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#1 OFFLINE   alpenliterep

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 02:58 PM

Ok, if you have ever said to yourself "Why don't they do this" or "Why didn't they do it like that" and my personal favorite "If I was building these things I would..." Now is your chance to be heard. I am working on Alpenlites new Truck Camper Models and I want all of you to share your good ideas with me please. I even have one spot open for a completely new floor plan. So, if you are a closet engineer or just a clever camper your chance at truck camper immortality is here. I promise to take every suggestion, idea, and design seriously. I need your responses by May 30th. Don't be shy.

Thank You All
Beau Durkee
Alpenlite Truck Campers
Beau Durkee, Alpenlite Truck Campers

#2 OFFLINE   mindhive

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 05:21 PM

An idea I had just today! It is to use a bladder instead of a rigid tank for fresh water and maybe the other tanks. My thinking was it may be less prone to breakage and if it need to be replaced it could be pulled out without dismantling the camper. It would just have to be mounted in an area free of protruding screws. :D

Tim

#3 OFFLINE   Azrambler

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 05:37 PM

Ok, if you have ever said to yourself "Why don't they do this" or "Why didn't they do it like that" and my personal favorite "If I was building these things I would..." Now is your chance to be heard. I am working on Alpenlites new Truck Camper Models and I want all of you to share your good ideas with me please. I even have one spot open for a completely new floor plan. So, if you are a closet engineer or just a clever camper your chance at truck camper immortality is here. I promise to take every suggestion, idea, and design seriously. I need your responses by May 30th. Don't be shy.

Thank You All
Beau Durkee
Alpenlite Truck Campers



RV wiring! Maybe itís me but most of the wiring I see in RVís really scares me. The ground returns seem to be especially bad. A terminal block would be a great addition instead of a big bunch of wires thrown together with a wire nut or crimp cap. Grounds are just as important as the feed and they really seem to get neglected in RVís. I converted my first TC for about $30 and will be converting my new one when I get the time.

Better documentation and some better use of color coding of the wiring circuits. It would sure help tracking down a problem.

While I am at it, how about a positive locking system on all cabinet doors. How many people have to secure the doors with a strap or something to keep them from flying open during travel? A mechanism that would allow you to secure the door while traveling but once your static you unlock it and itís just like a normal pull open latch. No more Velcro straps, tywraps, bungi cords or whatever we all use for this.


Large towel bars in the bathroom to hang towels on while driving so they can dry out. Another item I am sure we all have rigged up.

I am sure I can think up of some more....

Murph

In Colorado
Murph
2005 F350, 4X4, 6.0 PSD, SRW
05' Alpenlite 1100 Santa Fe, AirLift's with wireless air controller
Torklift with Fastguns & superhitch & Stable loads "The Best!"
Ricksons With Hankook DH01 265/70/19.5 "you'll never go back!"
Come Visit the great State of AZ, There is a lot more to see than Desert and the Grand Canyon!
Can you guess where the largest contiguous stand of Ponderosa Pines in North America are located?
???

#4 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 07:26 AM

How about some type of trap door in the FLOOR of the cabover. Then one could buy a pick up with a sunroof and use it to get into the truck in an emergency. Would have to climb under the mattress of course. Would probably be easier with twin beds.
I have been a tent camper since my Boy Scout days long, long, ago. Now I need to get up off of the cold ground to get a good nights rest, a truck camper seems to be the best choice. I am here to learn as much as I can.

#5 OFFLINE   ChopperBill

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 07:37 AM

I agree with the cabinet latches. Copy, do not try to improve on, Lance and Eagle Caps latches. I would like to see a SOLID rear step like the Snowriver built to incorporate the rear ladder. You could remove the ladder and use it as an entry step. Frees ups up the basement for larger holding tanks and/or more storage.

Northern Colorado

#6 OFFLINE   canyonwren

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 08:20 AM

Are there any exterior plastic components that don't yellow when exposed to the sun? That would be a great addition.

