Tag Archives: Lance camper

2016 RVIA Show Review

The 2016 RVIA show in Louisville featured the usual full spectrum of RVs the industry has to offer. However, this year was one of the best…if not the best…of the six shows I’ve now attended for the small trailer segment. It’s no secret that this segment of the industry is gaining steam and this year proved manufacturers have embraced the small trailer culture with new, innovative models and expanded floor plans of existing models.

Every year I keep telling myself that I’m going to take two days off work to attend this show, and this year was no exception. However, I packed a lot in the full day I was there on Tuesday, November 29. By the time my day was over, I logged a whopping 24,116 steps on my Fitbit, or 11.04 miles! Fortunately I bought a new pair of New Balance before the day began…and they got quite the break-in. But perhaps 2017 will be the year where I take those two days for the show, as this year I wished I had another day to talk more to some of the manufacturers about their products.

Part of my day this year was spent hosting a couple from Indianapolis. Bob & Becky Kevoian are recent retirees now traveling the U.S. part time in their 2014 Airstream International Sterling 25FB.  I spent a few hours with them looking at Airstreams and just giving them an overview of how physically big this show really is. Some of you may recognize Bob and his signature LA Dodgers cap. For more than 30 years, Bob was half of the Bob & Tom Show, a nationally syndicated morning radio show based out of Indianapolis. Once Bob hit 65 in December of 2015, he signed off the air for the last time, although the show still carries on with his name. Following his retirement and induction into the national radio hall of fame late in 2015, Bob and Becky have been enjoying the past year spending much of it on the road in their Airstream. Earlier this year, they started a podcast as an accompaniment to their blog about their Airstream, affectionately called “June Bug”. You can follow along on their adventures at their website, junebugjourneys.com where you can catch up on travel updates and listen to their recent podcasts.

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In this post, I’m just going to give an overview on what I saw, but not delve too much into anything in particular . I figure I can highlight individual trailers this winter when I’m cooped up in the house.  And there should be plenty to individually highlight as well. What made the most impression on me this year was the multitude of new products. But much of this year’s new trailers weren’t just the same old designs and floorplans badged with a different manufacturer’s name. There was plenty of that, but there were also fresh, new designs that strayed from the “same old, same old” that I hear many of you tire of. Some of those were the Hymer Touring series of lightweight travel trailers with a pop-up roof. These aren’t yet available in the US, but that should change in 2017. Their website has little info about the Hymer Touring, but there were four units on display in Louisville. One dealer I spoke with heard MSRP on these will be in the low $20k’s. One note, they have a low entry door head clearance. Don’t ask me how I know this. :-/

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One new offering from Aliner is the Ascape. It’s a rear-entry unit that’s loaded with everything a single person needs for a comfortable weekend. And at just 13 feet long and 1350 lbs, it’s towable by a lot of smaller vehicles. It’s not yet up on their website, but look for prices in the mid teens. The Plus model adds air conditioning, cassette toilet, audio/visual package, and awning.

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The Travel Lite Falcon is one that easily attracts. While Travel Lite is known mainly for truck campers, in recent years they’ve introduced travel trailers to their lineup and have added to that lineup the slick looking Falcon. It comes in five floorplans and weights ranging from 2480 to 3215 lbs. They’re skinned in smooth aluminum and come on 18″ to 20″ wheels, depending on whether the floorplan has a slide or not. Very good looking unit with good looking interiors. Very nice change from the industry norms.

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Forest River is also coming out with some innovative smaller trailers. Rockwood’s Geo Pro and Flagstaff’s E-Pro should be out sometime in the first half of 2017. Geared toward “those campers that value being environmentally conscious and have chosen to drive today’s more fuel efficient crossover vehicles and small SUVs”. An A-frame bike rack, flexible roof mounted solar panel, and 12 volt 19″ TV are just a few of the options these two essentially identical trailers will offer. They’ll have five floor plans to choose from, with the smallest being a teardrop style that has a rear kitchen and a bed you crawl into from the outside, not unlike a teardrop, but not shaped like one. The particular model in these photos (the 14K) has a spacious U-shaped dinette that converts to a bed and also has a wet bath next to the front kitchenette. It has an unloaded vehicle weight of just under 2,000 lbs and is 14′ total length.

