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Author Topic: Aliner or Chalet?  (Read 21578 times)
aztraveler
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« on: December 09, 2008, 03:38:02 PM »

Thinking of selling the Starcraft and going with an Aliner or Chalet.  Pretty easy and quick to pop up.  What do you folks recommend?  What about rain and snow?  Don't expect to use it in the snow, but snow and hail is not unusual in the high country in Az.
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Red Barchetta
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2008, 04:15:44 PM »

We will be buying one in the future when it's down to just the 2 of us camping.

I/we have thoroughly gone through both companies' offerings within the past 10 months as we are definitely going this route down the road.

If it were right now ('09 model year) we would absolutely go with a Chalet high-wall dormer model.  Higher walls, much better build quality, stronger frames, higher axle clearance, and much more outside-the-box thinking & innovation than A-Liner.  Simply all-around better built a-frame PUTT (Pop Up Travel Trailer).

Snow would slide right off via the cabin A-frame roof.  Although you'd need to clean off the dormer once in a while from snow build-up just like is needed on a PU (gotta be careful with those shepherds poles on a PU).  The dormer will not leak, just get a heavy pile of snow sitting on it.

In both investigations I had the dealer hose down a model and neither companies' trailers leaked at all and I checked thoroughly (that's my nature).

We don't have a true dealer for either company anywhere near us so that's not even an issue at this point.

That's my $0.02 anyway.  Who knows which will catch our eye & impress us in 6-8 years?
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 04:16:49 PM by Red Barchetta » Logged

Jeff
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caver
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2008, 05:01:22 PM »


Both Chalet's I've owned have been belted by pretty large hail. One storm damaged the ashpalt shingles on my roof but didn't hurt the Chalet.
Mine tends to sit outside year round unfortunalty. We don't get heavy snow down here but ice storms seem to be the norm.
 
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2008, 06:59:37 PM »

If it were right now ('09 model year) we would absolutely go with a Chalet high-wall dormer model

That is one sweet camper..have to agree. If we were buying today that is the model we'd be looking at too.

We have an older Aliner it took some dings from hail, but I think they are fiberglass now not aluminum...
It snowed a few weeks ago before we folded and we had to use both the furnace and electric heater to get the snow to melt off so it could be put away for the long winters nap. The insulation is pretty darn good. Leaking around the extrusions just is not a factor, in the 9 yrs we've had the A only 1 leak. That was from old caulk around the vent..easy fix.

Which ever you decide, Aframe is a great easy way to go
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Marcy
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KristinU
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2008, 08:02:10 AM »

We have an Aliner Scout.  Rain?  Sure, no problem!  Rain was a big factor in us moving into a camper from tenting. 

The most severe we've seen: A day after we picked our camper up we had it popped up at a CG with the roof vents open and went on our merry way to visit family in the area (forgetting how severe and quick storms can come up in the midwest...we moved to New England almost 9 years ago) - sure enough, there was a wicked hail storm that included a tornado touchdown a mere 4 miles from where the Aliner was set up!  We had some dings from hail on the roof panels and on the diamond plate on the front, but the only water inside was that which had blown in through the vent and fantastic fan.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2008, 08:48:30 AM by KristinU » Logged

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Kristin

2012 Gulf Stream Visa 23BHD TravTlr Black
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My camping party: me ('71), DH ('70), DS ('04), baby DK9 ('11)
Nights Camped:
2012: 32
2011: 40 (hooray, broke the 21 night streak - almost doubled it!)
2010: 21 (no, not a typo!)
2009: 21
2008: 21
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TooManyTents
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2008, 08:16:54 AM »

Jeff,
Chalets are made in Oregon, practically in your back yard!  Road trip?  Big Smile
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OldViking
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2008, 07:00:30 AM »

I'm starting to get an interest in this style camper but I have one big question...


can you put air conditioning on these units?
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2008, 07:06:55 AM »

I'm starting to get an interest in this style camper but I have one big question...

can you put air conditioning on these units?
Yes, on some models it's an option, others it can be a standard feature, and some even have an AC/heat pump system.
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KristinU
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2008, 08:19:19 AM »

I'm starting to get an interest in this style camper but I have one big question...


can you put air conditioning on these units?

Yep!  We have yet to use ours (well, for a/c that is...it serves as a nice shelf outside the door!)  It is a pretty standard size home window unit that is mounted in the side, so I have to believe that it would be pretty easy to replace if/when it conks out.  I don't know if you can see well enough in my little avatar, but you can hop on our blog (in my sig) and see the big white square sticking out on the the door side.  It came with a little vinyl cover, so it isn't exposed during travel and storage. 

