Question Of The Week

Slide-Out Versus Bathroom Access: Part 1

We struck a serious nerve with this week’s question on bathroom access and slide-outs.  How serious?  140 responses in over 23 pages!  Listen up industry!  This is a major make or break topic for future truck camper purchases.

Slide Out Camper Versus Bathroom

Due to the volume of feedback, we have split the responses into two equal parts.  To be blunt, Google, Wordpress and most of human kind don’t want to absorb 12,256 words in a single sitting.  So we took out our sharpest Ginsu and cut through the middle.

Part 1 is incredible.  Part 2 is equally compelling.  Industry, get out your design notebooks.  Assumptions are about to be challenged.

The Question of the Week was, “Is bathroom access an important factor when you select a truck camper for purchase?

“Our Lance 921 has a dinette slide, but you can access the bathroom with the slide in. Lance even put a small angle notch in the step so that, when the slide is in, the bathroom door opens.

When we went to the Canadian Maritimes last summer, there were no rest areas along the highway. You just pull over in a wide spot. This is the reason we wanted slide in bathroom access.

We are in the process of looking at replacing our 17 year old Lance. It is very hard to find a unit with slide in access to the bathroom, so much so we have started looking at the small Class Cs (24-foot). Even some of those have limited slide-in bathroom access.” – Erwin Greven, 2002 Chevy 2500 HD, 2002 Lance 921

“Bathroom access with the slide in is one of the things we love about our 2008 Lance 1191. We can not only access the bathroom, but the entire camper.

There have been times when we have slept in the camper with the slide closed due to wind or a narrow site. It is also nice to pull over for lunch without deploying the slide.” – Cindi and Jim Goodrich, 2006 Chevy 3500, 2008 Lance 1191

2005 Lance 1181 With Slide Out In

“Being able to access all features of our truck camper with the slide-in was critical. We chose an older (2005) Lance 1181 because the fridge, bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen can all be accessed and used without opening the slide.

I just spent ten days traveling 4,000-miles across fifteen states to visit family. At each destination I demounted the camper and opened the slide. But, while traveling, I never opened it.

2005 Lance 1181 Closed Slide

Sure, the camper is smaller with the slide-in, but everything works just fine. For me, the convenience of a truck camper means that it needs to be ‘convenient’ to use in all situations. Yes, folks say that it doesn’t take but a few seconds to open a slide but I don’t have to worry about any sort of problem keeping me from using my camper.” – Mark Joslin, 2006 Ram 3500, 2005 Lance 1181

“Yes, bathroom access is important. This is our second truck camper. Our first camper did not have a slide and access to the bathroom was great. Now, major squeezing by the slide to do anything in the camper becomes a concern.

We love the room when the slide is out. We have had to enter the camper several times while it is in storage to do some maintenance. Reaching the control panel and switches by the bed area requires a major contortion act to get into the camper.

This camper will make our third driving trip to Alaska in a few months. After a few months of squeezing we may reconsider having a slide!” – Dean Larson, 2016 Ford F-350, 2019 Arctic Fox 990

“Having sold an Adventurer DS116 prior to purchasing my current Lance, bathroom access is very important to me. The Adventurer provided great access to the inside while slides were closed. That was the main reason I purchased it.

However, as y’all have taught us, there is nothing better than a properly matched truck and camper. I’m very happy now with the ride. With no slide, bathroom access is quick and easy.” – Dixon Boggs, 2015 GMC 3500, 2016 Lance 850

“Bathroom access was never an issue for me until my slide blocked the bathroom door. Then I realized it was important. My Lance 992 had access. My Eagle Cap 1160 did not. I’d prefer to have access, but it’s not a deal breaker.” – Sean Gaudette, 2006 Ford F350, No Camper Currently

“We were in our mid 60s when we bought our current truck and camper. At that age one never underestimates the value of a clean toilet room. With our Bigfoot non-slide, nothing gets in the way of an emergency pit stop.” – Tom Scholtens, 2010 Chevy 2500HD, 2013 Bigfoot 25c10.4

“Bathroom access is not an issue. It takes all of 10-seconds to move the slide-out far enough to access the tinkle parlor.” – Alan Gehrt, 2016 Ram 3500, 2013 Lance 855S

“Yes, it’s critical to be able to access the bathroom without running the slide-out. We also want to be able to get to the refrigerator and fix a meal.

