Our Chalet Truck Camper

Our Chalet Truck Camper

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The new Host Rainier 9' 6" truck camper

For those of you wondering how we proceeded with our potential 2005 Lance 1121 sidewall problem ........ we traded it for a Host 9'6" Rainier double slide at East End Campers in Southold,NY.

On the way to VT to meet up with some truck camper friends almost two weeks ago, we stopped at a Lance dealer in NH to buy both a side and a rear awning. The dealer said our model had a potential sidewall collapse issue due to wood being used in the sidewall support rather than metal. We did not have the awnings installed because we did not want to spend money on what might be a problem camper. We never made VT, getting a phone call and having to make a U turn south to help with mom's health issues. After a week there, we headed north and decided to stop at East End Campers on Long Island, NY. Arrived on a Thursday morning after a horrendous drive on the LI Throughway and camping overnight near the dealer. Bill Penny, East End's owner, thoroughly inspected our Lance and said it did NOT have any sidewall issues, was a later model that was built with metal, not wood and had no signs of any leaks anywhere. Nice news to hear. We had him give us an estimate on a trade in for a camper that had more floor room and allowed more natural light in. Bill showed us 5-6 TCs including a triple slide Host with rear coach, a Host with a rear tent and a huge Okanagan that was big enough to be a 5th wheeler.

Bill let us wander around the whole lot full of truck campers which included S&S, Host, Okanagan, Northstar, Eagle Cap, Bigfoot and some used Lances. He had shown us the Host Rainier 9'6" model with double slide and wet bath early on but we dismissed it since we had a 11'6" Lance and thought we had to have something as large if we decided to trade. We wandered around, in and out of probably 20 different truck campers and ended up coming back over and over again to the Host Rainier. Brought our lunch from the Lance, ate in the Host, enjoying all the light from the huge windows and the big clear hatch over the bed. This model has a convection microwave, no oven, wet bath and incredible inside storage. When the two slides are out, there is enough room to dance. No more side stepping around the other person, easy walk by. We had Bill give us a trade price since he felt he would have no trouble at all selling our Lance 1121 as it was in such great condition. He is no longer a Lance dealer but did have some used on the lot.

We priced getting our Air Lift airbag brackets replaced, adding Atwood dually swing out brackets, a Honda 2000 generator, and a DT TV to the Host price. We had decided where we were comfortable with $$ trading and the price came in right on the money. So..... we camped on Bill's lot in the Lance Thursday night to do the trade on Friday. He had two other TCs to deliver that day but worked us in. Here's Joe waiting for delivery.

By Friday night we had the new TC, everything was moved over, somehow getting 11'6" worth of gear stuffed into 9'6" with less outside storage. Back seat of the Ford is still full of lots of "things" we shouldn't have been carrying anyway. Good way to lighten the load.

The Host is 2 feet shorter than the Lance and 1200 pounds lighter since it is aluminum frame, fiberglass bonded with foam insulation instead of wood/metal. It is 6" higher and the fit/finish inside is perfection. We spent hours in it before buying and could not find ONE thing to fix other than a missing window shade and a screw on an overhead light. Bill personally did what few minor repairs were needed and also recaulked every seam as a detail person would do. I cannot recommend this dealer more highly. He really cares about meeting your individual TC needs and putting out a good finished product.

Here we are on the ferry headed from Long Island to CT

Met up with TC friends in Salem, MA for this past weekend. We had six people in the Host watching the Patriots football game, all of us with room to move around and sit comfortably. Floor is even big enough to use outside fold up chairs.

We loved the Lance. It was our first TC and got us on the road and seeing North America. But it was time to either put some money into accessories like awnings, solar and a better TV, live with the tight space or spend a bit and upgrade for years to come.

See you on the Road!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great information about the Host TC. I am new to this TC thing and am researching as much as possible. Have a great day.

mswanson65 said...

Nice looking rig! We met Bill this summer when we bought our Host Bachelor....great dealer and great product. We hope to join the fun at the spring rally.