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Adventurer 86FB Review

TCM reviews the 2012 Adventurer 86FB and talks to Greg Tucknies, National Sales Manager for Adventurer Manufacturing.

First Look at the 2012 Adventurer 86FB

For 2011, we debuted the “Our Experience” series which blends a personal truck camping adventure story with a full on truck camper review.  To date we have published “Our Experience” reviews on the Lance 1050S, Wolf Creek 850, Northstar Escape Pod 750, Palomino Maverick Max 2902, and Travel Lite 1000 SLRX Ultra.  With each “Our Experience” story, we have honed our reviewing craft and pushed the “Our Experience” concept further.  Before this year is out, one more experience story is on the way.

The problem with the “Our Experience” series is time and money.  These articles require a week or more away from our normal work flow.  In short, it’s not practical to do more than a handful of “Our Experience” stories each year.

So how do we do more camper reviews without blowing our budget or throwing our aggressive publishing schedule out the window?  The answer is simple, review the campers where we find them; at dealerships and RV shows.  These reviews will not be as in-depth as the “Our Experience” series, but they will allow us to review many more campers.  With that, let me introduce to you our new series, the “First Look”.

The subject of our very first “First Look” is the 2012 Adventurer 86FB.  We published a “New Camper” announcement for the Adventurer 86FB back in April but we finally saw the camper for the first time last month.  While we looked the camper over, we hatched the idea for the “First Look” series.  We also decided a follow-up with Greg Tucknies, Adventurer Manufacturing’s National Sales Manager, was in order to get more information on their extensive changes for 2012.  Based on what we saw, there hasn’t been an idle hand at Adventurer in 2011.  Contact Adventurer about the 86FB.

First Look: 2012 Adventurer 86FB

Exterior of the Adventurer 86FB

One of the disadvantages of giving our impressions of a camper from a dealer lot is that we can’t take it somewhere and properly photograph its exterior.  This was the best shot I could get.  You can see the electric awning, ladder, Comfort Step, and Happijac jacks.  It’s a good looking camper.

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The outside of 2012 Adventurer 86FB is very clean and well laid out.  We didn’t have any trouble finding all the usual exterior amenities and we both liked the tasteful but understated decals.  The front nose is filon wrapped and no longer features a fiberglass cap.  As long as the exterior seals are well done by Adventurer and well maintained by the consumer, I don’t have a problem with the change away from the fiberglass end cap, especially at this price and weight point.

2012 Adventurer 86FB Service Center

Angela and I wish every camper could have a service center like this.  As the photograph shows, the 86FB has the outside shower, water fill, city water connection, and electrical connection all in one place.  Other manufacturers have done similar multi-purpose compartments, but it’s great to see Adventurer add the service center to the 86FB.  We even like the cable and hose pass-throughs that allow the cables and hoses to exit the bottom of the compartment and the compartment door to be kept closed.  Very slick.

2012 Adventurer 86FB LED Exterior

The whole industry has gone batty with LED fever.  For 2012, Adventurer has caught the LED bug and changed all of their exterior lights to LED.  Here you can see the rear LED tail lights.

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When we had our 2010 Adventurer 90FWS, it was the Comfort Step aluminum bumper system that always stole the show.  Whether at rallies, campgrounds, or gas stations, people would come up to the camper to share their praise for the steps.  After they had the opportunity to use the Comfort Steps they were even more impressed.  The steps look and feel like residential style steps and make entering and exiting the camper a pleasure.

Thankfully, Adventurer has put their Comfort Step system on the 86FB.  If you own this camper, get ready to do a little of your own show and tell as people come up to compliment and test the steps.

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When I opened the rear compartment door and saw how clean, neat, and orderly the dump facilities, plumbing, holding tanks, and wiring looked, I was ecstatic.  To be honest, the 2010 90FWS did not show nearly as well.  Even better, the dump valves are easy to reach and color coded (if you can call black and grey colors).  If this is any indication of the production quality changes at Adventurer, we are impressed.

On our 2010 Adventurer 90FWS, you also had to remove a step to access the rear compartment where the dump valves were.  This was a real pain in the butt and I even managed to break the compartment door once when I absentmindedly used it as a step coming out of the camper (long story).

For the 2012 Adventurer 86FB, Adventurer has removed the step.  This is great as it makes accessing the dump facilities much easier and faster, but it also makes the final step-up into the camper a little tall.  I don’t think this is a big deal (the final step-up is not much higher than the Comfort Steps), but it’s something to be aware of.

2012 Adventurer 86FB Door Open

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