nüCamp RV debuts the Cirrus 720, an all-new hard side, non-slide, wet bath, short bed truck camper. And the 720 is not the only new camper news coming from Sugarcreek.
This past September, nüCamp brought a truck camper prototype directly from their top secret R&D lab in Sugarcreek, Ohio to the Hershey RV Show in Pennsylvania.
About five minutes after the show opened someone posted the Cirrus 670 prototype on Facebook. A few hours later it hit YouTube. By the end of the first day the social media buzz machine had exploded.
Then the consumer questions came in hot and heavy… “When can I get one?”, “What does this thing cost?” and, “Where does the center of gravity on this camper fall a 2017 Ford F-150 crew cab with a five-foot bed and Yosemite Sam mud flaps?” Since the 670 was only a prototype, nüCamp didn’t have answers – yet.
The following week nüCamp rolled the prototype into the industry-only Elkhart Open House. We proceeded to photograph it like a gaggle of kindergartners with mom’s iPhone at a kitten petting zoo. I literally took over 100 photos of the unit.
Then the dust settled.
nüCamp returned with the prototype to Sugarcreek, Ohio. We published, “nüCamp Debuts The Cirrus 670 Prototype”. And everyone without a second floor office at nüCamp wondered what in the heck was going on with their tantalizing new creation.
Five months later, we have our answer. nüCamp absorbed the blizzard of feedback from Hershey and Elkhart and reworked nearly the entire camper from the ground up.
The final production version is leaner, meaner, and features a different name. Introducing the 2019 Cirrus 720. For the back story on the 2019 Cirrus 720 and its transformation, we contacted Scott Hubble, CEO of nüCamp RV.
2019 Cirrus 720 Specifications:
The Cirrus 720 is a hard side, non-slide, wet bath truck camper for short bed trucks. The interior floor length of the Cirrus 720 is 8’3″ and the interior height is 6’4″. nüCamp RV is reporting the base dry weight of the Cirrus 720 at 1,875 pounds. It has a 20-gallon fresh water tank, a 22-gallon grey tank, and a 4.75-gallon cassette toilet. The camper accommodates one battery and one twenty-pound propane tank. The base price MSRP for the Cirrus 720 is $28,906. Click here to request a free Cirrus brochure.
Above: The 2019 Cirrus 720. All photos provided by nüCamp RV.
Before we talk about the Cirrus 720, tell us about the process of prototyping the 670 and how that led to this new production model.
The development of the Cirrus 670 prototype was very educational for us. The initial prototype was too tall, too long, and too heavy.
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 Cirrus 670 prototype led us to two different models. The camper we showcased at Elkhart was the aesthetic inspiration for the Cirrus 720.
Above: The mid-dinette and cabover bedroom in the Cirrus 720
The Cirrus 720 will begin with a limited run this first quarter. It targets the short bed three-quarter ton and one-ton market.
Later this summer we will launch the Cirrus 620, a true half-ton camper. Our weight target for the 620 is below 1,700 pounds with a center of gravity in the mid to lower 20-inch range. The 620 will be based on the 720’s footprint with component and layout changes to hit our weight and center of gravity target.
Will there actually be a Cirrus 670?
No, the 670 was just a prototype. We assign a “70” to our prototype campers. The campers that will go into production are the Cirrus 720 and the upcoming Cirrus 620.
What is the dry weight of the Cirrus 720?
The 2019 Cirrus 720 is 1,875 pounds dry.
When we fill the fresh water tank, add a 65-pound battery, and fill the 20-pound propane tank, we’re at 2,120 pounds wet. Add in the electric jacks, air conditioner, side awning, and all of the options, and the wet-with-options weight is 2,340 pounds.
That wet weight will be beyond the payload boundaries of most half-tons. 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.
Where is the center of gravity on the Cirrus 720?
The Cirrus 720’s center of gravity is 32-inches. It will need to be paired with 6.5-foot beds. There may be some 6.0-foot beds that also work. That said, we always advise our customers to carefully measure their truck and their camper before loading for the first time.
