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Thread: Old Town Camper 15

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    260

    Default Old Town Camper 15

    Maker's Spec


    Length 14' 10" / 4.5 m
    Width 36" / 91.0 cm
    Width at 4 Waterline 35.5" / 90.0 cm
    Bow Height 22" / 55.9 cm
    Depth 13.5" / 34.3 cm
    Weight 57 lbs. / 28.1 kg
    Capacity 800 lbs. / 362.8 kg

    Maker's Write Up
    We've taken our hugely popular 16 foot camper and shortened it to be better suited for smaller paddlers. The Camper 15 is a highly responsive boat that's lightweight, easy to maneuver and built with added depth for an extra margin of security. This canoe is lightweight and versatile enough to explore backwaters and take a solo daytrip on local streams.
    • Black vinyl gunwales
    • Nylon web seats
    • Polyethylene decks with grab handles
    • Ash thwart and yoke
    • Durable, yet lightweight

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Bottom end of north Wales
    Posts
    5

    Default Old Town Camper

    Is the 15' Camper the same shape, spec etc. as the old 15' Pathfinder??
    Cheers,

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Sunbury on Thames.
    Posts
    1,430

    Default

    I believe that to be the case, the Pathfinder was suggested as an alternative to the Novacraft Bob Special.

    My own research lead me to understand that the Pathfinder/Camper 15 are one and the same and it justs a rebranding exercise as happened with other OT canoes this spring.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Bottom end of north Wales
    Posts
    5

    Default Old Town Royalex

    I've had a Royalex Old Town Camper 15 for almost a year now.
    I am very suprised at the amount of damage the boat has received, despite fairly light use.
    My partner has Mobile Adventure Traveller in Royalex, and her boat has not sustained the same amount of damage as mine, despite being much older and having received a lot more 'abuse'.

    Anybody know if this is a general trend with Old Town Royalex, or is the material particularly soft on my boat?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Nr Rochester in Kent
    Posts
    3,838

    Default

    To be honest this seems to be a trend with all modern Royalex canoes. Light weight comes at a price. Have a search through the forum and you will find several threads on this subject like this one...

    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...ead.php?t=9635
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  6. #6

    Default Need a lighter canoe

    I am really thinking of getting a Old Town Camper 15. I have a Old Town 174 great for trips with friends and its lovely but to heavy for me and my son if we want to go out alone. I guessing myself and my 10 year old will be able to carry the Camper 15. What do you think will it be as stable as my good old 174.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    northampton
    Posts
    682

    Default

    I have had my camper for 6 months, I love it, so stable and light, I can top it on t5 no problem, I can't understand why more folk choose the prospector over an old town camper?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Aylesbury, nr Oxford, UK
    Posts
    20

    Default Old Town Camper 15

    Yes I agree, I bought one earlier this year. It's very stable and I've found it to be very manoeuvrable too, responding readily to 'J stroke' steering strokes with minimal effort. Even with three adults aboard it was capable of making good progress with two paddlers and it was still responsive to steering. This was fortunate as we were on a narrower stretch of the Thames above Culham with passing launches and other craft to avoid.

    Two up on the Thames and the Wye I have found it to be slightly more prone than my last boat to catching cross winds. I think the slightly raised bow and stern probably contribute to this. So I've found that it helps to think ahead and carefully read the river features in blustery conditions. Particularly when moving from the lea of trees or high banks onto more exposed water. When following a winding river on a breezy day it can be more of an issue, but it adds to the 'excitement' and soon improves your steering technique.

    The weight was one of my main motivations for the purchase, along with the fact it is 15ft long, so it fits more easily in my compact garage. But in addition to the benefits of being a very usable and practical boat, it also looks good and attracts many positive comments from fellow paddlers young and old. So it's actually added to the fun of sharing experiences and talking to other paddlers. I'm very pleased with it in most respects. But I would mention that the Royalex does appear a bit soft and prone to marking and bruising, particularly from wooden and metal supports when coming alongside locks and jetties. Earlier posts mention this too.

