Camper Beast

Arctic Fox 990 Tiny Home Tour

Northwood Manufacturing builds a mobile tiny home that happens to slide into the bed of a pickup truck. Some of us call this tiny home an Arctic Fox 990. Johnny Mooves sees it differently. Rediscover truck campers!

Johnny Mooves Arctic Fox

What would happen if everyone under the age of fifty forgot what a truck camper was and then rediscovered truck campers? In this alternate universe, van life has completely eclipsed the concept of RVs and relegated truck campers to the dustbin of history.

Then, one day, a lone truck camper appears on the horizon and pulls into a fuel station. As if an alien spaceship just landed, folks stop pumping, drop their squeegees and Big Gulps, and marvel at this white box nestled on the back of a pickup truck.

“Look, it has windows and a door. I think something is alive in there! Stand back!”

Where did this bit of whimsy come from? Well, from watching Johnny Mooves present his truck and camper from the perspective of van life. He clearly knows what a truck camper is, but the way he presents his Ford F-450 flatbed and Arctic Fox 990 rig shows just how far down the van life rabbit hole we’ve traveled.

It reminds me of when I show young people my record collection, turntable, and vacuum tube stereo. They’ve heard of records and stereo systems somewhere, but aren’t quite sure what to make of it. So the needle drags in a groove? Yep.

Above: Johnny Moves presents his Arctic Fox 990 truck camper

A Flush Toilet Epiphany

My favorite rediscovering truck campers moment in Johnny’s video is the bathroom and flush toilet system. Johnny previously converted a thirty-two foot bus and lived in it full-time. The bus had a composting toilet; a feature that’s popular in the van life and overland markets. Johnny admits he didn’t want to deal with RV-style holding tanks, dump hoses, and dump stations because he previously thought they were gross.

Then he bought the Arctic Fox 990 and discovered how simple and efficient a flush toilet and holding tank system can be. I wonder how many van life fans out there have never experienced an RV flush toilet system.

The irony is that we would never consider a composting toilet because–in my mind–they’re too limited in capacity and gross. Perhaps I need to follow Johnny’s lead and experience one before I draw my line in the proverbial sand.

Full-Time Lifestyle Empowerment

Tiny Home Tours Inside an Arctic Fox 990

Johnny lives full-time in his truck and camper with his dogs, Luna and Willa, and enjoys a very active lifestyle of hiking, skiing, and mountain biking. He explains that he’s enjoying this lifestyle now so he doesn’t regret not pursuing his passions later in life.

This is the kind of wisdom that’s all too rare and, like everything in life, has its trade-offs. Angela and I have been fairly nomadic over the past twenty years and wouldn’t trade our travels, experiences, and the people we’ve met for anything. Then again, we sometimes envy those who have stayed put their entire lives and enjoy a rock-solid sense of home and community.

Arctic Fox Tiny Home Image 1

Above: If you buy used, you can get a truck and camper rig at a lower cost. Check out Affordable Rigs.

Another item we found relatable is the sense of empowerment Johnny has earned by enduring breakdowns and other road emergencies big and small and handling them by himself. We know what it’s like to have our rig and home breakdown on the road. We know what it’s like to see our rig towed away.

As Johnny describes, you have no choice but to tackle these challenges at that moment and start making decisions to solve whatever is happening. We have a saying about the high-highs and low-lows of the road. These moments are the low-lows, that become the high-highs (in retrospect) because you figured them out, and kept going. Funny how that works.

A Word About Center of Gravity

This video showcases the truck camper at least three feet (including the headache rack) back from the truck cab. This is generally not recommended for the center of gravity. Truck camper rigs with a center of gravity past the rear axle could wear out the tires, brakes, and suspension components faster and potentially compromise braking and steering.

To be fair, Johnny reports that his Ford F-450 is at or under payload with his camper, flatbed, and storage boxes. The truck also appears to be a commercial version of the F-450 with a longer wheelbase. This at least partially explains why the truck camper is set back. Even so, we always recommend campers be set all the way forward on the truck bed.

Thank You, Johnny Mooves

Tiny Home Tours Arctic Fox Tour

In the end, who cares how younger generations discover the wonderful lifestyle of truck camping, as long as they discover it. I have a feeling a lot of younger folks will gravitate to truck campers from van life and overland as their need and/or desire for more comfort, capacity, and capability progresses. There are many signs this is already happening, which bodes well for our niche in the greater RV world.

Thank you, Tiny Home Tours and Johnny Mooves for a fantastic video!

To learn more about Johnny Mooves, check out JohnnyMooves on Instagram. Click here for more information on Arctic Fox truck campers.


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