Home Forums Truck Camper Adventure Forum Humvee + Northstar TC800

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    • #36009

      Quick back story on how I ended up with the TC800. I bought a retired Humvee (1988 M998 AM General) a while back. I really enjoy it, and after selling our 2017 Salem TT, I was anxious to get back out there and go camping. I was thinking about building a tent system in the bed of the Humvee or getting a troop carrier canvas and doing something with that. But, after you have been spoiled by home creature comforts in a camper…it is hard to go back to a tent.

      A co-worker found the 1997 TC 800 soft side for sale just down the road from me. It had water damage from a leak around the wall unit ac on the back wall and roof damage from water getting between the aluminum channel and roof edge. When the wood rotted in the rear upper roof rail, the tension mounts for the soft top twisted and got the right rear corner all wonky looking. Also, the right rear jack is bad (Happijac 4100)

      For the last two months or so I’ve been busy every weekend working on it. Replaced the bad floor with new marine plywood, and rebuilt the rear wall and remounted the a/c. I also took this time to replace all the tan colored power outlets and other fixtures with nice new white ones and new GFIC. Replaced the Fantastic fan, and put new USA made vinyl plank floating flooring. New back splash around the kitchen. All new exterior trim and or fresh white paint. All the interior has been washed, scrubbed, and cleaned. The furnace had a bad circuit board. I got the propane tank re-certified and filled. Water tank flushed – all pump and outdoor shower systems functioning. I’m down to the water heater and the jacks. I have a two post lift in my shop and made a dolly to set the camper on and roll it around. I can lift it on and off the truck using the two post lift – actually way faster and safer than the standard jacks…but no way to take the camper off outside of that once I’m out of the shop.

      This last weekend (other than the water heater) I took it out for the first camping adventure using the Humvee. The Humvee is a 2 1/4 ton truck. It is street legal. I just put new 1l ply Radials (rated at 3,900 lbs each), and have it fully serviced.

      The reality is, this combo is ONLY good for local back road cruising. My Humvee has a stock 6.2 diesel and three speed turbo 400 trans. At 55 mph – it is done. Not good for highway. But we have 1/2 dozen parks in driving range all on back roads here.

      The little taste I got this weekend though – was enough to convince me to hunt down a one ton 8′ bed truck to take this camper on full time.

      In the mean time…just having fun. Yes, this gets some strange looks and comments like “you should paint the camper to match the truck…” While that would be cool – it would severely limit the resale market of the camper!

      If I had a way to get this truck and that camper to some overland areas – it would really shine. Just local parks and paved roads isn’t the right combo for this.

      That…or if I put the 6.5 turbo and 4L80E trans…I’d be able to stretch it out…but by the time I do that I can buy a well used older 3500 and be ready to go.

    • #36011
      Mello Mike

      This is a cool rig. I’ve never seen a combo like this and I’ve seen lots of them.

    • #36015

      This is a cool rig. I’ve never seen a combo like this and I’ve seen lots of them.

      When I was researching giving this a try, I only found one other place where a guy on Youtube posted a video of one that was more about him setting up a little guitar studio in his camper than anything else.

      I agree it is an odd looking pair – but I like things that are odd or are a challenge. It is how I roll.

      I ran the numbers and bed size and came to the conclusion that the camper is a fit for this truck. It centers right over the rear axle, and the weight isn’t an issue. The Humvee body is aluminum and fiberglass. Many people don’t know that. Most are not armored. The truck weighs about 5800 lbs alone. But, it is way under power for modern highways.

      What is cool, is the body of the Humvee is the exact same width as the camper. If I had filler panels between the bed and bottom of the camper it would look like some sort of class C RV at a glance. The width is a HUGE plus for stability.

      I’ve had a variety of challenges – such as the Humvee is naturally a 24 volt system. I got lucky as this has a dual mode charger system, but through some custom wiring I was able to get the 7 pin trailer plug to output 12 volt lights and feed.

      I goofed up the toilet in the RV. I bought a new Camco self contained unit and made a nice floor mount to secure it. I didn’t test it (other than practice sitting/standing) prior to this weekend. Got to the park and realized I set it to far back to pull the flush handle all the way! YIKES, but we didn’t have a need for any “solids” if you know what I mean. LOL UGH…I fixed that as soon as I got home. Also, that is the first ever self contained toilet I’ve used. Was easy enough to get rid of liquid – so far not bad. Ask me that again when it has other black water materials present….

      So, if I can get the water heater working AND replace the Happijac (I found another brand I think I’ll use) I can better decide if I’m going to keep or sell it.

    • #36796

      So…this thread I noticed needs to say TC1000. I thought it was a TC800. We are going to take it out for a quick run this weekend. My wife wants to see how practical it is/or isn’t for her travel/camping needs as we ponder buying a 2020 Silverado to carry the camper on long journeys. I think it is wise, especially since we got slowed in our tracks since we’ve had a difficult time getting our hands on a 2020 with the equipment we want.

      They are calling for snow – which will be awesome. We have a choice of two different parks very close to the house – one much closer than the other. I’d love to wake up to an inch of snow on the ground. We’ll see.

      Water heater still isn’t working – I’m going to have to just replace the whole thing. Also, still waiting to order new lift jacks. Right now I’m able to use my auto two post lift in the shop to get it on and off the truck.

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