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Old 11-01-2011, 01:58 AM   #1
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Good Campers, Average Campers, and Campers to Avoid?

I know that Lance builds a nice unit, and the one in the link in the next tread is close to what we want. There are other well made TC's, such as Artic Fox, Bigfoot, and a few others. Are the other brands worth considering, and which ones is it best to avoid? We live in the western part of North Carolina, and truck camper dealers are few and far between in this part of the country. Thanks in advance, Charles
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Old 11-01-2011, 02:15 AM   #2
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2006 Lance 835, Plant City FL - 99757703 - RVTraderonline.com
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:13 PM   #3
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Eagle Cap Truck Campers?

We have a Lance 845 now & never any problems but going to long bed & wanting to know about 2007 & 2008 Eagle Cap 950 camper. Any help?
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Old 11-21-2011, 02:13 AM   #4
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Forrest River Truck Campers?

Does anyone own or have experience with Forrest River TC's, like the Palomino Maverick? The prices on new ones are thousands less then a Lance. Are they entry level units? How do they hold up under use? Thanks in Advance, Charles
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:54 AM   #5
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After owning a few TC's, I have decided that most are built very poorly for the price! I have seen one TC that was being repaired and one only a year old had already started to have rot problrms from leaks around the roof. It was necessary to remove the whole right side and replace the wood framing. The pieces used for rear corners were 2X2 material that was small pieces stapled together to form a long enough piece. Not even finger jointed to make a long strip!
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:36 PM   #6
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We have owned four TC's, but none recently. I had even thought of building one from scratch.

The problems that I would face is not being able to weld aluminum tubing, and not wanting to build it out of 2x2's it does not leave many choices.

I had thought about building the structure out of 4x4 sheets of 3/4 plywood with a tongue and grove edge, doubled, laminated together, and overlapped for strength. Cover the unit with fiberglass filon sheeting just like the factory units are. The problem is that the camper would be too heavy to haul, and the jacks probably would not lift it.

I have even considered finding an Avion C-10 and doing a complete restoration on it.
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:46 PM   #7
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Bigfoot TC

We have just bought our 2nd Bigfoot. They are all fiberglass, not cheap, but very high quality and maintain a good resale value. You get what you pay for always seems to ring true.
Due to their cost, try to buy a very clean used one - should run you $15,000 to $20,000.
We got one with a slide out, dry bathroom with separate shower, 64'"x80" queen bed, Onan generator, large fridge, etc, etc. Bigfoot's attention to quality and details is more than satisfactory.
I have heard good things about other brands and horror stories about others, but do not have the experience to speak to that.

Bill Reichert
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:40 PM   #8
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If you want service from a factory authorized dealer in your neck of the woods Lance would probably be your best choice.

My personal preferance is Arctic Fox but do they have any dealers out your way?
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:12 PM   #9
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We just completed our annual trip to visit many relatives in Georgia, Florida and Alabama. Before leaving on the trip, I mapped out RV dealers that were close to our route and who had truck campers listed for sale. While on the trip, we stopped at several spots to see some units in person. Truck campers are mostly a western thing, and are few and far between on the eastern side of the country. I want Betty to see some nice ones in person. If she sees a couple of junkers, she will not be receptive when we find a good one. We only got to see one unit in person. It is a 2003 S&S 9.5 with a generator and a slide out. The unit is one big leaking rotted-out mess. The overhead bunk is rotted out. The ceiling, walls and floor around the slide are rotted badly. The area where both rear jacks attach are rotted and the jacks are falling off. The unit was clean on the inside, but smelled like mildue. Honestly is not worth bringing home. I never inquired the price, as there was no point. We have a Lance dealer in Johnson City Tenn, about 130 miles from us. The closest Arctic Fox dealer is in Deleware, about 750 miles away, however I have been there in person, and they seem good folks to deal with. As for Bigfoot, that is a coach that has always peaked my interests, however there are no dealers in the south, and I have never seen a Bigfoot other then in pictures. I have heard varied opinions about Arctic Fox. The campers look good in person, however I have seen some advertized that had serious water intrusion issues. Maybe it was a lack of maintenance issue? I will back away from any unit that has a OPM or rubber roof. I have worked on too many nice units that turned into junk when the roof failed. The idea of a clam-shell design like the Bigfoot is appealing. What ever we buy will be garage kept and well maintained.
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:55 AM   #10
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Bigfoot Camper video, etc.

The used Bigfoot we bought, our second one, is of the clamshell design with a fiberglass roof. The frame is welded aluminum. Bigfoots are decked out and loaded with the best of everything available.
They are high end units and not cheap. Used, a good one will usually be $15,000 to $25, 000 depending on age, model and condition. Kramers Kampers in Wadsworth, IL is the only US dealer east of the Mississippi. They may be getting a very nice used 2500 series in the 10.6 size. It is supposed to be as clean as a pin.
Please see the video of the unit we purchased sight unseen. It was in grade A condition when we arrived in Boise from the Chgo area to pick it up.
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:14 AM   #11
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If you like clamshell campers you might also look at the Northern Lite campers. Very similar to the Bigfoot in construction. Having no interest in a rubber nor TPO roof does greatly limit your choices.
Even Bigfoot in their 3500 series used rubber roofs.

As to your comments about Arctic Fox having water intrusion issues. Most of those problems were prior to 2005 and most were not from a leaking roof but rather leaking front clearance lights.

Probably the best choice would be to take a trip to Portland and Seattle and visit dealers that specialize in truck campers. Your choices would be much greater.

Lance has traditionally sold about half the truck campers each year so it is normal that there would be more issues reported due to the higher sales volume. If you like side doors Lance makes a model and also includes a tent option off the rear for more interior space.
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:45 PM   #12
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Since we have a Lance dealer with in 200 miles of us, and the Lance seems to be a decent unit, that may be the way we go. Lance is not a clamshell design, however they use a one piece aluminum roof. I worked in the RV industry when the rubber roofs were introduced. The primary reason for getting away from aluminum was to eliminate the streaking on the side walls from aluminum oxidation. Also rubber is cheaper, however it dry-rots, and has to be replaced at 8 to 10 years if the unit sits outside. I am thinking about a BRAND NEW unit. Betty and I agree that we don't want the hassles of a slide out, but we do want a generator. What ever I buy will be placed on a rolling dolly and stored inside of the garage when not in use. Cared for in that manner, the unit will probably last a long time.
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:52 PM   #13
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Lance 950 Truck Camper - Lance 950 and Lance 950S
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcsprayjr View Post
Since we have a Lance dealer with in 200 miles of us, and the Lance seems to be a decent unit, that may be the way we go. Lance is not a clamshell design, however they use a one piece aluminum roof. I worked in the RV industry when the rubber roofs were introduced. The primary reason for getting away from aluminum was to eliminate the streaking on the side walls from aluminum oxidation. Also rubber is cheaper, however it dry-rots, and has to be replaced at 8 to 10 years if the unit sits outside. I am thinking about a BRAND NEW unit. Betty and I agree that we don't want the hassles of a slide out, but we do want a generator. What ever I buy will be placed on a rolling dolly and stored inside of the garage when not in use. Cared for in that manner, the unit will probably last a long time.
I am not aware of Lance using an aluminum roof for many years. They use TPO, very similar to rubber. Rubber roofs are not nearly as difficult to maintain as aluminum as they don't potato chip during the hot/cold cycle every day and then work the seams loose where the aluminum meets the rest of the camper's walls. Rubber is also better for interior noise from rain, less prone to pocking from hail, easier to repair if needed, and probably lighter. Most have a 12-20 year life if stored outdoors.
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