Best Pop Up Truck Camper for Winter Use

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
I've never had moisture under my bed with the Northstar. I guess due to all the underbed storage. The bed's all made and ready to use.
The coldest
I like the idea of a hard side pop up and am surprised more truck camper manufactures don't build them however I am not all that impressed with the Alaskan interior.

Hallmark has raised the prices on their truck campers. $44000 for a standard pop up truck camper is way too much. I may have to look at either a Phoenix or an Outfitter. I am also open to buying used.
Find yourself a used Northstar. Well built,roomy and plenty of storage and a 6-8" coil spring mattress. Reflectix works pretty well as an insulator and slips under the bed flat.
 
If you want a pop up that will keep you (and the camper) warm and dry in wet and winter, look closely at an Alaskan. An Alaskan on a truck with a utility bed makes a great rig.
 

Cruiser79

Observer
What kind of material is used as sidewalls of the overlandex pop up? It looks very different than the material used in the FWC and ATC campers, and very different than the material used in European pop-ups. And is there a kind of elastic rope used to keep it tight for windy conditions and for keeping the material inside when lowering the roof?

Last few weeks I went with my shadowcruiser to Scotland for some hiking and kitesurfing, and figured out that I have to improve the softsides for making it wind proof... We slept a few times with the roof lowered because the softsides are making a lot of noise and is moving to much. I was afraid it would be teared off the camper some times... Maybe it will improve with a kind of elastic rope/string around the softsides like the overlandex.
And coming winter I want to go to Austria for snowboarding, and the thick softsides of the Overlandex look very well isolated to me.
 

Clutch

<---Pass
What kind of material is used as sidewalls of the overlandex pop up? It looks very different than the material used in the FWC and ATC campers, and very different than the material used in European pop-ups. And is there a kind of elastic rope used to keep it tight for windy conditions and for keeping the material inside when lowering the roof?

Last few weeks I went with my shadowcruiser to Scotland for some hiking and kitesurfing, and figured out that I have to improve the softsides for making it wind proof... We slept a few times with the roof lowered because the softsides are making a lot of noise and is moving to much. I was afraid it would be teared off the camper some times... Maybe it will improve with a kind of elastic rope/string around the softsides like the overlandex.
And coming winter I want to go to Austria for snowboarding, and the thick softsides of the Overlandex look very well isolated to me.
A hardside option would be nice.

 

cph05a

Member
Late to the party on this thread but...

I live in Colorado and I have a 1995 Northstar pop up camper that I use year round at high elevation, and I've kept it 70F at night when it's -20F outside. You'll need to insulate the pop up portion. I used reflectix with some velco and store it on the bed as others have suggested. It'll be important to make sure the weather stripping on the door is nice and tight as that can be drafty. Get some reflectix over the roof vent and curtains on the windows as well. Get a good forced air heater and make sure you have extra batteries and extra propane. Running out of either when it's deep in the negatives at night is not fun and I've been there a couple times. Make sure you have either a down blanket or a mummy bag somewhere stored away just in case your heat fails. I have a singe 20lb propane tank as my main source and a spare 5lb tank which can get me through the rest of night if I run out. I have 2 deep cycle batteries at about 12v by 110ah each which is plenty of power.

Get a good heater.
Some campers or camper vans use catalytic heaters because they don't require electricity. These won't work in the rockies. Believe me. They'll keep going out. Forced air heaters are the way to go here.
I use a 16,000 btu heater which seems good enough for my size camper but below -10F it runs pretty much constantly all night to keep it warm. You can also upgrade to a 20,000 btu heater and it's pretty much the same dimensions (at least for dometic and suburban). With any propane heater, make sure it's properly ventilated and make sure you have a good working carbon monoxide alarm. I had an old one that broke and wasn't venting properly and I was very glad I had one. For most of the winter I'll use about 1.5lbs of propane per night in Colorado (quarter tank for a weekend). In the couple of weeks where it gets down below -10F my propane usage can go up to like 4 or 5lbs of propane per night. It's a lot but keep the place warm and cozy.

Be aware that water freezes if you turn the heat off. I've had mine freeze on long cold drives where I didn't heat the camper while driving.

If you really get dumped on, clear the snow off the top before you try to put the top up. An inch or two of fluffy winter snow is fine. If you get several inches of wet heavy spring snow it can be very very heavy on the lift system.

