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Old 12-17-2011, 10:56 PM   #15
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OK, thanks for the correction. I have some apparently outdated information from Lance stating that they use a one piece aluminum roof. I thought that they still were. We live in an area devoid of truck campers, and just being able to see one up close is rare.

Rubber roofs have probably been improved some over the years, and there are some advantages over aluminum. From 1988 to 1991 I have stripped too many coaches under warranty and re-roofed them when the product just plain fell apart.
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:30 AM   #16
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Me Like, it's right here in NC, and no rubber roof...Northern Lite and other Truck Campers at Charlie's Garage, Winston-Salem NC
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:43 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcsprayjr View Post
OK, thanks for the correction. I have some apparently outdated information from Lance stating that they use a one piece aluminum roof. I thought that they still were. We live in an area devoid of truck campers, and just being able to see one up close is rare.

Rubber roofs have probably been improved some over the years, and there are some advantages over aluminum. From 1988 to 1991 I have stripped too many coaches under warranty and re-roofed them when the product just plain fell apart.

GCSpray,

These are not nuclear subs in construction. If they were nobody could afford them. To that end the truck camper manufacturers have to balance quality, weight and price. In some ways we get what we pay for. Lance makes a good camper, is about half of all truck camper sales a year, and (in my opinion) will last a long time with proper maintanance. The biggie issues with the Lance campers has not been the roof you addressed but more with the slide out reinforcement in the earlier slide out models, and virtually all seem to need annual maintenence on the rear skirts for dry rot. Water easily gets into that area and troubles start. I think good maintenance would go a long way to keeping that area sealed. Lance has (again my opinion) some of the best floor plans in a truck camper. If I wanted a Lance I would not hesitate to purchase one based on the need for annual maintenance. All truck camper need maintenance even the clam shell fiberglass roof campers have vents, air conditioners, racks and other things that put holes in the roof and need to be annually sealed. Most campers slowly die from neglect not use. Stay on top of maintenance and you should be fine.
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:02 PM   #18
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Thanks for the info, and I agree with you on all of the major points that you make. However, I don't like rubber roofs and never will. The main reason most companies began to use them in the 1980's was costs. How do I know this? I worked for Coachman Industries, and they told us that was the primary reason for the shift from one piece aluminum to rubber. In the RV industry, they have a saying that RV's are made for two reasons. Selling and repairs makes money for the factory and the dealer. The clam-shell design campers, with a solid gel-coat finish has no seams at the sides and the front cap made as part of the top. This design minimizes the chance for water intrusion. The rear overhang of a clam-shell design is a sealed capsule, and should be more durable over time then a skirt design. Fiberglass gelcoat has it's problems also, however I believe the the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. We are going to look very seriously at the new 2011 Northern Lite in Winston Salem NC. There is a dealer there, and he has two units in stock, one for a short box and one for a long box truck. The long box model is a 10 foot unit, which is the size we want. The dry weight of the Northern Lite is lighter then most of the conventional campers of comparable size. Weight is a concern to me since we will be towing a 24 foot toy hauler or a 22 foot sport boat along with hauling the camper. The clam shell design of the Bigfoot brand and the Northern Lite brand impresses me as the best bang for the buck. I am shopping for a submarine, just the best camper for the money. Charles
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:17 PM   #19
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Northern Lite makes an excellent product, as least as good as Bigfoot. For a non slide out camper, it would be on my short list. I believe that NL makes a dry bath in one of their 10 foot models.
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:30 PM   #20
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What ever you do stay away from forest river. This is an 2008 Cherokee Wolf Pack Toyhauler. The frame is made by Lippert and they only carry a one year warranty on the frame and will not cover my $5400 repair bill. The existing frame work around the pinbox is only .097" thick. There are long threads about this issue on the forest river forum site under Lipper frame failure.
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:56 PM   #21
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Thanks for the warning about Forrest River.

Our toy hauler is a Pace American Shadow 24 foot flat top enclosed dovetail. Other then having to replace the side entrance door because the wood inside of the door rotted, the trailer has been very trouble free. It has a steel frame work, steel skin, and a one piece aluminum roof. It has the 6500 Onan propane generator and is set up as a pit trailer, but is self contained. We wanted a true toy hauler, however we needed 17 feet of garage space and a 4K payload to haul our vintage Trans AM to the shows. Most toy haulers of that size only have a max of 12 feet of available space.
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:41 PM   #22
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You might look at Truck Camper Magazine, a online pub. They give great hands-on reviews. Check the archives. Good luck & good camping.
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