I agree with better documentation when it comes to wiring runs and areas available for modifications. I have always had to spend most of my time making sure I am not drilling or cutting the wrong thing when installing a modification. This would help the weekend handymen.

I think some manufacturers are going with upgraded power systems, but I would think it would be a great selling point to have the power system that everyone talks about on the forums already installed in your unit. I always ask myself "If we are all talking about it, why do they just include it in the first place?"

Pre wire for solar and possibly other additions. What does it cost to plan ahead for an inverter installation? Maybe that could be a selling point for dealers, "this baby is per wired for an inverter! We can get you that installed for just $$$$ additional."

I could probably come up with a couple more and I will think about it. Thanks for asking the question, it's a great communication tool and even though I own another brand, I'll remember that you asked if I ever purchase again.

Dean
Canyonwren
Post Falls, Idaho
I am retired from North Idaho College.

2005 Dodge 1 Ton, Long bed, SRW (Air Bags, Supersprings & Rancho 9000 shocks, Rickson 19.5 Wheels).
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#7 OFFLINE   Azrambler

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 09:38 AM

Pre wire for solar and possibly other additions. What does it cost to plan ahead for an inverter installation? Maybe that could be a selling point for dealers, "this baby is per wired for an inverter! We can get you that installed for just $$$$ additional."

I was thinking of the same thing after my first post. Having a the option of an factory installed inverter or the option of a pre wire for an inverter. A quality inverter. Something like a Xantrex RS400 or an Exeltech with the power going to limited outlets in the living area. The most popular spots: TV, bathroom, dinning table. maybe have separate outlets so you can choose what to plug into at the outlet. I wouldn't bother with any high power inverters. In my mind their called generators :trink08:

I think some manufacturers are going with upgraded power systems, but I would think it would be a great selling point to have the power system that everyone talks about on the forums already installed in your unit. I always ask myself "If we are all talking about it, why do they just include it in the first place?"

Being an Alpenlite owner I already know that Alpenlites come with the upgraded power systems and have the pre wire for solar option as well. That is something you don't want to get rid of. They also have a pre wire for a generator option... which I wish mine would have been ordered with so I didn't have to do it myself. :comp26: I bought mine used and the original owner didn't order the option.

In Colorado
Murph
2005 F350, 4X4, 6.0 PSD, SRW
05' Alpenlite 1100 Santa Fe, AirLift's with wireless air controller
Torklift with Fastguns & superhitch & Stable loads "The Best!"
Ricksons With Hankook DH01 265/70/19.5 "you'll never go back!"
Come Visit the great State of AZ, There is a lot more to see than Desert and the Grand Canyon!
Can you guess where the largest contiguous stand of Ponderosa Pines in North America are located?
???

#8 OFFLINE   DakotaCamper

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 04:29 PM

Get rid of the worthless sewer hose holder that only holds the cheap 10' sections of hose. I think most of us are using a heavier grade hose and they just don't fit in those holders. I looked at a camper today with it. What a waste.

Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R.R. Tolkien

 

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The interstate system of highways is fine for getting where you need to be in a hurry, but it's the road less traveled that is more enjoyable. Take in the scenery before life passes you by in a blur.


#9 OFFLINE   Snowy Bird

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 05:35 PM

My wife says it might be nice to offer the consumer a choice of solid colors on the cushions, pillow shams, bedspreads and the like. On some makes you feel like you are walking into a traveling "bordello"... :comp26: .....I say add an option for upgrading the faucets in the bathroom and galley. With the amount these units cost, and with water leakage being our worst nightmare a better quality fixture would be something I would pay extra for. Or just be the first one to do it because you care......Innovative idea !!! :trink08:

Mike


Travelling bordello...that's funny and so true. All some of the units need are some interior purple and blue "pimp lights"... :comp26:
Myself, I prefer something very classic with clean lines and no friley or poofey stuff. It's a TC, not a Martha Stewart guest house (or big house).. :lol:


#10 OFFLINE   Snowy Bird

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 05:43 PM

Aaah, just thought of something else.
By the time one gets the bed nice and comfy with all of the foam, down & fleece blankets, the side closets doors just barely scrape over top of the covers. Maybe the cabinet doors on the cab over could be a few inches shorter?


