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#573671 - 05/25/20 10:42 AM Truck campers  
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Admiral
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Admiral

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Boise, ID
We've been noodling on getting a truck camper for a while. I like tent camping with my boys and it's a fair amount of work setting up. And, it doesn't work in the parking lot at the lake or at the ski hill. And, my wife's schedule at the hospital is now every weekend. So, it's my boys and I. They are 5 and 13.

Thinking about adding a used truck camper to make things a bit easier and more adventurous for the next few years. Plus, I could use it for hunting season when we base camp it at the truck, ski season to stay on the hill overnight, etc.

Our truck is a chevy 2500 diesel crew cab short bed. We need to still be able to tow our boat with the camper.

Would like to keep it under $5k which means a 15-20 year old unit.

1st decision is hard side or soft side pop-up. Brand new palomino campers are 12k or so which is tempting. Found a local northstar pop up for close to my budget. It's their version for a half ton truck so it's a little smaller than I'd like. But, it's 12 years old and northstar seems to have a decent rep among pop ups. Being lighter makes it easier to carry. I'm concerned a pop up will be too cold for the kids and the occasions my wife comes along.

So, anyone with experience?

Pop up longevity?

Pop up comfort in colder weather?

Pop up or hard side?


James
2002 Cobalt 226 VP 8.1GIDP
2007 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab Duramax
1988 Suburban 3/4 Ton
2000 Subaru Forester


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#573672 - 05/25/20 12:16 PM Re: Truck campers [Re: Silverbullet]  
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captkevin Offline
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Sounds like a great way to spend some time in the great outdoors. We starting boating & tent camping. Quickly evolved into buying a travel trailer & leaving the boat & travel trailer in a storage lot outside a state park. Did that for a couple years. Had lots of fun. Then moved into a permanent campground. Did that for 12 years. Had a great time.

No real experience on truck campers but would imagine hard sides would be the way to go. Would think canvas could develope problems with age.


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2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#573674 - 05/26/20 07:37 AM Re: Truck campers [Re: Silverbullet]  
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On Holiday Offline
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Admiral

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PA and Smith Mountain Lake
I think the pop up would be a little too cold for any winter camping however it will make it easier to two as its not as tall. I know you will but make sure you check your truck's sticker for weights against your boat's weight and cargo. weight adds up quick.

I'm sure there are lots of youtube videos about this subject.


Last edited by On Holiday; 05/26/20 07:38 AM.

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#573676 - 05/26/20 11:37 AM Re: Truck campers [Re: Silverbullet]  
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On Holiday makes a good point about the weight.

What does the truck camper weigh?


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#573678 - 05/26/20 04:22 PM Re: Truck campers [Re: Silverbullet]  
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Admiral
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Boise, ID
Weight certainly is an issue with a 3/4 ton. Bed weight is the biggest issue and some of the larger/heavier trailers top 3000 lbs. the 3/4 ton load rating are very close to that 3000 lbs so I need to have cushion under that for towing. Realistically, I need to be around 2K or lighter. Then I'll put on airbags. Axle is fine. Tires are 3750 per so I'll be ok there.

The advantage of the pop-ups is weight and profile. I made an offer on one yesterday that was in really good condition. He wanted 7, I offered 4500. We didn't make a deal. NADA is 4500.

It weighs about 1500 lbs and is a pop-up. But, its from a company with a pretty good rep. Time will tell if something happens there.

The information on campers is more confusing than boats. It's truly frustrating and a PITA.

Here is what I offered on.

https://boise.craigslist.org/for/d/boise-northstar-tc650-camper/7130143045.html


James
2002 Cobalt 226 VP 8.1GIDP
2007 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab Duramax
1988 Suburban 3/4 Ton
2000 Subaru Forester


#573679 - 05/26/20 06:29 PM Re: Truck campers [Re: Silverbullet]  
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captkevin Offline
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Listing has been taken down - maybe it sold.

Was always told Memorial day to 4th of July is top selling prices on boats & campers.

Good for you sticking to you price - the right one will come along


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#573680 - 05/26/20 11:22 PM Re: Truck campers [Re: captkevin]  
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Boise, ID
Originally Posted by captkevin
Listing has been taken down - maybe it sold.

Was always told Memorial day to 4th of July is top selling prices on boats & campers.

Good for you sticking to you price - the right one will come along


I'm guessing he sold it today. He was a nice feller and it was a nice unit. It's hard to stick to that price sometimes, but itll work out and I gained a little experience.


James
2002 Cobalt 226 VP 8.1GIDP
2007 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab Duramax
1988 Suburban 3/4 Ton
2000 Subaru Forester


#573681 - 05/27/20 09:52 PM Re: Truck campers [Re: Silverbullet]  
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Admiral
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Boise, ID
Looking at this one. 1500 lbs. Good shape. Fiberglass nose. Bathroom but no shower. Couldnt find any sign of water leaks. Will likely need a new mattress. About 1500lbs which is pretty light.

