The RV Forum Community

RVing message boards => Popups, folding/tent trailers => Topic started by: jonesyt on March 01, 2017, 03:38:26 PM

Title: Aliner, thoughts and questions
Post by: jonesyt on March 01, 2017, 03:38:26 PM
A brief summery of circumstances:
I am looking around at lightweight campers, my tv has a tow limit of 3500, I'm pretty sure.  I've pulled a small pop up and at first was looking at them.  However I'm legit starting in my 50's (age 51 now) and my bf is a few years older and I'm thinking along the lines of easier set up.  The more I look at Aliners the more I'm beginning to like them, but they are pricey!  My dream camper is an expandable, but I could never pull that with my tv, so I really like the soft dormer options on Aliner, makes it a bit roomier and airy as well as a bit more of a tent camp feel, much like the pop ups have.  I would also want to take my pets camping with me, a medium to lrg size dog (under 50 lbs), and a trio of sugar gliders (that will be in a vacation enclosure).  All my pets have gone on camping trips with me in my pop up, when I had one, and my camping trips are usually weekend-to-extended weekends 2-4 or 5 nights at most.

Now, I'm finding myself looking at used Aliners instead of pop ups, which is harder to find I'm realizing.  I cannot be too picky because location (travel time) and price is the largest factor for me.  I have seen a few models that have the bones of what I like, not any with dormers though, and I can live with that, but would still prefer them.  leading to first question:  Can you later have dormers installed on used models?  I am wondering because this could be something I'd consider if possible down the road.

Also, I'm noticing that many have a toilet or toilet/shower combo, I don't really think that's a priority for me.  I've usually camped in state parks or other parks and use the bathhouses in the park.  I suppose a toilet may be convenient late at night, but I've managed this long without one in camper.  So my next question would be:  Has anyone ever removed the toilet or toilet/shower combo and replaced with storage compartment?  As I feel the storage would be the feature making more sense to me.

And finally, I think.  I also have a propane camp stove, so I really do not know if I'd ever use the camper stove.  I never used the one in the pop up, we cooked outside with the camp stove (or EH did).  If I had to get an Aliner with the stove mounted, would it be too difficult to remove the mounted stove?

Thanks for reading and any input you may have.  I haven't found one I'm ready to purchase, but looking around and finding used ones that I'd want to modify, some asap and some down the road.
Title: Re: Aliner, thoughts and questions
Post by: Gizmo on March 02, 2017, 12:44:54 PM
We had and enjoyed an Aliner prior to our current TT.  The reason we sold it and bought our current TT was the limited floor space was a challenge with a large dog and we were planning and now have a second large dog.  Inevitably he ended up sleeping between the kitchen area and the toilet door.  It was doable for weekend and 3-day weekend trips but for longer trips it became more of a head ache.  So you might consider this as you mentioned having dogs, though it might be easier with small dogs, especially if they prefer being on the bed or dinette seating, ours did not like getting on the bed.  As for your questions on stove and toilet removal, both are easily accomplished, but I have to say while we typically used the campground bathroom and the great outdoors when boondocking, for middle of the night potty needs, especially when cold or rainy, it was a blessing having a toilet in the Aliner.  Also while we cooked many meals outside, having an indoor stove was nice on rainy or cold day's.  So in both regards we never considered removing either the stove or the toilet.  The other downside was the air conditioner, which did an adequate job but not great of cooling under 100 degrees, it is a house window style unit which is not designed for a travel trailer, i.e.. the bouncing down the road abuse.  Ours failed just after the warranty and was a known issue with the Aliner air conditioner, several owners reported having to replace them repeatedly.  I hope this helps.
Title: Re: Aliner, thoughts and questions
Post by: jonesyt on March 02, 2017, 06:24:39 PM
Great feedback, thanks so much for the tips on Aliners!

I have just the one dog, just under 50 lbs, but she long, tall and fairly lean.  She loves to sleep in the bed usually, so I'd prefer on with qn size, but if a full size is all I can get, I could put down the dinette for her.  My other pets would be in an enclosure, measure approx 19" X 22" foot print and I think about 20" high, but I can flip it the other way for a 19" x 20" foot print, not the preferred way though.  So the counter space is really important.

I am still considering a small to medium pop up, because they are a bit roomier, and I love the tented feel, although I'm liking the A frame campers more and more as I look around.  I've noticed that other A-frame campers are being made by other companies, a lot of them have what's called a "Cool Cat" appliance. I believe from what I've read on them they are like a heat pump, but also ac unit.  I read one review that said they're sufficient in that size trailer.  I'm not sure if that's the same as the ac like in the Aliner, it doesn't look the same.

I get what you're saying about the "handiness" of having a toilet, I've thought of that, especially as I'm getting older, lol.  I am a bit concerned still though about the privacy of use in such a small space.  I still most likely will look for one without a potty, or remove it and look into other options for emergencies that maybe won't take up the space so much of the time.

Also, with the stove, couldn't my propane camp stove work indoors as well?  I could bring it inside if need be, I would think, the main appliance I ever used when camping (while having a pop up) was a coffee maker, lol.  For that manner, I may not even want the microwave, but think I'd wait on that removal to make sure.  I most likely would make do the first season with "as is" if I do get one for this year, to be sure what I want and don't want in the camper if it's functional enough to get by with.

