Quick news on Aliner, Lance, and the Open House

Aliner has added a new twist to the Ascape ultra lightweight travel trailer with the addition of the Ascape MT. The Ascape MT has the same footprint as the Ascape, which we wrote about here, but without the appliances. The end result is the same 13′ long trailer, but without the stove, refrigerator, microwave, rear overhead cabinets, and sink, it is some 400 lbs lighter than the standard Ascape, bringing the MT’s weight down to 1170 lbs. The two areas in the rear are replaced with flip-up bench seating.  Here are both floorplans, with the Ascape MT shown first, followed by the Ascape:



In an Aliner press release issued this week, Director of Sales, Allan Reeping, says, “Many of our customers told us that they love the look and design of the Ascape, but they are not interested in the bells, whistles and appliances that come with the current product. They want a sleeping quarters with lots of storage. A light-weight trailer that doesn’t require them to lay down in bed to change their clothes, or crawl through a small door on their knees to get into bed. They want to be able to get out of the rain and sit at a comfortable dinette. A hard-sided travel trailer that can be towed with a small Toyota Rav 4, or a Honda CRV, yet still have plenty of standing head room.”

While the MT might fit a need for some, after I posted on the Ascape last month, I got feedback from several who said they’d be more interested if the Ascape offered a shower, which a similarly priced T@B does. Hopefully Aliner is listening to these folks and the designers are working on putting something together with a wet bath combination. We shall see.


Lance Camper is rolling out a lot of new updates and upgrades that affect many of their lightweight trailer models. Their smallest models, the 1475 and the 1575, are seeing some of the most changes.  Standard updates for these two models includes exterior graphics, Euro cabinet design, Euro thermopane windows, Euro thermopane tinted opening front window, single enclosed battery compartment, , new aluminum wheels with color coordinated accents, molded LP cover, and TPO gravel guard with LED dock lighting. For the 1475, a new optional sofa slide with two adjustable tables.

lance updates

Now standard among all Lance travel trailer models are US made Goodyear Endurance tires, flush mount stainless steel range with black glass cover, entry step well lighting, larger foot pads on the stabilizer jacks, solar pre-wire, flat bottom microwave (no turntable), and optional “Lance Load” roof rack system and optional “Smart Jack” electronic tongue jack. Lance continues to find ways to make an excellent product better.

lance updates 2


Next week the annual dealer only Elkhart Open House starts in and around Elkhart, Indiana. This event is where manufacturers from all over the region set up either around the RV Hall of Fame or at their own manufacturing facilities for dealers from all over the country to come in and view new and existing models as well as place orders for their inventories. I’ve yet to go to this, but I will hopefully have a media pass waiting for me on Tuesday courtesy Thor Industries. If that doesn’t pan out, I’ve got a contact with a manufacturer that has told me to contact him if I can’t get in and he’ll take care of me.


photo courtesy RV Business

I’m looking forward to being able to get in, as this show is just as good, if not better, than the RVIA show in Louisville. Many new prototypes and model updates are first introduced at the Open House, so chances are I’ll be able to bring you some new eye candy. And for any manufacturers out there reading this who’d like to talk to me up there about your products for The Small Trailer Enthusiast, shoot me an email at pat@smalltrailerenthusiast.com and hopefully we can set up a time while I’m up there Tuesday to chat.

It’s still a great time in the industry for the small trailer segment, and the Open House should bring us a lot of new additions to the 2018 lineups of small trailers.


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11 Responses to Quick news on Aliner, Lance, and the Open House

  1. Rhonda

    How exciting you get to attend the Elkhart Open House! Can I put in a small plea here, Pat? I would *love* to see pics of any 14 footers you see. In my humble opinion the industry is missing the mark on a large segment of the rv population (whether part timers or full timers). As a woman who sometimes travels alone I think there are MANY solo women travelers who would rather go small (with a spacious feel) than large, yet still have amenities like water and propane systems. 14 footers that give an air of safety and security are few and far in between. The only one I am aware of is the Jayco Jay Flight 145rb, a fully contained, open feeling unit that is also secure (no outside kitchens to brave at night, for instance). Thanks for sharing your experience at the show; I hope you will find 14′ units that might be appealing to solo women travelers. Thanks and have fun!

    • Dean

      Hi Rhonda,

      Have you thought about Scamp 13′ or 16′ or Casita 17′ or Escape 17′. There are several molded fiberglass “egg” campers that would make great trailers for solo woman travelers.

      Take care,


      • Rhonda

        Hello, Dean…I bought and sold a fiberglass “Parkliner”, manufactured in North Carolina last year. I love the fiberglass shell but the inside felt too cramped for me (as does the Casita and Scamp). Just this week I purchased a Jayco Jay Flight slx 145rb and I think it’s going to work out fine with me. Thanks for the response….Rhonda

