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Northstar Truck Campers?


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#1 OFFLINE   DA TOAD

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 05:52 AM

I have been looking at Truck campers and comparing various brands.  We seem to be interested in the Northstar TC's.  They appear to be well appointed and of good workmanlike quality.  We don't however know anyone that has owned one of this manufacturer.  We are hoping that perhaps someone on here can give us some feel for the Northstar's through their personal experience.  Any information and comments are welcome.  Thanks.

 

We are newbies on here just joined today.  We got the truck and are now looking at the campers.


2016 Chevy Silverado 3500 HD 4WD Duramax Dually with 2017 Arctic Fox 1140.


#2 OFFLINE   KnightEagle

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 10:36 AM

I had gone out of my way to see the NorthStar 12ltc it was very nicely built had everything I would want. Looked good. Had a few silly things your dump vales were not hidden away, two defferent size counters in the ketchen. Even with everything was still under 44k. Hight was 1-2 ft lower than our AF. Darn this win 10 it starts off writing everything backwards rt to lt-->   ratShtroN wen eht ees ot yaw ym fo tuo tnew I​


  :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

 


#3 OFFLINE   kerry4951

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 04:46 PM

      Since you are new to the TC world I will relate what I have heard and read about in the past. Although I have never owned one, Northstar is one of the few companies that I dont recall ever hearing anything negative about. They seem to have an A+ score on overall quality and also for customer service. Their owner seems to take a lot of interest in the product that he puts out and will even do some customizing for individual customers. T Keep in mind they only produce TCs without slide outs and some of them appear to have little or no outside storage. If you can find a floor plan that works for you then I dont feel you could go wrong with a NS product.



#4 OFFLINE   RichConley

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 06:54 PM

Be sure to explore this forum's corporate sponsors.  For Northstar: http://www.truckcamperforums.com/index.php/forum/306-northstar/

 



#5 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 08:23 PM

Too bad your not closer, I'm considering selling mine. Only fits on a regular bed truck, also.
I have been a tent camper since my Boy Scout days long, long, ago. Now I need to get up off of the cold ground to get a good nights rest, a truck camper seems to be the best choice. I am here to learn as much as I can.

#6 OFFLINE   DA TOAD

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 12:21 PM

Thanks for the info guys.  I like what I saw in the Northstar and am leaning towards the 12 LTC.  I just bought a truck, 2015 F-350, SRW, 6.2 LTR gas, with 11,000 GVW and a 4100 payload capability.  In going through the figures though it appears that fully loaded, gas tank, 2 batteries, full fresh water, 2 full 20 lb propane tanks, me & the wife, generator and gas I am going to be about 7-8 hundred pounds overweight and that is before food, clothes and miscellaneous sundries.  I am flabergasted.  I nver thought I would exceed that GVW load capacity.  I considered a f-350 drw but the load capacities were not all that much more....I feel foolish and might have to bite the bullet for a new truck within a month of buying this one.  I feel muy stupido. 


Edited by DA TOAD, 04 August 2015 - 12:25 PM.

2016 Chevy Silverado 3500 HD 4WD Duramax Dually with 2017 Arctic Fox 1140.


#7 OFFLINE   Lancealot

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 04:33 PM

DA TOAD , Don't feel too bad , as my Father used to say " You only get experience when you don't need it any more " also " If you want agony buy your self a mallet and beat your temple

when the  pain gets too great put the hammer down " works every time .


CAMPING  where you spend a small fortune , to live like a homeless person .


#8 OFFLINE   Brholt

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 04:42 PM

Stan,

Not sure where you get your payload info. My 2013 F350 DRW CC Lariet 6.2 has a GVWR of 14,000 and better than a 6,200 lb payload rating. The DRW should really up the payload.

Brad

#9 OFFLINE   KnightEagle

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Posted 04 August 2015 - 06:43 PM

​I was shocked even after I went to ford's build a truck. A F-350 SRW Reg cab was 4370 lbs and a crew was 4080 lbs.. The  12 STC with all gear may have you near your peak That's what small trailers are for. The generator what a small Honda or Yamaha can ride in the trailer extra fuel for it say the trailer unless you are boondocking don't have to carry a full water tank of fresh water. I just cant wrap my hands around one of those chemical tolites give me the black tank any day. Those will be dumped when leaving the black and gray. Carry plastic or paper plates and glasses utensiels stay to plastic for the most part. Think of a table for four what do you need and have that only. Clothes a outfit for each day or for two days I want be up wind. Bedding don't need a lot, we have a sheet down and two sleeping bags a his and hers works out best can cover when ands as much as you like. Can allways carry the generator on a carrier on the front of the truck. Then we haven't even mentioned load handling upgrades yet. They don't change you final number but hauling is a lot safer. Don't let the numbers alone stop you ask and someone here can find you a solution


