Wanted to share a picture of my new camper. Quite a change from my original plans but necessary due to a very unexpected job change. This is my new 2012 Northstar 8.5 Adventurer on my old 1996 Dodge 2500 CTD. I'm a newb with truck campers and relied heavily on the posts in this forum (thank you all!) and the expertise of Rex Willett at Northstar (thanks Rex!) to finalize my options list.
The objective was to select options that would allow me to comfortably live in my camper 4 nights a week in all seasons. I have dual fuels for heat and hot water, 130 watts of solar with two AGM batteries, DC refrigeration, insulated windows, A/C, cassette toilet, additional wall and ceiling insulation, two LP bottles, and so on. I've spent the past three weeks living in it and think I've achieved my goal! Much better than an apartment any day and I can recover my investment in less than two years at the apartment rates in my area!!
My truck handled the drive back from Cedar Falls quite well. I did add air bags when I returned to level fore/aft and side to side. I weighed 9150 lbs with full fuel tank, fresh water tank, flush tank and one propane bottle. The weight also includes my living supplies for the week and my dog. I lost 5 mpg with the camper on, 22.5 mpg to 17.5 mpg (all hand calculated to the same spot on the filler neck). Not too bad considering I was traveling at 65-70 mph the whole trip with two very large metro areas to traverse. I think I could bump that closer to 18 mpg with slightly slower speeds.
This purchase was something I wanted to make for a long time but had other things with higher priority. But now the kids are out of college, we don't want to sell our house, I can live very comfortably at my new job location, and have something for future travels.
Thanks again for letting me listen in on the conversations. The information I learned was very helpful in specifying my camper. I really am a happy camper! I hope the picture makes it.
1996 Dodge 2500 CTD, 2wd, 5 sp, ordered brand new and still going strong
2012 Northstar 8.5 Adventurer