Home » This $25,000 Aliner Camper Looks As Cute As A Button Until You Start Looking Too Closely

This $25,000 Aliner Camper Looks As Cute As A Button Until You Start Looking Too Closely

Cute Camper Ts
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So many of today’s RVs are as expensive as a house. Depending on where you live, you could buy multiple houses for the price of one coach. I’m always excited to highlight smaller, lighter, and cheaper RV fare when I spot them. Today at the 2024 Florida RV SuperShow I found this Aliner Grand Ascape ST. It is a little cutie that is an affordable $25,000 and a light 2,500 pounds when loaded. Things were looking great until I started looking closely.

Back when America was caught in the full-blown pandemic, RV sales hit record numbers. As resorts shuttered and cruise ships became even less appealing, Americans hit the road. RV quality, which already wasn’t known for being great, reportedly took a dive. That’s a shame. RVs cost a lot of money and might be the second largest, if not the biggest purchase, a person makes. So, you want them to last a long time.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

I want RVs to last a long time, too. Sadly, some trailers still aren’t being put together that well even after RV demand has fallen back to pre-pandemic levels. This little Aliner unfortunately falls into that category, and it’s disappointing because it’s a cool trailer.

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Aliner

The Aliner name is not a new one. In fact, quite a few readers have asked me to write more about them. Most people will know Aliner’s A-frame travel trailers, but the company also builds compact travel trailers in a more traditional shape. Here’s some A-liner history from a previous article I’ve written about the company’s A-frames:

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Aliner’s history is a short one. Back in the early 1970s, Ralph Tait decided that he wanted to design a new camper. Working out of his garage in Bend, Oregon, he spent several weeks crafting what would become his first A-frame camper. The resulting travel trailer was like a more traditional pop-up camper, but different in one key area. While a traditional pop-up opens up into a sort of tent on wheels, Tait’s camper has hard walls. Apparently, people loved his camper enough to request their own, and eventually, Tait decided to make it into a business.

Tait’s family moved to Pennsylvania, where Ralph and his brother built the campers. A third brother hitched a completed camper up to a station wagon and drove around the country until the camper sold. Aliner says it’s been producing the campers in Pennsylvania since 1982. The Taits retired in 2007, but the company still builds the A-frame campers that you’ve probably seen on the road.

The Grand Ascape ST

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Aliner launched the Ascape line in late 2016 as a beginner-friendly travel trailer that Aliner said was the lightest fully-equipped trailer in its class. At a base weight of 1,350 pounds, the 14-foot trailer weighed more than a Scamp, but unlike a Scamp, the Aliner Ascape came loaded.

In late 2018, Aliner expanded the Ascape line with the Grand Ascape. It was the same compact trailer, but now 12 percent wider for more breathing room. That’s what I found today at the 2024 Florida RV SuperShow. At a base weight 1,650 pounds (2,500 pounds if loaded to GVWR), the Grand Ascape ST at the show is a bit heavier than the original Ascape, but still light enough to be towed by many vehicles. Dealers are selling these for $25,000 too. They aren’t super cheap, but they also aren’t outrageously expensive as many campers seem to be. I could see one of these behind a Subaru or other tow vehicle without a high tow rating.

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For that price, you get an interior that a 6 foot, 4 inch tall person could stand in. You also get all of the basics you need for a fun short stay somewhere. The Grand Ascape ST comes with a sink, refrigerator, two-burner stove, and microwave for cooking. There’s also a wet bath with a cassette toilet. There’s also a sizable bed, ample propane reserves, a furnace, and an air-conditioner. Given a water capacity of just 11 gallons, you probably aren’t going to go off-grid, but the trailer should make for some decent inexpensive weekend camping. Though, you should be warned, the shower isn’t really meant for people taller than about 5 feet, 6 inches.

The Aliner also seems to come with some robust construction, at least in theory. The walls are Azdel composite materials with a .030″ aluminum exterior skin. I also love the low floor, which will make entry and exit a bit easier for people with limited mobility.

