Considering an Aliner for family?

Discussion in 'A-Frame PopUps' started by Enigmacamper, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. PointyCamper

    PointyCamper Active Member

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  2. PointyCamper

    PointyCamper Active Member

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    We dont put the flex totes in the Aliner. They stay in the back of the van and we take out clean clothes at night.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
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  3. Sotovoce

    Sotovoce Active Member

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    Enigmacamper,
    With some planning, and you are planning, I think you can do this. Until our children were about preteen the four of us camped in a 9'x9' umbrella tent. It was only a bedroom and that is what your A-frame camper will be when camping with four. Our Aliner has a permanent bed which means it has gas struts to make access to the storage under it easy to access and also means there is a lot of storage under. You may find you will leave the dinette and sofa made into beds rather than bother with changing back and forth daily plus storing the bedding. If you start with a bed guard rail along the side of the dinette bed and the newborn's travel bassinet at the feet of the three year old, when the newborn outgrows the bassinet the three year old will be accustomed to sharing that space. They can sleep with their heads at opposite ends the way our grandsons did when they were smaller. For our maiden voyage with our first PUP the dinette was made into a bed with the guard rail. I was keeping the 1 year old granddaughter the day I loaded the camper. She played and napped there and that was her bed for the weekend.

    OUTSIDE CARGO DOORS
    Standard our Expedition has 3, the Classic has 2, the Ranger 12 has 1, and I do not see any listed for the Scout. These campers ask for modifications and I know people have added outside cargo doors. I find ours very useful to access those things we tend to use outside (wheel chocks, levelers, hoses, gray water bucket, hammocks, folding chairs, folding table, etc.) Some PUP owners keep the things needed for setup in a plastic bin just inside the door, but we usually lever the camper before we raise the roof and open that door.

    GEAR WEIGHT
    Our Expedition can hold a lot. The first time I loaded it I weighed everything I put in it except food and clothes. I only load those items just before a trip. I thought I had heavily loaded it and the gear weight came to only 600 lbs. I do not think we have ever come close to the 3,500 GVWR of the camper. Don't rule out the Ranger 12 and Classic off road additions just because their GVWRs are 3,000 lbs. By the way, the tongue weight listed on that label is the weight off the assembly line without battery or Lp tanks. Those could add close to 100 lps. As Erik said, he had to add water to the on board tank in back to get his tongue weight down.

    CLOTHING STORAGE
    Some families keep their clothes in the tow vehicle and remove only what they need each day or night. You may well keep your laundry there. (We keep our laundry bag in the cassette toilet cabinet during the day.) For our clothes I got two Sterilite drawer stacks on wheels that live under our dinette. I had to measure and purchase two small enough. Those drawers are sooo much more convenient than the duffle bags we used tent camping. This summer I thought I would be storing clothes of extended family members and decided I could add one drawer stack and stand all three, without wheels, on the cabinets built into the Aliner. I don't want to spend a lot of time setting up the camping gear. These drawer stacks can stay on the camper floor when it is folded.

    DORMERS
    There are trade offs here. Dormers give a very open feeling, especially the larger one over the dinette, and they offer cross ventilation with their operable windows. Our Aliner does not have dormers. I did not want the complication of raising and lowering them during setup and take down. The added weight was something we didn't need either. They allow standup space to the ends, but do not add to floor space or storage. All these A-frames feel so open because of the 360* view and the high pointy ceiling in the center.

    HEATERS
    If you will never want propane and will always be connected to shore power the Scout will work for you. The Ranger 12 and the Classic offer more camping options since they include propane. When it has been cold out we have used the Lp heater in the camper (even though the fan is noisy) unless we have had shore power in which case I got a quiet electric ceramic heater.

    PORTA-POTTY
    Our Expedition has a built in cassette toilet which we are glad to have. I don't know about all models, but on the Classics I looked at there was a door at the end of the curb side dinette seat where a porta-potty could be slipped in and out. Typically people will put it in the doorway at night. I have also seen where families have covered the porta-potty to make a stool or cassock for extra seating.

