Hotline to Danny 608-469-5949    Danny's Campers 14003 Leetsbir Rd, Sturtevant, WI  53117  

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Featuring Aliner by Columbia Northwest

We service what we sell - - no matter where you bought it!!!

Danny's Campers,  folding Aliner trailer,  folding trailers,  folding campers Trailer Inventory                                    Question of the Day

Almost every day I get questions from people that need more information about the campers we sell.  Many answers can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page (FAQ).  Often these answers don't get to the point of everyone's concern, so I answer them directly here.

Do you have a question?  Ask it here.

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June 21, 2010

I noticed that the 2010 + Aliner Alite appears to have replaced the front outside storage bin with an external metal tray and aluminum clad siding. Is the older version (storage bin) available in only the 2009 and previous Alites? (I obviously prefer that mode of storage.) Are new versions of the older Alite still available?

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

The company that used to make all the plastic storage boxes for Aliners was bought out by a larger 
company that didn't want to make such small runs of that product.... and
the boxes were cracking all the time anyway.... so they went to the 
tray.  The good thing about the tray is that it serves as a base that is
more versatile than the old style box.  On it you can put a bike, 
aluminum box, plastic bin or a little fence to throw stuff in.

You may be able to find an unsold or used 2009 or older Alite.  I don't 
know where there might be one.  Very few dealers actually stocked them, 
so finding one would certainly be good luck !!

May 20, 2010

Is there a roof mounted rack available than would carry a canoe on top of my 2004 Aliner Expedition. My concern is the  installation, ability to support the weight and clearance of the  bubble windows.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *


Hi Mark,

The Aliner factory provides no guidance for roof racks, other than saying that carrying 100# on the roof should do no harm.  We have done only one roof rack installation.  We used Yakima parts, including artificial gutters, gutter mount towers, high rise spacers and their longest crossbars.  Were I to do it again, I would probably use their roof tracks and control towers.

To me the biggest issues are length of canoe or kayak.... sagging of bars because of the long span.... requirement of removing boat to raise camper roofs... and requirement of carrying boat between camper and water, unless camped portage distance away from water.

Give me a call if you want to chat more about details.
 

May 17, 2010

Hello, there is one month I bought of a private individual worn a Aliner Sport of 2005 or 2006.  As I never made camping, I don't know anything about to operate a refrigerator, heating and stove with gas, 12V or 120V and the gas frightens me rather.  The person who sold it to me had never use the camper during the two years he owns it.   He doesn't  have a book of instructions for instructions and maintenance.  Do you have French handbook that could help me? You can see that my English is not good!
Thank you infinitely.  I hope to receive some news to soon and be able to benefit from my acquisition.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

I don't speak French, and neither does Aliner.  The Aliner Owners Manual comes in two parts.  The first is a little handbook covering the basics of using the camper, but it isn't very useful, even in English.  The second part is the owners manual for all the individual components and appliances for your camper.. the things Aliner buys, like the stove, refrigerator, etc.  All these materials are included with the trailer when it is sold originally, and are hard to come by years later as replacements.  You might have some luck by searching on the internet for the manufacturer and model of the appliance.... but good luck finding them in French. I believe English is all you will find for most of it.

My suggestions....

Find an Aliner dealer near you and ask them to teach you how to operate your trailer:  http://www.aliner.com/design/Xterior/dealer.php?country=41&Submit3=Submit&Type=HEADERCONTENTBYSECTID&sectid=3


Find an Aliner owner near you and ask them to teach you how to operate your trailer
      Advertise on Craigs List, or ask on the A-frame Yahoo Group for help:    http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/alinerchaleta-frames/

Find any RV dealer...

Find any friendly camper...

Bring your trailer here.  We would be glad to show you how to use it.

I wish you the best.  Remember, it's an adventure, keep smiling!!
Danny

 

April 30, 2010

The long dome window you can hardly see out it.  I've cleaned it with soapy water, but it didn't do much good . What can I use ?
 

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

Skylights that have seen too much sky need to be cleaned/polished with a product like these made by Novus:  http://novuspolish.net/ 

We use the #2 on bubbles like yours.  It takes a little elbow polish too!  There will be a seminar at the National Aliner Rally in Iowa on how to do it, if you want to make the trek.  It's the 17th - 19th of June. http://www.alinerclub.org/aliner_rally_2010.htm

 

April 23, 2010

Are you saying you have no Aliners available so that we may look at one?  Not even a 2009, 2008 or earlier?

