Truck Camper Magazine reviews a 2020 Cirrus 720, a hard side, non-slide, wet bath, short bed truck camper for three-quarter ton trucks. Does this remarkably innovative camper hit it out of the park, or strike out? Let’s dig in.
Above: All photography was taken at Truck Camper Warehouse in West Chesterfield, New Hampshire.
nüCamp RV debuted the Cirrus 720 in Truck Camper Magazine in March of 2019. In the year that proceeded its introduction, the Cirrus 720 had undergone an extensive prototyping, perhaps more than we had seen on any truck camper before it.
nüCamp even brought prototypes (marked as the Cirrus 670) to the Hershey RV Show and Elkhart Open House for feedback from the public and industry. If nothing else, the 720’s development process demonstrated nüCamp’s strong desire to get this camper right.
After Hershey RV Show and Elkhart Open House, nüCamp returned to their Sugarcreek, Ohio design lab, absorbed the enormous amount of feedback they had collected (including ours) and made yet another round of extensive refinements. Six months later, we got an email from nüCamp. The 720 was ready.
Scott Hubble, CEO of nüCamp RV explained, “Going back to the drawing board, we shaved a considerable amount of weight by adjusting the height, length, and core cabinetry. We also reassessed the standard features and options and found additional areas to remove weight while retaining the overall quality and appeal of the product”.
The production Cirrus 720 weighed in at 2,340-pounds wet; full fresh water, Group 27 battery, 20-pound propane tank, and every option – electric jacks, air conditioner, side awning, and more.
“That wet weight will be beyond the payload boundaries of most half-tons,” Scott stated. “It’s possible to payload match the Cirrus 720 to a very stout half-ton, but it is better suited to a three-quarter ton or one-ton truck.”
We not only agreed, but we loved Scott’s honest statement. He truly wants nüCamp customers to safely payload match their rigs.
For those who were hoping for a half-ton compatible camper, a new model – the Cirrus 620 – is currently in development at nüCamp. Although we have no official confirmation on timing, we hope to see the Cirrus 620 by next summer.
Without a question, the most prominent feature of the Cirrus 720’s interior is the radius tambour wet bath door. This is the first time we’ve seen a tambour door in a truck camper and it makes an incredible impact on the size of the wet bath, and the overall floor plan.
“The radius tambour door allows the 720 to have a much larger wet bath than would otherwise be possible; 20-percent larger to be exact,” explained Scott. He added, “Radius tambour doors have been around for years and have been successfully implemented in European RVs for quite some time.”
The radius upper cabinets are another completely unique feature of the 720. These cabinets look more like overhead bins in a luxury jet than anything we’ve ever seen in a truck camper – not that we fly in luxury jets too often. “In order to further draw the line between us and our competitors, we are introducing radius overhead cabinetry,” stated Scott.
There is a lot of wow factor in this camper. The wet bath design alone darn near dominated the conversation at last year’s Elkhart Open House. That doesn’t mean the 720 will be a big seller. What makes this camper different will either make it a huge success, or break it. That’s what happens to truly innovative products.
Scott wrapped it up perfectly during the debut. “The Cirrus 720 is a one-of-a-kind Cirrus camper that features modern, radius, residential-styled cabinetry and technologically advanced Aluminum-Coosa hybrid structure. No expense was spared for this signature-styled truck camper.”
“With all the new changes, we kept our identity by incorporating the Alde and Froli systems coupled with our industry leading Ohio Amish quality craftsmanship. All of that, and a base dry weight of 1,875-pounds (2,340-pounds wet with every option).”
That’s a heck of a pitch. Will the 720 be a hit, or will it walk back to the dugout? Let’s find out.
Floor Plan Evaluation
With the entry door open and the screen pulled closed, the trash can and fire extinguisher are readily accessible from the outside. Since so many truck campers eat, drink and barbecue outside, many owners will appreciate both features.
The Cirrus 720 employs a Project 2000 M440 step system. This system is manually deployed and utilizes a steel bracket and an aluminum step with anti-slip rubber.
If you plan to exclusively use the Cirrus 720 demounted and lowered to the ground (as shown), the Project 2000 step will be fantastic. It’s easy to deploy and retract, and feels sturdy underfoot.
However, once you load the 720 on a truck, the Project 200 step will be far too high for safe and comfortable camper entry and exit. To bridge the gap, a two or three-step portable stool will be required.
