Customers this year have many choices in the camper market. You can buy a basic model for something close to $10,000, select an elaborately furnished camper for $30,000 or more, or find something in between.
With a truck camper, you have the advantages of a pickup truck that can be used for errands around town or operated as a towing vehicle and you also have a camper that can carry everything you need for a comfortable vacation.
In the entire range of campers, you will find that manufacturers are continuing to add new features and improve their designs. Here is a look at some of the offerings by leading camper manufacturers:
Adventurer Manufacturing Ltd. of Abbotsford, British Columbia, has been building RVs since 1969, designing its products for the extreme Northwest climate and cold Canadian winters. Its newest model, the 106DBS, features a full-wall slideout and packs about as much living space as possible into the back of a pickup.
The camper is a top-of-the-line model with many standard features that are usually offered only as options. These include aluminum step bumpers, electric jacks and generator prep. Each unit is also equipped for audio/video so that mounting a flat screen TV or adding a DVD player is easy.
Adventurer campers always feature lots of interior and exterior storage space, and that tradition is maintained in the 106DBS. The model also comes with a large bathroom with a full-size RV tub.
Standard equipment includes heated and insulated holding tanks, a 16,000-BTU furnace, a three-burner range top with oven, and 6-cubic-foot refrigerator.
Adventurer builds its campers with kiln-dried spruce and plywood with materials precut and hand assembled for a tight, strong fit. Insulation is high-density fiberglass. The company offers 11 floor plans, with a model to fit every size of pickup truck.
For information, contact Adventurer Manufacturing, 33541 Maclure Road, Abbotsford, B.C., Canada V2S 7W1. Phone (604) 852-5731 or see www.amlrv.com.
Northwood, which offers a full-wall slideout in all of its Arctic Fox campers, has made its campers more spacious in 2005. The depth of the slideout is now 25 percent larger, reaching a full 26 inches. A new transverse floor truss system increases the width of the main floor by nearly a foot without changing the outside dimensions of the camper.
Also new at Northwood is the creation of an innovative laminating facility, which produces 100 percent rigid foam, bonded lamination walls, floors and ceiling panels. The all-aluminum frame, continuous welded joints, rigid foam insulation and solid fill anchor blockings at all key structural points provide a camper that is strong and durable. The company designs its campers to withstand rugged off-road use, with such features as a rack and pinion slide mechanism, but also includes all the comforts of home.
In the bedroom suite, for example, there is a deluxe queen-size mattress with coordinated bedspread and window valence accents. An expanding Curtition wall between the sleeping area and the main cabin provides privacy for both areas. The bedroom also is designed with plenty of headroom for entering and exiting the main cabin
The standard dinette converts to a bed for children or guests. Another option is a rollover lounge. The sliding dining table allows easy access to the lounge and you can remove the table when converting the lounge to an extra bed. Also available is an additional overhead bunk in the slideout. In this configuration, hinged interior panels fold down from the upper wall and ceiling to provide an additional bunk over the dinette.
For information about the Arctic Fox, contact Northwood, 59948 Downs Road, P. O. Box 3359, La Grande, OR 97850. Phone (541) 962-6274 or see www.northwoodmfg.com.
Solid construction and weatherproof design are two hallmarks of Bigfoot truck campers. Bigfoot Industries makes three lines of campers. The 1500 series is the lightest and most aerodynamic; the 2500 series offers a wide range of standard features, and the 3000 series is a deluxe line of wide-body floor plans.
The 2500 campers are built with two molded fiberglass shells that are joined together by a horizontal overlapping body seam. The shells fit together like the deck and hull of a boat.
The 2500 campers have high-density 1 1/2-inch polystyrene insulation, and a 30,000-BTU high-output furnace. The holding tanks for fresh water and wastewater are enclosed and heated to make the campers suitable for all-season use. An exterior compartment offers room to store sports equipment and other items.
The interiors include cedar-lined closets and solid oak cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Buyers have a choice of three designer decors and two kinds of wood paneling. The 2500 is available in both long and short box configurations.
For information, contact Bigfoot Industries, 4114 Crozier Road, Armstrong, B.C., Canada, VOE 1B6. Phone (250) 546-2177 or see www.bigfootrv.com.
