Newbie Questions, Hoping for Help

Howdy and thanks for this forum!

I'm hoping for helpful souls out there who can climb in my boat for a minute and give me some needed steering advice.

I am very attracted to 5th wheel fulltiming possibly, but this would require a huge investment, not only in the rig itself, but (almost more importantly at this early stage) in giving up my otherwise beloved 2003 Odyssey. I've looked at 5th Wheels and they are beautiful. But we're talking a change in vehicle, etc.etc.etc.

I stumbled across TrailManors. While they are a long way away from "fulltimer" 5th wheels with 3+ sliders and motorized back scratchers, the TM seems like a good place to start. My thought is, just buy one, do some 1-week, 2-week, 3-week trips in it or maybe even a well-terrained cross country, and get a feel for how it is to depend on campgrounds or RV parks. And see how I fit into that lifestyle. If all that fits in, THEN I'd start thinking about trading in my beloved Odyssey for a 1-ton truck and a more serious RV.

After seeing TM models (2619, the 2720SL and 3026 (biggest my vehicle could handle if really pushing it), it seems that the towing numbers M-A-Y work if I buy a (MAX) size 2720, get Honda's towing package (at least the trans/power steering cooling systems from them) and pack light. AND that I don't try to drive vertically up the Grand Canyon OR go off wild-eyed into the Rockies.

Does ANYONE have experience with the TM 2720SL or a TM 2619 WITH a minivan the likes of a 2003 Honda Odyssey? (It has a published 3500 max towing weight and 1250 in-vehicle weight limit). Keeping the Odyssey is important unless I decide, for sure, that I'm into RVing. Then anything goes and I'll make it work.

As for people, it would be me and my dog. Sometimes one other adult, very occasionally two others.

Gary B

Senior Member
Newbie Questions, Hoping for Help

Hi Fox and Hound, welcome to the forum :) . I think you may be pushing it a bit with the 2720 model as it weighs about 2900 lbs emtpy, and it real easy to add 700 to 1000 lbs of personal stuff, keep in mind that added stuff is LP gas (4.28 lb per gal), fresh water in the tank (8.33 lb per gal) clothes, food, dishes, beding bathroom supplies, that extra pair of shoes etc etc. it all weighs up. As for the Trailmonor brand I have no experience with them but have not heard any bad reports. I think you on the right trail to give it a try and see how you like it and the Trailmanor should tow nicely, I see the 2619 model is about 200 lbs lighter that maybe be a better choice with you tow vehicle. Good luck with your search :bleh: .
:) :laugh: :cool: :bleh: ;) :approve:
Newbie Questions, Hoping for Help

Fox & Hound,
I think you are pushing the limit with the 2720. I agree with Gary on this. I think you should consider another option. Ever think of going with a Class C and pulling a toad ? Might even be cheaper if you buy used. If you don't have any experience in 5th wheelers you may be in for a surprise. Little more than you think or to put it a better way maybe a bit more than the Fox can handle. Hate to see you get behind the :8ball: .
If it were me (and this is my opinion only) I would start out with a Class C.
Welcome to the forum and BEST OF LUCK to you whatever you decide. Keep us posted....Just might pass you on the road someday. :cool:
Newbie Questions, Hoping for Help

Hi, thanks for replies.

Gary, I think you may be right, 2720SL shows 2865# dry on their website. TM home office gave me weights for the add-ons and I believe we're looking at 3150 (round off to 3200) with 2 small propane tanks, awning, a/c, battery(ies) and hanging cabinet. I was thinking travel light, but 300# could add up very fast in personal gear. I *think* I could hold it to that inside the unit (can carry more inside the van). But it's close, it's close. The 2619 gives more leeway, but it's pretty small.

Turnip, I had a 28-foot Winnie (bought used) and took it places in Calif. mountains that would make the toes curl. Though it was fun, I haven't been thinking about another C because of fast depreciation. As for driving a 5th wheel (bigger unit than we're talking about here and whole different ballpark), I know there's a learning curve, but thankfully I see nothing in the genetic code that'll make it any more impossible for Fox than anyone else assuming power steering. (It's the hound who's blind, not the fox.) :)

Thanks both VERY much for opinions. Owner/designer of TM apparently has taken a 3023 all over the place with an Odyssey so I guess it *can* be done (and maybe he did it to show it can) but that just seems like asking for trouble. I don't want to kill the Oddy.

