Home Forums Truck Camper Adventure Forum Ruminations on Truck Camper shopping

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    • #16531

      I was rummaging around on craigslist California today and found some interesting ‘buys’. One was a complete 242K mile GM D-max Diesel/Allison/Lance Camper combo for $12K. The whole thing looked brand new and obviously never been places we’ve been. I pointed out several F.S.’s to my Queen, Jean, and she said, “We don’t need a new camper. Our 1998 Lance is like an old shoe: you just put it on and figgetaboutit.” It was then I started to mentally make a list of reasons, yeah or nay, to buy something new(er). So here is my quick short list:
      1. I’m 73 years old and time is running out for this old bod to crawl up and in a truck camper. So far so good, but it’s coming.
      2. Where Jeanie and I go, narrow as it is, the aluminum siding on our Lance gets a once over from passing tree parts, or rocks, or bushes, or in some cases Joshua Trees, which leave that infamous RV siding art: desert pin striping or long gashes, or worse, a puncture in the epidermis. The drip edge along the top/side of the camper has been smashed flat from tree branches dragging by. All side lights, vent covers, and other protuberances, except the center two have bit the dust at one time or another.
      3. We’ve had very good luck with our appliances, especially after reading all the horror stories from people who bought a brand new camper and had calamities right out of the chute.
      4. I’m still amazed at how tough our wood framed Lance has been, even after beating it up time after time on some rocky trail or secluded beach. I believe the fact that it was the lightest, full featured model Lance made at the time has something to do with it. Little weight transfer. Heavy stuff all down low. Thin, sticky mat. Centering guides. Tie downs snugged but not overtightened. And, maybe it was made on Wednesday.
      5. We still have no fear but try to be smart when it comes to narrow, rocky, overgrown trails since we’ve already gotten our money’s worth out of it. This last item is important since any willingness to take a brand new truck camper out in the rough would be slim.
      6. Most of the upgrading of our TC has been to the T part. Our current C has been slowly built up when a need arose trying to add the least amount of weight and/or power draw with an eye toward multiple use appliances, and getting the biggest bang for the buck. Mike’s suggestion that Solar would be good (and it has been) led me to install 200 Watts of solar on one side of the roof. Why one side? If i’m coming upon a narrow, tree or tall shrub lined roadway, I can choose which side of the Lance will get the business from those passing greens. That side is the driver’s side, since I can stick my head out the window to see what is what. Yes, I’ve been smacked up ‘da side ‘da hayd many times by angry creosote or willow switches. So, it looks like keeping our old Lance is still in the cards.

      2020 Ford F-350 XLT FX4 4WD SRW SB SC 7.3L Godzilla Gas TorqShift 10R140 397 amps dual Alt dual batts Frnt Dana 60; Rr Dana M275 E-locker 4.30's 4580/4320/4066# payload 7243# curb wt. 11,300# GVWR 5-er prepped. 2020 Northstar Laredo SC, 12v compressor fridge, cassette, 320w Solar sub zero insulation.

    • #16535
      Mello Mike

      You might as well keep the camper until its on its last legs, which might not happen, LOL. That wood framed Lance might last forever. Wood framed campers are underrated, IMHO. I have nothing against aluminum framed campers, but I prefer wood when it comes to truck campers. I guess I’m old fashioned in that regard. I know that might sound odd coming from an old Airstream guy, but Airstreams are aluminum on top of aluminum. That’s different.

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