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Old 04-21-2012, 09:53 PM   #15
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I looked at Northern Lite, Arctic Fox, Eagle Cap, and Lance units today. As mentioned above, if you can get along without a slide I'd say go with Northern Lite.

Of the other three, Eagle Cap would be my last choice. Good unit but I liked the Arctic Fox and Lance units better. Plus the factory has had a few to many negative reviews recently, for my liking any way.

I really like the Lance and Arctic Fox a lot and am unsure which one I like best. I'm unsure where the Lance is made, but if they are far away from my area, that may be worthy of thought. Arctic Fox is made a few hours away and they have a great reputation. There is also an Arctic Fox dealer near me with a great reputation. Both huge plus points with me. I'm not sure about the Lance dealer's reputation, but it should be easy to find out.

I hope these observations prove helpful to you. Have fun.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:15 PM   #16
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We bought an Arctic Fox 1140 last summer and put it on a Ford diesel 350 dually. Added air bags and rear spring blocks. Weighed 15,150 on the scales; travelled from NH to Oregon and back via the Black Hills, Big Horn mountains, yellowstone, Tetons, Flaming Gourge; all over Idaho, Hells Canyon and back to NH. The stability improved when I reduced air bag pressure to around 30lbs. Had two days with high cross winds and some rocky roads. The truck performed very well and made for a comfortable trip. We love the rig.
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Old 06-29-2012, 06:39 PM   #17
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The Arctic Fox is going to be better insulated for 4-season use and also 500-1000 lbs. heavier than a Lance with the same amount of living space.Weight is always a consideration with a camper as the heavier the dry camper the less you can carry and more you need to worry about having the water tank full and the weight of items like a generator or tongue weight if you pull a trailer of any kind.

The trend with camper owners is very much away from generators and to using solar panels instead. Several reasons for this. Solar is half the cost it was several years ago so a full system costs about the same as a 1KW generator. With solar it is working to charge the batteries when you are away from the camper and while you are driving down the road and their is no fuel cost or concerns about where to carry the fuel tank. Unlike a MH the generator is not going to be plumbed into the vehicles fuel tank and with propane the cost per hour of operation is very high as it is easy to go through 10 lbs. of propane a day. Third is that solar provides power at a rate that is 100% utilized by the batteries which are limited as to the amps they can take per unit time. A generator is good for running the AC off the grid or a microwave but not well suited to charging a battery bank (not that there are not people who run generators 3-4 hours each day to recharge their batteries).

The primary drawback to solar with campers is that none of the camper manufacturers (or for that matter the trailer or motorhome manufacturers) do a good job of making it easy to add solar. Lance uses undersized wiring and provides very little in the way of access to the areas where a controller needs to be installed and does not respond to inquiries regarding safe places to mount panels on the roof.

Two things in favor of the Arctic Fox and Lance Campers is that the resale value is going to be higher with the companies still likely to be in business when the time comes to sell it and they have the largest number of current owners so you are more likely to get an informed response when you have a question about a particular problem with your particular model camper.
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:55 PM   #18
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I'd dispute that a Lance TC weighs 500-1000lbs LESS than an AF. A comparably equipped Lance is no less than an AF. Owned both, both are solid, and heavy.
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Old 07-20-2012, 11:38 AM   #19
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After we sold our Class A motorcoach we wanted something else and a MC is NOT the answer for us. We spent 3 years on forums, attending shows, talking and listening to anyone and everyone. We bought a TC and have never looked back...in fact we would not trade out TC for a MC, TT, fiver, no way, no how. Use and 4 dogs live in it with more comfort than the 45' MC ever gave us and a whole lot less stress.

We bought a Arctic Fox 1150 dry bath. Wife and I are both retired engineers and we chose AF for construction, 4 season use...and I know where you live, we lived in Scottsdale for 6 years and you KNOW hot! Finally we felt the layout was the best for us of anything out there. We loved the Eagle Cap, but that is a troubled company and very low production numbers and we were just scared off from them. Lance seemed to be a good unit, but IMO not on par with AF overall. Chalet is also a good unit, but again, very small company, low volume, will they be around in 5 years?

If quality is of prime importance then look hard at the HOST RV Everest. The dealer from New Mexico is a friend of mine and he and his wife brought their 2013 unit down to our place and we spent a couple of days with it. I will truly call it the Caddy of TC's...but wife and I were not sold on the layout and internal flow. The 3 slides are great, but do you need all 3???? We passed on it due to layout. Its a demo unit and if you have any interest PM me for the contact info on the dealer, it is one nice and well built unit, the best IMO. Host Campers | Everest

Solar: We have a 100w solar setup on our, but if you have any intentions of running AC/heat then solar is not gonna do it for you. We use it to keep our batts charged up and for short use like stopping for lunch etc.

Our AF 1150 loaded out is a solid 4500+ lb carry. This is F350 space for sure. The late model F 450's do not have the payload capacity of a F 350, but they will out TOW a F 350, but for hauling in the bed of the truck then its a 350 by a few hundred lbs (DUALLY). I recommend a dualy setup then replace the OEM shocks with Rancho 9000 XL to firm up the ride and keep it from swaying. Some dualies do not have a sway bar. For big TC's I would DEFINITELY go with a rear sway bar or add one.

Wife, dogs and I lived in ours for about 3 mo and I honestly cannot say it was a unpleasant experience in any way. We enjoyed it and this is where layout becomes very important, it flows well, its comfortable and with one slide it was as spacious as we needed. Because we had lived in for that long we knew the HOST was not a good fit due to layout.

