RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Truck Campers: soft side vs hard side

RV Blog

  |  

RV Sales

  |  

Campgrounds

  |  

RV Parks

  |  

RV Club

  |  

RV Buyers Guide

  |  

Roadside Assistance

  |  

Extended Service Plan

  |  

RV Travel Assistance

  |  

RV Credit Card

  |  

RV Loans

Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Truck Campers

Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > soft side vs hard side

This Topic Is Closed  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 9  
Next
Sponsored By:
grysko

MN

New Member

Joined: 02/22/2007

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 04/28/07 02:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am looking into my first TC - weighing several options - I will be using the camper on several long runs - 900+ miles one way -

What kind of mileage gains for soft side vs hard side ? I am looking at a Northstar 850SC soft side or Laredo hard side. The hard side is a few extra pounds, and some added features, but if I can get a noticeable mileage gain over my long hauls, that would be enough to convince me to go soft side.
(I drive a 3/4 ton Chev D/A and pull a trailer.)

Looking for any experience with this -
thanks.

Zig

Indiana

Senior Member

Joined: 09/15/2002

View Profile



Posted: 04/28/07 02:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Having had both, the big thing for us was the stealth factor. With the hard side, no one even knew we were in there. With the pop-up everyones knows.
As far as gas mileage goes, I think maybe one MPG is all we saved.


Better to Zig then Zag!
Go To "MY PICTURES"
My other Pictures and add a Comment!

SugarHillCTD

Sugar Hill, NH, USA

Senior Member

Joined: 11/29/2003

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 04/28/07 02:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Take a look at our signature. Have had the 850SC for about 9 months now. It is about as small as you can get and still have a toilet and indoor shower.

In the down position, the roof of the 850SC is about 20" lower than the Laredo. As far as fuel economy, I cannot speak for the hardside. With our pop-up I can get around 15 if I keep the speed down to 60mph or below. Get to 70-75mph and we are down to about 11-12mpg.

Maybe someone can give you some figures with a Laredo (remember that these two units are 7' wide, so taking figures from a "normal" 8' wide camper might not useful), but two different people can get substantially different fuel mileage with the exact same combo.

One thing to keep in mind is that when the roof is down for traveling, there is very limited storage space in our Northstar- nothing other than your bedding and pillows can be on the bed and if you pile bags on the floor and dinette seat you will need to put all that on the bed with the roof raised when you want to use the dinette. At times I feel that we are constantly moving stuff when we are traveling (generator, clothing bags, extra food supplies, etc..).

Good luck,
John

BTW, if you go to the additional photos page for the Northstar 850SC, 850SC, scroll down and the 2 red Dodge pictures without any captions below them is our actual unit!

I do agree with Zig about the fact that a "popped-up" pop-up is a give away that you are using the unit, especially in parking lots- like at lunch time.


John & Cathy
'12 Chevy 2500HD CC 4x4 sb
'16 Cougar 25RKS w/ Andersen rail mount
'13 Eagle Cap 850 (sold). B4 that a few other TCs and a TT

Clattertruck

Centennial Colorado

Senior Member

Joined: 06/19/2003

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 04/28/07 03:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I know it sounds odd, but when I switched from a pop-up TC to a hardside 8.5 ft Northstar the fuel mileage increased by 1.5 mpg (long term comparison).


Clattertruck
2008 SD F450 Pickup PSD 6.4L CC 4X4 DRW, Lariat Auto trans 4.30 LS, 2013 Lance TT 1885, Toyota 2014 Tundra Crew Max 5.7.


Bumpyroad

Virginia

Senior Member

Joined: 12/01/2005

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 04/28/07 03:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would think that there are so many down sides to the soft side that a little more gas would be worth the upgrade but that's JMHO





rlj19

colorado

Full Member

Joined: 03/25/2005

View Profile



Posted: 04/28/07 03:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ok new mexico and north 900 miles or west put s you in bear country.haed side or sott harder for bear to get in but maybe you like company for dinner . t is all about safty also I can like the other guys said witha hard side nobody knowes your there .harder to break into than cutting canvas . what you looses in gas you will make up in peice of mind!

Steve_in_29

29 Palms (SEMPER FI), CA 92277

Senior Member

Joined: 01/08/2004

View Profile






Posted: 04/28/07 04:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bumpyroad wrote:

I would think that there are so many down sides to the soft side that a little more gas would be worth the upgrade but that's JMHO
What is your frame of reference for this observation? Have you owned a pop-up TC before? A hardside one?


2007 F350,SC,LB,4x4,6.0/Auto,35" tires,16.5 Warn,Buckstop bumpers
2007 Outfitter Apex9.5,270W solar,SolarBoost2000e,2 H2K's,2KW inverter,2 20lb LP on slide out tray,4 Lifeline AGM bats,Tundra fridge
95 Bounder 28' ClassA sold
91 Jamboree 21' ClassC sold

seldomseensmith

Flagstaff, AZ

Senior Member

Joined: 09/18/2006

View Profile



Posted: 04/28/07 04:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

I would think that there are so many down sides to the soft side that a little more gas would be worth the upgrade but that's JMHO
Quote:

like the other guys said witha hard side nobody knowes your there .harder to break into than cutting canvas


First of all, exactly what downsides would you be referring to? The lower center of gravity? Or perhaps you meant the reduced wind drag? Could it be the lower profile which lets you go places most hardsides can't?

And as to being easier to break into, if you know anything about pop-ups, the fabric portion of the unit is so high off the ground as to be be almost impossible to reach. Any determined thief is going to break out a window, a weakness shared by all campers, before climbing up on a ladder to get in through the fabric.

I have owned both types of unit, and I quite honestly prefer the lower profile I have now with my pop-up. My gas mileage has not changed appreciably, as the weights are comparable, but not being blown around by high winds on the highway is..... priceless

silversand

Montreal

Senior Member

Joined: 09/12/2004

View Profile



Posted: 04/28/07 04:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

I would think that there are so many down sides to the soft side that a little more gas would be worth the upgrade but that's JMHO


Well, there were so many down-sides to a hard-side camper, we were absolutely compelled to go with a soft-side JMHO [emoticon]

Best,
Silver-


Silver
2004 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 6.0L Ext/LB Tow Package 4L80E Michelin AT2s| Outfitter Caribou

Steve_in_29

29 Palms (SEMPER FI), CA 92277

Senior Member

Joined: 01/08/2004

View Profile






Posted: 04/28/07 04:42pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rlj19 wrote:

Ok new mexico and north 900 miles or west put s you in bear country.haed side or sott harder for bear to get in but maybe you like company for dinner . t is all about safty also I can like the other guys said witha hard side nobody knowes your there .harder to break into than cutting canvas . what you looses in gas you will make up in peice of mind!
The whole "bear" thing is a bunch of crap. Do you really think an animal that can rip a car door off is going to be stopped by some wood or aluminum framing covered in filon? If a bear really wants in, he is going to get in. He also won't be climbing over 7' in the air to do it through my softwall either, he will do it through the wall or a window same as on a hardwall unit.

As for someone breaking in through the softwall, like I said when mine is loaded on the truck the softwall is over 7' off the ground. MUCH simpler (and less attention grabbing) for a crook to simply pop the door lock (and that applies to a hardside as well).

As for the "stealth" benefit, with an Outfitter at least, there is no need to raise the roof to use the camper. Everything except the shower and cabover underbed storage is useable with the top down.

This Topic Is Closed  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 9  
Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > soft side vs hard side
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Truck Campers


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:

© 2019 CWI, Inc. © 2019 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Use | PRIVACY POLICY | YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS