The TC800 is our most versatile and popular unit. There are two different variations of the floor plan available with a wide variety of options to choose from. If you have a short-bed truck you may add the wrap-around read end option. This option does not change the layout you decide upon, but adds compartments and taillights behind your short-bed truck for added storage and good looks! You may also choose to add scissor steps or a storage bumper with a swingdown step for easy entry when the camper is on your truck. The optional extended cabover gives you extra long storage bins on either side of the 60" wide x 80" long mattress. Mattress lifts with great storage below. The optional extra bed provides an additional space. The bed folds down to provide room for an extra passenger to sleep or an area to store extra cargo. Fold the bed up when not in use or when travelling.
Simply stated, the next generation Northstar TC800 XB (Extra Bed) folding truck camper is both a pleasure to use as a base camp and a pleasure to navigate the back roads and trails of North America.
You simply release the four exterior mechanical latches (one at each corner of the roof), step inside the camper, insert and turn the interior hand crank mechanism and viola, in thirty seconds or less the solid roof is fully extended up another nineteen inches to an interior height of 6’ 7”. It’s now ready to move inside and set up housekeeping. This really is amazing stuff. Retracting or folding the roof back into the travel position only requires the unlatching of the manual lock (inside) that keeps the roof locked in the extended position. With gravity and the precision geared mechanism the roof almost lowers itself (it’s a “smooth operator”).
Getting the fabric to fold in under the roof when it is being lowered is as simple as one, two, three. One, you close the rear entry door and all windows. Two, you open the roof mounted Fantastic Fan and three; you turn the Fantastic Fan on high (exhaust) while cranking the roof down. The Fantastic Fan creates a vacuum that draws or pulls the fabric in while the roof is being lowered. This precludes having to stop midway while lowering the roof to go outside and physically tuck in the vinyl fabric as the roof is lowered, a difficult task on some of today’s tall trucks. This is good stuff! Oh yes, one more thing. This kind of vacuum evidences just how tight and impervious to the outside elements the walls of the Northstar Truck Camper are.
This bunk/platform (hinged long the bottom on the curb side wall) is surrounded by a vinyl fabric canopy that includes zipper panels that can be opened or closed (to the degree needed) for ventilation and/or warmth. Behind each of the translucent fabric window panels is a panel of fine mesh screen that preempts the entry of insects. Structure or shape to the canopy that surrounds the bunk platform bed is provided by a removable rod that pushes the fabric out, up and into place for occupation. Just as easily, the whole thing is put away and stowed for travel. This is good design!
When optioned with the extended cabover 60“ by 80” queen size bed (running front to rear) the TC800 XB can comfortably sleep 4 individuals. The queen bed features an inner spring mattress that is 5.5” thick. The lift-up cabover storage is 5.5” deep and is easily raised by two gas struts.
The TC800 XB is a brand new model and is built by Northstar for both short bed and long bed pickup trucks (Chevy, Dodge, Ford, Toyota Tundra, and Nissan Titan King). The truck we married the TC 800 XB up with was a Chevy 2500 extended cab (short bed). Being gone for a week and covering 1,800 milmiles we developed a real appreciation for the synergy that exists between this truck/camper combo. Out across the Mohave where interstate speeds can easily top of 75 mph, this truck and camper navigated nicely and with precision. Working together they felt solid and stable, as if they were a single entity. Good road manners prevailed (no sway, yaw, roll, etc.) and with the reduced travel profile of the TC800 XB we achieved a respectable twelve mpg.
When we reached the mountains of Utah and were challenged by dirt trails that only in the academic sense of the word could be construed as roads, we were not plagued by clearance issues that could have prevailed because of the pine and aspen bows that extended out over the road. The low travel height (5’ 6””) of the TC800 XB was very much appreciated.
All Northstar truck campers can be attached and anchored to a truck by mounting hardware into the metal of the truck. However, we elected to use a system by Tork Lift that does not require going into the truck’s metal. It relies on the factory holes that already exist on the chassis ladder frame (in our case it was the Chevy 2500 platform). Bolted to the frame of the truck with grade five ½” bolts, this system features removable inserts that make the tie down apparatus totally invisible when the truck camper is not in the bed of the truck. To complete anchoring the TC800 XB to the truck, we used Tork Lift Stainless Fast Guns (Quick Lever Action Spring-loaded Turnbuckles) that require no effort to latch and unlatch. This combination of Tork Lift products makes the attachment process and the locking and release of the turnbuckles almost transparent to the truck camper aficionado.
Northstar is a family owned business and one of the oldest (1961) if not the oldest truck camper manufacture in North America today. Truck campers are all they build. The design and construction of their folding truck camper merits a detailed look, for here in lays the answer as to why their reputation for producing cutting edge products is what it is and why they have been in the business for nearly half a century.
The construction of the walls (for example) on the TC800 XB involves the use of kiln dried 2” X 2” and 2” X 4” wood studs and structural members, along with hand fitted block foam insulation. The insulated floor is 5/8” plywood as well as the “outs” (the area that goes over the truck bed) Every joint in a Northstar is glued, stapled, and then screwed together with hardened steel screws.
