My new Snowriver Truck Camper, first in new series.

At the end of the month I pick up my new SnowRiver Truck Camper. I just may have the best built camper in North America (for 2 months anyway). My camper is the prototype for a new series of campers coming in 2008, called the "Prestige Signature Series". SR believes they will be the best built campers available on the market. They will not be cheap (anyone want to buy my firstborn?). The past few months they have been taking suggestions from consumers about what they would like to see in a Truck Camper and many of them have been incorporated. Not all were practical, of course and some conflicted with others. I am proud to say that 2 of my own ideas have been incorporated as well (numbers 4 & 5). SnowRiver is betting there is a market out there for people willing to pay for the best camper it’s possible to build. The high Canadian dollar is hurting them as it is all Canadian manufacturers. I just returned from Penticton where my camper is about half way finished. It’s a slow process, Snowriver’s take almost twice the man hours to build as the industry average. I am in the very fortunate position of being able to see my own camper constructed. I took a lot of photos & I have some of my own camper a week or so ago as well. I will show them here & try to explain what you are looking at and why this camper is different. I am not sure I can reveal the name, but basically they will be the same 4 designs as they are now but with lots of extras & a designer interior. They hired a well known designer of yacht interiors to do these. There are some changes, the gray tank size has been increased and the 10.8 will now drain the shower into the gray instead of the black, & I presume that will be true for the 9.6 as well. Since I have the prototype, I guess it’s up to me to tell them what does & does not work. SR campers take twice the man hours to build than the industry average. Mine is taking a full month. Here are some of the innovations:

1)Auto slide closer, if you pull away with it out, it goes in automatically.

2)Real Oak laminate flooring (not fake linoleum like Host uses or used)

3)Tons of 12 volt outlets for things like cell re-chargers, portable vacuum’s, etc

4)Digital thermostat with an off on switch at the bed. This means you can set the temp before going to bed, leave it off, snuggle under a down comforter & turn it on from the bed before you get out.

5)Split A/C plugs. Some AC outlets are split so ½ runs off shore power the other half off an inverter. This is for items like CPAP machines that you can plug in when not on shore power. Or laptops.

6)Reading lights in slide

7)Outside floods on both sides & at the rear so you can safely back into a wooded campsite after dark.

8)TV in door that can be swung to watch from dinette or bed.

9)Convection oven option that will run off a Honda 2000. Polar Cub A/C also for Honda 2000.

10)Touch switch on outside rear (stolen from lance)

11)User adjustable slide mechanism

12)Clear rear door window with built in shade

13)Skylights over dinette & in shower. Solid shower stall door.

14)Shower bypass for boondocking so you can drain shower directly outside into tote tank or on ground without greasy dish water & food particles from sinks in the mix. My wife who is an environment chemist assures me this is OK (She is a tree hugger).

15)Humidistat that will automatically operate fantastic fan briefly overnight to remove humidity due to expiration.

16)Raised doors in bed area, so they clear any added memory foam topper.

17)Wireless backup camera. I am testing this one, but if it works existing SR”s can be retrofitted easily. The monitor is any portable DVD player or laptop that can also be moved inside & double as a security monitor.

18)Inside fishing rod storage compartment for Canadians or gun storage for Americans. LOL.

19)Heat ducts all over the place including closets.

20)Reico Titan Jacks

21)All outside screws & fixtures are stainless steel. All screws are sealed with mono to prevent moisture wicking into the frame.

22)New wrap around fiberglass nose cap to prevent front water intrusion. The roof has also been improved to help prevent intrusion.

23)Holding tanks can be accessed from the underside if necessary via separate panels.

24)New richer cabinet color scheme

25) satellite radio antenna on roof. (I supplied)

Don’t ask the price, I don’t know myself yet, but they will not likely be the most expensive on the market, but they will be up there.

The following photo’s are what I will try to convince you with that this is the best built camper out there. On the basis of the 10 or so factories I have visited, I believe it is, which is why I chose to buy one. Especially when you combine that with their reputation for customer service. You will notice it is wood framed. I am not going to get into the aluminum vs wood debate. SR does build aluminum framed Class C’s so they are capable of building an aluminum framed camper but chose not to go that route with their TC’s.

This is my camper a couple of weeks ago, notice the wings are covered with a sheet of fiberglass, this protects the underside from moisture introduced into side panels, the power cord box, etc.

Wiring is done neatly even in areas like this which will never see the light of day, these will be covered by the propane box. What looks a bit like fiberboard is actually wallpaper. This camper contains no fiber or chip board.

This is the former nose arrangement, followed by a picture the new wrap around.

New sink & counter styles & colors

Notice the joint is Sikaflexed as well as screwed, Sikaflex is the strongest flexible adhesive on the market. This is the sidewall at the cabover floor.

