By Tony Barthel
I recently reviewed a Lance 1172 truck camper which a lot of you seemed to be interested in. After that review was posted, I got a message from reader John Tully asking what I thought of that camper versus a comparable Arctic Fox. Well, let’s take a look.
Northwood’s Arctic Fox line is available in a number of configurations just as are Lance campers. You can get an Arctic Fox travel trailer or even an Arctic Fox fifth wheel. But I haven’t looked at their truck campers until now.
Like their other models, the Arctic Fox Camper is a very well-insulated, four-season camper. It’s built a little heavier but also a little more solidly. You generally don’t buy an Arctic Fox product if you’re looking for the lightest RV in any category. But you do look at this brand if you’re thinking of camping at times when the temps are more extreme.
One of the things that caught my attention about the Lance that I had written about was the fact that it had a dry bath. More than one person has told me that wet baths are a deal-breaker with truck campers. In today’s Arctic Fox Camper 1150 you have the option of a dry bath or a wet bath.
You might be asking yourself if a dry bath is an option why you would want a wet bath. But there’s a reason – additional counter space. The wet bath simply takes up less room inside the camper. Arctic Fox has used that space to extend the counter and cabinet in the galley. However, there’s also a closet in the dry bath option that wouldn’t make sense in a wet bath.
Decisions are sometimes hard.
Unlike the Lance, this Arctic Fox is more traditional in that you enter at the back of the camper. Arctic Fox gives you a number of step options including an extra drop-down step in the back. In addition, you’ll be crossing over a hefty rear bumper in which the company suggests you can store the sewer hose but, even better, fishing poles. Am I the only one who hadn’t considered this as a great idea?
This truck camper features just one slide on the camp side. In that slide is a dinette that converts to a 43” x 76” bed. The slide is up on a step and there’s carpeting in the slide, although most of the floor is vinyl flooring in this camper. Interestingly, there’s an optional bunk above the dinette in this camper, so you could have five people sleeping in here.
Beyond the dinette is a two-way gas-electric absorption-style refrigerator, and then a closet beyond that.
I know the window between the cab and the camper is called a pass-through window. However, other than Slim Jims, I don’t know what else you can pass through here. Though it is nice that you can see inside this camper from inside the truck cab, I guess.
Above that window, Arctic Fox includes a step to get up into the 58” x 80” bed. There’s also a counter extension that fits above the step. So you end up getting a surprising amount of counter space for a truck camper with this in place.
Storage all around the bed in the Arctic Fox Camper
Up in the bedroom, which is above the cab of the pickup, there’s storage all around the bed as you’d imagine with four wards. But there are also two hampers and a shelf above the head of the bed (which is at the very nose of the camper).
Back downstairs, the kitchen has a two-bowl sink. In addition, there’s a standard three-burner stove with oven. However, you can swap this for only a three-burner propane cooktop with drawers underneath if you’d prefer. I’ve noticed that fewer and fewer RV companies are offering this choice, so it’s good to know that Arctic Fox does.
I also like the slide-out pantry between the galley area and the bathroom. This is one of the many areas where Arctic Fox really makes great use of space. There’s also a shelf behind the dinette with cup holders. Nifty.
Arctic Fox does a lot of things well, and insulation is key among those things. All the exterior doors on the camper are 1” thick including the wet bay door. Furthermore, that wet bay is heated – as are the tanks. On the subject of tanks, this is a terrific off-grid choice with some 59-gallons of fresh water when you factor in the water heater. That’s more than in many travel trailers.
The ceiling in the 2022 model has been raised a full 4” and the ceiling itself is covered with an Ozite carpet material. Go ahead. If you’re like me, you want to touch it, too.
Outside there’s a slick drawer setup under the main entrance door. There are also more storage bays than you might think would be possible in a pickup camper.
This is also available with a propane-fueled generator as well. Arctic Fox does also offer a solar option with a variety of factory-installed solar panel choices.
So which would I buy: the Lance or this Arctic Fox? I think that would really depend on personal preference and my local dealer. Both of these are well-made campers and it might come down to which one strikes your fancy a bit more.
As for downsides, this one has less interior space just by virtue of having one slide instead of two. But that also means that this camper is almost 800 pounds lighter. That, too, could make all the difference in the world for some pickup owners.
These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.
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