Serious Talk - Considering a "disposable" pop-up TC

Pacific Northwest yetti

Expedition Medic
Hallmark, and Outfitter have an Option for a bunk bed that slides out from the undercab, as well as the both dinette' great for sleeping kids. That hallmark is a pretty good deal.

The Northstar extra beds i have seen have been well built, NS is also well known for great customer service.
 

mrfoamy

Mrfoamy
I agree with DWH. My so-called quality Hallmark has required constant repair with screws falling out and the wood frame failing. My previous FWC also needed minor repair.
I would. You can always add some screws and sealant if it loosens up over time. No matter what it is, it isn't going to just fall apart strewing bits and pieces in your wake.
 

1stDeuce

Explorer
I bought a 1992 Hallmark almost 10 years ago thinking it would be around for a year or two at the most. We're still camping out of it. Sure, I've had to do some work along the way, but I don't think most truck camper users are going to be able to reduce a wood framed camper to a pile of sticks in any reasonable amount of time if they take decent care of it.

I would be on the lookout for a camper that was stored indoors if possible, and be sure to re-caulk the roof asap when you find one. Aside from that, find a layout you like at a price you can afford, and get out there!!

FWIW, I have a 8.5' camper, and I can't imagine having three people crammed in a 6.5' camper. I'd recommend looking at the longer campers, even if you have a 6.5' box truck. If your truck is 5.5', then a shorter camper might be a better plan, it'll just be cozy. :)

Hmm. I don't know where you are, but I have a friend in Reno with an older 8.5' Hallmark coming up for sale...
 

mutt550

Observer
Shop around you can find some great deals. I just picked up a 2007 Sun Lite that's been stored inside it's whole life. My truck and camper cost less than the FWC shell model......
 

Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
FWIW, I have a 8.5' camper, and I can't imagine having three people crammed in a 6.5' camper. I'd recommend looking at the longer campers, even if you have a 6.5' box truck. If your truck is 5.5', then a shorter camper might be a better plan, it'll just be cozy. :)
Thanks everyone. We are still keeping this course in mind. Regarding camper sizes - cozy is a matter of degree! Currently we call 3 camp in a Chevy Astro Van. That is cozy. When Mom is getting the kiddo ready for bed, there isn't room for a 3rd person in the van. Not normally a huge problem, I usually wander off and take photos or tend the fire and sip whiskey, but if the weather were bad, I'd be a grumpy bugger sitting outside while they futzed around.

I acknowledge things won't be much different in either length truck-camper, but my hope is that with the more-or-less dedicated cabover bed, there'd be the opportunity for one person to at least hop up out of the way. We're also focusing our (half-hearted) searching on floorplans that have a decent sized dinette layout - seating for 3 seems to be elusive in most designs.
 

1stDeuce

Explorer
Yeah, You'll probably feel pretty good about a truck camper coming from an Astro. :) But remember, kids don't stay small forever, and if you're going to camp where the weather isn't always wonderful a bit more elbow room won't hurt 6 or so years from now.

See if you can find one with an awning too... Ours doesn't come out too often, but when it does it's really nice to have!

I'd also recommend an outdoor shower, and no bathroom if you can handle that, just to keep life on the inside simple. Our Hallmark has no hot water, and no bathroom, just a nice pantry where the bathroom would normally be. My new Phoenix project has hot water and an outside shower, but the original bathroom/shower has been gutted and will also become our pantry. Both have seating for three, which is nice!!
 

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Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
The biggest problem has been to find fewer amenities. I simply won't buy one with A/C (rooftop or wall-mounted), or a toilet with black-water tank. (A cabinet for a porta-potti will be sufficient.) I can probably get by w/o hot water, and we certainly don't need a shower (but an outdoor rinse option would be cool).

I could almost get away with a shell model w/ the heater/stove module from Four Wheel Camper and go from there.
 
I think you'd be fine with a palomino or a used northstar. The build quality on the palomino has supposedly improved in the past few years. I dont know if it would last 10 years of hard use, but anything can last with enough repair time/money.
 

kpredator

Adventurer
We bought a northstar tc800 for 3500.
It’s been to Alaska on the haul road,trans Labrador highway.
North Carolina and Texas beaches.
All over the west.
Resealed the roof and a new mattress
Solar and new battery’s .
Also put in a larger compressor fridge.
I wouldn’t be afraid of a northstar at all
Be careful on the tie downs,don’t over tighten and take it easy on rough roads
Good luck!!!
 
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