I've been looking a long time, mostly to see what is out there besides the #1 selling Lance unit. I am leaning twords the Artic Fox, build quality and wiring seems much better. Those two models are priced pretty much the same. Looks like the Arctic Fox rides a little higher on the truck, rear wings are not as low. I've heard that the rear wings of the Lances are a dry rot issue.
Regarding the truck to put it on, I am not brand loyal when it comes to American cars.....just going with who has the largest cargo carrying capacity and that is the FORD 350 gasser, 5,990lbs with the 3.73 or 4.30, the latter increases towing capacity by 3,000lbs. Probably go with the 4.30.
We have an AF 1150, and really like it. We purchased it used and the original owner did not maintain the roof caulking. So we had some water leaks that collected in nose area. The area above the roof of the truck started to delaminate. We have not had any other issues with it, love the slide out. This is a heavy camper and is recommended for a dually truck.
We have the sister to the 1150....the 1140. Basicly close to the same weight, dry baths the same, cabover the same, just a different layout around the kitchen. We love our 1140. Its been trouble free, well maybe one or two minor issues, but by far the best RV we ever owned. They are well built but they are heavy. You definitely want a dually as Jeep Hauler mentioned. Some of the early to mid 2000 AF's did have some water issues but I think Northwood has done alot to remedy the problems. After two years my molding seams are still oozing out caulk, so they sure dont skimp on the amount they use. I always thought that was a good sign.
2009 Chevy Silverado 3500 dually D/A, Supersprings, Stable Loads, Bilstein Shocks, Hellwig Sway Bar, Front Timbrens.
2010 Arctic Fox 1140 DB, 220 watts solar, custom 4 in 1 "U" shaped dinette/couch, 59 interior and exterior mods to date and still adding
I agree with the others, the Arctic Fox is an excellent camper & the 1150 is a great model if you like big interior space. The AF 1150 is a great cold weather TC. The design and layout of the holding tanks, basement space and plumbing system make for a great winter camper while using all your onboard water systems without freezing up. I've been below 0F many nights in mine without any freeze issues. There are some things you can do to make it even better like I did for here in Idaho but that may not be too big of an issue for you in California. Being well insulated means it withstands the heat of the summer better though too. I've had no leaks, delaminations, or roof bubbles to report after two years of continuous use on mine. After living and camping in mine non-stop for the past two years I know it inside and out, it's a quality unit I'd definitely recommend to anyone.
When I bought mine I shopped the Lance too but the price was so much higher at the time than a comparable AF. The salesman couldn't tell me what was so much better about Lance and actually told me to go buy the AF for that price. I was actually going to do that anyway based on my impression on the quality after spending many hours inspecting both models. Lance makes a great camper but it's not any nicer than an AF so make sure and inspect them both well, spend some time in them and decide which one appeals to you more. It looks like you already have done that. Maybe Lance has came down on their price to be more competitive than they were a few years back but as you know when spending tens of thousands of dollars on an RV we want the best quality for our money.
The other thing I remembered when comparing models (and I don't remember what Lance's comparable model at the time was) is the AF had larger holding tank capacity than Lance. I'm not sure how they compare today though but having 61 gallons of fresh in my AF means I can stay out boondocking for two weeks if I had that much time off work. It would be nice if the grey tank was a bit larger because it will fill before the fresh empties. I have plans to remedy this in the future if it becomes an issue but for the 7 days I can go camping I am ok with the way it is for now.
It looks like you are going after the right truck for either model camper you're looking at. Get a good high payload capacity dually. The 1150 will be over 5000 lbs on the back of your truck when loaded up for a camping trip.
I had an 05' AF 1150 and now have an 05 Lance 1181. I bought the AF new and really liked it but had lots of problems with it, many of them being major ones. I think I just happened to get a dud because most people have positive results it seems. I will say that AF never once questioned repairs even when out of warranty because of the ongoing issues I had. The layout of the 1150 is nice and roomy but the bathroom (dry type) was way too tight and I ended up moving the sliding door out a bit which made a big difference. I like the Lance I have now and would say the build quality is a bit better (at least for 05 models) and I also like the mid bath layout I have now too. This layout works better for the two of us. Bathroom is larger and right next to the bed so I just put a curtain up to separate that area from the kitchen and dinette. Not that I don't like watching my wife walking around naked or anything, but now one of us has the whole front half of the camper to get ready in the morning while the other is having coffee or making breakfast and watching tv. Works out really well when you have neighbors and you dont want to be strutting around in your birthday suit putting on a show. I would say in your case it really comes down to side door vs rear door as your looking at the 1191. I would think you'll be happy with either brand. The Lance 1181 is more comparable to the AF 1150 though both being rear doors. If your looking at new models, keep in mind that Lance changed over to some type of new composite backing to the filon recently (Azdel substrate) so this could help should you have a leak at some point. Mfg using Azdel
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edited 04/21/12 06:12am by stickyeye *
If you're not going to tow anything I wouldn't put the 4.30 gears in the truck. It will only hurt mileage. Are you sure the payload is that high on the truck configured as you want it. Manufacturers usually give payload numbers based on 2wd, reg cab, stripped down trucks. If that's not the kind you're buying you will have less payload, maybe by hundreds of pounds. You may want to consider a 4 series truck. Dodge makes a nice one if you don't like the F-450.
I think you go look around and sit in the campers, climb in the bed, check out the dinette seats, sit on the commode, etc. Then check pricing. They are both top of the line TC's. We liked the storage in the Fox, so we bought the Fox. You may have other priorities. You are really doing the same in Trucks. Model for model, equipped the same, They will generally handle the same. You will require a DRW Truck. I bought the Dodge because of the Cummins engine. I have 3:73 gears and could get by with 3:25's and we pull a large pontoon boat. The big question is Diesal with higher fuel costs and higher upfront costs vs Gas with less power and milage. We averaged over 13 mpg on a 14,000 mile trip to Alaska last year (crossing Rockies lots of times). My guess is a gas will not get 13mpg running empty.
Make your choice and enjoy.
Dodge, lwb, drw, 6.7, no mods
Arctic Fox 811
22' SunChaser fishing pontoon
04 Wrangler for mountian roads