Hi all, I'm a newbie on this forum but not a complete newbie to camping or RVing, and a real "oldie" when it comes to building and construction. My husband and I are looking for a new unfinished travel trailer, preferably telescoping (HiLo, Trailmanor, etc), that we can finish out ourselves. I've googled everything I can think of to find this factory- or dealer-direct, but can't find anything. We want to do our own floorplan but want to start with the shell. Can anyone point me to web or other resources for buying and finishing out TTs?
From what I have read, and have seen on Discovery Channel's "How It's Made", TT's are built from the inside out. Basically, your floor plan is already in place before the walls ever go on. You may be better off buying an enclosed trailer to suit your needs, and building upon it. Wells Cargo is one manufacturer that sells enclosed trailers, even with doors and windows like a TT would have, but I'm sure you have some local dealers as well.
There have been some Hi-Lo and TrailManor RV's on various RV salvage sites lately. There was a TrailManor that was only a couple of years old that was cranked down while the water heater was still on, started a fire that mainly caused smoke damage on the interior and some small blistering on the exterior. It went for $500.00!
Also some of the recently failed RV manufacturers, thru their banks after closing were actioning partly completed RV's. example Weekend Warrior and some truck camper companies.
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For TTs with modern sandwich wall construction, the location of all interior fixtures and walls needs to be known before the walls are constructed, so that backing plates and/or metal tubing reinforcements can be put into the wall where anything needs to be attached. To a considerable extent in this construction, fixed furnishings hold the walls on.
Some TTs (and I don't know where telescopers fit in) still have framed walls, with wooden or metal studs. These might be usable as empty shells, but generally they are not built as shells into which furniture is later added.
The two companies to talk to are Trail Manor and HiLo, connecting at a fairly high level, so that some marketing guy doesn't say "no, we only sell through dealers." HiLo is more likely, since it simply telescopes, power driven. Trail Manors open by hand, swinging up and over, so the wings have to be carefully balanced, making DIY construction more of an engineering problem.
Thanks all. I had previously tried contacting HiLo, sent a lengthy inquiry email, but did not receive a response. After the posts on the forum, I contacted SpaceCraftRV, but the high level quote was over $50,000!! I love the idea of the damaged HiLos that we could rebuild, will work on that.
Thanks again, I'm looking forward to being an active member of the forum!
An email is not the appropriate way to contact any company with a request for something out of the ordinary. More effective is a business letter to the president's office, or a phone call to the president, if you can get through. Best way is a personal appointment.