It’s also an economical approach, with campers starting at under $15,000 and extending upward to $40,000 or more. At the low end, you’ll find basic sleeping accommodations. Spend more and you can get many of the luxury features that would be found in a small motorhome, with good kitchens, full bathrooms, queen-size beds and entertainment centers.
The size of the camper is necessarily limited by the size of the pickup hauling it, but there are lots of options to choose from. And with new materials enabling manufacturers to reduce the weight of their campers, it’s possible to pack more amenities inside a camper without overloading the truck.
Here is a sampling of new campers offered by leading manufacturers:
The Adventurer 93FDS, a 2007 floor plan available in June, will add to a wide array of camper models designed to fit everything from small imports to big one-ton trucks.
The new 93FDS has a full-wall slideout that extends the dinette and refrigerator area. The dinette converts into a bed, enabling the camper to sleep four. The bathroom is given extra spaciousness with a huge skylight.
The suggested base retail price of about $24,000 includes numerous standard features, such as solar reflective windows, a Dometic two-door refrigerator-freezer, a fiberglass shower inside, an outside shower, a slide awning, an exterior yard light, and Happijac electric remote jacks to simplify loading and unloading. The holding tanks are heated and enclosed.
Adventurer campers are lighter in weight than many competitors because of their design and construction, including an aluminum frame and fully laminated walls. The Model 93FDS has a box length of 9 feet, two inches, and an estimated dry weight of 2,850 pounds.
For information, contact Adventurer Manufacturing Ltd, 33541 Maclure Road, Abbotsford, British Columbia V2S 7W1. Phone (604) 852-5731 or visit www.amlrv.com
Alpenlite made its reputation in the truck camper field by pioneering aluminum frame construction and vacuum bonded walls. That emphasis on technology continues today with features such as block foam insulation, a laminated, vacuum-bonded crowned roof and a gelcoated exterior surface.
Now in its 34th year of building truck campers, Alpenlite offers eight floor plans in a range of sizes. One of its best sellers is the top-of-the-line Santa Fe 1150, which is Alpenlite’s biggest and roomiest model.
The Santa Fe 1150 includes a full queen-size bed, a center dry bath with a tub and shower seat area, Karadon solid surface countertops, and a basement storage area. The fresh water and other fluid tanks are all large-capacity, enclosed, and insulated so that the camper can be used in all seasons. Among the options is a dinette skylight with a retractable shade.
The dinette area slides out for extra room and can be converted to a bed for an additional sleeping area. The suggested retail price on the Santa Fe 1150 is $26,592. If you don’t want a slideout, you can choose the Santa Fe 1100, which offers much the same floor plan as the 1150, and also offers the option of a dinette with a fold-away table and two Flexsteel swivel chairs.
For information on Alpenlite Limited truck campers, contact Western Recreational Vehicles, P. O. Box 9547 Yakima, WA 98909. Phone (800) 777-4133 or visit www.wrv.com.
Arctic Fox truck campers, such as the new model 990 Silver Fox edition, are durable and rugged enough to endure cross-country and off-road travel because of innovations in camper engineering.
The Silver Fox edition features an aircraft-style superstructure, transverse floor, and a full-wall slide room that is 26 inches deep. The transverse floor design increases the width of the floor inside, creating a feeling of spaciousness. By using a dual rack and pinion slide mechanism and a strong aluminum superstructure, Northwood Manufacturing builds its Arctic Fox campers so that the slideout can be extended even while people are sitting in the slideout area. Heavy-duty rollers move the slideout smoothly and quietly, while five separate seals guard against water intrusion during wet weather.
With the extra depth of its slideouts, Arctic Fox is able to offer several options. For example, in the overhead bunk option, a hinged interior panel folds down from the upper wall and ceiling of the slideout and converts into an additional bunk bed over the dinette. Another option is a lounge instead of a dinette, with an optional “roll-over” lounge that converts into an extra sleeping area. All standard dinettes also convert to beds.
The bedroom suite in the Arctic Fox features a deluxe queen-size mattress with coordinated bedspread and window valence accents. A folding wall between the main cabin and sleeping area provides privacy.
Arctic Fox campers come in three interior color schemes. The interiors include solid oak hardwood features, textured wallboards on the interior walls and Ozite finished ceilings. Vinyl floor coverings are commercial grade, and there is also a carpeting option. The company offers campers in a range of floor plans, all with full-wall slideouts. The wet bath version of the Silver Fox Model 990 carries a suggested base retail price of $23,929.
For information on Arctic Fox campers, contact Northwood Manufacturing, 59948 Downs Road, La Grande, OR 97850. Phone (541) 962-6274 or visit www.northwoodmfg.com.
New for 2006 from Bigfoot Industries in British Columbia is a long box version of the short box 25C9.4 camper that was introduced last year. These models are part of the Bigfoot 2500 camper series.
The model offers a spacious layout, with an aft galley with a three-burner cooktop, stainless steel double sink, 6-cubic-foot refrigerator and dinette with face-to-face seating.
