Do you love the idea of camping year-round, but think RVs can’t handle all weather conditions? If so, think again! A 4 season truck camper can keep you comfortable in winter, spring, summer, and fall.
Come along with us as we look at the best 4 season truck campers on the market and the key features that make them all-weather winners. Let’s get rolling.
What Is a 4 Season Truck Camper?
There isn’t an official industry standard defining what a 4 season camper is. Manufacturers can call just about anything a 4-season rig. However, certain features allow a truck camper to deliver on its year-round promise. You just have to know what to look for.
We can’t stress enough how important having good insulation is to a 4-season truck camper. This is essential for hot and cold weather. On hot days, good insulation will keep your RV cooler. Then, when cold weather strikes, you’ll stay toasty warm and won’t have to worry as much about your water lines and tanks freezing.
And while we’re talking about insulation, don’t forget to make sure any windows and skylights are thermally efficient. 4 season truck campers generally have double pane windows.
Pro Tip: If your camper doesn’t have double pane windows, there are still things you can do to keep drafts at bay. Learn how to insulate your RV windows here.
A true 4 season truck camper usually has air conditioning for the hotter months and a furnace for the colder months. Some will even have heated tanks, which keeps the tanks from freezing.
Benefits of a 4 Season Truck Camper
The major benefit of a 4 season truck camper is comfort. Your truck may take you where you want to go, but if your RV isn’t fit for the weather conditions, you might be miserable even though you found a glorious spot to camp.
An all-weather camper will keep you cool in the summer sun and cozy when the weather outside is frightful.
Pop-Up vs. Hard-Sided for 4 Season Truck Campers
Four season truck campers are available in both pop-up and hard-sided versions. Pop-up truck campers collapse and rise to their full height when parked. Hard-sided campers have a solid permanent structure.
A pop-up camper usually weighs less and is much lower in height while driving. The low-profile design is more aerodynamic and can pass under some bridges and low-hanging branches that a hard-sided rig may not clear.
Pro Tip: Don’t get so caught up in how much your RV weighs that you forget to consider its height. Learn how to properly measure your RV height here.
Hard shell campers can generally reach 10 to 12 feet in height. Some also come with slide-outs, which greatly increase the living space. Plus, you don’t have to deal with raising or lowering the roof every time you move.
Of course, four season hard-sided campers provide better insulation and protection from the elements than their pop-up counterparts. This is because pop-ups usually have canvas siding.
Things to Look for in a 4 Season Truck Camper
There are a few key things you should look for if you want a true 4 season truck camper that can handle the weather year-round. Here are six things to keep in mind.
Heating and Cooling System Suited for Camper Size
Be sure that the HVAC system, which handles heating and cooling, is sized appropriately for the square footage of the camper. The air conditioner should have enough power (BTUs) to easily keep the cabin cool when it gets hot outside. Conversely, the propane furnace needs to keep you warm when winter sets in. The larger the furnace or AC are the better they will perform in the small space.
Insulated and Heated Tanks
Insulated fresh and wastewater tanks are the bare minimum for any 4 season truck camper. If the tanks don’t have good insulation, they don’t stand a chance when the temperature dips below freezing.
Better yet are heated tanks. The best 4 season truck campers will have a way to keep the tanks warm so they won’t freeze. This could be forced air from the furnace or electric heating pads. Keep in mind that heating pads require quite a bit of power.
Most 4 season truck campers have dual propane tanks. Smaller campers may have two 20-lb units (typical size for a barbeque grill), while larger truck campers might have two 30-lb ones. The more propane you have, the longer you can use your stove, furnace, and water heater before needing to refill.
Any good 4-season truck camper needs excellent insulation. Regardless of what a salesperson may say, ask about how the truck camper is insulated. Did they use high-grade insulation in the walls, ceiling, and floors? Address these areas for extreme weather conditions.
And don’t forget about windows. Make sure the camper has thermal or double-paned windows. That goes for skylights as well. You don’t want to lose precious heat as it rises to the ceiling of your RV.
Slide-outs are a wonderful feature for expanding the living space of a camper. However, slides are not well-insulated, and their seams can allow cold air in and hot air out, making them less thermally efficient.
Newer 4 season truck campers have come a long way in improving insulation and seams. Though, a seamless hard-sided unit will be more efficient than one with slide-outs.
Standard Offering or 4 Season Option
Most manufacturers make a standard truck camper and offer a 4 season package as an upgrade. Additionally, you might find that some RVs touted as 4 season still don’t come with all the features you need. Be sure to consider this when pricing different models.
Lastly, if you mostly camp in summer or warmer climates, you may not need a truck camper with expensive cold-weather add-ons. Keep your camping style and needs in mind when RV shopping as a standard model might suit you just fine.
8 Best 4 Season Truck Campers for Cozy Camping Year-Round
Below are our selections for the eight best 4 season truck campers to keep you comfortable all year long, in snow or shine.
Bigfoot 1500 or 2500 Truck Camper
About: All Bigfoot truck campers come standard with high-density insulation and thermal windows. Between the 1500 and 2500, it has six floorplans with options to fit short-bed or long-bed trucks. The dry weight of the 1500 is between 2,061 and 2,245 lbs, while the 2500 ranges from 2,930 and 3,220 lbs.
