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Posts tagged ‘Chalet’

The Tardis 2 is for Sale

Several years ago, I finally talked Chad into buying a camper.  We’d been seeing these funny-looking, triangular-shaped camping trailers at a dealer up in Thurmont, Maryland when we drove up to Catoctin Mountain Orchard for apples.  We did some research and learned about the two main manufactures of these funky A-frame campers:  Aliner and Chalet.   After going to some camper shows, dealerships and kicking some tires, we finally ended up buying a 2010 Chalet Arrowhead.


We loved that Arrowhead.  It had a folding wet bath (combo shower and toilet) and fit in our garage, but it had one drawback.  It lacked the “sitting around” space if we needed to hang out indoors in bad weather, and was severely short on storage room.  After a couple of years, we decided to move up to a larger model.  We lucked up when the dealer from which we’d bought our Arrowhead took in an XL1938 in trade.

We had named the Arrowhead the “Tardis” because, like Dr. Who’s time machine, it appears so much larger on the inside.  So naturally, the XL1938 had to be the Tardis 2!

xl1938 at homeWe tow with a Chevrolet Avalanche, but we previously towed with a Chrysler Pacifica, so a midsize or crossover SUV can handle this camper.

We love the XL1938.  It has a FULL BATHROOM inside!!  This means an actual shower, separate full-size toilet and a vanity, with a wall that separates it from the rest of the camper.  The bath is in a dormered section at the front of the camper, so there’s plenty of headroom.  The rear of the camper has a u-shaped dinette which can convert to a king-sized bed or two bunks with storage beneath the bunks.  The galley has tons of storage, a double sink, a 3-burner gas range, microwave and 3 cubic foot 3-way refrigerator.

We added a Paha-Que awning, and front and rear stabilizer bars to make this large camper rock steady while camping.  We’ve also upgraded the flooring by installing parquet-look tile.

We’re about to sell our house and the garage that goes with it, and we’re putting a cabin on our vacation property, so the time has come to part with our A-frame camper.

The camper is garaged in Chantilly, VA 20152.  The asking price is $15,000.  Yes, this above “Book”, but the XL1938 is a rare model that Chalet no longer makes.  No other manufacturer makes an A-frame with a full, dry bath, and even getting a wet bath in an A-frame is difficult.  To find all these features in a camper this lightweight that garages is nearly impossible, and you won’t find it at any price lower.

Here are the specs:


Dry Weight 2,320 lbs.
Gross Vehicle Wt Rating (GVWR) 3,500 lbs.
Axle Weight 1,997 lbs.
Hitch Weight 275 lbs.
Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC) 1,228 lbs.


Length Feet 18.58
Overall Length 18 ft. 7 in.
Exterior Height  Travel, Standard Sidewalls: 74 in.
Set Up, Standard Walls: 131 in.
Exterior Width 86.75 in.
Interior Height At Peak, Standard Walls: 103.5 in.
Interior Width 80 in.
Wheel/Tire Size 14 in.

awning setup - Copy awning setup rear view - Copy IMG_20141116_144732982 IMG_20141116_144653878

Slide1 Slide2 Slide3  stabilizer front stabilizer hitch end

Yes, the TV is included! (We added this feature, and there’s a blu-ray player and built-in stereo with speakers).

TV Wall


xl1938 floorplan

Every time we camp, it rains.

I know you are probably thinking the title is hyperbolic.  It’s not.  Chad and I have a 100.00 % perfect record.  In 12 years of marriage and about 15 camping trips, it has rained EVERY time.  We tent camped 5 times in the old tent (which seeped at the seams) and it rained every time.  We bought a new, bigger tent.  It rained not only every time we camped in it, but EVERY DAY of every camping trip.

Tent camping is a pain in the ass, at its best.  You have to pack the tent, the bedding, the mess kit, the food (dry and cold) and enough ice to keep it safe for the duration.  If you’re “boondocking” (camping sans electricity and running water) you have to haul in water and batteries, too.  That makes one very loaded down wagon.  Take one mini van, pack in about 400 pounds of gear, add one greenhorn male and one bossy ex-girl scout, six rainy days and stir well.  Recipe for unhappy de jour.

Need I say that my darling hubby, sweetest man on earth, became less than enamored of camping life?  We tried 4 times to camp in that lovely Coleman 3-room tent, but it rained EVERY time.  The tent wasn’t too hard to put up, but since we had to bring it home wet and put it up again to dry out at home, that robbed us of much of the the fun.

We started to look at campers a few years later, thinking that we might, just might enjoy camping a bit more if we could take the tent out of the equation.  After years of tromping through the RV shows, we finally reached the confluence of desire, financial ability and sufficient amnesia of the last wet camping trip to consider actually buying a camper.

It’s funny how much more work an RV show becomes when you are actually planning to purchase.  We must have climbed up the steps of over 100 little trailers.  When we finally realized my Chrysler Pacifica would only tow up to 3000 pounds, that made our available choices prettly limited.  We decided to go for an A-frame popup.  My folks had a canvas popup when I was a teenager.  Suffice it to say I’ll never again sleep in one of those puppies.

That left us to choose between Aliner, Chalet and the other brands, which are all knockoffs of the top two.  Aliner is more plentiful and has dealers close by.  Chalet is better made but the nearest dealer is in North Carolina.  The availability of the installed “shoilet” (my name for the wet bath combo cassette toilet and shower) and slightly better build quality tipped the scales for Chalet.

We drove to Carolina Campers in April, put our names on the lines, and bought our little bitty RV.    We picked it up on a Saturday, and camped that night at a KOA on the way home.

It rained.

We’ve camped 5 times since then, once in a privately-owned “campground” in Pennsylvania, and four times in Virginia state parks.  In every case, it has rained.  Drizzle, drip and drop rain, thunderstorms, “spit” rain, big fat rain, and everything in between, you name it, we’ve had it, and you know what?  We don’t care.  The camper is snug and dry.

Let it rain.  When it pours down, the other campers bug out, and we have peace and quiet.  When it’s time to go home, we break out the Shamwows, wipe down the roof panels, fold up and go home.

So if you’re having a drought, just drop me a line.  Maybe we can work out a deal.  You pay for our gas and time off from work, and we’ll come set up our camper.  I can virtually guarantee you it will rain.

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