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Concerning Quality

Above, I said that the construction was robust, in theory. Well, that’s because I did find some questionable parts all over the trailer that concerned me. The walls mentioned above looked fine, but there were so many other things that gave me pause.

The most obvious concern for me was the rust on the trailer’s frame. According to the manufacturing tag, this unit was constructed in July 2023. It’s not even a year old, yet the frame shows rust in many places. Check out the rust on the tongue.

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The good news is that all of this rust appears to be surface rust, so it’s nothing a wire wheel and a liberal application of POR-15 can’t fix. More concerning is the rust in hard-to-reach areas. Left untouched, this stuff can turn nasty, but I’m not sure how you’d clean it up.

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What baffles me about this rust is that I’ve seen so many trailers that are 15 years and older with less rust than this. My family’s 2007 Thor Adirondack may have gotten ruined by water, but its frame is perfect. But my family’s new Heartland Mallard is much like this Aliner in collecting rust. I get that this is an inexpensive unit, but even cheaper cars don’t rust this soon.

This also isn’t a one-off issue. Both of the Ascapes on display at the show have rust, as do some of the A-frame trailers here.

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Aside from the rust, the trailer’s fit and finish leave some to be desired. When you walk into the trailer, you’ll see and feel some pretty cheap materials. The walls are pretty thin and the counter doesn’t feel like it would take high traffic from cooking without getting some wear. Ok, it is a cheap-ish trailer, so the interior isn’t at all surprising. Still, I don’t think it would be unreasonable to expect the light switch below to be level. I’m also not sure what’s going on here with the door trim anchoring method above, but it was bent and rusting.

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From what I saw at the Indiana show, here on the ground in Florida, and from my family’s own purchases, it would seem that the quality of some RVs still have a way to go. That’s a shame because, outside of the issues, I think this trailer is actually pretty neat. The Aliner Grand Ascape ST is small, light, and I do think it is beginner-friendly. There aren’t a ton of systems to learn or 30 feet of trailer to maintain. It’s also roughly 7′ 6″ tall, so if you have a slightly taller garage, you may even be able to park it inside.

No MSRP data was on display at the Florida RV SuperShow, but I am seeing dealers selling them for as low as $25,000. If you want one, I would recommend giving it an inspection before purchase. It may also be wise to give that frame some better rust protection than whatever it has currently.

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(Images: Author)

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Ben
Ben
4 months ago

I also love the low floor, which will make entry and exit a bit easier for people with limited mobility.

True, but this is a double-edged sword. My trailer also has a much lower floor than most, and it’s great for ingress and egress. However, it sucks for moving the trailer around because it likes to scrape the rear bumper just getting in and out of my driveway. Plus, it means everything under the trailer hangs super low and I’ve actually damaged things because I drove on a gravel road where some gravel was piled up in the middle, tall enough to hit (for example) my tank valves.

James Mason
James Mason
4 months ago

The Ascape looks like an Ass Cape.

Jj
Jj
4 months ago

What is the average annual usage for a recreational camper?

This little thing doesn’t offer much luxury, costs $25k and let’s say it has a useful life of 10 years (guessing – I really have no idea how long these things typically stay with their first owners).

If I owned one of these, I may use it for a week and maybe 2-3 weekends per year. Honestly, I don’t even know if I can guarantee I’d get to use it that much. But let’s say anyway that it’ll be 12 nights per year. For ten years. 120 nights total. That’s $208 per night.

I can find great AirBNB properties for much less than that.