Northstar uses an expensive product called “A” grade “Lite Ply” plywood throughout their product line. The Lite Ply plywood is an imported, European product that has been supplied for over 50 years to furniture, yacht and aircraft manufacturers. Its’ even grained, “white wood” exterior, multi-ply construction is 35%- 40% lighter than the previously used southern yellow plywood and has very low formaldehyde emissions. This product is used in the roof and throughout the camper body. The interior cabinetry is an integral component to the structural integrity of the TC800 XB and indeed, all Northstars.
The domed, rolled-laminated roof (0.024 aluminum) caps over the body of the camper by 1.5” and has reinforced cast aluminum corners.
The interior finish of the walls is vinyl wall board with the exterior being a luan backed laminated “Filon” (fiberglass product) For those who insist, an aluminum exterior is available.
For the enthusiast like the elk hunter or those who enjoy family ski trips and need to be able to enjoy camping in colder venues, Northstar offers what they call their Arctic Pack. This consists of insulated panels that can be installed as needed to provide an added layer of insulation to the interior side of the tent areas and windows. When not in use the Arctic Pack can be stored onboard.
The standard utility systems package on the TC800 XB includes a 16,000 BTU auto ignition forced air furnace. The furnace along with the water heater, 3-way 3.7 cubic foot refrigerator and cook-top, use as their fuel source a 20 pound LPG tank that is located in a sealed, galvanized exterior compartment. The marine (deep cycle) type house battery pack is a group 27. The unit is wired for 30 amp shore power for the optional AC and for the interior and exterior 110-volt receptacles. A 25 amp power converter/battery charger is also std. equipment. For stand-alone 110-Volt AC power Northstar recommends the Honda 2000 generator. There is no fixed bathroom on board this model but there is a space for a port-a-potty. The unit comes with a 12-volt water pump.
One of the keys to enjoying the truck camper lifestyle is to keep organized. Northstar facilitates this by creating cabinets, drawers and storage compartments out of every available interior space. In the galley are drawers and cabinets below the recessed two burner cook-top and the stainless steel single basin sink. Both the cook-top and sink feature hinged covers that (when closed) provide a galley countertop that affords a respectable flat work surface area. A wardrobe with a hanger pole can accommodate shirts, jackets and trousers on hangers. All total we counted 19 closed storage areas inside the unit, including the horizontal cabinet compartments that line (front to rear) both sides of the queen size bed. If the camper is optioned with the full wrap rear for a short bed truck there will be 2 additional storage compartments on the exterior.
To reinforce the foundation of the U-shape dinette table and make it more substantial, Northstar mounts it on two stainless steel poles that fit into circular receivers in the floor and on the underside of the table top. With the poles removed it permits the table top to be lowered into place where it becomes part of the platform for the convertible bed. The longest cushion of the U-shape bench seat folds out to become the mattress inside the fold down bunk. Northstar dresses the interior floor with durable low maintenance vinyl linoleum and just like the vinyl covered interior wall board it cleans up easily with a damp cloth.
On-loading and off-loading the TC800 XB is achieved by a mechanical jack system, with one jack located at each corner of the unit. We used a portable electric hand drill to quickly extend and retract each jack. However, electric jacks are also available and can be added at any time. The 7-way wire harness on the Chevy truck became the power source for recharging the house battery pack. Another feature that underscores the functionality of the TC800 XB is that it can be removed from the truck, lived in and enjoyed separately.
|Base Dry Weight (pounds)||
|Closed Body Height||
|Interior Height – Open||
|Interior Height – Closed||
|Approximate Center of Gravity
(measured from front of truck bed toward rear)
|Cabover Bed Size – Standard||56 x 80|
|Cabover Bed Size – Extended (Opt #26)||60 x 80|
|Dinette Bed Size||36 x 75|
|Mattress to Roof Height – Open||23″|
|Mattress to Roof Height – Closed||4″|
|Fresh Water Capacity||30 Gal|
Dometic 3.7′ 3-Way Refrigerator
Tinted Radius Slider Window
16,000 BTU Auto Ignition Furnace
Slider Galley Window with Screen
4-Corner Mechanical Jacks
Screened Entrance Door w/ Deadbolt
2 Burner Stove Lift-Up Cabover Bed w/ 2 Gas Struts
Single Sink w/ 12v Mini Pump Innerspring Mattress
30 Gallon Fresh Water Tank
Front Rubber Bumpers
City Water Inlet
Exterior Side Lockable Storage
Marine Grade Ultra Light Plywood
Exterior Rear Lockable Wing Doors
Block Foam Insulation Porch Light & Small Assist Handle
Exterior Patio Lights (One Each Side)
Fiberglass Siding with Graphics
7-Way Plug w/ Holder Interior Plastic Battery Box
30 AMP Power Cord w/ Adaptor
Interior & Exterior 110v Outlets
25 AMP Converter
12v Utility Receptacle
LPG, Carbon Monoxide, Smoke Detector
Fantastic Fan w/ Thermostat
20 lb Laydown LP Tank
2 Interior Fluorescent Lights
Pop-Out Pass-Thru Window
2 Post Pedestal Table Leg