 
I don't feel comfortable paying for an Aliner without seeing it first.  Is it your decision to just handle the travel trailer on order?
 

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

Thanks for your interest in my campers!!  I suppose you have heard about how hard it is to borrow money... the RV industry was especially hard hit with the credit crisis about a year ago.  When Textron stopped lending dealers money to buy trailer inventory, many dealers had to go out of business.  We got lucky.  We lost our line of credit too, but were small enough and so well known in the world of Aliners, that we were able to downsize and stay in business.... but, we haven't been able to "stock" trailers since then.  We do have customer trailers in our shop most of the time, which you can come look at.  Today we have a 2010 Classic, a 2010 Scout, a 2007 LX, a 2005 Expedition and a 2008 Chalet 1930 here that you can see. 

Let us know when you want to visit, and we can tell you what's available.
 

April 17, 2010

I'm looking for the awning that goes with a 1999 Aliner. Can you help me?

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

There are two currently available awnings that are made to work with an Aliner, even a 1999 model.

The Paha Que is a four-post EZ-Up type awning/screen room that sets up along-side your camper with a flap that goes between the A-wall and roof to connect the two.  It is available either through the Aliner factory, 724-423-7440 or through Kerola Campers, http://www.kerolaltd.com/screen_room.htm

The other type is a bag-type awning that attaches directly to the front roof of your camper.  It can be gotten as an awning alone, or with detachable screen room and privacy panels.  They are only available directly from the manufacturer, Mariah Awnings, call Dean at 817-614-5805.

The two different types are pictured here:  http://www.dannyscampers.com/Classic%20Price%20and%20Weight.htm   Just scroll down to Awning and Screen room and click on a picture.

 

April 9, 2010

Are there any pop up trailers that weigh 1600 pounds or less?  That's all my lil' Ford station wagon can handle.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

Thanks for your interest in my campers!!  Almost all of the campers I sell are under 1600#.  The total weight is, of course, dependent on what you put in it.  :-P

You can check the empty weights yourself on my Pricing pages.  Just check the model and options you want and the weight will be calculated too.  Give it a try, here's a link to get you there straight-away.    http://www.dannyscampers.com/prices%20d.htm

April 4, 2010

On the Expedition page (of the Aliner web site), the picture shows aluminum wheels and the Specifications list "14" Aluminum Radials." But Optional Equipment lists the Off Road Package with " 14" Tires with White wheels." On the Classic page, the picture shows white wheels and the Specifications list "Tires and Wheels 13" White." But the Optional Equipment lists the Off Road Package with "14" Tires with Aluminum wheels." I thought the Classic came standard with aluminum wheels for 2010. Is their website correct or do they need another update?

By the way, what would a pair of those aluminum wheels for my camper set me back?

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

The Expedition comes standard with 14" alum. wheels and the off road package.

The Classic comes standard with the white rims and 13" tires.  The Classic Off Road option includes the alum wheels and 14" tires.

The Ranger comes with white rims and 13" tires.  The Ranger off road package includes white rims and 14" tires.

Alum. tire and rim combination costs me $175.09, each.  Want a pair?  :-P

 

Mar. 15, 2010

I have stumbled across three different owner accounts (one showing a photo depicting the problem) of the rear bumper "breaking" off the frame of Aliners. Taking the owners at their word, all have indicated that they were only attempting to carry bikes (i.e., not an unreasonable amount of weight) that had been attached to the rear bumper via a bike rack, which was inserted into the trailer hitch of the rear bumper.

Danny, are you as a major retailer (and servicer) of Aliners hearing or seeing this issue present itself recently? Has this issue been addressed and resolved on newer Aliner models?

*   *   *   *   *   *   *
Over the years, we have fixed/replaced four Aliner bumpers that have torn off of trailers (out of over 200 trailers sold).  Three of the four had only been carrying the spare tire!!

Aliner "fixed" the problem early on with a steel angle welded along-side the bumper and frame.  Under severe loads even this beefing up was insufficient.  We developed our own reinforcement and have not had a failure on any trailer with our fix, even with bikes.

In 2010, Aliner switched frame manufacturers, and changed everything.  The frames went from 3" tubing to 4", the bumper was discontinued completely, and the rear cross-members are "real" steel with an integral bike rack receiver.  They also moved the spare tire mount to the front A-frame.