$135/night for a nice 4br house on a lake minutes from ski areas: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/637090369513451459?adults=1&category_tag=Tag%3A5348&children=0&enable_m3_private_room=true&infants=0&pets=0&photo_id=1410682708&search_mode=flex_destinations_search&check_in=2024-02-11&check_out=2024-02-16&source_impression_id=p3_1705501968_rhH4keJR%2FysHMhbA&previous_page_section_name=1000

3br cottage onn the Maine coast $200/night: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/21407795?adults=1&category_tag=Tag%3A5348&children=0&enable_m3_private_room=true&infants=0&pets=0&photo_id=1047855867&search_mode=flex_destinations_search&check_in=2024-01-20&check_out=2024-01-25&source_impression_id=p3_1705501968_xpYMzijxqRSzAFPL&previous_page_section_name=1000

I rented a compound last year on Airbnb for under $300/night.

Do camper buyers use them a lot more than I would be able to? Do they believe if they had it they will use it (and then let it sit underused)?

Aaron
Aaron
4 months ago
Reply to  Jj

Over the past few years, I’ve averaged between 12 and 15 nights of camping per season. Now, if you look at it from a purely cost/benefit side, it’s seldom cheaper than getting a hotel or AirBnB – especially once you factor in the additional costs of fuel and campground reservations (I usually camp in state parks, so the reservation fee is usually less than $20 per night).

However, there are other benefits. For example, no matter where I camp, I have pretty much the same accommodations. It’s always my bed. My kitchen. My bathroom. I’m also less dependent on the convenience or suitability of lodging in the area. Often times, we camp in places that wouldn’t be as accessible or enjoyable if we had a hotel or AirBnB. I’ve camped literal feet from the beach, on wooded properties a half hour or more from the nearest hotel/BnB.

Camping is also something well suited to communal activities and large groups. Sure, you can get a ‘compound’ or large house on AirBnB, but it’s hard to beat camping when you’ve got a group of 20+ people of all ages. Even if only a couple people are camping and the others hotel nearby, having that outdoor basecamp lends itself to a more enjoyable experience.

Jj
Jj
4 months ago
Reply to  Aaron

I’ve seen places that sleep 20+ with well-appointed pool areas and firepits (sometimes a lakefront beach also) for ~$800.

I assume you’d prefer to be more outdoors. As an avid indoorsman myself, I do have a hard time relating to paying more for less comfort and convenience.

When the sh*t hits the fan, I’ll be one of the first ones gone. I’m OK with that.

Aaron
Aaron
4 months ago
Reply to  Jj

Unless you’re a snowbird that’s using some giant rig as a portable house, the outdoors aspect is a huge part of the appeal. It gives me a degree of comfort significantly higher than a tent and – unlike a hotel – all of the accommodations are mine. It doesn’t matter if I’m at a luxury RV resort, just off a trailhead at a state park, in the middle of a field, or parked in someone’s driveway – I get the same bed, bathroom, and kitchen.

Jj
Jj
4 months ago
Reply to  Aaron

The fact that nothing is mine at a rental is a huge plus for me. If anything is broken, I don’t have to deal with it.

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
4 months ago
Reply to  Jj

Campers don’t make sense for most people. I can’t see myself ever getting one. However, a friend of mine works on power lines and often has to travel to areas that had hurricanes or other disasters to do repair work. He brings his trailer and just banks the hotel and food stipends.

Jj
Jj
4 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Metcalf

I know there’s guys like that traveling for work or working in a remote location where a camper makes perfect sense.

Maybe if I could just park it and be sure it was ready for use when I needed it… but if I leave that parked and un-used here it will be luxury accommodation for the local field mice and squirrels, requiring significant clean-up before any outing.

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
4 months ago
Reply to  Jj

Yeah this dude has a massive garage that fits the trailer inside. It will last a lot longer than most.

Jj
Jj
4 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Metcalf

I have a bay that would hold one, there was a camper in one of the garage bays when I bought the place. ‘Garage’ is an old barn, and squirrels seem to have no trouble getting in.

I left a car in there for a few months without checking on it. The intake was filled with acorn husks when I got around to fixing it.