    • Leslie

      Rhonda, I’m a solo camping female too. I’ve been looking for similar small trailers myself. I love the newest Lance 1475 with sofa slide and full bathroom and larger fridge with oven under gas stove. My fav for sure. But the Forest River R-pods and Wildwood ultra light trailers seem to have Lance’s prices cut in half and a lot more floor plan options. I don’t lke slides but have decided a small single slide might work fine if it’s a good quality slide and dependable over time and something a single female can handle without major problems. For now I am still tent camping because I can’t talk myself into actually a camper to date. I know…at 67 you would think I could. LOL. I guess I want to get it right the first time but also I have loved tent camping solo since 1960’s and even though I tease my husband that I don’t recall ever being alone in my tent up Hylite Canyon in Bozeman MT where I pitched my canvas tent for 3 straght months every summer of college….I left that tent alone for days back then and never feared anyone would steal it. No one did and not only friends came along but I also got my mother so hooked on camping she’d come I believe every single weekend and even dragged me out of the hospital with a severe viral infection for me to put up the tent for her. So yes there are a lot of solo females campers of all ages and I meet some every year I camp. Lizzy from AR was on her 2nd white van her son transformed into her camper home and she was in her 80’s when we met. And yes one of these days I’ll buy a camper and I don’t like tent campers and husband does not like Aliners but the three models I’ve mentioned will no doubt be the one. We drive a smaller original sized Rav4 and so weight does matter. But also do have a 3/4 ton pickup too. Rav’s unfortunately are limited to a 1500 tow. This means I probably will be looking at a mini Van or mid SUV and I’m nto fond of owning three vehicles. But oh yeah…kudo’s to you and all that answered your post. I see you bought a camper but not until I’d written most of this already. So maybe we’ll pass each other on the road or set up next to each other at a campground. I pretty much stay in MT and ID areas.

  2. Rhonda

    ps….of course the Ascape, which you featured previously, fits into the category I am speaking to.

  3. William Cowgar

    We have are a newly retired couple for a small trailer. We haven’t bought a tow vehicle yet , considering the ford flex or Honda ridgeline. Have done a looking on-line . We are surprised there is so few outside cooking areas available in small trailers. Someone could make a complete slide out kitchen area , usable inside or out. Really like some floor plan in 18 ft size only to find a dinky little fridge. Should at least have an option of ordering a larger one

  4. Lancer

    To be clear, I am biased towards the Lance trailers, as I’m buying a Lance 1575. Without having to go to an expensive Airsteam, I think when you consider quality, price and lightweight construction, Lance trailers are a compelling choice. You will pay more for a Lance compared to other brands, but you get a superior trailer.
    Rhonda, take a look at the Lance 1475. That is an ideal one-person trailer with a bigger bathroom compared to the Lance 1575.
    William Cowgar mentioned an outside kitchen on the smaller trailers. Any RV is a matter of compromises. You make space to this, and what, then, do you give up? For example, the Lance 1575 has a small bathroom with no sink, and some folks will not like that.
    I’m perfectly happy with a minimalist bathroom as my time spent there will be at a minimum. I want my coach to have the most amount of usable living space and STORAGE! I can brush my teeth over the kitchen sink or even outside in an exchange to get more of what’s important to me. I looked at one “retro” brand trailer that had a surprisingly large bathroom for a small coach. There was literally no storage.
    Here is what will be my outside kitchen. The key component to any kitchen is the stove. Many RVers use some type of propane camp stove set up. The can use either the 16.4 ounce disposable green bottles or a bulk fill bottle.
    My set-up is as follows: I have an older, small sized 2-burner Coleman white gas stove. I bought a $15 adapter to hook up a 16.4 ounce green tank. I also picked up a six foot adapter hose to go to my bulk tank. For the tank itself, I bought a 2 gallon size, the taller rather than the squat one. Everything should fit into a plastic milk crate, and if not, I’ll make a plywood box to accommodate the width of the stove. The milk crate or box, then stores in the back of my pickup.
    If I wasn’t converting an old Coleman stove, I’d buy the Camp Chef Everest 2-burner high-output stove. The savings accomplished by retrofitting my old Coleman covers the cost of the adapter, hose and tank.
    The sink is the same plastic dishpan we have anyway. My wife has her box outfitted from our tent camping days with tablecloth and the other necessary accouterments for eating on a table.
    You mentioned the Honda Ridgeline. What a dynamite mid-size pickup! We have three Hondas in our family and have been impressed by their reliability. I wanted more tow capacity than the 5,000 pound AWD Ridgeline in case I ever step up to a larger trailer. I also wanted a 4×4 with a low range transfer case. And I’ve also been intrigued with the 2.8 Duramax that GM is putting in their Canyon/Colorado mid-sized pickups.
    So, in the end, that what I just bought, a crew cab Canyon, short box, 4×4, and with the 2.8 diesel. Some owners of this TV and TT setup on Lanceowners.org’s forums have reported 16-18 MPG on the highway. Others using the Mercedes diesel SUV and/or Jeep Grand Cherokee outfitted with the Ecodiesel have reported similar or even better mileage pulling the Lance 1575. The diesels seem to be the key factor.
    Good luck with your selection.

    • Rhonda

      Hey, Lancer…I would love a Lance 1475 but I was discouraged from ordering one from a dealer. He stated that they are so popular if I ordered one last week it would take a year to build! Yes, they do run more expensive than other small travel trailers but I understand the quality is top notch. Thanks for the advice and tips! Rhonda

  5. ITF

    If you make it to the open house, please sneak some pics and info on the new Taxa Outdoors Mantis trailer. I’ve always liked the Cricket but with sleeping for 4 at 18ft, with a wetbath, and only 2300lbs, the Mantis might be just what I’m looking for. It looks like a very interesting design.


  6. Dean

    I am really liking what Lance is doing with their trailers. Great trailers are getting even better. I am a fan of the 1475.

    Take care,


  7. Pete Lewerk

    How can I get more info on the stripped Ascape? I am mostly interested in wiring or lack of it.

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