All of the models in the 2500 series are constructed from two molded fiberglass shells and insulated with 1 1/2-inch high-density polystyrene block foam insulation. The fresh and wastewater holding tanks are enclosed, insulated and heated by a 30,000 BTU high-output furnace. There is an abundance of interior storage as well a large exterior basement storage compartment. The suggested base retail price is $21,870.
Bigfoot Industries, which also builds trailers and motorhomes, is in its 28th year as an RV company. For information about Bigfoot campers and to order a brochure, contact Bigfoot Industries, 4114 Crozier Road, Armstrong, British Columbia V0E lB6. Phone (250) 546-2177 or visit www.bigfootrv.com.
Built in British Columbia by General Coach, Citation Supreme truck campers are designed for all-season comfort. The company’s Polar Pak includes such standard features as high-density foam insulation, two-inch thick vacuum bonded walls with 3/4-inch thermal break, and a fully insulated basement with tanks and valves heated directly by the furnace.
New for 2006 is the Model 1050 slideout for long box trucks. The 1050 is a 100-inch wide body design that includes a queen-size bed, a bathroom with a separate sit/stand shower, and an expansive dinette area that slides out. The bedroom has more headroom than most other campers. Options include dual pane skylights with condensation control and Stormtite thermopane windows that eliminate condensation and filter out UV rays, reducing summer heat buildup.
New on the 1050 and other models is a redesigned optional bumper with three steps, making it easy to enter and exit the camper. A ladder provides access to the roof, and an optional awning over the entrance door extends eight feet. Suggested retail price on the base model 1050 is $25,380.
General Coach, which is part of Thor Industries, backs the Citation with a six-year limited structural and two-year component warranty.
For information, contact General Coach, P. O. Box 700, Oliver, British Columbia VOH 1T0. Phone (250) 498-3471 or visit www.generalcoach.bc.ca
The Eagle Cap 1050 offers a new design that includes a forward bath and a large rear kitchen/dining area, with a dinette slideout for extra room. Despite its many amenities, the 1050 has a comparatively low dry weight of 2,950 pounds.
Eagle Cap builds its campers with a welded aluminum superstructure, 100 percent vacuum laminated components and marine-grade fiberglass exterior. The materials and design keep the weight low, giving buyers flexibility in choosing a truck to carry the camper.
The manufacturer’s suggested base price on the Eagle Cap 1050 is $23,275, but popular options can push it above $30,000.
Eagle Cap is now owned by West Coast Leisure Homes, the Canadian builder of Okanagan campers. Intermountain RV, which built Eagle Cap campers, ceased operations in October of 2005, and its assets were purchased by West Coast Leisure Homes.
With new management and a staff of 42 at its plant in La Grande, Oregon, Eagle Cap has resumed production of its most popular models, with a dinette slideout available on most floor plans. Brian Tolley, Eagle Cap sales manager, said Eagle Cap is making improvements to what was already “a sound and innovative product line” by increasing the sidewall gelcoat thickness, for example, and adding other steps to add to the fit and finish quality.
For information, contact Eagle Cap Campers, 59999 Smith Loop, La Grande, OR 97850. Phone (541) 663-1607 or visit www.eaglecapcampers.com.
If one truck camper slideout is good, Host Industries figured two should be even better, and so it has pioneered double slideouts, building campers that are known for their spacious interiors.
With two slideouts extended, the new Host Tahoe 10’6” has 10 feet, six inches of interior width, with the dinette area sliding out on one side and the kitchen on the other. The result is a wide, unobstructed floor area that offers room to maneuver. When one person is cooking at the stove, for example, another person can walk by easily, instead of having to squeeze by.
Host Co-owner Dave Hogue said slideouts on both sides of the camper also add to the balance of the unit. Other design measures, such as putting holding tanks forward in the unit, also enable Host to build a truck camper that handles very well on the road. Host campers are built light, using a vacuum lamination process, an aluminum frame, a fiberglass exterior and a one-piece roof of thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO)
The Tahoe has a powerful 34,000 BTU forced-air furnace and large holding tanks: 60 gallons for fresh water, 45 gallons for gray water and 35 gallons for black water.
Double slideouts are available on three of Host’s models; single slideouts are either standard or an option on all models. The Tahoe carries a suggested base retail price of $27,370 with the standard single slideout; a second slideout adds $1,400.
Host Industries was started by Hogue and Mark Storch, whose fathers created Beaver campers and motorhomes. For information about Host campers, contact Host Industries, 300 SE Scott St., Bend, OR 97702. Phone (541) 330-2328 or visit www.hostcampers.com
By adding four new floor plans for 2006, Lance gives buyers a choice of 15 models—one to fit just about any size or need. As the nation’s largest truck camper manufacturer, Lance groups its models into four product lines: Lance Lite, Lance Sports Camper, Lance and Lance Max.
The low-priced Lance Lite series has six models tailored to people’s budgets. The new Sports Camper series was developed for serious outdoor enthusiasts. The “value-added” Lance series is for RVers seeking more features and comes with increased cabover headroom, more floor space and larger tank capacities.