I'm very much hoping to find someone with an Odyssey and a TM of any size to see what they've experienced firsthand. I should have titled my inquiry that way. Thanks both for the input, I appreciate it very much!!
Newbie Questions, Hoping for Help

The best advice I can offer you is to talk to a owner of a TM before you spend that kind of money for that kind of product. We are the oldest dealer in East Tennessee (home area of the TM) and had the offer of taking on the TM for years but have passed on it for different reasons. If you are serious about this route I would advise you looking into a Hi-Lo unit. Do not let the weight game fool you. This weight that they claim in literature does not = the actual weight the unit will be brought on to the dealerships lot. Trust me from someone who knows. Leave room for additional weight.
Not sure what part of the country you are from, but before you buy a 4-season 5th Wheel be sure to check out the GRAND JUNCTION. We have got several customers who are full timing it in this unit without a single problem. Be wise try smaller before you make the big plung.
Newbie Questions, Hoping for Help

Rick, I think I love you. Thank you VERY much for your between-the-lines advice. I'm not considering fulltiming in a TM, only using it as a test run so I can experience some things about that lifestyle first... by being there on the spot and also by discovering stuff I can't at my stupid computer.

I understand that asking about per-vehicle sticker posted weight (inside the door) will give the real story of per unit dry weight. Then add everything (poundage for propane (the gas itself), etc. Big etc.

I don't know why your dealership has passed on it, but if attention to detail is part of it, I found some scarey stuff I found pretty sloppy. Yet people who have them don't seem to complain. Common is "tighten the bolts/screws." That has not scared me off, but a dealer who won't deal... that's something else. One of my back drops is "expensive!" I respect higher costs for lighter materials, but not sure that hasn't been really well considered in the cost. Jury's out. Thank you very much for that input!

Please elaborate on "GRAND JUNCTION." Is this a website? It's looking like you're referring to a brand. I'm in Northeast.

I'm having
Newbie Questions, Hoping for Help

The Grand Junction is a Division of Thor. Website is We search for over 5 years to find the upper line of fifth wheels, and narrowed it down to the Grand Junction, Newmar (Mountain Aire, Kountry Star, Cypress), Carriage, and Cedar Creek. The reason we went with the Grand was because of the Construction and the Bang for your Bucks. So many features that are standard on this unit. Main one is the Mor-Ryde towing system. You can view the different floorplans and features on our website if you wish. (under fifth wheels). As for the TM reason we never did pick that line up is the 1)price for what you get. 2) The three piece construction (one piece roof are bad enough to leak why take chance on two?) 3) warranty issue in the future. 4)And Trade Value. I have talked to several owners of the TM and have passed on a few trade deals just because of the fact that most will not admit they did not make a wise choice at the time of purchase. I have sent several customers that wished to stay low and light to the Hi-Lo market and they have seemed much happier with the choice. It is kind of like the ole saying I don't care for Broccoli but they sure sell a lot of it. So what ever works best for you is the route that you should go. Do You Homework and you will not fail the class.

Happy Camping
Newbie Questions, Hoping for Help


I hear you. I've had constant trepadations about the TM even though that's the ONE unit that I think I could pull with my minivan. It LQQKS like a good unit, I don't think anyone could argue with its design...

BUT! Frankly, I found the seating truly uncomfortable. Painfully and annoyinglyl so. It's just not comfortable, any way you cut it or swing your legs onto it, unless you get into the 3023 which is... marginal. It seems to me that something as basic as seating to look forward to could wreck your enjoyment once you get over the glee of so much unit for so little hauling capacity required. You're still going to sit in the unit, and you'll be looking for comfort at that point.

Jury's out. I keep saying that, but that's how I feel. I am not afraid of "handling" a big unit because it's a learning curve sitting behind a wheel and brain coordination, that's that. I'm just trying to get from here to there with the least amount of "oh, wish I'd known that."