Our first truck camper was an Arctic Fox 811. It had a single side containing the dinette and refrigerator with access to the bath and kitchen as long as you didn’t put on too much weight.

However, I didn’t like the extra steps the slide added to setting up and breaking down camp, the maintenance issues, or the extra camper weight. When we bought a new camper last year, we decided a slide-out wasn’t worth the compromises. We narrowed our search to non-slide campers and went with the Cirrus 920. We haven’t looked back!” – Paul Neumann, 2013 Ram 3500, 2019 Cirrus 920

“Access to everything in our camper is important to us! The added space slide-outs afford is not worth the inconvenience, expense and added weight associated with them.

One of the things we really like about our camper us that we can stop for lunch, open up the rear door, go in and prepare food. It is the same way when buying groceries. Take the groceries to the rear door, go in, and put them away – no fuss-no muss!

In places where bathroom facilities are lacking, it is a luxury to have your own bathroom. No slide-outs for my wife and me. We will stick with the KISS system!” – Arn Chamberlain, 2000 Ford F-250, 2004 Palomino Maverick 8801

“Bathroom access is not the major priority, but it is one of the boxes that I like checked on a camper for purchase. I am 67 years old, 6-feet tall, and 220-pounds, and I can still access the bathroom in our camper without extending the slide-out.

The sliding bathroom door is the key. I slip by the bathroom door to the kitchen area and open the bathroom door to go in.” – Richard Jones, 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 3500, 2018 Arctic Fox 1150

“I’m a brand new truck camper owner. As a single woman, traveling on my own (I consider the dog of little use when set-up is concerned) my first consideration was ease of use with the comfort of a bathroom.

When I’m on the road, I can pop into the bathroom, use the toilet if no public toilets are readily available, and get back on the road. I found the cassette toilet appealing as it requires no paraphernalia, other than rubber gloves, and seems to have maximum versatility. I don’t even need to find a dump station when an outhouse or restroom is available.” – Chris Cooney, 2005 Chevy Silverado, 2015 Northstar Liberty

“We can access our Arctic Fox 1150 bathroom just fine with the slide-in. That is very important to us when we are stopped and the slide can’t go out and our needs arise.

The nights when temperatures are well below freezing, we keep the slide-in for warmth. If I could get a camper with my Arctic Fox 1150’s water and waste capacities, storage, full-size queen bed, build quality, and no slide, I would buy it in a heartbeat. Bigfoot, Northern Lite, and Northwood Manufacturing, are you listening?” – Brett Binns, 2014 Ford F350, 2014 Arctic Fox 1150

“We are planning to buy a truck camper within the next two years because retirement is coming up. We’ve been looking and want slides. However, access to the bathroom on the road is very important to us. It will be a deciding factor about which model we buy.” – Yolanda Long

Arctic Fox 990 Slide In

“Yes, bathroom access is important. Approaching the elderly time of my life, (the grandkids say I am already there) I am finding out how much things change from year to year. Having bathroom access has become more important and sometimes immediate access is required.

I have been known to pull over, jump out and hustle to the back of the camper. Keeping the door of the camper unlocked is a help to not waste time.

I can squeeze in to the bathroom without moving the slide out, but it takes some effort to get the gut sucked in. It is much better to hit the slide switch to move the slide-out about four inches. I fondly remember the days of my non-slide when entry to the bathroom was a breeze. I like a camper with fast access.” – John Bull, 2004 Dodge 3500, 2015 Arctic Fox 990

“Not really. Our Arctic Fox 1150 has bathroom access with the slide-in, but we rarely use it when traveling. The reason is because we need a regular bathroom break to stop, shop, fuel up, walk to get some light exercise. Long gone are the days of rolling at 5:00am and not stopping until about 2:00am. Now it’s 250-350 miles per day.

We also travel with our five dogs and they also enjoy a regular break to walk around. Besides, I am an ole country boy. I grew up on a ranch and live on a ranch. If the need arises I can just get off my John Deere anywhere I am and stand there. Ain’t no one gonna see me.” – Don Pryor, 2019 Ford F-350, 2008 Arctic Fox 1150

“A year ago I owned the Lance 1172 with two-slides and side entry. You had to open both slides to get into the camper. This was great if you worried about someone getting into the camper while it was parked.

