By Tony Barthel
Why wouldn’t you buy a truck camper? Lack of space? Lack of features? The more I check out various models of RVs in general, the more I learn. I often learn that there are manufacturers out there that are really good at building RVs but not so great at telling their own stories. I am basing that on whether or not I’ve heard of them – which is clearly only one criteria. Such is the case of a company called Host Campers in Bend, Oregon. This small, independent truck camper manufacturer is a company that truly does specialize in building a high-quality, customizable product.
Whenever I start one of these articles I always do as much research into the company and their products as possible, which can often include contacting them directly, looking at other reviews and videos and even seeing one in person if that’s a possibility.
Host campers are from Hogue and Storch, who were the founders of the Beaver Coaches line. The Bend, Oregon, company proclaims their products to be the “ultimate high-end truck campers.” While that’s a lofty claim, what I can report back is that they work with buyers and offer a lot of customization for their various models, all of which are designed for larger pickups.
Host Campers offerings
Their lineup of seven camper offerings includes the Mammoth 11’ 6” model, which is a three-slide pickup camper with a starting weight of almost two tons but with more off-grid liquid storage than many travel trailers. It has 65 gallons of fresh water and 51 gallons of gray water storage.
What’s the deal with the Host Campers Mammoth?
There are a lot of options within the standard configuration of this camper. All units are built to be four-season campers constructed of an aluminum skeleton which is surrounded by gel-coated fiberglass featuring an Azdel substrate. All three slide rooms feature slide topper awnings as just one example of these being a more well-equipped rig.
But there are lots of choices to make. First of all, know that when the slides are in you won’t be, as the rear slide completely blocks the only entrance, which is on the camp side. If your plans include quick overnighters at rest areas and parking lots, know that everybody’s going to know that you’re in there as you have to push out all the slide rooms to gain access to all the features. Period.
Options in the Host Campers Mammoth are surprising
But talking about options, the rear slide has three which you can choose from. One of those is to simply have a bunch of storage in a closet. If you’d rather have a place to practice your leisure lifestyle, there’s a couch with add-on flip-up footrests. But what surprised me the most was the available laundry fittings in the slide.
Yes, that’s right. You can get a pickup camper with a washing machine. That option includes an RV washer-dryer and some storage. I have to say I was surprised to see it.
The camp-side slide is where you’ll find the majority of the galley with a sink set into some really nice “Grani-coat” countertops with a number of standout color choices. There’s also a choice of a three-burner stove with an oven or a three-burner cooktop and drawers underneath.
Host is now using 12-volt refrigerators in these campers. This is a nice change, especially if you opt for some of their off-grid functionality. Next to the fridge is more storage space.
On the road side is the second slide, which encompasses almost the whole length of the main section of this camper. In it is either a U-shaped dinette or a couch and table.
The bathroom in the Host Campers Mammoth is interesting
The way Host pulled off the bathroom in this unit is interesting, with the toilet and sink in the slide room. In the middle of the camper is a permanent shower stall. There’s a folding door that separates you from the other campers when the bathroom is being used.
In front of the shower stall structure, you can have a fireplace that faces the main living area (who’s going to be the first RV company with an electric fireplace in the bathroom?) and the entertainment fittings.
While you might not expect there to be any bedroom options, there are actually four. Two of those offer the option of the bed in the middle of the space with cabinets on either side and over the headboard area. You can pick either a king- or queen-sized mattress.
The other two offer the king-sized mattress skewed to the road side of the camper with either a long or short cabinet build on the camp side.
There are probably a lot more people who would appreciate a truck camper than actually get them. This is because I believe there are a lot of prospective buyers who bypass this configuration since they perceive them as crowded or having few onboard resources.
Another factor is that you do have to have a substantial truck to tote one of these Host campers around. That, too, may be a turn-off for some buyers. For others, they would relish the big diesel dually.
I think something like this dispels the myth that a truck camper is crowded, poorly built or lacking in features. I’m glad someone mentioned Host Campers as they had not been on my radar. But I would certainly advise someone to give them a look if they have any interest at all in a truck camper. Especially one with a Host of surprises.
And there’s your pun of the day.
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.
Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below – thank you!