Articles

Two-Tone Paint, Violet Mountain Dew & 500hp: A C33 In NYC

By Dave Thomas | August 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

Two-Tone Paint, Violet Mountain Dew & 500hp: A C33 In NYC – Speedhunters SHARE Two-Tone Paint, Violet Mountain Dew & 500hp: A C33 In NYC Two-Tone, Two-Face “If it breaks, I fix it. If it doesn’t, I’ll change it.” Those were the rather succinct parting thoughts of John Sharkey, the owner of this C33 Nissan Laurel, …

The Machining Man: Why Buy Parts When You Can Make Them

By Stefan Kotze | August 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

The Machining Man: Why Buy Parts When You Can Make Them – Speedhunters SHARE The Machining Man: Why Buy Parts When You Can Make Them When you grow up around cars, they usually stick with you for life. Gary Law from The Machining Man in Midrand, South Africa was born in Zimbabwe and got involved in the …

Is It Time To Celebrate The R33 Skyline GT-R?

By Cian Donnellan | August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

Is It Time To Celebrate The R33 Skyline GT-R? – Speedhunters SHARE Is It Time To Celebrate The R33 Skyline GT-R? Intro I surely can’t be the only one thinking that we need to celebrate the R33 Skyline GT-R, can I? Unless you’ve been living under a rock for quite some time, you’ll know that the values of …

Cars Are Supposed To Be Fun: K-Swapping A Ferrari 308

By Dave Thomas | August 1, 2021 | 0 Comments

Cars Are Supposed To Be Fun: K-Swapping A Ferrari 308 – Speedhunters SHARE Cars Are Supposed To Be Fun: K-Swapping A Ferrari 308 Could any self-respecting automotive media outlet really visit the StanceWorks Garage, interview with Mike Burroughs, and not spill at least a little ink on his Ferrari 308 GTBi? Surely not, and while I didn’t want …

Project GC8: Taking Care Of Business With ST Suspensions

By Toby Thyer | July 31, 2021 | 0 Comments

Project GC8: Taking Care Of Business With ST Suspensions – Speedhunters SHARE Project GC8: Taking Care Of Business With ST Suspensions Welcome to another instalment of Fixing Broken Old Japanese Cars On My Driveway. On today’s episode, we’ll be swapping out a set of old Cusco coilovers for a set of brand-new ST Suspensions XTA items. …

When Discretion Is King: A Cosworth-Powered Mk2 Escort

By Paddy McGrath | July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

When Discretion Is King: A Cosworth-Powered Mk2 Escort – Speedhunters SHARE When Discretion Is King: A Cosworth-Powered Mk2 Escort As you might expect, there’s no shortage of Ford’s famous Escort on Irish shores. In fact, you could probably dedicate an entire website to them. Although having Escorthunters.com in your web history may raise an eyebrow or two. There …

New Mercedes E-Class launched

By MT Digital | July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

New Mercedes E-Class in Avantgarde and AMG Line trims has upgraded features The Mercedes E-Class has been updated. Now available in Mercedes E 200 Avantgarde and E 300 AMG Line, enhancements include exterior and interior upgrades with improved features, new interfaces and more premium materials. There are also two new paint colours: grey metallic and …

Porsche Macan updated

By MT Digital | July 22, 2021 | 0 Comments

More power and sharper styling for Porsche Macan, Macan S and Macan GTS models The Porsche Macan line-up gets an upgrade. The three variants, the Macan, S and GTS, now have more powerful engines. Other updates include design changes on the exterior and in the cabin as well as improvements to the chassis. On the …

Hyundai Extended Warranty Programme launched

By MT Digital | July 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

Hyundai Extended Warranty covers selected Hyundai models with expired manufacturer’s warranty Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) has launched an Extended Warranty Programme for selected Hyundai models: AD/MD-generation Elantra LF-generation Sonata TL/LM- generation Tucson DM-generation Santa Fe TQ-generation Starex To be eligible, the car should have expired manufacturer’s warranty no more than 8 years from the manufacturing …

How Lance Camper builds trailers and truck campers from start to finish

By Brandan Gillogly | March 16, 2020 | 0 Comments

The travel trailer market in the United States has been growing almost every year since the economy started rebounding back in 2010, with more than a million sold since 2016. Lance Camper makes up a small portion of that market, building as many as 12 ultralight trailers every day at its facility where it employs about 600 people. Though the market for truck campers is much smaller, Lance is a bigger player there, churning out as many as six each day before buyers drop them into the beds of half-ton or heavy-duty pickups for weekend getaways to places where a normal RV might not be able to venture.
Lance invited us to its facility, grouped in a few buildings in the same light industrial area in Lancaster, California, to see how the company builds trailers and campers. Here’s how it turns fiberglass, wood, aluminum, and steel into vacation homes on wheels.  

