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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Overwhelmed with camper choices; insight appreciated

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work2much

Jackson Ca

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Posted: 05/29/19 04:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Given your list of wishes I would take another look at those Northern Lite rentals you mentioned. While they may have some use, they were probably also maintained. These are very well made.

We had a 2003 Bigfoot that gave us zero issues. Sold it over ten years later and was good to go for another 10. We carried it on our Ram 2500.


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sbryan@vtbryans.com

Vermont

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Posted: 05/29/19 05:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Take a look at Northstar Campers. Double pane windows, well insulated, cassette toilets and they will custom build (within reason) for your needs. We have an Igloo on an F350 and have camped in 0 and below without issue. We do have solar and two group 27 batteries that will carry us through the night with the furnace. Other than Cirrus I'm not aware of anyone else using the Alde system. Wish it came as an option for my rig but it isn't a deal breaker. Other cold weather rigs are Artic Fox, Northern Lite and Bigfoot. Probably others I haven't remembered.Only you can decide what is best for you so make it a point to go visit someone that can show you as many as possible. Good luck.


Shawn
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S Davis

Western WA

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Posted: 05/29/19 05:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

An Arctic Fox 865 migh be worth looking at, they seem to be one of the builders that insulates pretty well. Be careful with the built in propane generators, they can burn through your on board propane pretty fast. And I imagine where your at you will want to mainly use the propane for heating purposes. If not worried about a/c I would look at a small portable inverter generator.

hedge

Airdrie, Alberta, Canada

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Posted: 05/29/19 08:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hiya neighbour.

I think your concern with the cold is quite accurate. I've stayed in my Adventurer at -25C but that was with power. It's supposedly 4-season but the furnace didn't stop much. I've never actually tested it but I'm not sure if I could make it through a night at that temp with my two batteries.

I also have 300w of solar but again I'm kinda useless to you because I haven't been able to test it. I bought this and set it up for that use (for me quadding in the winter) but then my group blew up and plans changed and it never happened [emoticon]


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DieselBurps

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Posted: 05/29/19 10:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You might want to consider how each camper is constructed.

Since you are asking for advice I am happy to give my opinion.

1.) your truck does not have 5,300 lbs of payload. You need to figure out how much payload you actually have, total truck weight with fuel, people, stuff, etc. minus what the total GVW is, it's likely 12,000 lbs or less so subtract truck total weight from that.

2.) get the lightest northernlight or bigfoot you can find. Northernlite has a sportsman addition that seems to be light or the bigfoot 1500 model. All other campers besides those are essentially built the same, stables and wood with rubber roofs i.e they fall apart offroad.

3.) also consider the cirrus, they seem to be doing things differently and worth a look, I also like the idea of the Aldea system.

4.) go heavy on good batteries and lots of solar, no stupid "solar kits" those ar worthless. Having power and heat it sounds like will provide you with the most comfort.

5.) skip the cassette toilet ( i have one, it sucks, but barely better than a traditional toilet) instead ditch the RV crapper and go compost toilet. You can use these in the winter.

7.) Find out what tires you have. I like tall and skinny. 285/75/18 has 4000 lbs of capacity a tire. I used 295/70/18 Cooper Stt Maxx tires and got 55K (US) miles out of them that included 3 trips off road in Baja, 2 trips all over mexico, belize and guatemala.

8.) carry a small portable lightweight generator, I had a yamaha and now a Honda 2000, The honda is better. When SHTF you have back up, I see having it as a matter of safety. You can always to use "run the genni" worst comes to worse. They are light, quit, and if you find a good way to transport it, could be lifesaving.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 05/30/19 09:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kayteg1 wrote:

Having SRW and need for towing automatically narrows your search to campers in 2000 lb range.


C'mon dude. Even you don't believe what you just typed.


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"Obviously I don't want to overload my truck and be unsafe, but the reality is the truck is way more capable than the 10K GVWR they put on the sticker.
KJ"

larkyblast

calgary

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Posted: 05/30/19 09:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow, these are really really good comments, I appreciate it!
I got the payload of the truck from the door and manual. I know we will have to subtract ourselves and our stuff from this number, I think we'll still be ok with the campers I am considering. This thread has given me focus to only look at the much lighter campers.
I am going to go look at the used northern lite. It's a 2014 Queen Classic 8'11 sportsmen edition. The newer version is listed as dry weight 2360 so the 2014 must be close to that.
I am going to see how much it would cost to get the Cirrus to me, and investigate that further. I have also contacted the dealer for the northstar campers, but with US import still might be over budget.
I guess we'll have to bite the bullet and get a generator, you're right that it is a safety issue, plus really likely needed here in the winter.
Good notes about the toilet. The composting sounds interesting, I will look more into that.
I will keep everyone posted on what happens, this has been great information

PhilR

Albany NY

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Posted: 05/30/19 10:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My 2016 8-11 Classic Queen SE weighs 2,800 + lbs. as it left the factory and 3,500 lbs with fluids and gear. The sticker on the back exterior of the camper gives a dry, before options weight of 2,400+. Be carefull with posted weights.

Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Posted: 05/30/19 11:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:

Kayteg1 wrote:

Having SRW and need for towing automatically narrows your search to campers in 2000 lb range.


C'mon dude. Even you don't believe what you just typed.


Your love for trolling is famous, but how about trying to come with the numbers?
You should know rear axle rating of SRW, so calculate for us how much camper you can load having 8000 lb trailer on 3' stinger?
Give us at least couple options?





Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 05/30/19 01:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kayteg1 wrote:

Grit dog wrote:

Kayteg1 wrote:

Having SRW and need for towing automatically narrows your search to campers in 2000 lb range.


C'mon dude. Even you don't believe what you just typed.


Your love for trolling is famous, but how about trying to come with the numbers?
You should know rear axle rating of SRW, so calculate for us how much camper you can load having 8000 lb trailer on 3' stinger?
Give us at least couple options?



Nope, no trollin here. Just the facts!
Lol, that was exactly my point. How could you say limited to a 2000lb camper without ANY numbers to go by.
Comprehension of the info that's been given and not making up numbers is what I was talking about.
OP never said short bed, long bed, how heavy of trailer. (before you posted anyway)
So how you come up with 8klb trailer and 3' hitch extension is something only you can explain.

Only trying to keep folks who are asking legitimate questions from being bombarded with the usual rvnet onslaught of "absolutes" and outright false information.

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