    OFF ROAD
    We do not actually take our Aliner off road, but that version comes with a strong axle and the extra road clearance helps. I am glad to have it.

    SCREEN HOUSE
    If you do not have a screen house, I would recommend you get one for cooking and living outside. With a family sleeping and dressing in the Aliner you will be doing your living outside. We did not have one when we camped in that umbrella tent but it is nice to have a screen house now. Ours just takes time to set up. We tend to not use it for fewer than three nights. I have a Clam Shell on my Christmas wish list because it would be so quick to set up.

    JOIN THE AOC
    When you get your Aliner, do join the Aliner Owners Club and attend their rallies. It is standard to include an open house tour at each rally weekend. You can learn a lot from seeing what others have done with their campers. There are regional rallies throughout the year and the 2018 North American rally will be in Indiana June 3-8.
     
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  4. nhlakes

    nhlakes Well-Known Member

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    Nice writeup Sotovoce.

    The new instant screen houses setup about as easy as the Aliner.

    [​IMG]

     
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  5. kudzu

    kudzu Active Member

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    I have that Lightspeed screen house. It does indeed set up that easily. Easy for one person to set up as well.
     
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  6. Byrd_Huntr

    Byrd_Huntr Well-Known Member

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  7. Byrd_Huntr

    Byrd_Huntr Well-Known Member

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    We have the same screenhouse and it really is that easy to set up.
     
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  8. Sotovoce

    Sotovoce Active Member

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    I like that instant screen house. I guess it would just take a longer to set up with only one person. I have set up our big Eddie Bauer screen house by myself, but it sure is easier and quicker with two or more.
     
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  9. Sotovoce

    Sotovoce Active Member

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    Thank-you. I like that Lightspeed screen house.
     
  10. nhlakes

    nhlakes Well-Known Member

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  11. DiamondGirl

    DiamondGirl Well-Known Member

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    EnigmaCamper,

    Here’s another video showcasing the NEW Aliner Titanium 12. I’m thinking of adding a lighted handle just like in the video to my 2013 Classic.



    Good Luck searching.

    Happy Camping...[ALPU][PUT]
     
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  12. Enigmacamper

    Enigmacamper Active Member

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    Thanks so much for that video, that is helpful!
     
  13. Enigmacamper

    Enigmacamper Active Member

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    Wow I'm super impressed at those drawers!!! I just wonder sometimes why Aliner doesn't do things like that standard, they seem so much better...perhaps cost.
    Did you find it fairly easy to add the cargo doors? This may be something we could possibly do down the road since scouts don't have any standard. Or if it's tricky I'm sure the dealer probably would as part of a purchase deal.
     
  14. Enigmacamper

    Enigmacamper Active Member

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    Thank you! I really like this idea

    ETA, that was for PointyCamper's storage mod...not sure why the "reply" didn't work.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  15. Enigmacamper

    Enigmacamper Active Member

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    This is so great, thank you! So a normal run-of-the-mill guard rail might work on the dinette bed? That would be much easier than trying to build something. I think you are right, converting the beds back and forth doesn't make too much sense, our family is completely fine eating outside or on our beds if the weather is nasty (and for some reason we haven't gotten in the car to go somewhere). As long as we can get to some clothes to change and get the kids ready etc. I think we'd be good to go. That's a good idea you have about getting the toddler "used" to sharing that dinette space. My hubby and I feel surely two kids should be able to share it, honestly if it was too much of a problem I'm sure we could use the little bed and give them the big one. Until the 50's a "full" size was pretty much standard for two adults anyway I'm pretty sure! I know a couple who still sleep on one. If it got desperate one kid could have the dinette bed and the other sleep in the floorspace, half under the dinette...probably only when they were teens if then, but if that's what they'd prefer sounds fine with me.

