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Calling all Northern Lite camper owners ~


19 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   happycampin'

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  • Interests:Boating, Jet-Ski, Stand-up Jet-Ski (yeah man), Horses, Camping, Traveling. Like to mix all of the above together - that's why we have a truck camper.
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Posted 03 September 2010 - 08:53 AM

My boyfriend and I have a Sun Lite truck camper, which we purchased 4 years ago as a leftover. It's the first truck camper either of us has ever had and now that we have it 'tweeked,' we're looking to move on.. ha ha!! Seriously, we have no shower and that is such a drawback for us, we really dislike using the showers at campgrounds and would also like to be able to pull into rest areas instead of having to find a campsite with showers. Being self-contained is what we're looking for.

We were considering going to a 5er, but were not happy with the fact we would be limited to taking a very small boat in it. We really want to be able to take our 18' Grady White and possibly do some trips with the horses, which isn't possible with a 5er.

We went to the RV show in Springfield, MA last year and stumbled upon the Northern Lite. We fell in love right away. My boyfriend is a boat enthusiast and the idea of a camper that's built like a boat thrills him! We felt the quality of these campers is excellent. Steve spoke with the owner for *what seemed like* hours. We would love to go visit the factory, but would have to fly as we are not able to take enough time off to make a road trip like that (we're still working folks).

So, I'd like some input. What do you love about your Northern Lite? What do you hate about your Northern Lite? If you switched to one, why? If you switched away from one, why & what did you go to?
What dealer did you use? We have been in touch with East End Campers, the dealer 'local' to us. They're nice guys, but we do like to shop around to see who has the sharpest pencil...

Thanks in advance for your input :)
kerin

#2 OFFLINE   Le routard

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 10:02 AM

Hi there, I have had a sailing boat for years and I still have a 5er but it's for sale. I bought a Northern Lite 8 months ago and I tell you I love everything of this camper. Each camper has something good but I wanted a truck camper builted like a boat. Easy to clean, a real 4 seasons, less weight for my Dodge 2500. But the most important thing in VR is the company behind. I have had a small problem with my Northern Lite and I wrote to Northern Lite to get a answer. Believe it or not, I received Email to inform what to do and a week later I received the part that I had needed.

Northern Lite is a company who really stand behind his product. I have bought mine à Charlie's Garage in North Carolina and it has been a very good experience and I appreciate her customer focus.

Guy
Le routard

#3 OFFLINE   canyonwren

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 08:15 AM

We owned a Northern Lite Classic Queen 8' 11" prior to owning our Snow River. I personally loved the camper and would still probably own it, but Linda wanted a bit more room. The NL was a quality built camper. I worked on quite a few mods while we owned it and found the manufacturing standards very high. I liked the construction and felt that the clam shell design made for a very quiet comfortable living space.

We had adequate storage space, but we did have to communicate our interior movements due to the cramped quarters. A draw back to the camper was definitely the bathroom size. The wet bath feature was a nice upgrade from our pop-up that didn't have a shower, but the placement of the sink made using the toilet semi-uncomfortable. The shower area its self was cramped and I had a bit of a struggle using it because I am so big and tall. I could not wear shoes in the camper because that 1/4 inch sole caused me to hit my head on the ceiling vents. So we just established a no shoe rule and that works great to this day.

Some people do not like that the NL have carpet on the walls and celling. I found that it helped to dampen the outside noises. We never used the camper in snow, but we did do a lot of cold weather camping and found that we had to be very careful about condensation and we had to make sure we had vents open to draw out moisture. (as with most campers) I found that food smells in the carpet was not an issue. We do however try to cook outside when ever possible.

The camper rode well on our Dodge 2500 and we could pull our Jeep or boat with no problems.

If NL built a slide model camper, I would probably purchased one and would still own it. The extra interior space definitely has its advantages. If you find a NL camper in your price range and it has everything that you need in a camper I would not hesitate to buy it.


Canyonwren
Post Falls, Idaho
I am retired from North Idaho College.

2005 Dodge 1 Ton, Long bed, SRW (Air Bags, Supersprings & Rancho 9000 shocks, Rickson 19.5 Wheels).
Snowriver 9' 6" Super-Slide, Progressive Dynamics PD9130, 30 amp power converter, Kyocera KC-130, 130 Watt Solar Panels, Solar Boost 2512i from Blue Sky with the IPN-Remote display.

Canyonwren Travels


#4 OFFLINE   Bubba

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 06:41 PM

Ive had our NL for 8 years and love it. :P

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Dean Emerson (Bubba)


#5 OFFLINE   mypops

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 08:08 AM

We have had a NL 10-2000-RR for 7 plus years now. When we purchased it, it was used (just 1 year). We love it and have had many wonderful experiences in it. For two years we wintered in AZ in it spending 4 months living out of it so I guess you could say we have used it extensivly. We have camped in the snow with it and as cold as 19F and as long as we keep a window or vent cracked (a good idea anyway) we have not had a condensation problem. We have taken it to many backcountry places as well as big RV parks. It has been a good camper and I would not hesitate to recommed it.