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Airstream’s introduction of the redesigned Basecamp happened a couple of months ago, and units are just now starting to show up on dealer lots. The first incarnation of it occurred in 2008, and it was really nothing more than a small utilitarian designed unit that never gained traction with the public. After lasting just one year, it was shelved and reintroduced this fall with a new interior package and redesigned on the inside while keeping the same overall shape it had in 2008, with the addition of a side entry door, wet bath, and a few more touches to give it more of a micro travel trailer feel on the inside. So far, feedback has been positive and Airstream has been advertising this thing hard on social media. There were two units on display in Louisville, with one showing the additional tent rooms that can be added to both the side and the rear of the Basecamp. There was also one without the tents to show the sleek design of the Basecamp uninhibited by the tent rooms. The MSRP was a cool $38,000 on the one I looked at. Airstream appears to be marketing it towards millennials and those outdoors recreationalists that you would typically find camping off the grid and not in a typical campground.  I’m not sure of too many of those 20-somethings who could afford that price tag when you consider their likely school debt and other financial and career obstacles that generation faces. Time will  tell on the Basecamp. If it were me looking for an Airstream in that size and price range, I’d go with a traditional 16′ Bambi Sport for about the same size, weight, and money. After all, if you’re buying an Airstream, don’t you want it to look like an Airstream?

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Debuted at the Elkhart Open House in September, Heartland RV again had the yet to be named prototype retro trailer. Its look harkens back to the classic Holiday House built in the early 1960’s. Whether it makes it to production remains to be seen. Although it’s a single axle trailer, it’s got some bulk to it. It sits pretty tall and although I didn’t see a weight on it, it’s weight is likely well north of 3,000 lbs and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s darned close to 4,000. More than one industry professional I talked to about it said that while it’s got a great exterior look, the interior is a little too modern looking and somewhat brings down the trailer as a whole.

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Another one that debuted at Elkhart which was a big draw at Louisville was the T@B 400 by nuCamp RV. About 3 feet longer and a foot wider than a traditional T@B, the 400 will weigh in the 2300-2600 lbs range with a 6’7″ of head room. The T@B 400 gives what a standard T@B doesn’t: a separate dinette and a separate bed. One look at the interior styling of the 400 and you’ll immediately know that it takes cues from its European counterpart. I’m sure it’ll gain the favor of loyal T@B owners, but I’m not sure about the fridge. For the size of the trailer, the fridge seemed to be lacking in size, as it appears to be down in the 2 to 3 cubic foot range. Look for it to go into production early in 2017.

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That covers most of the new offerings I saw at the show. Now for some other observations. Despite Forest River’s knack for dropping lawsuits on anyone who makes anything with wheels and a fresh water tank (Note to Forest River’s legal department: This is SARCASM. Lighten up, Francis.), that still hasn’t stopped Winnebago, Jayco, and Starcraft from producing their own r-Pod offshoot. And why not gun for them? According to Forest River’s own statistics, the r-Pod is the number one selling travel trailer under 20′ (I plan on posting on this in the near future). But not everyone is a fan of Forest River, so they have a choice in brands, and all four have just about the same floorplans from which to choose. So to recap those four, we have the original, the r-Pod

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the Winnebago Winnie Drop

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the Jayco Hummingbird

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…and the Starcraft Comet Mini

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But for those you who are just interested in something in that 19′ to 21′ range without the need for your trailer to be the prom queen when you roll into the campground, your options are wide open. Every major manufacturer has something for you, with prices ranging from entry level in the low teens to a little higher end in the mid 20’s, depending on the manufacturer. So whether your budget is in line with the entry level Serro Scotty or Coachmen Clipper,