Every time we had to make a potty stop, it was a serious problem. Not only did we have to open the two- slides to get in, but we had to make certain there was enough space to actually open the slides; one slide to the rear and one slide to the side. When parked in a regular parking space, we often could not open slides so we couldn’t get in.

I changed to an Arctic Fox 990 with one-slide and rear entry. We can get in without opening a slide, and get to the potty and 95-percent of the rest of the camper.” – D. Fox, 2015 Ford F-450, 2018 Arctic Fox 990

“When our 2000 Lance non-slide was destroyed when our barn burned four years ago, we had to go looking for a replacement. Janice looked online at a slew of floor plans, slides and non-slides. She liked the 2002 Lance 1061 with one-slide.

When we found one, the first thing on the list was to make sure we both could use the bathroom with the slide closed. She also wanted access the entire kitchen area, dinette, and the bunk with the slide closed; basically the whole interior of the camper.

When we are in a shopping center parking lot, we can eat, sleep and dress without needing the slide-out or anyone bothering us.” – Jerry Bonneau, 1995 Ford F350, 2002 Lance 1061

“Yes, bathroom access is a big factor for me as I am looking to upgrade. I want to be able to get to the bathroom when the slide is in.” – Dave Winfield, 2017 Silverado 3500, 1999 Lance 865

“Our requirement is that the slide that houses the bath or blocks the bath is on the passenger’s side, and that no other slides block access. This way, I can pull off the side of the road and utilize the facilities safely.” – Mike Rumbaugh, 2007 Ram 3500, 1995 Lance 9.6

“Yes. But on the other hand, our prior camper was a 2006 Eagle Cap 1050 with a deep single-slide. Again, bathroom access was a deciding factor us. We are thin and could squeeze into the 1050 with the slide-in. I would imagine that some people would not be able to do this. This time we elected to go with no slide, but it was not strictly for the bathroom access. We are still both thin-ish.” – Don Smucker, 2018 Silverado 3500HD, 2019 Northern Lite 10-2 EX CDSE

“For us the thought was that the slide was one more thing to have to fix and set-up. With our non-slide Travel Lite, we just pull into our spot, plug-in (if needed), and relax.” – Colin Buda, 2017 Ford F250, 2016 Travel Lite 840SBRX

“We spent many years looking for a new camper to replace our old one, which did not have a slide. We could not find a new one that didn’t block the bathroom with a slide. Now we have become used to moving the slide out to go to the bathroom. I guess you’re never too old to adapt.” – Grayden Obenour, 2011 Ford F350, 2019 Lance 975

“We can both uncomfortably access the bathroom with the full-wall slide0in. If we open the slide 6-inches, we can access the bathroom without a problem. We considered this issue before we made our purchase.

We are both of thin build, so we decided that it was a non-issue given the camper’s other benefits. It’s all about compromises.” – John Sturm, 2004 Ford F-350, 2018 Lance 995

“Yes, bathroom access was a factor. But other factors were also considered. The Lance 855S uses the Happijac slide mechanism, which has proven to be less problematic than a Schwintek slide mechanism. The Happijac also has a manual crank if the slide motor fails.

We can easily access our bathroom with the slide-out in. That was important to us because we often stop on uneven terrain and prefer to avoid using the slide when our camper is not level.

Two items improved access to our slide. We relocated the magazine rack and we keep the sliding bathroom door closed.” – Les Sage, 2015 GMC 3500, 2015 Lance 855s

“Bathroom access is important and we have none with the slides. It does require some thought when stopping for bathroom or refrigerator access. However, our slides fully extend in ten or fifteen seconds so this has never been a real issue for us with our camper.” – Steve Gomez, 2014 Ford F-350, 2015 Host Mammoth

“We have two slides in our Eagle Cap 1160 so we cannot access the bathroom with the slides-in. We actually have to put both out, though the driver’s side slide doesn’t need to be fully extended. We would not trade the floor space while we’re cooking or our recliners for on-the-road bathroom access.” – Leigh and John Bennett, 2003 Ford F-550, 2016 Eagle Cap 1160

“We absolutely love our 1172. It’s working great for us and we use it a lot.

