What slide in camper to get?

Sundodger

New member
Planning on buying a slide in camper for my full size (8ft bed) truck, and I am a little surprised by weights on these. Been looking at some of the typical brands; Northern lite sportsman, Wolf creek 840, Lance 850, Bigfoot 15C9.5FS, etc. and by the time you load them up with gear, food, fuel, water they are all over 3,000lbs.

My truck is rated to do that, but I have to be honest, I am not sure I am really interested in putting that much weight in my truck then going on anything more serious than a poorly maintained logging road.



So the big question; given my meager 7 requirements, what slide in campers should I look at?



Are there any brands/models I haven’t found yet?



Requirements:

-Something of reasonable quality and good design (i.e won’t start leaking immediately)

-4 season

-Place to sleep

-Place to eat

-Stove top

-Heat and AC

-Toilet

-Maybe a microwave
 

Porkchopexpress

Active member
I have been going around in circles about the ideal camper for me with similar criteria. I eventually decided that a quality pop up would be best for my needs. I was originally deterred because I assumed the pop up material was like a tent but there are multi layer high end materials on some campers that have similar insulation as hard sides. I also considered Bundutec and Scout.
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
Our 8’ camper should be around 900lb as the empty shell. Will sell through builders and dealers in a couple weeks. We super close to release all details! True 4 season with 2” foam core composite panels without thermal transfer.
 

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Sundodger

New member
I have been going around in circles about the ideal camper for me with similar criteria. I eventually decided that a quality pop up would be best for my needs. I was originally deterred because I assumed the pop up material was like a tent but there are multi layer high end materials on some campers that have similar insulation as hard sides. I also considered Bundutec and Scout.

A popup for me is probably out, I spend a lot of time on the Washington coast and BC in our rainforest hunting elk and steelheading. As well as I can only image the burn rate for fuel in eastern Montana in the winter. I don't like the idea of constantly having to run into town to refuel propane tanks when mule deer are rutting.



Step 1 , find your payload
Step 2 , internet search campers that fit requirements as close as possible
Step 3 , make sacrifices because no camper is a perfect fit.
It's an adventure ;)
That's why I am posting, I have been searching and I can't find anything close to what I want. Either my googlefu is weak or I want what no one sells. Hoping one of you guys have found something I have missed.

I would be really happy with a 1,500lb fully loaded payload in the bed as long as the CG is reasonable, but everything is double that. I don't spend much time in camp, I am usually just out doing things, so a warm dry place to sleep is all I really need but all these things have wood trim, and cabinets and nonsense.


As an engineer that has spent most of his career in the OEM design and testing world, it's almost impressive how heavy these things are. Don't get me wrong, the lack of vertical integration is never a path to an efficient design, but my god, it's like they are trying to make them heavy.


Our 8’ camper should be around 900lb as the empty shell. Will sell through builders and dealers in a couple weeks. We super close to release all details! True 4 season with 2” foam core composite panels without thermal transfer.

I am interested and looking forward to it.
 

Ducstrom

Active member
I would be really happy with a 1,500lb fully loaded payload in the bed as long as the CG is reasonable, but everything is double that. I don't spend much time in camp, I am usually just out doing things, so a warm dry place to sleep is all I really need but all these things have wood trim, and cabinets and nonsense.
I couldn't find what I wanted either so ended up building my own.
Weight definitely creeps up, I am probably about 400-500lbs over what I wanted to be at.

If you're really concerned about the total weight be wary of the 'dry' weights listed by some manufacturers.

I hear some popups can be used with the top down which would be helpful in the winter. That's how I've designed mine.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Being a construction engineer and a guy who loves to drive anything, I tend to follow anything new in transportation design and Total Composites have always caught my attention. If they can deliver I'd make them a first choice. I build my own trailers, campers, houses too, I'm not there yet but I have done enough 'prototype campers" that if they sell components retail, I'd use their parts. I love their components and systems. Very adaptable, they should be able to customize easily to suit. But I have no idea how they price all that.
 
I think the Scout Kenai could serve you really well. We just took delivery of ours and the wet weight with jacks removed is 1750#. If you're not toting along a family and kids, you could skip the rooftop tent and save another couple hundreds pounds.

I think of the Scout as a mass-produced version of the products from Total Composites. It's well insulated and pretty minimalist/utilitarian. If I was to build out a TC shell I think I would have made a lot of the same design choices as Scout. There's a good discussion about Scout campers in this thread with a bunch of pictures and thoughts after taking delivery of ours at the end: https://expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/scout-olympic-vs-kenai.218045/
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
I think the Scout Kenai could serve you really well. We just took delivery of ours and the wet weight with jacks removed is 1750#. If you're not toting along a family and kids, you could skip the rooftop tent and save another couple hundreds pounds.

I think of the Scout as a mass-produced version of the products from Total Composites. It's well insulated and pretty minimalist/utilitarian. If I was to build out a TC shell I think I would have made a lot of the same design choices as Scout. There's a good discussion about Scout campers in this thread with a bunch of pictures and thoughts after taking delivery of ours at the end: https://expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/scout-olympic-vs-kenai.218045/
Give us another couple weeks and we will reveal partnerships with builders/retailers all over North America! You will be able to purchase our campers very easy very soon! Not sure if I would call them mass produced, but the volume hitting the showroom floors will be in the hundreds. It took a lot of work to get the supply chain established and contracts in place with builders. But it will happen! Good things take time :)
 
Give us another couple weeks and we will reveal partnerships with builders/retailers all over North America! You will be able to purchase our campers very easy very soon! Not sure if I would call them mass produced, but the volume hitting the showroom floors will be in the hundreds. It took a lot of work to get the supply chain established and contracts in place with builders. But it will happen! Good things take time :)
That's great to hear, I'm looking forward to seeing your campers!
 

mightymike

Adventurer
It is very simple to load/offload a camper, have you considered that option? Offload at your base camp and have an empty truck for tougher terrain?
 

zb39

Adventurer
I just ordered a Host Cascade today. It meets all 7 items but is heavy. I ordered a Ram 5500 to carry it last week. It's big and comfortable and has a great bathroom for my wife. I flat tow a rubicon behind it for rough stuff. Or take the enclosed trailer with the RZR. Hatfield/McCoy is a lot of fun. Everybody travels differently. Good luck in your search. Maybe palomino HS2902??
 

simple

Adventurer
Regarding AC, you will need shore power or generator. I've never needed or used AC in the PNW on an RV. Small well insulated campers stay cool inside on hot summer days and there is not much thermal mass to cool down at night. The only use for it that I can see is if you plan to camp somewhere regularly where night air doesn't cool to below 75F.
 
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