Deciding on a 4-season truck camper can feel like an exciting but overwhelming process – every man and his dog has an opinion on what you should or shouldn’t spend money on, the features you absolutely need, and those that you can compromise on.
A purchase like this is worth doing your research on – after all, truck campers are a big investment and you want to be happy with what you’re paying for. Take a read below to uncover the top 5 4-season options that are worth the money, and a few considerations to take into account when choosing your camper.
The 5 best 4-season truck camper makers:
1. NuCamp RV’s Cirrus 820
NuCamp RV’s Cirrus 820 truck camper (featured image – top of article) has ultra-modern features and a sleek aesthetic. This hard-side, non-slide camper is suited for short-bed trucks and features two batteries and two 20lb propane tanks in the standard model.
A benefit of the Cirrus 820 2021 model is that this camper comes equipped with features that most manufacturers would offer as options, such as a 210-watt solar kit, wireless back-up camera and increased storage.
From the 2017 model onwards, the traditional RV hot water heater and furnace are replaced by a hydronic central heat and hot water system developed by Swedish company Alde International Systems, increasing heating efficacy.
When combined with closed cell foam insulation and insulated windows, the Alde heating system ensures that the camper is comfortably warm in the Winter, and the air conditioning unit keeps it cool in Summer. The Cirrus 820 comes with useful amenities like a 3-way fridge, microwave oven and Froli sleep system for the Queen bed which can be adjusted to ensure the most restful nights sleep.
This truck camper starts at a Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $47,335.
2. Northwood’s Arctic Fox 811
The Arctic Fox 811 is a hard-side slide-out long or short bed truck camper, fitted with a wet-bath set up. This rig is on the heavier side with a wet weight of 4569 lbs, which is something to consider when deciding if this is the right truck camper for you – however the features packed into this camper are practical and depending on what you’re after may be worth the extra weight.
This camper is 16’8” long and 8’1” in width, allowing enough space for large fresh, grey and black water tanks (50 gallons, 38 gallons and 23 gallons respectively). Foam block insulation, air conditioning and two 30lb propane tanks maintain comfortable temperatures.
This truck camper can house 4 people, with a queen bed and optional bunk above the dinette, and external power awnings make setting-up instant and convenient. A large 7 cubic-foot fridge, triple burner with range cover and option for a 22” microwave oven/oven mean that cooking delicious meals and entertaining is a breeze with the practical kitchenette.The MSRP of this truck camper is $31,916.
3. Alaskan 8.5 Cabover
The 2019 Overland Expo named the Alaskan 8.5 Cabover their Top Camper Rig, and looking at the specs and features of this Truck Camper, it’s obvious why. Alaskan have been producing similar designs since the 1950s, and they really emphasise quality that lasts a lifetime.
Weighing 2061 lb (wet), the 8.5 Cabover weighs in on the lighter side, but don’t let the lighter features fool you – this truck camper’s standard model has a kitchenette that has all the essentials – a compressor fridge, sink and burner stovetop, as well as a respectable 27 gallon fresh water tank.
At a shorter than average length and width of 15’1” and 7’3” respectively, the 8.5 Cabover is great for smaller trucks with a lower weight rating. A unique feature of the cabover 8.5 is the hard side pop-up, reducing noise transmission between inside the camper and the outside environment.
To achieve the lighter weight, Alaskan does compromise on some features including a wet-bath and a grey water tank, however if these are features you’re after, Alaskan can install them for you. MSRP for the 8.5 Cabover is $33,149.
4. Lance Campers 825
Lance Campers are an extremely competitive brand in the camper and trailer production industry, and are rated Best in Owner Satisfaction by their customers. One of Lance Camper’s most popular models, the 825 is practical and state of the art in terms of its conveniences.
The Lance 825 can comfortably house 4-5 people with a length of 16’3” and width of 7’2”. The kitchenette features a 3-cubic foot fridge, sink and double burner stovetop, and the dinette converts to a 36”x70” sleeping area.