All the above doesn't mean your bikes will have a nice smooth ride on the rear ( I still say they are better off on or in your tow vehicle), but they are NOT coming off the new 2010 Aliners rear end!!

Thanks for asking!!

Mar. 15, 2010

Hello,
I just inquired on a 1999 LXE model. The asking price is 3500.00. I Looked up the model on Nada, and it said 2900.00. I really want this camper. What is a fair price?

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

Welcome to the world of A-frame campers.  NADA is a guide, not a Bible.    :-P    On "older" models, the price setting factor is condition, condition, condition.  Look for wrinkles in the interior roof vinyl, a sure sign of a leaking vent, bubble or roof edge.  Also look at the flooring it all four corners of the trailer... even through the cassette potti door, and just inside the entry door.  Water stains (floor rot) show as dark patches on the wood, and pink or purple stains on the flooring.  Look also for daylight in the four corners where the roof meets the side and end walls.  You will also need to pay attention to the weather stripping that seals the roof apex and the roof and A-walls.

Generally speaking, an LXE in good condition at $3500 is a steal!!  Rotted floors can be a nightmare.

Have fun, and look closely.

Mar. 10, 2010

To buy the camper I need to install a ball on the hitch.  What size does the Aliner take?

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

All Aliner campers have the same size hitch ball, 2".

However, there are two different ball heights required depending on the trailer and options.  The standard Alite, Scout, Sport, Ranger and Classic all need to have the top of the hitch ball between 16 and 17 inches off the road to pull level.  The Expedition and any of the other Aliners with an Off-Road Package need to have the top of the ball 21 inches off the road.

In most cases, ball mounts (the part that sticks into the receiver on your tow vehicle) can be purchased with different "drops" or "rises" to match your vehicle.

 

Mar. 8, 2010

What am I giving up by not getting the Classic?

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

The differences between a Classic and a Ranger can be divided into two categories, standard equipment/features, and option choices. 

Standard equipment/features that come on the Classic that aren't on the Ranger include: microwave, front skylight, in-out stove, 3.0 cu ft refrigerator, queen size sleeping area, the three triangle windows, second roof  vent, side graphics, second baggage door, outside electrical outlet, outside shower, front stabilizers, front porch light, and a porta potti storage door. 

The Classic has more factory options than the Ranger.  Things you can get on a Classic that aren't available (from the factory) on a Ranger are: highwall option, toilet, water heater, outdoor grill, dual propane system, stereo, and rear dormer.  The options and features we can add blur the differences somewhat.... 

 

Feb. 25, 2010

I'm going to have the Prodigy brake controller unit installed on my vehicle.  
I'm not familiar with how they work.  
Once installed and I'm pulling my is there anything I need to do on my end or does it automatically do its job?  
Also, in time, do I have to have the controller adjusted?  
Also, do I have to have my vehicle brakes adjusted?
*   *   *   *   *   *   *
99.9% of the time your trailer brakes work automatically.  
The manual lever on the unit is useful for adjusting the total braking capacity.  
Here's a link to a short video showing the adjustment process.  
http://www.tekonsha.com/video/runvideo.asp?video1=prodigy-4.flv
Your tow vehicle brakes don't need adjusting.  


This is how Tekonsha describes the Prodigy controller:

Prodigy is the most intelligent brake control. This powerful control 
features new motion sensor technology similar to what is used in the 
aerospace industry. With Prodigy no manual level adjustment is 
necessary, it adjusts itself to varying terrains as you drive. It is 
equipped with a sensor that detects the tow vehicle's rate of 
deceleration, applies proportional braking to the trailer and features 
an exclusive "Boost" feature that gives users the ability to apply 
more initial trailer braking power (especially when towing heavier 
trailers). For backing into tough spots this is the only inertia control 
that works proportionally in reverse. A digital display depicts voltage 
delivery to the trailer during braking and displays continual 
diagnostics check for proper connection, shorted magnet condition, open 
ground and much more. A unique pocket mount allows for flexible mounting 
options (standard mounting bracket included). Prodigy includes a 3 ft. 
pigtail connector for ease of connection when using a vehicle's brake 
control wire harness. A quick and easy disconnect feature allows users 
to remove the control when not in use and store in a supplied protective 
pouch. Prodigy meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 
(NHTSA) regulations regarding tow vehicle/trailer light activation. It 
also offers a limited lifetime warranty (some conditions apply).

