When I hear or read about the products from some companies, I know they’re going to be innovative or different or special. Such is the case with nüCamp from Sugarcreek, Ohio. That company builds the innovative T@B teardrop-style campers, but they also have the Cirrus line of pickup campers.
I’m going to always caution anybody who sees the term “half-ton” to do your research on what you’re loading into these trucks. They’re not as capable as some of the TV commercials seem to make them. The dry weight of this camper comes pretty close to what the cargo carrying capacity is of many half-ton trucks.
Then you would add the people, water, food, beer, pets and beer (I know I wrote that twice – you should see what a stop at Anderson Valley Brewing company looks like when we go camping) and you may be way over capacity of many half-ton trucks. So, the first thing anybody should do when towing anything is know the cargo carrying capacity of the tow vehicle. This number is literally more important than knowing what the vehicle is rated to tow, although, of course, this camper isn’t being towed.
Back to the camper itself, the use of space in here is really good. I mentioned in the review of the new r•pod RP-153 that that trailer is much like a pickup camper, and it is. But that trailer has the benefit of five additional feet of length over this pickup camper.
One of the things nüCamp does a good job with is insulation, with this camper having heated tank enclosures. On the subject of heat, this one features an Alde heater/water heater combination. This system is like some home systems in that it provides sort of a continual heat that radiates up from the floors through the use of glycol circulated throughout the system. It’s very pleasant, but it does take longer to heat a cold space. However, it does a great job of keeping a space very comfortable without the dampness generated by a traditional propane heater.
Like several other higher-end RVs and pickup campers, this one features dual-pane Lexan windows that flip up for air. Those windows also feature integrated screens and shades. You can also open them and leave the screens and/or shades down. I like these windows for a lot of reasons, but primarily for the flexibility they provide.
You’ll find the Nautilus water management system used in this camper in many other RVs and, in particular, in fifth wheels. But nüCamp put this system behind an insulated door into an insulated compartment. So it’s less likely to be affected by freezing temperatures, as long as the heating system is on in the camper.
Pickup campers are expensive
Until you’ve shopped for one yourself, it may not be apparent that pickup campers are expensive, but not necessarily for the reasons you might imagine.
Instead, most pickup campers require retrofitting the pickup itself so you can tie down the camper. A camper is cargo – and a heavy and expensive piece of cargo. So it’s a really good idea to securely tie it down so you don’t experience something that would generate a lot of views on YouTube.
But the way this camper is designed uses ratchet straps that can utilize the tow hooks that you commonly find in a pickup truck. This means no expensive mounting hardware. You could go from the pickup dealer to the RV dealer and be camping by the afternoon.
There are a number of nifty little cubbies and storage compartments located throughout the camper. While there’s just a limited amount of space inside a box of this size, nüCamp did make use of just about every inch of available space with either drawers, cubbies or compartments. There’s one on either side of the bed. Plus, there’s a pull-out pantry by the refrigerator.
Further, there is halo lighting around the edges of the cabinets that’s really attractive and adds to the high-end feel of this camper. Like most of nüCamp’s products, this one feels high-end without the garish glossy cabinets and other things that you find in some RVs trying to be fancier than they are.
The refrigerator is a drawer-style 12-volt model. The remainder of the galley includes a round sink and two-burner propane cooktop with a microwave overhead.
I also like the two-place dinette with Lagun table. The Lagun table is such a nifty device, able to adjust for height as well as being moveable in just about any direction.
If you’re building a box of this size, something has to give. In this case, that’s the toilet. Oh, there is one. But you better like who you’re camping with because the cassette toilet is right inside the door and, essentially, right there in the main body of the camper inside a compartment.
Since many of these campers are sold to men who go fishing or hunting by themselves, a toilet in the middle of the living space isn’t that big of a deal. But if you’re camping with others, well, maybe it’s more of a big deal. Or not. You do you.
As for the shower, that’s part of that Nautilus system outside. So either you’re going to give the bear a visual they won’t soon forget, or you could get one of those shower tents.
While some might want more living space, a camper that doesn’t need a huge truck also means that you could just go more places where the roads aren’t. You can get a three-quarter-ton, four-wheel-drive pickup and this would be a great match for something like that. Add a boat or a quad on a trailer and you’ve got adventure-ready fun.
I would love to read your comments and suggestions over on our new forums, where you can weigh in and start or join a discussion about all things RV. Here’s a link to my RV Reviews Forum.
Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife.
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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