Monthly Archives: October 2019

Small Trailer Snapshot: The Lance 1475

This summer I made a trip Mount Vernon, Indiana, a city in the southwest tip of the Hoosier state, to visit one of my favorite small trailer dealers, Gerton Auto Sales. Owner John Gerton recently became a Lance travel trailer dealer this past year and being the only Lance dealer in Indiana, I had to take a trip to the Ohio River city to check them out.My focus was on the Lance 1475, a unit that’s been out a couple years now. It started out as a no-slide, 19’8″ single axle couple’s camper with two captain’s chairs for the primary seating. Since that first year, they’ve added a short slide out on the curb side of the trailer, replacing the two captains chairs with a sofa paired with two Lagun tables. When I first heard about this floorplan with a slide out on the door side, I was a little skeptical. I’ve seen a lot of trailers with deep slides on the door side that intrude into your outdoor sitting area. But not the case with the slide on the 1475, as it is around a foot or so, and the intrusion into your campsite is minimal.

 

 

Key Features:  PVC roof, Azdel interior paneling (instead of luan wood), and interiors are made of Euro-Lite™ which is a light weight and formaldehyde-free product that is imported from Europe. One key option is the All Weather Package, which includes enclosed, insulated, and heated holding tanks, plus insulated hatch doors. The bathroom features a curved shower (with skylight) to better utilize space, as well as a foot flush toilet and a vanity. The refrigerator offers 5 cubic feet of space in a 3-way (propane, 12 volts, and 110) power option with separate doors for both the freezer and the refrigerator. The kitchen gives you a 3-burner flush mount stove with glass cover, with the option available for an oven. The deep, round undermount sink features a residential single lever faucet with a pull-out sprayer. Optional is the microwave that features a flat bottom, which eliminates the need for the usual rotating microwave plate.

Key Specs: With a dry weight of 2600 lbs (before options), a GVWR of 3700 lbs, a 250 lbs dry hitch weight, and an overall length of 19’8”, the 1475 is a hit in the small trailer community. The fresh tank is 26 gallons, grey tank 26 gallons, and the black tank is 26 gallons. Structural dimensions:

Floor Length 14’10”
Overall Length 19’8″
Exterior Width 84-3/8″
Exterior Height w/Optional 13.5M A/C 9’10”
Interior Height 78″

Why I Like It: The designers at Lance laid out the Lance 1475 very well, given the overall size limitations. There’s easy access to storage underneath the front queen bed thanks to a handy door underneath the side of the bed. Also, you’ll find a pantry next to the refrigerator as you walk in, plus overhead cabinets above the kitchen counter as well as cabinets and drawers below the kitchen. Above the sofa (or rockers depending on which floorplan you choose) you’ll find additional cabinets. Above the bed you’ll find a full width shelf for storage which has a netting in front to secure those items.

If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a huge fan of the trailers Lance offers. I’ve been hearing from frustrated RVers for years how they want the trailers they spend good money on to last more than a few years without having to continually the service department of their RV dealer. From what I’ve seen from Lance over the years, they are one of those rare exceptions. The proof is in the build, and the fit & finish of the Lance 1475 is as good as it gets. Lance is a brand that when you buy one, you keep it for a long time.

 

The MSRP on the Lance 1475 slide out is around $42,000, and as we know, no one pays MSRP. For more information on the Lance 1475, visit the Lance website at: http://lancecamper.com. And to support a true mom & pop dealership, check out our friends at Gerton Auto Sales at http://gertonautosales.com.

photos courtesy myself and Lance Camper

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2019 Manufacturers Open House Recap

With another RV manufacturers open house in the books, the industry continues to push ahead with new models, new floor plans, and new innovations on the horizon. This year I spent two days at the event, and I’m glad I did. One day just isn’t enough time to hit all of Thor and Forest River, as well as visiting the smaller manufacturers. Next year I’ll be sure to make it a two day affair to get everything in. For this post, I’m just going to give an overview and a few thoughts in this post. I’ll work on some individual reviews in the months to come.

What I’ve noticed from last week is that in the small trailer arena, more and more manufacturers are going with a Murphy bed in a lot of their lines. Demand for this option is strong among consumers who wish to have some versatility in their trailers, and the industry is listening. I was somewhat cool at best with them a few years ago. Just seemed a hassle, but the more I’ve seen of them, the options they provide for seating has sold me on them. And considering we’re all here for small trailers, we know our options are limited on seating in a trailer that’s 20 feet or less, so the Murphy bed, dare I say, in some instances is a necessity depending on how many you’re camping with.One of the most unique things I saw came from the folks at inTech RV. They have found a way to put a cassette toilet INSIDE their Luna teardrop trailer. I’ve wracked my brain and I sure can’t think I’ve ever seen a permanent toilet inside a teardrop before. Will it be a hit? Time will tell. When I posted a video I shot of it on The Small Trailer Enthusiast Facebook page, opinions were mixed. Even though it is enclosed after use, some who responded wanted no part of their head next to a toilet while they were sleeping. Others said it was a great idea and not having a toilet has prevented them from buying a teardrop in the past. Personally, I wouldn’t have a problem with it if it were just me camping in it. But knowing my wife, there’s no way she would use it if I were in there, and she certainly wouldn’t want to be in there if I were using it. I have a hunch that’s probably the common opinion with most married couples. I was pleasantly surprised to see a couple of Canadian manufacturers make it to the show trying to expand their dealer network in the United States. Both Pro-Liteand Helio had a nice mix of trailers on hand. There are a handful of U.S. dealers that carry both manufacturers, and hopefully we’ll see more after this show. They offer a few different perspectives from the usual you find in U.S. built trailers.I’ve heard for a couple years now about the plans for the Little Guy Micro Max from Xtreme Outdoors.The prototype didn’t disappoint. If you like the Serro Scotty trailers from the 1960’s with the drop floors, you will see some of that same design in the Micro Max. It will go over with a lot of consumers in the market for something lightweight (1700 lbs) that you can stand up in. It’s just 16’3″ from hitch to tail, and the best part? With a 6’6″ exterior height, it will easily fit in most garages, saving a lot of people precious money in offsite storage fees. After a few minor tweaks, look for production to begin sometime in late Spring of 2020. Another trend I saw last week was that of the rear entry trailer gaining steam. We know the Aliner Ascape has been around a few years now, but I counted 3 new ones from different manufacturers, including Gulf Stream’s Amer-Lite, Riverside Retro, and Cherokee’s Wolf Pup. And all were a bit different from won another, yet with the same general layout. I’ll be watching these to see if they garner public acceptance in the small trailer community. Personally, I’d have no problem with one. I like the uniqueness of the design, and if you’re in a site that backs up to the woods, you get a sense of privacy. Plus, it’s just something different and I applaud the designers for coming up with something that’s new and refreshing.Overall I’m happy with what I’m seeing. Even the entry level stick & tin models continue to fine tune their lines and make them look a little less entry level. I really liked what I saw from the R-pod192. Honestly, it was the one that really made me wish my wife and I were in the market, because it hit a lot of buttons for me. That will be one of the first features I do when I start putting these together in posts in the months to come. I also liked the new Coachmen Catalina Expedition, a No Boundarieswith rear twin beds, and an innovative unit from Palominocalled the Revolve, which is powered by multiple lithium batteries as well as solar. I got a lot of material to do a ton of blog posts on in the coming months. Now it’s just finding the time to get it done!

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