It's a pretty cool unit.  I can help you with it when I deliver the trailer.

 

Feb. 15, 2010

Hi Danny ~ Thanks for all of the information and tools on your web site. Very unusual and welcome. The only down side is that we were pretty much settled on the Aliner Expedition until starting to investigate the Chalet XLs. I have a concern however about pulling either trailers that are as high as my Chrysler T&C. What is the feedback you are getting by people towing these trailers with minivans? Also, we've considered the Aliner Classic, but needing a toilet and noting the floor plan with one only has one bed, can adjustments be made to have the "Toilet (similar to this one in a Chalet)" with the second bed? Thanks, Dwight

Hey Dwight,

Thanks for your interest in my campers.  Re: towing size.... you're my kind of guy.  How so?  Well, while mini-cans do make admirable tow vehicles, it is best not to stress them to their rated max.  The Town and Country usually has a max capacity of 3500# with the towing package.  But would I even remotely approach that number?  No.

There are actually three parameters that affect tow ratings, total trailer weight, tongue weight and frontal area/wind drag.  Aliner Classics and Chalet Arrowheads are about the same weight (1600 to 1700# empty), but the Arrowhead stands about 5" higher because of the leaf spring suspension.  In that Arrowhead height range is the Aliner Classic with the Off Road package.  The Expedition is only 3" taller than these trailers, although it is MUCH larger inside.  Next in size is the High Sidewall Classics/Arrowheads, and then the largest in both height and width are the XLs and go up another 4 to 5 inches for the XLs with dormers.

The weight goes up accordingly, with the Expeditions at about 2300# empty while the XLs are in the 2700 to 2800# range.

So, you gotta have a toilet?  and two sleeping areas?  On a Classic, any place you put it will compromise sleeping areas.  It looks like you are stuck with the Exped. or XL.

Feb. 13, 2010

We bought the Chalet camper from you back in 2006 and  love it. We are thinking about selling it to a friend and wonder how much it's worth. Don't have a clue and don't want to rip anyone off by charging too much. The camper is just like new and still in great shape.
Would appreciate your input please.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

Moving on, heh!?!  I never have run a lot of used campers through my shop, so I don't have a feel for their value on the open market.  What I do is look up the trailer in one of the on-line guides..... add for options... and then assess the situation and adjust the price accordingly. I primarily use the Recreational Vehicles section of NADA.com.  Go to "Consumers", then "RVs", then "C" for Chalet and then "Chalet" (or "Camping Trailers").  Pick your year, model and options and click on "Get Used Value".

Now, if you are happy with the values.... ok.  But if I were counseling a customer on the "true value" when selling, I would suggest he add $1500 to $2000 to the price and start there.  The dealerships that report values to NADA are generally not Chalet dealers and the prices usually represent a "gotta dump this thing" attitude by most dealers.  Street values are generally much higher.

 

Feb. 11, 2010

I'm going to start preparing on my end so I wanted to ask you what did I need to get installed on my vehicle for the electric brakes to work on the
camper?  Where do I get it and where does it go in the vehicle?

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

Soooo, you decided to utilize the electric brakes..... good thinking.  I know you hadn't considered it, but doing so will give you increased confidence when towing, and may even save your skin some day.  What you are looking for is a electric brake "controller".  We could install one for you if you were picking up your trailer here, but since I am delivering this Aliner to you, any RV dealer can install one, or if you can find a Camping World store, they make their living doing service work like this.

Speaking of Camping World, here is info on the one in Columbia, SC:
 

Camping World
3634 Fernandina Rd
Columbia, SC 29210
       888-818-7834
       803-772-1791


Give them a call and ask them to explain what they have to offer.  You can even give them my name and number if you feel the need. 

There are many different brands and styles, we sell mostly the Prodigy unit, but also sell the Voyager 9030 'cause it's less expensive.  The installer will usually work with you as to where in the vehicle it is located, but most go under the dash to the right of the steering wheel.  Other locations are fine too, depending on clearances and how close your knees are to the intended location.  We seat the driver and hold the unit in various locations until we come up with the best fit.  Since they are only connected to your vehicle systems by wiring, a broad choice of installation spaces is usually available.  Then again, sometimes there is only one "good" place.... but the technician  is the best one to tell you where it should go.
 

