pros and cons on A Frame

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by kidkeper, Jun 17, 2020.

  1. kidkeper

    kidkeper New Member

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    we are considering purchasing new:
    2018 Coachmen Clipper Hardside C12RBSTHW
    We have looked at it three times and I am having a hard time deciding.
    My main concerns are high winds, leakage and cracks which will allow mosquitos in. I basically need a bed and AC so size is not an issue. Thanks for any advice you can offer.
     
  2. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Lots here have a frames and love them, they will give you honest advice.
     
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  3. the-one1

    the-one1 Member

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    An A-frame will deal with wind better than a popup with fabric walls. Also set up is faster than a popup.
    Someday I'll get myself an A-frame for those exact reasons.
     
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  4. Rik Peery

    Rik Peery Well-Known Member

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    Find some Slim Potatohead vids on youtube & watch 'em...had an Aliner w/ soft dormers & liked it, dang easy set up & take down, had a tension bar that went wall to wall for extra support & you could hang stuff from it...
     
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  5. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    One of the more frequent complaints I have seen has been the A/C. A-frames use a smaller A/C that seems to be much less efficient, noisier and less reliable than the typical rooftop unit. Personally I like the ones with the double dormers, but in the end I need a tad more room than what an A-frame can offer.
     
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  6. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    When I was looking to upgrade I first saw a camp neighbor in an A Frame set up in under a minute in the rain. So I seriously started researching a frames for their ease of set up. I don't know about the model you were looking at but the model I was looking at had a lot of complaints about the bubble windows leaking and the AC dieing in only a couple seasons. The biggest problem for me is it felt majorly cramped with three adults inside and I discovered the longer I stayed in one the more claustrophobic I was becoming. I decided to sit inside the A Frame I had my eyes on for an hour pretending I was stuck indoors due to weather. As it will always storm at least once on every one of my trips. My family though needs to spread out and apparently I do too. To each their own.
     
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  7. A-Ranger12

    A-Ranger12 Active Member

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    Our first trip in our Aliner had pretty high winds constantly. I set up the camper with a roof side into the wind, and had no issues.

    I did have to re-seal the bubble windows on it, but that was due to it being stored outside uncovered with no attention for years before I bought it. Not a big deal, a tube of Sikasil N-Plus and a few hours of work, mostly scraping and taping, had them sealed up once more.

    Upsides: fast setup, insulated, plenty of headroom, lots of storage, everything can be moved easily, can tow smaller ones behind about anything.
    Downsides: gets crowded quickly when folks are all heading outside, smallish beds not good for much past 5'10" or so sleeping two people on them, the person closer to the door will be crawled over at 3 AM for nature's call if sleeping two up, and it needs an organized person to best make use of the space.

    In short, the smaller ones are good for small families that get along well and don't mind each other being all in their personal space while inside it.

    We have a 10x10 portable shelter with camping chairs and a table we use for our "inside" space, and use the Aliner for sleeping and getting out of the weather. Fits our needs fine, and we're okay with the shortcomings.
     
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  8. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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  9. DiamondGirl

    DiamondGirl Well-Known Member

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    I’ve had my Aliner for six years and am the 2nd owner from AZ.
    • My bubble windows haven’t leaked so far.
    • I replaced my AC during year six and the replacement can be found at a Large box store for less than $200. I travel often on rough roads for boondocking. Easy replacement and keeps the inside cool.
    • I’ve camped in winds of 50Mph. I use a bar for added security against wind plus a wind harness system from Chalet as added protection.
    • I keep a Thermacell system in my Aliner so bugs will stay out. I also keep a Thermacell outside by the door. No matter what travel trailer you purchase, there will always be bugs. Just opening the door will let them in.
    • An Aframe will have better protection than a tent or regular pop up. My Aliner is a four season camper.
    • Maybe too small for a family unless your very close and don’t mind the smaller space. Check out the Aliner Family model. The interior is bigger since the kitchen is outside.
    • Not all Aframes are built the same. Many companies use different materials which can affect the quality, longevity and resale value.
    Good luck researching.

    Happy Camping...[ALPU][PUT]
     
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  10. jackquontee

    jackquontee Active Member Diamond Supporting Member

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    I had a 2013 Scout
    14928-cfdf4e85cb59d7e6f5f0b753bf36cc0f.jpg
    This is my 2016 Expedition when I first purchased it.
    IMG_0394.JPG
    I think WrkrBee provided the most thorough assessment of the Scout I've ever seen written. Having said that, why, then, did I purchase a 2016 Expedition after having the 2013 Scout?
    I'm a firm believer that almost all popups, travel trailers, campers, etc., have, or will have, issues. When I purchased the 2013 & 2016 I decided I wanted three things in particular; quick & easy setup, lightweight, and low tow profile. I got all three. I drove 2k miles round trip to pick up the 2016 with a Tacoma and this thing tracked all the way back home like a dream. It's still a shame they're so expensive, though.
     
