Lance Campers announces the brand new 2014 Lance 1052 double slide dry bath truck camper featuring the optional Ultra Deck Plus rear bumper system.
It’s been over a year since Lance Campers debuted an all-new truck camper floor plan. Lucky for Lance, the model in question was the 1172, an eleven foot double-slide sofa camper that has already become a monster success for the Lancaster, California manufacturer.
Still, it was curious to go for an entire year without a single new truck camper announcement from Lance Campers. Were they busy with travel trailers? Did that new toy hauler tie them up? Perhaps they were practicing their golf skills for this year’s TCM putting tournament or preparing a giant pair of dancing Lance Pants for Burning Man.
With the largest engineering and design staff in the truck camper industry, not to mention the considerable CNC technology and fifty years of production experience, all of those theories seemed unlikely.
Which leads us to a certain top secret conversation we had with the leadership team at Lance Campers at Louisville this past December. “We are going to keep Truck Camper Magazine quite busy this year.” There was a sly smile behind the voice, the kind that says, “We’re up to something big, but we can’t wait to tell you about it yet.” Oh the suspense!
With the announcement of the 2014 Lance 1052, at least one of the big things is now public record. To tell us more about the new 2014 Lance 1052, and the Ultra Deck Plus bumper system, we talked to Randy Hunter, Product Development and Engineering Manager, and Gary Conley, National Sales Manager for Lance Campers.
2014 Lance 1052 Specifications:
The 2014 Lance 1052 is a hard-side, dry bath, double-slide truck camper for long bed trucks. The interior floor length of the Lance 1052 is 10’11” and the interior height is 6’9″. Lance is reporting the dry weight of the Lance 1052 at 3,420 pounds without options and 3,987 pounds with standard build features; Ultra Deck Plus bumper, air conditioner, generator, convenience package, awning package, four season package, and roof rack.
The tanks in the 2014 Lance 1052 are 45 gallons fresh, 27 gallons grey, and 22 gallons black. The camper accommodates two batteries and two twenty-pound propane tanks. The MSRP for a standard build Lance 1052 is $39,800.
Above: The 2014 Lance 1052 with the Ultra Deck Plus bumper. The 2014 Lance 1052 is shown on a single rear wheel truck for demonstration purposes only. For proper truck and camper matching, read “Matching a Truck and Camper“.
TCM: Randy, this is the first time you’ve been featured in Truck Camper Magazine. Tell our readers about your background and what do you do for Lance Campers.
Randy: In a nutshell, I started at Fleetwood developing products in August of 1976 and have been working in the RV industry for thirty-seven years. Prior to joining Lance, my background was in RV engineering and design.
I came on board with Lance in June of 2012, overseeing the engineering, design and development of all our products. I am the Engineering Product Development Manager. We also have a Lead Engineering Manager, five CAD drafters, and three prototype developers in our department.
Above: Refinements for the 1172 in 2014 include a new battery location, flip down couch with media table, and a large rear exterior storage compartment (click to enlarge)
TCM: Before we talk about the 1052, tell us about any updates Lance has made to their truck campers for the 2014 model year.
Randy: We spent 2013 refining our current truck camper line for 2014 and making big plans for new camper announcements in 2014, including the 1052. Most of the 2014 refinements were minor upgrades and adjustments based on customer and dealer feedback, but those refinements added up to a better product.
Gary: Customers wanted more sleeping accommodations in our 1172 double-slide. For 2014, we upgraded the couch in the 1172 to a version that flips down into a bed. There’s also more storage under the sofa and a new exterior storage compartment because we moved the batteries.
We also implemented Lite Ply across the board in all of our truck camper products. Lite Ply is a solid plywood product that dramatically removes weight, increases strength, and gives our truck camper interiors a higher quality aesthetic than our competition. Next time you’re in a 2014 Lance Camper, knock on the walls. It’s solid wood.
We often hear from customers who want to add a hook or towel rack on a wall surface. They contact us requesting a schematic to locate a stud for the installation. With our solid wood Lite Ply walls you can hang hooks or towel racks anywhere you wish.
There are many other important upgrades for 2014 that the customer can’t see. For example, we upgraded to using an industrial adhesive where the interior studs meet the exterior Lamilux 4000 fiberglass skin. Very few RV manufacturers do this, but it improves the bond and durability of the final product.
