Adventurer Manufacturing debuts the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200, an all-new triple-slide luxury flagship with a huge dry bath, California King bed, and your choice of two theater-style recliners, or a sofa.
Everyone has had the experience of rearranging a room. You want to see what would happen if you put the television on the opposite side and moved the sofa to the other wall. After arranging the furniture three or four times, you often go right back to the arrangement you had before. The best room layout is more or less dictated by where the doors and windows are, the size and type of furniture you own, and the location of vents, outlets, and other room features.
Coming up with a new truck camper floor plan is similar to this shared experience. Truck camper designers start with fixed limitations including truck bed size, available payload capacities, legal width and height restrictions, required elements (doors, windows, kitchens, bathrooms, seating, beds, and storage), customer feedback, dealer requests, what sells, safety codes, and more. It’s no wonder that the same tried and true truck camper floor plans get recycled year after year.
On balance, floor plan possibilities have exploded exponentially over the past decade by advances in computer aided design, slide-out technology, material advances, and the concept of building above the rails. These tools help to create new multi-slide possibilities, allow designers to experiment with new ideas digitally, and push the envelope of truck camper design beyond what our truck camping forefathers would have dared dream.
Speaking of pushing the envelope, Adventurer Manufacturing has just announced the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200, an all-new triple-side luxury flagship. To create the 1200, the Adventurer design team has taken an exciting mid-bath floor plan to the next level adding a long list of important features and refinements that are sure to have the multi-slide enthusiasts talking.
To get the inside track on the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200, we talked to Greg Tucknies, National Sales Manager for Adventurer Manufacturing LP.
Above: The 2016 Eagle Cap 1200 floor plan – click to enlarge
2016 Eagle Cap 1200 Specifications
The 2016 Eagle Cap 1200 is a hard side, triple-slide, dry bath truck camper made for long bed trucks. The interior floor length of the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200 is 11’11”, the interior height is 76” and the center of gravity is 58”. The 2016 Eagle Cap 1200 has a 60 gallon fresh tank, a 6 gallon water heater, 34 gallon of grey tank, and a 34 gallon of black tank. It can accommodate two batteries and has two twenty-pound propane tanks. Adventurer is reporting the base weight of the Eagle Cap 1200 to be 4,817 pounds. The base MSRP for the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200 is $49,973.
Above: The 2015 Eagle Cap 1200 above is shown on a single rear wheel truck for demonstration purposes only. For proper truck and camper matching, read “Matching a Truck and Camper“.
All photography was supplied by Adventurer Manufacturing LP. Click to enlarge the photos throughout this article.
TCM: Does the new 2016 Eagle Cap 1200 replace any older models in the Eagle Cap line? Specifically, does the 1200 replace the Eagle Cap 1165?
Greg: No, the 1200 does not replace the 1165. The 1200 is a new floor plan for us and will be available along side of the 1165. All of our other models will remain available, including our popular 1160 double-slide.
Eagle Cap customers have been asking us for a bigger camper, with access to the bedroom on both sides, and a California King bed. Customer requests directly drove this floor plan. We must have done something right because the 1200 floor plan has already gone viral. The first two runs of 2016 Eagle Cap 1200s are already sold out.
Above: The main living area of the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200 camper – click to enlarge
TCM: Did you start with a clean slate when designing the 1200, or is the camper essentially built on the basement foundation of the 1165?
Greg: The 1200 is built on the same proven wide-body basement design of the 1165. We tweaked the basement design and tank locations to move the center of gravity forward and give the 1200 more basement storage compared to the 1165.
Essentially the 1200 was a clean slate design, but we started with the footprint and basement design of the 1165. We believe it’s best to start with a new floor plan and build what customers want from the ground up.
Above: The 2016 Eagle Cap 1200 in production at the Adventurer Manufacturing facility in Yakima, Washington – click to enlarge
TCM: You mentioned the center of gravity has moved forward. How did you achieve that given the fact that the 1200 is a longer truck camper than the 1165?
Greg: It’s actually five inches longer in floor length than the 1165. The 1200 is 11’11” versus the 1165 at 11’6”. The king bed also makes the nose 10-inches further out, so the camper will be a little longer in overall length.
At first we thought the 1200 would be 12-feet. That’s where the the name 1200 came from. When we initially designed the camper on the computer, it was 12’6”, and the center of gravity was too far back. In fact, we almost scrapped the 1200 based on this data.