#11 OFFLINE   Jerry_In_Dewey_Arizona

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 05:59 PM

Here are a few more suggestions.

Some of your current or prospective buyers may have disabilities. The one that comes to mind is Sleep Apnea, which I and others here suffer from.

There needs to be adequate 110v and 12v plugs in the coach to accomodate this. In mine I had the factory add 12v plugs on either side of the overhead bed. I also had them add an inverter, to handle both a sleep apnea machine and a heated humidifier. The humidifier needs to run off the inverter. There also needs to be adequate battery capacity to support people with sleep apnea. The batteries should be no maintenance, like agm which even could be mounted in the coach.
Family health problem, necessitated us to give up our TC and Truck and purchase a 2006 Pleasureway Plateau Class B, 22 foot motorhome, on a Dodge Sprinter with 2.7 diesel engine, fully self contained with Onan gen.

Formerly We had an 01 Ford F250 SuperCab, V10, and 2004 Lance 1010 Camper.

Jerry & Roberta, and Dog Bandit

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#12 OFFLINE   DakotaCamper

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 07:03 PM

Aaah, just thought of something else.
By the time one gets the bed nice and comfy with all of the foam, down & fleece blankets, the side closets doors just barely scrape over top of the covers. Maybe the cabinet doors on the cab over could be a few inches shorter?


So true, good suggestion Snowy.

Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R.R. Tolkien

 

Camper_Avatar_200x200.jpg

 

The interstate system of highways is fine for getting where you need to be in a hurry, but it's the road less traveled that is more enjoyable. Take in the scenery before life passes you by in a blur.


#13 OFFLINE   alpenliterep

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 09:28 AM

Wow, Thanks everyone. I couldn't wait to see the response so I came into the office on Sunday to get a peek. When I get back in on Monday morning I will reply to every suggestion. They look great so far... keep up the good work. Together we can make the best TC ever built.
Thank You
Beau
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#14 OFFLINE   2ivswo

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 10:27 AM

Be the first to come out with standard LED lights over the dinette and in the cab-over for reading! A lot of people are converting over to them.

#15 OFFLINE   RR Hounds

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 01:32 PM

How about an aux water pump switch in the bathroom? We leave ours off normally and inevitably there is the "d'oh" that we forgot to turn on the water pump..... :fing32:

Also, when hooking up to power it would be nice to have some kind of indicator that you can see while standing at the back door looking inside (without having to climb in). The way I determine if we're good to go is to look at the microwave. I did this with the Six Pac and the Host. Both require me to climb inside to see.
<p><img src='<a class='bbc_url' href='http://i35.photobuck...dow11-23-07.jpg[url="""]>http://i35.photobuck...-23-07.jpg</a>'[/url] alt='Posted Image' class='bbc_img' /><br /> <br />
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#16 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 06:05 PM

How about some windows near the ceiling so that a 6' person can see out without stooping.
I have been a tent camper since my Boy Scout days long, long, ago. Now I need to get up off of the cold ground to get a good nights rest, a truck camper seems to be the best choice. I am here to learn as much as I can.

#17 OFFLINE   Azrambler

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 10:43 PM

This is a modification I plan on doing and I though what the heck I'll throw it in as well. I like to go deep into the back country and sometimes youíre dragging tree limbs and stuff on the side and top of the camper. On my old camper, I managed to scrape holes on the very edge of the roof where the rubber edpm is curled over the edges of the roof. I know it was from some low hanging tree branches. I was checking the roof top but I missed these small rubs on the side in the very front where you feel unsafe to get out on. You guessed it I got some water damage before I caught them.

