Considering an Aliner for family?

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

  1. chambo

    chambo Active Member

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    Apr 27, 2015
    Southern California
    Correct, GVWR= how much the trailer can hold, including the weight of the trailer. There is also a 'dry weight' which is how much that trailer weighed when it left the factory. This includes factory installed accessories, but usually does not include battery or propane weight as those are added at the dealership. Somewhere between your GVWR and your dry weight is where you'll probably end up. The difference between those two numbers can be considered your Cargo Carrying Capacity, or CCC.

    Your Subaru also has a GVWR which is the total amount of weight your can have in your car, including the car itself, passengers, fuel, and gear. The tongue weight of your trailer will also eat into your vehicles GVWR and your vehicles Cargo Carrying Capacity, if there is a published rating for that.
     
  2. nhlakes

    nhlakes Active Member

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    Oct 15, 2011
    DE and NH
    According to Aliner the Off-Road package adds 5" to your clearance. I'm sure it helps on steep driveways. My driveway is steep also and I'm SURE the extra clearance helps backing in. Even with the extra clearance my rear stabilizers still touch when I'm backing in. Without the pkg they'd probably scrape big time.
     
  3. DiamondGirl

    DiamondGirl Active Member

    I love having members join our Aliner/Aframe family. But as others stated previously, be sure your vehicle can tow your Aliner safely.

    Aliners are the lightest in weight than other brands. It’s one of the reasons why we picked ours. The first Dealer tried to sell a much heavier and different brand model Aframe. It was 1200 pounds heavier than my Aliner. Our previous TV wouldn’t be able to tow up steep inclines/mountains without a transmission cooler, brake controller, LOTS of time and patience. They wanted to make the sale and gloss over specifics about weight limits. We canceled the sale. Then went to a different dealership and got the Aliner.

    I have a Classic Off Road, no dormers with all the amenities and luxuries. I GLAMP. Dormers, appliances and water will add more weight. Plus the Off Road Model has a heavier duty axle and higher clearance. Not needed if you’re not camping in the wilderness and only at campgrounds. I can do both types of camping with my set up. Two small kids can fit on the dinette bed for sleeping or one adult. It might be too close for comfort. Depends on the family. Not an issue for mine. At night you can keep the porta potty near the door entrance and or outside in a privacy tent nearby. Hang a privacy curtain on each side of the beds for added privacy.

    During the day, we’re outside to enjoy the surroundings and outdoor activities unless the weather is bad. We cook, wash, lounge outside with family and friends. Read, listen to music or watch movies inside at bedtime.

    Good luck searching. Be sure to spend time inside an Aliner before buying. You will have better insight on whether it FITS your family’s camping needs.

    Happy Camping...[ALPU][PUT]
     
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  4. shuang2

    shuang2 Well-Known Member

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    Apr 20, 2010
    Our Chalet box is a little bigger than 7X14, but smaller than 7X15. Inside the trailer is a Queen & a double. In our 17 days camping trip we reserved 7 campsites all the way: 2 overnight stops, 2 nights Crater Lake, 4 nights Redwood(Prairie Creek Redwood SP), 2 nights Ave of Giants, 4 nights Yosemite, 2 nights Los Angeles ....a picture:
    DSC_3551.JPG
     
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  5. JoePAz

    JoePAz Active Member

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    Mar 28, 2017
    Phoenix, Arizona
    What really helps tongue weight is coolcat AC. That is behind the rear axle and really lightens the tongue alot. I add weight back in for two propane tanks and battery. Plus when load I often put heavy stuff in the back again to reduce tongue weight. Simple cheap bathroom scale and 4x4 stick of wood to measure tongue weight. Hard dormers are a little heavier than soft, but only come on the classic. I have the ranger which is a lower model. Smaller fridge, no Microwave and few other deleted features. Cheaper and less weight overall.

    As for the thetford.. I use it sparingly. I would rather go out side or use the facilities if they have one. Then it less mess for me to clean. I have used it may be 4-5 times in 30 nights. So I have no idea how long it would last.