4 Season Features: Both models come standard with good insulation, but the 2500 has a higher rating. Dual-propane tanks and heated and enclosed water tanks also come as standard features. Each has a furnace, though the 2500’s heater is more robust. Neither model comes standard with air conditioning, though it is an optional add-on for either model. Being a fiberglass RV they have no thermally conductive frame that helps prevent heat transfer and significantly improves their thermal performance.
1500 MSRP: $31,737 to $33,344
2500 MSRP: $42,126 to $45,482
Northern Lite Truck Campers
About: Northern Lite prides itself on its 4 season truck campers. All are hard-sided with no slide-outs, come standard with solar panels, a queen bed, electric jacks, thermal windows and skylights, and the 4 season package. The dry weight of the various models ranges from 2,400 to 3,317 lbs.
4 Season Features: All Northern Lite Truck Campers come with heated basements, R7 block foam insulation (tested to -20 degrees celsius), thermal pane windows, thermal skylights, Fantastic Fans, heated tanks, and a furnace. Some models include an air conditioning unit, though it is an add-on for others. Like the bigfoot northern lite units are fiberglass and have no thermally conductive frame. This helps prevent heat transfer on the frame and significantly improves their thermal performance.
MSRP: $50,875 to $64,995
Arctic Fox 865
About: The Arctic Fox 865 from Northwood comes mostly ready for all four seasons. It is a hard-sided truck camper without slides and includes dual 30-lb propane tanks, as well as ample-sized fresh, grey, and black water tanks and two batteries. The dry weight of the 865 is 2,641 lbs. It works with a three-quarter or one-ton truck.
4 Season Features: The Arctic Fox 865 comes standard with all-weather foam block insulation, heated holding tanks, a cold-weather ready refrigerator that operates in sub-freezing temperatures, and a reversible vent fan. It fits short and long-bed trucks. Like many truck campers, you have the option of adding an air conditioning unit.
Cirrus 820 Truck Camper
About: The NuCamp Cirrus 820 is another hard-sided truck camper without slides. It comes standard with a solar kit, inverter, wireless backup camera, electric jacks, two batteries, and two 20-lb propane tanks. This camper has a dry weight of 2,830 lbs.
4 Season Features: The Cirrus 820 has 4-season insulation. However, the Alde heat and hot water system sets it apart. This quiet system uses hydronics to create radiant heat instead of forced air, which provides more uniform heating throughout the camper. The Cirrus also comes with air conditioning and thermal windows.
NorthStar Truck Campers
About: Northstar manufactures truck campers, and they have a wide range of models to fit everything from an ultra-short bed to a long bed truck. Northstar offers both hard-sided and pop-up campers. They have the standard ability to handle most weather conditions, but many of the 4 season options are add-ons. The pop-up campers’ dry weight ranges from 1,258 to 1,785 lbs. Their hard-sided ones weigh anywhere from 1,775 to 3,176 lbs.
4 Season Features: All Northstar truck campers have good base insulation, but most don’t come fully loaded for all seasons. The pop-up campers have a special sub-zero add-on package that adds extra insulation to the walls, pop-up tent, and windows. Most models come with a vent fan and furnace, but extra insulation, heated tanks, and insulated window add-ons make them highly customizable.
Pop-Up MSRP: $23,995 to $27,995
Hard-Sided MSRP: $30,665 to $46,995
Alaskan 8.5 Cabover
About: Alaskan Campers are the only one that utilizes a patented solid-wall slide-up design. Think of it like a pop-up camper, but with hard-sided hydraulic lift walls instead of canvas or fabric. The Alaskan 8.5 Cabover has this design, making it more aerodynamic than a hard-sided camper and more sturdy than a pop-up. The Alaskan 8.5 Cabover has a dry weight of 1,680 lbs and works for long or short-bed trucks.
4 Season Features: The Alaskan 8.5 Cabover comes standard with spray foam insulation in the walls, a furnace, two MaxxAir fans, and HEHR Radius insulated windows. You can get a few other optional 4 season features, such as insulated floors and air conditioning.
Lance 850 Truck Camper (with 4 Seasons Option)
About: The Lance 850 truck camper with the 4 seasons option is a hard-sided, no slides model. It has an aerodynamic front nose cap, fiberglass sidewalls, a heavy-duty RV ladder, and a roof rack. The Lance 850 truck camper works for long or short-bed trucks with a dry weight of 2,501 lbs.
4 Season Features: The Lance 850 comes standard with ducted heating, dual-pane windows, and foam block insulation. The 4 seasons options include heated tanks, valves, and PEX lines. It also has an insulated bed mat, hatch covers, battery, and LP tank compartments.
MSRP: $48,785 plus 4 seasons option
Is a 4 Season Truck Camper Worth It?
A 4 season truck camper is worth the money if you spend time in extreme weather. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the Arizona desert in summer or the Colorado Rocky Mountains in winter. At either end of the spectrum, having proper insulation, HVAC options, and other four season capabilities will maximize your camping experience.
Having second thoughts about buying a truck camper? Perhaps a travel trailer with a four season package is more your style. Check out the 7 Best 4 Season Travel Trailers for Staying Cozy When It’s Cold.
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