Ted Fort
Ted Fort
4 months ago
Reply to  Jj

It all just depends. I sleep in my van about 45-55 nights/year, maybe slightly more. So it’s a decent (albeit not great) value. However, “perception” of cost is a big thing with recreation. Knowing that something is a sunk cost that doesn’t cost you a ton to use, for me, encourages me to use it. Would it technically be cheaper to spend $120/night on a hotel? Yes. Would I actually do that on a random Friday night because I want a change of scenery? Not likely, as it would “seem” wasteful. Because there isn’t an immediate or obvious cost, we use it a lot more, even if the $20k we spent on it isn’t technically the best deal.

Erik McCullough
Erik McCullough
3 months ago
Reply to  Ted Fort

Interesting conversation. I think one thing to understand is most RVers have pets. So, that really limits many options and changes the equation. And as others have said, there’s something about having your own stuff — own bed, etc. ready to go. I even keep clothes and a second set of everything in mine, so it’s much faster than packing for a trip. There’s a lot more plusses and minuses besides the just $$$ amount.

Ted Fort
Ted Fort
3 months ago

You’re absolutely right. My van always has food in the pantry, clean sheets, cold drinks in the fridge… if I decide to go camping at 5:00 on a Friday, I can be heading towards a state park by 5:05.

CEVette
CEVette
4 months ago

The issue with construction, aside from the companies just not caring, most (All?) mainstream RV manufacturers pay and work by the unit.
The line has to churn our X number a day. As soon as they are done, workers leave for the day.
This leads to assembly as fast as possible……need a hole to run a wire,,,,,no time to grab a hole saw….hammer a hole in that OSB with the claw of a hammer…..etc.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
4 months ago

Sounds like a series to write – Used RVs that are known for quality.

Major Malfunction
Major Malfunction
4 months ago

Lippert or LCI make like 99% of the frames in the trailer industry. And that company is basically in bed with the entire industry so there’s zero competition. I had a 5th wheel trailer frame come apart at the main cross beams after 5 years. Out of warranty but I did contact Lippert and they “owned” it. Came to my house to fix it. I had to take the outer skin off and remove everything from the front bedroom so they could go through the floor. Turns out it was tack welded only. Somehow it never got “finished” at the factory. And two QA processes didn’t see it. Not did paint QA. Not did Forest River when they took delivery not when they actually built the trailer. Took over 4 hours of welding and fabrication to repair it in my driveway.

As for all other trailer fabrication in Indiana, it’s basically anyone that can squeeze a trigger and can put 20 staples per foot or entire tube of caulk. There is no inkling of carpentry involved at this point. It’s all made off site, delivered, and assembled by “anybody”. That’s the industry right now and build quality is abysmal.

Last edited 4 months ago by Major Malfunction
Bite Me
Bite Me
4 months ago

I don’t have any QA experience with campers, but I do have some with golf carts and similar utility type vehicles and I have to imagine they’re held to similar levels of scrutiny by the government (next to zero) and have QA practices to match. Golf carts and the like have overall frame tolerances specified in multiple inches and just cover their sins strategically, coatings are like a suggestion, no need to check for full coverage, and just throw in as many bushings and spacers and the like to make sure it all comes together long enough to reach a showroom, any longer is superfluous.

Jj
Jj
4 months ago

If the quality doesn’t prevent the sales, then the quality level is fine.

Anything more would be wasteful.

Jon L
Jon L
4 months ago

Thank you for the review! I cannot remember if you have covered them in the past, but if you get a chance, can you do a quick mini review of TrailManor pop up trailers?

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
4 months ago

The idea of a rear entry trailer is good, but the execution is terrible. I’ve rented trailers and looked at some in dealers and a lot of interiors look like cheap flat pack furniture.
The Lance we rented was really well built, but you pay for the quality.
I also would prefer the grey formica esthetic of an 80s Westfalia to acres of wood grain.

Art of the Bodge
Art of the Bodge
4 months ago

Is there any reason that American trailers aren’t galvanised? It’s rare for me to see one that isn’t.

