We purchased our Northstar Laredo SC truck camper directly from the Northstar factory in September 2015. We’ve taken it to some pretty spectacular locations on some pretty rough roads, places where most folks wouldn’t typically take a truck camper. As of January 2020, we’ve explored 18 states and have traveled over 30,000 miles in our rig. We purchased this truck camper because we were looking for a modest hard-side that we could take off-road that still had the features, capacities, and storage that we considered essential for a good overland expedition truck camper rig.
The Northstar Laredo matches our 2013 Ram 3500 pickup truck perfectly. The camper has a fully loaded weight of 2,980 pounds, an interior floor length of 8 feet 6 inches, and a width of 7 feet. Key features of the Laredo include a 60×80-inch full-size queen bed oriented north-south, a well-apportioned kitchen, a full wet bath, a 39 gallon fresh water tank, and a spacious U-shaped dinette. The camper is equipped with a 330 watt roof top solar power system (two 120 watt and one 90 watt arrays), a 1,500 watt inverter, a DC compressor refrigerator, and a 5-gallon Thetford cassette toilet. We ordered the upgraded insulation package from the factory for four-season capability. The extra insulation along with the dual thermal pane windows and the 16,000 BTU propane fired furnace keep the camper warm in winter.
We’ve made several modifications to both the truck and camper. Truck camper mods include a pair of Expion360 Lithium batteries, a Pioneer MVH-X36BT MP3/AM/FM Radio with Bluetooth, a Blue Sea Systems 12 volt dual USB charging socket in the dinette, a teak magazine rack to store all of our maps and pamphlets, an Expion360 lithium battery monitor, a Progressive Dynamics 4545V converter-charger, and a kitchen back splash. We also installed an Ecocamel water saving shower head and a toilet paper shroud in the wet bath. Modifications to the truck include a Buckstop winch bumper with a Warn 16.5ti heavy-duty winch, Hellwig Big Wig Air Springs, a Hellwig Big Wig Rear Sway Bar, Bilstein 4600 Shocks, Bushwacker Fender Flares, Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT tires, and a set of Ion 134 Aluminum Wheels. Most of these modifications can be explored in greater detail in the “Modifications” and “Product Reviews” sections in this website.
Details on the Truck Camper Adventure Rig
I. 2013 Ram 3500 4×4 Short-Bed Pickup
Color: True Blue Pearl Coat (PBU)
Engine: Cummins 6.7L TD: 370 horsepower, 800 pound-feet of torque
Weight of Cummins 6.7L TD: 1,150 pounds
Transmission: 68RFE six speed automatic
Payload: 3,809 pounds
GVWR: 11,700 pounds (CAT weight w/camper: 11,180 pounds)
GAWR Front Axle: 6,000 pounds (CAT weight w/camper: 5,060 pounds)
GAWR Rear Axle: 7,000 pounds (CAT weight w/camper: 6,120 pounds)
Total weight with camper (no passengers): 11,180 pounds
Tires: Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT 275/70R18 All-Terrain (weight capacity: 3,640 pounds)
Wheels: Ion 134 Matte Black Wheels (134-8970MB 18×9 inches, offset 0 mm)
Tire Pressures Loaded w/Camper: 60 psi front/80 psi rear
Tire Pressures Unloaded: 60 psi front/45 psi rear
Front Axle: AAM 9.5 14-bolt, 35 spline, GAWR 6,000 pounds Max
Rear Axle: AAM 11.5 14-bolt, 30 spline (1.5-inch diameter), GAWR 10,120 pounds max
Rear Differential: 3:42
Differential Cover: AFE Power Raw (5 quarts)
Diesel Fuel Tank Capacity: 30 gallons
Alternator Output (single): 180 amps
Bed Length: 6 feet, 4 inches
Front Bumper: Buckstop Classic II (Steel version) with Warn electric winch
Winch: Warn 16.5ti rated for 16,500 pounds.
Fender Flares: Bushwacker Pocket Max Coverage (unpainted)
Air Springs: Hellwig Big Wig Air Bags w/Air Lift 72000 Wireless Air Leveling Compressor
Shocks: Bilstein 4600 monotube
Rear Sway Bar: Hellwig Big Wig
To read our review of the 2013 Ram 3500 pickup truck, click here.
II. 2016 Northstar Laredo SC Truck Camper
Dry Weight: 2,090 pounds
Actual Weight loaded: 2,980 pounds
Fresh Water Tank: 39 gallons
Gray Water Tank: 13 gallons
Cassette Toilet Black Water Tank: 5 gallons
Water Heater Tank: 6 gallons
Propane: Two (2) 5 gallon, 20 pound tanks
Batteries: Two (2) Expion360 VPR EV-V120 Lithium-Ion Batteries, 240 amp hours total, 32 pounds each.
Solar Power System: 330 watt roof top system comprised of two (2) 120 watt Solar Cynergy polycrystalline solar panels (Imp 6.75 amps per panel), and one (1) Zamp 90 watt monocrystalline long solar panel (Imp 5 amps), controlled by a Zamp ZS-30A PWM charge controller. Portable panels consist of one (1) Zamp 160 watt monocrystalline portable solar panel (Imp 9.4 amps) and one (1) Renogy 100 watt monocrystalline solar panel (Imp 5.8 amps).
Inverter: Go Power GP-SW1500TS, Pure Sine Wave w/Transfer Relay
Radio: Pioneer MVH-X36BT AM/FM/MP3 (Bluetooth)
Refrigerator: Dometic CR1110 AC/DC Compressor (Danfoss), 3.7 cubic feet
Air Conditioner: Coleman Polar Cub 9200 (runs on 2,000 watt generator or 15 amp 110 volt AC)
Furnace: 16,000 BTU Auto Ignition
Windows: Dometic Seitz Acrylic Thermal Pane
Roof Vent and Egress: Dometic Seitz Midi-Heki Vent
Insulation Upgrade: Foil block foam in walls, Astro foil in ceiling
Bed: Froli Star Modular Sleep System
Total Length: 15 feet, 11 inches
Floor Length: 8 feet, 6 inches
Width: 7 feet
Interior Height: 6 feet, 4 inches
Mounted Height to Roof (rear): 9 feet, 8 inches
To read our review of the 2016 Northstar Laredo SC truck camper, click here.