A-Frame Campers: Chalet, Aliner, Jayco - Anyone?

Mark Harley

Expedition Leader
They look cool lifted! " Picture from the net"


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My family has had an Aliner for many years, we traveled from Colorado to the east coast and colorado to the west coast (several weeks per trip) as well as many little trips in Colorado.

We have the white aliner expedition with the off-road package and it has suited us well; at this point we've added a large solar panel, three or four times the stock battery amp hours, 1000 w pure sine wave 120VAC, and double the original propane capacity, which makes it good off-grid. It's especially good in the winter and fall, because it's so much warmer than a fabric pop up.

The solar and 120VAC electrical system has turned into something of a hobby for my dad and I, at this point the only thing remaining of the original elixir power management system is the fan, fuses, and breakers, and the rest of the unit has been completely cut off and we have a custom system for managing the batteries and inverters and stuff.

One of the best parts of the a-frame design (which probably isn't brand-specific) is we can unhitch (the complicated weight distribution hitch), level, set up, and warm up the trailer in about 5 mins even when it's 20° out and completely dark. They also go up well in the rain and snow because the roof and sides protect the interior.

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I have a 1999 Aliner Clasic I bought it used and love it. I have had it for several years it has to Alaska and back with no major problems. The past two years I have used it for my deer camp. I have pulled it with my 82 Scrambler, 05 LJ and my 14 JKURX with no problem.


Clem Trek

New member
a-liner question

I've noticed a few discussions on the web where small wood stoves (marine type and others) have been installed in campers and RVs. Has anyone seen it done with A-Frame campers? I think it's possible but given the type of material in the sides and roof it may be a bit tricky. Any thoughts?

Logic: Propane heat generates a lot of moisture and, therefore, condensation in very cold (winter) conditions. Wood heat is dry ... and cheap. Wood stoves are commonly used in canvas tents. Stoves and stove pipes can be broken down and stored for travel. The A-frame's hard sides should be drier than canvas ... if the joints and seams don't shake apart during rough service. Wood stoves are used on boats and the outside part of the chimney is removed and the stack plugged (literally, a rubber plug) for travel. No expedition on terra firma will have watertightness issues as serious as a boat's.

I'm considering a small A-Liner, perhaps a Ranger 10, with the rough service suspension to pull with my JKU. I'll be using it on forestry roads in assorted states of natural succession, mostly rough with a few fallen bridges. Probably need a few suspension modifications to lift and strengthen the frame. I'm a bit concerned about the interior cabinetry and the durability of the pop-up hardware. Should I be? I think it'd be a lost easier, and cheaper, to start with this than build a whole trailer from scratch. But I'm new to this hobby(?) (obsession?) and need some advice. Thanks folks.


They are nice options if you stay to pavement and the odd smooth gravel road. You can modify them extensively but the weak point is the roof. On rough roads it will fail. At least mine did.



Doesn't Get Out Enough
Instead of paint...

...The Platinum model was a mistake, it gets really hot in the sun because of the grey finish, air conditioner is a must, when the temp was 78 outside on a sunny day it was 90 inside. Shading the windows with an awning would help. Most people make their own for these. I was thinking about painting it white...

You might consider a DIY vinyl wrap or spraying it with PlastiDip for the roof sections and fold-up side walls instead of paint. Either would be cheaper than real paint, and easier to undo or redo as needed.

PlastiDip spray is $35/6-pack on Amazon or can be purchased lots of places these days, and I see the vinyl is available in 60in widths by the foot as well as large precut sheets.




Bump for further ideas. I have a 2015 rubicon and looking for a small camper for me, wifey, two small kids. Portapotty is a must. Can cook outside. Just need two dry beds and a rigid walls/roof are appealing. In Virginia there's not too much off-roading to do with a trailer. Maybe a forest road to a camp site, then hit the trails from there.


New member

I have some chalets but I don't see any fun with it or some adventures. Maybe, I did not try hard enough in finding or I must have it taken lightly.


I'm looking hard at these, to tow with a Subaru Forester. I want to take my lightweight Yamaha TW200 (under 300lbs) and several designs have a smaller deck up front that would be perfect for the TDub or other small enduro. I'll use the TDub for off roading, leave the trailer setup for sleepy time. Pack a cassette toilet along, some have an outside shower. I like hard sides, a little quieter, easy to heat. These look very easy, and quick, to set up. But mostly, it's towable, I can take my moto, I can stand up, look out the window as I flip my pancakes, in my jammies. Then go for a nice ride in the dirt. Like this (from AdvRider.com).


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