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to the mid-range Winnebago Micro Minnie or Keystone Passport Ultra Lite

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or to the higher end Livin’ Lite Camp Lite or Lance,

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and everything in between, you WILL find what you’re looking for. This is a fantastic time to be in the market for a trailer less than 20′. Your styles and options are vast and there’s something out there for every budget. So as winter is upon us, start looking for those RV shows in your area, and get out there and see what’s available. Kick the tires, find a floor plan you like and compare brands. Ultimately you will find what you’re looking for in time for the 2017 camping season. There were a lot of other brands out there that brought models in the 19′-21′ range, but I just touched on a few. I’ll be updating the Manufacturer’s Page to include some of the new models set to hit the dealer lots in 2017. And stay tuned this winter where I’ll highlight some of these new models that I’ve discussed here.

Thanks for reading…and may you all have a great holiday season!

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Update on the Lance 1475

Back in January, I introduced you to the Lance Camper 1475 travel trailer. It was introduced this past December at the RVIA trade show in Louisville, Kentucky.  The 1475 is a non-slide, single axle 2500 lbs trailer ideal for 1 or 2 people, and is built at the Lance manufacturing facility in Lancaster, California. The 1475 brings the Lance travel trailer lineup to nine, ranging in lengths from 14′ to 22′. Unique to the 1475 when compared to trailers similar in size and amenities is the absence of a traditional RV dinette.

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“Downsizing, simplification, micro-homes, it’s all the rage these days,” states Bob Rogers, Lance’s Director of Marketing. “The genesis for this model came directly from our customers and is a result of what they wanted to see in a sub 15′ floor plan. The 1475 is ultra-light weight with 100% Lance DNA and yes, it doesn’t have a fixed dinette. Customers tell us they like to eat outside or while sitting in their lounge chairs and would rather have two comfortable chairs and a nice size dry bath, so that’s what we designed!”

lance-1475 layoutIn a recent press release from Lance, the 1475 comes standard with laminated fiberglass/aluminum frame/block foam insulated construction, Azdel interior panel walls, bluetooth app enabled audio system, LED lighting, class leading pass through storage, radius full torque frameless dual pane tinted windows, aluminum wheels, exterior propane BBQ connection, exterior wash station, ducted heat as well as popular options including keyless entry, electric lateral arm awning with motion sensor, solar panel, LED TV, microwave & A.C. The 1475 is designed to be an adventure machine that is easily towed behind almost any midsize tow vehicle with a minimum of 3,500lb. GVWR.lance3

The Lance 1475 is now arriving at dealer lots just in time to start the 2016 camping season, with a base MSRP of $23,888. For more information on the 1475, visit the Lance website at http://www.lancecamper.com/travel-trailers/1475/.

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Lance Debuts 1475 Model Trailer

For 50 years, Lance Camper has been the standard bearer in the truck camper industry. Beginning in 2009, Lance began producing a series of travel trailers which have, in a short amount of time, garnered a reputation of quality that few manufacturers can compete with. There is so much cool technology that goes into a Lance trailer…so much that I couldn’t begin to explain it all here. That said, Lance has put together an excellent video presentation showing the start to finish process. You’ll find the technology and machines used to put together a Lance trailer should give even the most skeptical RVer the confidence they’re buying a pretty solid product.

At December’s RVIA show in Louisville, the Lance Camper display featured a new smaller floor plan that should be hitting dealer lots this Spring in time for the start of the 2016 camping season.

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The 1475 model will be a 19’8″ trailer from hitch to tail, with a floor length of just under 15′ with an impressive dry weight of 2495 lbs. The interior consists of a deluxe queen bed in the front, two swivel rockers centered by a removable table on the door side, a kitchen on the street side consisting of ample counter space and cabinets, a 3-burner stove, a sink with pull-out sprayer faucet, and range hood.

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The back wall of the 1475 Lance consists of a 5 cubic foot refrigerator/freezer as you come into the rear side entry door next to a . The rest of the back corner houses the bathroom, which consists of a toilet, sink, and spacious shower.

