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Pop Up Truck Campers -Too many choices!


22 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Cankicker

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 04:31 AM

I could use some help in weeding out and keeping a short list of the best Pop Up Truck Campers. I cant find any actual top reviews.

I have visited the pages of Phoenixpopup, Outfitters, Hallmark, Palomino, Northstar, XPCamper, FourWheel, etc, etc............

 

Except for XPCampers, most seem alike aside from options. Am I correct?

 



#2 OFFLINE   kayakin

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 11:23 AM

probably not quite alike.  Put each brand in the search at the top here, and you'll find some actual users and what they found.



#3 OFFLINE   poriggity

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 02:34 PM

I've been looking at pop ups for a while too, but ultimately decided against buying one, since I got my hard side for FREE.. That being said, in my research, it really depends on what you want to do with the camper.  If you are going off road to remote locations, in my experience, you can't go wrong with 4 wheel campers or xp campers.  I know friends that have both, and they all love them.  I wouldn't touch a phoenix product with a 10 foot pole.  I've read too many negative reviews on build quality of their campers to even consider them.

 

Palamino is considered the "entry level" popup, which has negatives and positives.  On the plus side, it's going to be a bit cheaper than say a 4wheel camper or an xp camper, but the build materials are not nearly as nice.  Hope this helps in your decision.  


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#4 OFFLINE   gandydancer

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 06:32 PM

Last year while attending the Mid-West Truck Camper Rally in Amana, Iowa a lot of the attendees got to go on a tour of the Northstar  facility and was shown around by Rex Willett. We saw how they made their hardsides and popups and everyone left impressed at the build quality of each and every unit . I  really liked the build quality of one of their popups I saw which was the Northstar 850SC with particular attention paid to the detail and the craftsmanship put into this unit. I have to admit that I've never seen a man like Rex before who personally stands behind each and every unit built that leaves his factory.  I left knowing that if I ever buy another truck camper I would seriously consider buying a Northstar.        


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#5 OFFLINE   Oliver

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 06:51 PM

One way to do it is to find a fairly inexpensive used camper in decent shape and buy it. Until you use it, you don't really know what you like and dislike about any camper. If you find out that you really don't like putting the top up & down every time you want to go somewhere, it's better to have a grand in an older Palomino than $15k+ in something real nice. Good luck, and let us all know what you do, and how you like what you decide-on.

#6 OFFLINE   Oliver

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 06:54 PM

X2 on the Northstar! Nice campers.

#7 OFFLINE   Keithmaryq

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 07:30 PM

Here's a blog on someone's quest to find the best soft side truck camper. Seems Hallmark has pretty good quality.
http://lifewetravel....-pop-up-campers

#8 OFFLINE   DakotaCamper

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 12:07 PM

I will be seeing Hallmark and Freedom Campers at the NATCOA rally next week. I will take pics and see if anyone wants to chime in on build quality which is very good for both brands. Rory Willett (formerly of Northstar Campers) started Freedom Campers so it is in his blood. :-)


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#9 OFFLINE   KnightEagle

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 01:52 PM

Saw NorthStar's newest Hard side was nice but not my cup of tea as a side door model was ok just had a look of well parts throwing together and that be ok. Fit and fish was great.


  :sign0007: I got it fixed!

 

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#10 OFFLINE   ARSMITH

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 03:21 PM

I try and keep this short. Place Palomino at the bottom of that list. That's if you're looking for quality and a top of the line Pop-up camper.

 

 If you're looking to go camping on the cheap and are not concerned with having the perfect camper before you leave the driveway then buy a Palomino truck camper, because they are the best bang for a buck $$$. I have owned a Palomino Bronco 1500 since 08 (bought it used and cheap) and it has served us well even with all of its short comings. Every time we head out on a trip I wish I had a new Hallmark Cuchara and when we return that want or need has passed because that ole Palomino does its job. Everytime!!!!

 

Andy :)


Edited by ARSMITH, 19 July 2015 - 06:43 PM.


#11 OFFLINE   broncocamper

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 11:38 AM

I have a Palomino 1200 and agree with everything said.  If you looking for quality don't buy Palomino or Real Lite, but if your looking for low cost and something that gets the job done they are a big step up from a tent.



#12 OFFLINE   KnightEagle

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 10:29 AM

Need to check out the NorthStar line they do build pop up TC, personaly I don't like them but that's my choice. I do see when something is made good, and they seem to fit that bill.


  :sign0007: I got it fixed!