Only of I can get it for a song. There can't be much of a market for 24 year old campers.

https://www.bishs.com/inv/1996-Shadow-Cruiser-Shadow-Cruiser-850-Meridian-15497C/

This one too, but its 100 miles away so not worth the trip unless I'm going there anyway.

https://www.bishs.com/inv/1994-Lance-Squire-3000-Twin-Falls-C18048Z1/#mainpic


James
2002 Cobalt 226 VP 8.1GIDP
2007 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab Duramax
1988 Suburban 3/4 Ton
2000 Subaru Forester


#573688 - 05/29/20 11:23 AM Re: Truck campers [Re: Silverbullet]  
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GoFirstClass Offline
Retired Boating Bum
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Grand Poobah

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Pasco, WA
James, that first one you linked to looks to be in great shape. Photos can be deceiving but from those photos it looks pretty good.

Keep us posted.


"Beachcomber" 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge


Anchor's down......Bottoms Up!
#573690 - 05/30/20 02:27 PM Re: Truck campers [Re: GoFirstClass]  
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Boise, ID
Originally Posted by GoFirstClass
James, that first one you linked to looks to be in great shape. Photos can be deceiving but from those photos it looks pretty good.

Keep us posted.


It was. Might have been a missed opportunity. Sold the next day though I don't know if he got asking. I stuck to my budget which may or may not be good. It was garage stores and well taken care of.

Missed another one as I was trying to determine if it was made for a shortbed. It's very hard to find info on older models as the companies turnover like a hotel's sheets.


James
2002 Cobalt 226 VP 8.1GIDP
2007 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab Duramax
1988 Suburban 3/4 Ton
2000 Subaru Forester


#573739 - 06/07/20 10:36 PM Re: Truck campers [Re: Silverbullet]  
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Admiral
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Boise, ID
Found one today. A 1995 northland made right here in Nampa.

Came in on budget, condition is good. A little heavier than I wanted. I'll need to get an extension for the hitch and may need to upgrade it.


James
2002 Cobalt 226 VP 8.1GIDP
2007 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab Duramax
1988 Suburban 3/4 Ton
2000 Subaru Forester


#573740 - 06/07/20 11:10 PM Re: Truck campers [Re: Silverbullet]  
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Admiral
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Admiral

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Boise, ID
[Linked Image][Linked Image][Linked Image]


James
2002 Cobalt 226 VP 8.1GIDP
2007 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab Duramax
1988 Suburban 3/4 Ton
2000 Subaru Forester


#573741 - 06/08/20 01:52 AM Re: Truck campers [Re: Silverbullet]  
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Jack T Offline
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Southern California
Looks great! Not sure about the pink (magenta) upholstery, though.


Have a great day of boating
2012 Monterey 224 FS,
300 HP Volvo Penta with catalytic converters

#573743 - 06/08/20 09:19 AM Re: Truck campers [Re: Jack T]  
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Boise, ID
Originally Posted by Jack T
Looks great! Not sure about the pink (magenta) upholstery, though.


It looks much more magenta in the pics, but it certainly isn't a masculine color. Could be worse. Campers of this vintage are often coated with flowery wall paper and pastels.


James
2002 Cobalt 226 VP 8.1GIDP
2007 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab Duramax
1988 Suburban 3/4 Ton
2000 Subaru Forester


#573744 - 06/08/20 10:53 AM Re: Truck campers [Re: Silverbullet]  
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captkevin Offline
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Chicago, IL
Congrats on the find & sticking to your budget. Looks like it paid off nicely. Good times ahead. Should help make for a great summer.


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#573748 - 06/08/20 12:01 PM Re: Truck campers [Re: Silverbullet]  
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GoFirstClass Offline
Retired Boating Bum
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Grand Poobah

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Pasco, WA
Good things come to those who wait!

Congratulations on finding just what you were looking for. As to the magenta upholstery--after a few trips you won't even notice it. Changing out the curtains to some other color will reduce the effect of the magenta and won't cost an arm and a leg.


"Beachcomber" 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge


Anchor's down......Bottoms Up!
#573757 - 06/10/20 12:57 AM Re: Truck campers [Re: Silverbullet]  
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Silverbullet Offline
Admiral
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Admiral

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Boise, ID
Got it home.

[Linked Image]


James
2002 Cobalt 226 VP 8.1GIDP
2007 Chevy 2500HD Crew Cab Duramax
1988 Suburban 3/4 Ton
2000 Subaru Forester


#573759 - 06/10/20 02:48 AM Re: Truck campers [Re: Silverbullet]  
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Jack T Offline
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Southern California
Nice


Have a great day of boating
2012 Monterey 224 FS,
300 HP Volvo Penta with catalytic converters

#573764 - 06/10/20 02:07 PM Re: Truck campers [Re: Silverbullet]  
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Justification Offline
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Fruit Heights, Utah
Looks like you got a great deal.
Is that pull out drawer part of the Camper, or was it already in your truck?

My half ton has a statement somewhere in the cab about "not for camper use" Might even misremember seeing something like that in the Duramax also.
Is that statement because both are shortbeds? or am I misremembering seeing it in the diesel?


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You should feel without beer.
#573765 - 06/10/20 03:57 PM Re: Truck campers [Re: Silverbullet]  
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captkevin Offline
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Looks like you find a clean one. Should be years of enjoyment.


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
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