The area under the slide is reinforced with flat iron on the outside & corner iron on the inside with the wall area sandwiched in between, the tie downs are wielded to the flatiron. There is no way there will be any sagging under the slide or corner cracking .

This shows the slide adjusters, The owner can raise or lower each side of the slide with just a crescent wrench. It is the only slide that can be adjusted by the owner. The other pictures show the drive gears, the gear rack on the slide underside & the slide motor itself.

SnowRiver has the tightest clearance on any slide in any RV. The following 2 pictures show a dime held up against a closed slide & an open one. This means little air leakage through an open slide. Nearly all other slides you can stick your arm through the rubber flap. The slide mechanism is unique to this camper.

This is the slide open detector switch. If the truck is started & the bake pedal pressed the slide will come in, if open. The microswitch will engage if the slide is in. This is possible because of the tight clearances on this slide. Snow River slides move at about ½ the speed of other slides, due to lower gearing, so if someone is inside, it is not a hazard.

Digital thermostat & humidistat

Bed closet doors are raised to clear toppers.

TV in door, privacy blind

Shower stall & bathroom

Command Seating & skylight

Shower bypass

Closets & outside shower is heated (to prevent freezing)

Fishing rod/gun storage. Notice heat vent in slide.

Polar Cub A/C

Laminate floor

Stainless screws & sealing


DL Rupper

Senior Member
Re: My new Snowriver Truck Camper, first in new series.

Hey pigpen, why don't you be a nice person and pay for your lousy advertizment like you are supposed to. This little sneaky approach just doesn't get it. It seems you little twreps like to slide your poorly dequised adds in on the weekends. So go suck lemons. :dead:
RE: My new Snowriver Truck Camper, first in new series.

Quote: Hey pigpen, why don't you be a nice person and pay for your lousy advertizment like you are supposed to.

I don't work for this company, I am a retired phone guy. I just happen to be buying an RV from them, & live close enough to visit the factory while its being built & I am having some extra custom stuff done. I just happen to be getting the first one of this model off the line. It will be then shipped to my local dealer where I will pick it up. I know the company owner, Bob Mehrer, I first met him after he drove 1300 miles round trip in person to a forestry campsite (Meadow Lake, Idaho) I was at, to fix a solar panel problem. The camper belonged to the camp host, Larry Christensen, a retired federal agent from Corpus Christi. The problem turned out to be a bad battery, he then hopped in his truck, drove to Salmon 70 miles away, bought a new one, put it in and drove 650 miles back home. No charge, camper out of warranty. At that time I decided I would buy my next RV from them. I witnessed another similar incident at the national TC show in Nebraska summer before last. A person with a 10 year old model was sweltering in 100+ heat, no A/C. Bob Mehrer went over to the Coleman display, slapped $500 on the table in cash & said, "Go put an A/C on their camper". He did not even get a tax receipt.

In case you don't believe this story, take a look
Re: My new Snowriver Truck Camper, first in new series.

Gosh, that sounds like a real winner of a dealer to me, too.

But aren't you afraid your RV purchase is paying for all of that or for the next troubleshooting adventure? I guess there's a tradeoff there somewhere.

Welcome to the forum!
RE: My new Snowriver Truck Camper, first in new series.

I don't think so, I have gotten to know this manufacturer very well in the last 2 years. He owns a company, but lives in a modest 1400 sq foot rancher. There is a steady stream of customers & even those with competitors campers showing up & camping in his back yard. He does not advertise. He told me a few years ago he was going to put an ad in TL for 30K but stuck the money into mutual funds instead. He uses that to fix customer's campers out of warranty if they drive them to the factory and has never touched the original investment. All customers have his home phone number. Somehow I don't see Jack Cole (Lance) doing that.
RE: My new Snowriver Truck Camper, first in new series.

Welcome to the forum pigpen. I, for one, am glad you posted the pictures and gave us the info. I'd like to see a picture of the completed outside and a better view of the overall interior.


C Nash

Senior Member
Re: My new Snowriver Truck Camper, first in new series.

Go to his website and you will see that he or the website he listed is International Truck Camper Owners Association so I think he may have an iron in the fire. I was not overly impressed with the build or the hugh pictures in the forum. Wonder what the price is? Maybe he will prove us wrong and keep posting with other info that will not seem to be free adds. Time will tell. Welcome to the forum pigpen if your intentions are helping other rvers with your knowledge.
Re: My new Snowriver Truck Camper, first in new series.

Go to his website and you will see that he or the website he listed is International Truck Camper Owners Association

I am former president & founder of the North American Truck Camper Owners Association, an international non profit/tax exempt organization based in WA state & operating in Canada, the US & Australia. I am still on its board. It is a dual organization, a manufacturers association of which nearly every North American Truck Camper Manufacturer is a member, and it is also a consumer club. There is a link to it on this web site under RV clubs. I have visited most factories over the last 3 years and have formed some pretty strong opinions on who builds well & who does not. I don't mind saying who I feel builds well, but for obvious reasons I can't say publicly which ones I feel are sloppy.

