Are Dormers Worth It?

Discussion in 'A-Frame PopUps' started by Jerold Harter, Mar 12, 2019 at 7:58 PM.

  1. Jerold Harter

    Jerold Harter New Member

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    New to this forum. Researching A-Liners and Rockford A-frames. I would prefer an A-frame on the larger size so that I could have a queen size bed permanently made up and a toilet. Dormers seem like they add a lot of interior space. I saw some at a small-RV show last weekend and liked them.

    The little extra setup of hard-sided dormers seems straightforward and easy. I worry about leaks though, especially at the top because it looks like a flat roof with a dam at the hinge point. It is hard to imagine them not leaking. Am I wrong? Any reason apart from cost/weight to avoid dormers? Thanks.
     
  2. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    Hello and welcome from Minnesota!

    I've been thinking about getting an Aliner Expedition with hard side dormers. I'm 6' tall and think that dormers would be a no-brainer for me. I also think about the leaking of the dormers, especially with a horizontal rain.

    I'll be watching this thread closely.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019 at 9:03 PM
  3. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    I like the soft dormers.
     
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  4. DiamondGirl

    DiamondGirl Active Member

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    Welcome to the portal.

    I have an 2013 Aliner Classic for the last 6 years. No dormers. BUT if I could do it over, I would definitely get hard sided dormers. You gain so much more usable space with dormers. The fabric dormers seem prone to fail against water after long exposure, IMHO. But most families buy Aliners because of their lightweight. Soft dormers do weigh less than the hard side version. When I bought my Aliner, I had a light duty Colorado truck. We would not be able to tow a heavier Aliner with dormers up steep inclines.

    DH wants to go to the dark side in a couple of years.

    Happy Camping...[ALPU][PUT]
     
  5. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    Sitting in our Aliner Scout now, with no dormers, and it's fine. I was 6', a little bit less now due to age. Most activity takes place in the center or just inside of the skylight area.
     
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  6. nhlakes

    nhlakes Well-Known Member

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    The Aliners with the 15' box have a fair amount of headroom. I'm close to 6' and I could not touch the apex of the roof in the Ranger 15 we had. I went without dormers primarily for ease of lifting the roof. I went to several dealers and setup a bunch of Aliners. The 15 box without dormers lifted easier than those with dormers. The first time I setup our Ranger 15 (with lift assist) at the dealer the roof literally opened itself when it was released. Loved it.

    Now in hindsight, had we known how much more extended camping we'd start doing with the hard sided Aliner, we may have gone with dormers.

    In Jan 2018 after spending 2+ weeks in FL in I suggested that in 2019 we do 3 or 4 weeks and my wife said, 'OK but we we need something bigger'. So we bought something larger. Dormers *may* have prevented that. We did do 3+ weeks this year and have already booked 4+ weeks for next year. Considering adding a week a year until we're down there Jan-Mar.
     
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  7. woodentoy

    woodentoy New Member

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    I have an Aliner Classic with soft dormers. I’m 6’2” and when first looking a the Aliner I knew that the dormers were a must have. They add so much physical and visual space, it’s amazing. I can’t even sit on the couch without opening the dormer. The soft sides add much more light and ventilation also. We spent 8 weeks in this last fall and are about to spend 6 weeks in it starting Friday. We have had no leakage through the rain storms we have been through. If a severe storm seems eminent I just drop the dormers for the night as a precaution.
     
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  8. Jerold Harter

    Jerold Harter New Member

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    Anybody have leakage from the dormer roofs? It appears to be a flat roof with a seam that makes a dam. I have not found anything online that goes into detail about the construction of the "seam." I wonder how it could not leak.
     
  9. Jim Whitehouse

    Jim Whitehouse New Member

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    We have soft dormers on our '18 ALiner Classic and have had no issues with leaks at the hinge or sides. unless you are perfectly level there should be no pooling.
     
  10. Rik Peery

    Rik Peery Active Member

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    Soft front dormer on our Ranger 10...as w/ any aspect of doing anything, be aware of your surroundings lol; posted this on the thread "Scariest Noises in a camper"...When the wife put a crease in her forehead as she slammed into the front dormer frame on our new Ranger 10 Aliner, dang nigh knocked her out [LOL]...she dropped to her knees first w/ a scream/groan, then buried her face into the sleeping sack on top of the cushion yelling stuff I didn't know she was capable of, dang glad no kids or clergy were present...grabbed some ice from the cooler & a baggie & wrapped a wash cloth around it & held it on her head until the thrashing subsided, then let her take over; she decided then & there she'd take the rear bunk, I cut a slit in a section of bright green pool noodle & pushed it up along the frame, it held half arsed for the remainder of the week...[CB]
     
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  11. Sotovoce

    Sotovoce Active Member

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    Good story, Rik.
    We have no dormers. They add visual space and some improve ventilation, but in most models they add zero usable space. Some models have a kitchen or bath in front and need a dormer for that. At a rally we camped next to a couple with the same sized Aliner as ours except it had dormers. I think they were hard side. Their camper weighed 300 lbs more off the assembly line than ours. When raising the roof you are lifting that extra 300 lbs.
    DH is almost 6' tall and my main concern was a bed long enough for him because the part of the camper where we would be standing was already really high. Our Expedition has a permanent bed the same size as the queen at home.
    We like the simplicity of our camper without dormers, but it you really want one, the front is larger and opens the camper up visually more that the rear.
     
  12. Cheesehead RV

    Cheesehead RV New Member

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    We have a Aliner Classic with soft dormers and have never had any problems with them. They provide extra head room when sitting on the couch, and provide an amazing amount of light and breeze in. Having dormers also means you don't have to deal with the bubble windows which we didnt like. They seemed to produce a lot of heat and the shades on them looked like they might cause problems.
     

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