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Old 10-04-2012, 10:51 AM   #1
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Dear Forest River - an AFrame Wishlist

So the missus and I got to talking the other night about our little aframe and what we love about it and what we've come to wish it had. We have come to wish we had been able to get the Toy-Hauler version, but were limited by our tow vehicle's capacity.

Naturally, the conversation turned to:
  • What do we want in our next tow-vehicle
  • Whether we'd replace the camper, and if so, what we'd want to get.

The truth is, we love the AFrame. It's solid, it's easy to tow. Setup is a breeze. But there are a few things we wish were different.

So, on a chilly fall day, I thought I'd kick off a new thread where we can discuss what we'd love to see in the "next generation" of Forest River Aframes.

Here's our personal initial list. Some are pretty big structural changes to the base engineering, but some are simple convenience things that would be lovely to see.
  1. Screen Door
  2. Microwave as an OPTION, otherwise that area is a storage cabinet. We really only dry camp, and can only imagine ever using the microwave for making popcorn if we were camping with power. :P
  3. 12v outlet by the entry door. An additional 12v USB outlet would make it really hip. [I've actually modded to add both of these]
  4. Storage on the rear - presumably by strengthening the frame and then maybe adding something like the rack on the front of the A122BH.
  5. By the same token, a strong enough frame to mount a trailer-hitch bike rack for up to four bikes to the rear. Everyone seems to want to do this, so there must be a way to engineer it.
  6. Larger unit - maybe about four feet longer. This would allow for more internal storage, counter space, a full queen-size bed, bathroom, etc. Not sure how this might impact roof weight, roof pitch, etc. (may need to be higher when erected).
  7. Lift assist for the roof (probably pneumatic assists would be fine). Missus sometimes struggles to raise it by herself.
  8. Re-position the hot-water switch to some place more convenient. Next to the door would be great, but even behind the stove would work.
  9. By similar token, move the water pump switch to the wall behind the sink.
  10. Grey-water tank - maybe 12 to 16 gallons. With an easy bypass for the sink to drain either externally or via interior plumbing to the tank.
  11. The storage frame for the battery should be large enough for a group 31. As it is, the crossbar is welded in place and limits the size to smaller batteries.

Our "dream" Aframe would have a toy-hauler front rack, be four feet longer inside, have a queen-sized bed, bathroom, grey-water tank and enough rear support/storage for a bike hitch and maybe 300lbs of "stuff".

Maybe our next camper will end up being a TT, but we do love our Aframe and the fuel efficiency of being able to fold down. Plus I think the simpler feel of the Aframe is more conducive to dry camping and boondocking. The larger ones always feel like the NEED to be hooked up to amenities. :P
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:27 PM   #2
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Wishlist

What about a cargo door on the back side of the camper to access the storage under the seat next to the sink? Another idea, light blocking curtains along with a pull aside curtin for the window on the door. Thicker cushions would be nice too! You do have some good ideas as well!.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by nlowery922
What about a cargo door on the back side of the camper to access the storage under the seat next to the sink? Another idea, light blocking curtains along with a pull aside curtin for the window on the door. Thicker cushions would be nice too! You do have some good ideas as well!.
My area under the seat next to the sink is taken up by the cool cat. The bike rack idea is a winner as is more accessible switches.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:28 PM   #4
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Ditto for all the ideas mentioned above and if possible re-design the coolCat to vent to the sides upwards so that we don't get cold or hot legs when sitting close to it.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:14 PM   #5
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I would like to see a fresh water tank that doesn't sag when full of water.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:02 PM   #6
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I'd like to see one made for serious boondocking.

-beefier frame/suspension.
-rack on the front for gas cans/firewood/things you don't want to carry inside
-a small sheet metal woodstove with hot water reservoir, flat cooktop and removable stovepipe.
-area where microwave is now, would be rack system for water jug, a bit of firewood, cooler, coleman stove & lantern, etc
-racks on roof for canoe or 14' aluminum boat
-fittings in walls and ceiling for detachable brackets or hooks

