Help identifying model of my just acquired project Aliner

Discussion in 'A-Frame PopUps' started by refrigman, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. I will attach several photos. It needs a lot and has a little, but it was cheap. Tows well. Has 14" wheel off road option, AC, cabinet with furnace, sink, gas stove. Front dinette, rear sofa. 12' body, 15' overall. Front roof large window missing and covered. 1999 year. Scout? Ranger? What was available in 1999? What did I purchase? Thanks. 20170711_131006_resized_1.jpg 20170711_130743_resized.jpg 20170711_130804_resized.jpg 20170711_130826_resized.jpg 20170711_131109_resized.jpg
  2. SteveP

    SteveP Active Member

    May 21, 2015
    The windows say Scout, but the Scout typically didn't come with appliances. They were optional however.
  3. PointyCamper

    PointyCamper Active Member

    Nov 25, 2015
    There is a guy on Youtube named Slim Potatohead that makes Aliner videos and your Aliner looks a lot like his.
  4. DiamondGirl

    DiamondGirl Active Member

    Per NADAGuides,

    No Scouts were out back then and your measurements (total length including tongue = 15FT) would be one of the following:

    Aliner DL - sleeps 6
    Aliner LX - sleeps 4
    Aliner LXE - sleeps 4

    Here's a link to NADAGuides for more information.

    I would also contact the current manufacturer, CNW and ask them what version is your Aliner. Give them the VIN number. They may have the model information assigned to your Aliner VIN. They're very helpful whenever I've called.

    Aliner: (724)237-5227

    Good luck.

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

    JoePAz Active Member

    Mar 28, 2017
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Looks very similar to my new Ranger 12 in layout. However if it a 1999 I am not sure what the models were called back then.

    That said given how old the unit is and the current condition you have really a project and you can make it into whatever you want.
  6. There used to be, I think, a large horizontal front window in the lower portion of the front roof, besides the hard side windows on both sides, and door w/ window, plus two vents in the front roof only, none in rear. Also, it is titled as a "sofa" model, which seems like an option, not a model, so the actual model, may have to be determined, maybe by calling CNW. Thanks for the suggestions.
  7. bob barnes

    bob barnes Well-Known Member

    Mar 26, 2017
    Man what a shame to see something so beat up like that the previous owners must have been pieces of work!!!
    Canoe2fish likes this.
  8. bob barnes

    bob barnes Well-Known Member

    Mar 26, 2017
    looking at your picture I don't think you have it raised correctly.
  9. Is there a way to raise it incorrectly? If the front roof slot is over the top of the back roof, is there any other way for it to be? There are no lift assists other than the coil springs which do lose contact with the top when only partially lifted (coil springs weak?). There are no bungees. The left front corner is separated. The front roof is somewhat out of alignment as a result of the separation. Plus I have it parked sideways on a slope so that tends to misalign everything. The side walls, particularly on the down hill side do not meet the roof sections evenly, though when on a level surface that was better, but not very good. It aligned better both when up and when down on a level surface so that seems to be part of the problem on a slope. Also more lift assist seems needed. I have lots to do, but with only about $500 invested in purchase I have a lot of wiggle room on fix up cost for 'projects". And being retired I have time available. I will be seeking utility level rather than perfection--make it usable and nicer if not "back to new." And I will need lots of advice. Thanks in advance. Dave
  10. bob barnes

    bob barnes Well-Known Member

    Mar 26, 2017
    the roof sections come together perfectly at the top on my A-Liner I don't see why yours wouldn't do that too. Here is a thought when I raise my roof I have to go to the other side to sort of snap it together. I think that is your problem try going there and aligning it I think that will fix it!
  11. nhlakes