Through many sets of revisions, we shortened the camper to 11’11”, moved the dinette to the rear slide, changed the dinette to a fifth-wheel-style free standing table and chairs, added under bed storage for the king side bed, and rearranged the basement. All of these changes added up to help move the center of gravity on the 1200 forward of the rear axle.
The exterior body of the Eagle Cap 1200 is 102-inches wide, the legal width limit. The floor is built above the truck rails. We build the 1200, 1165, and 1160 with this wide-body, above-the-rails design approach. This is how Eagle Cap gives you the most floor space and storage possible in a multi-slide truck camper.
Above: The cabover bedroom is 26-inches from the floor. No climbing is needed to get into the bed – click to enlarge
TCM: Can you explain how the 1200 has better basement storage than the 1165?
Greg: The rail-height basement in the 1200 is 24-inches high, same as the 1165. The increased length and rearrangement of the holding tanks gave the 1200 10-cubic-feet more basement storage compared to the 1165.
An important benefit of rail-height basements is the decreased height of the cabover entry. The height of the cabover bedroom area is about the same as a standard residential bed. You can scoot into the cabover about the same as you scoot into your bed at home. There’s no climb up or down. Plus, the 1200 gives you access to the cabover bedroom on both sides.
TCM: That is an important mobility advantage of a rail-height basement. Can you access the bathroom with the slide-outs in?
Greg: You cannot access the bathroom with the slide-outs in. In fact, when the slides are in there’s about an inch in some places between the slides and interior elements of the camper. Our design team really maximized the interior space in the 1200. When the slide-outs are out, it’s incredible.
Above: The free standing table and chairs in the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200 – click to enlarge
TCM: Other than moving the center of gravity forward, what was the thinking behind the two-person table and chairs set-up in the rear slide?
Greg: We get a considerable number of requests for a free standing table and chairs. With a free standing table and chairs, the customer gains a lot of versatility compared to a traditional built-in dinette. For example, you can take the table and chairs outside, or move the table and chairs into the center floor area. The top on the 1200 table also extends. By adding two more folding chairs, you can comfortably sit four adults.
Eagle Cap attracts retired couples with motorhomes and fifth wheels who want to downsize, go anywhere, and/or tow. These customers are often coming out of $500,000 Class A motorhomes, so they demand high-end amenities and features. A table and chairs is something you will see in high-end fifth wheels and motorhomes.
Above: Theater-style recliner seating (pictured) or a sofa is available for the driver’s side slide-out. The decor pictured is Stone – click to enlarge
The driver’s side slide is modular allowing the customer to choose between a sofa and theater-style recliner seating. A modular dinette will not fit in that space when the slides come in.
TCM: Were there any special structural considerations to make the 1200 floor plan work?
Greg: The 1200 construction is basically the same as our other Eagle Cap campers. We used a heavier structural aluminum in the basement and riser walls and extended the structural 2×4 boxed aluminum to the full-length of the unit.
Essentially, the 1200 unit has a series of aluminum I-beams that run the entire length of the camper. This added strength supports the extended length of the 1200. The camper also features our proven True-Composite Construction (TCC).
Above: The kitchen of the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200 – click to enlarge
TCM: The counter top protrudes deeply into the main living area. What was the thinking behind the kitchen counter design?
Greg: People love the peninsula and isolated kitchen in the 1165, but they wanted more counter space in the slide area. The kitchen in the 1200 features a significant increase in counter space. In fact, the depth of the kitchen counter and cabinetry created an inaccessible space that we split into interior and exterior storage.
Above: The ample kitchen storage and counter top surface in the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200 – click to enlarge
To give the kitchen in the 1200 more storage, we added a slide-out pantry and put drawers under the cook top. We also dropped the oven and installed a 30-inch convection microwave, just like the ones you find on fifth-wheels and Class A motorhomes.
Above: Additional exterior storage was created from otherwise inaccessible interior space in the kitchen slide-out – click to enlarge
TCM: It’s interesting that you’re benchmarking the features of this camper against fifth-wheels and Class-A motorhomes. What slide mechanisms does the Eagle Cap 1200 use?
Greg: We use Schwintek slide-out mechanisms throughout the Eagle Cap line, including the 1200. The Schwintek mechanism has been a huge success for Eagle Cap.
Out of several hundred Eagle Cap truck campers produced with the Schwintek system, we have had four Schwintek-related claims. One was a bad motor, one was a pulled wire, one was debris in the slide, and another was a mis-aligned installation. All of these were easy fixes and gave us the opportunity to further improve our production and quality control practices.
