Truck Camper Magazine checks out the all-new Lance 1172 double-slide truck camper from its molded front nose cap to its rear sofa. It’s all about the sofa.
We’ve talked to hundreds of people about multi-slide truck campers and it always comes back to how much they want that sofa. In fact, I bet we could sell more multi-slide truck campers if we started calling them sofa campers. For a particular segment of the truck camper market, it’s go sofa, or go home.
About two years ago Lance Camper realized they had a sofa problem. Essentially, they didn’t have one. To address this opportunity, Lance had to rethink its long-standing, “not gonna do it” position on large multi-slide truck campers. Lance had been satisfied with the successful double-slide, wet bath, Lance 992, but that wasn’t going to cut it for the sofa crowd. To couch these customers, they needed to do something big, with a serious dry bath, a full-booth dinette, and an honest to goodness sofa.
The anticipation of the 2013 Lance 1172 double-slide sofa camper was all the buzz for the second half of 2012. When we finally saw the 1172 at the industry trade show in Louisville last December, it was clear that Lance had taken an already popular double-slide floor plan, and made it their own. The 2013 Lance 1172 was Lance’s interpretation of what the ultimate double-slide truck camper should be, with a sofa.
At the end of February, we visited Princess Craft Campers in Round Rock, Texas and spent a day really looking at the 1172. Here are our detailed impressions of Lance’s self-described flagship truck camper. Click here to contact Lance about the 1172.
There’s a lot to take in when walking around the Lance 1172. Starting at the front, Lance has incorporated their new molded front nose cap. Made from the same material used for automotive bumpers, this high gloss thermoplastic cap was designed to improve the driving aerodynamics and weather seal.
Aesthetically, the new nose cap really sets the 2013 Lance Camper line-up apart from its predecessors. The new Lamilux 4000 fiberglass exterior also makes the camper brighter and glossier. Lance has kept the graphics bold for 2013. While some may find the big “Lance” logos a bit much, we’re quite fond of the new look.
The passenger’s side of the Lance 1172 features the side entry, furnace, external speakers, propane compartment with two 30-pound tanks, fresh water fill, winterizing and water pump access compartment, and the hot water heater.
We were most impressed with the winterizing and water pump access compartment which should make winterizing easy and potential water pump maintenance a snap. This is the kind of consumer-focused thinking we want to see more of throughout the industry. Nice work Lance.
We’re not crazy about the idea of having the weight of two 30 pound propane tanks in a truck camper, but it’s an increasingly common feature on larger truck campers. Two 20 pound tanks seem like more than enough. Since 20 and 30 pound tanks are the same diameter (12.2 inches), you could always switch to 20 pound tanks. Save even more weight by upgrading to 20 pound transparent fiberglass tanks. The good news is that Lance provides the owner with space for two 20 or two 30 pound tanks. The choice is yours.
The driver’s side of the Lance 1172 features a full-wall slide-out with two exterior storage compartments. The driver’s side skirt compartment contains the dump valves, drain valves, coax cable-satellite connection, battery disconnect, and exterior shower.
The rear “skirt” has several important features under the rear slide-out. From left to right these features are the optional Cummins Onan RV QG 2500LP propane generator, the sewer hose compartment, the battery compartment with room for two Group 27 batteries, and access to the slide-out controllers. Everything in this area is neatly presented and easy to access, especially if the rear slide-out is in.
Lance Camper has chosen to employ the new Lippert Components Schwintek in-wall slide system for the 1172. This innovative new system contains all of the slide motors and mechanicals inside the wall cavity and is significantly less weight than many competing slide-out systems. At Louisville we saw literally dozens of manufacturers using this system including Forest River, Jayco, Thor, Tiffen, and Winnebago. In the RV industry, the Schwintek slide is a hit.
From the outside, it’s easy to spot a Schwintek slide-out system by the four aluminum “worm rails” on the sides of the slide rooms. Underneath you can also see a series of white rollers that help to support and stabilize a Schwintek slide-out room.
On the passenger side rear of the 1172 is a compartment containing two Schwintek slide out controllers, one for each slide-out room. These controllers contain circuit boards designed to monitor and protect the slide motors and mechanisms from high voltage, low voltage, and short circuits. These “faults” are displayed as error codes by a series of blinking color LED lights on the controller. The controllers also have instructions printed on them on how to electronically override a slide should a slide-out become stuck. Again, we appreciate the easy access Lance has given these controllers.
With the 1172 being both a side entry and a full-wall slide-out model, visibility out of the back of the camper while driving is impossible without a backup camera. For anyone who is considering purchasing the 1172, or any large multi-slide camper for that matter, a backup camera is a must.
We had a funny initial reaction to the ladder on the Lance 1172. Out loud we asked, “How are you supposed to climb a ladder that close to the camper?”, as if someone from Lance was there to answer us. The ladder was almost flush against the driver’s side wall.