Monthly Archives: January 2019

Small Trailer Snapshot: The Coachmen Clipper/Viking Express 9.0TD

Back in September when I was attending the Elkhart RV open house in Elkhart, IN, I came across this little offering in the Coachmen RV section at the Forest River compound. The shape and size of it instantly caught my eye for a further look. It was a new model Coachmen was introducing in both the Clipper and the Viking lines of camping trailers. The one on display was a Coachmen Viking Express 9.0TD.

Key Features: Unique hybrid design, with elements of both a teardrop and a pop-up camper; Rear entry door; 5,000 BTU air conditioner; Bluetooth stereo; Full pass-through storage; 20,000 BTU furnace; 1.2 cubic foot 110 volt refrigerator; Zamp solar prep; USB charging ports; Side mount grill with quick-connect propane hook-up; Four heavy duty stabilizer jacks; Optional rear awning.

Key Specs: 9′ box length; 13′ total length; Weighs just under 1,100 lbs; 54″x74″ bed; 13″ aluminum wheels; 20 lbs propane tank; 12″x24″ baggage doors; 15″x24″ windows.

Why I Like It: The Clipper/Viking Express 9.0TD hits all the right notes for me in a small camping trailer. Who’s it for? I see it for those who want to “get off the ground” from tent camping and into something with a little more amenities, but without breaking the budget. I’ve seen these advertised for less than $7,000, so they’re quite affordable for most. It’s also excellent for those with low tow capacity, as it weighs under 1100 lbs. While it is a step up from tent camping, you’re still responsible for your potty facilities, as it does not have a toilet, which will be a deal breaker for some. However, it’s safe to say you’ll already know that based on the size of the Clipper/Viking Express 9.0TD. If you like cozy, without having to pay a king’s ransom, this is the ticket. You’d be spending more than half of what an upscale traditional teardrop is going for these days. But one thing the 9.0TD has going for it that a traditional teardrop doesn’t is that you can actually stand in this once the pop-up is popped up. The 5,000 BTU air conditioner should more than take care of you on a hot summer day when you have the tent portion zipped up. And to add to that, you’ll get excellent cross ventilation from the two windows that are on each side of the camper near the head of the bed. And it’s got decent storage for what it is as well, featuring a bed that flips up for storage access, as well as interior cabinets as well as a shelf above the head of the bed, which also houses two speakers for the Bluetooth stereo. Add the optional tent room and you’ve got a nice little set-up that you’re not spending a fortune on. These are slowly starting to show up on dealers lots and websites, but I suspect that will increase over the next couple of months just in time for spring. So if you’re in the market for a teardrop, or if you’re a tent camper and just want to get off the ground, give either the Coachmen Clipper Express 9.0TD or the Coachmen Viking Express 9.0TD a look. I think you’ll find they’re a really nice alternative for your budget and camping experience.

You can find more info of either model at:

Clipper: http://coachmenrv.com/camping-trailers/clipper/9.0TD/4503

Viking: http://coachmenrv.com/camping-trailers/viking/9.0TD/4487

 

(photo courtesy Boe RV & Marine)

 

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Product Review: MaxxAir FANMATE vent cover

Recently I’ve been doing a few winter projects on our 2016 Shasta Oasis, two of which I tackled the same day. The first that day was the addition of a Heng’s Vortex II fan that I wrote about here. Once that task was completed inside, I moved up to the roof, thanks in part to a mild November afternoon in Indiana. The final task in my ventilation upgrades was the installation a MaxxAir FANMATE vent cover.

The FANMATE is one of the more popular vent covers in the RV industry. It’s made of a high density polyethylene with UV inhibitors to help withstand the elements for extended durability. It offers excellent rain protection while your vent is open as well as less than 5% airflow restriction while using your fan. An optional bug screen insert is available to help from bringing in unwanted flying pests.

Installation of the FANMATE is really quite simple. It’s even more simple if you have a MAXXFAN vent fan, as they have integrated mounting tabs that hold the four EZClips in place. But if you have a different brand, there are four mounting brackets that are included, which is what I needed to use on my vent. Simply mark your bracket location on the side of the vent, drill a hole into the side of the vent for each bracket, attach the brackets with the provided screws and nuts, then you’re ready to attach the cover with the EZClips.

By sliding out just two of the clips after you’re done, you can hinge the FANMATE to one side for maintenance. Dimensions of it are 25″ long x 18-1/8″ wide x 10-1/4″ high. You have a choice of three colors: black, smoke, or white.

To aid I’m my installation, I referenced a Youtube video by Mark Polk of RV Education 101, one the most knowledgeable RV guys you’ll ever know. He gives some excellent step by step instructions if you have either a MAXXFAN or a different brand. These will also work over just a vent opening that doesn’t have any type of fan.

 

I purchased my FANMATE through Amazon. Currently they’re going for around $55 there, which you can find by clicking this link.

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