    Being a new boat this season I decided to take extra care when sliding in and out of the Wye in April. So we avoided the rough and root strewn channels down the bank side favoured by folk with bomb proof or carefree hire boats. So in that way I did 'protect my investment'. But that's not always possible, so I know it will pick up more scratches and marks. But on the upside I've read in the US press that Royalex does harden with age and become tougher with time, so it may be less of an issue in the future, I hope so anyway. Also on the subject of Royalex, as mentioned on some other forums, it does have a slightly disconcerting 'feature' where the hull flexes slightly longitudinally, as it passes over waves. I first noticed it when passing diagonally across some riffles on the Wye, it's not apparent normally on flat water. This in no way affects performance, as far as I can tell, it is just the hull exhibiting it's flexibility & resilience. Once you know that it's not a problem, you can relax!

    As others have noted at just 26kg its a dream to lift. I can lift & hold mine by the gunwale up against my upper legs. Then I take hold of the thwart on the far side of the boat with one hand and the gunwale with the other, then lean back as I lift and flip it up onto my shoulders. Its harder to explain than to do, once you get the knack it is so easy! So this means I can car top it single handed onto an estate car. It is perfectly balanced about the centre carrying thwart and presents with the bow slightly up, perfectly positioned for walking forward and sliding onto the roofrack.

    So I can highly recommend the Old Town Camper 15. It's not perfect, but an ideal compromise if you want a medium sized lightweight boat that is as practical as a solo, as it is two up and equally at home as small family boat that will give you hours of fun.

    http://www.oldtowncanoe.com/canoes/r...ion/camper_15/
    Last edited by Nick Walker; 29th-October-2013 at 09:26 AM. Reason: typo

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4,670

    Default

    The ABS inner structural layers of Royalex harden over the first couple of years, and that means the boat is less likely to be dented if dragged over a hard, pointy prominence. But the vinyl surface layer does not harden. Careless dragging may wear, or gouge, through the vinyl layer. Still, it was over ten years before I began wearing through the vinyl on my Royalex ww canoe.

    If that longitudinal wave in the bottom of your Camper were ever to become a concern, you could install a minicell solo pedestal, rammed up under the center thwart. It would support the bottom, add flotation, and get your solo paddling position up close to center, so you could practice doing without the J stroke.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Aylesbury, nr Oxford, UK
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Some useful insight about the Royalex, thanks ezwater.

    I hadn't heard of the mini cell pedestal you suggest, but good old Google came up trumps. It looks like a good idea on several counts, so may look further into that.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4,670

    Default

    Nick, just note that if you are not a long armed gibbon like me, then kneeling on a pedestal in the center of your boat may leave you with a long reach to paddle over the gunwales. You can still heel a boat on a pedestal, though it's a bit less natural than with a kneeling thwart. Review your preferred paddling style before you spend a bunch on a minicell saddle.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Aylesbury, nr Oxford, UK
    Posts
    20

    Default

    Hi Ezwater I do have longish arms as it happens! But I haven't tried much paddling while kneeling and certainly not solo from the centre of the boat. So that's something I'll look forward to trying next season or sooner should the weather improve.

    But I will experiment before I settle on my preferred style and any adjustments. I have seen some interesting videos on the web of folk paddling solo with the boat heeled right over with an amazing degree of control. So I'll watch and learn.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Deep South, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Hello, I recently purchased a 15’ Camper and am looking to hear if anyone has experienced needing/installing kevlar skid plates. If so, was it worth it? I’m curious because my camper is in near mint condition and I’d like to protect it. Thanks!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Deep South, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Hello, I recently purchased a 15 Camper and am looking to hear if anyone has experienced needing/installing kevlar skid plates. If so, was it worth it? Im curious because my camper is in near mint condition and Id like to protect it. Thanks!

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