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Author Topic: Aliner 2018 Scout Review  (Read 489 times)

WrkrBee

  • Posts: 2
Aliner 2018 Scout Review
« on: May 18, 2018, 03:37:33 PM »
Aliner 2018 Scout Review

Over all: OK for a retired couple with minimal expectations.  One has to be an organizer, and I just stay out of the way.

Likes-
This is a light weight easily towed basic hard side popup.  Fairly quick and easy setup. It's better than a tent. The wife thinks it is cute.  She likes the large windows.

Needed Improvements-
NOTE: I've been in maintenance jobs for over 40 years and have a mechanical engineering background.  I have basic common sense design expectations.  I question if the guys designing / building the Aliners, have ever tried to use one for a week or two.

Why is there only a few pounds difference between the two axle options? Reduce your number of SKUs. Just put the heavier 3000 lb axle under all Scouts.  4000 lb would be better, so you would not have to worry about unintentional overloading, hitting potholes, and other unexpecteds. I believe mine got air born going on to and leaving the same bridge on I-95 doing 65 mph.  Bridge should have been marked by some means, but I think the axle was overloaded on the landings.

"Specifications" length is 15' which includes the tongue.  It's really a 12' camper.

"Specifications" say 2 Stabilizer Jacks.  Wrong.  It has "stabilizers", not jacks for leveling.  You now have to carry the extra weight of leveling pads.  Most RV jacks use a 3/4" hex nut to drive the jack, but not Aliner.  They have to use some off the wall slotted socket.
 
Cool Cube AC (5000 BTU) is undersized and struggles to cool in nice 80 deg weather.  It's not even hot yet.  A camper sold in the south (Georgia) should handle the hot humid climate.

I do not like the Cool Cube AC controls.  Four little buttons (Reset, Mode, Up, and Down). No common sense way to cut on and off.  Just adjusting the temp is a pain.  Give me something user friendly with intuitive controls like a house thermostat.

Uninsulated AC ducts condensates on outside and drips in the under bed storage compartment. Another southern issue. This needs to be dried out after camping.  It also limits what is stored there.  Aliner would not supply insulated duct to replace under warranty.  I replaced them myself.

Right side AC vent is beside the return air cover.  You have to aim AC vent toward the center of the camper.  This duct, or the return air duct, should be run to the dinette area during manufacture.  Really both AC vents are beside the return air cover.  When you pull the bed out, an AC cave is formed.  If something is placed under the bed for overnight storage, you basically lose AC by trapping it in a tiny compartment, with the return air vent.  Cool Cube senses return air temperature for control; the camper will never cool if AC air is trapped in the cave.   We run a small fan at the vent to push the cool air out before it is sucked back in the return.  In a way, the old wall mounted AC was probably better.  We added a small evaporative cooler on the dinette end that helps.

Return air filter is a foam sheet stapled to plywood- really.  And it is under the back bed / couch setup.  Even a cheap Walmart AC has a removable filter that can be cleaned.  Common sense.  I'll have to modify that soon.

Had to troubleshoot the AC the first day in Florida. Shop had left the breaker off when checking ducts condensating.  Discovered the Cool Cube is encased in plastic cardboard.  Even the power connection compartment cover is plastic cardboard.  I am not used to things being built this cheap.  No wiring diagram in "owners manual".

Owners manual tries to cover all Aliners- poorly.  I have a bunch of useless information for stuff I do not have- electric brake type that I do not have, LP system, LP detector, stove, water heater, furnace, water system, etc. Information I do need for maintenance- is missing.  Wiring diagrams would be helpful.

How do I check the emergency electric brakes? They need to be actuated sometimes to make sure they work.  Information in "Owner's Manual" on the break-away switch does not help.  Is it one time or can it be reset?  A manual way to actuate the brakes is needed for pre-road trip check.  If the brakes are never used, I doubt they will work when actually needed.

One inch wide x 1/8" thick plastic trim applied to 1/2"  wood used for dinette top and counter tops, so half of trim is unsupported.  With just a little handling, the dinette table trim starts releasing.  This trim is supposed to be used for the front bed support; how long do you think that will last?  First thing you need to do is cut and glue 1/2" support strips to the back side of the trim.  This should be done at Aliner during build!

Sun glare off top section of aluminum diamond step plate ends will blind you when you walk up to the camper.  It can blind the driver behind you, at the right time of day.  Flat black, black anodized, black powder coat, or even brushed would be better. Aliners must be built in the dark.

Lift assist / high wind kit should be standard.  The corner torsion springs weaken over time so the lift assist will be needed.  On extended trips, you have no control over some conditions you have to camp in.  Known camper design issues show that high wind protection is needed.

A  locked indicator for the "fantastic fan" cover is needed.  It has vague graphics that indicate locked should be full counter clockwise, where it is actually locked at the top.  After picking camper up from the dealer, we had to get off the road when the cover opened, put the camper up, figure it out, and lock the fan cover.  Of course it was raining.

Water coming in back skylight and running out the bottom of the trim. Found a pin hole in sealant around edge of skylight. I assumed this sealant was decorative to finish the edge of skylight, but it must be the main "seal".  I now assume that the skylight is not set in a bed of sealant.  Expect leaks.   Update after two day rain in Florida: Close to half of the top upper left silicone was poorly applied. I cut out sealant, blew the water out with air hose, and reapplied sealant.

During travel in the rain, water wets right front cushions.  Silicone missing at end of aluminum metal holding flexible top seal.

When you make the back bed, there is a 5/8" drop from the pull out part to the stationary part.  I can feel it when I lay on it. I'm working on a foam transition piece now.

Storage compartments need access from the interior sides, so you do not have to move cushions and support boards all the time.  These are components are large and bulky to move around in a confined space.  Access to the back storage area from the outside would be nice.

Battery and battery box should be supplied, properly mounted, and drained below the frame. The battery framework sits on top of the trailer tongue with open sides. The dealer gave me a battery box, but the only thing holding it in place was the cheap plastic strap.  Mine is now bolted down, false bottom to protect the battery from bolt heads, drained below the frame, and the battery itself braced to keep it from moving around.

I would expect the battery 20A fuse holder to be mounted and protected. From the factory, it hangs outside from the battery and is just added in-line with cheap no-strip connectors.  A little salt from winter roads or a coastal trip will corrode those connections quickly.  This means your brakes, and other stuff probably will not work, eventually. 

Outlet locations- two become about useless when the beds are used, since they are under the pull out and lowered table top. Only the one in front of the sink remains usable.  An outside receptacle is needed by the door. 

I want to open the truck tailgate without it hitting the trailer jack. Again, do the people building the Aliner, actually use the RV.

Sink drain had to be Siliconed again going through floor. The black stuff Aliner used did not hold.

I would like an option for carrying 2 bikes on the camper tongue.  Bikes are standard equipment for most RVing couples.

I hope this helps.  It is a good concept, but it could be executed a lot better.