However, there is a down side because both slides need to be at least partially out to access the bathroom. We usually set up at a campsite and stay, resulting in the bathroom issues not being a big deal. But that’s just us.

There is obviously an issue, but we have learned to deal with it with no problems when we are on the move.” – Cinda and Gary Whistler, 2019 Chevy 3500, 2017 Lance 1172

“Bathroom access with the slide-in is not an issue. In our current camper, we cannot access the bathroom with the slide-in. So, we simply move out the slide and use the bathroom. Then we move it back. Simple.” – Dave Riddle, 2015 Chevrolet 3500 HD, 2017 Host Mammoth

“Absolutely! Being able to access the bathroom is optimal with the slide-out in.

With the 2012 Ascent S85RS, just fold down the steps and open the door. The bathroom is on the left with no obstruction of a slide. It’s great when traveling to take wee break, and not have to push out a slide to gain access to the bathroom.

Even with the slide-in, our camper functions like a non-slide camper. That was a major factor in our purchase. When we pull into a site late in the evening we just leave the slide-in and go to bed! When we stay someplace for more than a day we will push the slide-out for the extra space. It’s the best of both worlds.” – Brad Lyon, 2015 Ram 3500, 2012 Ascent S85RS

“Yes. Side-effects of medication warrants fast bathroom access.” – Jim Bronson, 2014 Ram 3500, None Yet

“No. Having to operate a slide-out to get to the bathroom is not an inconvenience to us. While we’re on the road traveling, and it comes time to use the bathroom, we can squeeze through to use it. We just partially put the slide out.

For the once or twice a day that we might need to use the bathroom, it is well worth putting a slide out to have the extra interior space while camping.

The next unit we are looking at we will have to operate two slides to get to the bathroom, but we don’t see this as being a problem. We would not own a camper without at least one slide-out.” – Doug Sloan, 2012 Ford F350, Arctic Fox 811

“I purchased a non-slide camper because of lower initial cost, less weight, and that there’s less to go wrong. If I were to purchase a camper in the future with a slide or slides, I definitely would not purchase one that I could not get to the bathroom with the slide/slides-in.” – Eldon Rhodes, 2008 Chevy 3500, 2011 Lance 1050

“No. Bathroom access wasn’t a consideration when we purchased our single-slide camper. We found that it was very easy to extend the slide partially out with ease.” – Anne Witherell, 2014 Chevrolet 3500, 2017 Travel Lite Illusion

“With our camper, a bathroom is a must, but it only takes a few seconds to get the slide out far enough to get to the bathroom. You cannot access it with the slide-in. The slide switch is at the door and it does not take long to fully open. Of course, if you are in a hurry, you only need a few inches to get to the bathroom.” – Robert Bolin, 2017 Ford 350, 2007 Lance 1181 Max

“We have an older camper without a slide. We sometimes wish for a little more space, but not enough to spend what it would cost to get a newer camper.

We often use the bathroom and other interior spaces of our camper on travel days. Not being able to get past the slide would be a huge pain to us.” – Connie Westbrook, 2002 Chevy 3500, 1997 Lance Squire 5000

“Yes, bathroom access with the slide-in was definitely a consideration when purchasing our Arctic Fox 990. We would not own a camper with a slide that had to be opened to use the bathroom. We are both slim, so getting into the bathroom or using the camper while traveling is not a factor.” – George Visconti, 2015 GMC 3500HD, 2016 Arctic Fox 990

“Our first camper was a Lance non-slide model so there were no issues. Our second camper is a Lance 1191. Bathroom access with the slide in was an important decision factor for us, but not the only one.” – Robert Adams, 2011 Chevy 3500, 2013 Lance 1191

“Bathroom access is not a big factor, but I am not interested in a slide. I had two slides in my previous fifth wheel and held my breath every time hoping the large and heavy sofa section would close. I am not really interested in another slide unit now.

More room would, at times, be nice, but no slides for me unless it could be done without a motor or hydraulics. Manual push/pull would be an interesting twist. It could ride on the industrial UHMWP bearing (hard plastic used in automotive lift carriages), but then a consumer-proof latch would be needed. It could offer weight and cost savings. Yes, I’ll volunteer to be a guinea pig user. I live in my camper 6-plus months a year.” – Jeff M., 2005 Ram 2500, 1997 Lance Squire 3000

“Along with other floor plan desires, I wanted to be able to access the bath with the slides in. This was a priority. I was able to find what I wanted with the Adventurer 116DS; reclining theater seats and bath access.