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As with all Lance Campers, the construction is sturdy with aluminum framed sidewalls, floor and roof all insulated with block foam. The sidewalls are a laminated fiberglass with Azdel substrate. The tinted dualpane windows help maintain temperature levels whether cold or hot ambient temperatures exist.

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Some other key specs on the Lance 1475 include an exterior width of 84″, exterior height of 9’9″, interior height of 78″, 240 lbs hitch weight, GVRW of 3700 lbs, and cargo carrying capacity of 1205 lbs. The enclosed, insulated, and heated fresh water tank holds 26 gallons, a 26 gallon grey tank, and a 22 gallon black tank.

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My overall impression of the 1475 were positive. What really sets it off compared to similar floor plans of other brands is the large window next to the two swivel rockers and table. It’s an ideal camper for couples in search of a trailer of high quality with a small footprint. While not yet on the Lance website as of this posting (info should be up within the next couple of months) there currently is one on rvtrader.com that has a price tag in the mid-$20k’s, which I believe to be the MSRP, so you’ll likely be able to get into one for $20K range. Once production picks up and they hit dealer lots, you’ll be able to get a better handle on what prices are going for, depending on dealer and location. But overall, my first impressions of the 1475, and Lance trailers in general, met the hype that I’ve heard and read about from owners of Lance trailers. As I always preach, when buying a trailer always do your research with a fine tooth comb, but I think you’ll find that when you research a Lance trailer, you’ll be left with a positive impression.

You can explore more on the Lance Camper website at http://www.lancecamper.com

 

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Free Roadside Assistance with 2016 Lance Campers

In a press release this week, Lancaster, California based Lance Camper has announced they’re adding a one year roadside assistance membership with the purchase of any 2016 Lance.

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The Lance Emergency Roadside Assistance membership covers the owner, a spouse or significant other, and children age 24 or younger licensed to drive, your RV or other vehicles owned. An independent third party manages the service for Lance, which includes:

Technical Support and Roadside Assistance provides 24/7 technical assistance from a staff of RVIA/ RVDA and ASE certified technicians.

Towing of the disabled vehicle to the nearest qualified repair facility.

Tire Assistance including changing of the vehicles flat tires or towing of the vehicle to a tire facility.

Delivery of Fuel and Emergency Fluids as necessary to remedy any disablement.

Locksmith/ Lockout Services to the vehicle and assistance in the opening of the locked vehicle, and or/ obtaining a replacement key.

Jump-Starts to the vehicles dead battery or a tow to a qualified facility.

RV Mobile Mechanic Dispatching of a mechanic to the site of the mechanically disabled vehicle.

Dealer locator will guide the customer to the nearest Lance authorized location.

The member is responsible for all charges related to on site repairs including but not limited to fuel, fluid, key services, parts and labor costs. Lance Emergency Roadside Assistance can be reached at 1.877.219.9641. lance-logo-t

 

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Go RVing Giving Away 2012 Lance Travel Trailer

Go RVing will be giving away a 2012 Lance 1685 travel trailer as part of their Ultimate Country Music RV Giveaway this spring. Entries can be made daily up until April 16, 2012 at the GAC (Great American Country) web site. The grand prize includes the Lance as well as two roundtrip tickets to Nashville, Tennessee including a six-night hotel stay for the CMA Music Festival in June. Anyone else find it slightly humorous they’re giving away a trailer and a separate trip to Nashville where you stay in your…..hotel room?

(image courtesy Go RVing — tow vehicle not included)

Nevertheless, the Lance should serve its future owner well, as the brand is one of the better built units on the market today. The Lance 1685 is a tick over 20′ long and weighs just under 3500 lbs. It comes with a slide out for the dinette, queen bed, dual propane tanks, and a lot more. And if you’re the one who wins it, we want to know!

(image courtesy Lance Camper Manufacturing Corp.)

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