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Old 04-23-2009, 04:46 PM   #11
countrygirl
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Default dogs and sound

FWIT

Last year we camped at a state park there were a lot of dogs and also the tent campers next to us were arguing...(at least one of them was drinking to excess) we went inside and it was peacefully quiet and we slept well.
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:29 PM   #12
BOB_STRONG
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You didn't mention at all that you had looked at the TM Elkmont travel trailer. From the pictures that I have seen, it looks like a real nice travel trailer. It uses the same construction as the regular folding TrailManor, but you don't have to worry about setting it up. It has the full size refrig, and you can get the regular RV toilet instead of the recirculating one if you so desire. It still is very light and easy to tow.

Last week I had spoken to Keith Hulsey at the factory, and they are in the process of making a larger Elkmont based on the 3326 King frame. It will be a 27 foot plus travel trailer. It will have a different floor plan than the present 2 floorplans now available in the Elkmont. He said it should be in production within 2 months. This is what we plan on getting since my friend has problems getting in & out of the bed due to his Parkinsons disease. We have owned 3 TrailManors since 1992, and I think they are a great unit. Sure they have a few problems, but what RV doesn't?????

I think that TrailManor makes a well built trailer, and they use brand name products in them. The biggest thing is that the factory stands behind the product. There are not too many companies where you can call up & get to talk to someone like Ed Lytle if you have a problem. To me this means a lot when you invest a lot of money in the product.

From reading your post, it seemed that you worried about the seals, water leaks, and how poorly it would stand up after using it a lot. I think the Elkmont would eleviate all of these worries plus the Elkmont costs less than the traditional TrailManor.

If I were in your shoes, I would seriously look at the Elkmonts. From what Keith HUlsey told me, 40% of all TrailManors sold now are the Elkmont models. The Elkmont will fill the nitch for people who are uncomfortable with the design of the traditional folding TrailManor. If we didn't have faith in the product, we would be looking at another brand of trailer. Instead, we will be buying an Elkmont and still staying in the TrailManor family as soon as the new larger model comes out.
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:33 PM   #13
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Default Hmm, indeed...

I'd have to agree that you need to analyze your needs and wants again. This is a wonderful forum to help you with any questions or concerns about TrailManor ownership, but the initial decision must be yours. The reasons we each had for buying a TM are many and varied, and while the unit may be extremely comfortable to those of us upgrading from a tent or canvas fold-up camper, it may be "down and dirty, roughing it" to those who are accustomed to and expect the Hilton. If towability does not concern you, or if you are able to afford a large motor inn, other units may be preferable. Initial reaction is important, since how you feel about a purchase will affect your enjoyment of the same. You will have to get used to the quirks of any RV, and if you are excited at the beginning, you will have a much easier time working out the bugs. As for us, we were thrilled with our TM from the start, and we went into this purchase happy and willing to work out any kinks we may encounter. We just love being in the great outdoors with our family, kids and pets! Doesn't sound like that is what you need, though. So, it's worth some consideration!
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:36 PM   #14
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My brother has a 32 foot fifth wheel trailer. Very nice.

He can not go where we can go. We do not like to go where he can go.

He is retired. Some of his trips are for several weeks. He goes to RV parks with a club. They watch television in the evening.

We go to forest service campgrounds. A year ago we bought some ATVs and motorcycles to ride on forest roads to explore the forest. We now prefer to camp where we can ride the ATVs in and out of camp to the trails, instead of towing them in a trailer to the trail head.

If I can hear voices from the adjacent campsite, then the campsites are too small and we will not go back there again. If I wanted to be in a crowd I would have stayed home. Real solitude requires backpacking, which my wife can no longer do with her bad knees.

The TM is a more comfortable place to sleep than a tent and it has a bathroom for the middle of the night. Our son (26) and daughter (28) still go camping with us, but they sleep in their backpacking tents. Allegedly I snore. However, we leave the door unlocked. I have no doubt that if the weather turned bad overnight they would move indoors with us. Our 2720 can sleep 6 in a pinch.

Half the time we cook outside, but if it is cold or damp then we can cook indoors. The interior size of the TM is not an issue for us, because there is rarely more than two people inside. We sit at the picnic table or around the campfire, except during the day when we are away sightseeing.

Two years ago the two of us explore the north coast of California. We stayed two nights at each campground. This gave a one day of travel and then one full day to our. I grew tired of setting up and tearing down, even though we traveled light. Next time I wiall stay a minimum of three nights at any one location.

We wanted the largest hard sided folding trailer that was not longer than 19 feet, so I could park it in the garage. Anything that will not fit in my garage will cost more than $100 per month, 10+ miles from the house. We did not want fabric walls, like a tent trailer.

For us, the TM is perfect.

I like to camp with hookups once a years, in the fall. This is when I flush out the sanitation system really well for winter storage. Otherwise, we are self sufficient. This year I purchased 4-7 gallon water containers, to supplement the 40 gallons I carry in the TM. This will allow 5 adults to camp for three days with no access to water and still take shores at the end of he day after riding ATVs on dusty fire roads all day.

