Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: We're Baaaack - thanks!, and 2 questions
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 > We're Baaaack - thanks!, and 2 questions

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Deb and Ed M

SW MI & Space Coast, FL USA

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Joined: 06/07/2004

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Posted: 10/05/20 08:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So we've run the full gamut - have officially owned almost every form of RV plus a converted cargo van; it was the van (think "steel tent" - no kitchen) and the emergence of Covid that drove us to buy a small TT, wanting to be self-contained for local camping with our adult kids/grandkids. But we love to take long sightseeing trips. Ed said he didn't want to drag the trailer along for thousands of miles - and since we have the truck anyway - suggested we go back to the nimbleness of a truck camper. Hopefully we'll pick up our 2000 Northstar TC800 pop-up next weekend!

The "TC University" is the best thread on RV.net - I re-read the threads aimed at beginners, to refresh my brain on loading, unloading, etc. A little preventative studying has saved us so many times, from making a costly mistake - I offer a sincere thank you to all who have passed their wisdom along!

Ed is hunting-up a different truck: my 2018 Silverado is capable of carrying the lightweight camper - but a diesel would be ideal for ALL the uses we ask our trucks to do. Since we own a small used-car lot, getting a late-model 3/4-ton truck is easy; the drawback is that it's "inventory" so we'll be using the stake-pocket Brophy anchors.

Here's my first question: we are partial to Fords, but wonder if the aluminum body is less-solid for the Brophy anchors? The camper is 1380 lbs dry, and since it's a pop-up, has a pretty low profile.

Second question: we'd like a small awning - thinking a bag awning like those found on pop-up camping trailers. Should it be mounted on the "body" of the TC, or on the raiseable roof?

Deb

Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Posted: 10/05/20 08:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had aluminum body Ford but used Torklift tie-downs for it.
From my observation the stake pockets are pretty reinforced and I used them for additional sideboards just fine.
Bare in mind that latest years of Ford do have higher bed sides and you are not going to have much space between camper and bed pockets, if you will get away without camper shimming.
But I wonder how 1300 lb camper can be upgrade to TT ?





d3500ram

Colorado

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Posted: 10/05/20 10:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had 2 NorthStar pop-ups including an 800. Also had a TS-1000 with a side awning. The awning was mounted to the side portion of the pop-up roof; it was a Carefree brand with a crank handle.

One thing to look for on a pop-up is the mounting plates at the rear of the top hinges. Have an assistant crank up the top and HOLD it in place so that another can push in the canvas from the outside to inspect these mounting plates. BE CAREFUL that the roof does not come down while inspecting (it could cause injury.)

These plates support of lot of transferred force from the raising of the top and if not maintained and inspected, any moisture at this location can rot the wood (don't ask me how I know this... but it was a PIA to repair.)


Sold the TC, previous owner of 2 NorthStar pop-ups & 2 Northstar Arrows...still have the truck:

2005 Dodge 3500 SRW, Qcab long bed, NV-6500, diesel, 4WD, Helwig, 9000XL,
Nitto 285/70/17 Terra Grapplers, Honda eu3000Is, custom overload spring perch spacers.

jimh425

Western MT

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Posted: 10/05/20 10:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For the awning, I’d ask the TC manufacturer.

If you are buying a pretty new truck, I’d spring for proper tie down mounts like the Torqlifts to future proof the truck part of your setup.


'10 Ford F-450, 6.4, 4.30, 4x4, 14,500 GVWR, '06 Host Rainer 950 Dbl Slide, Torklift Talon tiedowns, Glow Steps, and Fastguns. Bilstein 4600s, Firestone Air Bags, Hankook DH-01 225/19.5 Fs, Curt front hitch, Energy Suspension bump stops.


Deb and Ed M

SW MI & Space Coast, FL USA

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Joined: 06/07/2004

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Posted: 10/05/20 02:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks, everyone! Some questions answered: the TC is not an "upgrade" to our TT (which is a really nice Rockwood!) - it's just more nimble for extended travel. It can get around in cities a lot better than towing the trailer.

Thanks for the pointer on checking the mounting points on the roof - this camper has lived indoors; but we'll still take a look!

It's good to know the stake pockets are good and solid - we hesitate to install the tie-down systems simply because our truck could get sold in the blink of an eye :-( (We actually have people who seek out our personal vehicles, figuring "the car lot owners drive the best stuff"....LOL!)

GWolfe

Kansas

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Posted: 10/05/20 05:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a bag awning mounted to the roof of my pop up but it's at the back so I wanted it higher over the door. If it was on the side I'd like it on the side of the camper body so it would be a little lower, I think it make it easier to deal with and still be plenty high to not run into while walking around it.

I used the Brophy clamp on mounts with my SunLite pop up for the first year I've had it, they worked ok but I didn't like how far in from the corners of the bed they had to go just to get some turnbuckles on. I just put HappiJac tie downs on and think I'm going to really like them. I'm more of a weekend camper for now and am trying to speed up the loading and unloading process. By the time I would take off my tonneau cover and it's accompanying rails, attach the Brophys and then load my camper it would take almost an hour.

I did have to drill some holes in the bed of my truck to do this, I can understand why you wouldn't want to. No holes with the Brophy clamp ons at least, I think the stake pocket ones do require some drilling though.

Good luck, can't wait to see what you end up with.


2005 Sun-Lite Eagle
2011 Silverado

bwlyon

64633

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Posted: 10/05/20 07:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Forget the Brophy mounts and get the Torklift’s with the fast guns. I wouldn’t hesitate to try the new 7.3 gas powered Super Duty if you wanted to save some money.

Deb and Ed M

SW MI & Space Coast, FL USA

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Joined: 06/07/2004

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Posted: 10/06/20 07:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GWolfe wrote:

I have a bag awning mounted to the roof of my pop up but it's at the back so I wanted it higher over the door. If it was on the side I'd like it on the side of the camper body so it would be a little lower, I think it make it easier to deal with and still be plenty high to not run into while walking around it.



I agree that a side mount on the body would be easier to deal with (Ed is tall, so could open/stow just standing on the ground) - but it would be partially hanging over the window. Do the bags bounce much while going down the road? (I'm thinking the window frame might create holes in the bag where they touch?)

My "dream" would be to have a 270-degree batwing awning like the one my son has on his NoBo...LOL!!

Deb and Ed M

SW MI & Space Coast, FL USA

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Joined: 06/07/2004

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Posted: 10/06/20 08:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK - one more question: our 2000 Northstar Popup TC has a crankup vent in the roof. No fan. I already have a new Fantastic Fan in a box that I will definitely install.

What are the chances that there's 12v electric at the site of the vent? (Not that I can't run the F Fan's power wires along the ceiling and down to the battery - but I'm hoping the wires get run automatically when the TC is built?)

Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Posted: 10/06/20 09:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would call NorthStar with your camper serial number and ask.
I doubt they put wires in popup, but doesn't cost much to ask.

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