Eagle Cap has made major changes in its 2005 models, lightening the weight with the use of new materials, and improving the interior design to provide a more open appearance.
Intermountain RV, which manufactures the Eagle Cap, has always emphasized strength, lightweight construction and affordability in its truck campers, pioneering the use of a welded aluminum framework. But the new use of vacuum bonded components for the floor, sub-floor, risers, wings, walls and roof have strengthened the campers and helped reduce their weight by up to 400 pounds.
In addition to the fiberglass exterior, Eagle Cap has added TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) material to its roof construction, and that, too, saves weight, compared with a rubber roof. One-piece fiberglass front and rear caps also enhance quality.
The company builds campers that range in floor length from 8 feet, four inches to 11 feet, eight inches. The 800 limited has a dry weight of 2,000 pounds, yet is heavily insulated, has heated, large-capacity holding tanks, and can fit on both long and short box pickups. The company’s top-selling camper, the 950, can be ordered with or without a slideout. Features include a kitchen pantry and extra interior and exterior storage.
The top-of-the-line model is the Eagle Cap 1150, which has a spacious galley, large dry bath and many other features, but weighs less than 3,000 pounds.
For information on Eagle Cap truck campers, contact Intermountain RV, 59999 Smith Loop, La Grande, OR 97850. Phone (541) 663-8713 or see www.eaglecapcampers.com
K-Z has become a full-line manufacturer of recreation vehicles, but its success began with construction of its first truck camper 33 years ago, and it has been building truck campers ever since, even as it has expanded into travel trailers and fifth wheels.
K-Z builds campers with standard metal siding, but offers buyers the option of fiberglass siding. Construction features include tongue and groove plywood floors, fiberglass insulation, a one-piece rubber roof and 3.6 Luan paneling and ceiling board.
The K-Z Sportsmen 801 is a lightweight 8-foot camper. The Sportsmen 951 is larger at 9 feet, five inches. Both include a refrigerator, three-burner hot plate, ladder, furnace and sundeck.
K-Z is one of just eight RV manufacturers to earn the Quality Circle Award last year from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association. This was the fifth time the company has earned the award, which is based on a survey in which dealers judge companies on sales support, product competitiveness, service and warranty support, and management.
For information, contact K-Z, 9270 West U.S. 20, Shipshewana, IN 46565. Phone (574) 825-5619 or see www.kz-rv.com.
The new Yukon side entry/tent camper is Host’s latest innovation in the camper market, offering room to sleep seven. The rear of the camper contains a foldout tent with a bed for two. There is a queen bed in the cab-over area; a dinette that makes into a bed, and an optional bunk over the dinette.
All that room means that a family will not only have ample space to sleep themselves, but can bring along friends, said Dave Hogue, Host president.
The Yukon tent camper has a floor length of 11 feet, six inches and comes with a dinette slideout for extra space. Amenities include solid surface countertops and a pullout pantry. The holding tanks are large—60 gallons of fresh water and 45 gallons for gray water and black water. The Yukon has a 34,000-BTU furnace. Suggested retail base price of the Yukon side entry is $24,360. Host makes five other models in sizes from 8 feet, six inches to 11 feet, six inches.
Host builds its campers with an all-aluminum frame, fiberglass exterior, laminated block foam insulation and a one-piece roof of thermoplastic polyolefin. The company claims to have the lightest campers in its class.
Host built its reputation for innovation by introducing the double slideout to the camper market. The double slide is offered on three of its six models.
The company was started less than five years ago, but the founders have lots of RV experience. Dave Hogue and Mark Storch started Host with the help of their fathers, Jim Hogue and Frank Storch, who were the driving forces behind Beaver campers and motorhomes. The company has grown rapidly, adding dealerships coast to coast.
For information, contact Host Campers, 300 SE Scott St., Bend, OR 97702. Phone (541) 330-2328 or see www.hostcampers.com.
Lance, which has specialized in camper design and manufacturing for 40 years, has created the Lance Max 1181 for customers who seek versatility, comfort and luxury in a truck camper.