Torklift International’s Stow N’ Go step system would seemingly be a better choice for the 720. Ironically, this is the system used on the Cirrus 820 and 920 models. As our recent Stow N’ Go review reflects, we were impressed with that system on a Cirrus 920 last winter.
For 2019, Cirrus upgraded all of their truck camper doors. The new door features two storage pockets, horizontal window with built-in privacy screen (lifts up from bottom), integrated trash can, fire extinguisher and a significantly more robust lock system.
Overall, this new door is game changer. It’s reminiscent of the dawn of rear storage bumpers; suddenly an overlooked truck camper component becomes multi-functional. Why can’t all camper doors be multi-functional? Maybe this will inspire truck camper design teams to take another pass at this overlooked component.
Taking another look at this door, I have a few concerns. If this door is open (as many of us like to do while camping), anything in the two upper pockets is directly exposed to the sun and wind. The upper pockets could also catch rain water. That’s not a deal breaker, but something folks need to consider when using this new door.
The built-in trash can is a bit low in capacity, but it’s a decent size for a truck camper. Of course there’s no law that says you have to use this storage container for trash. We would probably put a trash can under the sink and use this container for umbrellas and flashlights or maybe shoes. Dog owners might put leashes here.
This is the view from immediately inside the Cirrus 720’s entry door. The wet bath is on the driver’s side, kitchen on the passenger’s side, dinette dead center, and then the front nose cabover.
One item you can’t see in the wide shot is a the cleverly CNC-cut closet and cabinet on the rear passenger’s side. The top of this split space (two doors) is a hanging closet. The lower space is a cabinet with an adjustable shelf.
These closets were quite dark with no built-in camper lighting to illuminate what you may be looking for. The light shown inside the cabinetry is from our lighting kit.
All Cirrus truck campers are heated with Alde hydronic heating systems. This system is unique to Cirrus in the truck camper market. Outside of the truck camper industry, Alde is utilized by Roadtrek, Airstream and Hymer.
The Alde system works similarly to a radiator system in a house; there’s a central boiler and radiators throughout the camper. Once heated, a glycol-water mix is pumped throughout the camper to heat the unit. The result is an extremely quiet, efficient and even heat that has to be experienced to fully appreciate.
We published a full review of the Alde system that is a must-read for anyone interested in Cirrus. The low down is this; the Alde is the best heating system we have ever experienced in a truck camper.
The glycol reservoir shown is quite different from the glycol reservoir in the Cirrus 820 and 920; smaller, simpler and 100-percent translucent. We much prefer this presentation as it takes up less space and it should be easier to see when the glycol needs to be replaced.
The rear passenger’s side closet also features the interior weight sticker. It’s a bit hard to read in this photo, but the sticker says this camper weighs 2,080 pounds with standard equipment, 20-gallons of water, 20-pounds of propane, and 3.7 cubic foot refrigerator. It then adds 13-pounds for an optional television and 13-pounds for the optional ladder.
We will come back to this sticker and weight in the Wet Weight Calculations.
Adjacent to the closet on the passenger’s side is the kitchen.
The white countertop and dinette table in the 720 are made from E-wood, a laminated plywood and closed-cell foam panel that offers the structural integrity of wood, but at a fraction of the weight. E-wood is one of several cutting-edge materials nüCamp is employing to remove weight and improve structural strength in their Cirrus truck campers.
If you’re starting to get the feeling that nüCamp is ahead of the majority of truck camper companies on modern materials and appliances, you’d be right.
The two-burner flush top propane cooktop is right-sized for the Cirrus 720. In our fourteen years of truck camping, I can’t remember a single time when we needed more than two cooktop burners. Most of the time we’re using one.
We had this exact sink in the Cirrus 920. While it worked well for washing hands, silverware, utensils, cups and bowls, the combination of a vertical only faucet and a small basin made washing larger dishes and pans a major pain. They just wouldn’t fit under the faucet without making a terrific mess. If the faucet lifted out, or if the basin was larger, it might have worked.
Taking a second look at this sink and countertop you can see plenty of space for washing dishes – as long as the cooktop is closed. As with most kitchens this size, either the cooktop or sink needs to be closed to allow for meal prep or dish washing.
This packed vertical stack is tucked into the rear corner of the kitchen.
From top to bottom; nüCamp’s battery and tank level monitor panel (including switches for the porch lights, backup camera, 12-volt refrigerator mode, water pump, dinette ceiling lights, and dinette accent lights), Alde control panel and USB, 12-volt and 110-volt outlets.
Everything here is well labeled and easy to operate. The Alde system takes some learning, but it’s fairly straight forward.
If I had a misgiving it would be the recessed location of these monitors and controls. In particular I can see some folks having a hard time craning to see and operate the nüCamp monitor at the top; the one with the battery and tank levels. Before you buy, make sure this is comfortable.
When the Cirrus 720 prototype (aka the 670) went back to nüCamp after the 2018 Hershey RV Show and Elkhart Open House, one thing was clear. They had to cut weight; a lot of weight.
One way they accomplished this goal was to remove cabinetry. This change dramatically changed the lower kitchen. Where the prototype had gorgeously designed drawers, the 720 has cabinet doors and, well, grey plastic pull-out tubs.
In my twisted mind I’m imaging the design team at nüCamp saying, “You don’t want our fancy drawers that we spent countless hours perfecting? Fine! We’ll throw some grey tubs in there and call it a day. What’s for lunch?”
It probably didn’t go down like that, but for goodness sakes these tubs just don’t belong here. nüCamp has set a very high bar for the design aesthetic in their campers. These tubs are just too utilitarian for that standard.
So let’s fix it. You could simply remove the tubs and enjoy the resulting vertical space. You could put shelving in. If you’re even more handy, you could build some attractive wood-faced pull-out containers that match the exiting cabinet facing. The mod makers among us will make this right.
The drawers under the sink were also removed. Thankfully, the design team opted to create a large space; perfect for a large trash container and the other items most of us like to keep under the sink.
A quick glance into our under-sink cabinet and you’d find a trash container, recycling container (both are actually repurposed beer boxes), cleaning supplies and trash bags. This space in the 720 is about the same size as our under-sink cabinet, and would be ideal for all of the above. Love it.
When I turned my trusty Nikon 14-24mm F/2.8 lens up in this space, I discovered some curious black pads on the backside of the stainless basin. These soundproofing sheets are designed to deaden the clanging noises of dishes and the drumming of running water. In addition to the impressive workmanship on display, it’s a nice touch.
When I closed the cabinet doors I was face to face with two engraved nüCamp logos. I had to laugh because this is just so nüCamp. The nüCamp team is extremely proud of their brand and workmanship and love any opportunity to showcase both.
Only time will tell if these engravings will survive normal truck camping wear and tear. While packing in and packing out a truck camper, cabinets can get bumped. I know a couple scratches in our camper that have my name on them.
One element that was almost preserved untouched was the radius upper cabinetry. The prototype had hardware handles, but we honestly prefer the look without them. It’s cleaner.
So how do you open the cabinets? With a quick push and release, they automatically open with a gas strut assist. It takes a little practice to get the feel for this, but it works well.
Once open, the radius cabinets present a huge amount of unfettered storage space. Since this cabinet is above the kitchen, most folks will probably use this for dry food, plates, bowls, mugs and cups.
Ideally, nüCamp would provide a shelf and some additional dividers. That runs contrary to the weight saving mission, but how else are folks supposed to keep their Raisin Bran from spilling into their pots and pans after hitting a pot hole span? That’s real life truck camping, man! Sorry, I’ll stop.
Before closing the radius cabinet, we caught sight of the kind of design detail that has to be appreciated. To save weight, the center of the divider spans have been CNC routed removing unnecessary structure and material. There’s even a subtle echo of the nüCamp logo in the cut-out points and curves. Darn clever.
We also noticed what appears to be shelving peg notches. Maybe nüCamp has provided or has optional shelving that just wasn’t showcased in the 720 under review. That’s the stuff that Manufacturer’s Responses are made for.
Let’s return to the rear of the camper and switch to the driver’s side and the incredible tambour door on the wet bath.
For those who missed the prototype announcement and the subsequent Cirrus 720 debut article, the tambour door on the wet bath is the key to this whole design. It allows the camper to share floor space between the main entry way and the wet bath. It was also another nüCamp truck camper first – at least here in the USA.
The tambour door effectively encircles what becomes the shower stall in the wet bath. nüCamp ingeniously installed a Fantastic Vent and lighting in this area allowing these components to be part of the wet bath or the main living area. It’s effectively like getting two Fantastic Vents in one.
The prototypes split the tambour door into two sections. The final production version simplifies the concept by using only one tambour door section.
This is a significant improvement as one section is much faster and easier to move than two. The tambour door in the reviewed camper was impressively smooth in operation. The door also felt more robust, a concern I had about the first iteration. The final door feels confident.
