I have had three Aliner campers in the last 10 years (see Jerry's Campers). They are great "travel trailers" but lack the amenities of non-folding trailers and are a much smaller living space than most pop-ups.
Presently I have a 2004 DL which is the same size as the present "Classic" and it work great for traveling. Rarely do we stay in one place more than two or thee nights. The easy up/down is great for short overnights and the hard sides reduce noise, insulate, and give a little more security.
Adding a cassette toilet has been a real plus. Even on the road I can make a quick pull off, open the camper, and be back on the road in less than five minutes.
The 2004 DL weighs less than 1,000 lbs and towing with a 460 V8 Ford Explorer, I hardly know it is back there (even on the hills of PA and WV).
So it will depend on how much comfort you require. The Class A Motorhome would be great, but I certainly don't want to horse the big thing around through traffic and narrow camping parks.
I love my Aliner ((A-frames) and they certainly have their unique place, but are not for everyone. My second camper is a non-folding hybrid with a real bathroom. So if I'm not going more than 100 miles from home, I usually take it since in my "old age" I'm getting more sybaritic.
Dumb question but, what is the advantage to a high wall pop up?
Increased storage, larger and more efficient fridge, more comfortable counter height are some of the advantages, but weight and traveling height are the disadvantages.
Somerset Niagara link
I have used Carlisle tire on many trailers, utility and RV, over the years and have never had a problem. I always keep the pressure at the recommended pressure and have been fortunate not to have loss of air during travel. I believe most failures are due to either under-inflation or sidewall damage. If the tire looses air during traveling, for whatever reason, and you don't have a good TPMS monitoring system, the tire most likely will heat up and fail without warning. The Carlisle tires have been the most common brand over the years on small trailers, so it would stand to reason that you would see more failures - The cause of the failure is difficult to determine after the fact.
Radial tires have thinner sidewalls than bias ply and are more likely to sustain sidewall bruising. The radial's thinner sidewalls and tread belts do make it a more fuel efficient tire due to lower hysteresis (friction), so as with most design issues, its becomes a bit of a trade-off.
It would be really nice if there was data available showing brands, usage, failure mode, etc. Unfortunately that's not the case and we are instead left with "Aunt Minnie's" opinion "My cookies taste better".
The best thing to do, in my opinion, is whatever brand of tire you use, have a good Tire Pressure Monitoring System that will warn you if you are losing pressure when traveling. Won't be 100%, but again in my opinion would prevent most of the catastrophic failures.
We looked at those new AR-ONEs when we were shopping. Liked them a lot, but ultimately bought an almost identical used KZ, mainly because it had the rooftop, and larger BTU, air conditioner.
I looked at the KZ but chose the "room" type AC unit since it is quieter and reduces outside height (The winter shelter for the camper is a bit low). I"m sure the larger BTU AC will do a better job of cooling, especially at the bunk end.
gheicher-I like your idea of having them do all the framing work and roof, and then do the sides yourself and buy the sheets of metal from local supplier. How hard was it to install the side pieces yourself? I would imagine that would make a major cost savings for myself.
So as to have something to which to fasten the siding, I filled in between the vertical metal supports with 2X4s, both at the top and about 4 ft from the bottom. Fastened the 2X4s to the metal posts using L brackets and sheet metal screws.
The metal siding, actually metal roofing, was cut to length by the supplier. Special colored self drilling screws that had a waterproof washer was supplied with the panels. These screws were used to attach the siding to the 2X4s but I had to drill a small hole first when attaching the siding to the metal supports. I had to do some minor cuts at he top of some panels for the roof rafters. Also about 10" of the last panel at the end had to be trimmed. I used a reciprocating saw with a metal blade. Two sides were done this way.
The right side was a bit more complicated since I wanted clear polycarbonate panels in the center to provide more light into the interior. This required using more 2X4s and more but smaller panels.
Was able to do all the work myself, but it would be a bit easier with a helper, especially handling the larger panels. Each panel spanned a 3 ft wide area.
Got mine through carports.com and believe it is made by TNT. I bought the heavier 12 gauge metal, 21 ft X 18 ft that has survived the winters here in the Laurel Highlands of PA unscathed for several years - A smaller one covers my patio. I enclosed the RV shelter with metal siding (3 sides) purchased from a local supplier. Carports.com were easy to deal with, cost effective, delivered the unit within a few weeks and performed the set-up in a couple of hours. I had to prepare a level area ahead of time for the set-up and they used long rods driven into the ground and large lag screws on the RR tie base to secure the unit.
The patio unit (in winter) is partially seen to the right of the gazebo.
Did the 5000 btu AC keep up? Was it reasonably tolerable in 105 degrees? I'm looking at Aliners and wonder about that little AC.
The 5000 BTU AC in my Aliner was purchased from Sears and installed myself. It did manage to keep the inside temperature reasonably comfortable despite the 105F outside temps and no shade, but I did have Reflectix installed on all the bubble windows. The Aliner is pretty well insulated otherwise. If doing the AC again I would look to install a slightly bigger unit just to keep it from working so hard on those really hot days (sometimes though good enough is good enough).
Brand name is huge in the world of marketing. My first camper was an Allstate tent trailer identical to the manufacturer Nimrod's unit. Allstate also sold an automobile that was actually a Henry-J with the Allstate name. You can put "Coleman" on just about anything; just pay them the royalty. The present Coleman trailers are made by Dutchmen Manufacturing, Inc. and mostly the same as their own models.
And in addition to car names there are the food products - Packaged by ????? Just change the label.