  :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

 


#10 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 07:42 AM

Stan,
Not sure where you get your payload info. My 2013 F350 DRW CC Lariet 6.2 has a GVWR of 14,000 and better than a 6,200 lb payload rating. The DRW should really up the payload.
Brad





Sorry, I don't know what you are referring to. But since you mentioned me, my payload is 3150 lbs, and I am real close to that when I go out by myself. When my wife comes, she brings lots of stuff!! I try to keep it within 5% over or less. The rig still rides terribly.
I have been a tent camper since my Boy Scout days long, long, ago. Now I need to get up off of the cold ground to get a good nights rest, a truck camper seems to be the best choice. I am here to learn as much as I can.

#11 OFFLINE   pscansetzer

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 05:29 PM

I have been looking at Truck campers and comparing various brands.  We seem to be interested in the Northstar TC's.  They appear to be well appointed and of good workmanlike quality.  We don't however know anyone that has owned one of this manufacturer.  We are hoping that perhaps someone on here can give us some feel for the Northstar's through their personal experience.  Any information and comments are welcome.  Thanks.

 

We are newbies on here just joined today.  We got the truck and are now looking at the campers.

My wife and I own a 9.5 Igloo.  We carry it on a Ram 3500 DRW.  It is a great set up and travel well, in fact the truck can't tell its loaded.  The workmanship is better than most I've seen.  When we bought ours, I went to a dealer who had Northstar, Arctic Fox, Adventurer and Northern Light.  The Northern Light is another model - it actually came down to between those two.  We like the idea of the cassette toilet system - easy to maintain.  We have had ours since 2013 and the only issue we've had is the water pump had to be replaced.  All the other systems work great.

 

Hope this helps - enjoy your adventure!

 

Jim & Tam Setzer



#12 OFFLINE   RichConley

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 07:32 PM

. . . We like the idea of the cassette toilet system - easy to maintain.  We have had ours since 2013 and the only issue we've had is the water pump had to be replaced.  All the other systems work great.

 

The cassette toilet system is also used on the very expensive Earth Roamer

This is more for the "expedition" type use. . .such as traveling outside the US or Canada where there are very few dump sites.

Once again, it depends on how one is going to use their RV.



#13 OFFLINE   countrycampers3

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Posted 08 August 2015 - 08:15 AM

DA TOAD

 

 For starters these are just my experiences and my opinions below.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinions.  I'm just putting down my experiences.

 

I'm not usually on here so thank my wife for she saw your request.  We had a 2013 NorthStar Arrow 8.5.  We also have the same model Ford truck,  but we have a diesel.  We would still have the NorthStar if it wasn't for a $100,000 crop lost one year.

 

Nothing wrong with NorthStar's quality, well built camper, and company, that's been family owned and operated since its beginning.  We ordered ours directly through the factory.  We visited Rex Willett the current President, and owner, and he showed us the factory, ,and walked us through what we wanted.  We ordered it through him in September, and picked it up in December.  If you'd like to know how much we saved, send me a personal email.  We picked it up at the factory two days after Christmas.  Wrote a check out to his dealer which is about 1 hour down the road.

 

Solid tc.   If you have any problems they will take care of you.  We had a new model fridge which were were the first to get and it was a lemon.  Rex took care of us and replaced it for free.   We liked the cassette toilet for we camp in the winter, and there are usually no places to dump, so the cassette can be dumped in any toilet,  rest area, or what have you.  Also for short weekend winter trips you can just use the pink, or blue washer fluid in the toilet and not put any water in the rest of the tc.  We did this a lot.  Very solid well built,  quiet when inside tc.  hard to hear outside noise.  Double pained Dometic windows were great in winter time.  Good R value in window's.  If it were me I might spend the extra money if your going winter camping much and get the spray  cell foam insulation put in.  There was nothing wrong with the sheet stuff, its just if you winter camp like us at a lot of below zero stuff for more that 30 days I would pay the extra what $375 i think.

 

No basement in NorthStar's so not as tall of a TC.  Less Top sway left to right while traveling.  