This is what the closed tambour door looks like from the main living area of the camper. As you can see, you can still access the entry door and get past the wet bath.
This is what the closed tambour door looks like from inside the bathroom. It’s amazing that the floor in this photograph was almost entirely part of the main living area just a moment ago. Now it’s part of the wet bath and shower stall.
Here’s what the wet bath looks like if you’re standing against the closed tambour door. From left to right there’s an Alde system radiator, Thetford C220 cassette toilet system, and a small shelf and storage area.
As you can see, there is no sink in the 720’s wet bath. That was another casualty of needing to reduce weight from the prototypes. Always trade offs.
The Thetford C220 cassette toilet bowl revolves 180-degrees and has a 4.75-gallon (18-liter) black tank capacity. I will discuss the pros and cons of cassette toilets in the Capacities section below.
You may be too mesmerized by the tambour door to notice that nüCamp installed an ultra modern shower head and wall mounted controls.
This elegant shower head and control would have been unimaginable in a truck camper before nüCamp. In a marketplace that, to this day, reflexively uses the same old RV-quality appliances and features, nüCamp continues to blaze a unique design path. Simply stunning.
Before I concluded my photography of the 720’s wet bath, I noticed the shower drain was plugged with a rubber stopper. This baffled me as I couldn’t think of a time when you would want to plug the shower drain, unless you want to use your new camper for a bubble bath (not advisable).
So what is this shower plug for? My first bet is to keep dirt from entering the drain as you enter and exit the camper. My second bet is simply aesthetics. After all, it’s weird to have an open shower drain in the main living area of your camper, right?
Look closely at the image above and you’ll notice two things. One, the design team CNC routed ventilation for an Alde fan convector right into the cabinet face. Two, there’s a cleverly camouflaged door in the floor.
Removing the floor door reveals a sump pump. To the best of our knowledge, the 2020 Cirrus 720 is the first camper on the planet to have a sump pump.
When we saw this feature on the prototype in Elkhart, we asked the nüCamp team why the camper even needed a sump pump. The answer; gravity. With only a four-inch basement, there wasn’t enough space to run the water to the grey tank via gravity.
The sump pump has to pump the draining shower water fast enough to avoid a flood from the shallow shower pan. And that brings some important questions.
Will the sump pump actually keep up with the draining water?
Does the tambour door keep the water inside the wet bath while showering?
How does one go about drying the tambour door and wet bath?
In a nutshell, how does all this actually work in the real world?
Last year I said we needed to camp in a Cirrus to experience the Alde hydronic heating system in real world situations. We did, and it’s awesome. This year we need to take out a Cirrus 720 and experience this unique wet bath set-up. Hey nüCamp, let’s make that happen.
In my hand, the sump pump floor door was exceedingly light. Turning it over I discovered it was CNC routed from a sheet of Coosa composite panel. In fact, it appears that entire floor of the 720 is made from Coosa.
Made in Birmingham, Alabama, Coosa structural panels are essentially polyurethane foam reinforced with fiberglass. Coosa will not rot and is stated to be 30-percent lighter than the plywood products it replaces. It will be interesting to see how nüCamp employs this cutting-edge material in future models.
The flooring in the 820 and 920 is exceedingly comfortable underfoot, but the deep texture traps sand and dirt. When we were camping in a Cirrus 920 last winter, we had to sweep the floor repeatedly to get the sand and dirt out. The flooring just didn’t want to let it go.
The 720 also has a textured floor, but the texture isn’t nearly as deep or detailed. It should sweep clean much faster and easier. Listen up truck camper manufacturers! Sweep-ability is critical when choosing flooring material.
The Cirrus 720 features a 3.7 cubic foot Norcold N3104 three-way (propane, 110-volt and 12-volt) gas absorption refrigerator. The N3104 has a dedicated freezer, adjustable door bins, a pull-out crisper, two adjustable shelves, and LED lighting.
Like the two-burner cooktop it faces, this refrigerator is right-sized for a short-bed hard side camper that’s focused on reduced weight. If you want larger features and capacities you can always step up to a Cirrus 820, but you will need more truck.
Under the refrigerator is a small cabinet and shelf that seems to be made for dry goods; cans, jars and other food containers. The cabinet doors have a strong latch system (see black latches top center) but, after our infamous spaghetti western last July, I might look into securing the heavier cans and jars. Otherwise, one good jolt and you could be stepping in pickled beets and peanut butter.
Directly across from the radius upper cabinets on the passenger’s side is a shorter length of radius upper cabinets on the driver’s side.
