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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Driving With a Pop Up vs Hardside??

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SidecarFlip

SE Michigan

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Posted: 03/23/20 10:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

Can you go potty in the Northstar when on the road without popping?


We can use the potty in our Palomino without raising the top, the fridge and the sink and sit at the table to eat, you just cannot stand up or you'll bump your noggin.

The Palomino and the Northstar use the same roof lowering-raising mechanism. Takes 20 seconds up, 20 seconds down. On mine, 4 latches, one in each corner and off we go.

Very simple. Northstar was my first choice but the Palomino factory is 45 miles from here and they sell me anything I require direct so that became the deciding issue for me.

Have not required much in 4 years either. Needed a new decal for the side (original one came loose, replaced it). Thats been it. No issues at all really.

We are very happy with out purchase.


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Grit dog

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Posted: 03/24/20 12:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP, your truck is well suited for either and will have no problem packing a hardside camper like you're describing safely and comfortably.
Unless your idea of white knuckle is driving a loaded pickup truck.
Of course a pop up will be proportionally better because it's physically smaller and lighter, but there's a million hard side campers being hauled safely on srw trucks all the time.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

Geewizard

E. Washington

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Posted: 03/24/20 04:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kayteg1 wrote:

I was considering pop-up as 2nd camper when I would go alone, but researching the subject I found those comparisons.
Pop up is not much lighter than hardside. When you have much less space in popup, the lift mechanism shaves weigh saving tarp is giving on sides.
Popup soft sides have limited life prediction. Will you have it exposed to sun, like we do in Nevada, that will crack in matter of short years.
I had 2 different campers on my dually. The basement model was over a foot higher and also wider than old Lance.
I could drive 80 mph in semi truck tail wind with both of them just fine.
I keep my fuel consumption on fuelly and if fuel consumption due to extra foot is higher, not to degree it can make statistic.
Additional observation that once my new truck passed 25,000 miles, the mpg seem to go up by about 0.2. I always set CC at 60 mph with camper
Looks like engine is finally breaking-in.


Well, I disagree with some of this regarding MY pop-up TC:

-the lift mechanism doesn't weigh very much
-I've had the same soft sides since 2004 with no deterioration.

And in general, I have quite enough room and I can use the toilet with the top down. I've made lunch on the stove with the top down. And I could sleep on the dinette with the top down if I wanted.

I chose an aluminum-framed pop-up TC because of the lower wind resistance, lighter weight, and tent-like experience when camping.
But, I hardly ever camp in noisy campgrounds.

The OP can PM me if they want more info on my experiences with a pop-up TC.

YMMV


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Geewizard

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Posted: 03/24/20 05:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SidecarFlip wrote:

Lwiddis wrote:

Can you go potty in the Northstar when on the road without popping?


We can use the potty in our Palomino without raising the top, the fridge and the sink and sit at the table to eat, you just cannot stand up or you'll bump your noggin.

The Palomino and the Northstar use the same roof lowering-raising mechanism. Takes 20 seconds up, 20 seconds down. On mine, 4 latches, one in each corner and off we go.

Very simple. Northstar was my first choice but the Palomino factory is 45 miles from here and they sell me anything I require direct so that became the deciding issue for me.

Have not required much in 4 years either. Needed a new decal for the side (original one came loose, replaced it). Thats been it. No issues at all really.

We are very happy with out purchase.


Same with my Outfitter except for the distance to the factory.

* This post was edited 03/24/20 05:36am by Geewizard *

JimK-NY

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Posted: 03/24/20 07:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would think the choice would be highly dependent on how you use your camper. If you are trying to skimp on the specs and cost for your truck, a popup would definitely help. If you want to do off road camping, a popup would certainly be an improvement and would allow you to travel where a larger and heavier truck camper should not venture.

When I bought my truck camper, my wife and I were preparing for full time travel and did so for 2 years. A hard sided camper gave us more comfort and more storage. It was way more convenient for stopping at the side of the road for lunch or a quick nap or use of the toilet.

We also did a lot of "stealth" camping. People who go camping at a local campground often have no idea or use for this technique. Our travel often consisted of driving long distances between major National Parks or other attractions. Once there we spent our days exploring and doing photography. All we needed at night was a place to park. We rarely stayed in RV parks and often did not stay in campgrounds. Stealth camping was often our choice for cost and convenience. A popup or a slide is not stealthy.

Just to explain this further, stealth camping means keeping a low profile and does not equate with camping illegally. I can give endless examples but one should suffice. When we visited my wife's sister for several weeks in Mill Valley, CA, we stayed next to the golf course. We checked with the police department. We could park in the same location without moving for up to one month. Even so we went full stealth as a courtesy to the neighbors. We have done the same in many similar locations.

Dagwood_55

Atkins, Ar

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Posted: 03/24/20 09:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP here, thanks for all the good info.

My main concern or question was more on how the 2 different TC's drive. I understand the popup will hardly be noticable on a 350 SRW. But how does the 350 SRW handle with a med sized hard side TC on it. Will it be fine on most NF roads?? I have no intention on "rock crawling" or "mudding" But do want to get off the pavement and down regular maintained NF gravel roads. And I don't want a white knuckle experience while driving in traffic dow the interstate @ 65 to 70 mph or across mountain passes in CO.

SidecarFlip

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Posted: 03/24/20 09:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Going from a hardside (Lance) to a pop up (palomino) was a revelation for us in the handling department which is for me, is important, I got tired of fighting the wind and the rocking when passing trucks on the slab, but the big revelation came with the overall closed height as it pertained to the type of camping we do which is primarily primitive. I don't have to worry about tree limbs or even underpass height anymore. No need to look up to see if I have the overhead clearance and storage became a non issue as well, as it fits in the garage wen not in use. The Lance required I keep it in one of the barns and I need the barns for farm use. We will never go back.

I'd say something about fuel mileage but no point in doing that as cheap as fuel is today.

JimK-NY

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Posted: 03/24/20 10:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

99% of the time I have had no issues driving my 9.5' camper on my old 2500 or now on my 3500. The downsides have been driving in high winds. On rare occasions I have driven in 50 mph cross winds. No fun and anything worse would be unacceptable. I have also pulled into campsites with low tree branches. Of course that might also be an issue when trying to set up a popup camper. There are also rare occasions with low bridges or tree branches overhanging a dirt road.

ppine

Northern Nevada

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Posted: 03/24/20 11:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A pop-up is light, you can see over it, with little wind resistance. Easy to tow.

The problems start when you try to live in it. Too cold, too hot and too loud.

JD5150

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Posted: 03/24/20 11:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dagwood_55 wrote:

OP here, thanks for all the good info.

My main concern or question was more on how the 2 different TC's drive. I understand the popup will hardly be noticable on a 350 SRW. But how does the 350 SRW handle with a med sized hard side TC on it. Will it be fine on most NF roads?? I have no intention on "rock crawling" or "mudding" But do want to get off the pavement and down regular maintained NF gravel roads. And I don't want a white knuckle experience while driving in traffic dow the interstate @ 65 to 70 mph or across mountain passes in CO.


Go over to Truck Camper Adventure forum and ask Mello Mike he has a Laredo SC on a SRW. He runs the website and writes the material for it. He has multiple write up's where he goes with is NorthStar Laredo SC.

https://www.truckcamperadventure.com/


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