The old gal is being put out to pasture.

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
jefe here. This month, after reaching maturity on her 21st birthday, (built April 1998) our tried and true Lance 165-s is going to pasture.
We've had a good run with her accumulating more than 240 glorious nights, "in the box". She's still amazingly sound and viable, but has a few old age flaws that I don't want to have to chase down and fix anymore. We've done a lot of upgrades to her. She's for sale on the Sacramento CA Craigslist. After fixing the plumbing leak behind the wall at the fresh water drain petcock, we unloaded all the stuff that slowly and inexorably collects in those low dark places, and as another thread has advised, discovered we carry way too much stuff. She's cleaned up and looks pretty good. So now the question is, what's next? Monday we make the trip over to CTA in Carson City Nevada to check out their fleet of small light campers from several mfgrs. Since we've had a really wonderful, long term experience with the Lance 165-s xcab, we scoured the internet to find a suitable replacement. The closest was the Lance 825, which is eons ahead in technology compared to the old gal. But, Jeanie could not abide not having a sink in the wet bath. We're not up for brushing our teeth and spitting into the kitchen sink. Too bad, It's a great setup and basically we're used to it. Fits like an old shoe. Next is the Lance 865. It has a bathroom sink, but otherwise the floorplan is a little more cramped inside. I'm not as fond of it as I am the 825. Most of these campers come with every possible option. The good thing about Lance is you can special order the options to suit. That's where Lance makes their profit. As we rarely plug in, the deleting process begins. So, delete the air conditioning. Delete the oven and 3 burner stove, down to a 2 burner set up with no oven. Delete the microwave. Delete the TV. I'll use my same little portable/cable. I'll put my own Renogy 300 watt solar system on the roof. This deletes a lot of stuff that is located higher up in the camper, reducing a LOT of high positioned weight. I'll give you an update on what transpires.
jefe
 

Attachments

Darwin

Explorer
Have you looked at Cirrus? In my opinion they appear one of the better made campers. No TPO or rubber roof. European elements, etc.
 

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Darwin,
yes, we perused the Cirrus 820, which has many of the same specs as the 825 and 865 and looks to be well made with an inch more headroom, larger tanks, and frankly more appealing to the eye than the white elephant. The only downside is the dry weight. at least 600 pounds heavier than either the Lance 825 and 865. That makes a huge difference when off-roading.
jefe
 

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redthies

Renaissance Redneck
Those Lances are pretty light for a hard side. I’d be curious to see the ACTUAL weight of a reasonably spec’d unit, as it seems the “claimed dry weight” they publish is for the bare bones camper without any of the things that are standard on 90% of other brands. I had to work a little bit to get my NL built a la carte, and they included a couple of things I didn’t want, but I managed to get a fairly light camper in the end. We spent close to 200 nights in it the first year, but are back to a more (less??) reasonable 140 or so nights per year. We went for a bit more weight for creature comforts.

Good luck in your search Jefe. I’ll be interested in seeing your final selection!
 
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Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
I've been following your adventures for years now. That camper and truck have been to hell and back.
Good luck with your new combo.
My friend has a Lance aluminum frame 825 that he carries with on an '05 qcsb. I'm 6'4" and it's pretty tight height wise but a nice camper.
 

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Redthies, Yes, the Lances are, overall, the lightest TC if you delete all the addons. The actual weight of our 165-s xcab is only a little more than the wet weight because it has so few extras. We always travel without the jacks, so that's a loss. I've replaced the Glo Steps with a Little Giant step ladder because the lower wooden 1x2 sill on the back has had so many different step on there, the sill is like Swiss Cheese and cannot take the weight of a man standing on the top step. I can find no other TC that weighs any less without losing some essential like a wet bath or heat or smaller tanks yet. There is only so much you can squeeze into an 86" wide box with a 8'6" floor.
And Regcab, I'm only 6 feet tall, so a 6'5" ceiling clearance is good enough. Whatsmore, Regcab, it HAS been to hell and back but remains basically sound with no framing loose or out of kilter. Just amazing for a wooden frame that is basically industrial stapled together. The aluminum outer skin has taken it in the shorts over trails like the Mojave Road and White Rim Trail. One of those pesky Joshua Trees put a grapefruit size dent in the passenger nose front, and another passing tree branch put a golf ball size hole in the drivers nose front. It remains (*at the moment) leak free. I know none of you would even consider buying this, but for research you can critique my spiel and the numbers:
https://sacramento.craigslist.org/rvs/d/nevada-city-1998-lance-truck-camper/6870328549.html
At rest last week on the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands: Tire pressure: 32 pounds. My fender lips are wider than the camper itself. The mud flaps and lips are only there to protect as much as possible the wooden frame. jefe
511711
 