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  11. kidkeper

    kidkeper New Member

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    Thank you all for the comments. My high winds concern have now been alleviated. After reading other forums I am now concerned about the electronic lift. The one we are looking at makes set up sound easy but what happens when you have no power available and you are only 5’3?
     
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  12. kidkeper

    kidkeper New Member

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    I have run across and watched a couple of those already. The wind episode and I believe a setup one. He is pretty informative!
     
  13. DiamondGirl

    DiamondGirl Well-Known Member

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    My Aliner Classic doesn’t have an electronic lift system. I’m 5’4 and I use a small step stool to lift and lower my roof when DH isn’t available.

    You should check out “Going Nowhere fast” videos on YouTube. Rick is a member on here. I prefer his replacement and repair work on an Aliner. He uses quality parts when making repairs or upgrades. He’s very knowledgeable about maintenance needed on an Aliner and very helpful.

    Happy Camping...[ALPU][PUT]
     
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  14. Rik Peery

    Rik Peery Well-Known Member

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    Mine came w/ the high wind kit, basically an aluminum bar set that can aid in lifting, saw a vid where the lady stood on the step to help her...
     
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  15. StlAnnie

    StlAnnie New Member

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    I'm 5'3" and in my 60s. I use the Aline high wind kit (aluminum bar) to help me raise the roof and stand on a step stool. I don't have any problem with it. A clean new sponge mop or other long stick with a padded end could be used in place of the attached aluminum bar.

    Best bet is to try it yourself at the dealership and see how it goes. Bring a step stool. :)
     
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  16. Alben

    Alben New Member

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    I have a Forest River produced A-frame. A 2016 Viking Legend V12RB, which is very similar to the Coachman that you are looking at. It has been a great camper. The pros are the extremely fast setup and no canvas. The cons are the interior size. Fine for a family of two, or three max. The air conditioner is a Dometic Cool Cat which puts out tons of cold air, and is reliable, as it is an A/C designed for RV use. I think the Aliner brand has issues with many of their earlier A/C units as they were using residential window units that would not stand up to RV use.
     
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  17. Brian Rudichuk

    Brian Rudichuk New Member

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    If you are looking for a hard-sided pop up may I suggest you take a look at Trailmanor. They are spectacularly easy to set up and very complete campers. If you are going to spend the $$ needed for an A-frame, this is a much roomier option.
    https://trailmanor.com/six-reasons-to-choose-a-trailmanor/
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2020
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  18. Kathy in Montana

    Kathy in Montana New Member

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    Hi - I bought a 2016 C12RBST last summer and I am enjoying it. It was a good deal from people I knew, buying new wasn't an option. They never used the water system at all, and I have not either. I am reluctant to let the gray water drain on the ground in grizzly country, there is no tank. The storage bins are invaluable for me - lawn chairs, life jackets, whatever - they are huge and I can't imagine doing without them. My tow vehicle is a 6 cyl 4 Runner. It's pretty easy to set up ( I am 5'6" and 64 yo), I carry a step stool and have found a crutch to be the perfect tool to assist - no power lift. I left it outside last winter under a large tarp and kept the snow swept off it to avoid the weight. I am a boondocker, so I can't speak on the heat pump/AC, but the heater works great. Still trying to figure out how to keep the fridge from freezing everything. I have had no leak issues but haven't been in a deluge (semi-arid climate). I have been in some wind without issues, but nothing over 30 mph. The walls are 7 feet apart and I haven't figured out how to use a bar of that width yet. The biggest disappointment was the door lock - it pretty much came apart when I hit a pothole. Had to crawl in through a storage compartment. I took it apart and removed the loose parts, can latch the door but not lock it. I am on dirt roads all the time, so i see no point in trying to fix and use the same lock. I'm going out tomorrow, so it will be a good skeeter test. Last yr was out only after mid-July. Keep us posted! -Kathy in Montana
     
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  19. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    For the interior roof brace, wind resisting, I screwed closet rod hangers (metal) , shallow profile type, male to one wall, female to the other wall, and cut a longer plastic coated wooden closet rod down to the required length. It works great. We added an LED light strip each end. Its also used for hanging a few clothes. The LEDs have a loose power wire fro one end of the rod and a 12C ciggy plug. There are photos on an older post.
     
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  20. kidkeper

    kidkeper New Member

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    Thanks for the response. The interior size is not an issue for us. It will be used by two of us. (myself and my sister.) Which is why I am looking at ease of set-up. We are both about 5'4"
     

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