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Truck Camper Reviews

2018 Northern Lite 8-11 EX Dry Bath Review


Dry Weight2,650 pounds
Wet Weight*3,645 pounds
Floor Length9’3″
Overall Length195″
Interior Height6’4″
Exterior Height94″
Center of Gravity39.5″
Truck TypeShort Bed

Given the sheer number of standard features on the 2018 Northern Lite 8-11 EX, some may question the validity of the stated 2,650 pound dry weight.  We can put those concerns to rest.  I personally have witnessed a half dozen or more Northern Lite truck campers get weighed at the factory over the past decade and their dry weights are 100-percent accurate.

Northern Lite 8-11 EX exterior weight sticker

The exterior weight sticker on the 8-11 EX under review states the dry weight at 2,650 pounds.  The 8-11 EX model is only available as a Special Edition, so this weight includes an extensive list of premium features including the HDTV, audio/video system, two awnings, thermal pane windows, 95-watt solar panel, and more.

Northern Lite 8-11 EX camper weight sticker inside

The interior weight sticker on the 8-11 EX is located on the back wall of the rear closet.  That sticker read 2,740 pounds reflecting the addition of a 90-pound Coleman Mach 8 air conditioner.  Again Northern Lite’s weight integrity is beyond reproach.

Northern Lite 8-11 EX Driver's Side

The overall length of the 8-11 EX is 195-inches.  That’s 4-inches longer than the 8-11 at 191-inches.

The width, interior height, and exterior height are identical between the 8-11 EX and 8-11.  The center of gravity moves back two inches for the 8-11 EX due to the additional 4-inches of overall length.  Finally, the 8-11 EX is short bed only.  If you need a long bed Northern Lite, there’s the 9-6 and 10-2 models.

Wet Weight Calculation

Let’s run the wet weight number on the 8-11 EX using Truck Camper Magazine’s standardized wet weight calculation.

Base Dry Weight – option-loaded as standard

Northern Lite 8-11 EX: dry weight, 2,650 pounds + 25 gallons fresh, 275.2 pounds + 6 gallon full hot water heater, 50 pounds + 2x 20-pound propane tanks, 40 pounds + 2 batteries, 130 pounds + stuff, 500 pounds = 3,645.2 pounds

Dry Weight As Reviewed – With Optional Air Conditioner

Northern Lite 8-11 EX: dry weight, 2,740 pounds + 25 gallons fresh, 275.2 pounds + 6 gallon full hot water heater, 50 pounds + 2x 20-pound propane tanks, 40 pounds + 2 batteries, 130 pounds + stuff, 500 pounds = 3,735.2 pounds

Truck Recommendations

I often have to sit down and really think about what trucks to recommend for a specific camper.  Wet weights can put units right on the line between a three-quarter ton and a one ton, or a single rear wheel and a dually.  My job is to make a conservative truck recommendation that will create a safe truck and camper match, not walk the notorious, “You’ll be fine” line.

I had none of these concerns for the Northern Lite 8-11 EX.  The wet weight for a fully wet and loaded 8-11 EX are square in the one-ton short bed sweet spot.  For example, we owned a 2013 Chevy Silverado 3500 short bed with 4,013 pounds of payload.  That truck with a Northern Lite 8-11 EX would be a dream truck and camper match.

If you have your heart set on a Northern Lite 8-11 (wet bath or dry), I would strongly recommend reading the article that debuted our 2013 Chevy 3500, and all the choices we made for that custom order.  You should be able to start with Ford, Chevy, or RAM, follow our build choices, and end up with a payload matched rig.  Of course check with your dealer about your payload requirements before placing the order.

Many folks want truck features, options, and upgrades that add weight and subtract payload.  If you have to have a diesel engine, or can’t live without all the luxury bells and whistles, you will have a harder time finding or ordering a payload appropriate truck.

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