For our arctic expedition we decided on the 1172 Lance truck camper to be our home for the trip. We are taking a 2019 Ford F350 Dually Truck and pairing it with a 2020 Lance 1172 Truck Camper. We had the opportunity to follow the build of the 1172 camper we are taking through Lance’s manufacturing facility.
Building the Go North Lance Truck Camper
The Lance 1172 is Lance’s flagship truck camper and is the largest truck camper that Lance makes. It has 2 slides, one out the back and one out the driver’s side, a standard queen-sized bed, and a full dry bath. We have it on a 2019 Ford F350 Powerstroke Dually.Check out the full Lance 1172 Truck Camper specs here!
Based on the modifications we wanted to make to the rig for this trip, Lance determined that it would be easiest to build a new unit and make some changes right on the assembly line.
Since we wanted to add the Truma Vario Heat furnace and the Truma AquaGo water heater after it was built, our unit was built without these installed. We also had Lance not install a generator because we had a Battle Born lithium battery system that we were planning for.
While this change of plans altered our departure schedule slightly, it was well worth it. We got to watch the build process of our particular rig as it went down the assembly line!
We followed the Lance truck camper from the lamination building where they assembled and pressure pinched the walls and ceiling, to the installation of the tanks in the basement, putting roof on with it’s Dometic air conditioner, Fantastic Fans, and sky lights, to the installation of the appliances like the Dometic stove & toilet, to putting on the slides, and finally to the systems checks before it rolled off the line.
Once the build of the camper was complete, the rig was moved to a space in the R&D area so that we could perform some of the modifications ourselves, including the installation of a RV Water Filter Store system as well as a MobileMustHave.com Pepwave router and data plan setup for connectivity.
We partnered with RV Water Filter Store to install their Essential System plus a the Ultrapure Premium Under Sink Drinking water system.
The Essential System is a dual-canister system that connects with an RV Water hose and is used in-line to filter water BEFORE it gets into our fresh water tank.
The Ultrapure system is an under-sink system that is an additional AquaCera Cermetix filter for water we intend to drink. This one will not only remove bacteria, but also removes fluoride, arsenic, chloramines lead, heavy metals, so for a smaller size, we can get better final quality in our drinking water.
This involved drilling a hole in the counter to install a drinking water spigot and some simple pulmbing under the sink…although the smaller space ended up making this process a little interesting!
These filters will allow us to safely drink water from pretty much any source – including streams and lakes if need be!
In our fifth wheel, we refilled jugs with RO water we purchased from grocery stores. We did not have the space to continue that system, so this was a much-needed feature. Since we expect to be in remote areas much of the time, we are also bringing a small pump to be able to pull water from streams.
Thanks to Mobile Must Have, we felt well equipped to stay connected while traveling in Canada! We’ve got 2 MIMO antennas on the roof attached to a Pepwave router that is running a couple of international data plans as well as a weBoost 4GX.
Learn more about this system and it’s performance here: Connectivity in Alaska & Canada.
Looking for some help with connectivity? Click here to visit Mobile Must Have.
Furnace & Water Heater
The last major modifications made to the RV were a retrofit of a Truma VarioHeat Comfort furnace and the installation of the Truma AquaGo Comfort water heater that we are going to be testing out this summer.
The furnace in the 1172 sits under the stove in the kitchen, so the oven and range were removed to access this area. Ducting was also re-run to best work with the retrofit. The AquaGo was installed under the vanity of the bathroom.
It took a day and a half to complete these installations, and before the Truma team left they made sure to thoroughly test out the systems and the control panel to make sure all was working properly.
|Tom checking out the space for the furnace install under the oven||The Truma AquaGo being test-fitted in the side of the RV|
SUSPENSION & SWAY CONTROL
This episode also showcases the modifications we made to the truck to improve performance with the camper. We have Front and Rear Hellwig Sway Bars, which optimize handling and reduce body roll – the tilting of the truck and camper as it goes around turns. We also have Hellwig’s Big Wig Air Springs on either side of the truck. These are inflated to level out the ride of the truck, which sags some under the added weigh of the camper, and helps soften the wear and tear on the chassis.
We learned that many stock vehicles come with inadequate suspension and sway control from the factory to handle any sort of weight or towing job. Ever notice vehicles with saggy bottoms? Ever experience rough rides, wobbly turns, or white-knuckle driving? Check out Hellwig’s site to see if they’ve got something to help you out!
We got to meet with Mike Hallmark of Hellwig and pick his brain about trucks, suspension, and off-roading equipment.
Finally, the truck got some graphics for the project!
Let the Packing Begin
Once the Truck and Camper were completed, we frantically packed them up for the adventure ahead!
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