Anyone out there have experience with either or both of these truckcampers. Any advice or comments would be greatly appreciated. We plan on retiring and living in our truckcamper, so we want to make a good decision. Thanks
Both are excellent, its a toss up, I would base your decision on service in your area. Since Bigfoot is manufactured in BC, you might consider looking into buying it north of the border, if you live close to it. There is no manufacturers sales tax in Canada built into the price. It was replaced by the 7% goods & services tax. If you take it back across the border, you can get that back. Its possible to save several thousand dollars.
i think northern lite is comparable to the bigfoot 1500 series in that both have 1" foam insulation (northern lite owners jump in here, am i right or wrong?) whereas bigfoot 2500 and 3000 have 1 1/2". the only northern lite i've ever looked at had poorly installed cabinetry, otherwise much like a bigfoot 1500. both are built in british columbia, within 50 miles of each other. i've had a bigfoot 2500 for three years; no major complaints. my main requirements were good insulation, leakproof, and quality workmanship. bigfoot scored tops on all three. it's insulated like a thermos bottle, has stood out in 3 years of oregon rain without a leak, and i've found no flaw in its construction. it's heavy, but if weight is a consideration, look at the 1500. it's much lighter. i have no connection with the company, other than that of a satisfied customer.
I'm looking forward to the other replies. I am looking at both these, and it seems to me that they are both quality units, however Bigfoot is a lot heavier than Northern Lite, which is making me lean towards Northern Lite since (I have a srw.)
Since you live in Washington state, you shoudl also look at the Adventurer by WCRV (http://www.wcrv.net). They are not as expensive as the bigfoots & northern lites and a 9.5 footer wieghts about 2400 ibs. They also seem to be very well constructed, although they do not have the one piece roof shell like the bigfoot. Their main dealer is fraserway, just north of the Sumas border crossing in abbottsford. I bought one as a rental return last year & am very happy with it. I paid $16,000 Can or $11,000 US. It had been rented out for about 3 months. Not a scratch. A new 9.5 costs about $20,000 Can. compared to $30,000 for a bigfoot. if you can afford it, I would probably go for the bigfoot. Bigfoots tend to keep their resale value better than most others, because of their reputation.
The best made camper I have seen is the SnowBird, also made in BC (http://www.snowbirdcamper.com). They are in the same range as bigfoot, but are also heavy.
Thanks to everyone for their responses. I am definitely interested in a solid unit because we plan to spend alot of time out west. We also plan to make this our home. Weight is a concern. We hear such conflicting stories. I have been told by 3 truckcamper dealers that I have enough truck to hold a 9 foot plus unit, but the figures on my truck don't bear that out. I have a Ford F-250 4X4 8 foot bed supercab with an 6.8 L V-10 engine. The GVWR is 8800 lbs. The truck weighs 6650 lbs. empty. What is everybody's experience?
I guess you don't have to be sold on a fiberglass camper. I understand you'll be using the camper a lot. The Bigfoot 2500 with the dry bath is the #1 contender. Why? The separate shower will keep your wife happy. In terms of camper integrity and assembly there is not much difference between any RVs. For the Bigfoot however there was a lot of thought put into the attractive decor, that makes the camper appear a better quality. It is the well thought out design that makes it stand apart from other campers. We have the same camper and haven't had any problems with it, but I did remove the bottom access covers to see what is underneath. The fact that the tanks are underneath the floor and with the liquids in them will certainly lower your center of gravity. Another plus is that if, heaven forbid, something breaks down you have an easy access. The camper has lots of storage space. Although the 2500 is the lightest in its class, based on my experience, the camper ended up weighing 4000 lbs. The as equipped dry camper weight sticker read 2600 lbs. The difference in weight resulted from adding an A/C, generator, awning, another window awning, TV, Satellite dish and receiver, 3 batteries, inverter, clothing, dishes, food, and more STUFF. Believe it or not we still had more space left that we did not fill.
Prior to this we had the Kodiak (http://www.peak-mfg.com/) K180 camper and the only reason why we sold it because my wife wanted the dry bath. That camper weighs only 2000 lbs including the fresh water. But after dressing up the camper with similar options and STuff, it weighed 3000lbs. The Kodiak has the fiberglass shell design, it is extremely stiff, exceptionally well streamlined. The front is slightly pointed, the sides near the roof are tapered. All this results in an excellent directional stability. Having said that the Bigfoot 2500 is still the best camper but it rides a lot better on our 2001 Chevy k3500 dually, CC, 8.1L Ally Tranny truck. I vouch for that because I carried the same camper for 2 years on a 1999 Chevy 6.5 K2500HD.
There is no doubt the truck camper setup is a lot more manouverable than truck and travel trailer combo. Often we haul horses with us for trailer rides. That was the reason for the truck camper. Once we stop taking the horses though I would be inclined for a small trailer. There are a few reasons. Climbing in and out of the camper is not very safe. I catch myself carrying too much stuff when we load the camper and things could get a little unstable. By the way I just ordered a set of aluminum steps from Brophy Manufacturing that are more heavy duty and are 24" wide. Looking forward to try them.
If you have any more questions I would gladly send you a note,
I am very interested in finding a well built camper with a front bath.
Bigfoot: 30C10.11 - 3115lbs dry weight. which is too heavy for me to carry.
Northern lite: 2000RD - 2425lbs dry weight. Much better in weight.
Adventurer: 90FWS - 1993lbs dry weight. Better yet, but like the construction of the bigfoot/Northern lite.
I saw a post the other day, (Probably yours) about the Adventurer. I was trying to find on their web site http://www.wcrv.net/90fws.html what the camper is constructed out of?? The mentioned cabinets etc, but I was wondering about the frame??
Thought mayby you would know.
hope more Northern lite/Bigfoot camper owners will chime in!
The Bigfoot 9.6 2500 wet weight is bout 2600....
That is with 50 gal water and 2 5gal propane....if you remove the 50 gals of water at 8lb per gal that is 400 lbs....and less propane bout 30lbs that makes the 2500 9.6 weigh about 2100-2200 lbs....hope this helps....
As the proud owner of a 2002 Citation; I think they are the best on the market. We have the 10'8' and the dry bathroom was a plus. It also has heat ducting under the floor so as to keep the pipes from freezing. Citation is made by General Coach a division of Thor Industries. They say you get what you pay for! We could live in this if need be. Dry weight is 2814 and I pack it on a 94 Dodge with cummins diesel.