The one 'problem' I have is when sitting in the truck the inside 'twists' and a couple of the seems in the countertop open up (1/8 inch). Don't know if this is a problem with others or not. As I bought it used the factory was not interested in this complaint.

I have made some alterations to it to make it more comfortable for us but that is more just personal likes/dislikes. If you do go for a NL I would suggest getting the factory step as other options (sissors steps, etc) leave a lot to be desired.

Edited by mypops, 05 September 2010 - 08:15 AM.


#6 OFFLINE   Wanky

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 07:36 PM

We have just finished our 3rd year in our Northern Lite 8-11 Queen. I am very glad we chose this manufacturer.

I'm 6' 2" and I can stand up and move around, and not bump my head on anything. The plumbing, electrical, and mechanical aspects of this camper has been solid. I would recommend this brand to anyone. They are quiet and hold up well. Hardware is stainless steel, so nothing rusts, and little details in the construction still amaze me. For example, when I added a solar panel, I was thinking of moving the electric jack controller slightly, and found a few inches of additional wire was in line with all outlets, tail lights, and the electric jack controller, similar to what is code is house wiring. This makes it easy to maintain for the long term.

I'd agree that this particular model's bathroom is a tight squeeze for someone my size. It's functional for me standing up, but not sitting down, so I prefer to use the campground facilities every day or two for the "sit down program". However, their larger models that fit on an 8' box claim to have larger loos. A very significant advantage to this model is that is has a standard sized Queen mattress, which means we sleep on normal sheets/comforters and the mattress is a real mattress, not just foam.

Northern Lite campers have two different types of windows. Ours is a thermopane window that is made by Dometic, and it swings out from the top, rather than side by side. This means we can have the windows open during rain, and they also seem to be a bit quieter than the others. I would choose these windows again, if you are buying new.

When we were thinking about buying one of these, we gave the factory a call to help us with which model would be best for our truck, and which dealers had them in stock. That phone call found a brand new year old model still on the lot, and saved us $13K. I've called Northern Lite twice since then, and they always are extremely helpful when I need some information. The last call was how to install a solar panel on my roof. The information was absolutely priceless.

Another reason that we decided on a fiberglass construction camper had to do with a local Bigfoot RV rental company that had one returned that had been rolled. The usual wood frame construction RVs/campers/5ers turn into a complete mess if they roll over, generally just disintegrating. The Bigfoot that this rental company showed me was not only still in one piece, but you could hardly notice that it had rolled, unless you saw the skid marks on the unit. There is another story on this here (a Northern Lite):

http://www.torklift....php#gottorklift

We take our camper off our truck for stays of more than a week. This works well. With the electric jacks we just lower it down as much as possible and then use our truck for running around.

My last thought on our Northern Lite is that although it was more expensive than other campers, we would get the difference back if we ever sold the unit used. After 3 years, it still pretty much looks brand new.

Enjoy your shopping. Hope this was helpful.

Eric.

#7 OFFLINE   Hopper

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 07:07 PM

Hey There

I have had my N.L. for about a year & a half
I too was sold on it at an RV show. I owned a pop up Palamino first and was just tired of the extra it took to set up and break down.
Also the Quality of construction ,there was no comparison between the 2 The fact that it was made in Canada also influenced me a bit.
I got a really good deal on mine, as it was new on the lot after a year and the dealer wanted it sold. Also the time I made the deal was Mid January so I think the dealer was hungry for a sale.
So far we absolutley love it. The shower is a little cramped but we adapt.
Were I bought it is no longer a N.L. dealer but another dealer has become a dealer that is closer to me.
So in my opinion if you get one you will have no regrets.

Hopper

#8 OFFLINE   Starbuck

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 07:12 PM

I've had my NL 8'5 Q classic for 2 summers. Spent 2 months in it this year out west. It is a very well built camper, quiet, easy to heat and cool, and with the electric jacks easy to load and unload. The workmanship on the unit is fine. I haul mine on a Dodge Ram 3500 SRW and pull a boat behind. That combination has worked well for me. I don't have large holding tanks but can go 4 days without emptying the tanks when camping solo without hookups. The shower/bath is small but I've gotten used to it. Living in almost any TC would be crowded for more than 2 adults. Wouldn't hesitate to buy a NL again. Used Charlie's Garage in Bethania, NC. Fine people, easy to work with, and dependable.

#9 OFFLINE   mjgcamper

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 08:43 PM

.

Edited by mjgcamper, 17 June 2011 - 08:52 PM.

To go see the Northern lights, Alaska, Queen Charlot Islands, all of B.C., Alberta too, To travel every back road inside the American and Canadian Rockies. Not a 'Grand Potentate', just grand while in the mountains, fire going, bears all around, no work to do.

#10 OFFLINE   Krishelle

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 11:52 AM

We've had our NL 8'11" Q classic 1 yr. Love it! We custom ordered it from Okanagan Travelland (Summerland, BC) after touring the factory (only 1 hr from us). We wanted the classic with a few upgrades, and it priced out very well. Hubby and I are both tall, and take our Lab with us, but still find space not an issue. We too are former boaters, and like the design. The head is a bit cramped, so we often use the galley sink for washing up. But our first boat had the head under the bed, so this is still way better. We use outside facilities when available, if only to avoid filling the black water tank too fast.

