We spent 3 solid weeks traveling cross-country in our new Lance 1575. There were two short ventures out before this trip but this one really put the Lance 1575, and Michelle, Laurie and Rue, through their paces!
As cautious and nervous RV newbies, we stayed mostly at KOA's across the country from MA to AZ, usually staying for just one night. The reasons why we chose KOA is another story. We got to see so many different kinds of RVs at our stops. Not a lot of any particular brand, size or style. Although Class A's and Fifth Wheels seem to dominate in Eastern US, there were glimpses of Minnie Winnies, R-Pods, JayFeathers, Lance trailers. As we got more West, we saw more and more smaller units and Class B's.
We met our share of RVers on this 21 day trek across the country. Many are familiar with the reputation of Lance's quality and that it stands above many brands both in price and in reputation. Several have commented on how nice the LED lights are on the awning. One man stopped on the side of us at a traffic light and asked "How much for that?" - Yup, it catches people's attention!
One day we stopped at a truck stop for lunch. Boy, there's nothing like pulling into a spot, putting your slide out just enough to access the bathroom, then scooting up to the dinette and enjoying a nice lunch. At this particular stop, the bathroom was urgently needed and the handle was stuck. This happens when the unit isn't exactly level, so I'm struggling with that as Laurie is putting down the stabilizer jacks outside. A couple approach her. They had a Lance 1475 and wanted to strike up a conversation. Now, we are VERY social and would have loved to chat, but I was needing Laurie inside RIGHT NOW! So, we missed that opportunity ;(
Pros - we have nothing to compare this RV to, but here are the features we just love!
1. Situational Lighting - As I sit here at 4:30am at the dinette table with the dimmer light on about medium, Laurie and Rue continue to sleep in the queen sized bed at the front of the 1575. It's amazing to me how such a small 20' trailer can provide two distinct lighting situations. The bed area is still very much in the dark. This is important to two people living in a small trailer when one is an early bird like me!
2. Pulling - This trailer, who we fondly call Lacey, pulls like a dream! I do most of the driving and we are putting on about 3-4 hours a day, often at 70-75mph. We have a good weight distribution and anti-sway set-up and, yes, you can feel the strong wind of big rigs passing by, but I never feel out of control.
3. Appliances and Systems - The systems and appliances all work as they should. An RV is basically a box we live in while traveling. At this time of the year (Oct-Nov), temperatures get pretty darn cold in New England and in this desert climate we are currently in. The furnace and air-conditioner have both been used on this trip. They work great and provide a cozy environment!
The Norcold refrigerator is very sizable! We stocked it for 3 weeks worth of travel and have picked up a few things along the way. Between the storage areas inside the trailer and the frig, we are very self-contained! The frig can run on electric and propane of course and it can also run on 12 volt if necessary. We had one minor user-error in the beginning. I didn't have it on auto and had manually set it to run on propane as we travelled. I didn't realize it so it stayed on propane at the campsite. Once we quickly ran out of propane, we realized our error. Learning curve. One of the reasons we gravitated to the Lance line was the upgraded appliances, etc.
4. Solar Panel - Before our trip, the Lance sat in our back yard not hooked up to anything. It always seemed like magic to be able to show her off, opening her power awning, turning on lights, putting out the slider. All from the solar panel charging the battery of course! During our trip here we are hooked up each night, but during mid-day we'd stop and have lunch just about anywhere we could park! To be able to easily open the dinette to reach the bathroom is pretty important at that point in the day. You cannot reach the bathroom without opening the dinette. This is a small sacrifice to us for such a spacious layout once the slide is out.
5. Satellite Antenna - Laurie and I are not cable tv fans. We disconnected from cable at our homes years ago. Right now, we simply enjoy Netflix when we do sit and watch the screen. So, when cable is included in the KOA price each night we haven't bothered to hook up. However, we again feel it's like magic to be able to pick up channels using the antenna that is built into the Lance system. And, we have been watching the screen as we finish up working at the dinette each night and settle into the bedroom area. The tv is in a perfect position for watching in the bed or from watching from the left side of the dinette couch (not the right side). When the dinette is made into a bed it will be fine to view from both beds. We always find something to watch, often having over 20 channels to pick from.