Schwintek slides give Eagle Cap campers a lighter and deeper slide. The power draw is also less. Most importantly, you can put a slide anywhere you want to with a Schwintek system. You don’t have to worry about the floor.
We are considering moving to all-Schwintek slide mechanisms for Adventurer, but the Schwintek slides are more money. We want to keep Adventurer as cost effective as possible.
TCM: Tell us about the size of the holding tanks and why you made the tanks that size.
Greg: The 1200 camper has 60 gallons of fresh, a 6 gallon hot water heater, 34 gallons of grey, and 34 gallons of black.
Eagle Cap had larger fresh tanks in previous years, but customers recently started to tell us that they were not filling the tanks, and didn’t need or want the additional capacity. That was interesting because, for many years, people asked for larger fresh water tanks. Now the trend is going in the opposite direction.
Above: Two vertical 20-pound propane tanks fit in the propane compartment – click to enlarge
The same trend is happening with propane tanks. People now want 20-pound tanks, not 30-pound tanks. 20-pound propane tanks are much easier to lift and install, and easy to exchange. To meet customer demand, the 1200 has two 20-pound tanks. Smaller propane tanks means more storage in the basement, a trade-off we believe our customers will be very excited about.
TCM: We agree about 20-pound propane tanks. We had two 30-pound horizontal tanks and changed to two 20-pound propane tanks for ease of lifting and installation. Where are the propane tanks located in the 1200?
Greg: On the passenger’s side, in the rear, below the slide.
Above: The battery box is on the front wall of the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200 – click to enlarge
TCM: How many batteries does the Eagle Cap 1200 have, and where are they located?
Greg: The battery compartment is located on the front wall of the 1200 and can accommodate two Group 27, Group 31, or 6 volt batteries. Having the battery compartment on the front wall brings the center of gravity forward.
Above: The 2016 Eagle Cap 1200 basement offers easy access to the low point drains, battery disconnect, winterizing bypass, and storage – click to enlarge
TCM: An owner will need to unload the camper to access the batteries, but that’s something that most of us don’t need to do very often. Where is the water heater bypass, low water drain, and battery disconnect for winterizing?
Greg: Everything is located at the rear of the camper. In a rear compartment you can reach the winterizing bypass and low point drains. The dump valves are on the driver’s side rear. The battery disconnect is in the rear basement area. The outside shower and generator compartment are in the rear just left of the basement.
Even the water pump is accessible in a rear compartment for easy maintenance or replacement. Having all of these items in the rear basement makes access quick, and winterizing easy.
Above: The entry step system in the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200 – click to enlarge
TCM: Tell us about the standard entry step system for the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200.
Greg: We are using steps built by Hickory Step. The Hickory Step system is really easy to push in and out and works well. Our goal is to find a five-step system that can be used properly on and off the truck. We are seriously looking at a new and innovative Torklift International step system, but it’s not ready yet.
First row left to right: New blue LED ambient lighting, frameless thermal pane windows, Happijac 4800-HD remote control electric camper jacks. Second row left to right: Electric 11-foot side awning, Eeectronic charging station, Onan propane on-board generator
TCM: Are there any new options that are available for the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200?
Greg: All of the same 2016 Eagle Cap options are available like the sexy blue LED ambient lighting, the new 24-inch optional television in the cabover, 32-inch television out front, the new 30-inch convection microwave, the California King bed, and under bed storage.
We are trying to meet the wants and needs our customers asked for. That’s our focus for the Eagle Cap 1200.
Above: The California King bed in the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200 – click to enlarge
TCM: The under bed storage is a feature we have wanted to see in a hard side truck camper for years. Okanagan was the last hard-side manufacturer to build under bed storage. The 2016 Eagle Cap 1200 will now be, the best of our knowledge, the only production hard side truck camper that offers under bed storage.
Greg: It’s something we have been asked to do for a long time. Dual gas struts help to easily lift the bed up and gently pull it back down. The mattress literally goes to the ceiling making access wide open. Once the bed is raised, there’s lots of room to store your clothing and gear. When the bed is down, there’s plenty of cabover height. We are very excited about the under bed storage feature.
Above: The underbed storage area in the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200 – click to enlarge
TCM: How big is the under bed storage area?
Greg: The storage area is 68-inches by 80-inches, and 4-inches tall. You can store long items in this area. It’s also a hidden storage area that most folks won’t know about. You can get Sterilite brand storage trays and organize the under bed storage into sections, or leave it open.
Above: Looking from the overcab to the main living area of the camper. Photo taken from the two sides of the bed. Click to enlarge.
