Written by 11:15 pm Truck Campers

5 Pop Up Truck Campers You Must See

pop up truck camper

850 SC NorthStar Truck Camper

The Kitchen and the Kitchen Center

The 850 SC comes with a convenient little container that they have dubbed the Kitchen Center. It isn’t an attached component of the camper, but a convenient add-on that makes the small dimensions of a truck-bed camper a bit more livable. It contains a basin for washing dishes, a cutting board, and an attachable rack for small cleaning supplies such as soaps and brushes. When the Kitchen Center is not needed, you can store it into the basin of the sink. It fits the space perfectly, and the lid creates an additional countertop space.

The Storage

Most of the easily accessible storage is located in the kitchen, and you will find a decent amount of it. With a few exceptions, you will find the rest of the storage underneath the bed. Extending the length and width of that bed plus six inches deep, this storage area is split by three dividers. It creates the perfect split to store everybody’s clothes, assuming that the unit is filled to its three-person capacity. Also, there are a total of four smaller storage compartments that line the left and right sides of the bed.

There are two versions of this camper. The variation is needed to accompany different truck bed sizes. The version for the short truck beds has a little bit of additional storage of both sides of the vehicle. 

Easy Access to the Inner Workings

Northstar made it easy to access the water heater, the plumbing, the DSI switch, the battery disconnect, circuit breakers, and the switch for the unit’s lift system. It is all in one central accessible location. At this spot, the floor is raised a little over a foot higher than the kitchen floor. It works as a step to the raised bed, and the floor at this section is a removable cover for the battery compartment. When Northstar placed the battery compartment within the raised step, they decide to add a second access point to that compartment; so you can reach the battery from above and from the side. 

The Dinette and Lagun Table

The dinette is equipped with a Lagun table. RV manufacturers should use these more often. They can swivel and slide from their perches thanks to the articulating arm that protrudes from their mounts. In the 850 SC, the Lagun table can reach from the dinette to the kitchen. When cooking with the Lagun, the countertop space can equate to the size of many standard RV counters.

Windows and Airflow

There are several large windows on this camper, so the airflow is amazing. When open, the windows on the canvas have a mesh screen to keep the bugs out. If you don’t need the airflow, you can zip the window’s tinted screen over it. If you want total privacy, you can zip the canvas to eclipse the window from the outside world. 

In addition to the canvas windows, there are two windows built into the hard shell. The small one pops out and the larger one can open up wide. The larger window also has a screen, that slides down from the top, and canvas cover, which slides up from the bottom.

Wet Bath

They’ve managed to fit a wet bath into one of the corners of the camper. As expected, it’s a tiny thing, but it is also very functional. A hard wall encloses the lower half of the area, and a canvas curtain encircles the top. 

The toilet is a cassette toilet, so you will need to manually dump the waste. When filled, the black tank is accessible from a port outside the camper. The device is super clean. It’s wheels, handles, and spout make transporting your waste as simple and clean of a process as humanly possible. When done, plugging the black tank back into the outside compartment will automatically open the lid to make it ready for use.

A Note About the R-Value

It supposedly has an R9 value, but I’m not sure if I believe it. I’m not saying that it won’t keep you warm, but the RV industry is existing in a shared delusion regarding their insulative properties. HaylettRV has a great video on YouTube on this subject.

If you do want to use this for winter weather, you should probably look at their Subzero package. For $1,490, they will add the following: 

  • Add Celotex foil inside the vinyl
  • Make the large glass window double-paned
  • Add foil-faced insulation inside the walls

Basic Features

  • Water Tanks
    • Fresh: 30 Gallons
    • Gray: 13 Gallons
  • Cassette Toilet
    • Fresh: 4 Gallons
    • Black: 5 Gallons
  • Dometic Refrigerator: 3.7 Cubic Feet
  • Interior Height (Raised): 6’8”
  • Interior Height (Lowered): 4’8”
  • Exterior Length: 15′
  • Floor Length 8’6”
  • Dry Weight: 1,785 lbs
  • Wet Weight: 2,654 lbs

Key Features

  • Related Floor Plans: 5
  • Average Price: $21,840
  • Sleeping Capacity: 3

Earth Cruiser 

The Earth Cruiser company was originally started in Australia a little over a decade ago. Since that time, they’ve been coming up with some very interesting designs that I think you are going to love. I’m only going to focus on one of them here, but I want to encourage you to head over to their website to look at some of their other options.

Note: Due to capacity, they are not always able to accept orders. 

Earth Cruiser offers two truck bed pop-up campers. I want to talk about them both because they are both worth having. However, further below, you will need to choose what features you will sacrifice.