    I also have the off road package. Good because it raises the trailer up for better clearance. IMG_2583.JPG

    IMG_2498.JPG IMG_2584.JPG
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
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  6. CamperChrissy

    CamperChrissy Active Member

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    Nov 25, 2016
    Chicago suburbs
    Also consider how much clothing, toiletries, and food you will be bringing along. Is there enough storage space for 4 people's worth for a longer trip? You could store some in the tv, but that means dragging things in and out when you need it. Is that ok with you? Personally that would make me nuts, but some people don't mind.

    We've had our PUP a little over a year and I'm already shopping for a bigger one. With our 3 kids, it's tighter than we imagined. And they keep growing...

    Also when we bought our PUP, all the scenarios I imagined had beautiful weather! I'm in Chicago, duh. I'm guessing you are close by given your destinations. For us Midwesterners, inside space is NOT just for sleeping. If you want to camp in any month other than June, that inside space is where you have to go when it's cold or raining or really hot. I would say this is the biggest lesson I've learned from my PUP!
     
  7. shuang2

    shuang2 Well-Known Member

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    Apr 20, 2010
    Basically, the Chalet XL 1940 is a 7X14 box and highwall popup camper. Without a pull out bed stack inside the box, Chalet could have better cargo space than a same highwall 7X14 Fleetwood popup camper on the road. We put and arrange most camping stuffs in the trailer - on the bed or under the bed and the floor. Clothes for each of the four is settling in his/her midsize luggage. We still have a truck bed as our spare storage. Sleeping in the Chalet is doable in the hottest month Aug & Sep to us. DSC_1899.JPG
     
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  8. NothingsChocking

    NothingsChocking Active Member

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    Mar 7, 2017
    Texas
    I would recommend It for three but not for 4, although possible. I have a family of three and if it grew beyond that we would probably go dark-side. At least in regular pop-ups when two siblings have to share a bed it is usually a queen or bigger and I can still see a bickering brother and sister disturbing the peace with that... In our a-frame and others as far as I know, the spare bed (convertible dinette for us) is not much wider than a single.
     
  9. Chloe

    Chloe Member

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    Jun 16, 2017
    Massachusetts
    The 5" clearance is great for those steep hills! Not sure anyone also mentioned, but I think you also get more rugged tires with the off-road package? Our mechanic friend seemed impressed with the tires. Can anyone comment on a comparison between the regular vs. off-road tires?

    A Ranger 12 would be a tight fit for 4, unless two were small kids. You could boost your TV by adding a transmission cooler, frame reinforcement, and use a sway bar... etc.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017 at 10:08 PM
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  10. ~erik~

    ~erik~ Active Member

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    Jan 19, 2015
    North Georgia
    Can't comment on the difference between the tires, but I like the larger alloy wheels a lot better than the stamped steel tiny wheels the non-off road versions have.
    One thing we did find was that we needed a small step stool to easily reach the lower most step to get in and out of the camper. Maybe it's cause we're old f@rts. Bought a plastic folding 12" tall step stool and cut three or four inches off the legs with my power miter saw. Now it's a perfect height. :)
     
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  11. nhlakes

    nhlakes Active Member

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    Oct 15, 2011
    DE and NH
    That's interesting. I have a `16 Ranger 15 off-road with the 2 steps and the lowest step is probably less than normal step height. Not sure if you can tell in the pic below...

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. DiamondGirl

    DiamondGirl Active Member

    I love the higher clearance because we DO go off road camping in the forest and away from crowded campgrounds. Traveling through forest roads and trails. Our Aliner doesn’t have Off Road tires but it’s nice to have larger 14” alloy rims for higher travel speeds. DH says you’re better off buying tires with higher plys versus cheaper less ply tires. The TV vehicle needs the extra traction from an off road tire not the trailer itself. The trailer is only being pulled by the TV. Yes, having Off Road tires on both the TV and trailer would look better but not for functionality. We bought new tires right after bringing her home from the dealership because we didn’t want to risk an accident from old tires. Always check the ADOT tire date.

