Northstar is one of the most well-known recreational vehicle (RV) or camper manufacturers in the United States. Compared to campers made by other firms, these vehicles are thought to be more robust, trustworthy, and well-designed.
Northstar campers come in a variety of models, each with its own set of features and cost. However, just like any other vehicle, campers have a few issues users are aware of.
Some problems are noticed in earlier camper models and are addressed in current models. A few of the most common Northstar Camper problems are highlighted so that potential camper buyers can use the information while deciding whether to buy a new or used Northstar camper.
In our guide, you can learn more about any issues that befall the Northstar Laredo SC and if the Northstar 850SC does the company justice and is a worthwhile investment for your new camper.
Are Northstar Pop Up Campers Good?
You may already own a camper or RV if you enjoy traveling on extended excursions. Purchasing a hard side or soft side truck camper offers a great way to use long bed trucks.
Northstar is one of the best-known truck campers’ manufacturers and has an entire camper selection you can choose from. However, some users relay that they have specific problems with their truck camper.
Here is a breakdown of truck camper problems you can face with some models emerging from the Northstar factory. (Learn About RV Propane Tank Sizes)
5 Main Northstar Camper Problems
Layout & Space Issues
The Northstar camper has a more intricate room design than other vehicles because it has several utilities such as a compressor, fridge, and air conditioner. In some circumstances, the gas supply piping, plumbing, heating, and wiring can all be found close together.
This might significantly increase the risk of fire or water leaks, particularly during the summer when temperatures are higher. The hoses used may develop holes as well.
Because many camper owners intend to travel long distances, and the first thing they do is make a few mods to the electrical and plumbing to limit the risk of damage or accidents.
In some models of campers, some users are having problems with the roof. According to them, the roof is not correctly aligned, resulting in uneven roofing and the other side not being the same as the side they are on.
Other users have expressed their dissatisfaction with the quality of craftsmanship on the rubber roof found on some Northstar campers.
On one side, the rubber roof is adequately installed; yet this is different from being correctly installed. Some users have noticed this issue after climbing a ladder to have a better look at the roof.
It is more concerning when this is on a sub-zero package, and you expect to face heavy rains, as well as greater cooling and heating where your bills can increase.
The Northstar camper features a lot of appliances powered by electricity. A power supply is required for these electrical and electric gadgets. While the camper has access to electricity when parked at a campground, it will rely on batteries for appliances, the fridge, and gadgets when camping off-grid.
Users can find their battery will drain quickly depending on camping patterns, especially if it is not charged. As a result, it’s a good idea to check the batteries before leaving the house, especially before a long trip, or stop where you can plug the battery to charge before heading off again.
While some modern vehicles and camper models offer wireless technologies, such as WiFi and Bluetooth, older motors and camper models rely on wires, battery power, and electronics. Wires are also found on appliances requiring more power to run.
These cables may be cut or damaged, causing the appliance to malfunction. The truck camper comes with many electrical-powered outlets for charging phones and other electronic devices.
The electric socket may not be working in a few circumstances. Either wiring or, more often, a fuse for the socket may have blown, besides the wiring or battery issue.
As a result, the owner should check fuses and, if it has blown, replace it with a new fuse, as this will show you have a dead battery when you don’t
Many individuals use the camper to pop to distant locations where an RV can’t get to, particularly forests where the dirt can be clay-like and adhere to footwear and clothing.
Despite a floor mat at the camper’s door, wiping the footwear will not remove all dirt or, in rare situations, mud. If unclean shoes are worn in the camper, the entire camper will become dirty, and cleaning the camper will take longer and require more water.
To keep dirt out of the camper, it’s a good idea to have two pairs of shoes and an extra floor mat outside the camper door and the other doormat inside the Laredo camper.
You may think that these issues fall on Northstar Campers specifically, yet many missed are fixed at the factory, and the company will still head in the right direction to fix any issues an owner has. (Read our RV Air Conditioning Troubleshooting Guide)
You will find many problems are the same for any brand of a pop-up camper, as you can see here:
- You need a compatible truck: You’ll need a truck, yet not all trucks can carry all truck campers.
- Truck Campers Can Be Top Heavy: Driving truck campers means you face lots of wind resistance, no matter how large or small.
- Truck Campers have height problems: A truck camper could lead to your vehicle being too tall.
- Truck Campers Can hard to load or Unload: Motorhomes and RV’s are fully contained, so you never have to worry about unhitching them from your vehicle.
- Entering and exiting can be a challenge: Truck campers aren’t built for the elderly or anyone facing mobility issues.
- Truck Camper layouts are tight: The bed can be the first place to find a space issue, especially tall.
