NorthstarTC650-n-Tundra

sheriffav8r

New member
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I'm new to this site, but like all the options you put on your NorthStar. We love our 850SC but alas, are moving up to something towable. Ours is a 2009 and we really love the quality workmanship. Interior looks just like the 600 but ours has the Thetford cassette toilet and wet bath. I love the solar and rear awning setups on yours, too. All I've done is add some GFCIs around the interior and some 2x4 rectangular steel side braces on the for to aft legs for structural support when offroading. It's listed in the classifieds now. Cheers....
 

zidaro

Explorer
An update with no problems to report!! A few trips around the Death Valley area, some E. Sierra campouts, and a 300mile dirt excursion along the N. Rim of Grand Canyon NP from Page to St. George camping along the way. great times and the camper never let us down.









 

zidaro

Explorer
Have you used your rear awning much?
Its a Fiamma F35, a basic manual model with no frills but has an alum. cover to protect the canopy.
Its only a year old, so not too much use, but enough to have an opinion.
Its a great source of shade and wouldnt want to not have an awning of some type.
I didnt have a chance to check out other brands so have no other experience on these basic models- ive seen plenty of hi-digit RV styles. They are not light or cheap.
The Fiamma is a bit quercky setting up and taking down solo and if you do it in the correct sequence it is easy but still slightly cumbersome. When done exactly right i can easily do it myself without cussing once.
Keeps us dry in the rain at the back of the camper
Has nice adjustability to raise or lower and tilt the awning, the arms are quality and the slider locks are tight.

Durability-
- I have had it on the back of my rig over many a long washboard and no issues.
- It has been set up in moderate winds and heavy rain and does well, always put it down before/during winds that got really burly. It shows no signs of weakness.
- the alum case snaps shut with these little cheap plastic locking retainers. One side has failed, when it was almost new it folded in when closing, but still shuts and locks. the plastic retainer is just beat and broken.
- the foot base on one side folded in more than it should have while bouncing on the ground in wind. Now it still works but sometimes folds in and has to be pried out with pliers and a flathead to close in the case or lock on the vehicle sidemounts.

SO, i think it is a nice and mandatory feature. there may be ones better than the F35 out there and would love to see them all sidebyside to compare. This one works fine, not mindblowing construction, but that is becoming harder and harder to find these days.
Did i answer the question? Feel free, if i missed something, to dial me in??
 

mbryson12

New member
Looks awesome. Couple of quick questions for you:

I just bought a 2010 Tundra crew cab and plan on putting the TC back there. Have you had any issues with your 3" risers you built? My truck has a bedliner in it, but I have a rubber mat that I plan on putting down to limit the slide.

Have you installed your suspension yet? I have airbags in my current 02 Tundra that work great and am thinking about switching them over to the new ride to help beef up the suspension.

What kind of front bumper did you put on your Tundra? I am looking for one similar to that. Did it come with the winch?

Love the photos! My camper has been off the truck all summer, but I have been living in it and it is a great set up. Can't wait for this winter to head to Moab and take some long road trips to hit the backcountry. Will probably be in your neck of the woods touring around at some point. I used to work down the road from you in Independence on a helicopter and love that area. Can't wait to hit Tioga pass again!
 

MidnightRider

MidnightRider
Nice setup, gotta love the Northstar and Toyota trucks in Eastern Sierras. Nice pictures.

The furnace is GREAT in these campers. It's saved our buts many cold nights up there.
 

zidaro

Explorer
Heres the build/specs on what i have done to my truck
http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/50656-10-Tundra-CrewMax

no issues on the 3"wood risers to fit the TC in the taller bed. It was easy to frame up and has a little play in the bed but thats necessary. It sits on a BedRug and the bedrug recovers perfectly when the camper is out.

Youll want airbags or stiff springs to handle the weight. Expedition One bumper and added my own Warn 9.5XP.

Pm me when your headed this way!

Looks awesome. Couple of quick questions for you:

I just bought a 2010 Tundra crew cab and plan on putting the TC back there. Have you had any issues with your 3" risers you built? My truck has a bedliner in it, but I have a rubber mat that I plan on putting down to limit the slide.

Have you installed your suspension yet? I have airbags in my current 02 Tundra that work great and am thinking about switching them over to the new ride to help beef up the suspension.

What kind of front bumper did you put on your Tundra? I am looking for one similar to that. Did it come with the winch?