I also have seen pics online of folks rigging a little stand so they can use a standard window unit through an open window.  Found it - it is in the DIY section on alinerclub.org under Electrical Systems.  It says the project was about $300, which is what we paid for our a/c as an add-on feature from the dealer.

As for heat, we opted for bare-bones without propane (since we cook outside on our old coleman stove), so we don't have a heater.  When we've camped in chilly weather we have selected CGs with electrical hook up and just bring along a little ceramic space heater, works like a charm!

ETA: now that I look again, the club website is showing how to add it to the side of the camper, like ours is.  I know I saw somewhere where someone had rigged a way to just temporarily use the window and made a little support ledge out of wood.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2008, 08:39:23 AM by KristinU » Logged

Cheers!
Kristin

2012 Gulf Stream Visa 23BHD TravTlr Black
2007 Toyota Tundra Crewmax  Pickup Red
My camping party: me ('71), DH ('70), DS ('04), baby DK9 ('11)
Nights Camped:
2012: 32
2011: 40 (hooray, broke the 21 night streak - almost doubled it!)
2010: 21 (no, not a typo!)
2009: 21
2008: 21
www.visaadventures.blogspot.com
www.alineradventures.blogspot.com
OldViking
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2008, 01:26:34 PM »

Thanks. That's good news. I will definitely be checking out the Aliners next spring.
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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2008, 04:31:56 AM »

Are there any circulation issues?  We are looking at A-liners and pop-ups and I seem to have it in my head that an A-liner would not have good air circulation.  Remove A/C from reply though as I would hope to not use it much if any. 

We are 1st time buyers so any other advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.  Pickup Grey
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KristinU
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« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2008, 06:22:02 AM »

Are there any circulation issues?  We are looking at A-liners and pop-ups and I seem to have it in my head that an A-liner would not have good air circulation.  Pickup Grey

Good question - and you're right, there is less circulation then in our family tent (about the same or less than our backpacking tent, though).  I've never slept in a canvas pup so I can't speak to that, but I'd guess they have more air flow too.  But with the windows open we get enough breeze through to be nice and comfortable most nights in the summer here in New England.  We also have two roof vents in the apex - one is just an open vent and one is a Fantastic Fan.  If it heats up during the day we just turn it on for a minute or less and most/all of the air inside is exchanged with outside air.  I do remember using the FF once or twice at night in August as well.  We camp mostly without hookups and running it so infrequently keeps our battery use to a minimum.   And really, if it gets super hot inside during the day you could always just fold in the side walls for a minute and let the air exhange naturally.
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Cheers!
Kristin

2012 Gulf Stream Visa 23BHD TravTlr Black
2007 Toyota Tundra Crewmax  Pickup Red
My camping party: me ('71), DH ('70), DS ('04), baby DK9 ('11)
Nights Camped:
2012: 32
2011: 40 (hooray, broke the 21 night streak - almost doubled it!)
2010: 21 (no, not a typo!)
2009: 21
2008: 21
www.visaadventures.blogspot.com
www.alineradventures.blogspot.com
ForestCreature
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« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2008, 02:28:03 PM »

Are there any circulation issues? 

The amount of circulation would depend on the window configuration. We have windows that open on all walls except 1 and 3 roof vents. We get good circulation unless the air outside is humid and stagnant too. I wouldn't want to camp in full sun on a hot weekend tho, that would be hot regardless of what you're in.
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Marcy
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mike4947
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« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2008, 08:35:44 PM »

I'm starting to get an interest in this style camper but I have one big question...


can you put air conditioning on these units?

Yes they use a window type unit rather than a roof top one. But becasue they are better insulated the small BTU window units are sufficicient.

IIRC both Aliner and Chalets have users groups over at Yahoo.

I've been in dozens of them both over the years and it it weren't for somethig in my slightly senile brain that has a phobia about the dunce apped roof I really think I would have or would own one now.
A reallt great camper for folks with limited abilities and small families. Ideal for a single or couple.

There was a problem with one or the other on flooring IIRC back a while ago, but the user groups should have info on the years and problems.
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« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2008, 07:13:50 AM »

I'm disappointed the Fleetwood/Coleman Tacoma appears to have been nearly stillborn and only a few produced. 

This is a high wall, 14' body folding, hard sidewall trailer with gobs of headroom inside and the other benefits of the highwall design including a decent refrigerator, shower-pottie, and windows all around.

I'd strongly consider this design for long distance touring use.  Should be no issues with an AC on the roof either.

-- Chuck
« Last Edit: December 14, 2008, 07:16:53 AM by Chuck S » Logged

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