Super Light Weight

Both of these campers are light enough to be carried by most trucks with almost any size bed; 8′ truck beds being the only exception. The 2019 editions have the following weights: 

  • GZL 300: 1,000 to 1,200 lbs
  • GZL 400: 1,200 to 1,500 lbs

Naturally, you might assume that lightweight means low-quality. Nope, not here; Earth Cruiser didn’t shave weight by shaving the thickness of materials. Instead, they just used better materials. These two units are made of aluminum, fiberglass, and some strong umbrella-like material that I haven’t been able to identify.

Surprisingly Roomy

If you want some room to stretch, you should look into another genre of campers. With that said, Earth Cruiser somehow made the tiny space of hitch-to-cab feel larger than it is. This is especially true for the GZL 400.  

How Are They Different?

Here are a few of the differences between the 300 and 400:

  • Base Weight
    • 300: 1,000 lbs
    • 400: 1,200 lbs
  • Toilet
    • The 300 has a composting toilet.
    • The 400 does not have a toilet
  • The Hot/Cold Shower
    • The 300 shower space is very small and in the corner. 
    • The 400 has a water-draining grate on the floor in the center of the walking space. Yes, You are in the open, but they make everything waterproof in these two units.
  • Space
    • Because the 300 has a dedicated toilet and shower space, it feels a bit more cramped; the rest of the features are a bit smaller.
    • The 400 doesn’t have those spaces, so it has more places for storage, better kitchen space, a very large sink, seating is much more comfortable. It just feels like a much larger unit even though it’s not.

Solar Panels

Yes, it’s pretty much a normal feature these days. However, solar power is severally missed when not included. In these units, you get the following solar equipment as standard:

  • 2 x Zamp 100-watt solar panels
  • 600-watt power inverter
  • 90 amp house battery

Basic Features

The following features apply to both units

  • Water Tanks
    • Fresh: 22 gallons 
    • Gray: 9 gallons
  • Water Heater: 2.6 gallons
  • Exterior Length: 11’7”
  • Exterior Width: 5’8”
  • (Closed) Exterior Height: 4’9”
  • (Open) Exterior Height: 8’4” (Top of Sloped Roof)

Key Features

Related Floor Plans: 2

Average Price

  • 300: $36,178
  • 400: $43,000
  • Sleeping Capacity: 3 to 4

I’ve been looking around, going from place to place to find the best truck bed campers with pop-up tops. What I’ve found is that nobody builds these campers like Bundutech. They’ve made truck bed and roof-based products their specialty. They make campers for small, 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton, and 1-ton trucks, so take a look at their other products if the ones below don’t fit your truck bed. 

Bunducamp

This one is my personal favorite of the list. It is a perfect combination of functionality and style. 

What Does It Fit?

Bundutec designed the Bunducamp for the 3/4 and 1-ton trucks. It works for both short and long beds. However, they mention in a walkthrough video that 8-foot beds require custom work. You’ll need to bring that up when ordering the product.

Propane Locker

There is an external lockable storage compartment that houses a 20-pound propane tank.

Bundutec took a lesson from some of the larger campers and made two storage areas behind the dinette seats. There is one compartment under each seat, and one compartment houses a single G27 battery.

There are two more small storage compartments located on the sides near the rear of the camper.

Solar Prepped, But Not Included

This particular model does not come with solar panels. Bundutec installs a controller on these units to prep them for solar power. If you want to purchase solar energy for your camper, here are some of the optional upgrades and their associated costs:

  • $757 – 170-Watt Roof Solar Panel
  • $1,100 – Dual 170-Watt Roof Solar Panels
  • $175 – Lithium Battery Converter
  • $870 – 2k Watt Inverter
  • $285 – Dual Battery Tray + A Second G27 Battery

Please note that these upgrades are from the “Build Options” list and not the “Anytime Options.”

The Dinette

The setup is fantastic. When not in use, the dinette table top slides into a compartment in the wall. Even the extremely versatile Lagun tables generally get in the way to some degree. Pushing the tabletop out of the room is a phenomenal capability for these smaller units.

Includes a Bathroom

When I say bathroom, I mean a swivel cassette toilet, a shower, a sink, and even a cabinet. That’s a lot to fit into there, but they made it work. Still, I do wonder if they should have utilized that space differently; the kitchen sink is one or two steps away. 

The Bed and Hamper Storage

You receive a queen bed that is 4’6″ wide and 6’8″ long. If you compare it to a residential queen bed, it is 4″ too narrow. That is closer to a full mattress than a queen. On a positive note, it is a Memory Foam mattress, which is a great thing! Most manufacturers use very low-quality mattresses that are immediately replaced by the new owners.

