Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Truck Campers: Buyer beware
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jaycocreek

Idaho

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Posted: 03/22/20 09:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

woodhog wrote:

Is your TC built like this one? Hope not!

One of the best video's I have ssen to show how a lot of our TC's are made...


During my senior year at high school,I worked at Security Industries building trailers and truck campers on the line at different stations..They were as well made as any today in my opinion with plenty of 30-40 year old campers still in duty,some have never leaked..

The key is maintenance,if you do your part they will do theirs,if not,you see video's like this one..


1994 F-350 DRW /460/k&n intake /415# torque/lance 9.6/Engel compressor fridge/3 gr 27 batteries/Honda 2k/Honda 3K/WH Camo 2250/Reese solid bar extension/Buddy heater/3 inverters//Happi Jack tie downs /Firestone bags/Yamaha Rhino/Winch and Lockers

burningman

Seattle, WA USA

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Posted: 03/22/20 09:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is why, after over 30 years of owning many different campers, I’ll own nothing but a Bigfoot or Northern Lite. I don’t care how many slide-outs the stick built campers have.

Bigfoot and Northern Lite are still RV manufacturers and do plenty of things I hate when they make these things. But al least the shell is good.


2017 Northern Lite 10-2 EX CD SE
99 Ram 4x4 Dually Cummins
A whole lot more fuel, a whole lot more boost.
4.10 gears, Gear Vendors overdrive, exhaust brake
Built auto, triple disc, billet shafts.
Kelderman Air Ride, Helwig sway bar.


jaycocreek

Idaho

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Posted: 03/22/20 10:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Can you imagine buying a brand new truck camper for say $40,000 bucks and have delamination within two years, making it almost unsalable?

I go back and forth on buying my last new TC because of re-sale value..Because of this alone,it makes buying a Northern Lite or Bigfoot that much more logical,for the long run..

I have four truck campers I would buy,two are non-shell and ofcourse two are....As far as I can tell around my area,the BF and NL hold there value better than the AF and Adventurer..

If they could only put the AF-865 floorplan in a shell,SOLD..LOL

jimh425

Western MT

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Posted: 03/22/20 10:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Of course, if you can get by with less, you could buy a camper shell and camp in it, too.

The reality is the only thing a nonslide TC has in common with a modern multislide TC is they both are carried in a pickup. As previously noted, my TC was built in 2005. 15 years old with nothing wrong with it. Also as previously noted, there are Northern Lites and Bigfoots that had significant issues that were way younger than that. I think most people with issues are hard on stuff or don’t maintain their TCs, or both.

If I would have been worried about resale, I wouldn’t have bought an RV.


'10 Ford F-450, 6.4, 4.30, 4x4, 14,500 GVWR, '06 Host Rainer 950 Dbl Slide, Torklift Talon tiedowns, Glow Steps, and Fastguns. Bilstein 4600s, Firestone Air Bags, Hankook DH-01 225/19.5 Fs, Curt front hitch, Energy Suspension bump stops.


Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 03/22/20 10:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Weird, had an 05 TC, now have an 03. Neither is even remotely "falling apart."

Seems most bad experiences on this website have the Lance name associated with them. Just an observation, never had a lance.

This thread is typical rvnet complaining.
And as sidecar said, TCs, not unlike other RVs, do sustain more wear and tear and issues if they are exposed to the elements year round or lived in. Makes sense. They're called campers, not houses.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

jaycocreek

Idaho

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Posted: 03/22/20 11:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jimh425 wrote:

Of course, if you can get by with less, you could buy a camper shell and camp in it, too.


Funny you mention that,I did that quite a bit..One of those shells that is like 8-10" above the cab..Bed across the front on plywood with the storage under and camp stove/chair etc in the rear...Pretty popular years back..

I want one now for when I take the TC off but I can't find one that is reasonably priced..They are very hard to find..

Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Posted: 03/22/20 05:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I did repairs on campers before, but this year I parted out 2001 Lance 1161.
Camper was in relatively good condition, but with faded exterior and I used interior in my small bus conversion.
So the "stapled toothpicks" frame is having amazing strength when you glue plywood on both sides. Even styrofoam sandwiched in floor and roof adds quite a bit to integrity.
The 99% issues are triggered by leaks. Single sheet roof helps, but not when you "forget" to seal awning trims.
Even I inspected and sealed all holes that would make camper windy, during demolition I found more big holes for holding tanks plumbing that would allow not only wind, but also critters to enter.
I also collected about 1/2 gallon of factory sawdust & other construction debris.
[image]
[image]Click For Full-Size Image.





Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

Seattle

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Posted: 03/22/20 09:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The video makes me think of Sleepy's Rig when it was driven by SAB Consulting cross country to Tacoma for a make over. I recall some people in the past had issues with their slides, installing either steel unistrut or 1-1/2x2 angle under the slides to deal with bowing down. This looked like a decent job within a budget and reason to make a sturdy TC again.

I watched most of it. I FF past parts I'm not needing to see. Having a 2000 S&S wood frame TC myself with probable similar issues, it was interesting to me. I have already made some similar repairs to the front but not the rear yet.

[image]

[image]

[image]

[image]
Black square at bottom of jack bracket is an awning bracket.
[image]

I Made a bottom support using a Simpson framing bracket bolting into the underside of the 2x3 on the bottom of the TC wall. Not perfect but much more stable. It supports from the bottom and holds toward the inside of the TC under the wing beneath the fridge.
I have to do similar work to the right rear where there was a window leak that refused to be fixed until I installed a drip edge over the window. Problem solved.

* This post was last edited 03/23/20 10:00am by Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli *   View edit history


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Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Posted: 03/22/20 10:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A note about Simpson brackets.
I used couple of them on my Lance repair 3 years ago. Now parting the camper I removed them for demolition. They had cracks in the corners. They did not give up yet, but looks like it would be only matter of time.
Looks to me that they are not design for flexing TC do.

Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

Seattle

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Posted: 03/23/20 12:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kayteg1 wrote:

A note about Simpson brackets.
I used couple of them on my Lance repair 3 years ago. Now parting the camper I removed them for demolition. They had cracks in the corners. They did not give up yet, but looks like it would be only matter of time.
Looks to me that they are not design for flexing TC do.


I am able to inspect the brackets on my truck camper and all are in perfect condition. No surface rust, cracking or anything else visible.

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