With so many manufacturers producing truck campers in 2023, finding a niche in the marketplace is important. Some manufacturers focus on customization or unique aspects of design, while others focus on reducing weight and cost. Others still focus on quality and comfort. Host Campers, out of Bend, Oregon, is one such company. Indeed, Host’s focus is on producing a premium camper with more luxury and comfort than any other manufacturer today. As a matter of fact, with Adventurer Manufacturing no longer producing the Eagle Cap brand, Host is the only manufacturer producing a triple-slide truck camper today.
Host’s catalog consists of six premium truck camper models, including three triple-slide models: the Mammoth 11.6, the Yukon 11.6, and the Everest 11.6. For those desiring something a little smaller and lighter, Host’s lineup includes three double-slide campers as well: the Cascade 10.5, the Tahoe 10, and the Tahoe 9.6, the company’s only short-bed model. All six campers are large with an abundance of living space. Host’s triple-slide models provide a whopping 180 square feet of living space, the equivalent of what you’ll find in a class C motorhome. How does Host do it? Three things: the 8-foot wide floor, the 11.5-foot floor length, and the three slide-outs.
The Host camper is extremely well-made. The construction features an ultralite 100 percent aluminum frame with a fiberglass exterior and vacumm-bonded foam insulated walls, floor, and ceiling. Many companies claim that their campers are four-season capable, but Host really delivers on that promise. Host’s panels are insulated using a 2-pound high-density foam with an R-13 rating in the walls, an R-16 rating in the floor, and an R-20 rating in the roof, the highest in the industry. Couple this robust construction with a heated basement, freeze-resistant water lines, robust slide-out seals, and insulated glass windows and you have a camper capable of tackling any season.
Host’s options are also first-rate with two attractive interior finishes from which to choose: Smokey River Package and Pecan. Additional options include a king-size bed, synthetic leather upholstery, an electric overbead bunk for the kiddies, an automatic satellite dish with GPS tracking, a gateway Internet router, keyless entry, an ultra-quiet Onan QG 2500i generator, and three outstanding lithium-powered off-grid systems. Without question, Host’s off-grid lithium systems are the best in the industry with largest system topping out at a staggering 1,080 amp hours of lithium and 800 watts of solar. Looking for a washer and dryer combo? Host can do that too in select models. Couple these features with the standard holding tank offerings of 65 gallons fresh, 51 gallons grey, and 32 gallons black, and you have a luxury camper quite unlike any other in the industry today.
To learn what’s new at Host Campers, we spoke with Matt Lawler, Host Director of Sales.
Thanks, Matt, for talking with us. What’s new at Host?
Matt Lawler: Lot’s of things. Host started the 2024 model year in March. We recently went from a double basin kitchen sink to a single basin model. The Thetford three-burner cooktop is now a Thetford two-burner model. We are also offering a Torklift five-step glow step, MCD day/night shades, new flooring, new entry doors, and new awnings, Also, we will be offering some counter top color options (white, grey and our standard black). We offer a few different color options for our graphics as well, including a grey and black accent and a blue and red accent and our standard brown accent.
Your off-grid lithium power systems are a hallmark in the industry. What are the principle differences between the three?
Matt Lawler: We offer three off-grid systems: the Off-Grid Basic, the Off-Grid Extreme, and the Off-Grid Extreme Plus. The basic is a 360 amp hour system, which includes a 2,000 watt inverter and 600 watts of solar. Then we have a 720 amp hour system and a 1080 amp hour system, which come with a 3,000 watt inverter and 800 watts of solar. Many people don’t realize we can fit up to 1,200 watts on the roof of one of our triple-slide models if they so choose.
Impressive. With the advent of lithium batteries, induction cooking is becoming more popular. Will Host be offering this as an option soon?
Matt Lawler: Yes, this is in the process of being done and will be available soon.
What options does Host offer for air conditioning?
Matt Lawler: We currently are only offering the Houghton Belaire 3400, a 13,500 BTU unit, which has been great. It is 56 decibels at the loudest, only 47 decibels on low speed. It has a heat pump, a dehumidifying function, comes with a remote control, and it’s a low profile unit.
Are there any plans at Host to offer a DC powered air conditioner to use with your off-grid lithium systems?
Matt Lawler: Yes, Host is currently looking at various 12 volt units. Stay tuned.
Host offers the largest holding tanks in the industry. What are you currently offering in your campers?
Matt Lawler: Our three triple-slide models have 65 gallons fresh, 51 gallons grey and 32 gallons black. The Cascade and the two Tahoe models offer 65 gallons fresh, 43 gallons grey and 32 gallons black.
What else makes Host stand out from the competition?
Matt Lawler: Honestly, we are in a niche of our own these days and there is really no one else doing what we are doing as far as a triple-slide camper. Our 8-foot-wide floor being at the same level as the top of the truck bed rails allows not only more floor space but also a huge basement storage area.