- You lose cargo space in your truck camper: Usually, the back of the truck takes the gear, and your camper trailer is pulled. With your truck camper, this isn’t an option.
- Gas Mileage drops: You have wind resistance, so your vehicle burns more fuel.
Who Owns Northstar Campers?
Northstar was founded by Ralph – or Tex – Willett. Tex and his son Chuck began the company in 1955 in Cedar Falls, Iowa, before Rex in the 1980s took it over. Mello Mike is among one of the notable names in the company, who works closely alongside Rex.
Over time, Northstar has been regarded for both its longevity and excellence. Unlike many of the best RV’s and pop-up campers, Northstar is sold from many a dealer making them more accessible, and you have more time to spend checking them over before you purchase.
One of the most popular models is the Laredo SC and comes with a variety of features.
Laredo SC RV Factory Fitted Features
- Dometic 3.7’ 3-Way Refrigerator
- Screened Entrance Door and included deadbolt
- Auto Ignition. Furnace with a Digital Thermostat
- Walk-on Rubber Roof
- Happijac (4220) 4-Corner floor Jacks
- 6” Gel Memory Foam Mattress on bed
- 3 Burner Stove w/ High output Burner
- Front Rubber Bumpers
- Single Lever Faucet with Pull Out sprayer to get rid of all the dirt
- Exit Truck camper vent in the Cabover
- North/South Extended Cabover w/ Side Hampers
- PorchLight & Large Assist Handle
- Interior Shower w/ Thetford Cassette Toilet (no urgency to find a dump station)
- Entry Door Gas Strut
- Plastic Protection for Front Wall & Sides
- Gas-filled Thermal Pane Insulated Windows with included Shade & Screen
- Cable TV Inlet, City Water Inlet
- Wired for optional AGM Battery/Batteries
- Battery Shut-Off Switch
- Interior & Exterior 110v Outlets
- Marine Grade Ultra Light Plywood
- 12v Utility Receptacle w/double USB Port
- Block Foam Insulation (Hand Fitted)
- Maxxfan Plus Model 00-05100K
- Auto Ignition Water Heater with Bypass
- Push Button Latches with Aviation styling
- Fiberglass Siding with Graphics
- Lagun Swing-Away Table System
- Pre-Wired for AC, Electric Jacks, Solar & Cable
- 7-Way Truck Plug w/ Holder
- 30 amp Twist lock adapter w/15 amp lighted power cord
- LED Accent Lights Under Outs
- 35 Amp Converter w/ Charger
- Skylight in wet Bath
- LPG, Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Detectors
- Cabover Accordion Privacy Door
- 20 LB Stand-Up LPG Tank (Space for 2)
- 1/2 Wrap-Around Rear with longer wings & LED Tail Lights
- Inside Patio Light Switch (3 Lights)
- Exterior Spray Port Shower w/ 15’ Coil Hose
- LED Lighting (Interior & Exterior)
- Inside Entrance Light on Switch
- Exterior USB Charging Port
- Freshwater tank cleaning access
Another popular model is the Arrow U, the next model up in the range and slightly heavier. However, lugging this around on the rear of your truck won’t add anything to the wind resistance as it comes in a little smaller.
Where Are Northstar Campers Made?
Since 1955, when the Willett family began producing truck campers, Northstar Campers has called Cedar Falls, Iowa home. Ralph (Tex) Willett started the company, which he and his son Robert (Chuck) operated under the name Texson Campers.
The father-son team assisted in the company’s launch, establishing an unrivaled reputation in the industry and laying a solid basis for Chuck’s son, Rex. In the 1980s, Rex took over the firm and renamed it Northstar Campers, still in use today. (Read Is It Legal To Live In An RV In California)
Since 1961, Northstar has been supplying campers to dealers worldwide, allowing families to enjoy the outdoors and camping.
The company has stayed devoted to upgrading truck campers by utilizing proven construction techniques while incorporating modern materials from our plant on the corner of Leversee Road and Airline Highway in Cedar Falls. This permits our product to stay ahead of the competition in terms of quality and durability.
Northstar Campers is a company that makes truck campers you can rely on for a long time. Our commitment to excellence has allowed us to continue to “Shine Above the Rest,” with many of our campers still on the road decades later.
The company feels their truck campers are ideal for active travelers and campers, and they are there to help along the way. Our customers are our top priority. We take great delight in building the best truck campers available and assisting you in maintaining them over time as we create a relationship with you based on trust and quality.
Many Northstar customers get a chance to visit the Northstar factory, especially if they are concerned about their camper. Mello Mike and rex, both busy, find the time to welcome anyone passing or those who have issues with a camper that tow behind their truck.