Lance Campers redesigns their entire truck camper line-up for the all-new 2017 Ford Super Duty trucks and launches the Keyed-Alike system, new cabover steps, and cabover handles.
Automotive companies are notoriously secretive about new products in development. It’s not unusual for the news to break about a new car or truck only when it debuts at a national car show or staged media event.
We were invited by GM to attend such an event in 2012. When the proverbial curtain was lifted (in this case a pair of pyrotechnics-infused boxes) the automotive journalists went berserk talking photos of the new Silverado and GMC and posting them online.
When GM allowed us to engage the new trucks, we passed by throngs of reporters peering into the engine compartment and cab interior to take a careful look at the bed. Measuring tape in hand, we measured the height of the rails and examined the tailgate area. Fortunately, there was no sign of conflict with the current truck camper design; good news for the truck camper industry and community.
Things don’t always go this well. When Ford announced the all-new 2017 Ford Super Duty trucks in 2015, they didn’t mention the changes made to the mouth of the truck bed and rear bumper. When the new Fords started shipping in late-2016, a number of truck camper manufacturers discovered their campers were not fully compatible without modification, or a riser kit.
Lance Campers received their first 2017 Ford Super Duty trucks last October. It didn’t take them long to realize that the new trucks were not fit compatible with their existing truck camper line. This news immediately put Lance Camper design projects on the back burner as they worked to redesign every truck camper to fit the new Ford trucks.
Along the way Lance Campers made improvements, and added a handful of new features for 2018. We are especially excited about the new cabover steps and handles to help make cabover entry and exit easier, more comfortable, and safe.
We wrote about the importance of exactly this type of truck camper mobility last year and got an incredible reader response. Kudos to Lance for making these important changes. Together with the new Key-Alike system, Lance has two important updates that we hope the rest of the industry takes note of.
To learn more about the 2018 Lance Camper redesigns and announcements, we talked to Gary Conley, National Sales Manager for Lance Campers.
Above: The “smile” at the end of the Ford truck beds, photo courtesy of Ford Motor Corporation
TCM: Lance Campers had to change the design of its truck campers to accommodate the new 2017 Ford Super Duty trucks. Tell us about the extent of the changes that were needed.
Gary: We were the first company to get a 2017 Ford truck last October. The new Ford bed rails increased in height and the bumpers changed to where there is now a “smile” at the end of the bed. These changes forced us to redesign every Lance truck camper from the ground up.
Before we made the changes, our truck campers were not properly sitting on the 2017 Ford Super Duty truck bed rails, were impacting the rear taillights, and the generator tailpipe sometimes impacted the taillights. All of these fit issues needed to be addressed. In making the needed changes, we had to redo the tanks and undercarriage design of the campers.
TCM: Why not just tell Ford customers to get a riser kit?
Gary: When customers spend $50,000 on a truck camper, they want it done right. They don’t want two sheets of plywood and a 2×4 in the front. With the plywood fix, the camper can also shift in the bed. We want to avoid that from happening. We are about quality, style, and fit.
Above: 2017 Ford F350 dually, photo courtesy of Ford Motor Corporation
TCM: Will these changes for Ford compromise Lance’s fit for Ram or GM trucks?