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Old 02-08-2010, 08:16 AM   #1
Reldma
 
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Default Used Checklist before purchasing

We are looking at a 1998 Trailmanor SL and would like some help in what to look for.
How can we tell if there is any wood rot under the skin?
Does anyone know if you can tell the year a TM was manufactured from the serial number, like you can with a car?
Is there anyone thing that shows more wear than any other part, that we should look for.
Can't think of anything else at this time. Kind of nervious because of it's age and it appears it sat outside all the time.
Appreciate your help.
Ray
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:15 AM   #2
RogerR
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If you are buying from an individual you might consider taking it to a RV shop for a check.
They should know where to look for rot. Don't forget the very important brakes and tires.
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:11 PM   #3
Jim&Joan
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Can't say for a '98 for sure, but on our TM there is an ID plate by the water heater access and water connection area that identifies the 'born on' date.
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:13 PM   #4
harveyrv
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It's pretty hard to identify wood rot in these trailers because of the sandwich construction. The best that you could do is to remove some screws around the window frames etc and see if you have clean wood in there or black rotted wood. However, if I were a seller, I wouldn't be real excited about some guy taking a screw driver to my trailer unless there was a good reason to be suspicious of a particular area.

Wood-rot occurs from leaky seems, window frames etc. Leaks will usually leave stains on the inside of the trailer. Look around for signs of stains on the ceilings and around windows if you are concerned.

I bought out '98 TM from a guy in Richmond, Washington (1100 miles from home). The TM was stored outside and it shows it. We've owned our '98 TM for over 2 years and have no issues with wood-rot (which means nothing for your case). I have heard very little complaints of wood-rot in the TMs. However, if you go to most PU camper forums, you will find horror stories of wood rotted ceilings and floors. I just haven't seen that here.

Check the floors for "soft spots" and the ceilings for stains. That's about all you can do.

I'll be opening my trailer this afternoon to finish some wiring work. I'm almost positive that there is a tag on the left side front of the trailer with a manufacturer date on it. I'll let you know.
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:00 PM   #5
Larry Gault
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Yes, my 2000 has a tag on left front stating manu date. I haven't found any wood rot on mine either and I've looked for it.
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:09 PM   #6
Bill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harveyrv View Post
It's pretty hard to identify wood rot in these trailers because of the sandwich construction. The best that you could do is to remove some screws around the window frames etc and see if you have clean wood in there or black rotted wood. However, if I were a seller, I wouldn't be real excited about some guy taking a screw driver to my trailer unless there was a good reason to be suspicious of a particular area.
Similarly, raise the front shell. Along the bottom of the wall, there is a series of screws (every 6 inches or so). Pull a few of these out. Look at the wood crumbs in the screw threads. Shine a flashlight in and look for rot. Push a piece of stiff wire (coathanger) up into the screw hole and make sure you poke solid wood. Since this is the low point of the wall, water would tend to settle here, and this is one of the common places where I have heard of rot happening.

Another is behind the trim where the roof meets the sidewall. That's a harder place to check.

Since the seller wants a sale, he should recognize that your concern is valid. As long as you are gentle and methodical, and pull-and-replace one screw at a time (or suggest that he do it), he should go along with your request.

Bill
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Old 02-08-2010, 05:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reldma View Post
Does anyone know if you can tell the year a TM was manufactured from the serial number, like you can with a car?
Check out the 10th digit of the VIN, and compare with this chart.......I am pretty sure it works for trailers, as well as cars.

Click image for larger version

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And just like cars, it could have been manufactured the year before when that particular model year was started.
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:27 PM   #8
B_and_D
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Some board members put together these threads to read before buying used:

http://trailmanorowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8878

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:14 PM   #9
Reldma
 
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Thank you all for your answer to my post. They are very helpful. We missed the 2720SL that was for sale at a dealer in Missouri. We will continue to look for our 2720SL. We are willing to look beyond Indiana borders for what we want, but know it might take more time than we would like.
Thanks again.
Ray
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