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TCM EXCLUSIVE: 2016 Capri Cowboy XL

Capri raises the roof on the standard Cowboy by a foot and turns a cabover-less sleeper into a cabover-less camper.  Stand up and meet the 2016 Capri Cowboy XL.

2016 Capri Cowboy XL camper

In truck campers, we get excited about inches.  Give us a foot and we’re elated.  Of course we’re usually talking about floor width created by building above the wheel wells or truck rails, or adding one, two, or even three slide-outs.

Naturally, there is another dimension that’s critical to the interior feel of a truck camper; height.  No where is this more evident than with pop-up truck campers.

From camping experience, we can report that crawling into a pop-up camper with the top down and sitting at the dinette is not only possible, but often surprisingly comfortable.  We also know pop-up truck camper owners who routinely sleep in their campers in the down position for stealth and/or simplicity.  With the top down, pop-up campers essentially become sleepers.

This brings us to the topic of today’s announcement; the 2016 Capri Cowboy XL.  Based on the standard Cowboy model, it adds exactly one foot of interior height.  In a way, the standard Cowboy is like a pop-up camper with the top down; a sleeper that gets you out of the elements, affords some privacy, and provides a place to catch a few Zs.

In contrast, the new Cowboy XL is like a pop-up with the top up; a true walk-in, stand-up truck camper.  Anyone who has been in a pop-up with the top up and down knows exactly what we’re getting at.  The difference isn’t subtle.

Perhaps what’s even more interesting is how an additional foot of height in the Cowboy XL allows for changes to the interior floor plan and the addition of options that are impossible with the standard Cowboy.  How can a foot in height allow for different floor plans?  It starts with the door.

To learn more about why Capri is debuting the Cowboy XL, and why adding a foot of height is a big deal, we talked to Pete D’Acosta, President of Capri Campers.


Above: Click to enlarge the Cowboy floor plans

2016 Capri Cowboy XL Specifications

The 2016 Capri Cowboy XL is a hard side, non-slide camper made for short or long bed trucks.  The short bed Cowboy XL interior floor length is 6’ 6” in a short bed and the long bed Cowboy XL interior floor length is 8’0”.  The 2016 Capri Cowboy XL has a 30 gallon fresh water tank, no grey tank, and no black tank.  It can accommodate batteries if customized and has a twenty pound propane tank.  Capri Camper is reporting the base weight of the Capri Cowboy XL to be 900 to 950 pounds depending on options.  The base MSRP for the 2016 Capri Cowboy XL is $5,795.


Above: The Capri Cowboy XL – click to enlarge

TCM: Does the new Capri Cowboy XL replace any older models in the Capri line?

Pete: No, the Cowboy XL is a new model for Capri.  The Cowboy XL is six feet tall, versus the standard Cowboy that’s five feet tall.

This additional foot allows us to offer almost the entire option list for the XL.  You can even put a shower stall in this camper.  We can also put in counter tops, cook tops, refrigerators, and sinks.  Adding an additional foot of height makes for a much more functional Cowboy concept.

Capri-Cowboy-XL-exterior-driver-side Capri-Cowboy-XL-exterior-passenger-side-4

Above: The Capri Cowboy XL – click to enlarge

TCM: What distinguishes the 2016 Capri Cowboy XL in the Capri product line?

Pete: It’s a cabover-less model, like our standard Cowboy.  We sell a lot of Cowboy models as sleepers, but the XL allows us to take the Cowboy and make it more of a camper.

Along with our Maverick and Retreat models, we took the prototype Cowboy XL to the Cowboy Christmas as the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in December.  It was surprising that the XL was the most popular camper at the show.


Above: The interior height is 6’0″ in the Cowboy XL – click to enlarge

TCM: It’s hard to believe that an additional foot of height can make much of a difference.  How do you explain that?

Pete: With the standard Cowboy, you literally cannot stand-up inside the unit.  The Cowboy is great for people who were in tents and want a protected environment to sleep in.  The standard Cowboy is often ordered with an air conditioner and jacks, but it’s essentially just a sleeper.