Again we are impressed with the modern design of these cabinets. And again we find ourselves wishing for a shelf. As it is, this would be a great place to stack folded T-shirts, jeans and other clothing items.
Turning toward the front we come to an East-West oriented mid-dinette. This is a popular dinette configuration for European truck campers and has gained traction in the domestic pop-up truck camper market. However, it’s not generally something you see in hard side campers here.
The advantage of the East-West mid-dinette is it allows a booth-style dinette in a non-slide short bed floor plan. The disadvantage is that it somewhat blocks cabover entry and exit, and forces the kitchen and bathroom to the rear of the unit.
As big fans of comfortable booth-style dinettes, we love the choice nüCamp has made here. Not only is this dinette proportionally correct (right seat height and depth ergonomically) but the seat cushions are exceptionally comfortable.
To date, proper dinette dimensions and comfort has not been nüCamp’s strongest suit. Thankfully, the 720 dinette nails it. Hopefully we’ll see this design influence the next iteration of Cirrus 820 and 920 models.
For a table, nüCamp selected the Lagun table leg system. The Lagun table leg swivels 360-degrees, adjusts for height and locks down tight. Like a lot of nüCamp’s systems, the Lagun takes some getting used to, but it’s by far the most versatile table system we’ve experienced in a truck camper.
I would personally prefer a larger table that attaches to the wall for additional support. Then again, the flexibility of the Lagun and the size of the table nüCamp has provided is appropriate for a camper this size.
The fuse panel and breakers are under the dinette on the passenger’s side. This is a convenient location for a critical component.
A few weeks ago we had an electrical issue in our camper and – sure enough – a 20-amp fuse had blown. Fortunately, we carry 10, 15 and 20-amp fuses with us and solved the problem in a matter of seconds. Always carry extra fuses!
This is effectively the same Jensen audio-video system that we see in every camper. Our readers have indicated that they no longer want or need such a system installed in their unit. If they do, they only want it as an option, and hardly anyone wants outside speakers. Portable all-in-one Bluetooth speaker systems are the trend.
I’m hereby challenging nüCamp to take a leap forward with their audio-video systems. If you have to, make this Jensen stuff an option. Then take us into the future; Jensen to Jetsons.
The Cirrus 720 employs the same thermal pane acrylic windows as the larger and heavier 820 and 920 models. These windows incorporate adjustable blackout shades and screens that allow you to select how much you want of either.
From our camping experience in the 920, we can confirm that these windows are highly effective at retaining heat or air conditioning. The four latches take more time to release and operate, but they feel solid and well made in the hand.
The one thing that really bugged us about these windows last winter was the lack of tinting. Without tinting, folks can see right into the camper – day or night. Every other RV window type has tinting for this reason. It might be possible to add window tint to acrylic windows, but we have never seen anyone actually do it. Maybe nüCamp can challenge their window supplier with this idea.
During the photography for this review we discovered four white plastic cabinet doors behind the dinette on the forward wall.
Once opened, we found the Shurflo water pump, water heater bypass valve, battery box, temperature mixer and Alde 3020 hydronic heat and hot water system.
We are always in favor of easy access to the water pump. While generally reliable, water pumps are known to quit and need replacement. This pump is accessible, but we would appreciate it being moved more to the center of the cabinet opening.
The ventilated battery box is just barely visible in the lower center of the image above. Batteries need to be accessed and sometimes removed for maintenance, trickle charging during long-term indoor storage (where no solar is possible) and eventual replacement. While we suspect the center dinette box unscrews to allow access to the batteries, we would like nüCamp to address that point.
I have the same question about the Alde system. How does one get to the Alde system for checking the fuse and other possible maintenance? I am sure nüCamp will chime in for a Manufacturer’s Response to this review.
The Cirrus 720 features a North-South cabover with a queen-size bed and three storage cubbies on either side. Focusing on the aesthetics, this is a very attractive and inviting presentation. nüCamp knows how to make small spaces look modern and beautiful.
So what’s missing here? Storage! There are no cabinets in the entire cabover. None. Zero. Zilch. Unless you can squeeze all of your underpants, socks, T-shirts, shorts, jeans and sweatshirts into those six bins, you’re going to need to store your clothing somewhere else.
The dinette-area radius upper cabinets are an obvious choice for this requirement and likely what the nüCamp design team intended.