Do not confuse RVing wih camping. My brother is an RVer. We are campers.

RVers use the RV as a portable home on wheels. The stay in RV parks wih all of the comforts of home.

Camper use it as an upgrade from a tent or tent trailer, so we can be reasonably comfortable in the middle of nowhere.

I have nothing against RVing. That is just not something we have any interest in doing.

The first time we camped in the TM the guy camped across from us came over to see what we had. I loved his comment "Wow, you can take that to Highlands Lakes".

Highlands lakes is about maybe 10 miles down a dirt road, with a few sections that are steep enough that it would be helpful to have 4wd so you don't get stuck. Due to low clearance with the tree limbs, low profile is also helpful. This lake has a reputation for decent fishing. Since i do not fish I would not know. But this guy in is regular stand up trailer apparently does fish. His wife will not go camping without the trailer. so when he goes fishing at Highland Lakes, his wife stays home. If he had a TM, she would go. It sould like he bought the wrong trailer, mainly because he did not know that such a trailer existed. He did not do enough shopping.

First, decide where you want to go:

RV parks
National Parks
State Parks
Forest campgrounds
dispersed forest camping (aka boondocking)

Then decide on the size of RV that can go to those places. Many California state parks are limited to 30 feet, so my brother can not go to our state parks.

Then consider amenities and how you will get it to the destination. How long will you use it:
weekends
two week summer vacation
extended tour of the US for several months
live in it full time for several years.

Everything is a trade off.
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Old 04-23-2009, 08:09 PM   #15
4Kids2Dogs
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Default Hear, hear!

Wow! That just about sums it up, Wayne! The more I think about it, even though this started out on the negative side, I'm really glad this thread was posted. It's reminded me of all the really great reasons (for us anyway) why we got our TM.
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Old 04-23-2009, 08:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOB_STRONG View Post
From what Keith HUlsey told me, 40% of all TrailManors sold now are the Elkmont models.
Wow, if this is true, I hope that means the folding campers won't soon go bye-bye.

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Old 04-23-2009, 09:19 PM   #17
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Don't forget get the negative about a motorhome. If you forget something like milk you have to bring your motorhome to the store. Roll up the awning,sewer,water,tv disconnects and start over on the releveling on return, unless you tow another vehicle. I'm a pilot too and sometimes it is fair to compare small planes to travel trailers. They both always have some issues.
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Old 04-24-2009, 07:55 AM   #18
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I think I should expand some on the construction. The TM uses the same construction techniques used in aircraft. This is both strong and light.

Composite construction is a laminated structure: aluminum or wood over foam (using epoxy as a binding agent). This yields a very light and strong structure, though more expensive. Its a lot like wood except the non-load bearing sections are replaced by lightweight foam.

If I were looking for a lightweight trailer like the Elkmont I would go with TrailManor first. I don't think there is a manufacturer out there that has the experience with lightweight materials like TrailManor has. They know how to bond materials and how to build light. They have trailers that have been in service for decades that are still going strong.

One thing about the roof seals. They are not going to be a problem. The way the roof seals are built, they could be in really lousy shape, and still not leak. They roof ovelaps, and as long as it is anywhere close to being level, the water will not leak.
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:48 AM   #19
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Just to add the thoughts of someone who also attends weekend dog shows. We were driving a class C motor home with our three dobermans. Hated the drive in that big ungainly box, but it was nice to be able to just stop and park and have little prep coming and going. We had a small one that fit into one parking space. We decided we would rather be comfortable and safer in the vehicle, so we got a very nice sturdy SUV, and the trailmanor. Now we travel much more comfortably but it takes longer to set up and take down. Once settled, we have much more space. The biggest problem is that there are times we need to put the dogs in an x pen or pup tents while we are working on the TM set up, as the back lid of the SUV, if left hooked up, can not be open once the TM is expanded. We haven't gotten to the point yet, where we are efficient about hitching and unhitching the trailer....It is definitely a trade off...but I had gotten to the point where I dreaded the ride in the big box, and having a low profile TT is so so nice.
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:04 AM   #20
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Wow, thanks for all the input, folks. I don't mean to be negative. I really feel strongly both ways.

On the one hand, having the TV at the shows would be handy, and towing a car with a motorhome creates a somewhat more stressful drive. The price of a TM is right, given the storage advantage. Having lived through the pop-up experience when the kids were little and we did actually go camping means I already have most of the accessories involved.

On the other hand, there's something to be said for just parking, plugging in water and power and being done with the whole thing. Plus for the passengers to have access to the head, fridge etc enroute (plus the additional moving around room) makes the drive much easier for them. The motorhome would be better on creature comforts, but at the expense of maintenance, purchase/storage cost and operating cost. If we went the motorhome route we'd probably end up with something like a gas-powered 30 foot Class A Winnebago. 3-4 years old and you're looking at at least $65K and at most 8 mpg. That's a little tough to swallow. It's not the money, it's the value (or lack thereof).

I will look a little more deeply into the TM, perhaps a bigger model than the 2720SL we picked on paper.
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