Love the photos! My camper has been off the truck all summer, but I have been living in it and it is a great set up. Can't wait for this winter to head to Moab and take some long road trips to hit the backcountry. Will probably be in your neck of the woods touring around at some point. I used to work down the road from you in Independence on a helicopter and love that area. Can't wait to hit Tioga pass again!
 

zidaro

Explorer
best bud just picked up a used (barely) 2011 Northstar TC650. has tentside, extended cabover, halfback, and all the other goodies. Its beautiful and new.
Sitting on a '10 F150 with a Camburg front suspension, rear is stock with Airbags. He used this kit with a little modification required http://www.airbagit.com/product-p/towkit-fo04xx.htm

We will be putting it to the test. Stay tuned.

 
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Forrest Thorniley

New member
Hey Zidaro, Just wanted to let you know I got the 99 TC650 all set up! Taken her on the maiden voyage in 2 weeks! I dont have any air bags yet (probably wait until summer) but I did put on the torklift tie downs and love em!

Thanks for the help!

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5444

New member
Hey whats going on, 3 months and no updates. ZIDARO where are you going/ updating these days. I'm going to Northstar on Sat to check out a TC650. I have a 2011 Tundra CM TRD/RW edition. How has your tailgate been handling the trips? Are you able to tow with the tailgate down? Is there anything you would recommend having on your TC right away that you didn't have. I really want to buy one on Sat, but my wife claims we are just looking. I hope the TC gets her approval, and will be big enough for our 6 week old twin boys. Well, until I can purchase one I live vicariously through you. Please keep posting.

5444
 

zidaro

Explorer
Just stepped back into town from a quick getaway to our favorite local escape, Saline Valley. Fortunate enough to be less than 3 hours from my doorstep to Saline Springs. Left Saline this am at 9:30 and had my daughter skiing in Mammoth at 12:45. Lets just say the road is in good shape :) and i dont mind cruising on it.

No action shots. Burros had set up camp roadside on our way out this morning.





Pounded by wind on Fri night! It was a forecast of 60+mph and it felt like it. Northstar rocked around a bit, but was dust tight if we kept the windows closed and it did NOT flap in the wind as one could expect. Slept like a baby while tent poles were breaking all over camp ;(
This was definitely one of those times i was so thankful to have a small camper instead of the ole tent. We were able to tuck in and make a nice, comfortable dinner without any issue. Slept in comfort, and snuck out to help campers around us without them knowing how comfy we had it :)

Rest of my Winter has been great, but sadly little camping. Lots of Family events down South in LA and SD, and tons of local daytrips. Weve had an interestingly different and unique Winter in the Sierras this year. Minimal snowpack early season gave way to Yosemite NP being open all January with PERFECT skating Ice on all the lakes, hiking trails open--- we took advantage of this unique time and got alot of High Country days in. Single-track in our area has also been snow-free and quite enjoyable.
We will be getting our camp-on over the next few months for sure....

Got a roof-rack on the Northstar this winter, I'll post up shots and details soon if anyone is interested.
 

zidaro

Explorer
Northstars only support members on alum. roof run around perimeter and are 1"thick x 2-1/2" wide. Rest of roof is just open runs with alum. sheet and insulation.

Macs Tiedowns A-track mounted with Dicor 502-LSW sealant and #14x1" SS screws every hole
1-1/4"x1"x0.12 wall alum tubing as crossmembers
Northstar recommends no more than 200# load with top down.
Havent mounted any accessories to it yet, but will handle me standing on it so far, and took a trip to Saline Valley w/o issues with vibration.
planning on: a platform for chairs, etc.. to tie down to, pads for kayak/surfboards to rest on, bike mounts for 3 bikes. Modular
Nothing crazy or heavy, just want to strap different things on top of needed.

 

MidnightRider

MidnightRider
I like that roof rack. Simple and light. I have needed something like that on mine and plan to make one similar for stroller, bikes, etc. Also plan mount my solar panels on the roof like yours, instead of just setting them against rocks, chairs, tire, etc.

We love exploring the Eastern Sierras too. Most of our trips have always been fishing trips. Since we got the camper we have been exploring alot more and camping out in some remote scenic places. A few not far from you. I remember the windy night we stayed on the summit of Lookout Mountain. I also have a Northstar a 96, but on a Tacoma.

We are planning to head back up that way real soon. We need some clean mountain air, fresh trout, dirt roads, and a good soak.
 

mbryson12

New member
Have you tried out the tie downs yet? Looking to put some on mine as well for a trip to baja comping up soon. Just want to mount my rocket box and surfboard up there. Nothing to crazy. Trying to decide if I want to retro fit my yakimas or try something like this.
We finally moved to Bishop so we will have to meet up this winter when my fire season slows down.
 
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