Lifting up the mattress reveals a Froli Travel bed system. The Froli Travel system is slightly lower in height and lighter in weight compared to the Froli Star system found in the Cirrus 820 and 920.
The Froli system works in conjunction with the Alde hydronic heating system to eliminate condensation and keep the bed warm.
Beyond a doubt, the nüCamp factory-supplied mattress and Froli system is the most comfortable factory bed system we have ever experienced. Since returning the 920 this spring, Angela has repeatedly suggested getting exactly the same mattress and Froli system for our project camper. We both have occasional back problems and never once had any back pain with this mattress and Froli. That’s big.
The prototypes for the Cirrus 720 had stunning aluminum tambour-style rolling hampers and penguin cabinets. They undoubtedly took a considerable amount of time to source, design and install. Then the Hershey RV Show and Elkhart Open House feedback came back loud and clear; cut the weight.
Again my twisted mind imagines the design team’s response; “You don’t want our fancy hampers and penguins that took countless hours to get right? You want us to lighten it up? Fine! We’ll throw some black tubs in there and call it a day. Time for an extended coffee break, mmmm-kay.”
Of course that’s not what actually happened but – like the grey plastic tubs under the kitchen sink – these black tubs just don’t pass the nüCamp design mustard. nüCamp simply set their own design standard too high for plastic tubs. The tubs also waste a ton of potential storage space in a cabover that badly needs it.
Without a doubt, the Mod-fia will bury these bins in favor of longer, wider, deeper and more functional storage solutions. Hopefully, nüCamp will do the same.
The production version of the 720 eliminated the front nose (aka penguin) storage areas. In their place we get an LED reading light, USB-outlet, 110-volt outlet, light switch and a speaker on the passenger’s side, and a LED reading light, 12-volt outlet, USB-outlet, light switch and speaker on the driver’s side.
First, I am pleased to see the outlets on hand. The USB-outlets will be fantastic for charging phones and tablets overnight, and the 110-volt out 12-volt outlets are perfect for folks on CPAP machines. Well done.
I am less enthusiastic about the speakers. I think the truck camper industry really needs to reconsider audio-video systems and how folks actually use them. If given the choice between these speakers and a small storage cubby, I believe most truck campers would prefer the storage.
The omni-directional LED reading lights offer both blue and daylight white light by pushing and holding the on/off button. The blue light is an odd choice aesthetically; it’s just not a pleasing light color.
The daylight white is a lot better, but we would prefer something more directional. If you’re lying in bed reading and your spouse wants to sleep, having a directional reading light that doesn’t spill into the entire cabover would be preferable.
The optional Jensen 19-inch HDTV and mount is another right-sized component done well. This is the perfect location for television and movie watching in bed.
And with the swing-out swung, you can watch television from the main living area. I’m not sure how comfortable this position would be to watch from the dinette immediately below, but maybe from the driver’s side it would work.
Looking back from the cabover, the Cirrus 720 is a remarkable truck camper to behold. There is so much fresh thinking in this camper. There’s really nothing else like it here in the United States or Canada. This is as close as we currently get to European design. It’s no wonder the 720 was the talk of Hershey and Elkhart last year.
|Dry Weight||1,875 pounds|
|Wet Weight*||2,645 pounds|
|Center of Gravity||32″|
|Truck Type||Short Bed|
For the Cirrus 920 review, I publicly poked at nüCamp to comment on exactly how and where they weigh their truck campers. While we have not seen a scale system on site at nüCamp, they are required to have one for their trailer line. It’s likely that they use the same scales for their truck camper – but we don’t know for sure.
Taking a step back, nüCamp’s stated 1,875-pound dry weight for the Cirrus 720 sounds right for an 8-foot 3-inch hard side, non-slide truck camper. That stated, we would love to see a photo of the 720 on a scale or a CAT scale ticket. Hey nüCamp, show us how you weigh your units!
With a floor length of 8-feet 3-inches, the Cirrus 720 is 3-inches shorter than the Cirrus 820. What’s interesting is that the 32-inch center of gravity of the 720 is actually identical to the center of gravity of the Cirrus 820. This is surprising given how different the floor plans are. Okay, one more request nüCamp; please show us how you calculate center of gravity.
nüCamp builds all of their Cirrus units at 86-inches wide (just shy of 7-feet 2-inches). In contrast, most hard side truck campers designed for three-quarter and one-ton trucks are 96-inches wide (8-feet). That means the Cirrus 720 is 8-inches narrower than some competing truck campers.