    nhlakes Active Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    DE and NH

    Appears the box is coming apart at the seams. That might the first thing to fix. Once the box is square and solid you can work on the coil springs to help raise the roof. If you have time and are in no hurry, it may wind up just fine.
  12. Definitely coming apart at left front and left rear. Been open to water for years. Though in Tucson where water is definitely seasonal it has still screwed with the plywood along that seam. The floors, amazingly seem solid, but I have more checking to do there. Also need to check top seams where sides meet roof once it is on a level surface and after the corners are aligned after repairs.
    My thinking is to put 2" x 2" vertical wood corners inside the open corners to give screws from outside front and side and back and side something solid to screw into as the plywood into which screws now go is delaminated, plus screwing into the side of plywood is never a good idea. I am thinking of using 2"x2" aluminum angle vertically along the entire outside of the corners with screws going through that from the outside into the 2" x2" solid wood interior uprights I install after placing the rig on level ground and maybe using ratcheting straps to wrap around the open corners and cinch them closed. Might be worth buying long pipes and sliding pipe clamps to make giant adjustable cabinet worker type gluing clamps from corner to corner to pull the corners together. But it may not require that kind of pull to align. Won't know until I try it.
    bob barnes likes this.
  13. bob barnes

    bob barnes Well-Known Member

    Mar 26, 2017
    good luck
  14. bob barnes

    bob barnes Well-Known Member

    Mar 26, 2017
    I am thinking your 2x2 idea will work with the addition of some clamps.
  15. I have now fixed the lower sidewall corners by taking metal corner braces and pushing the sides together until the factory corners can be pushed over the corners properly while screwing those brackets to each side and front or back where the seam had opened. Went far more easily and successfully than I had expected. I am missing the vertical corner piece covering the LR corner but will order that from Columbia NW. I then screwed and caulked the now aligned and reinforced corners. Everything looks WAY more aligned, closed and sealed. And those corner braces are solid and should prevent further problems.

    This old 1999 model, per a phone call to CNW, seems to be a Classic. To me it seems much like a current Ranger 12. It has a large window on right side behind door and a door window, but no forward window. On left side has large window but no separate front or rear small windows. One access hatch forward of door on right, none on left. (More hatches to be added later) Off road torsion axle and 14" wheels. Bought a portapotti. Have taken interior and exterior measurements and draw up side elevation plans as well as interior floor plan. No work yet on interior. Missing rear lift springs, and fronts are bent from age/stress to points well below the roof when lifted. I temporarily inserted a piece of 2" x 4" on top end of each to make contact with front roof panel when lifted so that they provide some assist. My plan is to install a 19" compressed, 35" extended 60# gas strut for each side of each roof to replace the lift springs. I have figured out where to attach each to the roof extrusions--22" from the hinge points, and where on the side to attach each so that they will fit when fully compressed but reach when fully extended to the same extrusion attachment point. I think a plywood reinforcement inside the lower sidewall will suffice from the attachment point down to the floor to spread the downforce across a larger area than the attachment point itself. I would like to eliminate the need for lift springs that require opening the roof panels up past vertical to replace. These 4 gas struts I found on line for only $28 each (comparable to CNW cost for 4 springs, I believe) and are much more easily replaced if needed. At each attachment point (2 per strut, 8 in all)they simply pop onto round pins installed on the roof panel extrusions and on each sidewall front and rear. They are very similar in concept to the 100# force struts used on the Expedition models from what I saw in pictures online, but should need less force because of more effective placement at close to 90 degrees to the extrusion at point of upper attachment.

    Also, I keep seeing reference to somewhat complex anti-wind lift systems to prevent problems while lifting roof panels and before and after securing sidewalls to roof panels to make a rigid structure. Wouldn't an effective and VERY simple system consist simply of 2 ropes attached to each roof panel near the corners at front and back of camper and running from front to back just 6"-12" in from the side edge and just barely long enough to reach up the front panel and down the rear.I am thinking they should run through guide brackets at the rear of the front panel extrusion as well. Once the panels are lifted and in place the rope will provide a constant slight tension preventing any wind force separation at the peak. When the roof panels are closed for travel the loose rope can easily be secured out of the way with a bungee to take up the slack pulling the excess out of the way either towards each other on top, or along each sidewall. Am I missing something as a newbie that requires more elaborate devices?

    I have already installed extra latches attaching the front and rear roof panels snugly together when closed, in addition to the factory hold down latches. Those prevent the front and rear panels from moving relative to each other and strengthening the frame below the floor from flexing force as the axle moves and the vehicle hits bumps. Now I need to get some kind of lift assist working and the roof protected from wind separation both while lifting and when fully lifted.