Brandan Gillogly
Each Lance camper or trailers begins with a computer model that helps engineers automate several stages of construction. The models include wiring, HVAC, and interior furniture and appliances—even the placement of pocket screws that will hold furniture to the walls.

Brandan Gillogly
While wood is used on the floor and interior, Lance uses synthetic materials on the exterior of its campers and trailers to minimize the potential for water damage and rot. Here, workers are gluing down thin sheets of Azdel, a synthetic sound-deadening and insulating panel, on top of a fiberglass outer layer.

Brandan Gillogly
The material that will comprise the ceiling and walls goes through rollers that squeeze them together before a layer of foam insulation is glued down and the entire thing is rolled again. The open floor plan of the building is maintained at a specific temperature and humidity level to ensure proper curing conditions for the glue.
Here’s what the three layers look like once lamination is complete.

Brandan Gillogly
Wiring harnesses are assembled on panels, each one labeled to correspond with the specific floorplan of the finished product.

Brandan Gillogly
Internal framing and wiring run through the ceiling and wall panels and, to allow these systems to be sandwiched between the outer and inner layers without diminishing the insulation too much, CNC routers cut passages in the foam. The leftover foam is returned to the manufacturer (a third party) to be recycled into the next batch.

The frames of Lance campers and trailers are made of rectangular aluminum tubing. The tubes are bonded to the Azdel and MIG-welded to each other. Some of the tubing ends are filled with wood, where they will be bolted together.

Brandan Gillogly
With the frame and wiring in place, an overhead laser projector shows workers where plywood or aluminum sheets will be installed before the interior walls are laminated. The position of the reinforcing sheets is determined by the placement of the internal cabinetry and furniture. The backing plate you see here is for a speaker in the ceiling.

Brandan Gillogly
An interior wall of marine-grade Lauan plywood with a vinyl wallpaper is bonded on before it heads to another CNC router that cuts all the layers to create openings for the door, windows, slide-out, and access panels. These trailer side walls will soon move next door, where the rest of assembly occurs.

Brandan Gillogly
At the final assembly building just down the street, trailer frames start with open-channel frame rails and crossmembers that are riveted together before torsion axles are bolted on.

Brandan Gillogly
Depending on the size of the travel trailer, tanks for fresh, gray, and black water may be insulated individually or, as is the case for this trailer, insulated along with the whole undercarriage. Either way, heater ducts are routed to the tanks to ensure they never freeze.

Brandan Gillogly
The “basement” of a camper has much less room to work with than a trailer and requires custom-molded water tanks; otherwise, the plumbing is similar.

Brandan Gillogly
Trailer floors are made from an insulated laminate like the roof and walls, but it’s topped with a seamless flooring that’s similar to linoleum.

As the frames and floors are coming together, workers in the upholstery area hand-cut and sew the trim.

Brandan Gillogly
Like the ceiling insulation and walls, cabinets and furniture also get cut using a CNC router. Careful planning makes the most out of each tough, lightweight poplar or maple plywood panel and minimizes waste.

Brandan Gillogly
Workers assemble furniture into sub-assemblies and install hardware before it is placed in the camper or trailer.

Brandan Gillogly
One place where cutouts can be reused is the subfloor for the shower/bathroom. Exterior wall sections initially cut out for doors, windows, or slide-outs come together to make a stand for the bathroom insert.

Brandan Gillogly
Furniture, cabinets, and appliance wiring is installed on the trailer deck before the walls go on.

Brandan Gillogly
The construction process is similar for campers. Most of the interior is installed, including HVAC systems and generators, before the side walls are bolted in place.

Brandan Gillogly
The nose cap on campers is formed as one piece to help prevent water leaks. It’s one of the last pieces to be added.

Brandan Gillogly
While trailer roofs have a slight crown to promote water drainage, camper roofs are flat in profile and slope from front to back. Here, this camper roof gets coated in adhesive before the TPO roofing membrane is placed on it.

Brandan Gillogly
The roof panel is lifted in place by an overhead crane. The roofing membrane wraps over the sidewalls and is heat-formed to maintain its shape. There are no seams to leak.

Slide-outs are the last major step of assembly, as campers and trailers get the slide-out hardware installed and the slide-out, assembled in one of the perpendicular assembly lines, finally meets its camper or trailer.

Brandan Gillogly
Once inside a camper, especially one with a slide-out, it’s easy to forget that its footprint fits in the bed of a pickup.