Shaving 8-inches of width from the entire length of the unit helps to reduce the weight of the Cirrus truck camper line. However, it also means the hallway is bit narrower and countertops, shortage and other features are a bit thinner. I was unaware of the missing 8-inches when photographing the 720, but I was aware of it when we borrowed the 920. This is one design element you need to experience in person.
At 6-feet 4-inches, the interior height of the 720 is 2-inches lower than the 820. Standing at 6-feet 3-inches tall, the height was not a factor when I photographed the unit. I was also able to sit up in the cabover. This should be a very comfortable height for most folks.
|Black||4.75 gallon cassette|
|Water Heater||2.2 gallon|
|Propane Tanks||20 pounds|
The lower weight design target is fully revealed when you review the capacities of the Cirrus 720. For example, the 20-gallon fresh tank and 22-gallon grey tank capacity is about what we expect from a hard side truck camper gunning for a half-ton compatible weight.
The problem is, the Cirrus is not appropriate for most half-tons. As the following Wet Weight and Truck Matching sections will show, folks should really be aiming for a three-quarter ton, or better, to match with the 720.
In light of this, the fresh and grey tank sizes are well balanced, but relatively small. I can practically hear the management team at nüCamp saying, “Dang it, Gordon! We can’t win. First the camper was too heavy and we lightened it up. Now you want to make it heavier?”
Well, imagined nüCamp management dude, yes and no. Had the 720 been a half-ton competitor, I would be complimenting these tank sizes. Keep these tanks when you design the half-ton targeted 620. As the half-ton target was missed on the 720, the capacities are a bit low head-to-head with what this camper competes with.
The Cirrus 720 features a Thetford C220 cassette toilet system. The C220 has a 4.75 gallon cassette. This is effectively a 4.75 removable and portable black tank that you can dump in any residential toilet, porta-toilet or pit toilet.
If a cassette toilet sounds like the most versatile toilet available, you’d be right. For folks who weekend camp, winter camp, or just hate the idea of using dump stations, cassette toilets are a godsend. Just pull the tank, carry it to a toilet, open the cap, hold it over the toilet, push the pressure release button and woosh!
On balance, cassette toilets have nowhere near the capacity of a typical black tank. Most campers have at least 15-gallons of black. Our project camper has 35-gallons of black. If you opt for a cassette toilet, just be prepared to empty your cassette often. Based on our cassette toilet experience, two to three times a week for two people.
I always recommend folks who are considering a camper with a cassette to go to a dealership, fill a cassette with fresh water, and go through the motions of dumping it. Make sure it’s not too heavy, too awkward, or the mere idea of a live fire situation doesn’t gross you out too much. It’s really not that bad, but it’s not for everyone either.
The single 20-pound vertical propane tank will require 720 owners to get in tune with their propane use. With only one tank, you will need to intuitively “know” that you’re probably getting low on propane and fill before you run out.
We find it pays to pay attention to exactly how much propane is needed when your propane tank(s) are filled. With that information, we reflect on our propane use patterns and get even more in tune with exactly when we need propane.
The 720 has one Group 27 battery in a sealed box just forward of the mid-dinette. As a short bed non-slide, one Group 27 battery is plenty of power if you mostly camp in warmer weather and conservatively use the LED lighting, and 12-volt and USB outlets. With all LED lighting and the remarkably efficient Alde hydronic heating system, this single battery may be all you need.
Of course we camp in cold weather now and then and charge laptops and other battery-powered items on a regular basis. If we bought a Cirrus 720, we would definitely want to add another battery. One possibility is a Torklift HiddenPower Under Vehicle Battery Mount. In addition, we would continue to use our Goal Zero Yeti Lithium.
The water heater is listed at 2.2-gallons as that reflects the capacity of the unique Alde hot water system. To fully understand and appreciate the Alde hydronic heating system, I strongly recommend reading our Alde system review. It’s incredible, and you really need to read the review to fully grasp how it fundamentally changes the real world performance of Cirrus truck campers.
Wet Weight Calculation
Using our standardized Truck Camper Magazine wet weight calculation, let’s run the numbers on the 2020 Cirrus 720.
Base Dry Weight – factory order only
Cirrus 720: dry weight, 1,875 pounds + 20 gallons fresh, 166.8 pounds + 2.2 gallon full hot water heater, 18.5 pounds + 20-pound full propane tank, 20 pounds + 1 battery, 65 pounds + stuff, 500 pounds = 2,645.3 pounds
Dry Weight – Reviewed Unit
The unit under review added two options to the base dry weight; a television (13-pounds) and a ladder (13-pounds). Once again I find the reported numbers to be a bit too coincidental for my liking. The television and the ladder are both 13-pounds even? The 820 and the 720 have the same 32-inch center of gravity? Really?
