2011 Aliner Ranger RV Test
Setting up camp as a kid never went fast enough, especially when completely distracted by the waiting lake. Aliner’s unique fold-up panel design allows anyone to quickly and repeatedly create a safe, weather-tight trailer in less than a minute, making the race for the first swim that much quicker.
Using a design conceived in the early ’70s, the Aliner is composed of only four fold-up components. No canvas, snaps, zippers or poles. Releasing the lockable travel latches allows four heavy-duty springs to aid the user in lifting the overlapping hinged roof panels into the immediately recognizable A-frame silhouette. With the two main end-roof sections raised, it’s just a matter of lifting both hinged side-wall sections and locking them into the end-roof panels, creating an instant hard-wall sanctuary.
Returning the Aliner to lowered and locked travel mode is just as quick by simply reversing the process. If you have any doubt, check out the many online videos shot by owners to see how easy they are to set up and take down.
The Ranger falls in the middle of the Aliner product line and is based on the original and hugely popular Classic model. It offers many but not all of the amenities in the same body size, yet is lighter in weight and offered at a more economical price point.
Stepping into an Aliner the first time is an interesting experience since most are unprepared for the volume of space its design creates. The 8-foot roof peak gives one the sensation of being in a much larger trailer and also serves the useful purpose of keeping the cabin cooler by allowing summer temps and cooking heat to rise and exhaust through the strategically placed roof-peak vent that also options out with a multispeed reversible power fan ($283).
The floorplan features a multipurpose VersaDine five-way pole-table dinette that creates several configurations for simple lounging, a travel storage trunk under the table position (and under the twin bench seats), dining for two or four people, or a 46-inch by 76-inch sleeping accommodation. Depending on your needs the Ranger is engineered with clever use of space in multiple ways for nearly every situation.
Hungry campers will appreciate the high-efficiency galley that includes a single sink basin with storage below and a twin-burner stovetop. The standard 1.9-cubic-foot refrigerator that occupies the base cabinet for the stovetop makes food prep and service easy to access. Our model was also equipped with the optional 16,000-BTU electronic ignition furnace and thermostat ($580).
An optional 6-gallon water heater ($631) is available with gray water draining into the traditional owner-supplied exterior portable wastewater tank.
For warmer climates Aliner offers a couple of optional items: an awning ($325) and a 5,000-BTU side-wall air conditioner ($392) recessed into the base cabinet and countertop opposite the galley. This cabinet provides open storage above and a pair of handy, easy to clean pullout drawers below. Additional storage for oversize gear is available under the rear sofa that makes up into a 56-inch by 76-inch bed. A curbside baggage door allows convenient exterior access into this nearly full-width under-sofa storage.
Large fixed and tinted skylight-style windows fore and aft provide plenty of cabin sunshine aided by the large operating side-wall windows with screens. The Aliner’s folding side-wall design requires the use of a Dutch door configuration and a handy feature that we’d like to see migrate to more non-folding RV applications.
Built on a powdercoated rather than painted chassis and riding on the standard 2,000-pound axle, the superior finish helps to reduce road debris-induced damage. Aliner’s Unirail construction method has eliminated unneeded welds and incorporates a one-piece frame rail and tongue design that runs the entire length of the body for strength.
Instead of its tamer 2,000-pound-capacity axle, our unit was supplied with the optional Off-Road Package ($595) that added a 3,000-pound axle, electric brakes with breakaway circuit (required in many states) and larger 14-inch tires. The tongue held a single 12-volt battery for powering lights and accessories and a single 5-gallon LPG cylinder. An optional twin tank setup ($174) that comes with an auto regulator is also available.
There you have it — an easy to tow, easy to set up, fully featured hard-side trailer that should meet any demanding budget. More importantly, if you’re camped at a lake, it’s sure to be everybody’s favorite trailer. Enjoy the swim!
2011 Aliner Ranger
Base MSRP: $10,875
MSRP as tested: $14,142
Ext. Length (incl. tongue): 15′ 3″
Ext. Width: 6′ 6″
Ext. Travel Height: 4′ 9″
Int. Height (AT PEAK): 8′
Dry Weight: 1,342 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 150 lbs.
Cargo Capacity: 1,549 lbs.**
(with Off-Road Package option)
**Single LPG cylinder and full water tank
GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating): 3,000 lbs. (optional)
Axle Rating: 3,000 lbs. (optional)
Tire Size: ST205/75×14
FreshWater Cap: 11 gals.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap: N/A
LPG Cap: 5 gals. (standard)
Battery: (1) 12-volt
Sleeping Capacity: two adults, two children
Columbia Northwest Inc.
Jeep Liberty Renegade 4×4
We used the 2011 Jeep Liberty Renegade 4×4 to tow the Aliner Ranger and found its V-6 to have more than enough power to handle a full load of passengers and cargo, as well as the Ranger with the trailer’s optional Off-Road Package and the additional GVW allowance. The off-highway capability and outdoor attitude offered by the Jeep Liberty Renegade 4×4 made it a good match for the Aliner Ranger. — Stuart Bourdon
2011 Jeep Liberty Renegade 4×4
Engine: 3.7-liter V-6
HP: 210 @ 5,200 rpm
Torque: 235 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Axle Ratio: 3.73:1
Fuel Cap: 19.5 gals.
Suspension, F/R: A-arms, coils/live axle, trailing arms, coils
Brakes: Four-wheel ABS discs
Tow Rating: 5,000 lbs.
Curb Weight: 4,290 lbs.
Length: 14′ 9″
MSRP, As Tested: $31,925