Tundra is stock as of now. No suspension upgrades added yet. It has the 5.7V8 and 4.3 geared tow package. And yes it is a 1500. Handles the weight easily in the power department. Suspension dropped 3" in rear when weighted with the wet/loaded camper. Nowhere near the bumps. It does sit a bit low in the rear and sway seems minimal on road.
Drove it from LA to Home in the E. Sierras 300 miles and 7000' elevation gain- averaged 13mpg at 75mph, hit plenty of wind- noticeable but minimal sway. I've had the camper a week now and am aver. 12.5mpg city at 8500' elev.
Northstar- its an '05 TC650 built for a Dakota (which means it is 3" narrower at the wheelwells but rest of it is the same as TC650standard). Picked it up in RanchoCucamonga, CA off a guy that used it only onroad for NHRA tours. Think i got a great deal at $5K.
It seems to be pristine and everything works, though the water heater anode was completely dissolved- except for that, it barely even needed a cleaning. But i buffed it anyway.
Camper is tagged at 1660lbs.
Queen front/back bed, 3.8cu/ft fridge, 6gal.h2o heater, outside shower, deep cycle bat., grey tank, 30gal. fresh, portapotti, inverter, what else you need?
Us- My Wife, 5y.o., and I love the outdoors and spend alot of time there. We have tent camped tons and travel quite a bit. We live in an area of US that begs to be explored. Backpacking, mountaineering, carcamping? Whatever. We love Death/Saline Valley and escape there often. Baja WAS big on our list- time will tell. We do quite a bit of offroading and love to camp WAY off the travelled path.
I hope this camper can handle us. This is our first take with a camper so I'm sure it will be a learning experience.
Quite honestly- I had DECIDED on a Hallmark Milner but this Northstar was priced right and clean- i couldnt pass it up.
I spaced the bottom of the camper up 3" to compensate for the taller bedsides now common in newer trucks.
I got a happijack tiedown setup from the guy too, but it is for a Chevy 1500. Front tie mounts dont fit. I used the back tiedowns and just strapped the front between the bed and cab around the frame. It has shifted less than an inch back like this, even offroad. Temporary till I weld in my rocksliders and mount a tab for front ties.
Electrically- I just have it plugged into my 7pin trailer plug for now.
It is resting in the bed and hangs onto the tailgate with room to spare. I may remove the tailgate later to allow me to tow my trailer.
This Thread- I hope will be a benefit to the Forum.
I will update it as i find out more about the strengths/weaknesses of the TC650 and my truck. I would love to get input and opinions from others. I am not sensitive and only hope it could be constructive. I want my system to be durable, safe, and enjoyable.
Some will criticize the weight on the Tundra, sorry. I stressed long and hard then, after reading everything i could and seeing rigs everywhere WAY overloaded, i came to the conclusion that a mildly overloaded truck is acceptable. The camper is correctly sized for the bed. I will be adding an upgraded suspension first, then airbags if required to compensate for the load in back. Frame plating is a possibility, but not likely required as all HD trucks have C-channel frames from the cab back nowadays. Any suggestions on Tundra strengthening are welcomed. We shall see, that is what this thread is for, and will hopefully help other people to choose a camper and truck combo based on others experiences +/-.