Jump to content

 
 

Announcements

Lots of new items for sale in our store. Click here

Photo

Pastime Campers - Any opinions and experience?


10 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Nosferatu

Nosferatu

    Tenderfoot

  • Members
  • 3 posts
  • Local time: 04:40 AM
  • State/Province or Region:WA
  • Country:USA

Posted 02 August 2018 - 10:45 AM

Can anyone give me some info on the Pastime line of campers. You've done a good job of talking me out of a Travel-Lite. Make me hate these things too! :)



#2 OFFLINE   pscansetzer

pscansetzer

    Grand Potentate

  • NATCOA Members
  • 71 posts
  • Local time: 11:40 PM
  • State/Province or Region:NC
  • Country:United States
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NC
  • Interests:Traveling with my wife! 6 cross country trips and counting. Fly fishing, hiking, drift boats, Native Americans and Lewis and Clark.
  • Camper Brand:2018 Northern Lite 9-6 Q SE
  • Truck Make & Model:2012 Dodge Ram 3500 DRW w/ a Towed Jeep Wrangler
  • Name (Public):Jim & Tam

Posted 02 August 2018 - 12:15 PM

Nosferatu

 

Can't say to much good or bad about these.  Just b y looking at the photos from the website I see things that make compare it to the last TC I owned which was a NorthStar.  

 

1. Looking at the picture with the sink counter in it - I would suspect the water pump is placed in and behind the converter(?) a terrible place for such a piece of equipment which will require to be replaced one day.

 

2. Looking at the jacks - they are supporting the camper by the sides and not the bottom - not an optimal way of supporting the unit.

 

3. The entry door - has squared corners - this will eventually lead to cracks and or leakage.  TC's all flex as they go down the road and the corners will act as stress risers and then potentially leak or crack.

 

What is the structural warranty on this brand?

 

Are you traveling by your lonesome or with a family - the bunk overhead is nice - give the test 200 pounds ought to do nicely...

 

My preference now is to have as minimal seams as possible we have a Northern Lite.

 

The issues became to much to keep up with from NorthStar.  Rotted wood, and constant repairs which a design work along the way from Northstar would have mitigated those repairs which came just after about 2 years of ownership.

 

The pluses - I love camping and traveling with a TC.  It is not comparable to pulling a tag-a-long or 5th wheel.  You just approach things differently and we who own these are a unique breed to say the least.

 

Boondocking is a blast and being self contained is a wonderful feeling when you camp in a site with no one else around.

 

My view may be skewed based upon my previous experience and I am sure not all campers are bad.  We just step into the wrong spot at the wrong time.

 

Keep looking and evaluate carefully - if it seems fishy it is - if they offer a good warranty then that's a good start

 

Lots of luck and keep us posted on the endeavor!  And remember - you can always ask for opinions because you'll get a lot of that here!

 

Jim


Jim & Tam Setzer

NC & MT

 

"Keep close to Nature’s heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean."

John Muir


#3 OFFLINE   pscansetzer

pscansetzer

    Grand Potentate

  • NATCOA Members
  • 71 posts
  • Local time: 11:40 PM
  • State/Province or Region:NC
  • Country:United States
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NC
  • Interests:Traveling with my wife! 6 cross country trips and counting. Fly fishing, hiking, drift boats, Native Americans and Lewis and Clark.
  • Camper Brand:2018 Northern Lite 9-6 Q SE
  • Truck Make & Model:2012 Dodge Ram 3500 DRW w/ a Towed Jeep Wrangler
  • Name (Public):Jim & Tam

Posted 02 August 2018 - 12:27 PM

One last nugget - check out the "Hallmark"  line of Pop Up TC's.  I hear a lot of good stuff and they start with a fiberglass tub - they also have a 5- year structural warranty...  That's the second longest warranty I've heard of besides Northern Lite.


Jim & Tam Setzer

NC & MT

 

"Keep close to Nature’s heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean."

John Muir


#4 OFFLINE   Nosferatu

Nosferatu

    Tenderfoot

  • Members
  • 3 posts
  • Local time: 04:40 AM
  • State/Province or Region:WA
  • Country:USA

Posted 02 August 2018 - 01:17 PM

Thanks for the feedback.

We have a travel trailer for when it's myself, the wife and dogs. The TC is just for me when I go off on a weekend fishing or hunting trip. I just want something simple to get me off the ground. No more tents!!