PajeroPilot
PajeroPilot
4 months ago

My thoughts exactly. The gal frame of my 20 year old Australian Jayco has zero rust and I live in an area where salt spray from the sea eats everything. Sure, the interior is held together by staples, shitty plastic fittings, hopes and dreams but the frame looks mint!

Last edited 4 months ago by PajeroPilot
MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
4 months ago

Why do people keep buying this hot garbage? I can’t believe that they manage to sell this stuff and that people come back for more. New for 2024: Even lower quality, and higher prices!

Geekycop .
Geekycop .
4 months ago
Reply to  MikeInTheWoods

Yup. I think I’ll just build my own next time, not least of which I can make it higher quality and light enough to tow behind my R53. Teardrops are so much better than a poorly assembled cadiwampus blob. Though a Scamp or Casita would also be acceptable.

Aaron
Aaron
4 months ago
Reply to  Geekycop .

Problem is most people don’t have the ability to build their own and the boutique brands like Scamp and Casita have long wait periods. I was looking to Casitas when I was upgrading from my pop-up, but the second hand market was in short supply, I’d have a year long wait period on a new one, and I’d have to drive 12 hours one way just to check out the showroom. Instead I went down the road to my local dealer and picked out an E-Pro they had on the lot.

Geekycop .
Geekycop .
4 months ago
Reply to  Aaron

That’s fair. I tend to be a bit slow to progress my projects myself, so my wife bought a Keystone a couple years ago because I hadn’t finished restoring my 1966 terry travel-pack before she needed it as a mobile apartment for her travel nurse job. Someday I’ll finish the teardrop I’m doing now, along with my mini, my buick, the go kart, . . . The drift trike, . . . The mini hydroplane, . . .

I might have a bit too much on my plate now that I think about it.

Aaron
Aaron
4 months ago
Reply to  Geekycop .

I tried to convince my wife that we should buy a vintage tin can and restore it to our taste… then she levied the same critique against me.

MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
4 months ago
Reply to  Geekycop .

I’ve toyed with the idea of building a teardrop. I had a gutted new beetle with no engine and no front suspension with a tongue welded on and used that as a camper for a few years. That was fun.

Geekycop .
Geekycop .
4 months ago
Reply to  MikeInTheWoods

I thought about doing the same with another r53 that I was thinking of buying as a parts car. I still might one day, no use letting a good shell go to waste, and it’s not like I’m getting rid of a car I’ve wanted since I got to drive a pre-U.S. release one when I was 17.

John McMillin
John McMillin
4 months ago

I could make a case for the original fold-up Aliner, which hunkers down to fit in most garages. The lower height reduces frontal area a lot. But this new model’s tall, blocky shape seems to ignore basic aerodynamic principles. This blunt butt would create an intense low pressure area behind, causing drag. Counterintuitively, it costs less energy to compress air than to create partial vacuums, so this might achieve better mpgs if it was turned backwards on its frame. You also get the usual flat, slab RV sides, with 90 degree corners at the roof. That’s the way to create the most drag in sidewinds, compared to my Scamp with its rounded corners. I’ve never felt any serious crosswind effect or sway with that, though it’s a big 16-footer. The wind just slips around it like a rock in a stream.

Do you agree, Mercedes? And what’s the USP (unique selling proposition) here?

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
4 months ago

oldmanyellsatclouds.gif

Strikes me as disposable. Own it for 5-8 years and sell it for a grand or 2. Is 5-8 years of camping worth $23k? Not to me.

Aaron
Aaron
4 months ago
Reply to  Eggsalad

It’s only designed to be used for 5 years, but the default loan periods at RV dealers are 120 and 180 months with an APR pushing 7%-9%.

Hangover Grenade
Hangover Grenade
4 months ago
Reply to  Aaron

180 months? No friggin’ way.

