Off Road Hard Side Camper

easyshell

Member
We have done 1000’s of “off road”miles in our bigfoot and it has lasted we have destroyed regular wood framed campers and trailers 3x

We have had the bigfoot for 7 years and spend about 2 months a year in it if not more.
They are well insulated but there is room for improvement.
We have been out ice fishing at -36 and nothing froze you need to leave the cupboards open for air flow and the furnace goes almost none stop cycles about every 15 min but still cozy inside
We don’t run an ac but have fantastic fans to keep cool in summer
We go lots of places you probly should not take a truck camper but I like a comfy bed and my own bathroom. We are looking for a different option but keep coming back to what we have. I need more headroom I can’t stand in it ( 6’4”) and our boys are out growing the bed.
If you find some thing that lasts I am all ears
The big foot 2500 have a large fresh water tank as well I think ours Is 55 gal.
 

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redthies

Renaissance Redneck
What is the best hard side truck camper for off road use. That is rough graded dirt roads. Not a hiking trail. I was thinking of a northern lite. Does anyone have an opinion?
I use my NL off pavement regularly. It is solid as day one after a couple of years of hard use. My only complaint is the awesome Seitz windows are easy to bush scratch. I live in BC where we have dense forests and my windows are getting a bit marked up. All the drawers, seat boxes etc are built with Baltic birch plywood and there is no particleboard anywhere. Quality is phenomenal compared to Bigfoot.

Totally agree with Kenny. Same with Northern Light, very well made shells but same ole interior fit out.
Not sure which Northern Lite you’ve been in, but they are not even remotely the same as the Bigfoot interiors.


i live next to the northern lite and bigfoot factory but i never work on any bigfoot.
Since they are not built in the same factory, or even the same town you must have a REALLY BIG house!
 

Jonnyo

Observer
I use my NL off pavement regularly. It is solid as day one after a couple of years of hard use. My only complaint is the awesome Seitz windows are easy to bush scratch. I live in BC where we have dense forests and my windows are getting a bit marked up. All the drawers, seat boxes etc are built with Baltic birch plywood and there is no particleboard anywhere. Quality is phenomenal compared to Bigfoot.



Not sure which Northern Lite you’ve been in, but they are not even remotely the same as the Bigfoot interiors.




Since they are not built in the same factory, or even the same town you must have a REALLY BIG house!


perhaps my english isnt proper but living in penticton bc for me mean living next to both kelowna and amstrong factory. both have been usefull place in sourcing part of my own builds.
 

redthies

Renaissance Redneck
Ahhh. My sisters husband used to run Northern Lites fibreglass shop before he died. They lived in Naramata so if you are in Penticton you are closer to the factory than he was! I thought Bigfoot was in Alberta now, but didn’t pay much attention to them as I knew I wanted a NL for the interior finishing. I realize some people here have not been inside a recent NL, or maybe have been in their Sportsman model or rental models. The SE models like I have are as good as any of the European adventure rigs I’ve been in, or the Earthroamers I’ve been in.
 

Jonnyo

Observer
Bigfoot is still located in amrstrong. They also have a sister company attach to there factory that make some very pricy but amazing composite panels using honeycombss structure etc.

It s amazing to see how many camper company we have in the okanagan and so many composite panel company, and window/door company.
 

beef tits

New member
What is your price range? That will greatly narrow your results.

Four Wheel Campers makes a hard-side model. Welded aluminum frame. I'd go that route on a flatbed if I had unlimited funds.

I opted for an older Lance 815, it was $3600 but in pretty good shape. I have about $2k in it on top of that fixing things, adding solar, turning bathroom into storage, etc. I haven't used it off-road too much but I plan to this fall once hunting season starts.
 

Runt

Adventurer
I have a Phoenix Pop up Camper that I have not taken off my truck since I bought it & has over 160,000 km on rough FSR's. I mean rough....I do forestry multi-phase development work in the interior of B.C. and take my truck down deactivated roads all the time. Its held up quite well. They make hard sided campers as well. Rob and Cari are very accommodating and focus on custom work so you can get exactly what you want.
 

Umnak

Adventurer
We've picked up our new Capri Retreat in Bozeman and it now sits on our 2013 1/2 ton GMC Z71 "All Terrain" extended bed truck.

Cabin on the Road.jpgWhile it has not been off road in the true sense of the term, it has been driven over a lot of FS roads in Idaho and Washington, including some bone jarring and pot-hole ridden two tracks. It weighs about 1300 lbs and with our minimalist approach has done well both on the highway and on the FS roads. I especially like the interior turnbuckles used to hold it in place. Having lines protruding from the side of the camper seems likely to catch on brush, not to mention the aesthetics.
IMG_9371.jpg

We had initially hoped to purchase a Pastime, and I phoned their dealer right after buying the truck to start a build. Unfortunately, they are no longer building campers. I looked at Travel-Lite but it seems that most of what was available in the PNW had all the bells and whistles which brought the weight well above the trucks GVWR and included things we don't need like a water heater, a.c., t.v., built in stove, and North-South beds. We learned a lot on our 3-year road trip about keeping things simple and having less clutter was the major take-away.