    I plan to tow this from southern AZ to the Oregon coast next week and then to work primarily on the interior, wiring. plumbing and cabinetry over next winter there. By next spring I hope to have the propane, water, 110v and 12v systems installed and working, water supply and holding tanks, storage maximized with better access, cabinets repaired or built and installed, cushions clean and ready, and have it travel ready. I also want to install front and rear roof windows. The front one was previously removed and its place filled in and covered. The rear never had one. Also it needs better roof ventilation/fan system. Lots to do but by spring I should be ready to travel.

    Any thoughts and suggestions are more than welcome.
  16. ~erik~

    ~erik~ Active Member

    Jan 19, 2015
    North Georgia
    Sounds like an ambitious plan, but restoring an old camper is never quick and easy. Interested in learning how the pneumatic struts work in place of the lift springs. Typically the springs supply the greatest lift force when fully closed, whereas struts are mounted so they are horizontal with no upward force until the lift starts. I'd be a tad concerned that initiating the roof lift may be difficult, though once the lift starts the struts will take over.
    Would 60 lb struts be strong enough? I used two 80 lb struts just to lift the bed on mine, and it barely holds up the bed plywood, cushions, and memory foam topper. It all depends on the geometry I guess. Keep us updated on progress, and have fun!
  17. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2016
    King George, Virginia
    Look real hard for the VIN NUMBER. MY 2008 OFF-ROAD Starcraft 14 R/T Model has the VIN stamped into a riveted on decal with the VIN NUMBER... Some others has the VIN NUMBER stamped into the frame near the rear of the trailer.
    Roy's Image

    I have also looked at friends same model as mine and his doesn't seem to have a stamped on VIN NUMBER into the frame anywhere. It must have been stamped into the frame that has the box mounted over it perhaps???

    The VIN NUMBER should identify the model number... I also have a different number stamped into t my 2008 frame and I guess that is from the company that made the trailer frame only. I suspect some of the bare trailer frames may be made by a different manufacturer...

    Roy Ken
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
  18. bob barnes

    bob barnes Well-Known Member

    Mar 26, 2017
    my compliments to you on your work you will have a very nice camper when done!
  19. I designed the strut placement geometry to have the struts mounted to be at or near vertical at the closed position and only a little off vertical when fully lifted. The roof panels weigh about 150 lbs. so while they won't lift by themselves, the 120# pair on each panel should make the required force pretty light, especially with the torque provided by lifting well away from the hinged pivot point (which supports some of the weight). I wanted to avoid having a hard time pulling down to close it so I didn't plan to use the also available 80# force struts of the same length which would put an upward force of 160# per panel that I would need to counteract (with the weight of the panels to help, of course). If anyone has any experience with using struts like these in an installation like this I would love to hear your thoughts. I have not yet ordered the struts and certainly could switch to the 80# model if that would be better. So much of strut function has to do with the upper location distance from the hinge and the angle at which they are pushing the weight. I tried to stay as close as possible to pushing straight up and made the upper location 22" out from the hinge rather than closer to make them more effective. Also the range of readily available open and closed lengths limits placement options. The longest reasonably priced struts are just over 35" and the compressed length of those is just over 19". I worked with a scale drawing of the side view and a compass to find where a strut with those dimensions could attach to the sidewall and the roof extrusion and be able to be both closed and fully open with a near vertical lift rather than a significantly more horizontal one as in the CNW placement on the Expedition which has the struts virtually horizontal when roof is closed, and therefore has to use 100# struts that are much shorter but lose mechanical advantage by not pushing directly up but at an angle. I THINK I have made it possible to use much longer but lower force struts by placing them much further from the front and back and much lower and pushing almost straight up. The main question is whether to use 60# or 80# struts. And for that I welcome your input. Here is a photo of my plan for the strut placement. In the top left I also played with the Chalet lift arm idea but think I prefer the simplicity of the struts. Since I am working without the factory lift springs maybe I should go with the 80# struts? 20170807_085344_resized.jpg
  20. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2014

    I am pretty sure the "Classic" didn't exist in 1999. The current owners of CNW also did not own the company at that time. Like said, DL, LX, LXE.

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