The Lance Max 1181 is a top-of-the line camper with an interior floor length of 11 feet, six inches and interior height of six feet, eight inches. A full-wall slideout adds to the spaciousness.
Forward thinking engineering and design have produced an exceptionally strong superstructure in a proprietary process that includes a welded aluminum frame and LanceLock aluminum extrusion construction. The camper is designed for all-season use. It has marine-grade, seamless TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) roof, a reinforced fiberglass exterior, and solid, high-density rigid block foam insulation throughout.
The interior offers a generous dry bath, large pantry, three spacious storage drawers, increased counter space and a full-wall slideout with a dinette and double-door refrigerator. As with other Lance Max models, the 1181 incorporates the most-requested features as standard items.
The manufacturer’s suggested base retail price is $28,406. Lance makes 16 other campers, ranging in size from eight feet, six inches to 11 feet, 11 inches at prices starting at $11,130.
Lance, a seven-time winner of the Quality Circle Award from the national RV Dealers Association, has dealers throughout the Pacific Northwest. For dealer locations and a free, 32-page 2005 catalog, visit www.lancecamper.com. Lance Camper Manufacturing Corporation also may be contacted by writing to 43120 Venture St., Lancaster, CA 93535 or calling (661) 949-3322.
For the buyer who is looking for luxury in a truck camper, the CD Special Edition from Northern Lite has just about everything you might want, from exclusive Brazilian wood paneling to an outside barbecue.
The 10-foot, two-inch CD Special Edition is designed for full-size long box trucks. The interior is brightened by double florescent lights in the kitchen and dinette, an illuminated Heki skylight, and new paneling using Lyptus, a hardwood that has the appearance of cherry.
The camper has Dometic acrylic thermal pane windows, which are 50 percent lighter than conventional thermal pane windows. It also comes equipped with a 10-foot side awning, an LCD television, stereo CD/DVD player, electric jacks, and a large shower/bathroom area that includes a non-skid floor. The manufacturer’s suggested retail base price for the CD Special Edition is $33,350.
Northern Lite builds its campers using fiberglass molds in a process that is similar to the construction of a fiberglass boat. The result is a camper with a sleek aerodynamic design that is strong but comparatively light. The company for seven years running has earned the highest five-star rating from the RV Consumer Group at www.rv.org.
For information about Northern Lite campers, contact Northern Lite Manufacturing, 322 Totom Court, Kelowna, B.C., Canada V1X 5W6. Phone (800) 887-5342 or see www.northern-lite.com.
The Montana Avalanche 992 from S&S is a new 2005 model with lots of big features, including two refrigerators, exceptionally large holding tanks and a 10-gallon water heater.
The Avalanche 992 is less than 10 feet in length but eight feet wide in a design that provides extra room by putting the camper floor above the wheel wells and including a galley/dinette slideout. The heated basement contains insulated holding tanks with exceptional capacity—55 gallons for fresh water, 40 gallons for gray water and 35 gallons for black water. There is also a seven-foot storage tray for fishing poles and other gear. Batteries and propane bottles are easily accessible on pullout racks.
The kitchen area has a large eight-cubic-foot refrigerator, but there is also a 31-quart Coolmatic Drawer Fridge, which can hold 30 cans of beverages. Standard features include air conditioning, two awnings, two Fantastic fans, a satellite TV antenna system and a dual-stage furnace system. The furnace switches from 34,000 BTUs to 24,000 BTUs as needed in order to maximize efficiency.
The camper includes a dry bath and uses L.E.D. lighting, which is both brighter and longer-lasting than conventional lighting. Suggested retail base price for the Avalanche 992 is $24,995.
S&S Campers, which is owned by Doug Seiler, was founded by Seiler's father more than 30 years ago. Over the years, the company has developed a reputation for quality construction through the use of superior materials, such as plywood instead of particle board. The company offers a variety of models and floor plans.
For information, contact S&S Campers, 2740 Highway 93 South, Kalispell, MT 59901. Phone (406) 755-5080 or see www.s-scampers.com.Research Campgrounds, Plan RV Safe Routes & Turn your phone into an RV GPS.
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