Capri was easy to work with on our build. That included finding a place for our ARB 50 qt fridge seen above. It is much lighter than their standard fridge, uses .87 amps per hour, sits lower and is removable. I didn't order a table as it would take up too much room, instead we use a small REI folding table that sits on the starboard bench when eating and hanging out inside. A toilet sits under the bench seen below at the door. The Snow Peak Baja stove allows for inside or outside use. The Catalytic furnace is a nod to winter travel. The build quality is better than what we saw in the Pastimes.

It does well in dirt and we plan on spending a couple of months in the southwest this winter and will see how it does in sand.

Cabin.jpg
P1240918.jpg
 

Trikebubble

Adventurer
I realize your looking for a hard sided camper, but if you do broaden your horizons you're welcome to come take a peek at our Four Wheel Camper. We're here in Penticton, which I believe is close to where you are located.
I'm all in with our Four Wheel Camper. the compactness and low overall height makes it perfect for us to get into some very tight spots where you couldn't get a traditional camper. Their are compromises with our style of camper, but none outweigh the advantages to us of having it.

And a quick picture of last weekends camp spot. The route into this amazing little place was exceptionally tight, with some very tight corners ,and a lot of overhang above.

111 Similkameen.jpg
 

Umnak

Adventurer
And a quick picture of last weekends camp spot. The route into this amazing little place was exceptionally tight, with some very tight corners ,and a lot of overhang above.
We had considered a Four Wheel Camper before learning about the issues with condensation in cold and damp conditions, which pretty much define the PNW on the west side of the Cascades as well as B.C. and the Yukon. The overhanging limbs do severely limit the use of the hard sided camper in the same forests.
That's a lovely spot.
 

sg1

Adventurer
We had considered a Four Wheel Camper before learning about the issues with condensation in cold and damp conditions, which pretty much define the PNW on the west side of the Cascades as well as B.C. and the Yukon. The overhanging limbs do severely limit the use of the hard sided camper in the same forests.
That's a lovely spot.
Why not get a Overland Explorer Camp X. It is a fully insulated pop up camper and we just came back from the NWT and it had no issues with condensation. Details are in the pop up section.
 

Umnak

Adventurer
Why not get a Overland Explorer Camp X. It is a fully insulated pop up camper and we just came back from the NWT and it had no issues with condensation. Details are in the pop up section.
That's a nice rig, and it's about $15,000 more than what we bought.
 
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Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
We've picked up our new Capri Retreat in Bozeman and it now sits on our 2013 1/2 ton GMC Z71 "All Terrain" extended bed truck.

View attachment 473168While it has not been off road in the true sense of the term, it has been driven over a lot of FS roads in Idaho and Washington, including some bone jarring and pot-hole ridden two tracks. It weighs about 1300 lbs and with our minimalist approach has done well both on the highway and on the FS roads. I especially like the interior turnbuckles used to hold it in place. Having lines protruding from the side of the camper seems likely to catch on brush, not to mention the aesthetics.
View attachment 473170

We had initially hoped to purchase a Pastime, and I phoned their dealer right after buying the truck to start a build. Unfortunately, they are no longer building campers. I looked at Travel-Lite but it seems that most of what was available in the PNW had all the bells and whistles which brought the weight well above the trucks GVWR and included things we don't need like a water heater, a.c., t.v., built in stove, and North-South beds. We learned a lot on our 3-year road trip about keeping things simple and having less clutter was the major take-away.

Capri was easy to work with on our build. That included finding a place for our ARB 50 qt fridge seen above. It is much lighter than their standard fridge, uses .87 amps per hour, sits lower and is removable. I didn't order a table as it would take up too much room, instead we use a small REI folding table that sits on the starboard bench when eating and hanging out inside. A toilet sits under the bench seen below at the door. The Snow Peak Baja stove allows for inside or outside use. The Catalytic furnace is a nod to winter travel. The build quality is better than what we saw in the Pastimes.

It does well in dirt and we plan on spending a couple of months in the southwest this winter and will see how it does in sand.

View attachment 473171
View attachment 473172

That's exactly the camper I want right down to the colors. You have great taste, sir.

Is that the "ridge pine" interior. It looks good. I liked the gray "weathered cedar", but it's a bit dark for a camper with limited natural light.

Hopefully you can do a long term review on it soon. Travel lite got bought and shutdown by Thor. (couldn't compete with innovation they didn't understand, so they shut them down)
 
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Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Umnak,
I like your minimalist style. Like buliwyf, it would be good to see a longer term review. The rules of thumb with a truck camper are:
1. Get one that will fit on (clearance all around, approach, breakover, and departure angle), has big enough tanks for your purposes, and can traverse the roads and routes you plan on traveling, considering your already acquired off-road and remote travel skills.
2. The longer you are out on the road, the more capacious and creature comforted the camper AND truck need to be. Yes, we can endure almost any set up for a week or a week end, but when we get to the 6 month or 6 year mark, having space for living with hobbies, electronics, and interests become prime. Otherwise it's more of a sentence than an adventure.
jefe
 
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