Even though we didn’t announce any new truck camper floor plans in 2013, we made some very important changes for 2014. Today’s Lance Camper is the best we’ve ever built.
Above: The kitchen and overcab of the 2014 Lance 1052
TCM: Let’s talk about the 2014 Lance 1052. Does the 1052 replace any older models in the Lance Camper line?
Gary: No, it’s a brand new floor plan for Lance.
Above: One of several CNC routers at work at Lance Campers
Above: 2014 Lance 1052 side walls ready for lamination – note the Lance Lock aluminum frame and CNC routed closed cell foam insulation
TCM: What distinguishes the 2014 Lance 1052 in the Lance Camper product line?
Gary: At 10’11”, the 1052 is the shortest dual-slide, dry bath truck camper on the market. We also hit our dry weight target for the 1052 at just about 3,600 pounds.
We have invested millions of dollars in state-of-the-art CNC equipment and premium light weight materials that don’t sacrifice structural integrity. These technologies and materials allow us to build a class-leading light weight truck camper.
Above: The dry bath in the 2014 Lance 1052
TCM: Why did you opt for a dry bath in the 1052?
Gary: The 1052 appeals to potential buyers who would walk away from a wet bath truck camper. I believe customers who want a double-slide want a dry bath. We were also able to design the floor plan to open up a large amount of usable living space and tons of storage opportunities. In the 1052 you can have it all; a dry bath, a wide-open living space, and lots of storage. Our customers are going to love it.
Above: The kitchen slide-out in the 2014 Lance 1052
TCM: At first blush, the 1052 appears to be based on the 1050S. Is the 1052 just a double-side version of the 1050S, or was it designed on a clean slate?
Gary: This camper was designed fresh from the ground up. While we certainly used elements from other successful Lance Camper designs, at least ninety percent of the 1052 is brand new and different from our other floor plans – and the competition.
The only real carry over from the 1050S is the dry bath and the general basement design. The slide-out room in the 1052 is significantly bigger, the kitchen galley and cabover is completely different. When you see the 1052 in person, it’s clear that this is a completely fresh floor plan from Lance.
Above: Lance Campers uses SolidWorks to design new campers (click to enlarge)
TCM: Tell us about the design and development of the 1052.
Randy: We have product development meetings on Thursday afternoons where we talk through floor plan development. The 1052 started in one of those meetings last July.
During the design process, we look at every facet to see where we can pull weight out of the design. With the 1052, we were able to find opportunities to remove weight in the basement and cabinetry. With our CNC capabilities, we also pulled weight out of the interior cabinet structures. All of this was done without compromising structural integrity.
Gary: Since 2008, Lance Campers has been on a mission to build light weight products. Using the techniques and materials we developed for our truck camper line, our travel trailers are number one in their weight class and price point. We are outselling Airstream with just eight floor plans. We currently have the lightest weight, highest quality travel trailers and truck campers on the market.
Above: No interior staples, putty, batten strips, gimp, or moldings
Lance Campers do not have staples, putty, batten strips, gimp, or moldings. Those are the sins of antiquated production techniques that hide inferior design and build quality. With SolidWorks design, CNC precision, and modern materials, we have a zero tolerance product of the highest possible quality.
TCM: After you had the first 1052 prototype built, were there any revisions?
Randy: Yes, this floor plan went through several generations of refinement.
Gary: The galley has been revised two or three times. The slide room went through three or four revisions. You can look at a camper design on paper and computer modeling, but until you physically walk in, you don’t fully appreciate it. It’s like picking a color of paint for your wall. Until it’s up and you see it, you don’t know if you’re going to like it.
Above: This photograph shows the dinette slide and exterior storage
TCM: Can you give us any specifics about what was improved?
Gary: The window sizes were increased. The windows are now one of the important feature points of the 1052. When we saw the early prototypes, we decided we wanted more light in the unit. Compared to our other models, the 1052 has the largest galley window and the largest slide-room window.
Above: The entertainment center with a 24″ HDTV television
In the cabover area, we refined the entertainment center and created enough room for a 24” television. We made the television more accessible with easy viewing from the cabover and the dinette. We also made sure that there is proper cross ventilation so that you can maintain air flow in the camper. It’s impossible to tell if a camper will have proper air flow from a computer drawing.