Since we are patiently waiting for the big thaw I am remembering wanting cooler weather when camping last summer near the Outer Banks. It was a 105F and humid that particular day, the AC running full blast with windows covered with Reflectix, and needing to add ice cubes inside the fridge to help keep it cool. Hard to imagine now after just going through a period of sub-zero temps.
Oh yeah, the cg put us right next to another Aliner who was visiting from NC.
My Aliner Scout is frozen in the snow. It will be towed with a 2013 Outback. Most likely April before it gets out.
I assume you live in North East, PA, which is located in Northwest PA (I never did understand that). If so you are definitely in the snow belt. I live several miles southeast of there in the Laurel Highlands area of PA.
Nearby North East is a great cross-country ski place, Wilderness Lodge, where I enjoy going in the winter. If you don't like skiing, North East is in the center of PA wine country, so open some of that good wine and enjoy by the fireplace until the Aliner unfreezes.
As soon as my camper can be on the road I'm headed for Pymatuming State Park. My friend just got promoted to Assistant Park Mgr, so now I have an even better excuse to go there, besides being a really great PA State Park.
Mine's hibernating also, all snuggled away in its shelter with a larger neighbor alongside for company. The Starcraft (hybrid)is partially folding with the rear sleeping area folding down similar to most popups. Each have definite advantages depending where we may be traveling.
I made some supports from wood 2x4s and fastened securely to the side roof rails. Using nylon straps to secure the kayaks down & side to side, and bungee rope for front to rear. Have used the arrangement for several years without any issues.
I have been quite satisfied with my Battery Minder. I take the two 12-volt batteries off the trailer and into the garage (for convenience), hook them to the Minder and check water level, just in case, about once a month.
When charging multiple batteries, it is my understanding that it is best to charge the battery individually and a bit risky to hook batteries directly in parallel. A diode should be used for isolation in case the batteries are at different charging levels.
Been camping with my AR-One 15RB for a couple of years no with no issues. Usually only two of us and never do dry camping so fo us the tank size is not an issue. I had several smaller type campers over the years but I'm a "happy camper" with the Starcraft.
Different strokes for different folks depending on the type of use the unit will see and the level of amenities needed.
I just scanned through the NEC article 551 that specifically covers RVs. Seems to cover pretty much anything electrical to do with an RV.
My question is, is this for manufacturers only? What happens if an RV owner does substantial modifications to the electrical system and/or components. Is he/she supposed to do any work in accordance with the NEC and should they be taking out a permit? What would happen if the modifications were improperly done and there was an electrocution or fire?
I've read many times about owners doing modifications themselves like upgrading their panel from 30 to 50 amps for example. If it were a house, you'd be required to obtain a permit and have it inspected.
Same goes for work on the LP system and appliances. Is there a Gas Code that is similar in it's requirements? What if someone does extensive changes to the LP installation?.........
There is no general law that says you must buy an electrical/gas appliance that is UL or AGA Approved, but many local ordinances and fire marshals require such approval.
Would you even want to put such an appliance in your home that did not meet such specifications or would you want to bear the liability burden by selling such a non-approved device in your store.
These standards are generally safety related as opposed to performance issues unless performance directly involves safety. Before retirement one of my responsibilities was to have my company's products approved by such agencies as UL, ETL, CSA, AGA, and European (CE). I also was a member of some committees that wrote such standards.
A lot of what we did referenced NEC and like home wiring your RV is just as important. If you are making repairs it certainly a good practice to follow the code as closely as possible at home or with your RV.
No, the RV Police are not going to show up at the campsite and haul you off in handcuffs for a code violation (your conscience may make you dream of such an event, however).
When traveling the top roof panel lip faces the rear with a gasket between the two panels. I have driven my Aliner for years, sometimes in heavy rain, and have never had water inside - Don't know about the competition.
The advantage to the hard side foldable trailers is no wet fabric to deal with. I also have a hybrid TT with a fold out end and it is a pain to close up when the soft-side material is wet.
The disadvantage to the A-frame campers is limited interior space and storage. However, they do work great as a travel trailer - Quick setup and a bit more security than soft-side pups. Like all RVs, there are advantages and disadvantages so it depends on what works best for your needs.
does the places you camp have bear problems?
if you want to camp in a campground that has bear problems, simply "turtle" your hybrid, if you are worried.
even at Fishing Bridge CG, in Yellowstone, where they ban soft-sided trailers, they will allow a hybrid if they "turtle", by not deploying the canvas ends.
Two miles down the road from Fishing Bridge is a campground that permits soft side campers (They post signs "No Bears Allowed"). Its a bit silly to use the bears rationale at Fishing Bridge to keep out soft side campers. I believe it has more to do with Fishing bridge being more amenable to motorhomes, etc. The campground is most always full so they do not need to try to attract other campers.
To my knowledge no one in a softside camper has ever been injured by a bear at Yellowstone, but as mentioned in the other posts you need to use common sense and not put yourself intentionally at risk - There is always a first time. I believe the bears are much more wary when there are many people around and thus they are more easily scared off.
My only encounter was with a black bear while camping in a tent. This bear had been at the campground before and was not leaving until he got all the goodies he wanted (I think he was related to Yogi). I practically had to push him with my car to get him to leave.
While visiting Glacier NP a ranger told me a good compressed air boat horn is as effective as bear spray (and much cheaper). Also some say wasp spray is just as good. However, bear encounters are rare and you are much more likely to be struck by lighting. Oh yeah, look up at those big limbs overhanging your camper and imagine what the wind could do.
Enjoy the great outdoors and don't become too paranoid.