Thanks very much for input.
Newbie Questions, Hoping for Help

Forgive me for suggesting such a thing. But after reading a LOT on this forum and others, here's what I'm finding...
1. ANY rig (whether 36-ft. 5th Wheel w/5 slides OR barebones TrailManor) is a lot of upkeep.
2. Gas mileage sucks and it's proportionate to size of rig (and consequent tow vehicle).
3. When on the road, many people end up using campground shower for convenience.
4. The bigger and more comfortable the rig, the harder it is to find a NICE camp site.
5. This is NOT inexpensive. Between gas and big-rig accommodations (even if parking overnight, just to find a place that can handle it)... it's expensive.
6. The bigger the rig, the more likely you will be pointed to a restrictive site that will make you feel crowded if you put out your sliders. In other words, "Mecca" is a site where you have room to put out your sliders and awning, and can cook under your awning and make your own place without being in your neighbor's face. And rare is the site where you feel "forest."
7. The way I figure it, every mile driven costs about $4.00. That's not just gas (a good half of it), and it's also not the overall depreciation which would be much greater. It's somewhere in between on the "feel it" side.

These can't be numbers and restrictions that only I come up with. Anyone who calls RVers "trailer trash" needs to rework their relative numbers and insights. This is freaking expensive!!!

Scaling downward, downward, downward I'm starting to think that a minivan and a stand-alone tent for $400 packed into it plus a consequent 1-hour setup/break down is a pretty good deal. Am I missing something??

What's making infinite sense is a rig parked in the weather safe place that would cost a fraction of the cost of otherwise, another parked in a weather-challenged place (ditto) with light traveling in between. But I just don't know what the gain is for hauling all that with you everywhere. Can someone help me out here?
Newbie Questions, Hoping for Help

Fox & Hound,

You said a mouthful there. That's exactually why I went with a Class B. I have a 1995 Dodge Roadtrek 190 Versitale. It's only 19' long and has everything the big boys have. I can park it like a car and it drives like a car. The best thing is the 16 MPG I get on a trip. You are right about depreciation but you have that no matter what you buy. I want to upgrade to a 2003 Chevy Roadtrek someday because of the bigger 6.0 engine and plan on geting a small lightweight toad. That way I don't have to break camp when I want to go see the sights.

Only other thing I can suggest to you is get a man to do the driving. LOL ;)
Newbie Questions, Hoping for Help

Turnip, I'm going to research all the components you mentioned, because I have the feeling you've scaled down as a test or a solution. That I respect.

But I do have a problem with your notion (obvious in both posts) "get a man to do the driving."

Wuzzzupwitdat??? Turnip, I don't see this an issue of males vs. females. Males have the advantage of physical strength if it's required, but I haven't found they are smarter or more nimble or more capable of judging distance or precision in any matter, driving or backing up a rig or evaluating. I certainly haven't found any advantage in inginuity, as brains are about the same, except women tend to give rather than shove if it'll make it easier for everyone in the long run.

Do you think women are born with vision problems? Or are they incapable of calculating? Or perhaps lightheaded?

Turnip, I'm a very feminine woman. I am very happy in the kitchen, I'm a great cook. I can make any child happy, sick or not and I know when my comfort includes cutting bait and calling a hospital. I'm complete in that way.

However, I did buy a rig (28-foot) and singlehandedly towed it into through the California mountains and backed it up (down) a very, very (precipitous) steep and tricky grade, around a granite outcropping, levelled it out on site and set up housekeeping. Winters were brutal. I installed a wood stove, climbed up on the roof and went at it with a carborinium bladed saw for the chimney and for the inside, I sewed recycled license plates together with wire, which provided dead air space between heat and vulnerable walls. I've also skydived extensively (Elsinore, Ca., Orange MA and La Fuerta, Garchez, France and Port-Rose, Yugoslavia) without any problem. Finally, "singlehandedly" I built out a regular-sized Ford 150 Van and built (saw, screwdrivers) a platform that accommodated sleeping arrangements topside of the platform w/storage under in 11" high boxes, all of which worked seamlessly. We took it right into NYC. And also into DC. And also into remote.

In fact, Turnip, now that I'm thinking about it, we parked on sand in North Carolina (male partner's idea). Suddenly a rain storm, LOTS of rain. I went from sound asleep naked lady (so happy under covers) to suddenly blasting myself outside (very rude awakening, no clothes, no time for dressing, NOW< NOW< NOW), shoving boards under our van's tires, screaming "Go, Go, Go! and running to catch up, jumping aboard, naked. It was embarrassing, but, serious emergency. I never saw those folks again and thank God, I was a truly naked lady, butt and all (which I'm sure I exposed), hoisting and shoving boards under tires. Hair plastered to head (totally wet). Not a pretty sight. Waving my arms, screaming "GO, Go, Go!! Don't stop!" I ran like hell, boobs bouncing, embarrassed. (This was not a pretty sight.) Once the tires hit the pavement, I was able to jump in. (Picture naked woman in passenger's seat, hair plastered onto face, royally PISSED!)

