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Old 05-26-2016, 05:23 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 5
Big interest in an A-Frame camper...

Hello everyone,

I've been reading the forums for a few days now. My wife and I are interested in purchasing an A-Frame camper in the next couple of months or so.

We have never owned any type of camper, we did camp once with family in a pop up canvas one. We actually just showed up, the camper was already set up, we did not do anything...we just had a good time...and we left early, so we did not have to pack up either! That's why we are going the A-Frame route.

I have a few questions for the community before we move forward.

1- Choosing a dealer. The closest ones that carry them are over 4-5 hours away from where we live in FL. The lest expensive brand new A 122 is about 8-10 hours away (it will give us a chance to try it out on our way back). The question is, if I have any issues with my new purchase, can I take it to any local RV dealer (we have a Camping World an hour away) or do we have to go back to the original dealer for warranty work?

2- Cracking/leaking windows. It looks like it is the price to pay for these little campers! So, asking the people who had leaky windows, did it happen because the campers sat in the elements and the material fell apart in the UV?

3- People who screwed stuff into the side walls/roof, did you just screw through the inner layer? is it fiberglass?

I'm sure I'll have more questions the closest we get to the final decision.
By the way, I find your community very friendly and helpful. Looking forward to joining you guys.


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Old 05-26-2016, 05:40 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 169
Hi Angry,
There have been good discussions regarding A-frames on this forum and PopUpPortal. Search for my posts. IMHO opinion, for 2 people looking for a minimalist camper (no bathroom) an A-frame is the best thing since sliced bread. Be aware and do some research, the original A-frames from Aliner and Chateau are: very expensive, half the weight (1250 lbs) of the copy-cats from Forest River (2200+ lbs) or others. Aliner uses wood similar to aircraft plywood were FR uses particle board. This can make a difference in what your tow vehicle can be.
Pluses over tent popups: Literally 2 minute setup/takedown vs ~30 min, no wet canvas-rain or dew will not delay your departure, permitted even in campgrounds with bear concerns (hardsided campers only).

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Old 05-26-2016, 11:22 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Washington state
Posts: 1,196
Pancake - A-Frames campers are awesome for those who want a fast set up and easy towing. There's 7 brands you could choose from. The two that tout light weight are Aliner and Chalet brands.

Keep in mind, Forest River (FR) uses a beefier frame than those two brands and has never needed to use lightweight as a sales tactic. Because FR is such a large maker, they have more buying power and you will discover that you get more options for your dollar with a FR made brand. Please make sure your vehicle can safely tow the trailer you are looking to buy. If weight is a concern and you are set on an A-Frame, then look at the Aliner and Chalet. If weight is no concern, by all means check out the many models (with or without a bathroom/shower/toilet) and brands made by FR!

A side note - FR floors are engineered OSB with a 25 year limited warranty on them. Be aware that FR offers a second year warranty for our A-Frames for only $100-, not something you would typically find in other brands.

No probs with the bubble windows but then again I keep mine out of the elements when it's not being used. I've been many gusting wind and rain storms and always pleased with how snug we are inside the A.

With regard to servicing your trailer needs, you can get work done at any authorized FR service center, not limited to the dealer you purchase from. Some dealers will place their rv buying customers ahead of non customers and others might give a discounted fee for parts and services (mine did). Knock on wood, I havent needed warranty service. I bought my trailer new in 2012 and haven't had any problems requiring service. Spouse does routine maintenance and it has been an easy keeper.

Lastly, the FR A-Frame has an exterior gel coat over an aluminum skin, styrofoam like insulation and ultra thin wood walls. After seeing how thin the walls are before the insulation, there is no way I would put a hole in the wall. Command strips and hooks are what I use to hang some things.

Hope this helps. The A-Frame has been my most favorite rv of all that we've owned. It's so easy to tow! I've used it on many more trips than our motorhome and previous travel trailer.

Happy hunting!