 

The 12 STC (stay the course) that NorthStar has.  I have not personally seen but is very comparable in weight to our 1993 Lance 990.  Loaded she came in at about 4,3?? lbs.  Yes this put the truck loaded at about 13,3?? Lbs.  Most all tc's and trucks and overweight.  Don't worry about that.  Those Load limits are created by lawyers to keep the company safe.  I looked up the specs. at North stars website and the 12STC, tc with air, awning, and one battery they say is at 3419 lbs.  She's pretty loaded with all amenities so add 1000lbs of stuff and your about the same TC weight as us.

 

I'm an Ambassador for Torklift International,  I don't get paid from them,  I just believe in their products and I promote them.  Last year they asked me to be a Torklift Ambassador.  They have very good products, that are solid.  You might pay 1/3 more for their products but you get what you pay for.

 

Here is what you'll have to put on your truck for suspension upgrades.  I have the exact same stuff.

  • Sway bar.  I have a ford sway bar installed at Ford for $479
  • Torklift upper and lower Stable loads.   Installed yourself about $1000.  tweetys.com    not to difficult to install.

Below is a link to a blog report I did on my install, and comparison of my 2008 Ford DRW, and my 2011 Ford SRW.  Its hard to believe but the 2011 SRW had less side to side sway than the 2008 DRW.  yes its true.  made me a believer in Torklifts stable loads.

https://midwesttruck...am/stableloads/

 

Here is my opinion, & comparison of how i view load distribution between air bags and upper & lower stable loads.

Example -   take a picnic table compare this to your truck bed.  Stand one man on the left side of the picnic table, and one guy on the right.  Each man takes one hand and places his hand directly across parallel to the other man's hand (pretend these are airbags on a axle)  now lift the table.  its difficult to balance.

Now each man takes two hands spreads them out (pretending there hands are each end of a leaf spring) and parallel across the table.  Now lift.  Its easy to stabilize the load.

 

Airbags, or Torklifts Stable load systems are meant to help stabilize a load not increase payload.  When I look at this simple example the 4 points of stabilization makes more sense to me than the 2 airbag system.

 

Hellwig is a Great After market swaybar company.  I've personally talked with a guy who won a Hellwig swaybar at one of our rallies, and he got it installed on his GMC,  He said it was a big improvement over his factory swaybar.  Hellwig bars cost in the neighborhood of $700 installed.

 

Hellwig's website:

http://www.hellwigproducts.com/

 

Another suggestion would be Torklift Tiedowns.  They attach to your frame.  Other company's claim that theirs do but they don't.  Look into it yourself don't go by what a saleman says.  They only say what they are told to say, and its only to make money.  I have never ran across a TC saleman that actually owns a TC.  They have no clue about anything they professionally say they know.  Book smart, and actually doing are two different things.  To me book smart is not smart.  It might be a great place to start.

 

Here is a link to a report I did on Torklift Tiedowns.

https://midwesttruck...qlift-tiedowns/

 

 

Torklift International's website:

http://www.torklift.com/

 

Tires-

This will be your weak point.  Pay attention to payload capacity here.  

Not all Load Range E tires are created equal.  Some are rated 3100 lbs payload capacity and others are 3750 lbs.  I farm and need a all-terrain tire.  I have Hancook AT-M.  micro-sypts go all the way through the tread for ice, snow, and rain.  Most brands don't go all the way through the lugs.  they are not noisy on the highway.

 

I'm assuming you have 20" factory rims.  I do.

 

If I can help you out in any other way just ask me, I would be glad to help you out.  Best way to get a hold of me is my email address.  It goes directly to my phone, and I get that instantly.  I only look on here once a month or less.

 

http://midwesttruckcampers@yahoo.com

 

Good Luck in the hunt,

 

 

Life's Short Go TC'en,

Doug - MidWest Truck Campers Wagon Master / Torklift Ambassador

 

 

 

 

tweetys website:

http://tweetys.com/r...CFQswaQod9scOtQ

 

tweetys upper stable load for Ford:

http://tweetys.com/stable-load.aspx

 

tweetys lower stable loads for Ford:

http://tweetys.com/t...-overloads.aspx

 

tweetys - Torklift Tiedowns and turnbucles:

http://tweetys.com/t...-tie-downs.aspx

 

 

Customer service at Tweetys is Great too.  I've talked with them on the Phone.  They seem to be the most inexpensive place to get the above products.  Give them a try.  I've bought everything through them.

 

 

hope I got it all.


Edited by countrycampers3, 08 August 2015 - 08:49 AM.

