TCM talks with Gary Conley, National Sales Manager for Lance Campers, about the 2011 Lance 865 and changes to Lance’s 2011 line. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a super slide!
When we debuted the 2010 Lance 850 in November of 2009, Lance dropped a bomb when they announced they were preparing to release not just one all-new camper, but five. Over the past ten months, four of those five all-new Lance truck campers have arrived at dealerships across the United States and Canada. Now it’s finally time for the most anticipated of the new Lance line to make it’s debut, the 2011 Lance 865.
While we were talking to Gary Conley, we also asked him about some of the other new developments at Lance Camper. And just when we thought we had everything down, Gary dropped another bomb with a new camper tease for next year.
2011 Lance 865 Specifications
The 2011 Lance 865 is a hard side, non-slide, rear wet-bath truck camper. The interior floor length of the 2011 Lance 865 is 8’ 7” and the interior height is 78″. The exterior length is 16′ 7″ and Lance is reporting the dry weight of the camper at 1,830 pounds without options. The tanks in the 2011 Lance 865 are 30 gallons fresh, 14 gallons gray, and 13 gallons black. The camper accommodates one battery and one 20-pound propane tank. The MSRP for the 2011 Lance 865 is $16,493.
TCM: How does the 865 compare to the 815 it replaces?
Gary: We’ve made many improvements with the 2011 Lance 865 compared to the 815 model it replaces. For starters, we’ve incorporated a rear entry step to make 865 much easier to access than the 815.
The exterior features a large portable generator compartment which is something that was not available on the 815. We’ve also configured the 865 camper to fit on short bed trucks and lifted the rails of the camper so it will properly fit the new trucks from Ford and Chevrolet.
On the interior, we’ve made more improvements starting with the bigger and more usable bathroom with increased headroom. The holding tanks on the 865 are split with 14 gallons for grey and 13 gallons for black. The holding tanks on the 815 were combined and smaller overall.
The kitchen has been configured to offer a deep bowl sink. There’s also a pull out pantry in the 865, an option that people have asked us for in an eight-foot camper. Because of the pull out panty, we are able to have a lower wardrobe.
I’m very excited for people to see this camper. It’s very unique.
TCM: Tell us about the development of the 865.
Gary: First you have to have the vision and the goal of what you are trying to achieve. With our research and development department, we can prototype new campers physically and on the computer with our SolidWorks system.
SolidWorks helps us to model the camper so that we know it will fit on our customer’s trucks. SolidWorks also gives Lance campers uniformity, consistency, and quality.
Almost 100% of the 865 model is being built using our CNC machines. We have a two step lamination process on the walls. They are laminated, run through a CNC machine, and then laminated again. We’re trying to build a camper that will be longer lasting and more efficient.
TCM: What differences would the customer notice from the use of SolidWorks and CNC machines?
Gary: One thing the consumer may notice is the almost total absence of plastics inside the unit. Plastics don’t fair well with the elements. Plastics expand and contract and become a nuisance and a maintenance issue.
We have also eliminated toxins inside our units. As of January 1st, you can not sell a unit new that is not CARB (California Air Resources Board) compliant in California. For example, products that are CARB compliant cannot emit formaldehyde. It’s a huge trend coming across the country and we have been CARB complaint in our 2010 and 2011 products.
TCM: What about the price of the 865? Since you’ve found new efficiencies with the SolidWorks and CNC machines, has the price gone down from the 815 to the 865?