2012 FR Flagstaff T12SDTH
1996 Shadowcruiser Pop Up Truck Camper
1967 Newell Motorcoach
2003 Ford F150 5.4 V8 Triton Super Cab
2004 Nissan Titan LE 5.6 V8 4x4 Crew Cab
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Old 05-27-2016, 01:11 PM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 827
When we decided on an A-frame (March 2014), the A-Liner and Chateau models had delivery waits of over 6 months, and were priced $5K higher than the Rockwood. We found a Denver dealer (Nolan's, 50 miles away) who offered the camper for only $500 more than the cheapest on-line price we could find - no negotiations required. And they offered delivery of a new unit in 2 weeks. Dealers in Colorado Springs were unwilling to come down on price or offer a firm delivery date.

When I went up to buy the A-frame, our salesman talked me out of several dealer-installed options I was interested in and willing to pay for. This went a long ways to giving me confidence that it was a good dealership. The emphasis was on keeping things simple.

I didn't expect much from the service department, expecting to take care of everything myself. I was very pleasantly surprised when they found and fixed a propane leak that could only be detected intermittently. A leak on the outside shower faucet and a missing main door key were similarly fixed in an hour with no appointment on a Saturday morning. A good service and parts department turned out to be more important than I had thought. And I was given priority because I had bought from them.

I have had no issues with the windows but would not want to store the camper outside in the Colorado dust storms, hail storms, and snow. We deliberately bought the smallest Rockwood A-frame because it was big enough for the two of us, but small enough to fit in our garage and those tight, but really nice campsites.

Just my thoughts and experiences
Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
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Old 05-28-2016, 01:44 PM   #5
Dr Travel
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Full timers
Posts: 91
As a former sales guy, I can attest to the value in a FR Aframe. You simply get more for your money, period. And not just luxury items, but things you will use and appreciate. And there is a strong dealer network should you need warranty work (take the second year warranty - for $100 its a bargain.) You can take it to any authorized FR Aframe dealer.

I spent two months and many hours selling a FR Aframe vs the other guys. My customer kept coming back because of the much better value of the FR product. He beat me down, and I do mean beat me down, to where my entire commission was $100. I was selling it below my commission margin, and the dealership itself was barely making money. There is a lot more to that story that for anyone in sales would be quite humorous. The guy literally stole that unit from us. And to top it all off, we had to factory order it for him!

All of which is a long way of saying, if you are buying in Florida I still have a contact at the dealership I was at. I can attest that no one would beat his price - no one. Let me know if you would like the salesman's name and contact number. I can attest to his integrity and customer focus. On a unit like this there is nothing in it for me - just trying to lend a hand here.
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Old 07-10-2016, 07:59 PM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 15

I am in Central Florida and looking to buy an A-frame (used would be OK) can you recommend a dealer/salesman

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Old 07-10-2016, 08:26 PM   #7
Dr Travel
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Full timers
Posts: 91
Yes, I have someone you can trust to give you a great price on a Rockwood A-frame. What is your time frame for purchasing?
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:35 PM   #8
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 15
this summer I will use a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4-wheel drive I think this would be enough truck Will I nee to add electric brakes
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Old 07-11-2016, 08:18 AM   #9
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Indiana
Posts: 58
We are in love with our new Flagstaff Classic 12TRBST A Frame! We were the same way as you - no experience with campers previously. We've found there is a learning curve, but take short weekend trips not far from home after you've set it up in the driveway for a week or so messing around with it and organizing/packing your standards. I don't think you'll be at all disappointed with this purchase!

2016 Forest River Flagstaff 12RBST
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Old 07-11-2016, 08:24 AM   #10
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 50
Bought a new A192HW in June 2016 out of state. No one in my state will work on it and the warranty administrator at FR has no good solution to me. He actually states in his email that I have to use an "unauthorized dealer" and have them do the work and FR may or may not pay for a covered item. It makes no sense to me. So I caution you to make sure you buy from someone you can take it back to and 4 -5 hours away may not be practical even though it is in state.

The AFrames are very practical and easy to tow. The extra year warranty for $100 is a wise investment.

Good Luck!

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a-frame, camper, frame

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