redthies

Renaissance Redneck
Yeah, the tanks are quite small on those new Lances. Not sure how 13-14 gallons of grey would fly on my travels. Jefe, have you considered something like a Hallmark? I know pop ups aren’t for everyone, but for the amount of off-roading you do, it would be an advantage. They are actually really good in the cold weather too. I’d have one, but mine sits for 5 months of the year in a ski town that sees 10-12 feet of snow.
 

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Redthies, we did indeed look at the Hallmark Ute, one of their small, lightweight units and found the tanks to be the same almost to the gallon as the Lance Lites. But, it is tiny and much shorter. Not much floor.
jefe
 

RisingEagle

New member
the cirrus 720 - just released - is 1800lbs dry / 2400lbs wet with every single option

youtube a video on it - princess craft has a good walkthrough on one

i spent a lot of time contemplating and researching - picking my cirrus 720 up friday. it checked every box for me

good luck!
 

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
So the big day of anticipation and discovery has come and gone. Today we made the 2 hour trip to Custom Truck Accessories in Carson City NV, to peruse their fairly well stocked selection of truck campers. We were there to check out the Lance 825 and 865, which we were prepared to special order in bare bones form. Vinnie, the salesman left us alone on our inspection tour so we spent a couple hours trying out every standing, sitting, climbing, ingress and egress, and prone position.
Every single one of these, except the Wolf Creek, had flaws that cannot be overcome. Mostly there was an absence of storage space and a plethora of fru-fru items that don't help you while traveling. We were expecting to delete AC/microwave/oven/TV and just order a basic, lightweighty Lance. Jeanie just mentioned that after 21 years of progress with Lance campers you would think you would have more storage than what our 1998, 165-s would have. Alas, much less. No room for pots and pans. Shoddy workmanship. Latches would not close. The old 165-s now looks like the winner in the storage game. As we pulled in the driveway upon arriving home, the old Lance looked pretty good again.
Here are my critiques:
  1. Lance 865: the one we were there to order, if acceptable. It was not acceptable. It has maybe 1/3 LESS floor than our ancient 165-s, and Jeanie felt it was very claustrophobic compared to the other campers and especially our own 165-s. It also has approaching zero storage space, a condition that plagued almost all the campers we inspected. There was no room for pots and pans, which somehow eluded me but not my frau who pickup up on that omission immediately.
  2. Lance 825: the fall back position because of the lack of wet bath sink and again no room to store anything. It was appalling. The table is now a pull out style, not a spin type, but seems pretty flimsy/wobbly right out of the chute. Maybe some wax or slip spray would fix that. The rear seating area (for me) around the table has a wider cushion now; a good thing. I would not have to sit side saddle as i do in the 165. The latch hardware for the barn style sliding door ( kind of a pocket door without the pocket) for the bath was already loose. The plusses were: Plenty of headroom in the wet bath with glued and pinned fiberglass surround. No front window; block foam board insulation; alum. frame; 2 pane Euro style windows; attractive upholstery. But the great no-no was that lack of storage, which by comparison seems so plentiful in our old 165-s. The decisions seemed to be made by a bean counter in Lancaster, not by someone who actually had used one for at least a little while.
  3. Wolf Creek 840 and 850, both 96" wide, by Northwoods: Much heavier campers with a lot more storage. Nice wide seating area with a long table that pops out of two stands to reverse. The stanchions seemed a little tinky. Weird that the windows were the 1960's single pane aluminum slider type that cannot be cleaned out. Quite good storage possibilities. Lots of room in the bath area but with a low ceiling. Negatives were the built in rear bumper with 2 fold down steps. This won't work with a 3" lifted RAM on 35's. Interesting water heater design with quick recovery hot water. Big honkin' tanks. That will press you down on those Stable Loads and secondaries for sure.
  4. Arctic Fox ( a big one, for comparison): Well made and assembled, but i noticed a lot of wasted space that could have been used for something. Again, the barn door latch for the bath would not close.
So, we are still in limbo with no decision on a new TC. For the time being, we will revert to plan A, which is keep the Lance 165-s alive for a while more. The pic below was on the way to Beef Basin last week. The rain/snow and eventually the mud simply took over and we had to wait 18 hours for the mud to dry. We never made it to Beef Basin our entry into the Needles District. That's a first for us. I slid off into the ditch a few times when the True Tracs, feeling no difference in traction side to side decided to act like a spool pulling us downhill on every turn in the road, regardless of where I pointed the steering wheel. Mud tire? NOT.512039512040
 