 

I live in western Washington. it rains. A lot. Then it rains some more. A pop-up is not in the cards as I want something that will stay somewhat warm in the winter. As I get older, I don't feel like dealing with the camping aspect of a trip when I want to focus on the hunt, if that makes any sense.

 

My budget also won't support a new one. I'm looking in the used market. I've seen a lot of Pastime and Travel-lite show up used and fairly cheap. There seems to be a reason for this!

 

I see some pre 2000 Lance and Northlands in my price range quite frequently. I just worry about the age of the appliances at that age.  (mostly the fridge as they seem to like to die at 20 years).



#5 OFFLINE   joerg68

joerg68

    Tenderfoot

  • NATCOA Members
  • 93 posts
  • Local time: 07:40 PM
  • State/Province or Region:Saarland
  • Country:Germany
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ueberherrn, Germany
  • Interests:Truck Campers ;-)
  • Camper Brand:2017 Northstar Arrow
  • Truck Make & Model:2014 Ford F350 XLT 6.2 SCLB
  • Name (Public):Joerg

Posted 06 August 2018 - 12:10 AM

Went to the Pastime web page (https://www.pastimemfg.com/)

 

What I see is a traditional camper construction with a wood frame and aluminum sheetmetal siding. Most campers used to be built that way. They need a lot of care and preventive maintenance. They can last a long time if built the right way and taken care of. They can also rot away in no time. On the plus side, they are very easy to repair,

 

I am not sure what to make of the Pastime offerings. They do not seem to make campers in any significant number - their inventory lists one unit at this time. I have never seen one of their campers in reality, so I can not comment on the build quality - which makes or breaks this sort of design big time. Built with good quality and attention to detail, the "classic" wood and sheetmetal campers can last a long time.

 

@pscansetzer - can you tell where you had rot problems with your Northstar? I have one myself, and it is comparatively well built. It outclasses just about every other US made camper I have seen as far as build quality goes (which is mediocre at best in most cases). But I am aware that it is basically an all wood box that will react badly when it gets wet... And I agree with you - the water pump location is less than optimal.

 

Just be aware that ALL campers have issues when (not if) they leak. Some more so than others, but there are wooden components in just about all of them. And it is not like fiberglass or aluminum never have problems of their own. Hallmark campers are well built and they are a great company - visited them in 2012. Outfitter campers are very well designed, too. With an aluminum frame, and a lot of fiberglass components. But build quality of mine was not great. Both brands are not at the inexpensive end of campers. Hallmark (and Outfitter) make great campers, yet some people have huge issues with theirs.


2014 F350 SCLB 6.2 + 2017 Northstar Arrow

#6 OFFLINE   pscansetzer

pscansetzer

    Grand Potentate

  • NATCOA Members
  • 71 posts
  • Local time: 11:40 PM
  • State/Province or Region:NC
  • Country:United States
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NC
  • Interests:Traveling with my wife! 6 cross country trips and counting. Fly fishing, hiking, drift boats, Native Americans and Lewis and Clark.
  • Camper Brand:2018 Northern Lite 9-6 Q SE
  • Truck Make & Model:2012 Dodge Ram 3500 DRW w/ a Towed Jeep Wrangler
  • Name (Public):Jim & Tam

Posted 06 August 2018 - 06:36 PM

Went to the Pastime web page (https://www.pastimemfg.com/)

 

What I see is a traditional camper construction with a wood frame and aluminum sheetmetal siding. Most campers used to be built that way. They need a lot of care and preventive maintenance. They can last a long time if built the right way and taken care of. They can also rot away in no time. On the plus side, they are very easy to repair,

 

I am not sure what to make of the Pastime offerings. They do not seem to make campers in any significant number - their inventory lists one unit at this time. I have never seen one of their campers in reality, so I can not comment on the build quality - which makes or breaks this sort of design big time. Built with good quality and attention to detail, the "classic" wood and sheetmetal campers can last a long time.

 

@pscansetzer - can you tell where you had rot problems with your Northstar? I have one myself, and it is comparatively well built. It outclasses just about every other US made camper I have seen as far as build quality goes (which is mediocre at best in most cases). But I am aware that it is basically an all wood box that will react badly when it gets wet... And I agree with you - the water pump location is less than optimal.