The extra foot of height for the Cowboy XL means most adults can stand up inside the unit.  It feels like a little room.  You have a 6’4” bed and a six-foot tall custom cabinet for storage.  It really is a significant upgrade from the standard Cowboy.  You need to see them side-by-side to fully understand it, you really do.

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Above: Standing in the Cowboy (left) and the Cowboy XL (right) – click to enlarge

TCM: That’s a good idea.  Send us some pictures of the two Cowboy models side-by-side for the article.  Is the Cowboy XL a long bed or a short bed model?

Pete: Like all of our models, we make a short bed and a long bed version of the Cowboy XL.

Capri-Cowboy-XL-dinette Capri-Cowboy-XL-dinette-bed

Above: The sleeping area in the Cowboy XL – click to enlarge

TCM: Were there any new materials, components, appliances, or processes used in the development of the Capri Cowboy XL?

Pete: The Cowboy XL is built the same way we build all Capri truck campers; wood frame and hung wall construction.

Capri-Cowboy-XL-rear-driver Capri-Cowboy-XL-rear-passenger

Above: The entry door is taller and narrower in the Cowboy XL – click to enlarge

We do offer multiple layout options for the Cowboy XL.  The standard Cowboy bed goes east-west, so you have 6’8” space to sleep.  With the XL, the entry door is taller and narrower allowing us to move the sleeping space to the right wall.  That’s perfect, especially for one adult.  If you want to sleep two adults, or bring children, we can accommodate that with different interior approaches.

Everybody has different priorities.  For some customers the sleeping arrangement is the most important aspect.  The XL gives us options to meet customers’ requirements.

capri-cowboy-door-original capri-cowboy-xl-tall-door

Above: The regular Cowboy model with the shorter door (left), and the Cowboy XL with the taller and narrower door (right) – click to enlarge

TCM: Why are you using a different door on the Cowboy XL?

Pete: The extra foot in height allows us to use the door we use on our Retreat and Maverick models.  The Cowboy door is 32” X 48”.  The Retreat and Maverick door is 22” X 66”.  The taller and narrower door is more comfortable to use and can be placed to accommodate different interior layouts.

TCM: That makes sense.  What are the available material options for the interior of the Cowboy XL?

Pete: Ninety percent of the standard Cowboy purchases have only two options; air conditioners with heat strips, and jacks.   People just want a good night’s sleep.  We also might adjust the bed size depending on the customer.


Above: An audio-video system with indoor speakers can be added to the Cowboy XL – click to enlarge

The other ten percent want a sink and/or an audio-video system.  That’s about the extent of the options we can install in the standard Cowboy.

Capri-Cowboy-XL-kitchen-cabinets Capri-Cowboy-XL-kitchen-microwave

Above: Options include a microwave, cook top, and sink – click to enlarge

The six-foot tall Cowboy XL model can pretty much handle everything.  Anything we can install in our Maverick model can be in the XL.  For example, if you want running water, you can get a sink and/or shower.


Above: The Cowboy XL can also accomodate a refrigerator – click to enlarge

Additional available options include a refrigerator, cook top, and an electrical outlet in the kitchen for a coffee maker.

TCM: Some folks will probably upgrade to the XL just to fit a coffee maker.  What type of windows are standard?

Pete: They are single pane windows, but one significant difference is that there is no slider window on the front wall.  The side windows allow for air flow, but eliminating the front slider window allows for an optional television, more storage, and other possibilities.  So, there is no front slider on the Cowboy XL.


Above: There is LED strip lighting throughout the camper – click to enlarge

TCM: As we’re talking, I’m looking at the LED strip lighting inside the unit.  It looks great.

Pete: The LED lighting makes it so bright inside the camper.  We added trim pieces to cover the direct light and make it more ambient.

TCM: Ambient LED lighting is a big trend heading into 2016.  Tell us about the size of the fresh water holding tank in the Cowboy XL.

Pete: We offer 5, 10, 16, and 30 gallon tanks on every model we sell.  If you get a shower and sink, we offer a 30 gallon tank standard, unless you specify that you want the tank smaller in exchange for more storage.


Above: An interior storage area in the Cowboy XL – click to enlarge

TCM: Tell us about the batteries and propane tank options in the Capri Cowboy XL.

