Lance Camper has a long list of 2013 changes including a front nose cap, solid surface countertops, all-LED lighting, and the new Lance 1172 double slide.
Imagine a world where the people who actually used a product were actually able to talk to the manufacturers of the product to give input on how the product should be changed and improved. Then imagine that those suggested changes were actually done by the manufacturer, who then actually gave credit to the consumers for the suggestion. Could this actually happen? Actually, yes.
In the following interview, Les Fowler, Lance Camper’s Product Development Manager, shares plenty of announcements about the 2013 Lance changes, but one particular detail caught our attention above the other news. In short, Lance Camper went to school on our 2012 Ultimate Truck Camper Survey results and its thirty pages of open reader feedback. For example, if you don’t like the new double sinks in the 2013 Lance Campers, it’s your fault, and ours.
2013 LANCE 1172
Above: The Lance 1172 floor plan
TCM: Let’s get the big news out right away. Lance Campers is developing an all-new double slide truck camper model; the 2013 Lance 1172. Lance has steered away from large multi-slide-out floor plans because of internal concerns of structural integrity and weight. How has Lance has resolved those concerns?
Les: The first way we address our weight concern is to recommend an appropriate truck for a camper this size and weight. The Lance 1172 is designed for a dual rear wheel truck.
Using Azdel composites on the exterior and interior panels, walls, and ceiling saves eighty to one hundred pounds of weight, but it’s not going to be a lightweight camper. Lighter materials like Azdel also come at a cost to weight penalty, but that’s what we need to do to keep our units as light as possible.
Using aluminum frame our lamination process and lite-ply cabinet construction also saves weight on the 1172. The 1172 will feature a full-wall slide-out like the 1181 and a second sofa and pantry slide out the rear. The 1172 is the same length as 1191, which is almost twelve feet long.
TCM: What do you estimate the weight to be of the 1172?
Les: This camper should be 200 pounds heavier than an 1191. We are now using the Schwintek slide mechanism on all new models which saves us about fifty pounds per slide room over the Happijac slide that we have been using. We had held back from using the Schwintek slide mechanism because it was new to the market. We’re using the Schwintek slide mechanism this year on our entire travel trailer line. On our truck campers, the slide mechanisms typically weigh seventy to one hundred pounds. The Schwintek unit is thirty pounds.
Above: The Lance 1172 prototype in Lance’s Research and Development Department
TCM: That’s an impressive weight savings, especially for a multi-slide unit. The general floor plan for the 1172 is one that’s been made popular by other brands for the past five years or so. What will differentiate the 1172 in the marketplace?
Les: The other manufacturers are building their campers over the top of the truck side rails. Essentially, the other manufacturers have built a small fifth wheel, added a twenty-four inch deep basement, and put it into truck bed. This approach significantly raises the center of gravity and increases the weight and height of the campers.
The Lance 1172 design features the same twelve-inch basement as our 1191 and 1181 models. It will retain the same interior and exterior height.
The other double slide campers have an entry that is twelve inches higher than ours. On dealer lots, these campers are always shown on the ground so you don’t realize the height of the rig until it’s on your truck.
TCM: Does not building over the truck rails impact your floor plan?