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Old 03-24-2011, 01:09 PM   #1
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How long should a camper last

Simple question, I think, but how long should I expect a camper to last before it starts becoming a problem. Say natural upkeep is good, I thinking machanical and/or structure i.e., roof, walls, big ticket items not the small stuff.

My son is looking into buying one and I just want to help guide him the right direction, he is thinking an older camper, but I know he is not much of a hands on tool type person.

He has been looking at Artic Foxes and Lances.

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Old 03-24-2011, 02:49 PM   #2
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My Lance is about 8 years old and the only PIA problem I have had is rotting of the wood in the skirts which get sprayed from the rear wheels in wet weather. It was replaced once by the dealer some years ago and now I am going to do it using treated wood. Other than that I have had no major issues. All appliances and accessories still work fine.

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Old 03-24-2011, 04:55 PM   #3
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That is good to know, thank you, something to look out for.
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:18 PM   #4
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Mine is a 1989 and in great shape, but it is an all aluminum Avion. Looks like an Air Stream a bit. We had a 1979 Silver Streak and it was in great shape.

The older silver trailers (Avion, Silver Streak, Streamline and Air Stream) are all older trailers that are worth considering if you can find a clean one and willing to do some updating work.

The current crop of plastic boxes probably will be pretty well done at 15 years or so.

There are a number of brand specific and vintage trailer groups on Yahoo. There is also a sister site to iV2 at www.airforums.com dedicated to Air Stream trailers. Tom Pattersen also runs a site dedicated to Silver Streaks and Streamline trailers.

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Old 03-29-2011, 02:25 AM   #5
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I would think with meticulous maintenance and care it would last 20+ years. I think the two things that limit the useful life are sun and water damage. Appliances, upholstery, flooring, etc. can be repaired. Of course, being exposed to the weather and temperature changes works bad magic over time, so ideally it would be best stored inside, but how practical is that? It's all in the care and maintenance.

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Old 05-07-2011, 01:31 PM   #6
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In the fall during hunting season I see some 1970's campers on the road.
That's pretty old and I think that's all they are used for: hunting trips.
Some look pretty beat up. But it beats living in a tent for a week.
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Old 05-07-2011, 02:23 PM   #7
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I have had both a PUP and a TT (13' Scamp) that were in the 25 and older category.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:03 PM   #8
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I've had an 1984 Lance, 1080 I believe, since new and just passed it on to one of my sons. All systems worked great and whole camper is usable for who knows how many more years. Just have to stay on top of the caulking and fix the little problems as they come up [never anything big]
Have moved on to an Arctic Fox 990, can't be without a cabover!
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:18 PM   #9
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As with anything mechanical its all about the maintenance. We had a 20 year old TT that after we did some of the routine maint. it was almost back to new condition. We currently own 2 15+ year old cars that are running great and the newest is our SUV that is 7+ years old and just turned over 100K runs as good as new and no problems. With an RV its about maint. and water intrusion. If you treat it like gold it will last for many years. I'm not a new RV buyer. Don't and won't have the payment. JMHO
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Old 06-14-2011, 03:16 PM   #10
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We bought our 1996 Lance 15 years ago. It's still in good shape. I had the same problem with the wooden wing rot. We also had to replace the 12V converter/charger.

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Old 06-14-2011, 03:28 PM   #11
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It all depends on the care that each owner(s) takes. My TT is a 1985 and in beautiful conditon- inside and out.

The only thing that need to be replaced, since I bought her four years ago, is the hot water heater and that was my fault.

She has never had a leak and I stripped and resealed the seams last season. I will be selling her, once I find my MH. Not because of anything wrong with the TT, it's me. My disability is making it too hard to set up and tear down camp with a TT.

If she continues to be cared for- the way I and her two previous owner have- I expect she will be on the road, creating more wonderful memories, for decades to come.

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Old 06-16-2011, 05:42 AM   #12
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Thumbs up

Next to proper care and regular maintenance I think road use is another factor.

I've seen properly maintained RV's return from India as a total loss. Roads are horrendous out there and causes torsion / friction of the body of the living unit. Although you can drive 99.9% tarmac in India, just a few months of potholes will destroy a RV built for the road. The worst RV I've seen had a long crack in the side from front to rear. Others had no visual damage but when it rained it was dryer outside.

Almost classic in my experience are leaks during autumn / winter time after a hot summer season with a bit of flexing of the body on gravel roads. Wet parts inside the body freeze during winter and create more damage. Without immediate care and maintenance IMHO a RV living unit can be toast in 10-15 years.

Most long wheelbase 4x4 camper trucks all have torsion frames to prevent body torsion and friction.

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Old 06-16-2011, 06:55 AM   #13
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Our big S & S slide-in is a 1987 model and still functioning quite nicely! It's had its windows all removed and resealed, aluminum gutters installed over them, routine stuff...but it's been used hard and had to sit out in the weather (a roof for your rv is such a wonderful thing), but it's still doing its job.
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:30 AM   #14
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I have a 1995 Lance Camper, everything still works perfectly, the key is to buy from top tier manufacturer, Lance is considered the best.

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