A Liner Camper Ownership: What’s it Really Like?

By Ryan Wilson

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A Liner camper

What’s not to like about an A Liner camper? They have a lower profile when towing, yet have a lot of interior space. 

They are more rugged than traditional soft sided pop up campers given their rigid walls. And, you don’t have to dry out the fabric after a wet weekend of camping in a soft sided camper.

When we first considered buying a camper, I had never heard of an A Liner camper. My main criteria for a camper was something easy to tow with my Toyota Tacoma. The camper also needed enough room for our young family and dog. 

I was leaning towards a soft-sided pop up camper, but my wife had no interest in those. We live in Alaska and she worried that it wouldn’t stay warm enough. She also worried that their soft sides wouldn’t keep bears from getting in or might be too easy for mice to damage

Then we bought a used A liner camper on an online auction and I realized it had the features both my wife and I wanted. We’ve been happy owners of an Aliner Expedition ever since. 

Below I discuss why I love owning our Aliner Expedition and why it works for our family. I then provide information on the new A Liner camper models for sale today. Including their standard features and optional upgrades.


A Liner Camper Ownership

I’ve been so impressed with our A Liner camper. Even though it was over 8 years old when we bought it, all the issues have been cosmetic.

We’ve taken it on long Alaskan road trips. Many over hundreds of miles of gravel roads. It has held up amazingly.

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Interior

We are a family of four, with two adults and two young children.  For now, the two beds in our Aliner Expedition are big enough for our family.  But in the next couple of years, we’ll definitely need to upgrade to a model with more beds.

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Even with 4 of us and a dog, there’s enough room to move around. But, if we had older kids, it would definitely get tight. There’s also a good amount of interior storage space.

One definite con of some A Liner camper models is that they do not allow easy access to the interior of the trailer without raising the walls.  But, newer models can be set up in 30 seconds!

From time to time I will crawl under the collapsed walls to get food from the refrigerator for a road-side picnic lunch. It is definitely less convenient than opening the door to a free-standing camper.

Some new models of Aliner campers have the refrigerator accessible from outside the camper. So that issue has been resolved for some newer models.

I am also amazed at how well insulated our A Liner camper is from outside noise, even in a busy, generator-filled, RV campground.  I never have any trouble sleeping because of outside noises. And our kids’ sleep doesn’t get disrupted when we decided to stay up later with friends around the campfire.

During spring and late summer camping trips in Alaska, the temperatures at night can dip pretty low. The camper itself stays pretty warm at night without the heater on. But when we do need some heat, the furnace in our A Liner camper does a great job at quickly warming the camper.

A Liner Camper Set up

I love how easy the set up and take down of an A liner camper is! I can have the whole camper set up or taken down in about 5 minutes. This is especially nice during the rainy season up here in Alaska.

Maybe it’s the age of my A Liner camper, but I find the 30 second set up claim a little optimistic. Regardless, set up is faster than for most other camper types.

Towing

Towing my A Liner camper is as easy as I was hoping for with a lighter weight soft-sided pop up camper.

We have to go over high mountain passes to get to some of our favorite Alaskan campgrounds. Our camper has always handled well going uphill and allowed me to maintain good speed. My A Liner camper has handled equally well going downhill.


Test Drive an ALiner With Your Vehicle

Buying an ALiner is a significant investment, so you don’t want to end up buying a camper that doesn’t meet your needs. For me, I didn’t want a camper that super heavy, or that didn’t handle well when driving down the highway. I also wanted a camper that was easy to setup and take down.

Unfortunately, camper dealers and private sellers won’t let you take a camper for a weekend test drive to see if it will work for you.

But there is another option. You can rent a pop up camper for the weekend on sites like Outdoorsy, RVezy, or RVshare.

Outdoorsy Screenshot 1 scaled

When we first were testing out campers, I rented an R-Pod from Outdoorsy thinking that might be a good option for our Toyota Tacoma. After taking it on a week-long road trip, I realized it didn’t handle as well as I would have liked, and I didn’t like the low visibility I had.

Renting a camper from Outdoorsy ended up being great, because it made me realize I wanted a pop up camper for my Toyota Tacoma. And that’s I how I decided an ALiner was the right fit for my truck and family.


A Liner Camper Models

There are currently 11 A Liner camper models on the market today.  They vary in size, with campers suitable for 1-2 people, and others big enough to fit a family of 4.

