For 2024, Adventurer Manufacturing announces new cabinetry, new graphics, and a list of new standard features to the Adventurer product line. There are also changes to the Adventurer 901SB and 910DB, and significant factory news. There’s a lot to CNC.
This past May, toward the end of the Scout Tuktut interview with David Epp, CEO of Adventurer Manufacturing, we asked about the 2024 Adventurer plans. Usually, this overt tactic yields insights barely fit for a teaser, but not this time. This time, David took us off the record and shared a number of updates for the time-honored truck camper brand.
We immediately followed up with a suggestion of visiting the factory to see these updates in person. We revealed our ulterior motives of finally meeting David in person, and touring the Adventurer and Scout production line. David had become CEO shortly before the pandemic, and Scout was introduced right as the event unfolded. As a result, it had been several years since we had been to Adventurer Manufacturing. David responded with an invitation, and a plan was afoot.
Six weeks later, we pulled our camper into the Yakima, Washington facility and my back went out. Barely able to move, Angela drove me to the local urgent care center for muscle relaxers and pain medication. With a back support girdle (don’t laugh) and a Biofreeze patch, I made it into the building. And you thought running an online camper magazine was for sissies. No, sir.
Above: Claus Schroeder, Director of Operations and David Epp, CEO gave us a tour of Adventurer Manufacturing
Before taking in the 2024 updates, we requested a factory tour. We had previously toured Adventurer Manufacturing in 2007, 2010, 2015, and 2018. Every time we saw important leaps in design, manufacturing, and production efficiency. Our visit in 2023 would be no different.
Lamination Facility Updates
Adventurer Manufacturing has employed hot melt lamination for their motorhome and truck camper production process for the better part of two decades. We first saw their hot melt lamination process in 2007 when the company was based in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Today, as it was then, the lamination process and team are housed in a separate climate-controlled building.
The hot melt lamination process is both straightforward and complex. First, the adhesive needs to have a specific open time, green strength, and tack quality. Before materials are run through the roll coater, the adhesive needs to be at a specific temperature and the facility itself needs to be kept at a specific humidity. The Adventurer team explained how they use visual indicators, hourly quality assurance audits, and concise training and documentation to ensure the highest quality panel and consistency.
The most critical component of the lamination process is the team itself, and we were pleased to find the same Lead running the operation we saw in 2018. While the reactive hot melt roll coater and lamination table were the same, the team pointed out two updates to more precisely control the humidity, and ensure the roll coating was perfect.
First, a new Anden humidity control system (shown above) keeps the lamination process at an exact humidity no matter what the Yakima, Washington weather is outside. This is important in a climate that can dip well below freezing in the winter and above 90 degrees Fahrenheit / 32 degrees Celsius in the summer. In the Adventurer Manufacturing lamination building, it’s always the same weather day.
Second, the lamination team is employing a purple polyurethane reactive hot melt adhesive. Why purple? The color allows the team to visually see that the adhesive has completely covered the material before assembling the lamination.
Above: A pinch roller completes the lamination process at Adventurer Manufacturing
Together with the experience of the team, the result is a reliable application of adhesive to properly assemble, pinch roll, and laminate Adventurer Manufacturing’s motorhome and camper walls.
Two CNC Machines
The most significant equipment and manufacturing change at Adventurer Manufacturing is the addition of two CNC machines. The first CNC machine is a large C.R. Onsrud programmed to rout motorhome and camper laminated sidewalls faster, more precisely, and more consistently than humans are capable of. The result is not only improved quality, but more efficiency within the factory.
Above: An Adventurer truck camper side wall on the larger CNC machine
Above: CNC routed side walls getting prepped for the production line
Above: CNC routed Adventurer rear walls ready for the production line
A second smaller C.R. Onsrud CNC machine is dedicated to cabinetry and other smaller interior wood components.
Again, the CNC process improves speed, precision, and consistency, but there’s another even more important facet to the impact of CNC at a manufacturing company.
Above: Camper components cut by the smaller CNC machine
When the concept and capabilities fully seep into a camper company, it invariably impacts the way the management and production teams think about camper design. Within feet of the smaller CNC machine, the impact was on display. Cabinetry becomes a symphony of interlocking pieces optimized for low weight, high storage capacity, and meticulous build quality. This level of design is possible by hand, but it becomes production suitable with CNC machines. We can’t wait to see where this takes the Adventurer product next.
The laminated and CNC-cut walls and CNC-cut and hand-finished cabinetry all come together on the production line. The production stations were identical to what they have been since last visited the factory in 2018, with subtle but important changes created by the impact of CNC, and the natural evolution of manufacturing.
For example, assembled kitchens (shown above) lined the area immediately behind the cabinetry shop. A similar scene would have been found here five years ago, but the ready-to-install kitchens showcased a higher level of precision and uniformity. Thanks to CNC, the cabinetry shop is no longer a potential bottleneck and is able to more than keep pace with lamination and production.
CNC also allows the kitchen, cabinet assemblies, and side walls to achieve a high degree of uniformity. In turn, this makes the production line move faster with tighter tolerances. It’s amazing to see how CNC creates production synergies down the line.
Above: Plumbing and electrical team members at their Adventurer station
Elsewhere, the Adventurer manufacturing process remains traditional. Electricians install the wiring harness and electrical components. Plumbers install the plumbing harness and plumbing components. Again, the more uniform and finished CNC cut materials make their efforts more efficient, and their process is much the same as it has been since we’ve been observing camper production lines. CNC may make the parts more uniform, but it’s the Adventurer Manufacturing team that builds the campers.