Basic Features

  • Water Tanks
    • Fresh: 30 gals
    • Grey: 10 gals 
  • Cassette Toilet
    • Grey: 4.75 gals
  • Interior Height (Raised): 6’8” 
  • Interior Height (Lowered): 5’0”
  • Exterior Length:13’8”
  • Floor Length: 8’2”
  • Dry Weight: 1,700 lbs
  • Dometic Refrigerator: 3.7 cu ft 
  • 110 Adapter for Electrical Hookup
  • City and Fresh Water Fill Ups
  • Hot and Cold Exterior and Interior Showers

Key Features

  • Related Floor Plans: 2
  • Average Price: $21,460
  • Sleeping Capacity: 2

Bundutec Wild

Meet another relative of the family. The Wild contains most of the same features as the Bunducamp, but in a smaller package. This model was designed for the smaller 1/2 ton trucks, and it was awarded by Truck Camper Adventure as the number one camper for the 1/2 ton truck bed camper category. Focusing on quality and features can make you stand out in such a competitive market.

How is it different from the Bundacamp?

The smaller size did create the need to make a few changes, but it is a very similar unit. Here are some of the ways that it differs.

Dinette

The dinette received the most dramatic change. Instead of two individual seats that face each other from opposing sides of the cabin, you have one long bench on a single side made for everyone to share.

The tabletop that slides out from its own cubby space was removed. It was replaced by the famous Lagun table that is appearing in more and more trailers. What this table switch sacrifices in convenience it makes up for in functionality. Lagun tables raise, lower, and swivel into whatever location is most useful; provided that it is within the range of its articulating arm.

The Bathroom

The bathroom sink was removed. That isn’t a huge loss since the kitchen sink is so close.

The cassette toilet in the Wild has its own reservoir of grey water rather than pulling from the camper’s grey water tank.

Basic Features

  • Water Tanks
    • Fresh: 20 gals 
    • Grey: 7 gals
  • Cassette Toilet
    • Fresh: 4 gals
    • Grey: 5.1 gals
  • Interior Height (Raised): 6’7”
  • Interior Height (Lowered): 4’9”
  • Exterior Length:12’7”
  • Floor Length:7’0”
  • Dry Weight: 
  • Wet Weight:

Key Features

  • Related Floor Plans: 2
  • Average Price: $19,340
  • Sleeping Capacity: 2

2021 Eagle Cap 1200

If you have a dually truck, then I have something that might interest you. This truck bed camper isn’t for everybody. Relative to its competition, it’s a veritable mansion on wheels. It requires a steed of royal quality because anything else just isn’t up to the task. Seriously, don’t destroy your truck’s everything; you’ll need the added strength and braking that a dually will provide. You’ll also want the increased stability achieved from the extra set of wheels. 

100+ Feet of Floor Space

Why is the dually so vital? According to the Eagle Cap website, this is the largest truck bed camper available; one glance and I believe it. The increased stability is needed because the camper achieves this larger floorplan by hanging over the truck bed’s railing. Because of this design, Eagle Cap decided to throw in some slides, three of them. One for the kitchen, one for the jack-knife sofa, and one for the two theatre seats.

The Seating

All of the upholstery is covered in simulated leather. It’s all quite comfortable and super chic, a high-quality product. A jack-knife sofa resides within the first slide. It smoothly transitions between its two forms: couch and bed. It might just be the most convenient jack-knife sofa that I’ve seen on the market so far.

Two theatre seats are located in the next slide. Once again, the style and quality are notable. Functionally speaking, they are designed as you would expect: large, cushy, visually accessible TV, adjustable footrests, and cup holders. There are also individual swivelable tray tables that can be accessed from the outer armrests. In their default position, the tray tables are magnetically secured against the walls of the slide.

The Kitchen

Moving onto the kitchen, you will find a wonderful amount of counter space. It is so large that it almost borders on the residential. Of course, that is assuming that you use the appropriate covers for the aluminum dual sink. Yes, you read me right. You’ve got a dual sink. Now you can stack your dirty dishes in one partition and wash them in the other like a proper kitchen.

This dual sink has dual faucets. One is for filtered water, and the other is a high-arch with a pull-down spray head. The filtered faucet can purify all of the drinkable water whether it is from the fresh water tank or the city water supply. The spray head has two settings: stream and spray.

Kitchen Storage

You probably won’t need all of it. Yep, there’s that much. The kitchen has quite a few drawers, and a few of them are very large. There is also a large awkwardly shaped cabinet space above. That space has two cabinet doors, but one of them is nearly inaccessible from the kitchen. It can be more easily reached if you walk around the kitchen counter. Pantry space is also included. It has two shelves and it should have trouble holding all of your spices.