Feb. 5, 2010

Thank you for the info on the roof panels, But what do you mean by use abilty are these roofs known to have a leaking problem weather it be fiberglass or aluminum

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

Aliner roofs rarely leak.  Nothing is perfect, but we can usually spot potential trouble during our trailer prep, and correct any problems.
 
What I mean by use-ability is all the little things that come into play in making our Aliners easy to set up and fun to use.  When we sell a trailer, we look at how smoothly the roofs go up and down, how well they latch, how well they seal when up and when down, are there any rub marks that need attention, are the rubber bumpers properly installed, how much clearance there is on the Fantastic Fan when the rear roof passes by, and when the trailer is folded.

There's more, but you get the idea.

Generally, the use-ability of the roofs we have seen lately is pretty good.
 

Feb. 4, 2010

Hi, any way to have an AC installed in an Alite unit?  Thanks

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

Put an AC in an Alite?  I suppose you don't mean "Will it fit through the door?"

In the distant past, Alites had a different window configuration, which allowed the screen to be slid and an AC to be installed temporarily in the
open window.  It worked well, but the AC had to be removed to fold the camper, and then it had to be stored somewhere while traveling.  
Today's Alites have a fixed screen, so a similar installation would require removal of the screen.  Some say, "Who cares, I need air."  
Fashioning a screen that attaches with velcro is a possibility.  Cost?  About $250

Another option that I have discussed is a permanently mounted AC in either the front or back of the camper.  It would involve modification of the
cushions to allow air flow, but it is do-able.  Cost?  Figure $350

Have fun!!

Feb. 2, 2010

Hello,
Can you please tell me how well the roofs on the Aliners are as far as leaking, I have been doing some research on these campers, and I am seeing a lot of roof sagging articles.  Have these issues been a known problem, and has the manufacturer done any improvements to this issue.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

I love reading all The Group has to say ( http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/alinerchaleta-frames/  ).  I sometimes chuckle at their ideas, and sometimes shudder at the mis-information that gets spread, but usually someone eventually gets it right.  Sometimes I even learn stuff.

Let's see, fiberglass exteriors and roofs..... what can I tell you?  Chalet has been using the same material for many years, and has gone through their ups and downs but have (generally) been pretty good lately with making sure their roofs bow upward when they leave the factory, which seems to be the key to longevity.  The Aliner factory had MANY roofs fail (bow down) when they first started offering fiberglass as an option in the 2007 model year.  I begged them to return to aluminum, but they were bound and determined to make the switch.  In 2008 all the Aliners came with fiberglass skin.  It seemed we were always changing the new roofs under warranty.  They must have lost a bundle making the switch!!  But they kept trying and did make significant improvements to their manufacturing process, to the point where I haven't had to replace one in quite a while.  They still change shape due to temperature, but most are within use-ability limits.

Questions?

 

November 24, 2009

I need to found out what it would take to buy the 2010
aliner alite. And if you have financing. Thanks


Thanks for your interest in my campers!!  We try to keep the buying process simple and hassle-free.  We post our prices for everyone to see, so it's just a matter of choosing the trailer model and options, figuring out whether you are going to pick it up or have it delivered, submit a 10% deposit either with a check in the mail or by credit card, and pay the balance on pick-up/delivery.

We don't do financing, as there are no special deals to offer our customers in that area.  We will work with the lender of your choice if a paperwork exchange is needed.

Thanks again!
Have fun!!
Danny

 

November 13, 2009

Hello,

I am wondering if a Aliner is outfitted with a 12 volt battery, what all does it run? 

Thanks,

Michelle

All the trailers made in the Aliner factory are wired to accept a battery, but they don't supply one. 

We include a battery with every new trailer we sell as part of our trailer prep and delivery, all at no extra charge.  Depending on the trailer and options, the battery can run the interior and exterior lights, water pump, LP gas leak detector, Fantastic vent fan, furnace blower and ignition, refrigerator (for a short time), stereo, emergency breakaway switch, water heater igniter, and provides power to the 12 volt auxiliary receptacle to run whatever you  plug in there, like cell charger, 12 volt fan, 12 volt hair dryer, etc. 

The only accessories that rely solely on 120 volt AC "shore" power are the microwave and air conditioner... if so equipped.

 

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