 

Just be aware that ALL campers have issues when (not if) they leak. Some more so than others, but there are wooden components in just about all of them. And it is not like fiberglass or aluminum never have problems of their own. Hallmark campers are well built and they are a great company - visited them in 2012. Outfitter campers are very well designed, too. With an aluminum frame, and a lot of fiberglass components. But build quality of mine was not great. Both brands are not at the inexpensive end of campers. Hallmark (and Outfitter) make great campers, yet some people have huge issues with theirs.

 Two primary areas

1.) The side wings at the front jacks (both sides), after that large radius turns from vertical to horizontal and roughly about a 1.0 foot.  I had to hog out some wood and clean it up, replace it with some more waterproofed wood.  Stayed away from treated wood - didn't think that would mix well with the aluminum panels. 

 

2.) The lower wings on the side at the back area of the camper as well.  As I took the jack off to maintain and reseal surfaces I found that two of the holes drill into the camper for the jack brackets had already been stripped out.   That was disappointing too.

 

Those two areas that I paid particular attention over the 5 year span that I owned it.  Don't get me wrong, we loved our first camper, the Igloo 9.5.  

I wished we hadn't had to travel that path.....

 

Jim


Jim & Tam Setzer

NC & MT

 

"Keep close to Nature’s heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean."

John Muir


#7 OFFLINE   joerg68

joerg68

    Tenderfoot

  • NATCOA Members
  • 93 posts
  • Local time: 07:40 PM
  • State/Province or Region:Saarland
  • Country:Germany
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ueberherrn, Germany
  • Interests:Truck Campers ;-)
  • Camper Brand:2017 Northstar Arrow
  • Truck Make & Model:2014 Ford F350 XLT 6.2 SCLB
  • Name (Public):Joerg

Posted 06 August 2018 - 11:07 PM

Thanks, Jim! I will keep an eye out. Any idea where exactly the water entered? I know, any single screw hole is enough. I once had to rebuild the rear 1.5' of our first Lance floor and wings...

Our camper is outside year round, usually on the truck. Local building code makes it difficult to put it under a roof, and I really ned to have it nearby and ready to pack up & go - otherwise it will rarely ever happen.


2014 F350 SCLB 6.2 + 2017 Northstar Arrow

#8 OFFLINE   pscansetzer

pscansetzer

    Grand Potentate

  • NATCOA Members
  • 71 posts
  • Local time: 11:40 PM
  • State/Province or Region:NC
  • Country:United States
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NC
  • Interests:Traveling with my wife! 6 cross country trips and counting. Fly fishing, hiking, drift boats, Native Americans and Lewis and Clark.
  • Camper Brand:2018 Northern Lite 9-6 Q SE
  • Truck Make & Model:2012 Dodge Ram 3500 DRW w/ a Towed Jeep Wrangler
  • Name (Public):Jim & Tam

Posted 07 August 2018 - 04:03 AM

Thanks, Jim! I will keep an eye out. Any idea where exactly the water entered? I know, any single screw hole is enough. I once had to rebuild the rear 1.5' of our first Lance floor and wings...

Our camper is outside year round, usually on the truck. Local building code makes it difficult to put it under a roof, and I really ned to have it nearby and ready to pack up & go - otherwise it will rarely ever happen.

As I remember when I removed the vinyl trim that covers the screws holding the trim piece, that's when the cold chill went up my back.  The first four to six screws from the front to the back were rusted and spun freely in the holes.  For the lower wings at the rear of the camper, I really don't know where the water came in at.  I kept that area of the underside coated with fresh paint yearly.

 

I too, had to keep ours outside but not on the truck.  It was really easy to put on and take off, so no problem there.

 

Keep an eye on that and I hope you do not have any of the problems that I did.

 

jim


Jim & Tam Setzer

NC & MT

 

"Keep close to Nature’s heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean."

John Muir


#9 OFFLINE   Electrojake

Electrojake

    Grand Potentate

  • NATCOA Members
  • 150 posts
  • Local time: 10:40 PM
  • State/Province or Region:Northeastern US
  • Country:USA
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Not so new Jersey
  • Interests:Work is my hobby.
  • Camper Brand:Northstar Arrow-U
  • Truck Make & Model:RAM 3500 Cummins/AISIN
  • Name (Public):Jake

Posted 07 August 2018 - 07:06 AM

Seems Nosferatu started a thread on the mother of all questions... "Which camper is best"
 
I'd also like to state that when anyone here complains about their experiences with a particular brand of camper it's actually a good thing as it helps us new owners to understand what problems to look out for with our own equipment.  :)
 
Getting back to which camper is best. . .
I did extensive research a few years back to find the absolute "best" camper for my particular needs. The answer I came up with was Northstar and NorthernLite.
 