-no skylights
-no water or propane system

I considered having the same wheels and tires as the TV, but that'd probably serious overkill and way too heavy.
A hunter version of this would have the deck up front for a quad (or a moose!)
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:32 PM   #7
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We previously owned and Aliner and the water tank was on the inside. I liked it better there. Not sure if there is room but, I would like to see it in the compartment with the AC. Also agree with the idea of moving the switches some place where we would not have to crawl under the table. Also the table should have a single pedestal leg. They are so awkward to set up and down, and way to heavy. Our A122 matress is not thick enough to suit us.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:23 PM   #8
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Hi, I am in Aussie, but looking at the Forest River product to tour N.America over a few years.We have a similar product in Aus "A-van"
A'van Campers & Caravans Pty.Ltd, Melbourne, Australia
a number of things they seem to do better including a higher version for tall people.
Another thing I like with the Aussie versions, you can get all the windows with wind out openers including the big long bubble window
"wind-out dome configurations" - this includes a fly screen to keep bugs out, you can get a nice breeze through.
To prevent water/rain getting in they put a window frame in that raises the window about 1" off the roof.
cheers Antone
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:25 PM   #9
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Oh in Aussie, we like 2 propane bottles but smaller ones, to reduce wait say 4.5kg ones
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:57 PM   #10
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Definitely would be nice to have upper half of door set with a screen door option. Also like the pedestal leg/or a slightly small version of the table, and would like the outlets near the beds moved to a safer area, rather than jammed up against the mattress/what a fire hazard that is! I also find that the A/C filter is constantly being blown out of it's slot, so not much use and requires unscrewing the main screen to readjust it/very frustrating.
Anne
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:59 AM   #11
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Do ya think Forest River is listening to what we want. We sure just gave them a lot of ideas.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:35 AM   #12
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Interesting ideas that certainly reflect each of our particular priorities/interests when looking for comfort/convenience while camping. I wouldnt want to change the box size on my unit (bumper to bumper, its already 22' long) but I would like a different refrigerator that is operable from the inside, a sink that is more user friendly, a grey tank, a gear deck that could hold 1000 lbs instead of 650 and a roof rack system that could carry a kayak.

....Id love to have 15" tires versus 14" (I know 2013 has 15" now) but at the time I bought mine, it wasnt available.....Not having a toilet was the tradeoff for selecting the model I bought, so I dont grumble to loud over that issue.

I was thrilled with the fact of having so many "options" being standard on the FR product as compared to Aliner or Chalet. I am super pleased w/the CoolCat as well as the microwave.

Naw, FR has no idea what Forum members wishes are, they are not "listening" because this isnt their site...someone would have to contact them and direct them to this particular thread.

If they do come up with improved models, it might be a tempting change...but just barely paid off this unit so for now we'll plan to use, enjoy and mod as needed. LOL...well, if I find myself whining too much about ground clearance, then I just might jump haha.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:10 PM   #13
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Handbuilder, I believe I can help you out with that kayak rack for your Aframe. I purchased a 2012 Flagstaff T12 RB had the dealer install a SportRack and we installed two pairs of Yakima Hully Rollers. I load by myself with no problems just came back from a week long trip 7 hours there 7 hours back. Traveled without issues down major highways and some very hilly roads. Both Aframe and kayak returned in perfect condition. You will have to fabricate different clamps to hold the Hully Rollers down as the plastic clamps that come with it won't fit the SportRack we used metal bars and bolts. The 14 foot kayak clears the skylights and fits nice and snug in the rollers.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cattledog
Handbuilder, I believe I can help you out with that kayak rack for your Aframe. I purchased a 2012 Flagstaff T12 RB had the dealer install a SportRack and we installed two pairs of Yakima Hully Rollers. I load by myself with no problems just came back from a week long trip 7 hours there 7 hours back. Traveled without issues down major highways and some very hilly roads. Both Aframe and kayak returned in perfect condition. You will have to fabricate different clamps to hold the Hully Rollers down as the plastic clamps that come with it won't fit the SportRack we used metal bars and bolts. The 14 foot kayak clears the skylights and fits nice and snug in the rollers.
Cattledog- would you post a link to your SportRack? We have two kayaks and didn't think the Aframe could handle the weight.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:01 PM   #15
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Bike Racks and Carrier Systems for Cars and Trucks - SportRackģ


I have posted a few pictures of my setup in my photo album. I opted for the Yakima Hully Rollers to make loading easier the kayak weighs 43 pounds.
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:09 PM   #16
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Thanks Cattledog!

Would love to see a pic of kayak on the trailer maybe the next time you are on a trip...

DH wants to sell bass boat and buy a fishing kayak (w/fins) He is an incredible angler and now wants the challenge of kayak tournaments...

I want him to carry on truck rack since he will prob go fishing when I have the trailer at a dog show...but would be nice when we camp together. Do you have an idea of max roof weight?
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:33 PM   #17
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No, canít say I know what the maximum weight allowance for the roof is. The dealer didnít hesitate to install the SportRack as he had mounted them on several tent trailers but he did ask how much the kayak weighed and I had to bring it to him so he could take measurements. I will get a picture posted of the kayak on the trailer posted shortly, presently in between trips, Thanksgiving and raining cold weather. We also have a nifty setup for carrying the kayak in bed of the truck saving us the trouble of installing permanent racks to roof will post a picture of it also.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:43 PM   #18
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Kayak rack

Hello Handbuilder I have posted pictures in my album of the kayak on the trailer as well as a few photos of the kayak rack for the truck bed.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:28 PM   #19
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Hey Cattledog! Once again, thanks for posting the kayak pictures! The rack is awesome! Truly appreciate the close ups of the clamps, too! This has been extremely helpful...wishlist is a futire reality after all!
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:57 PM   #20
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12Vdc plug for charging cell phone etc had one added to my camper. A water gage would be nice to let me know if I was running low. Agree with the location of the hot water switch could be better placed.
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