:usa:

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#14 OFFLINE   Bedlam

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Posted 08 August 2015 - 09:52 AM

Doug gave you solid advice, although his pricing is on the high side for the Torklift products (look at Dyers, AdventureRV and RVWholesalers). I ran a 2005 F250 with a heavy 4000 lb Arctic Fox while towing an 8000 lb trailer. I typically had the rear axle loaded at 7000 lbs when carrying the camper and was could be up to 8000 lbs when hauling the camper and towing. With just upper and lower StableLoads on my F250 with the camper package (upper overload springs and rear stabilizer bar), I was good to go with a level and stable ride. Once I added the tongue weight of my trailer (even though I use a weight distribution hitch), I needed help from Firestone air bags to address sag. Originally, I ran 3750 lb rated tires but had to be careful how and what I loaded to stay under 7500 lbs - I upgraded to 19.5" wheels and heavier Rancho shocks because I was so close to my ratings.

 

BTW: The Rancho, Torklift and Firestone products are all bolt on with no drilling, cutting or welding on your truck. This prevents you from weakening your truck or causing corrosion issues. When I sold my F250, I removed my StableLoads so I could use them again later.


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#15 OFFLINE   countrycampers3

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Posted 08 August 2015 - 02:12 PM

Bedlam,
you're right on the price. I was off on that. The thousand dollars would cover upper and lower stable loads plus the Torklift tie downs. tax, & shipping all included. exact prices are on the web links that I provided. all the newer Fords do not need any drilling required.

:usa:

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#16 OFFLINE   Duncan

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 01:57 PM

DA TOAD--

 

I've got s/n 002 of the Northstar 12STC, picked up last Feb at TC Warehouse just up the road from you.  Rex worked with me to customize-- compressor refrigerator, added counter space, second wardrobe, different dinette table.  One *very* solid and well made camper.  I've got the cassette toilet-- first one for me, after regular tanks in three previous campers.  Hello, McDonalds via the side entrance :-) Currently riding on a F350 dually, diesel, 14K GVWR so no weight police issues.  Handles like a dream compared to a full basement model.  I bought it because of the way it's made-- Eternabond tape on/under every penetration.  I've retired the caulking gun I wore out on my just-traded camper.  TC Warehouse put a custom-length Maggie rack on the roof, big enough for two 17 ft canoes.  It would be worth a drive to NH to see one.

 

duncan


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#17 OFFLINE   KnightEagle

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Posted 28 August 2015 - 09:25 AM

Duncan glad you got the 12STC its a very nice TC I liked it a lot personly only had really one issue with it and that was the two level cabnets in the kitchen  anything else was really minor. Are you using a portable gen that's converted or just a stand alone? For I know it had a compartment for it that was plumed for gas to the gen. (Not a option a gen) Keep us in touch others may like it also 


  :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

 


#18 OFFLINE   Duncan

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  • State/Province or Region:Maryland
  • Country:United States
  • Gender:Male
  • Camper Brand:Northstar 12STC (#002)
  • Truck Make & Model:F350 SD crew cab 6.7l, Talons, Stableloads
  • Name (Public):Duncan

Posted 28 August 2015 - 06:02 PM

I've a Honda EU2000i converted to propane. I built a steel slide/tray for the compartment, added some mass loaded vinyl sound deadening material on back and sides. All that is a tight fit but I can pull he genset out enough to run it while on the tray. If we're going to be somewhere that needs a real long runtime, it's quieter to lift it out and sit on ground. To that end I made up an extension propane hose, power cord, and a longer security cable. The storage compartment needs a couple more inches of width and at least one in depth to accomodate a commercial slide/tray; maybe Rex will tweak that down the road. For what it's worth I did a crude sketch of the slide and sent it to Northstar and TC Warehouse; standard steel from a big box and/ or TSC, cost about thirty bucks and some time to cut/weld and paint. Best thing long term would be to tweak the compartment size a bit :-)

I also added a hunk of plexiglas on the inside of the compartment screen to keep out the worst of the rain, managed to get a bit of EDPM rubber under my slide assembly for some additional/ minimal vibration isolation, and changed out the compartment lock to one keyed the same as the camper door deadbolt.

duncan
2008 F450 4x4/offroad pkg CC, 6.4L PSD, Arctic Fox 1150 TC with Stable-Lift in glossy designer black...

#19 OFFLINE   KnightEagle

KnightEagle

    KnightEagle

  • NATCOA Members
  • 1915 posts
  • Local time: 08:53 AM
  • State/Province or Region:Tx
  • Country:USA
  • Gender:Male
  • Camper Brand:2017 Adventure Alp 116DS
  • Truck Make & Model:2012 Ram 3500HD DRW
  • Name (Public):KnightEagle

Posted 29 August 2015 - 10:22 AM

Beats what I had thought of.


  :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

 





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