Thanks for all the great posts....great to read after a quick weekend camping in Anza Borrego...that is until the bee's finally chased us out of camp!
I think I am leaning towards the Arctic Fox 1150 because of the additional water capacity as I will be doing a good bit of dry camping.
Regarding the 3.73 or 4.30 gears....that is a tough one. The truck/camper will certainly be heavy and if I buy the gas engine I don't want it to be a lug around town or up grades, so I thought the 4.30 will help it out. It would also help when I tow my 4,500lb boat from Lake Havasu up to Lake Powell. Anyone with any experience in choosing between those two options?
Regarding the CCC of the Ford gas truck, the FORD and DODGE sites are terrific in telling you what the truck will carry, as you build the truck, that value changes based on cab/engine/bed/wb configuration so you can see the CCC and towing capacity. The CHEVY site does not. So the gas 350 FORD Crew Cab 8ft bed with either 3.73 or 4.30 will carry 5,990 the towing capacity increases from 11,900 to 14,900 with the change to 4.30 though.
I've owned two diesels, loved them and hated them. I just can't justify the added initial cost, the high fuel cost and all the new smog******they are going though right now. It is effecting all their city/highway mileages....
Probably the most important deciding issue for me regarding the gas vs. diesel question is the availability of diesel in the back country. When you have been driving the boondocks for a week, finally pop into a small town on the edge of civilization, I know it will have a gas station but it might not have diesel. I had that happen several times with earlier diesel truck, THAT SUCKED! And I don't want to carry extra smelly, dirty cans of diesel fuel on a rack off the back.
2013 RAM 3500 LARAMIE CREW CAB 4x4 DUALLY HO CUMMINS/ASIN TRANS, 4.10's
2013 EAGLE CAP 950
260 WATTS SOLAR, 2K WATT XANTREX INVERTER, TRACE MPPT CHARGE CONTROLLER, TORKLIFT LOWER STABILOADS/TIEDOWNS/SUPERHITCH, DRAW-TITE FRONT MOUNT RECEIVER
We just returned home for our 3 month maiden voyage in our 2012, AF 1150. Hands down, I gotta say we love it. We probably had 8-10 issue with the camper but everyone was/is small. I actually came here to do a little report on the camper when I saw your post.
I'm not sure if you looking at new or older but my understanding is prior to 2008 there were a lot of delam and roof leaks issues that have since been worked out. I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm off on the model year there
As I said, the issues were minor, and a few are even nitpicky, but seemed like a huge pain because you find them one after the other when your spending so much time in the camper (rain for the first 3 weeks). No matter what name you go with, your going to find a few minor issues. That's life. We ended up fixing most issues as we travelled just because it was easier to just do it, and because they were so small. I did sent off an email to AF and got a very quick response from Dave Mann,offering to assist in any way they could.
The first issue we had was a leaky passthru window. The water poured in while we drove thru any rain. It was due to a gap in the caulking.
2nd was the shower caulking. Due to the movement in the basin floor, the caulking, between floor and walls split as we used the shower. We recaulked it and it has split slightly again. This will stop after a bit of use. Due to the light weigh material they need to use, it's understandable.
3rd we a couple of the cupboard door latches were screwed on poorly and constantly came loose. We fixed the problem by putting in slightly bigger screws. It was that or move them to a new postion. We were wondering if our camper was made on a Monday......you know how the saying goes eh?
4th, the one issue not fixed yet because the dealership we went to happened to be closed the day we got there, of course lol. It's a broken kitchen tap. It's decent quality Moen tap, so not really a the AF manufacturers issue. The tap falls off into the sink every time you shut move it. There must be something in missing from inside the lever that holds it on. At first it only fell off occationally so I wasn't sure if it was actually broken at all. It might have just been seated better. Now anytime I shut it off it falls off.
The rest of the issues are nitpicking. Like the nail hole filler that left grease marks and were not wiped off. Just because from the dinette you stare at the bathroom door lol, it drove me crazy enough to clean them all off. The track for the shower door was put in a little crooked which knocked the rubber cap off that holds it in place. We didn't like the door anyways and added a shower curtain to use instead. Aside from that it was tightening screws and door handles.