The Countertops

There are several countertop spaces throughout the Eagle Cap 1200. The countertops are thermoformed, laminate, and seamless. They have a marble-like appearance, a matte finish, and fit in perfectly with the faux leather and the appliances.

The Refrigerator

The fridge is distinctly larger than the majority of RVs. It’s a Dometic double-door refrigerator with 8 cubic feet of space. Very nice! 

The Bathroom and the Hallway

The bathroom separates the two entrances to the bedroom. The side that sits between the kitchen and theatre seating contains a small cabinet like space. At this location, there is a tiny bit of storage, a shelf, a charging station, the Bluetooth unit, and the converter. 

Depending on which doors you close, the bathroom is either a decent size or massive. Remember, there are two hallways and the bathroom is the separator. You can choose to leave both of the hallways open and close the sliding door nearest to the bathroom. If you want more room, you can close the door to the bedroom and the one near the theatre seats. This leaves you with the main bathroom space and an enormous mirrored wardrobe. One half is a hanging wardrobe and the other side has multiple levels of shelving. The mixture of the large space and the mirrored wardrobe create the perfect area for a changing room.

Two Paths 

As stated, there are two pathways to the bedroom. One of them can be closed off by the door at the bathroom. The other is separated by an accordion-like shade. Personally, I think this separator is a step down from the quality of the rest of the camper. It doesn’t look bad, per se, but it feels off. Everything else is functional and looks sharp. This shade is cumbersome and feels a bit cheaper.

The Bedroom

The massive king-size bed is 6 feet wide and 7 feet long. That’s a huge bed. Unless you are a family of Andre the Giants, you shouldn’t have any issues fitting comfortably within those dimensions.

In the 2020 version of this camper, the mattress was upgraded to what is called a double-density foam. The double density doesn’t make the mattress tough and uncomfortable; it makes it durable. It is also super comfortable. The RV industry usually provides terrible mattresses that are instantly replaced by the owners. Eagle Cap decided to go in the other direction, and the owners of this model get to enjoy that decision every night. 

Since the mattress is twice the density, it would be a bit difficult to lift. Thankfully, Eagle Cap installed a hydraulic system to make it incredibly easy to access the storage below. You don’t have to put almost any effort into it. 

Compared to other types of RVs, truck bed campers don’t have much room under the mattresses. Since this is king-sized, the increased length and width mattress means that there is some decent storage below it.

The marble-like material mentioned under “The Countertops” section is also used in the bedroom. On each side of the side, there are storage compartments and nightstands that are both topped with this laminate.

Exterior

Visually, the gray gel coat, black trim, and frameless windows are clean, sharp, and can almost be described as modern contemporary. It’s a massive improvement over the classically themed RV that the industry is quickly abandoning.

Energy Options

I love the independence of the RV lifestyle. If you can keep your electrical usage down, you can comfortably live off of two or three quality solar panels. True, sometimes that won’t be enough to fit your daily needs. In those situations, a generator can pick up the slack. 

The 20201200 does not come with either of these by default, but they are available as upgrades. These are the three options currently listed on their website:

  • Option 1: One 100 Watt Solar Panel with a Digital Controller
  • Option 2: Two more 100 Watt Solar Panels
  • Option 3: Onan QG 2500 LPG

The self-sufficiency gained from owning these pieces of equipment is completely worth the costs to purchase these upgrades. 

Basic Features

  • Water Tanks
    • Fresh: 20 gals 
    • Grey: 7 gals
  • Cassette Toilet
    • Fresh: 4 gals
    • Grey: 5.1 gals
  • Interior Height (Raised): 6’7”
  • Interior Height (Lowered): 4’9”
  • Exterior Length:12’7”
  • Floor Length:7’0”
  • Dry Weight: 4,933 lbs
  • Wet Weight:

Key Features

Related Floor Plans: 2

Average Price: $57,990

Sleeping Capacity: 4

Common Pop Up Camper Questions

 

 

Q. Are Pop Up Campers considered a small trailer?

A. Yes, Pop up Campers are small trailers that can be towed by a large number of vehicles. They are a great first option for beginner RV owners.

Q. Are Pop Up Campers A Good Family Trailer?

A. Yes, Pop up campers can make for a great family trailer. They are easier to store than a regular travel trailer and many of them are spacious enough to comfortable sleep a family of 5-6 people.

Q. Are Hard-sided pop up campers better than canvas sided?

A. There are a few advantages to hard sided campers. Hard sided campers keep up better than canvas and are easier to clean. The’re also not prone to tears like a canvas sided trailer. Another advantage is that hard sided campers offer better insulation.

Q. Do Pop up campers have bathrooms?

A. Yes, some do have bathrooms and showers even. We actually included a few different options in the list above.

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