Most all campers have a roof railing on them but just on the back end. I am thinking about a 7/8" tube rail about 3" or so running along the full length of the rubber roof edge to protect it. Just like a bow rail on a boat. It will need to be a little more outbound than the roof racks are. That way branches and stuff would hit and rub on the rail and protect the roof. You could even incorporate it into the roof rack. Starting in the front running relatively low ~3" then it could raise up higher toward the back to encompass a roof rack. The front leading edge also has to die into the roof so you donít catch anything on it. I was going to do it in stainless steel but an aluminum rail would be just as good. I was going to build mine using boat railing fittings. This could be just an option for us back county types but it may be worth while for everyone. I am sure we all have come across low trees and such on the public roads.



P.S. Ditto on the cabinet doors on the cab over. The doors were ok until the 2" memory foam topper and down comforter came along. I don't think I know anyone without a foam topper so make room for them.

In Colorado
Murph
2005 F350, 4X4, 6.0 PSD, SRW
05' Alpenlite 1100 Santa Fe, AirLift's with wireless air controller
Torklift with Fastguns & superhitch & Stable loads "The Best!"
Ricksons With Hankook DH01 265/70/19.5 "you'll never go back!"
Come Visit the great State of AZ, There is a lot more to see than Desert and the Grand Canyon!
Can you guess where the largest contiguous stand of Ponderosa Pines in North America are located?
???

#18 OFFLINE   alpenliterep

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 08:35 AM

Ok Beau, here's one. I am really new to TC'ing and just bought a new truck and camper. Now I can only speak about my camper and do not know if others are different, but on mine if you want to throw the battery kill switch when the camper is not in use, with the slide in you have to squeeze yourself through to the galley area, lean under the sink and turn the key. Not the most ideal situation. Any way to place a kill switch by the entry door would be pretty cool.....

Mike


You are right on with this one. I have this on my personal list of things to fix. The challenge has always been running the wiring to the rear and back in the heavy gage needed for the kill switch. I have come up with a technique to get this done and you should see it soon on a Alpenlite. Great suggestion.
Thank You
Beau
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#19 OFFLINE   alpenliterep

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 09:19 AM

An idea I had just today! It is to use a bladder instead of a rigid tank for fresh water and maybe the other tanks. My thinking was it may be less prone to breakage and if it need to be replaced it could be pulled out without dismantling the camper. It would just have to be mounted in an area free of protruding screws. :D

Tim


Very intersting. I'm going to have to do some homework on this one. I'm not sure this will pass building codes and, of course there is always the cost consideration.
Thank You
Beau
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#20 OFFLINE   alpenliterep

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 09:34 AM

RV wiring! Maybe itís me but most of the wiring I see in RVís really scares me. The ground returns seem to be especially bad. A terminal block would be a great addition instead of a big bunch of wires thrown together with a wire nut or crimp cap. Grounds are just as important as the feed and they really seem to get neglected in RVís. I converted my first TC for about $30 and will be converting my new one when I get the time.

Better documentation and some better use of color coding of the wiring circuits. It would sure help tracking down a problem.

While I am at it, how about a positive locking system on all cabinet doors. How many people have to secure the doors with a strap or something to keep them from flying open during travel? A mechanism that would allow you to secure the door while traveling but once your static you unlock it and itís just like a normal pull open latch. No more Velcro straps, tywraps, bungi cords or whatever we all use for this.


Large towel bars in the bathroom to hang towels on while driving so they can dry out. Another item I am sure we all have rigged up.

I am sure I can think up of some more....

Murph


Good one. I'm going to put a terminal block into production ASAP. I will look into our documentation and see if we have room for improvment. A new positive cabinet latch is being discused and should have this change made in the near future. The larger towel bars had not occured to me. I will add this to my list of changes to be made. Great insight. Thank You
Beau
Beau Durkee, Alpenlite Truck Campers




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