Above: The sink and shower in the dry bath of the 1200 – click to enlarge
TCM: The dry bath in the 1200 is quite interesting. Tell us about how that design came about.
Greg: The design of the dry bath was an important part of making the 1200 floor plan a success. We had to order a custom fiberglass shower stall to make the design work. Fiberglass bathroom molds cost tens of thousands of dollars, so that was a big step.
Above: The pocket door closes off the bathroom to create a private dressing area – click to enlarge
The dry bath has pocket door that completely close off the bath/dressing area. Once closed, the dry bath includes a large wardrobe and dressing room area. It’s a big, open, and relaxed dry bath. Everything you need to shower and dress in privacy is right there. There are also bifold doors that close off both sides of the master suite for privacy.
Above: The bathroom wardrobe has shelves and drawers for clothes – click to enlarge
Even with the pocket door open, you can’t see the toilet when you’re in the main camper area. It’s tucked away so you and your guests don’t need to see it.
Above: The single dump valve system for the grey and black tanks (left), as well as the sewer hose storage (right) – click to enlarge
The 1200 also has a single black and grey dump valve system allowing you to dump the black and then dump the grey to clean the dump hose. That is a basic requirement for any professional truck camper design. Besides, who wants to handle a dump hose that hasn’t been throughly rinsed with soapy grey water?
Above: All Eagle Cap and Adventurer truck campers are weighed at the end of the production line before they leave the factory – click to enlarge
TCM: What does the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200 weigh with standard build features?
Greg: The 1200 is 4,817 pounds as a base camper and 5,124 pounds with standard build features, which is fully loaded except for a back-up camera and solar.
Above: The center of gravity is 58-inches from the front wall of the camper – click to enlarge
TCM: Where is the center of gravity on the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200?
Greg: The center of gravity is 58 inches from the front of the camper.
TCM: Is the center of gravity marked on the side of the camper?
Greg: Absolutely. Adventurer Manufacturing strongly believes in accurately marking center of gravity on every Adventurer and Eagle Cap truck camper. In fact, we weigh and mark the center of gravity on every camper as it comes off the line. Accurately weighing campers and marking the center of gravity is important for proper truck and camper matching and customer safety.
TCM: What is the MSRP for the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200 with standard build features?
Greg: The base MSRP is $49,973. The standard build, including a television, air conditioner, electric awning, generator, theater seating, and dually jack brackets, is $57,750.
Above: Adventurer Manufacturing has a three year structural warranty for both Adventurer and Eagle Cap truck campers
TCM: What is the warranty for the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200?
Greg: We have a one year bumper-to-bumper warranty and a three year structural warranty on anything we manufacture including walls, roofs, and floors. The Eagle Cap warranty is transferable to anyone who owns the camper in the first three years. There are also individual component warranties. Those warranties range from one to three years.
Above: The Eagle Cap 1200 is designed for long bed dual rear wheel trucks. The 1200 is shown on a single rear wheel truck for demonstration purposes only. – click to enlarge
TCM: When will the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200 be available?
Greg: They are starting to arrive on dealer lots. Five Star RV Center in Denver, Colorado, D&H RV Center in Apex, North Carolina, SCATT Recreation in Roseville, California, Fraserway in Abbotsford, British Columbia, and Fraserway in Prince George, British Columbia all have Eagle Cap 1200 campers. Princess Craft Campers in Round Rock, Texas will have the 1200 next week. We will also have a 1200 in the Portland, Oregon show in November.
Above: Adventurer Manufacturing’s HD Video walk-through of the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200
TCM: Is there anything about the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200 that you would like to add?
Greg: I believe the 2016 Eagle Cap 1200 is going to offer customers most of what they like about the 1160 and 1165 in an exciting and new floor plan. The large galley is a knock out. The deep L-shaped counter top and storage is amazing. The eight cubic foot refrigerator is down right domestic. The interior floor space is also something that needs to be seen to fully appreciate. If you like to cook and entertain, or just want the biggest and best truck camper on the market, this camper is for you. As I said earlier, pre-sales of the 1200 have been phenomenal.
TCM: Are there any other new model announcements coming from Eagle Cap in 2015?
Greg: Probably not. We used a lot of engineering time for the 1200. We might have something to announce in early 2016, but not for the remainder of 2015.
We are very excited about the 1200 and moving forward with more out-of-the-box truck camper designs for the future. Look for more innovations from Adventurer Manufacturing in 2016.
For more information on the Eagle Cap 1200, visit their website at www.amlrv.com/eagle-cap-truck-campers.php.