I am 6’3″ and weigh 200-pounds. I can get to the bath comfortably with both slides in. With several months of ownership I would not want it any other way. The convenience is very nice.” – Robert Graham, 2017 Ford F350, 2019 Adventurer 116DS

“I have no problem reaching the bathroom when the slide is in. I did consider this when originally making purchase.” – David Weinstein, 1999 Ram 3500, Arctic Fox 1150

“Yes, bathroom access is important to us. We have an old camper with no slides for a couple reasons. First, we wanted less to go wrong because it would be less maintenance. Second, we needed to be able to get to the bathroom without doing anything other than opening the door because we have a kid!

I was pregnant when we bought our camper. Kids, especially toddlers, pee like every five minutes. Also, we didn’t want a slide because of the added weight and complexity.” – Melissa Malejko, 2002 Chevy Silverado 2500HD, 1981 Okanagan

“This exact question is why we still have and use our 2004 Lance. At 75 years old, we frequently stop at pull-outs in Canada, Alaska, western United States, or even close to home. We will slip into the camper for a quick rest stop.

With the smaller dining slide you described, bathroom access is doable without putting out the slide. For us, older is more functional, thus better.” – Judy Embry, 2014 Ford F-350, 2004 Lance 1071

“The 2003 Eagle Cap 950 bathroom is accessible without putting the slide out since it is only a single slide rear bath model. Putting the slide out about six inches makes getting in the door of the bathroom much easier. It only takes about 30 seconds to put out the slide, so it’s not a big deal if it’s needed.

I am in the process of switching to an new non-slide camper because I wanted a more rugged camper without the maintenance issues of a slide out. If I was buying another slide out camper I would be looking if the bathroom could be accessed by only moving the passenger’s side and/or rear slide. I would be concerned about having to put out a driver’s side slide when I’m parked on the side of the street or shoulder of the highway.” – Leonard Pennock, 2018 Ram 3500, 2003 Eagle Cap 950

“Not only is bathroom access absolutely necessary, but it’s also important to access the refrigerator, the sink, the dinette, and even the bed. Now I’m thinking about the cupboards, too. The whole point of driving around with your home is to be able to use it in random spots; packed parking lots at ski destinations, view roads, narrow roads, and mountain roads with skinny pullouts, surreptitious overnight street parking in city neighborhoods, and squeezing in between trees at that perfect boondocking spot. Those are just naming a few that we encountered on our recent ten week trip from Washington state down Baja to Cabo and back.

Then there are other negatives like long term weather proofing issues, more impact inside with temperature extremes, maintenance and maybe increases in insurance.” – Barb Malden, 2014 Ram 3500, Northern Lite 10.2 EX

“I have previously owned two non-slide campers and now I own a dinette single-slide that does allow bathroom access comfortably with the slide in. I cannot imagine any scenario where I would own a camper without bathroom slide-in access for quick bathroom stops on the road, boondocking in crowded places where one opts to keep the slide in, a quick lunch on the road, etc. It might work for some people, but I would take a non-slide camper before I would limit access to the bathroom.” – Fred Patterson, 2013 F350 SD, 2002 Lance 1161

“Yes definitely! We were ignorant buyers eight years ago. When showing off our camper to others, I make sure I explain our bathroom importance. We wanted a dry bath with a regular door, not a sliding door. However, having access 24/7 in all situations to the bathroom has been the #1 priority! Two women cannot use the side of the road! We pull off at an exit—anywhere. We not only have the commode, we have fresh water and a medicine cabinet! Also, so many times when grocery shopping, a joker parks right next to us on the driver’s side. With the 1191, we can access the refrigerator to squeeze in the necessities and leave the bags for later. We can even squeeze our way up to the cabover to get clothing! Access to interior while it’s closed is invaluable!” – Pattie Cimaglia, 2011 Ford 350, 2011 Lance 1191