Other changes we made during prototype development were adding more drawers, increasing the width of the drawers, and adding counter space on the slide-room.
Above: The extra counter and storage next to the dinette
Above: USB and 12 volt located under the counter next to the dinette
Randy: The counter next to the dinette can also be used as a media center. We have installed a USB charging port in that location and a 12 volt port for smart phones.
Gary: We also know that storage is critical in a truck camper, so we made sure there was lots of storage in this camper. In the 1052, there is a wardrobe in the galley side slide room. We also put in two long, floor-to-ceiling divided cabinets in the bathroom. You don’t typically find this much storage in a truck camper.
We pay close attention to Truck Camper Magazine’s Ultimate Truck Camper Surveys. We incorporated 95% of what your readers asked for in your 2014 survey. That’s how we know our campers have what people are looking for.
Above: The Happijac (above left and middle) and Schwintek (above right) slide mechanisms (click to enlarge)
TCM: What slide mechanisms are you using for the 1052?
Randy: For the galley slide we are using the Schwintek mechanism. For the dinette slide we are using the Happijac mechanism.
TCM: Why are you using two different mechanisms?
Gary: We’re using the best slide mechanism for each application. The Happijac mechanism allows the slide room to have a six-foot dinette bed and incorporate the wardrobe and counter. For the dinette slide, the Happijac slide mechanism is superior.
The Schwintek is perfect for the galley slide. It allows us to have a taller slide offering more height for the cabinetry among other benefits. Our choices were all about maximizing space for each area while minimizing weight.
TCM: Can you access the bathroom with the slide-outs in?
Gary: No, but you can put the dinette slide out a few inches to access the bathroom.
Above: The dinette, storage, and counter space on the passenger’s side
TCM: Is it okay to sit in the dinette with the slide out only a few inches?
Gary: Absolutely. You can use either slide-out in any position. That said, the slide seals are designed to be used all the way in, or all the way out. We don’t recommend leaving the slides half-way out for any extended period of time for that reason. The slides will also be optimally seated when in their fully extended or retracted positions.
For temporarily accessing the bathroom or having a quick lunch, it’s fine to put the slides out a few inches. When you’re camping for any extended period of time, it’s best to put the slides all the way out, or all the way in.
TCM: What type of windows are standard on the 1052?
Randy: Tempered single pane windows are standard and thermal pane windows are an option.
TCM: How much is that option, and how much weight do they add?
Gary: For the 1052, thermal pane windows are a $254 option. The thermal windows add twenty-nine pounds.
TCM: What is the basement size on the 1052?
Randy: The 1052 has a nine inch basement. The fresh water tank is 45 gallons. We increased the fresh tank size on the 1052 based on customer feedback.
Above: This graphic shows how you can access the battery storage from inside the camper. There is also a slide-out battery tray on the exterior.
TCM: How many batteries does the 2014 Lance 1052 have, and where are they located?
Randy: The 1052 features dual batteries on a slide-out tray. The battery tray is located on the dinette side of the camper. There’s also a battery disconnect switch inside the battery compartment.
TCM: That’s a great location for the battery disconnect switch. What are the propane tank sizes?
Randy: The 1052 has dual twenty-pound, five gallon propane tanks located in the galley slide. All of our propane lines and water lines are done with flex line and meet mounting and structural safety code requirements.
Above: Exterior service compartment on the 2014 Lance 1052
TCM: What considerations are given for winterization; hot water heater access, hot water heater bypass, low water drain, etc?
Randy: Winterization facilities including hot water heater access, hot water heater bypass, and low water drain, are easy to access in the service compartment on the road side of the 1052. The 1052 was designed to be an easy camper to winterize.
Above: The Coleman-Mach thermostat controls the air conditioning and heat in the 1052
TCM: Can the optional air conditioner run on a portable Honda EU2000i generator?
Gary: That’s a trick question. We use a high efficiency Coleman 11,000 BTU air conditioner. In most circumstances, a Honda EU2000i will run the Coleman. In the most extreme temperatures and altitudes (for example 120 degrees at 8,000 feet), you would need a built-in propane generator to run the Coleman. It’s very unlikely that customers will encounter a situation when a Honda will not run the Coleman, but we want to be upfront about that possibility.
