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

Your "Solid Sided Folding Trailer" Headquarters

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                            

Frequently Asked Questions...... With Answers?

Question:  "Why is there a question mark after Answers?"

Answer?  It's because there are usually no "Yes" or "No" answers to these questions.  They are my best guess, best opinion, best presentation of The Truth.  But I could be wrong... you are free to make your own judgment. ALSO, be aware that some of these questions and answers go back several years.  Change happens......   Danny

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Question: "I understand you used to sell both Aliners and Chalets. What are the differences between the two? Is one better than the other?"
 

Answer?  Chalets and Aliners have many similarities, but also a number of differences. Both are hard-sided pop-up A-frame campers, both are relatively light campers, both set up and take down very quickly, and they do have some models that are similar in size and amenities.  And while they share the same outer skin (fiberglass), insulation in walls and roof (Styrofoam) and interior paneling (vinyl covered plywood), virtually everything else is different in the materials used in construction by each manufacturer.  While we could argue for hours about which is "better" (Aliners PerforMax 500 flooring vs. Chalets Composite-Core floor system, Chalets leaf spring suspension vs. Aliners torsion axles, Chalets painted extrusions vs. Aliners anodized extrusions, Aliners Plexiglas windows vs. Chalets tempered tinted glass, Aliners Dometic refrigerators vs. Chalets Norcold fridges, etc.), I can easily point out advantages and disadvantages in the materials of both product lines. 

Are the "craftsmen" (and "craftswomen") on the west coast (Chalet) inherently more "crafty" than the folks from out east (Aliner)?  I think not.  I have seen a lot of  good stuff, and some real boners, from both camps.  I have also watched my customers go from one camper to the other, and one will exclaim,  "How obvious it is that Aliner is the higher quality trailer." and his wife will fall in love with the "style" of the Chalet interior.  "Better" is almost always the individuals personal choice, not the accumulation of rational plusses and minuses.

Then, when you throw in the wide variety of floor plans and options that each offers, the choice usually comes down to the particular model which best meets your own needs and wants.  You should make a list of your requirements--both true needs (must-haves) and desired things (wants) and prioritize the list.  Then assess your requirements against the various models of both campers to determine which is best for you, personally.

Things you might want to consider (along with additional requirements based on your situation, of course) are weight your tow vehicle can handle, how many people will use the camper (and their sizes, i.e., children or adults), how you plan to use it (just for short overnights, living out of for months at a time...), whether you plan to cook in it, do you need a refrigerator, will you use the camper in cold weather (thus need a furnace) or very hot weather (thus may want air conditioning, or at least a Fantastic Fan), and so on.

The best bet?  Come and see our trailers,  and talk to folks to whom "hard-sided folding trailers" is a livelihood, not a sideline. 

Question: What are the advantages of an A-frame camper over a regular pulled trailer or motorhome? Are there any disadvantages?

Answer?  The folding capability of A-frames is their main advantage. Due to their relatively light weight and their low profile while driving, gas mileage is impacted significantly less than when pulling a regular trailer (or driving a low MPG motorhome).  Yet in an A-frame (depending on model) one can have many if not most of the amenities available in larger campers and motorhomes.

Also the folding allows A-frames to fit in many people's garages.

Compared to folding canvas campers, the biggest advantages are speed of set-up (under 30 seconds for an A-frame vs. a number of minutes or even longer for a canvas pop-up tent camper) and the comfort of an A-frame in cold weather (with furnace) or hot weather (with Fantastic Fan or air conditioner).

In terms of disadvantages, it depends what you are looking for in a camper. Some people might consider the relatively small size of A-frames to be a disadvantage, but the smallness makes them easy to tow with even small cars, and when open, a six foot tall person can easily stand up inside the camper.  (The peak in the Chalet XL series campers is 8'8" above the floor)  Many people are surprised at the roominess in the A-frames when they first enter them.

If you'd like to compare the various models of both Aliner and Chalet hard-sided pop-up campers, please come visit us!

Question: I'm planning a trip out west this summer. I understand some campgrounds in national parks such as Glacier and Yellowstone (and maybe others) do not allow tents or canvas pop-ups due to concerns about bears. Are a-frames allowed in these campgrounds?
 
Answer? Our understanding is yes, hard-sided pop-ups are allowed in any national park campgrounds where regular hard-sided RVs are allowed. A-frames have sturdy walls once they are set up, just like regular RVs. Any type of canvas units are not allowed because they can easily be ripped into by bears, apparently. However, to be extra safe, you probably should contact the national parks you are interested in prior to traveling there just to be sure.
 
 
Question: How are a-frame campers in windy conditions?
 
Answer? A-frames hold up quite well in winds, but of course any RV (or mobile home, for that matter) may be damaged in very severe winds. A-frame owners have several options to provide additional security in windy conditions.
 
Perhaps the simplest guideline is to face the A-frame into the wind if at all possible. That means have the front--where the vehicle hitch is--facing into the wind. Also if you have the option to leave the unit hitched to the tow vehicle, that's a good idea as well. If you need to unhitch it, ensure you put down the stabilizers. 
 
Next, many people use two strong ropes thrown over the a-frame and secured to the frame of the trailer (bumper and hitch) for added security if high winds are anticipated.
 
Third, Columbia Northwest (Aliners) offers a Wind Kit which may be purchased and installed on any "A".  Chalets come with (for the last couple years) Wind Pins, which serve to secure the roof panels automatically when the sides go up.
 