“We can access the bathroom easily without the slide out. We chose this design over the dry bath model which has the bathroom in the middle of camper, which would make it much harder to access. It is very handy to just pull over on the road, open the door and be able to use the bathroom. Our only other suggestion would be to have a switch to turn on the water pump in the back of camper. We still need to get to the control panel by the sink.” – Stu Snowball, 2018 Silverado, 2018 Arctic Fox 990

“Yes, yes, and yes.” – Ernie Leet, 2017 Ram 3500, 1999 Bigfoot 10.5

“Not getting to the bathroom is an issue. The slide mechanism can be a problem as well as water leaking in the open or closed position.” – Robert Cabral, 2014 Toyota Tacoma, 2016 CampLite 5.7

“The bathroom access was not a consideration when we purchased. In fact since this was our first camper and we did not even know access would be difficult with the slide in. The only time it is an issue is when traveling and you need to access the bathroom. That is is probably the case with all users. It is a small inconvenience and only requires a 6″ extension to access the restroom when not camped.” – Dicky Hoffman, 2012 Chevrolet 2500HD, 2016 Lance 855S

“Yes it was! And no we don’t have access, at least not in a hurry. In order access the facilities one must move not one, but two slides at least half way. Unless it’s a full grown man in need of the facilities, then the rear slide must be moved almost all the way and the other still at half. Usually it’s just easier to water a bush along side the road unless your visit to the facilities requires something more involved.

Plan ahead at fuel stops, rest areas, or give yourself plenty of time, if possible, for things other than your bowels hopefully, to move. We do keep a second remote control in the cab so if indeed there is a pressing need, one can start the slides on their journey out before we actually get the truck stopped. We have not had the need of this ultimate plan yet, but…” – Dave Snapp, 2012 Dodge 3500, 2017 Lance 1172

“This was a strong influence for selecting a camper. As my wife and I get older, sometimes you just need to go right now. We had a pop-up, and that was a factor when we traded it in.” – Matt Wiegand, 2014 Ford F-150, 2017 Adventurer 80RB

“I purchased this camper from its original owner five years ago. I paid half of the book value because he had bolted the slide-out in place. I won’t go into why he did it, but needless to say, the price was right. He cut the raised floor and table to the extended floor dimension so there is plenty of room. With just my wife and I and our two small dogs, we really don’t need the extra room provided by a slide-out.” – Mike Dahlager, 2001 Dodge 2500, 2007 Okanagan 96DB

“When I recently upgraded from a three-quarter ton truck and light hard side camper, I mostly wanted solid four season capability. I did look closely at slide-out units. Though more expensive and heavier, I was okay with that.

Seeing the Arctic Fox 865 changed my mind. It has a massive bathroom, and spacious bed and dining areas in a hard side unit. No slides means easier stealth camping at truck stops, Walmart, and rest stops. It also saves on maintenance and cold weather compromises. If I had bought a slide unit, it would only have been a candidate if it had full bath access when not extended. I also need access to cupboards and the refrigerator when shopping in grocery store lots!” – Reed Prior, 2017 Ram 3500, Arctic Fox 865

“Bathroom access is nice to have, but not something that my wife and I would insist upon. Our Lance 1181 does have access, but it is a tight squeeze with the slide all the way in. We typically have to put the slide out a couple of inches to make access more comfortable. But I know my wife would gladly give up the bathroom access to have a second slide with a sofa in our camper.” – Eric Beatty, 1996 Ford F350, 2005 Lance 1181

“There is good access to use the bathroom in our camper (for us) with slide-out in. Just don’t bump those poorly placed light switches!” – Joe Barry, 2006 Chevrolet 2500HD, 2003 Lance 821

“Easy bathroom access is major benefit when we’re on the road, but weight and potential reliability issues are as well. We normally camp off-grid because we enjoy being outside. The added inside space provided by a slide is more than offset by convenience on the road and the comfort of knowing a slide malfunction won’t ruin our outing.” – Bruce Colby, 2004 Dodge 2500, 2004 Lance 835

“Priority number one is floor space large enough to sleep my giant breed dogs. Bathroom access only ends up priority four or five.” – Gary Usher, 2017 Ford F350, 2015 Lance 1172