I really do appreciate hearing your experience, I'm sure 2 large dogs are quite a bit for an Aliner, lol. 
Title: Re: Aliner, thoughts and questions
Post by: Gizmo on March 03, 2017, 08:39:05 AM
Glad to help, sounds like it might work for you.  You should be able to operate your portable stove inside, just make sure you have the vent fan open and operating, which is a good idea anyway, regardless of which stove you decide to use.  I have no experience with pop-up tent style campers, so I cannot offer a fair comparison.  But one of things we liked about the Aliner over the pop-up ten style is the hard sides, for better insulation, protection from the elements and because I have heard some National & State parks do not allow tents because of bears.  Was not sure how prevalent that was, but we did not want to take a chance.  All that being said, Pop-Up tent campers have their merits and many enjoy them.  If you do decide to go the Aliner route, check-out some of the competition that are making the same style, as they may offer different design features. They are often referred to as Chalet.  Rockwood comes to mind, but I believe there are others.  Best of luck, post back when you decide and get one whichever way you go and don't forget without pictures it did not happen.
Title: Re: Aliner, thoughts and questions
Post by: jonesyt on March 03, 2017, 07:21:47 PM
Lol, will do!  Thanks again.  Looking forward to posting some news, and pics.
Title: Re: Aliner, thoughts and questions
Post by: jackquontee on March 30, 2017, 08:11:36 PM
hmmm.....interesting I couldn't reply with pics to help you out.

Edit: Isn't this interesting - after all the effort (3 or 4 times) to post pics to give you an idea of what the inside of an Aliner Scout looks like with the sink & fridge removed for additional space, as well as the storage location for a portable Thetford potty, and it won't post.

I'll stick to just trolling other posts from now on.
Title: Re: Aliner, thoughts and questions
Post by: jonesyt on April 03, 2017, 07:20:42 PM
Thanks for trying though!  I have googled searched mods to A-Frame folding campers, but I haven't seen those kinds of mods.  I pretty much am just occasionally looking for used a-frames, any make at this point, hoping I'll find something eventually.  I'm not in a huge hurry, it's really not the ideal time for me to purchase one anyway, but if the right opportunity comes along, I would.  For now, I'm trying cabin camping, not wanting to go back to tents and I don't think I'll go with a regular pop up now that I'm hooked on these A-Frames, lol. 
Title: Re: Aliner, thoughts and questions
Post by: jonesyt on April 23, 2017, 11:02:23 AM
I find myself looking more and more on RV Trader at all makes of A frames, and I've found a layout I consider ideal for my needs and a few others that could work, with some of those needing modifications (as mentioned in above post).  I am also checking into rv dealers near me on occasions.  I guess I'm just hoping to find that great deal I'm looking for, lol.  I will be cabin-camping next weekend, my first time ever in a cabin.  This doesn't seem to me though that it will be quite the same.  I find cabin camping has more limitations and is quite a bit pricier than a space in a campground.

I am finding that on the a frame models that will suit my need, that the GVWR can be quite high, so I'm thinking that maybe if I go with floor plans in need of mods, I could possible make the weight a little lower with replacement materials used.

Anyone have thoughts on mods to add more storage/counter space and possibly even reduce dry weight?  Any replacement materials to suggest for use for counter top if needed or even cabinetry? 

I realize that the more I mod to my specifics, the less value on resale or trade, but if I get an a frame, I plan to use it for as long as it or I can last, lol.
Title: Re: Aliner, thoughts and questions
Post by: Gizmo on April 23, 2017, 03:19:13 PM
Trying to reduce dry weight is risky and likely not going to get you where you need to be.  Keep in mind that dry weight is useless when looking at towing specs, because nobody tows that way.  Always look at the GVWR which is the total dry weight plus allowable weight for gear, propane, water, batteries etc.  You would be better served to do one of two things, find a trailer that fits comfortably within your towing capability specs, or get the trailer that fits your needs, desires etc. and get a vehicle to tow it. 
Title: Re: Aliner, thoughts and questions
Post by: jonesyt on April 23, 2017, 06:08:44 PM
Thank you Gizmo.   I am looking at the GVWR as well as dry.  I do not plan on carrying water in tanks, I've mostly used water hookup or just carry a jug of water for coffee and maybe some cooking.  I most likely will not be carrying full propane tanks the majority of the time, I use the small canisters with my camp stove for cooking, an electric heater/ac, and if using frig at all, on electric.  I won't say I'll never fill tanks and propane, but I'm not planning on it.  All added weight would be loaded with accessories, food, and drink. 

I feel I need more storage and counter space over built in stove and toilet or toilet/shower combo. 

I'll be looking within my GVWR specs though for safe measure.
Title: Re: Aliner, thoughts and questions
Post by: stumps on April 24, 2017, 10:52:54 AM
You may also want to try researching on - great network of pop up campers (and others), several with A-frame campers.

We are searching and the Ranger 12 is on our short list.  Good luck shopping!
Title: Re: Aliner, thoughts and questions
Post by: jonesyt on April 24, 2017, 08:26:27 PM
Thank you Stumps!  I will check them out when I get back from my mini-vacation.

I'm really liking A-frames with dormers, especially soft dormers, on at least one side.  My favorite layout is the front kitchen, I love all the storage and counter space.  I'm going to keep looking around though.

Good luck shopping too!
Title: Re: Aliner, thoughts and questions
Post by: jackquontee on April 29, 2017, 11:03:21 AM
Let me give it another try......

One pic shows the cabinet that used to house a sink on the left side and a 1.8cf fridge on the right, and the other pic obviously shows that now being used for storage.
Title: Re: Aliner, thoughts and questions
Post by: jonesyt on April 30, 2017, 03:07:04 PM
Wow!  Thanks, great!  That looks awesome.  So did you just gut everything and install those cabinetry?

I'm considering checking into an amount I can qualify for and then see what I can find in that budget.  Thanks again.