Overall, we would highly recommend this TC. It's sturdy and well insulated and beautifully designed with an abundance of storage space. It has huge tanks and we had no problem going 6 days dry camping without being excessively tight with everything. I'm sure many could stretch it out a lot longer. And yes, the grey is always full first. Heating took very little propane due to how well it is insulated and the furnace doesn't have to come on very often.We did spend several days in below 0 temps. We had a couple of close to empty cupboards when we left home and we realized we had brought to much stuff with us and could cut down for future trips. A family with kids could probably manage to use up all the storage. We did put shelves in the extra cupboard next to the fridge. I saw very little use for that cupboard without shelves. It makes an awesome pantry. We also liked the head room in the bunk. We could easily sit upright on the bed and watch tv. We never felt crowded even after 3 months and are looking forward to taking off in it again. Hubby says the house feels to big now lol
Ann / Keith
If you see 2 people looking dazed and confused, fumbling through an armload of manuals, that will be us
Life does begin after 50!
2012 Lariat, F350, Super Duty, Dually. 2012 Arctic Fox 1150
Thanks for the review! The 1150 sounds great. Sorry to hear about the issues...regarding the pass through window, since I don't think it is large enough to actually pass your body through, did you get a slider window or just a solid one, I would lean to the sold one.
Also, what kind of truck did you put it on and how did it handle the weight?
* This post was
edited 04/23/12 10:13am by egarant *
The 1150 sounds great. Sorry to hear about the issues...regarding the pass through window, since I don't think it is large enough to actually pass your body through, did you get a slider window or just a solid one, I would lean to the sold one.
Also, what kind of truck did you put it on and how did it handle the wieght?
It has a slide window which we would have been fine with solid.I too asked the forum about that initially. The consensus was if you have a small pet you might want one, other then that no need. With extended cab or crew cab you can't get at it anyways. And with it not being safe to ride in the camper,it's useless. The slide is in the way when driving so you can't see out there with the rear view mirror either
We have 2012 Lariat,F350 super duty,crew cab, dually, GAS with trailer package added. We also put the 5th wheel package on just in case We went to Grand Canyon, Flagstaff and Sedona and it handled just fine thru the mountain roads. Along the way we received grief from people because we didn't go diesel or 4 wheel drive. I guess it's personal choice.The 4 wheel drive added weight to the truck and the 1150 is a very heavy camper and we were pushing the max carrying weight. Also with the size of that camper, you won't be taking it to far off-road. The diesel,well it was $10,000 more and the price of fuel is so high now. You would never recoup the 10k from the better mileage you might get. Which really didn't appear to be much difference. So I think the choice there is more for what towing you might be planning to do. With the camper, we have no plans on towing anything. However down the road if we change to a 5er, we might be wanting the diesel. There's so much argument on both of these issues. But we did find, for the last 3 months, everything we had suited our needs just fine
Sounds like the same truck I am looking at:
Ford 350, dually, crew cab, 6.2 liter gas, I will probably opt for the 4.30 gears since I will tow a boat from time to time, I also travel through the mountains a lot and that gear ratio might help.
Do you remember what gear ratio you have?
I will also get 4wd as it will sit the truck up a little higher and help get me though some of the Forest Service roads I plan on taking it.
I agree with you on the diesel, unless you need it, it is not financially worth it.
One interesting fact, Artic Fox in a little known document, says that the largest camper they recommend on a crew cab is the 990, they say anything bigger is putting too much weight on the rear and no enough on the front of the truck. Especially if you plan on towing anything.
With the Chevy trucks the only gearing offered with a gas engine is the 4.10. Only the diesel trucks have the 3.73 rear end. The 4.10 gearing increases the load capacity of the gas engine trucks by 40% with the current heavy duty trucks. Makes sense when the peak torque for the gas engine is at 3400 RPMs or roughly double that of the diesel engine.
With a super heavy camper I would go with a Chevy 1-ton to get the stiffer frame, stronger front end suspension members, and especially to have the better exhaust brake setup. Good writeup of a 2,000 mile test done on all three 2011 1-tons pulling 19,000 pound loads up and down steep grades with the Hurt Locker test found at www.mrtrailer.com.
When I recently bought my AF1150 from Princess Craft in the Austin Tx. area, I was able to literally walk back and forth between the two (they carry both lines), and I was, sadly, NOT impressed with the finish work of the wood trim etc. in the Lance. Just rough edges, poor seam work, etc. If that was the stuff that was visible, I can't imagine the stuff that was out of sight.
The AF, on the other hand, was literally flawless. The more time I spent walking back and forth between the Lance and the Arctic Fox, the easier the decision was. I ordered the AF1150 wet bath and love it.