    I would like to add a side grab bar to assist when ascending up the step. Sometimes Mom or MIL sleeps in the Aliner during camping trips. And they need help climbing up.

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

    Enigmacamper Member

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    Nov 5, 2017
    Irritatingly I cannot seem to find a GVWR for the Subaru itself...just it's tow ability and tongue weight :(
     
  14. Enigmacamper

    Enigmacamper Member

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    Nov 5, 2017
    Do you have any idea what degree of slope you have? Looking at them in person I was highly skeptical we'd make it but then got home and started to wonder...it's really not that big of a transition...hmmm. I hate to pay for it when we would almost certainly never need to actually take it off road. Of course, if we couldn't get it up the driveway and had to pay to store it that would be a major problem!
     
  15. Enigmacamper

    Enigmacamper Member

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    1
    Nov 5, 2017
    Haha your idea of camping sounds pretty close to mine :) I'm not so much into roughing it if I can avoid it, I do have a strong aversion to hotels etc. so perhaps this is a way to make hubby extra happy too :).
    I wonder why Aliner is really so much lighter than the others?! I assumed Chalet was made with the same fiberglass/Azdel type walls etc.
    You said the space was not an issue for your family, how many people do you usually have in there? Our family is super close but of course when kids get older they will change and that's what's hard to gauge right now. "Upgrading" to a bigger camper or trailer would not really be an option since we just have the one TV. Only other car is an old camaro.
     
  16. Enigmacamper

    Enigmacamper Member

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    Nov 5, 2017
    Haha yes not too far from Chicago! Weather is definitely a consideration. Though since the car detaches so easily, if the weather's bad surely there's somewhere to go with something interesting to see. I guess it's where you are though, I don't think we'd be too terribly in the wilderness.
    You make a good point about the storage, I looked at the Scout's storage last weekend and it is absurd in my opinion...basically don't put anything in the back unless you have no need to get to it during your trip :confused:. I could not believe how inconvenient!! I'm sure people have done mods to figure that one out because that's ridiculous.
     
  17. Enigmacamper

    Enigmacamper Member

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    Nov 5, 2017
    I'm glad to hear it's ok in the heat, our heat gets miserable. How cold have you used it? We were thinking of just an oil-filled heater like we use at home. I figured with the small space it would more than do the job but perhaps I am expecting too much from the insulation :rolleyes:
     
  18. Enigmacamper

    Enigmacamper Member

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    Nov 5, 2017
    The scouts beds in the new model at least are almost a queen and almost a full. Let me ask you, if your family grew to 4 but you had no other reasonable options (i.e. couldn't go soft-side and couldn't go bigger (due to storage and TV)) would you still use the aliner and put up with it or would it be too inconvenient and go back to hotels?
     
  19. Enigmacamper

    Enigmacamper Member

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    Nov 5, 2017
    I'm so torn with this, I wonder if the standard chassis/tires/axle etc. is as good but the extra weight, expense and height when storing are all bummers. I wish there was a way to know for sure we could get it up our driveway :(. Does anybody with a normal setup ever have it scrape going in and out of parking lots etc?
    Also, that about the off-road tires on the trailer vs TV...genius. I'm sure we don't have special tires on our Subaru anyway so I doubt we have much off-roading in our future ;)
     
  20. nhlakes

    nhlakes Active Member

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    Oct 15, 2011
    DE and NH
    Honestly no idea how to measure that one. And I'm on the road for a couple of weeks, so will not see it in person for awhile. I wanted the off-road for the 14" wheels and the stronger axle. While I do take the camper off road a little, I'm certainly not aggressively four-wheeling with it. However, it does help when having to do a 10pt turn-around down some diminished dirt road. ;)

    My driveway wasn't my primary motivation for the pkg, but after I realized how close it was, I was sure glad I got it...
     

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