“I would not want a camper without quick bathroom access. Due to my maturity and my coffee addiction, it is very handy. We have a Lance 992 with two slides and normally don’t put out the slides when we stop for a restroom/refreshment break. I haven’t measured it. I am guessing I have about 18″ or so, but my wife and I both fit. We aren’t obese, but we aren’t skinny either.” – Steven Merrill, 2009 Silverado 3500, 2007 Lance 992

“Bathroom access with a slide in is very important to us, as well as access to the refrigerator. Both are important in parking lots at roadside attractions, strip malls also, and busy highway rest stops picnic stops.” – Ron Pucul, 2016 Ford F-350, 2006 Lance 1055

“Yes, getting to the restroom was a consideration, but it was only one of the several reasons we upgraded from two previous slide equipped truck campers. Full and immediate access to all of our camper’s amenities is the real benefit of no obstructive slides.” – P Kruger, 2017 Ram 3500, 2019 Northern Lite 10.2 EXCDSE

“My camper is a non-slide model. I chose it over a slide model because it is lighter, it costs less, there weren’t many to choose from, and I wasn’t aware slide-outs were available. The first time I saw the inside of a slide-out opened up I thought I’d like to upgrade, but the cost of a new camper and truck have kept me from doing so.

Should I ever upgrade not only would access to the bathroom be required, but so would general access to the whole camper. That’s what I like best about truck campers – being able to climb in to take a break, have lunch, or use the bathroom. It makes stopping for supplies easier when you have access to the inside. Stealth camping is another consideration. So, yes, bare minimum bathroom access is required before I would upgrade.” – Max Jones, 2008 GMC Sierra 2500 HD, 2008 Lance 825

“Yes, getting older it’s a must. We hate going into a gas station restroom. We also may want to get things out that we forgot.” – Frank Niehus, 2007 Ford F350, 2007 Arctic Fox 1150

“Access to the bathroom and the refrigerator are top most in selecting a truck camper with slides. We also considered this when we bought a small fifth wheel with a slide. I’m not sure that in 2006 that truck campers were made with a slide. However, we do not want a slide and do just fine without it.

Perhaps if we were full-timing we would think differently. But to travel for weeks on end, no slide is desired. It adds too much weight to the camper and often intrudes on valuable storage space. Price is also a huge consideration. Our truck camper cost less than half of what these big rigs cost today. We once saw a triple slide truck camper in which there was no access to the inside with the back slide in. Does anyone ever use these rigs before producing them?” – Shelley Pike, 2009 Ford F350, 2006 Lance Sportster 960

“We can not access the interior of the camper with the rear slide in, and have to move the dinette/refrigerator slide out about half way to access the bathroom. The whole process only takes about thirty seconds, and is certainly worth that much inconvenience for all the room the slides give us. I definitely would not trade the slides for immediate bathroom access!” – Audrey Ruccio, 2016 Ram 3500, 2008 Host Everest

“It is now. My 820 is a non-slide. I love the ability to do anything in it at any time without any prep work. Open door, step in. Nap? Sure. Bathroom? Yup.

That being said my wife would like more space to move around when we are out for longer trips. I have started looking at bigger models with slides. A triple slide with couches and washer/dryer combos? Wow. She loves the idea. I am hesitant.

I like easy access so this is definitely a priority for me in finding my next camper. I am excited you made this a question of the week and am hoping we get lots of slide out owners to chime in. Thanks.” – Kevin Jenckes, 1996 Ford F250, 2006 Lance 820

“It wasn’t when we bought it. We were more concerned about the dry bath. As we have used it more it would be nice if you could access the toilet easier. I can squeeze by, but not my wife. We have to run the slide out, at least a bit to gain access. We still love the dry bath so would do it again.” – Casey Farrell, 2018 Dodge 3500, 2015 Lance 1050S

“There is only one truck camper dealer in Nova Scotia, so our choice was limited. We never thought about access to the bathroom when we toured our camper on the lot (we didn’t know about TCM then), but it turns out you can’t access the unit with the slide in. It must be moved out about ten or twelve inches to squeeze by. This hasn’t been a problem for us, perhaps because we are never far from a public bathroom in Nova Scotia. It’s no big deal to slide it out if we have to.” – Tony and Susan Duke, 2013 Silverado 3500, 2014 Adventurer 910DB

Click here to go to part 2 of  Slide-Outs Vs Bathroom Access.


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