RVing: Lance Travel Trailer 1995

RVing: Lance Travel Trailer 1995

Story and photos by Howard J Elmer

There are two things most people know about the RV builder Lance. One, they have been around for a long time – over 50 years now. Two, they make truck campers.

In fact, if you’ve ever thought about a truck camper or been asked to suggest a brand name to someone, chances are Lance was the name that sprang to mind. And, yes they still make truck campers, but they now also build travel trailers and this expansion of its product line piqued my interest. Because this California-based company has earned a reputation for quality products, I wanted to see how its decades of building campers has translated to the travel trailer segment.

The unit I chose to pull with my 2019 Ford Ranger tow vehicle was a model smack in the middle of this product line. (There are 10 floorplans, ranging in length from 19 to 29-feet). The Ranger is rated to tow a max weight of 7,500 lb and this unit – the 1995 – paired nicely with it being just over 23-feet in length and having  a GVWR of 5,700-lb.

The floorplan features a single slide-out, spacious walk-around queen-bed and a full bath. The unit will sleep four and carries every convenience buyers expect; it is also four season-capable and can be equipped with an optional solar panel system.

Quality. It’s a word Lance uses over and over in all its brochures and on-line product information. We all know what that word means; however, it also translates to something else – price. The truth is, you can’t have one without the other, and this Lance product definitely sits in the premium end of the market.

That said, I set out to see where the design money was spent – and it’s worth remembering that it’s often on items that are not evident on first inspection – but over the long term, they will make a big difference in the life of the unit.

What I’m talking about here specifically is build quality – that refers to the materials and construction methods used for the frame, walls, roof, insulation, windows, tanks and running gear.

Lance uses aluminum for the framing in the sidewalls, floor and the ceiling. Interior walls use the solid Azdel product which is a thermoplastic composite that eliminates wood from Lance trailer walls. Most parts are cut on computer-controlled CNC machines that produce exact fitting pieces – no need for gobs of caulking to cover up gaps here. The insulation is a solid-block foam-type that won’t sag over time. The exterior is covered with a laminated fibreglass bonded product that completes this shell sandwich.

The nose has a gravel guard and fitted propane tank covers. Above it on the curved nose is the bonus (also a focal point of the trailer) – a large curved front picture window. This is automotive-style glass that’s also tinted, as are all the frameless dual-pane windows in the trailer. The roof is covered with a one-piece PVC material and it’s crowned to shed water.   Each of these components carries a premium cost – but they will last and that’s the pay-off.  The floor is also laminated and insulated. This trailer rides on aluminum wheels and Goodyear radial tires.

Inside, the layout is typical for a trailer this size, but the appointments are what are different.  For instance, the lighting. Light fixtures, mood & spot lighting as well as dimmers all add to the sense of quality that Lance is going for. In fact, everywhere I Iooked, I found what I expected – but then I’d see the little extra. In the ceiling, there is a powered vent and shower skylight in the bath – standard fare. But, there is also one over the bed as well as a second skylight above the kitchen.

Something you wouldn’t notice right off is the use of Lite-Ply for cabinet construction. This material imported from Europe is both lighter and stronger than other wood products. It is used extensively in the interiors of corporate jets. It’s used here with both tongue-and-groove and dovetail construction.

What really dominates the trailer design is the U-shaped “Super Slide” dinette. This dinette has fabric-wrapped storage doors and reversible faux leather cushions, giving the 1995 an elegant yet functional look. Also, as a fold-down for sleeping, this dinette will make for a very cozy and intimate second bed.

The galley is complete and large in this trailer. It features a 7-cu ft, two-way refrigerator with stainless steel door panels next to the stainless steel three-burner range with 21-inch oven. Above it is the stainless steel range hood and the “flat bottom” stainless steel microwave oven.  The counter is nicely extended by using the included sink covers. The faucet is a residential-style single-lever with a pull-out sprayer.  A nice bonus is a spice rack just above the work area, while behind you is a built-in magazine rack – or cookbook storage.

As the bath is set in the rear corner with an off-set hard door, it’s spacious. The corner shower dominates the room with the sink, cupboard and light-up medicine cabinet to one side, and the porcelain toilet on the other. Overall, a very nice use of the space.

Looking at the cupboards, closets and wall edges, I saw radiused corners, bevelled and rounded edges – all extras and very attractive.

Storage is always a must-have for RVers and most will tell you that there never seems to be enough. That statement may still be true of the Lance, but they have made a serious effort to build as many varieties of storage into this trailer as possible. Entering the trailer there is a full-length clothes closet right next to a second half-closet with pull-out drawers below it. Under each dinette seat is a long, deep pull-out drawer. The walk-around queen-bed also has nightstands with storage and a hanging clothes cupboard on each side. Outside, a set of slam-latch pass-thru doors access a decent sized basement storage space that takes advantage of the curved bed space in the nose of the trailer.

While I never had a chance to run the 25,000 BTU forced-air furnace, I did note that it is ducted throughout the trailer floor which includes the heating of the water tanks. So, along with the insulation, dual-pane windows and by-pass valves for the hot water heater, you are ready for any weather. And, with the optional 170-watt solar panel system, you can easily go off-grid as well.

As for towing, the power of the Ranger’s new Ford 2.3L EcoBoost engine (now coupled to a 10-speed transmission) was easily up to the task. A balanced ride attitude was achieved by using an equalizing hitch – which also cut down on cross-wind sway. The quality of the axles, suspension and tires on the Lance were also part of this comfortable ride equation. It was an easy pull on the highway and on secondary roads.

Overall, I was happy to see that what Lance has been doing with truck campers has been carried over to its new travel trailers. And while price is always important – so is quality.


Specs for the 2019 Lance travel trailer 1995

Length:                       23-ft 8-in.

Width:                        96 3/8-in.

Height w/AC:            10-ft 2-in.

Dry Weight:               4,265 lb

Cargo Capacity:        1,435 lb

GVWR:                      5,700 lb

Fresh Water:              45 gal

Grey Water:               45 gal

Black Water:             45 gal

Propane:                    2 – 20 lb

Lance 1995 base MSRP –  $56,487.00


Plus options as tested:

3-burner range w/oven        $457.00

Microwave oven                  $340.00

Solar panel – 170watt          $1,256.00

Ladder                                    $268.00

All-weather package            $828.00

Price as tested:                      $59,636.00

Unit supplied courtesy of Can-Am RV Centre, London, ON

Categories: Features, RVing, Trucks Plus