We love our Artic Fox 990. It has one slide-out which make a world of difference. There are a few makes with slide-outs, so do your homework and take a few tours before deciding on one. Good luck!
Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!
Bigfoot or Northern Lite in that order.
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I bought an Adventurer in Whitehorse about 3 years ago. Got it off of a RV rental place it was a year old. They sell a few each fall. Good price figuring in the money exchange. Its a four season camper with large holding tanks. Drove to Texas and back, stayed in some 10 degree weather no problem. Check them out.
So, going a bit off topic, but maybe some unsolicited input is worthwhile:
- During my (fortunately fading into the mists of time) Houston sojourn, I did the RV thing. Never had a truck camper but did Travel Trailer, 5th wheel, etc and (good laaawd) was even the "Deputy Wagon Master" for an RV club. All in all spent 10-12 years doing the RV thing in and out of Ewe-stun
- Would suggest evaluating either travel trailers or 5th wheels: "what type of RV" has been beat to death ("300 or 375" "Supercub or 180" are equivalent discussions) but the benefit of a trailer of some sort is that it allows one to use their pickup as the run-around vehicle while leaving the "camper" somewhere else. This is beneficial if one spends any time exploring small town outside-of-Alaska-USA. (IMO)
- Whatever RV you get, strongly suggest purchasing it Outside...for various reasons, I'd specifically suggest Houston, Denver, or Jacksonville (FLA). Huge volume dealers there and lots of options for a good used "camper".
- In my experience, the perceived room in the "camper" experiences a 25 - 40% decrease after 3 days of staying in it: the camper (trailer, whatever) that feels roomy at the sales lot just doesn't feel as roomy after a few days of living in it...
- The biggest fridge one can get for whatever "camper" you get is the only way to go. When I bought my last "RV", although it was a 5th wheel, one of the key criteria was that it had to have at least the option of a full size fridge...why? Because much of the use was meeting kids/grandkids/inlaws/nephews/nieces and entertaining them...something along what the OP is going to do
- One thing to decide early on is whether the user is a "by the numbers" person or not: Do you stick within the GVWR of the truck or not? In a way it's like some airplanes: a bit of overload is fine, but too much and the handling characteristics suffer. and while there's lots of informal weight police, there isn't a Camper Weight Authority...but it needs to be the user's decision.....and along those lines, airbags have their uses but they don't increase the numbers.
- And if you are going to stay within the numbers, that will drive your selection of the "camper" (again, whether cabover, trailer, 5th wheel, etc)
- If you're going to spend any time in the L48 in summer, get the biggest a/C on the "camper" you can.
- Whether truck camper, trailer, or 5th wheel...slideouts are the bomb.
- With a single axle truck, if you decide to stay within numbers, that will limit your choices of truck camper. That being said, some of the makes mentioned already are good: Arctic Fox, BigFoot, Northern Lite but weight considerations may impact what you can handle. FWIW, Northwood Manufacturing makes both the Arctic Fox line and the Wolf Creek Line....more or less the same build quality, but IIRC Wolf Creek is lighter and cheaper.
- Reiterating personal preference, would suggest considering travel trailers and/or 5th wheels as well as truck campers.
The above post is loaded with GREAT ADVICE!!!!
I’ve owned campers for over 30 years now. Main reason it was my simplest solution: already owned 3/4 trucks and needed to be able to pull a boat. Hard to do with a trailer camper in tow. LOL. For the 3/4 ton trucks air bags a must. Simple to install and 6- Roblees sells them. If you get a camper, I would never own one now without the slide out. Makes a completely different camper out of them. Exterior showers are handy in the warm months for keeping the inside of the camper clean, washing off boots and such, and yes even a shower when needed. They are also something else to winterize and prep for winter. No matter what rv you select make sure that the roof has never leaked and has been taken care of. This is a common problem with RV,s. And it can cause additional problems besides just leaking.
I have a 2015 F-250 diesel with a short bed. I have a cache camper. We (me, wife, 5 month old baby, and 2 60lb labs) just spent 15 days on the road (5000+ miles) between soldotna and Oklahoma. Was tight fit at times but over all we had an absolute blast! If you can spring for the tork lift fast guns do it! I don't have them and it's a pain to deal with the turn buckles. Arctic fox and cache camper are great brands.
I drove up to the kenai-Soldotna area yesterday to get more re-call work done on my Ford F350. ( engine block heater) I thought there used to be a camper dealer along side the spur hwy but I could not find it. I looked a couple others that were pretty nasty.
I may indeed have to drive down south solo, spend a fortune on hotels, then purchase and install down there. I guess I could then fly my wife down there so she could drive back or some such thing...
Do the slide out extension parts cause weather-proofing problems when stored?
Do they interfere with using the camper if they are retracted? Like if I stop in a big box store parking lot, for a sandwich and nap, will I have to jack the extension out?
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Can't speak for a cabover, but based on 3 trailers all with at least one slideout (one trailer with 4 slideouts!):
- One will need to pay attention to the gaskets, etc where the slideout closes against the body to keep them clean and debris-free...if the slide-out is properly adjusted (i.e. closes all the way) and properly cleaned, it shouldn't be any more of a problem than windows, doors, etc for water infiltration
- Interference when closed varies quite a bit by make: I'd suspect that one would find some degree of interference by a retracted slideout in a cabover. Key things to ensure are that (when closed) the slideout does not block access to the fridge or (ideally) sink. I always wanted good access to the toilet, but in a cabover that might be asking too much if it has slideouts.
- Again, it may be different for cabovers, but on the trailers I had, it was no problem to extend the slides for a quick stop. One of the trailers had a big slideout and the manual said not to put weight in it if extended while on hitch...obviously not an issue with the cabover.
- Any slides should be power extend / retract. I "saved" $450 once by going with a manual (imagine pumping a bottle jack) instead of power extending slide. One of the worst mistakes in my RV experience.
I have an 8 ft arctic fox. No problem accessing frig, toilet and sink when the slide out is in. Above post is correct regarding making sure it is completely pulled in when traveling or being stored. It has an electric motor so fairly simple to do. Only thing I would change would to go to the 8-1/2 or 9 ft model for the additional room at the dining table and in bathroom. Bath on the 8ft unit is tight, doable but tight. Reminds me of Chris Farley’s seen in Tommy Boy trying to use the toilet on the airplane! LOL
i have been thinking of switching to a trailer or motor home so that my wife and I don’t have to climb steps to get into the camper and also climb steps to get into bed.
Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!
The one thing about Artic Fox is that it had a welded aluminum frame. Mine is 3 years old and i have about 12k miles on it from hunting trips. Only issues were some loose plumbing connections. It's been down the Alcan and back, and completely across Canada.
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