Things I wish I have, but don't have yet...

1. Electric tongue jack. For some reason, raising and lowering the tongue is something I hate doing.

2. I keep meaning to mount 12 volt flood lights at the corners of the TM, so that I can light up a campsite I'm backing into at night.

3. I keep eying the Travasak (spelled right?) sheets/blankets. Making the bed in the TM is difficult, at least for my 2619.

All these things said, I would love camping in the TM even straight off the factory lot! It competes very favorably with more expensive RVs, and has most of the little things already in it. I wouldn't buy one with air conditioning personally, although everyone is different. Other than that, decide if you want an oven (which works without electrical hookups or generators) or a microwave in the TM. The other appliances give you nearly the comfort you have at home.

A lot of the things I have which make my life nicer would be extra, unnecesary, baggage for someone else. And others carry things I'd consider useless. Everyone camps differently, so part of the fun is making it "yours". I camp for weeks away from hookups in winter - that means I carry stuff appropriate for that, that would be completely unnecessary for someone staying at campgrounds in the summer - yet they would probably want things I have little use for. So think about what you want!
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Old 08-05-2008, 05:57 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mimilove View Post

We are debating the 2720 SL and the 3124 KS. Anyone tried the electronic levelers?

Waht about bigger water tanks?

ANY input would be nice!
Thanks so much!

I don't think you can get larger factory installed water tanks in either of those 2 models. The larger water tanks are available in the non slide TMs that have the water tank under the dinette seat, and the slide models have the tanks under the sink area.

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Old 08-05-2008, 06:35 AM   #5
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We have one small dog (about 25 pounds) and she is comfortable anywhere in the TM. But if you have two large dogs, you might ask yourself where they will hang out when they're inside. They need someplace where they won't be underfoot. Many of our members in that situation have chosen a TM with a front bed instead of a front slideout, and the dogs adopt the front bed as theirs.

I'm not entirely sure that a Quest is a good tow vehicle. The Quest is rated at only 3500 pounds towing capacity, so towed weight (not dry weight!) of the trailer is going to be very important to you. If you will be in the flatlands of Texas and the midwest exclusively, you may be OK - a few of our members report this, although many don't. But you'll want to resist the tempatation load up the TM with heavy options (like automatic levelers and extra water). And although the 3124 has lots of extra storage space, that translates into a temptation to take a lot of stuff with you, which increases weight. You could easily end up with a trailer weight approaching 4000 pounds, and that ain't good. You'll find a lot of good info and discussion in the Towing Rigs forum.

Regardless of what else you do, you should read the Nissan Towing Guide for the year of your vehicle. You'll find it by going to the Nissan web site and typing "towing" into the Search box. In particular, be sure that you understand the little tiny footnote that appears beside the Quest towing specification (the specs appear on Page 25 of the 2008 Guide, and the footnote is explained on page 28). It may be tiny, but it is a severe limitation. And Page 29 of the same Guide says that a Quest is limited to a Class II hitch receiver. (Again, be sure that you understand the footnotes below this table.) It is my impression that a Class II receiver is insufficient for a TM, and probably won't accept a weight distributing hitch. Finally, the optional towing package includes only a 4-pin wiring harness, which won't power the trailer's electric brakes. If you decide to go this way, you will need to have a mechanic install and wire in a 7-pin connector.

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Old 08-06-2008, 06:48 AM   #6
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I share some of Bill's concerns about pushing the envelope with your Nissan Quest. For awhile in the late 90's I towed a 2800# popup (loaded weight) for 5000 miles or so with a Mercury Villager (cloned from the Nissan Quest), and that actually worked pretty well. But, a 3500# tow limit means travelling relatively light and not carrying much water while towing. Extra water in a 2720 or a 3124 are likely not possible within a 3500# tow limit.

Where I live, the ocean is less than 100 miles East and the mountains, such as we have them, are less than 150 miles West. In Texas terms, 150 miles is still pretty darned close to where you started. The point is that we use these trailers differently under different conditions and in different parts of the country:

- Towing several thousand miles per year poses additional durability risks for tow vehicles.
- Dry camping means carrying extra water and supplies, and often heavy hobbies compared to staying in a campground with hookups and a Costco nearby.
- Higher elevations rob horsepower and long grades create braking issues.

People with Trailmanors who tow many thousands of miles per year, people who want to haul their heavy hobbies along, and people of altitude need tow vehicles with higher ratings than people who don't. If you are going to tow with any of our lighter tow vehicles, it is important to know your limits and be careful about your vehicle loading. A weight distributing hitch is mandatory for most vehicles because of the heavy tongue weights, and you definitely need a heavier hitch receiver than a class II (a quick Google search finds several for the Nissan Quest).

There are lots of great stories here from owners with 3023's and smaller TrailManors who tow them with 3500# rated vehicles, but you have to do the math, watch your loads, and read the fine print in your owner's manual to see if that 3500# tow rating is before or after you load the dogs and the DW.
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:42 PM   #7
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Default 2 Large Dogs

You have had some good input from others on features you might like, but i wanted to comment on model choice with your 2 large dogs. I have 2 German Shepherds and although we were originally looking at the 2720 SL, we decided that even with the extra floor space afforded by the front slide out, the dogs would still be crowding us for floor space. For this reason we decided to go with the 2720 and we trained the dogs to come in to the trailer and get straight on the front bed. Not only do they have a comfortable place to sleep, but keeping them on the bed keeps them off the floor and out from under our feet. Note that this also gave us the ability to get the 40 gal tank which is a greta mod in my opinion. I just wanted to give you something to think about.
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