The last thing you want to deal with is an electronic short. It’s frustrating on the dealer and consumer end. Think about how many wires there are in a camper. Running those wires and tracing them so they’re not exposed is crucial to the quality. That’s what our Plug-and-Play wire harness is all about. It all adds up.
Let’s start with what many will see as the biggest 2019 news from Lance Campers; the move to a new type of Happijac jacks across the entire Lance truck camper line. Lance Campers has featured Atwood camper jacks for decades. Why is Lance now moving away from Atwood jacks?
Atwood Mobile was recently sold and the company was divided up. Dometic Group bought the appliances and Lippert Components bought the jack division. When that happened, Happijac (a Lippert Components company) acquired control of Atwood jacks and discontinued the product.
With Atwood jacks discontinued, how did Lance Campers go about choosing between Happijac and Rieco-Titan camper jacks?
The new Happijac jack has the same lifting capabilities that the Atwood jacks had. The brackets are cleaner and the front swing-out brackets are more stable. The Atwood jacks were developed in the late 80s and the product didn’t really change until it was discontinued.
Fixing the gears on a Happijac jack is simpler than on an Atwood. The ball screw drive on the Atwood is frictionless. That was preferable to us compared to the Acme drive utilized for the alternative. We believe the remote system is also better.
Finally, speed of operation is very important to us. According to studies, people have an attention span of about 45-seconds. We wanted our jack system to go from the ground to the highest lift point in 45-seconds to one-minute. Happijac jacks are close to this.
Did you work with Happijac on the redesign of their jack system?
Yes, we worked with Happijac on the redesign. We didn’t like the aesthetics of the old design. They were cumbersome and the head and cap rotated. We wanted the Atwood look on a Happijac product. The new jacks are much more attractive.
For the tens of thousands of Lance Camper customers who still have Atwood jacks, are there replacement Atwood jacks and jack parts available?
The motors should be adaptable with off-the-shelf motors. The gear reductions may be difficult. The Atwood ball screw jack and the drive should never fail. Parts are available from Lippert. They say they have a two-year supply of parts.
For 2019, Lance Camper has deepened its relationship with Torklift International to debut the Torklift International ultraSTEPglow. Tell us about the Torklift International ultraSTEPglow.
We’ve developed a good relationship with Torklift International, as we have with all of our suppliers. They have the number one truck camper tie-down and turnbuckle system and the best truck camper hitches for towing.
For 2019, we are using the Torklift ultraSTEPglow step system for our truck camper line. It’s removable, adjustable and high quality.
In addition, for 2019 we’re debuting the Torklift Revolution scissor step system on the 1172. Torklift International listens to our recommendations, and are a willing partner.