What are Host’s most popular options?
Matt Lawler: Definitely our Bronze Solar Cool Glass and the 120 volt simulated fire place.
Can you tell us more about the Bronze Solar Cool Glass?
Matt Lawler: The bronze solar cool glass reflects 80 percent of the UV compared to clear. Our standard windows reflect 40 percent of the UV compared to basic clear windows.
What quality control measures are in place to ensure every Host camper measures up to your high standards?
Matt Lawler: We have a lead person in every station to inspect all the work particular to that station. We begin electrical inspections about midway on line. We begin LP and water pressure inspections soon after. When the unit nears completion it will receive a full PDI. After this is completed, our Service and Warranty Manager will go through each unit with one other person and write-up any discrepancies found inside and out. After all items are signed-off, we will go back through the unit and insure all listed items were addressed. Then it will move outside where we continue to run all major appliances and perform a full detail prior to shipping to our dealers.
Are all Host campers weighed at the factory?
Matt Lawler: We have our base weights and then everything is calculated for final weight based on the weight of each option selected.
Do all Host campers come with a center of gravity sticker?
Matt Lawler: We do not, but this information is readily available for our customers upon request.
What is currently Host’s best selling camper?
Matt Lawler: The Mammoth with 80 units sold in 2023. The Yukon comes in at a close number two.
What makes the Host Mammoth 11.6 such a big seller?
Matt Lawler: Several things combined: the openness you experience on the inside, the versatility of the 6 foot sofa with the high-low table, more depth in the counter tops, more space in the toilet area, and the large opera window in the rear. The Mammoth is our only model that offers an outside entertainment center with a 24-inch flat screen and the name itself attracts a large fanfare.
Why is the Yukon 11.6 so popular?
Matt Lawler: Most of time, our customers who choose the Yukon are favoring the theater seating option. Also, many people like having the washer-dryer or full wardrobe option in the driver side slide-out.
What makes the Host Everest 11.6 unique and different from your other triple-slide models?
Matt Lawler: The Host Everest 11.6 model makes the most sense for a family. You can sleep five comfortably with a 6-foot couch in the rear and the U-shaped dinette in the passenger slide with our electric bunk above. The power bunk option can be added to any of our other models as well.
Aside from being lighter, what makes the Host Cascade 10.5 unique from your other models?
Matt Lawler: Aside from having two-slide outs, the Cascade is the only unit, aside from the Yukon, that allows for theater seating and being that the bed is only accessed on the driver side. You can utilize more space in the bedroom and add three, corner wardrobes with a hamper under the passenger side bedroom window with a queen or a king with a full-wall wardrobe on the passenger side. You may choose any of our other bedroom configurations as well. Being a 10.5-foot, double-slide, rear entry unit, it’s several hundred pounds lighter than the triple-slide models. The bathroom is in the rear driver side corner, which is a feature many Cascade owners prefer. The Host Cascade is our third best-selling camper.
The Host Tahoe 9.6 is the only short-bed camper in the Host catalog. How many short-bed Tahoe campers are you making a year?
Matt Lawler: We do about 25 a year, we mainly offer this model (our only short-box) for the folks who already own a short-bed truck and prefer not to change it out.
What is the lightest Host camper currently offered?
Matt Lawler: The Tahoe 9.6 short-box. The base weight is only 3,340 pounds.
Aside from the lower weight, what are the principal differences between the Host Tahoe 9.6 short-bed and Host Tahoe 10 long-bed models?
Matt Lawler: Not much. You can barely tell the difference between the two. There is 6-inches of additional distance in the main floor area is all.
What happened the Host Rainer long-bed and short-bed models that you used to offer?
Matt Lawler: They were replaced by the Tahoe long-bed and short-bed models in 2020.
How many dealerships currently sell Host Campers? Do you sell factory direct?
Matt Lawler: We currently have 12 dealers located throughout the country, a few dealers have two or more locations. We do not sell factory direct. However, if a customer purchases from their closest dealer they are welcome to come to the factory for a factory delivery.
Thanks, Matt, for talking with us. Is there anything else you’d like to say about Host before we close?
Matt Lawler: Some fun facts. Host campers feature a 100 percent aluminum framework throughout. We use the heaviest duty power gear slide-out mechanism available. The basements are heated and even our standard windows are dual-pane. Our campers are very well-balanced having the fresh water tank placed fully forward. We build our own cabinets in-house and many of our products are produced locally (Expion360 batteries, counter tops, front caps, storage bays, San-T-Flush System, and the cabinet frame work is milled locally). Host does many custom things for our customers that many are unaware of, including custom cabinets, specific electrical outlets, an upgraded vent fan in bathroom, additional solar, mattress delete, charging stations in the rear slide, empty slide-outs for DIYers, and more.