Fourth, try to wait for a brief calm period if winds are high when you plan to set up your A-frame. Before the sides are secured to the roof, there's always the chance of an extreme wind making a mess out of things.  Regular winds are not a problem, but if you're having trouble standing erect, or you can imagine the difficulty of carrying a 4'x8' sheet of plywood, you might want to wait for the winds to calm a bit before erecting your trailer.

Question Do you have any financing specials? What would the interest rate and monthly payment be with financing you may have available to you?
 

Answer?  I gave up offering financing a couple years ago.  The credit unions were consistently beating the rates offered by the companies I worked with (US Bank, North Shore Bank, and Bank of America).... and I really didn't like filling out the credit apps (I don't need to know THAT much about you).  TrailManor (Columbia Northwest or Chalet) just isn't big enough to attract any of the 0% financing gimmicks, so I guess you are on your own.  Hopefully you will find that banking with the people you already know will be just the ticket.

Question What about the warranty? How long is it on the unit and equipment inside? You are obviously a great distance away so if the unit required service, how would that be handled? Could I take the camper to a local RV place and have Aliner take care of it?
 

Answer?  The Aliner warranty is one year on everything.  Service on any of the Aliner installed appliances and accessories can be done directly with any "authorized" RV dealer.  Service on the Aliner itself can be done by anyone as well, but needs a call to the factory or me to authorize it.  I will also work with you if repairs need to be made by someone other than an RV dealer.  If you trust them to take care of you - so do I.  Of course, the best service will take place here, or at an Aliner dealer, or at the factory if you are in the area. 

Question:  Are you open on the weekends at all?  
Answer?  We are open Saturdays from 8 AM to 5 PM.  I occasionally make special arrangements to show 
trailers after hours, but we have been so busy there aren't many "after hours" left.
Question:  What kind of mattresses are in the Aliner campers? 
Answer?  Aliner mattresses are foam rubber... and pretty firm to prevent bottoming out.  Some folks add 
a softer foam topper or "egg crate" foam to increase the comfort.  
Question:  Can you get to the refrigerator when the unit is 'down'?   
Answer?  When folded, all the contents of the trailer are safe from intruders and thieves.   The trailer must 
be popped up slightly to access both the interior and the storage door/compartment.  Since the tops go up so easily... why 
crawl when you can pop it up and walk in? 
Question:  How does the sofa fold into a bed? 
Answer? The bottom cushion of the sofa pulls out and the back cushion lays down behind to form the bed.  
Question:  How does the camper hold up against hail since it is all Aluminum? 
Answer?  Aliners, except for the Alite, now have a fiberglass outer skin which handles light hail much better than aluminum.  
When the really big stuff hits, nothing is safe!!
Question:  First of all, the little wood shimmy that the wall levers go over is broken on one side.  
So the lever goes between the wood and the wall.  Is this something that should be fixed?  
Is there a way I can fix it myself?  Would this still be covered under warranty?  
Answer?  Technically, the trailers are warranted only to the original purchaser.... but 
we do like to take care of our customers (like family), and you are now one of our Grand-daughters.  
The little wood piece sometimes just gets in the way, and needs to be either ignored, or removed.  
It is kinda like an appendix....
   
Question:  Then there is a question of the "legs".  A friend just told me they are NOT for leveling the camper!  
That I'm supposed to use the orange wedges for leveling.  Huh?  Is this correct?  
Answer?  We refer to the "legs" as "stabilizers".  They are not for leveling the trailer, but for stabilizing 
an already level trailer.  Orange wedges, or yellow pads or pieces of 2 x 6 wood, should be put under 
the low wheel to level the trailer from side to side, and then snug down the stabilizers to keep the trailer 
from rocking, about one full turn after it starts taking weight.
   
Question:  Is it okay to move the camper, in an emergency, without taking it down? (taking the legs up, of course)  
Answer?  Move the trailer, as in from one site to another in the same campground?  or from front yard to back yard?  
Sure, just drive slowly.
    
Question:  Is it okay to camp in the camper without putting the legs down but leaving it hitched to my van? Is this safe?  
Answer?  I don't think of the stabilizers as a safety feature, but as a comfort feature.  The only safety thing I can 
think of for the stabilizers is that if everyone inside sits/lays/runs to the back of the camper, the rear ones keep it 
from doing a wheelie!  Hitching it to the van will accomplish the same thing.
    
Question:  What do I need to do to winterize the camper?  It will be stored inside an attached garage.  
Answer?  If the attached garage doesn't ever get below freezing, no problem!!  Winterizing your trailer is just 
a matter of getting all the water out of it.  Drain the fresh water tank (the valve is under the trailer about 
where you put the water in), pump the faucet until you get just air and then screw in a blowout plug, administer 
about 40# air pressure and open the sink faucet and let out the last of the water.
Question:  Lastly, how much would it cost to add an air conditioner and is this a feasible option for the model that I have?  
Answer?  We can put an air conditioner in anything - $350. and about 4 hours of work.
Question:  We have a 2004 Aliner. Is it possible to add the high wind option to the trailer?  I'm not sure if calling it high 
wind is correct, the feature that makes it a little safer to open camper in windy sites.
 Answer? The High Wind Kit costs $125 installed, and it can go on any Aliner. A note here:  This was originally written in 2007, cost of the wind kit is now $189 installed. It doesn't make the trailer any safer 
during the opening operation, but it does enhance the durability in the set-up mode by securing the front and 
rear roof sections to eliminate the chance of them separating during a storm.

We have a kit on hand... it takes about a half hour to install.

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