Looking for some brand recommendations for a slide in camper

Sundodger

New member
My father and I are looking to get a camper for our 1999 F-250 Superduty longbed Diesel truck. On initial look we were surprised by how heavy most of these were, many in the 4k+ weight range. Not only is that more than we want, but its way more than the truck is rated for.



Some that were this heavy (like the Artic Fox) have fully welded aluminum frames and such that I am sure contribute to the weight. While this truck will not be doing any extreme wheeling, it will be on nasty logging/FS/DNR roads, bad beach boat launches, etc. so we want something durable and will not just fall apart.



Do any of you guys have recommends for well build brands of hard sided slide in campers that don’t weigh a ton? Something that can sleep 3 guys, has basic appliances, wet bath, and minimal overhang in a long bed truck.


Any other advice for a newbi?

Thanks!
 

incognito

Adventurer
check northern lite 9.6 QC 2000 lbs or lite series one of the lightest 1800 lbs well built or bigfoot 1500 2000 lbs the best i found for light weight and off-road. I own a bigfoot 1500 fs after changing 4 truck-campers in a year. or a Kodiak truck camper the same as a bigfoot but bed is not a N-S longitudinal bed.
hope this helps
incognito
 

Sundodger

New member
check northern lite 9.6 QC 2000 lbs or lite series one of the lightest 1800 lbs well built or bigfoot 1500 2000 lbs the best i found for light weight and off-road. I own a bigfoot 1500 fs after changing 4 truck-campers in a year. or a Kodiak truck camper the same as a bigfoot but bed is not a N-S longitudinal bed.
hope this helps
incognito
Thank you.

Out of curiosity, what made you go through 4 truck campers in a year? I would be interested to hear what you liked and disliked.
 

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incognito

Adventurer
2003 first bigfoot 3000 oakland sticker said 1300 kg but in fact weighted on truck scale had 1800 kgs empty.my dually cummins had hard time pushing it on a small hill could not imagine passing a mountain with it on the back of the truck. other than thai with bigger truck and engine it would be the perfect camper, or only for highway use, 2 inch insulation, fibercore wall system, some folks rate it - 40 CElcius, oau. huge tanks ,dry bath, etc, etc. i could swear it was new.

2000 northern lite 9.6, one with a basement Queen classic QC 2000 lbs, light, good capacity tanks , good in the winter also, but small dinette bed for kids and was sitting too high for my service box.

1997 northern lite 9.6 lite series, 1800 lbs very lite my Cummins dually didn't knew was there in the truck box, like it a lot.
cons : small capacity tanks, small freezer ,small dinette bed, too much work to make it fit my needs.
i would have kept it but found a deal on a bigfoot 1500 fs which has a huge dinette bed for my kids and big refrigerator with freezer. also gealcoat and walls are stiffer comapred to old NL. thre only cons is small grey black tank but I've just ordered a 40 gal tank which will go where the truck spare tire was.
with my bigfoot makes 4 campers in a year .
news on the internet the northern lite production facility was distroyed by fire at the beginning of the year.
check globalcamper.blogspot.ca is a site i've started( still work in progress ) for photos, mods and other usefull stuff
hope this helps
incognito
 

Joe917

Explorer
My wife and I were very impressed by the Bigfoot quality. That being said we went with a full size custom truck .
 

motrhed

Observer
First off, find out what your truck actually weighs with you and your regular passengers in it (and a full tank of fuel) then figure out what weight carrying capacity you have left based on the build sticker/plate. You might be surprised to find how poorly rated your truck may be. Some DOT officers/jurisdictions base your vehicle GVWR on the manufacturer sticker, some on tire weight capacity ratings, and some will not even look at you unless your bumper is dragging... it changes from province to province/state to state. Having a vehicle rated to carry, handle, accelerate, and most importantly stop with a loaded truck camper is key. Base your buying decisions on matching your camper to your truck or truck to a particular camper.
Regarding a camper brand, it all depends on quality and the size of your budget. Typically the higher end campers are built better, cost more, and usually weigh more because of the finer creature comforts.
 
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Sundodger

New member
2003 first bigfoot 3000 oakland sticker said 1300 kg but in fact weighted on truck scale had 1800 kgs empty.my dually cummins had hard time pushing it on a small hill could not imagine passing a mountain with it on the back of the truck. other than thai with bigger truck and engine it would be the perfect camper, or only for highway use, 2 inch insulation, fibercore wall system, some folks rate it - 40 CElcius, oau. huge tanks ,dry bath, etc, etc. i could swear it was new.

