Last Updated 06/19/2008 04:15 PM -0600 - See my most recent update below.
Welcome my Aliner Truck Cabin website. I have created this website for a couple of reasons:
1. The Aliner site is not too bad (and has been improved for sure), but it is still missing lots of information, for example, prices.
2. It is nearly impossible to get Aliner to respond to e-mails that contain detailed questions. This is VERY unprofessional and very aggravating since, so far as I can tell, there are no similar campers out there.
3. I'd like to gauge interest. If interest is sufficient, we may start up a Yahoo! Group where owners and potential future owners can discuss the Aliner Truck Cabin, post pictures, etc... The pre-existing Aliner owner's forum doesn't have much discussion on the truck cabin.
4. It's a place to keep my own notes on the Aliner.
If you have something to add to this page, or if you OWN an Aliner and can help me add info to this page, please let me know by e-mailing me at this address: andrew AT koransky dot com.
I had a series of unanswered questions for Aliner that I asked them on the phone a little while ago. My questions where mostly about the smallest camper they sell. Here what I found out:
The website mentions three opening tinted windows. In the photos, I can see one on door, one next to door, but where is third? Is it next to the cab?
Yes, next to cab... very large window w/screen. You can actually see it in the photos on this site.
Do all three stock windows have screens?
I can see one porthole window goes above the door. Can they put one in opposite the door (similar location?)
Do the porthole windows open?
Do the skylights open? Do they have screens?
You must specify. I have verified that you can get skylights that open (w/screens). The items on the pricing sheet indicate that they DO NOT open though.
Do the roof vents have screens?
How many roof vents can be added to the Truck Cabin Freedom?
A total of three.
Your website says a roof vent is included with the indoor-only stove. Is a roof vent included with the indoor/outdoor stove?
Is the indoor outdoor stove stand-alone? If not, where does it sit when indoors? Where does it sit when outdoors?
No, it is not stand alone. It "plugs" in. See floor plan for location indoors. Outdoors, it sits a foot or two under rear window (the one that is NOT on the door).
What is involved in the upgraded cushion material?
This refers simply to the material that COVERS the cushion. The basic material is similar to berber... kinda scratchy I guess, but it probably wears really well. The "upgrade" is more like a false velvet.
How/where does the awning store? How long does it take to set it up? How/where does the awning screen room store? How long does it take to set it up?
Awning must be taken completely off of the aliner and stored in the vehicle. It takes 5-15 minutes to set it up. Sounds great if you are stationary for a few days, but it would be a pain to set up if you are on the move every day.
Will the small truck camper fit on 2001 4wd Toyota Tundra? Will the jacks clearing the wheel wells when loading/unloading.
I spent a long time on the phone with a guy in the shop who was trying to help me out. After discussions, I'm pretty sure I can make this work... I might have to take off my wheel flares to fit underneath...
Do you have any info on the warranty?
1 year, supplied by dealer.
Can the factory perform any custom work?
Aliner claims that they can do custom factory work, but my experience with them indicates that they cannot deviate from their published floor plans. <sigh>
What is the difference between the Truck Cabin and Truck Cabin Freedom models?
Truck Cabin is no longer made. The material comes pre-cut, so they can no longer do the 71" length model. And the info on the website is correct. Truck Cabin Freedom is the only model manufactured.
Does the propane refrigerator need access to electricity?
YES, 12v is required for the detector that ensures that the propane flame remains lit.
How did they make a hard-sided camper so light?
Aliner's shell material comprises three layers: a thin sheet of plywood and a sheet of aluminum with Styrofoam type material sandwiched in-between. The windows are made of Plexiglas instead of glass, which also reduces weight.
Can I put a screw in the wall?
NO... due to the wall construction (see previous question), you need to drill entirely through the wall, use a nut, bolt and washers to secure anything. You'd obviously have to weatherproof any such holes with a sealer (silocone)?
What size propane tank does the small camper have?
11# propane tank, instead of the standard 20#. You generally can't find places that will swap 11# tanks. You have to have them filled at a propane filling station.
Thanks to Steven Helmson who has provided many of the pics on the site and become a great internet pen pal (and fellow luster of the Truck Cabin.. although he's waiting for a bigger version). Thanks to Jim @ All Aboard RV for his help in securing my order and dealing with my 100 questions.