    I had not thought of it that much but if we keep the dinette a "bed" for an entire trip we could easily put bins of the kids clothes under it and that would be SUPER easy to get to...I like it!

    Dormers....aaaghhh we have agonized over this decision a bit but I think the weight and the price just is too much for us, like you say they don't add much storage space or any floor space and if we're clearly not going to be lounging in there all day anyway they probably are not worth the cost for us....niiiiiiiiiice as they are!

    I am for sure positive I will never ever want a propane system, I can see the convenience factor but there is an uncomfortable-factor for me that will never want one. I'll deal with getting hookups, a generator maaaayyyybe, or just deal [LOL]. Is a ceramic heater as good and safe as the oil circulating radiator type heater?

    I'm leaning strongly toward a Thetford portapotty...hubby doesn't care about using public restrooms but I HATE taking my son to a public restroom...so much. People seem to like the thetfords pretty well I think and I have an idea for possibly a privacy curtain maybe someday...or maybe everyone just piles out of the camper when someone needs to use it [LOL].

    I do NOT understand why dealers do not seem to order their campers with the off-road package!!! I don't think I've found any (new) from dealers that have it already and ordering it is a shame, though we're not really in a hurry. I am more and more inclined toward it...I mean, if we can't get it past our steep driveway entry then what on earth would we do?! That would be bad. I do wonder though if it makes storing it popped up in a garage harder and if it makes setting up harder because it's so much higher.

    I don't know what a clam shell screen house is...off to look it up!

    Haha I WISH you could join the AOC before actually owning one, I feel like that would be so helpful!!!
    Thank you very much
     
  16. Enigmacamper

    Enigmacamper Active Member

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    Wow, yeah I didn't realize they could be that simple. I assume that it's mostly for shade and bug protection?
     
  17. PointyCamper

    PointyCamper Active Member

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    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
  18. nhlakes

    nhlakes Well-Known Member

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    yes
     
  19. TNW

    TNW Member

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    It's too bad Aliner doesn't use decent drawers in the cabinet where I put them, but then it would add to the cost for sure. It's pretty easy to construct the drawers and install them, I made them out of PVC "lumber" from the Home Despot. I've done a lot of carpentry and cabinet making, so it went pretty fast.
    The cargo door was simple as well, it may have taken an hour at the most to do. All you need is a saber saw, pop rivet tool, and caulk, I cut the opening and set the caulk bead and then placed the door frame in the opening, clamped it so it'd be squeezed into the caulk, and then next morning I riveted the angle pieces to the inside flange of the frame, up against the inside wall and was done. A dealer would do this for you, I'd imagine, and hopefully not charge a lot.
     
  20. Sotovoce

    Sotovoce Active Member

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    Aliner makes Scouts for people who don't want propane. I grew up in a home with a gas range and furnace (after it replaced the coal burning beast). We got our Aliner in Feb. Since it was plugged into the house I took one of those radiator looking circulating oil heaters out while I measured and organized the storage. Even on the low setting that heater provided way more heat than the little camper space needed. After some research I found this which has worked well for us. Of course we have not used it with a three year old and an infant in tight quarters.

    Sunpentown SPT SH-1507 Mini-Tower Ceramic Heater
    I never know if these links will work:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000JEGK6...vtargid=kwd-6337586300&ref=pd_sl_85q7ozw30k_b

    Our cassette toilet is a Thetford. I think they have a good reputation.

    Keep looking for that off-road package. The dealer closest to us, just east of Atlanta, currently lists a 2018 Scout with the off-road package. I didn't want to order my camper either. I was just fortunate that when I was ready to buy there happened to be a model that almost matched my wish list. I am glad we have the off-road package. I am 5' 2" tall and can raise our larger Expedition by myself using my hiking stick with a bubble wrap filled sock on the end to push the roof. It is too tall to raise in our garage, but I don't think this model with smaller tires would fit either.
     

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