That's pretty much it! Insulate it as best you can and provide plenty of heat. Mine works great with pretty much any weather the rockies throw at me!
 

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Motafinga

Adventurer
All canvas popups are 3 season RV’s. 32* and less and the situation is problematic. When I had a FWC the bed was the biggest and most important problem issue. A good nights rest was what it’s all about. First was the bed comfort or lack of and then after a few nights it was cold damp mattress. Solved with Froli system, works for moisture under the mattress and adds comfort to a popup’s thin mattress.....http://www.frolisleepsystems.com/service.html I sold the FWC/Tundra moved on to a Tiger CX RV but kept the Froli springs which I still use. BTW, Some lite exhaust venting is the key to moisture build up in RV’s.
Curious about the Froli System, Did the added mattress height make the pop-up FWC any harder to close? I have an Alaskan and the mattress doesn't get wet but leaves a bit to be desired in the comfort dept. Thanks!
 

Romero

New member
With regards to the Froli system for an Alaskan camper. I have a cab over(almost queen size mattress) flat bed Alaskan and there is not much room for any added height. But, I tried the travel Froli last week which is the shortest system. Although it made our Alaskan mattress pad feel much better, the sides would not fold down. It bound the hinges. I talked with Nick Atlantic( Froli dealer ) and they were great to work with and very amiable to return/refund the system. Our mattress doesn't get wet either, with the winter/wet weather camping.

We are getting ready for a 4 month adventure and tweaking out the gear and trying to make the mattress a bit more comfortable. I think a possible solution for the AK pad might be to have a thinner mattress made. Maybe a 1" memory foam or good thinner mattress and the Froli 1 1/8"under that). Could be the perfect set up. But I really like the quality wrap on the AK mattresses, which are a bit firm, hmm could be another suggestion for the AK camp design.
 

Motafinga

Adventurer
With regards to the Froli system for an Alaskan camper. I have a cab over(almost queen size mattress) flat bed Alaskan and there is not much room for any added height. But, I tried the travel Froli last week which is the shortest system. Although it made our Alaskan mattress pad feel much better, the sides would not fold down. It bound the hinges. I talked with Nick Atlantic( Froli dealer ) and they were great to work with and very amiable to return/refund the system. Our mattress doesn't get wet either, with the winter/wet weather camping.

We are getting ready for a 4 month adventure and tweaking out the gear and trying to make the mattress a bit more comfortable. I think a possible solution for the AK pad might be to have a thinner mattress made. Maybe a 1" memory foam or good thinner mattress and the Froli 1 1/8"under that). Could be the perfect set up. But I really like the quality wrap on the AK mattresses, which are a bit firm, hmm could be another suggestion for the AK camp design.
Thanks Romero,
That answers my question, we have an Ikea mattress in ours which is just short enough for the side walls to fold down so I think a thinner mattress would be the ticket to make the Froli work. We are far from in love with the Ikea mattress anyways so this makes a good excuse to ditch it!
 

Motafinga

Adventurer
Well in anticipation of installing a Froli travel system under our bed we picked up a 3 inch memory foam topper to replace the 4.5 inch mattress so the overall height of the bed is within the needed limits for the sides to fold down. Anyway when we pulled the bed and removed the factory cover that came with it, there was definite evidence of mold and mildew under the mattress! Needless to say it's a relief to have gotten rid of it and have a solution in the works for the mold issue.
I'd advise anyone with a camper to inspect the underside of their mattress even if it seems dry where you lay since it's not always obviously moldy/mildewy.
 

Motafinga

Adventurer
With regards to the Froli system for an Alaskan camper. I have a cab over(almost queen size mattress) flat bed Alaskan and there is not much room for any added height. But, I tried the travel Froli last week which is the shortest system. Although it made our Alaskan mattress pad feel much better, the sides would not fold down. It bound the hinges. I talked with Nick Atlantic( Froli dealer ) and they were great to work with and very amiable to return/refund the system. Our mattress doesn't get wet either, with the winter/wet weather camping.
We are getting ready for a 4 month adventure and tweaking out the gear and trying to make the mattress a bit more comfortable. I think a possible solution for the AK pad might be to have a thinner mattress made. Maybe a 1" memory foam or good thinner mattress and the Froli 1 1/8"under that). Could be the perfect set up. But I really like the quality wrap on the AK mattresses, which are a bit firm, hmm could be another suggestion for the AK camp design.
 

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