Size and Weights

ModelDry WeightGVWRLengthWidthSleeps
Scout-Lite1180 lbs3000 lbs13'78"2-3
Ranger 101300 lbs3000 lbs12' 8"78"2-3
Scout1395 lbs3000 lbs15'78"2
Scout-Family1395 lbs3000 lbs15'78"3-4
Ranger 121450 lbs3000 lbs15'78"2
Classic1725 lbs3000 lbs15'78"2-3
LXE1795 lbs3000 lbs15'78"2
Expedition1850 lbs3500 lbs18'84"2-3
Evolution-Small2000 lbs3000 lbs15'78"2-3
Evolution2300 lbs3500 lbs18'84"2-4

Features

New models have a lot more standard features and options than our 2012 Aliner Expedition.

Every new A Liner camper comes with a set of standard features that should be good enough for a weekend camping trip.

Standard Features

Water Hookup

Fantastic Vent fan

120V/12v Electrical System

Wired for Solar

Premium Curtains

Electronic Trailer Brake

LED Lights

Alloy Wheels

BreakAway Trailer Switch

There are also a variety of optional upgrades available across A Liner camper model

Optional Features

Refrigerator + Freezer

Microwave Over

Wind Lift Assist

Dual Bunk Layout

Hardwood Cabinets

Cable Hookup

Outside Grill

Interior Stove

Panoramic Windows

Utility Light

11 Gal Water Tank

Be aware that many of the A Liner camper models come standard with many of the optional features. I list the additional features that comes standard for each model below.


Aliner Scout Lite

Additional Standard Features

Interior Sink

Stove

Refrigerator

Water Heater

Outdoor Shower

Toilet

A/C

Wind Lift Assist

Indoor Shower

Microwave

Heater

Off Road Kit


Aliner Ranger 10

Additional Standard Features

Interior Sink

Stove

Refrigerator

Water Heater

Outdoor Shower

Toilet

AC

Wind Lift Assist

Indoor Shower

Microwave

Heater

Off Road Kit


Aliner Scout

Additional Standard Features

Interior Sink

Stove

Refrigerator

Water Heater

Outdoor Shower

Toilet

AC

Wind Lift Assist

Indoor Shower

Microwave

Heater

Off Road Kit


Aliner Scout-Family

Additional Standard Features

Interior Sink

Stove

Refrigerator

Water Heater

Outdoor Shower

Toilet

AC

Wind Lift Assist

Indoor Shower

Microwave

Heater

Off Road Kit


Aliner Ranger 12

Additional Standard Features

Sink

Stove

Refrigerator

Water Heater

Outdoor Shower

Toilet

Air Conditioner

Wind Lift Assist

Indoor Shower

Microwave

Heater

Off Road Kit


Aliner Classic

Additional Standard Features

Interior Sink

Stove

Refrigerator

Water Heater

Outdoor Shower

Toilet

AC

Wind Lift Assist

Indoor Shower

Microwave

Heater

Off Road Kit


Aliner LXE

Additional Standard Features

Interior Sink

Stove

Refrigerator

Water Heater

Outdoor Shower

Toilet

AC

Wind Lift Assist

Indoor Shower

Microwave

Heater

Off Road Kit


Aliner Expedition

Additional Standard Features

Interior Sink

Stove

Refrigerator

Water Heater

Outdoor Shower

Toilet

AC

Wind Lift Assist

Indoor Shower

Microwave

Heater

Off Road Kit


Aliner Evolution

Additional Standard Features

Interior Sink

Stove

Refrigerator

Water Heater

Outdoor Shower

Toilet

AC

Wind Lift Assist

Indoor Shower

Microwave

Heater

Off Road Kit


Summary

An A Liner camper is the perfect choice for someone that wants a lightweight camper, but still wants some comforts of home. For a family of four, we couldn’t be happier with our A Liner camper.

Is an A Liner camper not the right choice for you? Check out our post on pop up camper weight to see if another camper might work for you instead. Or read our guide on how to buy a used camper.

Save $25 off your Camper Rental at RVezy

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Photo of author

Author

Ryan is an avid outdoorsman who loves camping, hiking, and backpacking. He was initially reluctant to join the camper world, but after his first camping trip in one, he became a convert. He especially loves how camper ownership extends the camping season and makes it easier to be more adventurous with young kids. When not enjoying his free time, he works as a professional wildlife biologist studying the ecology and conservation of large mammals in Alaska.