Nope, "Turnip" I don't think it's a matter of "get a man to drive."

I wonder, how did you decide on the name "Turnip"?
Newbie Questions, Hoping for Help

Fox and Hound,

My hands are a clapping...Go on You have got my attention 100% now...
Through the years of selling RV's I have seen the female ask some of the best questions that would never come up in a good ole boy chat.

We have several single female customers who travel full time and pull the larger rigs on the market.

I learned growing up Dad can do most things, but Mom can do them all....

Happy Camping
Newbie Questions, Hoping for Help

Fox & Hound,
Sounds like you are one hell-of-a-woman. I may need you to drive for me. Maybe just maybe we could get stuck in the sand in the middle of the night and you would have to jump out naked...mmmmmmmm :bleh: I bet you could even build my chimney and make smoke come out of it. :laugh: LOL
I have nothing against women. They are just as great as men and some are even better. I don't know you but I think I am in Love with you.
Sure wish you were my FOX.
Newbie Questions, Hoping for Help

Turnip's resonse notwithstanding...

RV-VOL, I'm curious. Please elaborate. What would be your recommendations? I want to stick my toe in the water, not jump in with a huge regret matrix. The LAST thing I care about is "woman on the road." THe FIRST thing I care about is how to test this out. Fulltiming is a strong pull but you could save me a serious, serious, serious mistake. Your thoughts to test it out?
Newbie Questions, Hoping for Help

Fox and Hound,

I think you might ( just my two cents worth) would want to look into a purchase of a new 2004 light weight model (Starcraft Travel Star or Antigua)in the size of 17-22 foot range. Weight would be between 2500-3500 pounds. Take it out on some trips and just see if it is something that you might want to do fulltime. The reason I say New 2004 you can find really good deals on these units on a dealers lot. I know we are getting in our 2006 units and the 2004 are going at or close to cost. Reason I say new instead of used is warranty. Take it from someone who sells extended warrantys DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY. Buy New and then you will be ready to trade it in on your Nice Big Rig with very little lost in the trade. If you buy used make sure everything is working and take your time going over it. Very few dealership will give out more than a 30-60 day warranty on used units. If you buy it out of the front yard then you will have no warranty.

The smaller unit for your minivan can give you the real feel if the RV life is for you, without great deal of money sunk into it.
I always tell my customers always leave themself a way out of the purchase incase RV'ing is not your thing. I have helped many customers sell the same unit they purchased last year just becuase 1) They do not like the Lifestyle. 2) They do not have time for the use or 3) They want to spend that money in a different adventure.

You seem like you are doing all the right things first... That is using your HEAD before your wallet.

Best Wishes...

Happy Camping
Newbie Questions, Hoping for Help


You mention two units I haven't heard of yet. I'm just now thinking smaller (smallest) because with some stubbornly resisted sense employed, I'd rather take a longer way around, even if it takes all summer, and trading up with measured depreciation losses along the way and no panic than (alternative) jump in and regret, trying to trade down with major losses (it works like that).

Thank you SO very much for your thoughts (!!! .
F&H :) :) :)
Newbie Questions, Hoping for Help

fox & hound,
notwithstanding....not sure if that's good or bad. I believe it means "not worth commenting on". Hope I didn't make you mad. Sorry if I did. I was just kidding around. Will not do that anymore.

To be on the serious side I am happy with my Class B Roadtrek and was going to trade for a fifth wheel a few months ago but with the gas prices as high as they are and going to peak around $3.00 by mid summer I decided to stay with my Class B. The 16 MPG helped me make that decision.
Newbie Questions, Hoping for Help

Turnip, since you asked (a very redeeming feature), yes, your comments were offensive. Your first assumption was that definitionally, a female can't drive a large rig. (No handicaps were stated.) Your 2nd post painted yourself being treated to a show in the most smarmy perspective.

Yup, you earned "irrelevant" by any standard.
Newbie Questions, Hoping for Help

RV-VOL, you are bringing up good points. It's seeming very wise to go small, because less top end price is less depreciation hit. (I'm not figuring I'll make an end choice first off. I figure I'll make a mistake or three on the way. Trading up, not down, may be relatively the same percentage, but far less dollars.)

I will definitely look at your suggested units. Thanks much for posting that choice.