All Lance Max models come with full-wall slideouts, greatly increasing the interior room and adding to the overall comfort. That feeling of spaciousness is carried through in the Lance Max 981 with a huge skylight above the bed in the cabover area and another large skylight in the bathroom.
Even larger and more luxurious is the Lance Max 1191, which has the advantage of a side entry, an extra convenience for anyone who wants to tow a boat or trailer. The 1191 includes a large bathroom with separate shower, additional storage space and very large holding tanks (42 gallons fresh, 35 gray and 38 black).
New this year in all Lance and Lance Max models is a full-size mirrored wardrobe in the cabover. The wardrobe is deep enough to handle storage bins. Another new design this year is a wraparound sofa/bed in Ultra Leather. It has a removable table, and a center section that pulls out for lounging or sleeping.
Lance builds its campers with welded aluminum and bonded lamination technologies, TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) roofs and solid high-density, rigid block foam insulation for year-round use. Suggested retail prices of Lance Max models range from $29,848 to $35,987. Other models start as low as $13,454.
For information, contact Lance Camper Manufacturing Corp., 43120 Venture Street, Lancaster, CA 93535-4510. Phone (661) 949-3322 or visit www.lancecamper.com.
New for 2006 from Northern Lite is the 9’6” Queen Classic SE, which offers lots of extra features and still maintains a surprisingly low weight—2,150 pounds with standard equipment and under 2,400 pounds even with a number of options.
Northern Lite builds its campers with a process that uses two pieces of molded fiberglass and is similar to construction of a fiberglass boat. Owner Mac Donkin said the weight is kept low by the use of materials such as Nidacore flooring, which is half the weight of plywood, and Dometic acrylic thermal pane windows, which are half the weight of conventional thermal pane windows.
The 9’6”Queen Classic SE includes a face-to-face dinette, a full queen-size mattress, heated and insulated tanks, an extra-large dual battery box, stainless steel sink, and a 6.3-cubic-foot refrigerator. The model carries a suggested retail price of $24,070.
Northern Lite uses oak veneer paneling, builds drawers with Russian birch and metal guides, and never uses particle board. Careful attention to quality has earned the company a five-star rating from the RV Consumer Group for eight straight years.
For information, contact Northern Lite Manufacturing, 322 Totom Court, Kelowna, British Columbia V1X 5W6. Phone (800) 887-5342 or visit www.northern-lite.com.
You can warm yourself by the electric fireplace while you are watching a DVD on a flat-screen TV in the new 116ULT camper, part of the Ultimate Suite Series from Okanagan.
The 116ULT is a double-slideout model with a U-shaped dinette extending outward on one side and an entire kitchen extending outward on the other to create a roomy interior. In addition to an electric fireplace, this model also offers many other options, such as an 8- or 10-cubic-foot refrigerator in place of the standard 6-cubic-foot version, a Step-N-Stow storage bumper with a fold-down step, and a large rear awning.
The 116ULT is designed for extended camping with large heated and enclosed holding tanks, including a 63-gallon fresh water tank. Okanagan says its bathroom is the largest seen in a truck camper, with a full-height fiberglass neo-angle shower with a skylight, a large linen closet and a spacious vanity. The camper has 40 cubic feet of exterior storage to handle camping gear and other items.
Construction features include welded steel framing that is laminated into the floor and attached around the perimeter of the slideout openings for superior structural integrity. The peaked laminated roof is 3 1/2 inches thick at the center, creating a ducted roof air conditioner option. Suggested retail price of the Okanagan 116 ULT ranges from $36,000 to $42,000, depending on how it is equipped.
Okanagan campers are built by West Coast Leisure Homes, which also produces fifth wheels, travel trailers and van conversions. For information, contact West Coast Leisure Homes, 316 Dawson Avenue, Penticton, British Columbia V2A 3N6. Phone (250) 493-1535 or visit www.okanaganrv.com.
S&S has introduced a new truck camper, the Ponderosa 8.5 FBSC, billed as the only non-slideout camper with a full-booth dinette and a sliding step. The camper has a set of steps that can be hidden away under a booth seat and then pulled out to provide easy access to the queen-size bed over the cab.
S&S Owner Doug Sieler said many camper buyers are older people who find it awkward and difficult to climb into a high bed. The innovative step system solves that problem, and when not in use, the steps can be stored away to create more floor space.
The new model is a self-contained unit that is 8.5 feet long and 8 feet wide. It comes with an insulated and heated basement, a double stainless steel sink with cutting board, a three-burner range with oven, double-door refrigerator, a 20,000 BTU forced-air furnace, and a one-piece TP0 (thermoplastic polyolefin) roof. Other standard amenities include a mirrored headboard, AM/FM/CD stereo system, and a Montana gun drawer.
Another unique advantage for a camper of this size for both long and short box trucks is that it has room to add an optional Onan generator. Suggested retail price is about $18,000.
For information, contact S&S Campers, 2740 Highway 93 South, Kalispell, MT 59901. Phone (800) 735-6909 or visit www.s-scampers.com