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Northstar STC


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#1 OFFLINE   gmnetsie

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 10:51 AM

We are interested in a STC but have only seen a web walk through. Anyone know of one in IL or vicinity who would show us their camper.? We currently have an Igloo 9.5 and love it but the side entry looks very good to us. Northstar awesome company and products. Thanks.

#2 OFFLINE   Duncan

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 06:19 PM

Not local, but we have serial #2 of the STC and love it, cassette toilet version. After my 5ft 4in wife beat up on Rex he lowered the cabinets 2 inches overall in future models so the microwave is more accessible :-) Side entry is indeed great, makes for a nice "mud room" effect in crummy weather. We added step mats in the entry and three floor throw rugs (Lowes) for added comfort. Also added the pull-up foot rest. We have a compressor refrigerator, which is wonderful, but power hungry-- if you go that route, get another solar panel and use two GP 31 AGM batteries. We ditched the TV for a second wardrobe cabinet, and eliminated the cabinet/drawer next to the stove in favor of more open counter space. Also went for a fixed dinette table vs the Lagun--pic of that table is on the Northstar website. Units now come with a nice slide for a genset-- I built my own before such was available, sized for a Honda EU 2000i, propane conversion. It will run the microwave or A/C nicely. I changed out the shower head to an EcoCamel -- another recommended mod.

We're in MD, now have about 30K miles on the rig, several New England to Florida trips, several cross country trips, all weather/seasons, all with no issues. This is our fourth camper, best of the bunch by far, highly recommended.

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

#3 OFFLINE   gmnetsie

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 03:03 AM

Hi Duncan, Thanks so much for the reply. We really enjoy all the features of the Igloo but boy, that STC is calling!

How do you like the footrest? The microwave move 2" lower was a stroke of genius. No accidents yet but boy, only a matter of time.

We have the Lagun table now and might change to fixed down the road. We will probably upgrade our truck to an f350 this year so we'd be able to handle the larger unit.

We also have the Eco Camel shower head and would have no other - it's great.

Hope to meet up some day.
Annette

#4 OFFLINE   Duncan

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 06:51 AM

Annette,

 

The footrest is nice, and not in the way- it's on 'my side' of the dinette so I can stretch out.  You can't sit on it unless you add additional support, but it's just fine otherwise.  I've done a number of other mods to our unit, shared those with TCWarehouse and Northstar.  I've a zip file of mod pics on Dropbox, here:  https://www.dropbox....ctures.zip?dl=0  It's big, 67Mb, so be warned.  The larger counter (highly recommended) is shown, along with a different bathroom sink faucet.  The faucet is a Moen unit from Lowes, with swivel nozzle.  Perfect drop-in, all I had to do was use a bit of JB Weld to fill the hole normally used for the sink drain actuator rod.

 

Our F350 dually carries the camper perfectly, no sag with upper StableLoads.  It's diesel, since we do lots of miles and I usually run a truck for a very long time, and on a cross-country trip we'll usually average 12mpg of better.  Great combination.  

 

Given some unfortunate past experiences with roof leakage on other camper brands, I went paranoid and had the rvroof.com spray-on coating applied on a trip to Florida.  That's eliminated roof maintenance and has proven remarkably effective in preventing tree-strike damage when we head for canoe put-ins.

 

Features of the 12STC continue to evolve on each production run, but as you know Northstar will work with you to tweak what you get.  Our biggest 'tweak' was the bigger counter-- cost us one large drawer and a small closet, but more than worth it; made up for the closet with the TV deletion.  Current models have eliminated the little boxed area in the doorway/entry, so I believe you could now change out the refrigerator without having to pull the door frame.  Great feature.

 

duncan


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

#5 OFFLINE   gmnetsie

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 01:47 PM

Duncan, we did look at your pics - nice job.
We currently have the flat top propane stove and that gives us more counter space. The cabinet you had removed was pantry storage wasn't it? Where do you store your dry goods - cereal, spices, canned goods... We opted not to have an oven since in our 4 other rv's never used them. We mostly use microwave and electric skillet. We also carry a small Aqua-rain water filter and have plenty of space for that on the counter next to sink.
We have the compressor fridge and really like it also.
Such good units no matter which one you go with!
Thanks again,
Annette

#6 OFFLINE   Duncan

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 07:13 PM

We store some, like spices, in the two removable metal mesh bins you can see in some of the pictures on the countertop. Think CD storage bins from Target. Canned stuff, baking supplies and the like go in the narrow spaces below the counter, along with plastic wrap, bags, etc. We use six folding 12in fabric cubes in the cabinets above the dinette for other food and large pots/pans-- didn't do the fold-down bunk option so we get seven cubic feet up there. Overflow, like a food processor and a couple of 16 in pizza pans, go in the 'wardrobe' on the dinette side. I made a removable shelf assembly for all that, plus another narrow countertop box (not shown in pics) that sits full length along the outer wall on top of the big counter. It's sized for canned goods and similar. The 'two cats in a box' container sits behind the stove and gets large utensils-- it's not held down, just sized to fit and has never poppedloose or spilled. The wooden assembly shown on the dinette table holds napkins, tissues, salt and pepper, cell phones, meds/whatever; it's held in place by the cushions plus a few drollups of clear silicone adhesive on the bottom that can be removed without damaging the table.