We find it quiet, cosy (camped in -15C in the fall), and find the NorthSouth Q bed perfect. I love the large fridge and stove/oven. And the facing dinette is great for eating, reading, cards, and can squeeze in guests without taking up the aisle.

Any minor issues or questions we have had have been dealt with efficiently by our dealer and/or Keith at NL.

The hanging lockers are not efficient, but we have added light shelving and drawers. I know the Sapele wood is popular, but we ordered oak as it is much lighter inside (compared 2 campers side by side - big difference).

Good luck!

#11 OFFLINE   mjgcamper

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 05:30 PM

My experience has been different. Numerous leaks, plumbing leaks, no backsplash. Mattress too small. Mattress is cold in winter with the springs. Had to get solid foam mattress. Much better now.

.

Edited by mjgcamper, 23 June 2011 - 08:03 PM.

To go see the Northern lights, Alaska, Queen Charlot Islands, all of B.C., Alberta too, To travel every back road inside the American and Canadian Rockies. Not a 'Grand Potentate', just grand while in the mountains, fire going, bears all around, no work to do.

#12 OFFLINE   iawia

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 10:29 PM

Wouldn't want to hijack this post but can anyone tell me if the 10-2000 can be safely carried on a SRW truck (specifically, a 2002 GMC Duramax 2500HD 4x4)?
1995 GMC 2500HD TD
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#13 OFFLINE   mjgcamper

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 06:33 AM

Yes you can according to my 2500 Dodge Ram with my 10-2000 on the back. My truck came with the camper package, if that makes any difference.

It's got the anti sway bars and overload springs and then I put on some good shocks.

Sooty1234 has a heavier camper than my 10-2000 with the same truck as you and I have trouble keeping up with him, but usually I'm looking for bears and for all views.

Sometimes it feels like I'm hauling the Queen Mary, thinking maybe I should have a smaller camper, but after getting on mountain roads I realize how well it handles.

I did put on some Alcoa wheels because the Dodge OEM wheels are known to crack even without the weight.
To go see the Northern lights, Alaska, Queen Charlot Islands, all of B.C., Alberta too, To travel every back road inside the American and Canadian Rockies. Not a 'Grand Potentate', just grand while in the mountains, fire going, bears all around, no work to do.

#14 OFFLINE   iawia

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 12:28 PM

Thanks mjgcamper. I looked at a 2010 10-2000 which listed its dry weight at 2980 lbs but an older one (2000) is currently listed on craigslist at 2400 lbs. Can you tell me the dry weight of your 10-2000?
1995 GMC 2500HD TD
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#15 OFFLINE   wthattny

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 05:53 PM

We have traveled about 800 miles in two days, and seen a lot of p/u campers. We saw a Northern Lite going the opposite direction twice today, in Montana, both times pulling a glider trailer. Now, we don't know if it is the same one, but that wouldn't make sense given they were traveling in the opposite direction. One thing I can say, is that both times I had the thought - - now that looks like a well-made camper.

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#16 OFFLINE   mjgcamper

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 07:24 PM

Thanks mjgcamper. I looked at a 2010 10-2000 which listed its dry weight at 2980 lbs but an older one (2000) is currently listed on craigslist at 2400 lbs. Can you tell me the dry weight of your 10-2000?



My dry weight is 2475 lbs. That's without AC on top because I did not want the top heavy feel nor the added height to worry about. I like camping in the mountains where it's cooler anyhow.

Once I drove under a filling station roof that was so low I missed it by 2 inches. So I was very happy going without it.

So some of the issues without the AC...... I feeI I may have been lucky. One I read about leaked and one NL roof was not so great at holding the weight. That is only one case I read about the roof sagging.

I opted out of the built in generator too because of weight and I heard they are not as quiet as the reliable, great portable Honda that is so popular.
To go see the Northern lights, Alaska, Queen Charlot Islands, all of B.C., Alberta too, To travel every back road inside the American and Canadian Rockies. Not a 'Grand Potentate', just grand while in the mountains, fire going, bears all around, no work to do.

#17 OFFLINE   gwatt

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 09:07 AM

Hi we have a 2014 f150 and are looking at a 1992 NL 8.5. But the width of the truck inside tailgate posts is 60 inches while I had heard the NL requires 60.5 min. Can anyone confirm?

#18 OFFLINE   maling6154

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 02:38 PM

Hey, gwatt, you may ask this guy on youtube, west coast roller. You can write to him directly to ask. He owns a 2014 NL. It is surprising to see this post coming from 7 years ago. :)



#19 OFFLINE   Hempomatic

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 02:11 PM

Hey, gwatt, you may ask this guy on youtube, west coast roller. You can write to him directly to ask. He owns a 2014 NL. It is surprising to see this post coming from 7 years ago. :)

 

That's funny, I didn't even notice the date.  I wonder if happicampin' ever got their Northern Lite.  



#20 OFFLINE   AllenTC2

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 01:47 PM

By any chance, do any of you all full-time in your NLs? If not, how do you think it'd work for that, if it's just one person in the camper?






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