We pay a premium to get higher efficiency appliances including the Coleman air conditioners. We could actually save money by installing the 13,000 BTU air conditioners that are more commonly found on competitors’ units, but you lose efficiency and that’s what our customers want.
Above: Ducted heating throughout the 2014 Lance 1052 (click to enlarge)
While we’re on the subject of air conditioners, I’d like to mention that our campers are also built for cold temperatures. The ducted heating system in the 1052 is quite elaborate. For starters, there’s a four-inch head duct to the cabover bed area. Another duct goes to the bathroom, three ducts run to the living area, and another goes to the basement tank compartment.
The dual-stage furnace is controlled by a wall mounted thermostat which was carefully located to ensure proper function and amp draw. In fact, we decided not to place the refrigerator on the slide because it would compromise the location of the heater. We could have added more space inside the camper, but it would also have cost us the ducted heat into the bedroom. Designing a truck camper is always a balancing act.
Above: The Ultra Deck Plus bumper with the deck extended on the Lance 1052
For more information about the Ultra Deck Plus, check out the article and video, “Torklift International on the Ultra Deck Plus“.
TCM: Having the refrigerator on the slide would also require the refrigerator fan to run more often. That’s something we’ve heard from many slide-out truck camper owners as something they wish could be remedied. Tell us about the new optional bumper for the 1052.
Gary: For 2014, we’re announcing an all-new optional bumper system, the Ultra Deck Plus. It’s a utility bumper with three storage compartments and a slide deck that extends about two feet. This gives you more standing room area under your rear awning.
The Ultra Deck Plus also features an offset square tube receiver for a standard bike rack to mount a barbecue, snowboards, portable chairs, or whatever you want to bring with you that will fit on a square receiver. With the Ultra Deck Plus you’ll no longer need to attach things to the camper itself. More importantly, it doesn’t affect your towing capabilities. From the factory, every 1052 will be shipped with the Ultra Deck Plus option. It’s going to be a big deal.
Above: The Ultra Deck Bumper on the Lance 1052
Randy: The Ultra Deck Plus was developed with Torklift International. The design runs circles around the other bumper designs you’ve seen.
TCM: And the bumper wars begin! We can’t wait to see the Ultra Deck Plus for ourselves. What does the 1052 weigh with the Ultra Deck Plus and the other standard build options?
Gary: With the Ultra Deck Plus bumper, four season package, convenience package, air conditioner, generator, rear awning, and roof rack system, the 1052 will weigh around 3,987 pounds dry.
TCM: What is the MSRP for the 2014 Lance 1052 with standard build features?
Gary: The Lance 1052 will be $34,437 for the base camper and $39,800 for our standard build optioned out camper.
TCM: What is the warranty for the 2014 Lance 1052?
Gary: We have a two year structural warranty on all Lance Campers. The independent components in the camper have two year or longer warranties depending on the manufacturer.
TCM: When will the 2014 Lance 1052 be available?
Gary: You will see the 1052 at the Austin RV Expo this weekend, starting February 20th, the Colorado RV, Sports, Boat, and Travel Show starting February 27, and the Portland Metro RV Dealers Show starting March 5th. The 1052 will be available for retail customers at the end of February.
Above: The passenger side of the 2014 Lance 1052
TCM: Is there anything else about the 2014 Lance 1052 that you would like to add?
Gary: This unit has a lot of storage. You can also customize it to your specifications by adding any Lance option to the standard build. That is unique about Lance. We want to build the camper to your specifications. We call this, “Lance-sizing”. Other than the base floor plan, every camper that goes out the door is different.
People see us as high volume, cookie cutter company, but we can build campers with the options you are looking for to get you the specific weight and functionality you want. Quality is our number one goal. We have been doing this for fifty years. We understand our buyer and give them what they desire.
TCM: Are there any other new model announcements coming from Lance Campers in 2014?
Gary: Hold on to your hat. We are excited about some new truck camper models that we will be debuting in Truck Camper Magazine later this year. We have an eight footer and a nine footer in the works. There is also the potential for another eleven foot camper. If you include the 1052, you will see four new campers from us this year.
For more on the Lance 1052, visit Lance’s website at www.lancecamper.com.