2000 northern lite 9.6, one with a basement Queen classic QC 2000 lbs, light, good capacity tanks , good in the winter also, but small dinette bed for kids and was sitting too high for my service box.

1997 northern lite 9.6 lite series, 1800 lbs very lite my Cummins dually didn't knew was there in the truck box, like it a lot.
cons : small capacity tanks, small freezer ,small dinette bed, too much work to make it fit my needs.
i would have kept it but found a deal on a bigfoot 1500 fs which has a huge dinette bed for my kids and big refrigerator with freezer. also gealcoat and walls are stiffer comapred to old NL. thre only cons is small grey black tank but I've just ordered a 40 gal tank which will go where the truck spare tire was.
with my bigfoot makes 4 campers in a year .
news on the internet the northern lite production facility was distroyed by fire at the beginning of the year.
check globalcamper.blogspot.ca is a site i've started( still work in progress ) for photos, mods and other usefull stuff
hope this helps
incognito

My wife and I were very impressed by the Bigfoot quality. That being said we went with a full size custom truck .


Thank you for the info guys.

Does anyone have any details on the manufacturing materials of these two campers brands? The websites didn’t give much. I really don’t want anything structural that can rot out easily (like wood). The bigfoots website talks about some plywood between where the two fiberglass half’s meet, but not much more detail than that.
 

deminimis

Explorer
Bigfoot (1500 series (as well as 2500 series))is a fiberglass clamshell design (similar to a boat). Northern Lite is also fiberglass, I believe. However, despite your concerns, wood framed campers do not rot easily. If you have an unattended leak, sure, but if you take care of the camper and fix any water infiltration, rot should never be a concern (also paying attention to condensation inside). Sleeping three adults in a Bigfoot 1500 will be a chore. Bigfoot's converted dinettes are too damn short for anyone over 6' (you can barely sleep two school-aged kids on it). I wish BF would figure this out (less bathroom, more dinette). We had the larger BF 2500 and sleeping three adult guys in it was a non-starter (we stuck one out in the race trailer, where desert rats could nibble on his toes, yet it was better than trying to sleep on that tiny converted dinette). Bigfoot's layouts for their campers are poor, in my opinion. However, Bigfoot is pretty damn bombproof. Something I've considered more than once is getting an old BF, gutting it, and redoing it to better suit our needs. Might be something to think about for your application.
 

Capt Eddie

Adventurer
Try the Livin Lite camper. All aluminum. They will do custom work. I have a Lance but after talking to a rep at a show ,I was very impressed by what they can do with the camper.
 

Mello Mike

New member
You're right to point out that the Arctic Fox TC'ers are heavy. The same company that makes the Arctic Fox is now making a much lighter TC that's great for taking off-road, the Wolf Creek 850 and 840. No slideouts either. The dry weight is only 2,000 lbs. Fully loaded, mine is 3,100 lbs.
 

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
My bro runs a 10 foot OUTFITTER! on his '99 Ford F2, long bed and he loves it. Insulation, or lack of it seems the only con. It is heavier than my Lance hard-side, 165-s.
 

Photomike

White Turtle Adventures
I have an older Northern Lite and LOVE it. It comes in at 1500lbs dry, is warm in the winter and not bad in the summer (don't have air conditioning as it usually is not that hot around here).

Would I do it again? You bet. Would I go for a newer model? I like the older one as I am not into payments and the worry of damaging a new one, plus the older ones without basements are lighter.

I like the fact that the fiberglass is a better material to help keep out leaks than metal and wood, you still get leaks but most are easy to track down.
 

Umtaneum

Adventurer
I also have an older (89) bigfoot. The layout is horrible, the dinette bed is almost too short for my teenager. When my dad bought it new as a leftover from the dealer in 90, we thought we had died and gone to heaven compared to what we had been using for a hunting camp. We've done some remodeling of the interior to make it work better, still love the basic construction.

You can't believe how many of these, and older Northern Lites, you see on the trail. In fact, I would say they make up the majority of the hard sided campers you see in the backcountry.

My dad now has a newer Host, it weighs over two tons fully loaded. It is the height of luxury, however, with two slideouts and a dry bath. They are made by one of the same outfits building the Mitsubishi based overland rigs you can see all over on this site. The only way I would take it off-road is on a medium truck, like a mistubishi or an F550 or something. In fact, that's what I am preparing to build over the next year, a medium truck flatbed based overlander with a TC and custom storage boxes where the pickup bed sides are usually. Probably going to use either a Lance or a Host for the box and modify it.
 

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motrhed

Observer
Host is definitely worth a look, they have various lay-outs to choose from and the quality is at the higher end of the scale.
 
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