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Risingeagle, thanks for the tip. We just spent the last 2 hours looking at Cirrus 720 and 820 vids on youtube. Did you special order your new 720? What features did you add or subtract? Jeanie is very interested now in the 820 because of the black tank/wet bath and monumental amount of storage/big fridge/ and, did i mention more storage. Without a microwave; AC; and TV it should be doable with our suspension, which is 8 leaves rear: 1 added leaf lift spring in the main pack and 3 upper overloads/secondaries/Stable Loads. The only puzzling part is what the actual weights are. There seem to be a wide variety of measures with lots of variables.
jefe
 

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
Sometimes I think I'd like to score an Lance 8'6" lite with the east/west configuration. With the single cab the north/south configuration blocks my upward view.
 

Pacific Northwest yetti

Expedition Medic
She has been on many adventures for you. I look forward to seeing what you go with.
On another note, I love my outfitter Apex. Pop up w/ full wet bath and shower, can be used with the top down. Large tanks, all at bed level. Lots of storage, one side under the bed, is a large area. and the other side has a massive drawer.
 

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RisingEagle

New member
i did soecial order the c720. i sat in the prototype for over an hour in atlanta (was tagged a c670) and knew it was the camper for me. the selling points of the c720 for me was -
  • 2300lbs full options minus the side awning. i literally added every other option; but i have a ram 3500 srw short bed so payload was a non issue
  • storage. insane amount of storage in it, and i can fabricate much more if needed. it just felt like a ton of available space in it
  • new-wave materials. aluminum and coosa made the camper extremely lightweight
  • alde heat system. radiant heat beats a blower any day of the week. i have not seen a single bad review on the alde system compared to traditional blower heat
  • cassette toilet. this one will force me to get comfortable emptying my sewage different - but no more stink hose, and the flexibility of literally dumping in any toilet is a huge win over chading a dump site
  • rotating bathroom door. re-using that space twice helps open up the camper. a lot
  • dinette no more shoved to one side - it crosses the camper. when i was in it for an hour, the lounge seats were the most comfortable i’ve found in a truck camper

i went with the 720 over the 820 because of most of the above; biggest being weight and cassette toilet. the 820 can quickly come in over 3,000 lbs, and youre stuck with a traditional setup with a traditional black tank

ive also found quality of cirrus well above average. their customer support is some of the best in the industry. you have a problem, they take care of it. period

with all options my c720 ran right near $30k. i originally was considering a fiberglass (bigfoot or similar) but after i sat in the prototype, the decision was an easy one to make.

now if friday was here, id invite you over and you could look through it ;)
 

RisingEagle

New member
i would have to dig a bit for weights on the 820 but for the 720 it breaks out as follows -
dry no options - 1785lbs
wet full options - 2400lbs

so depending on options selected you wind up in that range

oh also they are releasing a c620 this summer targeting half ton trucks. last i heard target weight was 1500lbs, similar in layout to c720 but minus some stuff to get the weight down
 
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