Given my wife and I travel alone we leave the table fixed in place. Under it, along the outer wall, I have a 60 watt Efoy fuel cell and it's 10 l fuel container. That keeps the two GP31 AGMs charged automagically regardless of sun, no genset needed except for A/C or microwave. TCmag has an article about that if you search their archives; pricy option compared to solar but priceless peace of mind for extended boondocking or long ferry rides. We get about 200 hours of power from each container of fuel, use maybe two per year since we're rarely plugged in anywhere and use the camper year-round in all sorts of weather. The Efoy can handle the compressor refrigerator, furnace, lights, electronics charging, vent fan and similar and keep the batteries above 90% If we'll be somewhere cold for a long time, I've a propane fitting beneathe the refrigerator for a Wave heater.

We will also carry a 45 qt Engel refrigerator/freezer in the truck for Alaska or long cross-country trips. For Alaska we fill it with frozen food or refrigerator overflow for the trip up, flash-frozen fish like salmon and such for the trip home :-)

The rear storage is also extensive-- paper goods, first aid stuff and 12vdc air compressor up top, tools and repair parts under the counter. I carry whatever might be needed to fix the appliances or do emergency camper repairs should we run afoul of a tree or such. Don't forget the under-wardrobe cubbies-- hiking poles will fit, or canned good in bins, or other spare parts. No shortage of storage in a 12STC :-) Anything that doesn't fit goes in the crew cab on a platform, or (think canoe) on the Maggie rack on the roof.
2008 F450 4x4/offroad pkg CC, 6.4L PSD, Arctic Fox 1150 TC with Stable-Lift in glossy designer black...

#7 OFFLINE   gmnetsie

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 04:00 AM

Thanks for all your info Duncan. Looks like you've thought of everything! Good job.
Annette

#8 OFFLINE   gmnetsie

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 04:00 AM

Thanks for all your info Duncan. Looks like you've thought of everything! Good job.
Annette

#9 OFFLINE   Squatch

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 06:39 AM

Duncan,

Just south of Mary Land in Dahlgren VA. Been looking at slide out units and just found the STC. I have to say it looks very impressive and your review makes it sound some much better.  I don't have an issue with payload, the 3500 is rated at 5440# which covers most  of the units available. I am a bit over the average Joe, 6'5" 275 and my navigator is  5'6" and perfect....does your unit feel closed in or small when working inside? The Video make it look huge, btu then again that is a video design to sell the unit.

 

Thanks

Rob



#10 OFFLINE   Duncan

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 04:14 PM

Hi, Rob

 

Ceiling height is 78 inches, I top out at 76 or maybe now 75-something since I'm a certified geezer, and hit all of 180 lbs in a heavy coat.  I clear the A/C unit without issue and fit just fine in the shower (thanks to skylight and the extendable curtain).  I think the kicker would be to get your wife into a unit and see how she deals with cabinet height and such.  Given current construction I think she would be OK, plus she'd have you along as the substitute stepladder :-)  I'm familiar with that role.  You'd likely want the  standard Legun table to apportion dinette space-- we went with a fixed table since we don't convert it and I wanted inside space for the fuel cell.

 

The overwhelming response of those who see our unit in person has been "Wow, this is big!"  Not at all claustrophobic, and the big windows (especially the rear and bathroom windows) make it nice and bright.  Turn on all the interior lights (16) and you'll need sunglasses.  Those who have trailers usually comment on our counter size-- with our factory mod (cabinet delete) we actually have more usable counter than in a Host Mammoth camper, without resorting to a stovetop or sink cover.  No fireplace, but hey...  Others like the dry bath, especially those who currently have a pop-up from any vendor.  The only dry bath I've had that was better was in my previous S&S 11FBSC, which had a one-piece molded fiberglass assembly.  That said, no complaints here about counters, head clearance, or interior storage.

 

duncan


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

#11 OFFLINE   Squatch

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 05:21 AM

Thanks  for the info Duncan. The unit sound like just what I am looking for.

Cheers

Rob



#12 OFFLINE   poodlemaster

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 03:16 PM

I'm ordering the 12 STC shortly.  Also, ordering an 18 f450 or Ram 3500 DRW.  Can anyone comment on if the pass through window lines up with the ford or RAM better?  this is important to me as I want to be able to cool or heat while going down the road.  thanks.



#13 OFFLINE   Duncan

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 12:51 PM

Can't speak for the RAM, but the Northstar boot works well with my 2016 F350.  We use it for warm(er) weather trips, and the truck A/C cools the camper nicely-- lunch is a treat, regardless of baking outside temps.  If it's hot after we stop for the day-- and we're usually dry camped-- we might run the Honda genny for a bit before bed, leaving the truck rear window closed overnight.  For winter trips we leave the boot at home and rely on the camper heat-- seems like the boot doesn't seal quite as well when cold-- that's most notable on rough roads when the camper might shift a bit.  Kinda a three-season solution :-)

 

duncan


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

#14 OFFLINE   ARSMITH

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 09:00 PM

It's good to hear positive things about Northstar Campers.

 

I'm interested in the 950SC Popup to replace my aging Palomino Bronco popup.

 

 

Andy :)


Edited by ARSMITH, 30 October 2017 - 09:03 PM.





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