Let the Big Times Roll: Chalet Goes Big with Triple-Slide RV

January 2, 2010/Steve Tackett

MOTOR MATTERS ROLLING HOMES BY JEFF JOHNSTON

At a time when RV builders are addressing the downsized market, others are taking a different tack. Chalet RV (www.chaletrv.com) deals mainly in the lightweight RV world, but it recently released an all-new triple-slideout truck camper that’s positioned among the largest such models available today.
Chalet’s new TS-116 triple slide camper features a floorplan that is not uncommon for this kind of camper. Entry is via a side-mounted door out back. The aft wall has a sofa/bed in a nearly wall-to-wall slideout, curbside forward of the entry door the galley moves out in a slideout, and opposite, streetside, there’s a large U-shaped dinette and refrigerator sharing slideout space.
Access to the fore-and-aft oriented queen bed is via a streetside “hall” and the roomy dry bath is self-contained in a curbside enclosure. The net result is an open floor space that seems more like a trailer or small Class C motorhome in scope.
The camper is in a package that’s 20-feet long with an 11-foot 6-inch floor and 6-foot 6-inch interior ceiling height. It’s a full 8-feet wide, which is normal for most RVs but big for a camper.
As explained by Gordon White, publisher of Truck Camper Magazine (www.truckcampermagazine.com), “At one point we had five adults in the TS-116 sitting and walking around. We were all comfortable and no one was in another’s personal space. It’s difficult to convey the sense of space in this camper, even with our wide-angle lens photography. You’ll have to trust us when we say that the TS-116 is one very open feeling truck camper.”
Chalet accomplishes the open floor space, without any wheel well-intrusion compromises, by placing the entire floor above the bedside rail height. That allows the slideouts to move fully to the outside walls with no interior space compromises.
According to a Chalet spokesman, the triple-layer laminated floor is “so strong you could almost drive a car on it.” That floor forms the backbone of a structurally sound camper.
Naturally, customers can choose from a wide variety of luxury and functional options, and the TS-116 starts at $37,999.

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Some standard fluid capacities, which help determine your boondocks camping flexibility, include a generous 66 gallons of freshwater, 38 gallons each gray and black water, and dual 30-pound propane tanks.
All interior drawers have full-extension glides, cabinets use face-frame design, and all countertops and other components are designed with durability and lightweight in mind.
Up front, the bedroom area ceiling height ranges from 54 inches down to 36 inches up front due to the roof taper. That’s enough room to deter any incipient claustrophobic feelings while allowing easy maneuvering.
A big camper seems to call for big storage spaces, and the TS-116 delivers. The company includes a huge basement-style storage space accessed via a lower-rear-wall hatch. This space is also heated and insulated so it’s safe for any temperature-sensitive cargo.
Chalet hopes to keep this rig’ weight manageable by using different lightweight construction methods the company has developed, including the use of mixed wood, aluminum and steel framing, polystyrene insulation and special lamination techniques.
Despite the lightweight construction materials, make no mistake, this is a big, tall, heavy camper that’s going to require a big, strong pickup for safe travels. Chalet lists it at approximately 4,506 pounds wet weight, but that of course doesn’t include the weight of any owner-added accessories, passengers in the truck, tools, supplies and anything else that adds weight to the lashup when in use. All of those items must be considered when making a truck-and-camper matchup along these lines.
If you run a large pickup, this new camper may be just what you’ve wanted for extra livability during your RV adventures. — Jeff Johnston, Motor Matters

Copyright, Motor Matters, 2010

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