Pete: There are no batteries in any of our campers.  We tie the camper to your truck’s battery.  If a customer wants single or dual batteries, we can accommodate them but, they take up a lot of space and they really aren’t necessary for ordinary use.  The campers are so small that I don’t know if you need to go to that expense.

The 20-pound vertical propane is in the back of the camper and accessible from the outside.


Above: The Olympian Wave 3 catalytic heater in the Cowboy XL, bottom center of photo – click to enlarge

TCM: You show a catalytic heater in the photographs.  How is that vented?

Pete: When we sell to the northwest, many people choose not to have air conditioner.  They want a fan and heaters.  So, we sell a lot of catalytic heaters.

The catalytic heater in that unit is an Olympian Wave 3 catalytic heater.  It is a ventless heater designed especially for small campers and tents.  Any propane fuel device that you have in a camper should be vented, so you need to crack open a window or two when using the Olympian.  Combination CO/smoke detectors are standard equipment in our campers for safety.

Capri-Cowboy-XL-Generator-rack-3 Capri-Cowboy-XL-generator-rack-5

Above: The generator rack with a recessed basket for generator – click to enlarge

TCM: Tell us about the standard bumper and entry step system for the 2016 Capri Cowboy XL.

Pete: We don’t provide steps, although there are plenty of after-market options available, but many of our customers prefer our generator rack that doubles as a step system.  We found a custom welding shop here in Texas that manufactures a generator rack with a recessed basket for generator.  You can also use the landing area as a step up.  Most people buy a step stool or their make their own stepping systems.

TCM: What does the Cowboy XL weigh?

Pete: We haven’t weighed a Cowboy XL yet.  Based on the weight of the Cowboy and our other units, it will be somewhere between 900 and 950 pounds when it’s finished and loaded.  We’ll get you a true weight for this article.

TCM: Where is the center of gravity on the 2016 Capri Cowboy XL?

Pete: From the front wall, the center of gravity is 51” in the long bed model and 42″ in the short bed model.

TCM: What is the MSRP for the 2016 Capri Cowboy XL with standard build features?

Pete: The MSRP of a base Cowboy XL is $5,795.

The standard Cowboy is $4,195 and the Maverick is $7,395.  At $5,795, the Cowboy XL is half way in-between.  For $1,600 more than the standard Cowboy, the XL offers a long list of available options.  I think a lot of folks who would not have considered the standard Cowboy will now consider the XL.

TCM: What is the warranty for the 2016 Capri Cowboy XL?

Pete: All Capri Campers have a one year manufacturer’s warranty for any defective workmanship.  If you can drive to us, we’ll do anything we have to do to make your camper right.  For those who live a significant distance from the factory, we will go out of our way to find someone close by to handle a repair.

TCM: When will the 2016 Capri Cowboy XL be available?

Pete: It is available right now.  It’s going to Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo that runs from January 15th to February 6th.   We can only take one camper and the Cowboy XL will be the model we display.

TCM: Is there anything about the 2016 Capri Cowboy XL that you would like to add?

Pete: I have noticed a few of the larger RV manufacturers getting into the entry-level space over the past year or two with competitive models.  It’s interesting to see the marketplace shifting in our direction.  The Cowboy has been in production for decades.  Now it’s in good company.

At the Rodeo Finals in Las Vegas we were across the aisle from the Chevy truck booth.  During our conversations with them we learned that the number one truck is a dual cab with a 5’5” short bed.  The XL will easily fit that bed size, without the tailgate.

The pick-up truck explosion will continue, and the slide-in camper is a natural.  People want to utilize them for outdoor fun.  We want to find innovative ways to help them do that.  The Cowboy XL is just the beginning.

TCM: Any other news to share from Capri?

Pete: My son, Tyson, and I enjoy running a non-traditional manufacturing company.  We love having direct contact with every customer from introduction to delivery, and direct involvement with our dealers from beginning to end.

Our facility sits right in the middle of horse ranches and rodeo cowboys, in the beautiful hills of Texas.  It doesn’t get any better than that!  We are looking forward to another record year in 2016.

For more on the Capri Cowboy XL, visit their website at


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