With a spacious wet bath, roomy queen bed, sizable black and grey water tanks (14 and 13 gallons respectively), and a fresh water tank that can hold 30 gallons, this truck camper is ideal for those intending on living in their camper on longer trips.
The standard furnace has an output of 18,000 BTU, and the insulated flooring, interior walls, cabover bed and roof ensure that warmth doesn’t escape on those cold days. The Lance 825 is pre-wired for a Solar panel (which can be used for other applications like an AC unit, or power vent.), and has the option of adding a 100-watt panel on purchase.
A wet weight of 2155lb means that this truck camper is relatively lightweight considering the amenities that it manages to house. The MSRP is $26,729.
5. Northern Lite’s 8-11EX
Northern Lite brings over 30 years of experience into the production of each of its Truck Campers, which are constructed with fibreglass eliminating unnecessary seams while maintaining structural integrity, and increasing the aerodynamics of the campers.
Available as a short-bed truck camper in both Wet and Dry bath options, the Northern Lite 8-11EX offers flexibility in choice to suit any truck-camping enthusiast. The 2021 model comes with Dual 100-watt solar panels (with the option of upgrading to 185-watts) and an external 110V plug, as well as internal features such as a large kitchenette and lots of storage.
The standard models are built with acrylic thermal windows and the option of installing an air conditioning unit and added insulation. With a total length of 16’3” and interior head-room of 6’4”, the 8-11EX model has a wet weight of approximately 3,827lb. The MSRP for both the wet and dry bath models is $49,910.
How To Choose a 4-Season Truck Camper
When deciding on a 4-season truck camper, there are a number of criteria that you should take into consideration, to ensure that your choice meets your needs.
Insulation and Heating Requirements
This heavily depends on where you intend to travel and camp. If you aspire to explore the hot climate of Arizona, you’re going to rely more on an effective air-conditioner and cooling system than if you plan to travel to Alaska, where your dependence will lean more towards propane or electric heating and a high insulation rating.
Most 4-season truck campers have effective insulation either already installed with the standard package, or available at an extra cost as an ‘optional’ feature. Ensure your plumbing system does not freeze in cold climates by installing and using a tank heating system.
Vehicle Weight Capacity and Compatibility
If you have already purchased your truck and are looking for a camper to fit it, you will need to take weight capacity into consideration.
The first thing to contemplate is the weight rating of your vehicle and whether it can take the weight of the truck itself (determined by using a commercial truck scale), as well as the addition of the wet weight of the camper and anything else you want to carry with you (including passenger weight).
Your Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) can generally be found on a sticker on the drivers-side door or in the glove box. If your camper-vehicle combo and equipment weigh more than your vehicle’s payload rating, safety becomes an issue as stability is compromised.
You may go as far as converting your camper into an entirely off-grid home, or simply add a few features that make a weekend off-roading a little more comfortable. Solar panels are generally the cheapest and most efficient method to keep your batteries charged, and how much power you require will depend on your specific needs.
Grey, Black and Fresh water tank capacity are also important depending on how long you plan to stay away from other amenities, as is the layout of your Truck Camper’s bathroom.
Taking my own lifestyle and needs into consideration, my pick would be the Alaskan 8.5 cabover truck camper – the features are practical, and the consistently positive reviews from buyers speaks for themselves. With a mid-range price point, this camper would give me the flexibility to add optional extras depending on how I plan to travel in it.
Truck Campers are one of the best ways to explore, especially if you’re not interested in packing and unpacking everytime you hit the road. It’s a great way to maintain the comforts of home while seeing the sights, and reputable manufacturers can modify your choice of camper with additional features. Over time you can make changes as you decide what you do and don’t like about your camper.
There are many great truck campers on the market, and the one that is best for you will depend on your lifestyle, how much time you want to spend on the road and where you go.
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