Of course coincidences like that happen in life. I’m always saying to Angela, “What’s the chance of this and that happening to us again like that?” I’m usually in the middle of one of my, “What’s wrong with this world” speeches, which she probably tuned out years ago. Poor girl.
Anyway, I believe the total option weight added to the Cirrus for the two listed options sounds right at 26-pounds. Let’s add that weight to the dry weight and recalculate.
Cirrus 720: dry weight, 1,901 pounds + 20 gallons fresh, 166.8 pounds + 2.2 gallon full hot water heater, 18.5 pounds + 20-pound full propane tank, 20 pounds + 1 battery, 65 pounds + stuff, 500 pounds = 2,671.3 pounds
This is an easy one. Weighing in at 2,671.3-pounds wet and loaded, the 2020 Cirrus 720 is a fantastic candidate for either a three-quarter or one-ton truck.
If you have plans to tow, or suspect that you might want a bigger or slide-out camper down the line, get the one-ton. You will never be sorry for buying more truck than you need.
If you just want to cruise with the 720 and have no plans to tow or get something bigger, I still recommend the one-ton for the widest margin of safety, but most three-quarter ton trucks will payload match well.
Of course you have to run the numbers first. Don’t assume that any three-quarter ton or one-ton has the payload you need for this camper. Believe it or not, many don’t. Before you buy anything, read, “How To Match A Truck and Camper“, and follow that advice. Safety first.
We have extensively toured the nüCamp RV factory in Sugarcreek, Ohio on several occasions. What’s most striking is nüCamp’s cutting edge design, materials, and manufacturing techniques juxtaposed against their nearly all Amish assembly team.
Perhaps better than anything, this modern design and technology meets traditional craftsmanship culture explains how unique nüCamp and Cirrus truck campers truly are. In an industry that habitually copies what sells rather than taking design risks, nüCamp is a true innovator.
Not convinced? Let’s review what’s going on in the 720; aluminum roof, aluminum, Coosa and Azdel composite framing and laminated sidewalls, E-wood countertops and dinette table, Alde hydronic central heat and hot water system, radius upper cabinetry, Froli sleep system, and a radical tambour wet bath that no other truck camper manufacturer in the United States or Canada would dare, much less ship.
Innovator doesn’t seem to be a bold enough word for nüCamp. How about trailblazer!
Of course risk is risky. With all of the innovation, and the need to reduce weight from the prototypes, some design missteps have inevitably occurred in the 720 (see the listed cons below). That is entirely understandable as a first generation production model that fearlessly pushes ahead.
As it sits, the Cirrus 720 is nothing less than game changer. Anyone researching a hard side, non-slide, wet bath short bed truck camper purchase should absolutely put this camper on their short list.
Unique multi-function entry door includes trash can, storage, and extinguisher
Tambour door wet bath is class-leading in size and offers a huge shower stall
Dinette has some of the most comfortable seating in the camper industry
Radius upper cabinets are uniquely stylish and offer a lot of useful storage
nüCamp standard bed and Froli system are exceptionally comfortable
Industry-leading Alde hydronic heating system – see our Alde system review
The Cirrus 720 requires a three-quarter ton, or better
Entry step system falls short requiring a step stool
Tambour wet bath and sump pump are cutting-edge but not yet proven long-term
Tubs in lower kitchen cabinetry don’t reach nüCamp’s modern design standards
Cabover lacks storage. Cabover bins also miss nüCamp’s modern design standards
Upper radius cabinets need shelving and dividers for maximum utility
2020 Cirrus 720
Warranty: One Year Warranty
Quality, Customer Service, and Long-Term Reliability
Truck Camper Magazine inspects all reviewed truck campers for design, material, and quality issues and reports what we find. However, since Truck Camper Magazine reviews only brand new truck campers, our reviews do not address long-term quality, customer service, or reliability.
To learn about a brand’s long-term quality, customer service, and reliability, Truck Camper Magazine recommends talking directly with truck camper owners at truck camper rallies and online via truck camper forums and truck camper owners groups.
Please be sure to balance your gathered feedback across multiple sources including direct correspondence with the truck camper manufacturers and your closest truck camper dealers. If you are new to truck campers, please start in the Newbie Corner.