20,000 Square Foot Expansion
Above: Note the tall bay door on the right marking where the original building ends.
After touring the lamination building and main Adventurer production line, we reached the 20,000 square foot addition starting at the previous end of the building. This was the first time we had seen the addition since Adventurer Manufacturing announced it in November of 2021, and it exceeded all expectations.
Above: 2024 Adventurer 86FB campers at the end of the production line
The original Adventurer Manufacturing building dates back to the 1990s when it housed the Alpenlite truck camper production line at Western Recreational Vehicles. The facility offers the required space, capacity, and versatility needed to manufacture RVs. The team, stations, and process are a dialed-in machine.
Above: Adventurer truck campers enter final finishing in the new addition
That stated, the new addition is a revelation. Brighter, more open, and definitely modern, it houses the final finishing area for Adventurer and nearly the entirety of the Scout production line. I couldn’t help but think the original building and this new addition symbolize Adventurer Manufacturing itself; one foot honed in a half-century of RV and camper manufacturing and experience, the other pushing into modern trends and technology. It’s all there, in one step.
2024 Adventurer Camper Updates
At the back of the new expansion, the team had a 2024 Adventurer 901SB to showcase the 2024 updates. Right off the bat, we noticed the new 2024 Adventurer graphics.
Above: The new 2024 graphics on an Adventurer 901SB
Like the factory, the 2024 graphics exhibit Adventurer’s proud past and future vision. Note the purposefully minimal, linear, and modern exterior decals. This presentation was directly inspired by the 2019 Adventurer 901SB Anniversary Edition designed and produced to celebrate Adventurer Manufacturing’s 50th year, and to honor their founder, Erdman Epp.
Above: At the end of the 2024 graphics (center left) are the original Slumber Queen colors
As another tip of the hat to their founder, the 2024 graphics feature the original Slumber Queen brand colors; grey, burgundy, and copper. Slumber Queen was the original name of Adventurer Manufacturing. Even if you don’t know the reference, the decal colors add flair to the unit and tie in perfectly with the grey front nose and rear wall.
Above and below: The new Grayson Maple cabinetry in 2024 Adventurer campers
Inside the 2024 units, Adventurer campers feature Greyson Maple cabinets. Grey continues to dominate public preferences for domestic and RV interiors and this update meets that trend.
Shown here in the kitchen of the 2024 Adventurer 86FB, Greyson Maple also adds a touch of welcome warmth.
Rounding out the across-the-board updates, every 2024 Adventurer will feature more USB ports, keyless entry, and a ladder assist handle. The above USB ports are in the cabover, but there are more in the dinette area.
Above: The standard ladder assist handle
As someone who routinely climbs on truck camper roofs, I am most excited about the ladder assist handle. Without it, the rear awnings create an uncomfortable gap between the camper roof and the rear-mounted ladder. Now there’s a designated handle to grab and safely pull yourself up, or hang onto and safely navigate down. Thank you, Adventurer team.
The keyless entry system will be a welcome addition for anyone who enjoys going on hikes without keys or simply prefers to enter a code.
The rest of the 2024 updates are model specific. First up, the 901SB and 910DB feature the Comfort Step bumper as standard for 2024.
Above and below: Adventurer’s industry-leading Comfort Step bumper is standard for 2024 in the 901SB and 910DB
It’s hard to imagine campers not having extended bumpers in 2023, but it was Adventurer Manufacturing who pioneered this style of rear bumper step with the Comfort Step bumper.
From experience, the Comfort Step makes entering and exiting the camper safer. Angela and I have both fallen out of campers with short bumper steps and wouldn’t even consider owning a camper without something like the Comfort Step bumper.
Above: An Onan QG 2500i generator installed in a 2024 Adventurer 901SB
The 2024 Adventurer 901SB also gets a generator option. This was probably the number one customer and dealer-requested feature for this model. Adventurer selected the Cummins Onan QG 2500i LP generator, a high-efficiency, computer-controlled, variable-speed model that’s quieter (under 65 dB) than previous built-in generators.
Above: The new 2024 Adventurer 910DB face-to-face dinette
The 2024 Adventurer 910DB now features a face-to-face dinette replacing the previous version’s U-shape dinette. The team explained that both families and couples purchase this floor plan, and a large face-to-face dinette offered more function and comfortable seating for both. Face-to-face dinettes are also easy to convert into a bed and offer more table space for meals, map reading, and laptops.
Above and below: The new exterior storage on the 2024 Adventurer 910DB
Finally, the 2024 Adventurer 910DB gets a large secure exterior storage area. This update is another benefit of going to a traditional face-to-face dinette and improves the exterior storage capacity of the popular floor plan.
Back-Up and Scout Ahead
I somehow made it through the factory despite my back being freshly thrown. Somewhere between the medication, Velcro fastened back support, and unbridled enthusiasm for this industry, I felt no pain. I can’t say that for the days and evenings that followed, but that’s life as an evidently defective vertebrate. The show must go on.
I suspect there are a number of readers who are reading this thinking, “What about Scout?” During our visit, we toured the Scout production line and learned about the 2024 Scout updates.
That announcement is in the works including a rare look at the Scout manufacturing process. Suffice it to say, Scout has a completely different team, is built with completely different materials, and is produced in a completely different way. I’m excited to share as much of that process as company secrets will allow, and not a fragment more.