Items important to me included...
*Full blackout capability.
*Thetford cassette toilet option.
*A true full size queen mattress area.
*The ability to pass-thru from the camper to the cab of the truck.
-->>> Note that the main reason I chose the Arrow-U over a NL 8-11SE was the NS had the more compact size and I have a small truck.
 
Complaints about either brand (NL or NS) are rare but they do exist.
NorthernLite with their quality of assembly and Northstar with the cold hard fact that no matter how well built, "wood rots"
 
But here's the good news on fixing 'issues' by NS and NL...
 
After NorthernLite's factory fire a few years ago destroyed the molds for the 10-2 and the 9-6 they had little choice but to have new molds created. As I understand it they did not just copy their old design, they did a full re-design. A lot of the 'issues' with the old 10-2 & 9-6 were finally gone! That was one giant step toward making NorthernLite a truly perfect TC. 
*Note: No such luck with the 8-11.
The old mold survived the factory fire so the old design is still in production.
Just saying. 4-dontknow.gif
 
As for Northstar's issues...
Whether they'll admit to it or not, they do know what the problems are.
For example... I have followed the evolution of the Arrow-U thru 2014, 15, 16, 17. There have been ongoing tweaks, adjustments, and improvements. From an engineering viewpoint the evolution of the Northstar product is constantly moving toward the unobtainable goal of "The Perfect Camper"
 
Happy shopping & keep us posted!
-Ej- 

2016 RAM 3500 Longhorn - Cummins/AISIN, 4x4, SRW, ShortBd.
2017 Northstar Arrow-U


#10 OFFLINE   Nosferatu

Nosferatu

    Tenderfoot

  • Members
  • 3 posts
  • Local time: 04:40 AM
  • State/Province or Region:WA
  • Country:USA

Posted 08 August 2018 - 07:33 AM

 

Seems Nosferatu started a thread on the mother of all questions... "Which camper is best"
 

 

That's absolutely NOT what I asked. I wanted to know just how much of a piece of junk Pastime campers are. I'm not interested in the least bit what's "best". That term is subject to such a large scale of interpretation it's impossible to get a solid answer. I don't want to pay $50-60k for a camper.

 

Anyway, I appreciate the responses. Even though I stated before I didn't want a pop-up, I ended up going to a local dealer that had some Pastime, Travel-lite, Palomino and a few used models from Wolf Creek & Lance.

 

I ended up buying a leftover 2018 Palomino SS-1500. The dealer gave me an outstanding deal that's hard to pass up. I pick it up this weekend!

 

FWIW, Looking at the Pastime and Travel-lites side by side showed they are about the same. Thin walls, poorly fitted cabinetry, some of the wall penetrations had missing chunks of sealant (mostly around the water heater). You could tell they were thrown together on a Friday 30 minutes before the end of a shift.

 

The used ones they had in stock must have been made of gold, even though they were on average about 20 years old. They wanted double NADA on them and wouldn't budge. I wouldn't put them much higher than the Passtime and Travel-lite, but they were at least mostly sealed up and the walls didn't bend when I breathed on them.


Edited by Nosferatu, 08 August 2018 - 07:37 AM.


#11 OFFLINE   Electrojake

Electrojake

    Grand Potentate

  • NATCOA Members
  • 150 posts
  • Local time: 10:40 PM
  • State/Province or Region:Northeastern US
  • Country:USA
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Not so new Jersey
  • Interests:Work is my hobby.
  • Camper Brand:Northstar Arrow-U
  • Truck Make & Model:RAM 3500 Cummins/AISIN
  • Name (Public):Jake

Posted 08 August 2018 - 10:19 AM



 

 

Seems Nosferatu started a thread on the mother of all questions... "Which camper is best"

 

That's absolutely NOT what I asked.

I wanted to know just how much of a piece of junk Pastime campers are.

I'm not interested in the least bit what's "best".

 

That term is subject to such a large scale of interpretation it's impossible to get a solid answer. I don't want to pay $50-60k for a camper.

 

 

Well either way Nosferatu, I'm glad it worked out for you! :)

And if time permits... Post a few pics.

 

image.jpg

 

Happy camping,

-Ej- 


2016 RAM 3500 Longhorn - Cummins/AISIN, 4x4, SRW, ShortBd.
2017 Northstar Arrow-U





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Sign In