6. Lighting - there are so many lights in here, so many options to control lights! From the dimmer lights over the dinette to the 3-way patio light outside to the LED lighting on the awning to the individually controlled ceiling lights to the personal lights in the bed area, well thought out Lance!
7. Storage - for a 20' trailer, we have lots of storage! Two doors and a long bottom door on the dinette provide us with a 'linen' area, 'food' pantry' and 'misc' bottom door. Under the bed is a door that leads to the big pass-through storage area. Funny newbie story - I thought we were practical about what we put inside Lacey, but as we travel, more and more 'stuff' is thrown through that door under the bed!
Suggestions to consider
1. Medicine Cabinet - It opens during travel. We have tried putting velcro for more holding power but that doesn't always work. Small tension rods to hold the contents in if the door swings open will be our solution. A hook to keep it shut would be perfect.
2. Shower Splash Guard - The shower rod expands to give plenty of room in the shower and the water system provides lots of consistent hot water. There IS a tip we learned that helps in this area. Keep the temperature of the water to about 104 degrees F and don't turn on the cold water in the shower. Just use the hot water to avoid temperature fluctuation.
At first we thought the puddle on the floor when we showered was from the trailer being uneven. However, time has shown this isn't the case. As you shower the water hits the far wall, slides down the wall, and follows the rim of the tub, falling to the floor. We will add a simple splash guard on that corner of the tub.
3. The RV awning end cap fell off somewhere. As soon as our RV Dealer learned of this, he ordered a new end cap to be sent to us. He said it happens pretty often. He suggests we use a silicon sealer type of product to keep the front from separating and falling off. Seems like a logical solution and perhaps one that should be incorporated into the production process?
4. Closet area - The closet to the right of the frig has a closet hanging rod at the top. It works fine to hang things but it would be better to have the ability to have shelving inside as that holds more clothes in a small trailer. We are trying to figure out how to add shelves. Right now we have one of those hanging shelve setups that hang with velcro from the closet rod. We've also found a metal shelving set-up at Lowe's that we might order with two pull-out baskets. I'm sure we aren't the only owners who find this would be more practical than the hanging rod. So, what if Lance put the rod in but also put in a bracket system on the side walls so people could put in shelves if they wanted to? THAT would be a marvelous addition.
5. Mattress - The bed is a quality Serta mattress but we found it to be too hard for our sleeping comfort. We headed to a Bed and Bath and purchased a 2" memory foam Queen sized topper for about $180. The standard Queen size fits perfectly. The only problem is we need to adjust it every 2-3 days as it tends to move, probably based on how we turn during the night. And it's a pain to adjust because you have to pick it up and shove it back into place. This is a personal preference but we thought we'd mention it.
The dinette is very comfortable to sit on, just firm enough. We had a friend sleep on the dinette made into a bed and she told us we will also have to get a memory foam topper there too for a comfortable sleep. The dinette firmness is perfect though.
6. Stool - Lance is known for those quality little touches they provide. It would be super nice if they also provided a little stool. We need one to comfortably get on the bed, the dinette and also to put the glass microwave tray back on it's center circle each time it is used after travel.
7. Sink Cover - having a cover for the sink is very handy as it extends the working surface. Even though it has ridges to keep it on the sink, those ridges are not deep enough to keep it on the sink while traveling so it has to be put elsewhere (like on the bed).
8. Microwave - The microwave is a typical microwave, and it is positioned high as it must be, but every single time I use it I must take the stool, stand up tall to adjust the glass inside. It falls off its runner every single time. If there is such a thing as a microwave with a more permanent glass inside, I'd opt for that one!
9. Mirror - In most cases, there will be a second person in the unit. Because there is no sink in the bathroom, brushing of teeth and applying make-up, etc. happens at the kitchen sink. It would be so awesome to have a little mirror there. Of course, we will get one but just saying...
As for outside, there isn't a single suggestion, complaint or anything. We love our Lance 1575!