 

2012 Ram 3500HD DRW. RideRite 5000 Air Bags. Hellwig sway Bar rear. Curt hitch 17000/2550. Engine: 6.7-Liter I6 Cummins® Turbo Diesel Engine Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic 68RFE. 2017 Adventure Alp 116DS 5153+ lb. Reg Cab. Torklift Frame mounts. Ranch Hand Front Bumber, Duel hitch and 4' extension . C.B channel 19 most times. Towing a 16 ft storage trailer with a jon boat inside.

 

ALP116DS2017
ALP116DS10.JPG

 


#13 OFFLINE   Gakdoom

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 01:33 AM

We are on our fourth summer in our Northstar 850SC.  We use it as a family of four and have not had any significant problems with the camper.  This is my first camper so I cannot make comparisons.  When we run into other people with Northstars they have had no complaints.  The only issue's I have run across have been with some of the third party equipment.  The happijacs have given me a couple of problems and the shade/screen frame for the Heki skylight became brittle and broke.  I did recently have a self inflicted problem, as I backed the camper under our basketball hoop and busted the tv antennae. :sign0007:  We live in the Pacific Northwest and have travelled quite extensively with the kids each summer.  Last summer we made it to the Great Lakes.

 

In short if you want a pop-up camper I can highly recommend a Northstar.  When shopping for pop-ups the Northstar seemed to give us the best value.   Good quality and service at a fair price.



#14 OFFLINE   Dukhunter785

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 10:16 PM

I have had several slide in pop ups in the last 25 years....including Alaskan, 4Wheel, Palomino, SunLite, Jayco...and my current is a Hallmark Cuchara. They have all been fairly decent campers......with that being said...the Hallmark is hands down the best pop up...in my opinion on the market today!! The overall quality and interior is second to none! It all boils down to how much you want to spend..and how much you will use it.

#15 OFFLINE   joerg68

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Posted 30 July 2015 - 04:07 AM

...late to the party, as always. My 2 cents:

 

I have personally seen Hallmark, Outfitter, Northstar and Fourwheel campers.

 

All of them make a good product with somewhat different strenghts and weaknesses.

 

Our Outfitter is unique in that it has an aluminum frame, a basement, a one-piece fibreglass roof, a full wet bath, and north-south bed - all in the same camper. We have had the camper for 4 years now, it has been quite rugged and dependable, but the build quality was not overwhelming. We are still very happy with what we got for the money.

 

Hallmark campers are similar (both companies are actually run by relatives) and seemed to have a higher build quality.

 

Fourwheel campers are comparatively basic, but extemely robust, dependable and durable.

 

Northstar makes a very attractive product built the traditional way. I would not hesitate to buy one.

 

You need to clarify - for yourself - what you want to do with that camper. How many people will travel, what do they take with them, where do they want to go, at what time of the year, ...And why you want a popup vs. hardside. We have found the only real downside of the popup was the fact that you can not stealth camp in one.

 

Best wishes,

Joerg


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#16 OFFLINE   DakotaCamper

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Posted 30 July 2015 - 05:27 PM

We are home from the rally in Colorado Springs where I had the opportunity to see up close two new BundutecUSA popups by Freedom Campers, and a 9.5 Hallmark Cuchara. I was impressed by both brands. Bundutec is a relatively new company run by Rory Willett, formerly of Northstar, so he definitely knows campers and it shows.

 

I loved the large windows in the dinette area of the Hallmark and the fiberglass construction. The downside is that it is a heavier unit but certainly well built.

 

 


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#17 OFFLINE   Grantfurness

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Posted 24 August 2015 - 10:04 PM

I have a couple friends with Alaskans and they love them. The quality is good, but they're expensive

#18 OFFLINE   mrgoodbar

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 08:13 AM

We just bought a 2016 Palomino SS-1604 and love it!  I agree it's not the top of the line, but for a first time TC it does the job.  We have no complaints about the build quality and everything worked as advertised.  It was definitely a step up from a tent.  Looking forward to more adventures.



#19 OFFLINE   DakotaCamper

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 09:24 AM

We just bought a 2016 Palomino SS-1604 and love it!  I agree it's not the top of the line, but for a first time TC it does the job.  We have no complaints about the build quality and everything worked as advertised.  It was definitely a step up from a tent.  Looking forward to more adventures.

 

Congrats on your new truck camper! Having a truck camper is definitely an improvement over a tent. Here's to making many happy memories in your new camper!


Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R.R. Tolkien

 

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The interstate system of highways is fine for getting where you need to be in a hurry, but it's the road less traveled that is more enjoyable. Take in the scenery before life passes you by in a blur.


#20 OFFLINE   mrgoodbar

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 11:52 AM

Thanks DakotaCamper!  We are headed out this weekend again.  We have waited a long time for a TC and are excited to explore the country.






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