Aaron
Aaron
4 months ago

I bought a new RV from a dealer in October and their default term was 120. I’ve heard a lot of folks getting pushed towards 180, mostly at Camping World. It’s all in service of getting that monthly payment lower. People don’t want to spend more per month on their RV than their car but they just gotta have that 35 ft tech mansion on wheels.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
4 months ago

I have a 2016 Aliner Ranger 12. The paint on the frame isn’t great. I’ve been under there with a can of spray paint touching up. Krylon Fusion All In One textured spray paint is identical in appearance to what came on my trailer.

The key with those Azdel panels is sealing the seams well. Keep up on that and they’ll last about forever. Sikasil N-Plus in white and clear works well for the sealer. Don’t use regular silicone caulk since that stuff is impossible to remove when it breaks. Azdel is also easy to cut with a plastic jigsaw blade for adding things like an extra storage door.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
4 months ago

The disposable nature of these products, sadly, shines thoroughly through.

Not to make excuses for Aliner, but I’ve seen new cars on dealer lots with less rust under them than this trailer. But to bring that to show off?

Birk
Birk
4 months ago

Sold my 2019 Forest River A-Frame after a little more than a year partially due to how poorly it was constructed. I spent more time correcting factory errors and fixing issues than actually camping in it. I can’t bring myself to get a replacement due to how poorly every one I’ve looked at has been constructed/assembled. Prices keep climbing and the quality keeps hitting new lows.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
4 months ago
Reply to  Birk

I passed on a newer Forest River for an older, smaller and more expensive Aliner immediately before the pandemic. The construction wasn’t great even then. The Aliner has been marginally better.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
4 months ago

It seems like consumers want more of everything so they cram it all in there but then need to cut corners on quality in order to not price it out of this world.

I mean, look at this list of things that are included:
a sink, refrigerator, two-burner stove, and microwave for cooking, a wet bath with a cassette toilet, a furnace, and an air-conditioner, 11 gallon water tank… plus all the wiring and plumbing to support it all.

How do you not cut corners to hit a price like 25k? they need Margin (reasonable is 10% at both the manufacturer and dealer level. Plus 20% for a “discount” off MSRP to make you and I feel like “we got a deal” and that leaves about $16k for the build, labor, and materials. That’s not a lot of money to work with.

James Mason
James Mason
4 months ago

I’d be delighted with something in this form factor, but without all the appliances. Give me a clean, comfortable, and dry place to sleep and hang out when it is raining. But nobody makes something like that. So maybe buy an enclosed utility trailer and set it up how you like? Sure, but it’s also sitting a the same shitty Lippert frame that will rust quickly and is probably missing welds from the factory. I hope that cloud feels yelled at enough.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
4 months ago
Reply to  James Mason

Growing up we camped in a soft sided pop-up. It was built like a tank and honestly lasted longer then I think anyone intended (20+years and we bought it used). It wasn’t cheap.

It had nothing. 2 lights in the ceiling (that each had an on-off switch attached to it, no wall switch) hooked to a deep cycle battery. A super basic 2-burner stove hooked to a 20lb LP tank. 15 gallon water tank hooked to a hand pump faucet that drained to the road. No grey water tank, no toilet/blackwater, no ac or heat, no fridge.

We camped in that all the time. 6 people. It was solid and reliable. You paid for the quality and not the sheer amount of stuff that you could cram into it. They used to exist but everybody wanted more stuff and didn’t want to pay for it, so they took cost out of the chassis and structure. It’s what consumers want.

Andrew Wyman
Andrew Wyman
4 months ago

Thanks Mercedes. There seems to be a larger problem in the industry as a whole, and I am happy that you are reporting on it. My extended family live in a 25′ Arctic Fox(or some similar brand) camper, and so far they have been okay, but with so many issues around the industry, they all need to be called out.

06dak
06dak
4 months ago

I really wish the RV sector could get hammered enough that they have to start putting out quality. It baffles me how some of this stuff is just bad in execution, not even saving money. Or saving pennies for what makes your product look cheap – like the frame rust. Have you ever looked closely at the wiring in these? Looks like they pick up everything at a radio shack and piece it together for the first time.