Ever since my journey I have been looking for ways of improving on my Isuzu Trooper rig. I realized I had somewhat "re-invented the wheel", so to speak in trying to turn an SUV into a usable camping machine. So I sold my Isuzu, bought a Chevy S-10 and threw a Sunlite Skyhawk SB. My poor little Chevy S-10, even with it's relatively powerful V6, just couldn't handle the load. So I got a Toyota Tundra. But even the Toyota lumbers under its massive load. I love the truck, but the camper just has to go. So I'm now researching Aliner Truck Cabins. Thus far, I'm impressed with the Aliner's roof lift mechanism, quick set up, and it's incredible light weight. The only other camper that I would consider is a Four Wheel Camper, but they are twice as expensive, not quite as light weight, and they have canvas sides. I'm NOT a fan of canvas sides any more: A light above our bed burned a hole through the canvas... it turned on when the camper was lowered. (Since this happened in Roswell New Mexico, we now lovingly refer to this as the Roswell Incident.) So I'm no longer a fan of canvas. Basically, I've had enough experience now that I definitely know what I DO NOT want. The Aliner Truck Cabin seems to have most of what I want. Here are my goals:
Here is what I ended up ordering:
|Truck Cabin Freedom SMALL (SHELL ONLY)
|additional screened roof vents
|Front access hatches (access to dead space in front of wheel wells)
|four corner manual jacks 80" clearance REQUIRED
|large domed open-able skylight passenger side (screened)
I will have to do a lot of customization work. :-)
We took ownership of the camper, purchased in Ringold, GA at All Aboard RV and took it down to Florida. We build out the interior with a very basic 4x4 frame + plywood.
We've taken it out on a few trips and noticed some significant quality problems. My dealer claims they will solve all of these problems. I can't recommend All Aboard RV enough! Great folks up there!
But I'm not impressed with the quality of truck camper... According to my dealer, Aliner doesn't run many of them, so they aren't getting as much quality testing/feedback on them as their other models.
Some of the problems include:
All that said, I still love the design and sure hope my dealer resolves all the issues.
Well, we got it back from the dealer. The dealer did everything in their power to resolve the problems listed above, but we still have some problems:1. seals being torn off - the dealer sank the window knob and replaced the seal with heavy duty rubberized foam stuff. It should help, but the basic design flaw still remains.
I'm not impressed and still wouldn't recommend the Aliner Truck Cabin to *anyone* for purchase. We're going to make the best of what we have though...
July 25, 2004:
OK... Now I'm ready to return the darn thing. I opened it up the other day, while it was raining, and it started leaking through one of the roof vents like crazy. Make that problem #9. Realize, we haven't taken it out very much... it's mostly been sitting in our drive way. I'm now going to attempt to get Aliner to take it back. The quality of this truck camper is amazingly poor and I can't take something this unreliable on the road.
July 28, 2004:
I called my dealer and explained everything to him. Net sum of the 30 min conversation... I grudgingly got All Aboard RV to say they'd give me a small percentage of the money for it.. I can't blame them frankly. I'm quite happy they offered me that much for the camper, and still would recommend All Aboard RV to anyone. The dealer said he wanted me to call Aliner production manager Laura Tait.
Laura Tait at Aliner transferred me to Gene Koontz who is the shop foreman. We had a 15 minute conversation or so... he kept trying to put band-aids on the problems we were having, but the net sum of the conversation was this: They do not feel the camper can hold up without the cabinetry. I quite angrily told him" if the model can't work without cabinetry, why the heck are they selling a shell?" Why are they selling something they claim will fail over time??? Anyhow, Gene said he'd have Joe D'gorgio (sp?), the plant manager, give me a buzz back. As of July 30th, I haven't heard from him.
Aug 3, 2004: Never got a call from Joe. Spoke with Gene and he said he'd leave another message with Joe. Still no call back, so I called Joe on Aug 5th or 6th and left another message on his voice mail.
Aug 9, 2004:
I called Joe at 9am or so and *finally* got a call back around 9:45am. I relayed my list of problems to him, and Joe was also of the opinion that my problems stemmed from the lack of cabinetry. During the conversation, he said that they sold it with the understanding that I would be building cabinetry for supporting the camper. I told him my dealer never gave me this bit of information and the warranty certainly didn't have anything about it. I also used the L word (lawyer) for the first time. I later gave Jim at All Aboard RV a call afterwards and verified that I was never told the unit required cabinetry to stay together. We did agree, that Jim mentioned, IN PASSING, how the cabinetry holds the Aliner trailers together, but that was all the information I was given. The warranty mentioned nothing about cabinetry and the unit came with NO instructions on where the cabinetry/support was needed. I was given no information by All Aboard RV or Aliner that cabinetry was required. And apparently, the support we put in the unit wasn't enough...
Finally, he agreed to pass me on to Dave Tait, one of the part-owners. Also, he mentioned that Dave Tait was out with a broken leg and wouldn't be in until at least Thursday or Friday.
I didn't do a great job documenting things towards the end, but a quick summary: Dave was very nice and agreed to take the camper back and re-work it. This was really all I could ask Aliner to do, but I didn't want to wait for another couple of months and still have the possibility of it failing me in a more precarious situation. I decided to sell it back to my dealer at a significant loss (sometime in Fall of 2004). I ended up purchasing a Jason cap, Trek model and build a platform so I can store stuff underneath. Now I'm well under 500 lbs AND I can camp in stealth, so no one knows I'm camping.
I would not recommend an Aliner Truck Cabin to anyone, at least not the shell (without the cabinetry). However:
Copyright (C) 1998-2008 Andrew Koransky