Look hard and ask folks who own them and let us know what you end up doing...
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:07 PM   #20
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Hello Everyone.

I put this in a another post but are you aware that starting in model year 2012 - Ford has again raised the bar in that their F350 duelly has a GVRW of 14000 pounds. Yikes.
Also the sticker weight on a T/Cs usually is for a T/C with NO options. My 2002 Lance 1121 has a sticker weight of 3400 pounds. Not bad some may say. Now open up the closit door of my T/C and any option I had the Lance factory add - you now had to add that option weight to the base T/C weight. I was over 4K for the T/C before adding anything.
Mike Tassinari
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:52 PM   #21
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Fyi - Ram is improving their trucks. They have beefed up all the towing and hauling numbers. They are doing things like using more high strength steel, and adding more cross members to the frame. Bigger brakes, trans cooler, oil coolers etc. The truck should be out on dealer lots in a few more months.

They are doing this to the 2500 and 3500 SRW plus the dually. I would wait for this truck!!
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:02 PM   #22
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Hello Everyone.

Tuffr2.

Would you happen to know what Dodge's GVWR is on a 3500 duelly diesel. They may be beefing it up but I am not aware of any 1ton truck other than Ford that has the 14000 GVWR rating.

Mikeeeeeeeeeeeeee
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:59 AM   #23
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The stronger RAM truck frame for 2013 is only going to be used on the 1-ton trucks and not the 3/4 ton. Why the two frames is anyone's guess. As of 2012 the strongest frames are on the GM 2500/3500 trucks and time will tell as to the comparative strength of the Ram 1-ton frame. It is important as a DRW setup puts a lot more stress on the frame with the two outer wheels being outside the edge of the frame.

The AAM axles and wheel bearings used on both the GM and Ram trucks are rated for a load of 10,900 lb. and subtracting the less than 3500 lb. weight of the truck at the rear leaves a potential payload of 7400 lb if the springs, rims, and tires are up to the task. This is why adding two tires is the cheapest way to increase wheel load capacity despite the disadvantages of this approach.

GVWR and payload capacty are established by the manufacturers based on the configuration of the truck as it leaves their factories. Changes made later by the dealers or owners will change these values up or down. No one should expect a stock truck to haul its maximum payload on a regular basis without greatly increased wear and tear. Pickups are not designed for a 100% duty cycle like this as the manufacturers correctly assume that the majority of the time the truck owners will have them at 10-20% of their rated payload. It is why buying a "work" truck used at this level by the company that bought it new is a very poor buy regardless of the price at a dealer's used truck lot.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:24 PM   #24
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Lots of info here so my only 2 suggestions are:

Get a couch if at all possible. Spending a lot of time sitting at a dinette is not much fun. Any more than a week or so and it gets pretty old.

Think seriously about a dual pane window upgrade. When I ordered my 08 Arctic Fox 990 I passed on this option. Cold days made me wonder if it would have been worthwhile.

When we bought our Class A with the dual pane windows I figured out right away I made a mistake on the camper windows. Dual panes are much warmer and help quiet down outside noise.

BTW, I wouldn't hesitate for a minute to buy another Arctic Fox.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:59 PM   #25
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I advise against more than one slide unless you only plan to use RV parks and not go over rough roads. My personal preference theses days would be Arctic Fox. I toured their facility last year and was impressed by the improvements since I was last there.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:47 PM   #26
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I just traded my F350 Dually and Lance 1191 in on a Class A. Truck campers are awesome for boondocking and taking many side roads but it was just too small for me. If you are going to be living it for 3 months at a time I'm not sure you will be happy. Plus, if I read correctly you need to buy both truck and camper. If you're gonna spend 60K for a truck and probably 40k for the campers you are looking at... I would go with a used Class A or C and tow your current vehicle. You made not need much space to live in to be happy. I thought I could live with the small living space and little storage but after 3 seasons I changed my mind. I did love the setup but it could get cramped really quick.....rent the smallest Class C you can find that just has overhead bunk and dinette and see how that works for you.

Not busting on truck campers, just giving my two cents worth.
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:58 PM   #27
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Most of the campgrounds we stay at would have very few spaces where a 30 plus foot long Class A/C MH with another vehicle or boat in tow would fit. Many are back-in only sites and not going to work with anything in tow.

We bought a new truck and a 3-year old used camper. Paid $42K for the truck (Duramax diesel with extended cab and all the options packages) and $12K for the 2008 camper. That is a total of $56K with the tie-downs, Rancho shocks, SuperSprings and tire upgrade. When it comes time to sell the camper we will get at least $10K for it as the new versions will be selling for over $30K.

The truck I use 50% of the time with the camper off and a fiberglass cap in place. The truck and the camper take half the space of a motorhome and toad and so can easily be stored by the side of my house when not in use. With a motorhome I would be paying for space at a public storage operation.

If I was going to get a motorhome it would be either a Class A or B+ and one that had the basement storage area. Storage and access to gear is too limiting with a Class C from my own experience renting. One of the class B+ units with the 5-cylinder Mercedes diesel engine that gets a real world 23 MPG would be near the top of my list.

I am not a fan of the 1100 series Lance campers but the 1050 and 1050S weigh 600 lbs. less and still provide a dry bath if that is important.
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:29 PM   #28
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Its a lifestyle choice. I live 6 months in my TC (single slide) but I also do most of it in Mexico where i am outside a fair bit.
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