TCM talks with Burk Morgan, Director of Sales and Marketing for Adventurer Manufacturing, about their all-new 2011 Adventurer 980RDS. Don’t miss the Eagle Cap update!
In an ideal world, a new truck camper model would be the direct result of customer feedback and manufacturer experience. It would be an evolution, built on countless previous evolutions, summed up in a collective industry and consumer wisdom that has progressed over the five plus decades of truck camper production.
New advances in material science, computer aided design, and manufacturing efficiency would provide constant inspiration and opportunities to keep the campers modern and fresh. The occasional breakthrough, like slide-outs and light weight composites, would challenge the conventional wisdom and push the campers, manufacturers, and consumers forward.
Above all else, product quality, value, and customer service would be the fundamental priorities for the truck camper industry and their dealer networks. In turn, the consumers would always safely match their trucks and campers, maintain their camper seals, and pursue their truck camping dreams happily ever after.
As a magazine, that’s our vision and we talk about it, write about it, and promote it anywhere and everywhere we can. After four plus years of working closely with industry and consumers, we can state with confidence that almost everyone is on the same page with this vision. Is everything perfect? Certainly not, but things are definitely moving in the right direction.
Which brings us to the new 2011 Adventurer 980RDS. Adventurer’s design team has carefully listened to customer feedback on the outgoing 93FDS model and made dozens of evolutionary improvements for the 980RDS. As you’re about to read, these changes should improve not only the quality of the camper, but also the consumer experience with it. Better truck camping through design? You bet.
2011 Adventurer 980RDS Specifications:
The 2011 Adventurer 980RDS is a hard-side, wet bath, single-slide truck camper. The interior floor length of the 2011 Adventurer 980RDS is 9’8” and the interior height is 77.5”. Adventurer is reporting the dry weight of the camper at 3,258 pounds with standard features. The tanks in the 2011 Adventurer 980RDS are 44 gallons fresh, 31 gallons gray, and 31 gallons black. The camper accommodates two batteries and two twenty-pound propane tanks. The MSRP for the 2011 Adventurer 980RDS is $25,550.
TCM: What model does the 980RDS (rear dinette slide) replace?
Burk: The 980RDS replaces the 93FDS. The primary issue with the 93FDS was that it did not allow for a generator with long box trucks. For the 980RDS, we stretched the floor to 9’8” to allow for a generator. Overall, the 980RDS floor plan is similar to the 93FDS, but it’s a very different camper.
TCM: What else has changed from the 93FDS to the 980RDS?
Burk: The 980RDS has more interior and exterior storage. We flip-flopped the location of the cabover wardrobe from the passenger side to the driver’s side to give the camper a much more open feel. The wardrobe move also makes it easier to enter the cabover.
The optional flat screen television now retracts into a flush mounted area when traveling. The slide-out room actually flushes flat to the interior wall and doesn’t create a small step in front of the dinette that would normally protrude into the walk space of the camper. With this change, it’s also an easier entry into the dinette. We made that happen by changing the way we were constructing the floor.
TCM: Are there any other changes to how you’re building the camper?
Burk: Throughout the entire 2011 Adventurer line-up, we have begun to use composite construction materials that replace conventional wood and luan panelling. We started using these new materials in 2009 for our 80GS and 80SK models. The composites have helped us to drop weight from our units. Our 2011 campers are actually lighter than our 2010 campers.
We are still laminating our walls, ceilings, and floors with our Tru-Composite Construction technique. This construction method is backed by our three year structural warranty. What’s changed is that we have removed the wood substrates and now use composites that are lighter, stronger, and more resistant to water damage.
TCM: Tell us about the design and development of the 980RDS.
Dave Frampton: For production efficiency and quality control, many of the size parameters are standardized throughout the Adventurer camper line. These standards include our fiberglass front nose cap, the camper width, the size of the basement, and the interior height. While these standards limit some of our flexibility as designers, they are very beneficial on the production line.
Other than that, the design and development of the 980RDS was pretty straight forward. We actually did not build a prototype and went straight from computer model to production. That’s rare for this industry.