That camper will be around 40K completed, comparable to similar units in other brands. TC's are expensive.
RE: My new Snowriver Truck Camper, first in new series.

Hi Pigpen,
Im always interested in reviews and quality comments. The pics were fine , your post imformative. To late for me as 6 weeks ago I bought a Lance. The snow River seems from the pics to have a better quality interior but at 40k its 10k more than the Lance. I looked at Host and some others and Lance seemed the best quality of what was available to me locally. If I had it to do over I'de go to a camper show to see more.
You say you dont want to mention brands you think are substandard. To bad because I think the very positive review of the Snow River you give would be better balanced if compared with the competion. By name. My guess is each of the better manufactorers have thier strong and weak points. Lots of times you pay for the extras, it helps to have the info to decide whats worth the extra.
Did you mention the unladen weight of the Snow River? Dont think I saw it.
Thanks for the post and pics.

DL Rupper

Senior Member
Re: My new Snowriver Truck Camper, first in new series.

Hey pigpen, I'm just naturally skeptical. We get lots of people trying to get free advertising. I agree with Chelse. Time will tell if you are for real and continue to post other topics and products. Meantime, welcome to the forum.

C Nash

Senior Member
Re: My new Snowriver Truck Camper, first in new series.

Wow, I didn't know that the TCs sold for 40k :eek: but, I have never priced them. Steve I thought the Lance was top of the line.
Re: My new Snowriver Truck Camper, first in new series.

I dont know about Lance being the top of the line but I liked them more than the others I looked at. But I didnt look at everything out there. We have 2 truck camper dealers on Long Island and I looked at both inventories, new and used. I saw a couple of used I liked but they were sold. The runner up was the Host but I liked the interior finishings on the Lance.
I brought it home Monday. Hope to take a short trip to the beach and 4 wheel it for the day on the weekend. This is my first rv camper of any kind and we are planning a couple of getaways for the spring and summer. Looking very possible is a quick visit to my son in St. Louis and home by way of the Blue Ridge Mts and the barrier beach in the Carolinas. Still working so free time is a big factor.
Re: My new Snowriver Truck Camper, first in new series.

That model snowriver is 3500 lbs wet, so I am guessing about 3200-3500 dry. I am assuming the dealer on Long Island is East End. Lance is a good camper, but a lot of their reputation depends on the the fact they advertise a lot and they are the biggest player out there. You will also hear more complaints about them, but that is to be expected considering the volume they produce. One big advantage they have is a large dealer network. What model lance is it? There are a couple of things to watch for. If its an 1121, some years had issues with slide cracking, namely cracks at the lower corners. A lot of lance models are also susceptible to wing rot. That is the area at the rear that hangs down. They did a poor job of protecting the wood down there from road splash, esp if you do not have mud flaps. You would be well advised to treat the area with wood preservative. Apart from that this is a pretty good camper brand. You probably made a good choice especially considering your location.

The biggest thing to watch for is water intrusion. This applies to any camper. Check out . This process is called seal tech and for about $100 it will find leaks & potential leaks. Well worth the money. I do it annually.

As far as price is concerned the new Okanagan monster will be in the 50K range. You have to remember a TC has all the same stuff any other RV has, but it is in a smaller space. that makes building them more labor intensive & they ahve to be built stronger as people tend to buy them to take off road. That pretty much explains the cost.
RE: My new Snowriver Truck Camper, first in new series.

Hi again
I ended up wit the Lance 981 which is 3225 dry. That puts it in the same class as the Snow River your describing. But when you add up the extras you end up with an extra 200-300 lbs with the 981. I originally wanted and ordered the 1131 but then noticed that Lance was calling for a minimum of a 350 dually to carry it. I have a 350 4x4 single rear wheel. I was told it would handle the 1131 but decided to play it safe after talking to Lance on the phone. The 1131 is 3695 dry and probaly goes up with added extras like air and generator etc.
Didnt get it from East End. Thier only local competion is Bills Vacation Trailers in Lindenhurst. I think I got a good deal. I called the Lance dealership in New Hampshire which doesnt have a sales tax to check his price. NH was 5000 more than Bills price with the tax. They would have matched the lower price and I would have saved the tax going up but I went with the local outfit especially considering he gave me the consideration of a very fair price without the haggle. Overall Im pleased with thier service.
I intend to put the mud flaps on but Ford doesnt have them yet for the 08s. I'll either wait or get aftermarket. Rather have the Fords though.
Im going to check that Sounds like a very good idea.