I wish some company could just make a quality trailer at a fair price. And become popular enough that others are forced to do the same!

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
4 months ago
Reply to  06dak

Scamps seem pretty well built. They’re not as cheap as they used to be, what is, but they’re not that crazy in the scheme of things

06dak
06dak
4 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

I have not been in one, but I hear they are reasonably OK (wall fuzz notwithstanding). They are more specialized and a bit small for what I like though, as I like some of the “glamping” features like a split bath and a queen bed. I wanted an Escape 5th wheel but I didn’t get an order in before their prices went through the roof post-pandemic.

It’s sad when you compare an older trailer to today’s how far quality has gone backward, especially on the middle of the range ones.

John McMillin
John McMillin
4 months ago
Reply to  06dak

I think of my 16′ Scamp as a mobile base camp. The goal is to spend most of the camp time outside it. We usually cook on on the campsite table, or under the awning. Take a hike, a drive, or both. But when it’s cold and wet, like last October near Vail, you can take refuge inside and wait for the weather to change.

My Scamp has an almost-queen-sized bed, 52×80. We curl up with the huskies and it’s just cozy. There’s “mouse fur,” too but that’s not what you look at. Ours has a full light ash wood interior that puts our home kitchen to shame.

Frankencamry
Frankencamry
4 months ago
Reply to  06dak

I’m sure they’d respond to a market downturn by finding even more corners to cut, all the way to bankruptcy.

“There just weren’t enough buyers for our perpetually crappier product.”

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
4 months ago
Reply to  Frankencamry

“There just weren’t enough buyers for our perpetually crappier product.”

The Sears Holdings defense – “we stopped cleaning and maintaining our stores, cut staffing to minimal levels, and stopped restocking merchandise when it sold out, and customers just stopped coming in! I don’t know what happened, we did everything right, why won’t people buy stuff from us?”

Hamish48
Hamish48
4 months ago
Reply to  06dak

I’m amazed that they care so little that they would put units into a show with issues like frame rust when with minimal time and effort they could spruce them up and increase their sellability. Basically, it gives me a don’t-give-a-s* vibe.

Jim Stock
Jim Stock
4 months ago

Thank you! I will keep reading these small RV stories if only to support my decision to stick with a ground tent and cot etc.

Miles Long
Miles Long
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim Stock

And I will keep reading these small RV stories if only to support my decision to stick with a decent hotel. At my age, I’m too soft to camp out.

John McMillin
John McMillin
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim Stock

The trailers gain appeal if you like to camp in shoulder seasons, such as our aspen color season in early October. Even in the best weather, the nights are long and cold then. I don’t always enjoy the expense and complication of towing, but man, when when you hear that furnace click on, it all makes sense.

Jim Stock
Jim Stock
4 months ago
Reply to  John McMillin

I have an insulated tent and a buddy heater for winter camping. The “roads” I go on are not trailer friendly.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
4 months ago

KUDOS FOR MERCEDES, this was the RV review I knew you were capable of. All these companies have thir own marketing department too hit the highs and ignore the lows, I knew you could dig out the hidden problems. As a suggestion POR 15 is a great rust fighter but only in non sun exposure areas. My guess is this manufacturer is using the thinnest of paint/powder coating available.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
4 months ago

I dont know if this is a new development, I have a 2010 A-Liner Alite popup, and the factory paint on the chassis just fell off in big sheets like the icing on a Pepperidge Farm cake. I’ve sprayed most of it with a rubberized rust encapsulator.

None of it is concerning in a structural sense and that’s the only issue with it, but it is apparent that they just paint the frames with ordinary black paint and probably don’t even do a good cleaning/prep job beforehand

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
4 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Rubberized coating is probably the best thing for a frame that’ll be backed over brush and into rocks, or peppered with gravel as it’s driven to its parking location. Similar to truck bedliner.

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