Tell us about the framing material, lamination, and other construction details of the Cirrus 720.
As we embarked in the design phase of a lighter series of Cirrus campers, we knew we had to get our weight down considerably. That is when we came across Coosa; a high density polyurethane foam board that weighs significantly less than plywood. Coosa is a popular product in the marine industry for its low weight and high rigidity.
For the 720, we started with our wood-free aluminum frame, closed cell foam, and Azdel composite laminated walls. From there, we were able to utilize Coosa for backing structural components in the walls, floors, and roof. Coosa lightened the camper and will be employed across all of our models in the coming months.
Aside from the arc at the back, we kept the aluminum roof, which is the same as the Cirrus 820 and 920. We wanted a walk-on roof with full-framing so that it has the same structural benefits as the 820’s roof. We also fully-enclosed the underside of the camper and added an Alde convector to provide additional heat for the enclosed water tanks.
Above: European light ply cabinetry is CNC cut for precision and efficiency
Were there any other new materials used in the development of the Cirrus 720?
The 720 cabinetry is 100-percent light ply that we’re sourcing from Europe. That will lighten up the weight of the cabinetry considerably. It is important to note that the integrity of the build must come first, so you can only go so light.
The 720’s wet bath might be the most innovative design element we’ve seen in quite some time. What’s the story behind the new wet bath?
Every year we send a nüCamp contingent to Europe to see what’s trending overseas. That’s where we discovered the radius tambour door.
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.
Above: The shower nozzle and shelf in the Cirrus 720 wet bath
When you close the wet bath, you open up the living space inside the unit. That has a big impact when you step into the unit. We are very excited about the radius tambour door and the wet bath it made possible in the 720, not to mention the lighter series of Cirrus camper models to follow.
How did nüCamp go about testing the radius tambour door for long-term reliability?
Like the Alde system you reviewed, the radius tambour door is new in the United States, but it’s not new. Radius tambour doors have been around for years and have been successfully implemented in European RVs for quite some time.
With respect to testing, a member of our team specializes in establishing relationships with foreign suppliers and testing their products for nüCamp. The testing for the tambour was so successful that we’re implementing the door in our upcoming Avia trailer as well.
From our testing, the two most likely issues with the tambour door are denting the door or the door coming off its track. Denting the door would take considerable force, which is possible for any door. We will inventory replacement doors in case of that type of damage.
If the tambour door comes off its track, it’s easy to reset. Most customers would probably reset the door themselves. If not, we are available to help.
Another neat facet of the 720’s wet bath is the Fantastic Fan located above the shower. Depending on whether the tambour is closed to the wet bath or closed to the interior of the camper, the Fantastic Fan is either a fan for the main living area or the wet bath. It’s effectively a two for one Fantastic Fan.
If you don’t get an air conditioner, you get a second Fantastic Fan in the cabover. With the Fantastic Fan in the cabover pulling air in, and the Fantastic Fan above the shower pulling air out, it would create quite a breeze. If you upgrade to the air conditioner, you still get the fan in the bathroom area.
That would be some serious ventilation. What’s the story behind the sump pump in the floor?
It was required for this layout by the RVIA (Recreational Vehicle Industry Association).
Above: The sump pump is located in the 720 floor under an access panel. Note the Coosa composite material in the panel cover.
There are turns in the plumbing, and the sub-floor is too shallow to meet the requirements of RVIA because the floor is fairly flush. To keep the center of gravity low and keep the weight down, the 720 only has a 4-inch basement.
What is the sump pump doing?
Using the shower pan we selected, the low point of the shower drain is below the tank since it is flush and recessed into the floor. As such, in order for the water to enter into the top of the grey water tank, it needs to be pumped.
This is a similar to a residential set-up where the septic is located higher than a basement shower drain. Maintenance is very minimal. Annual checking of the filter and the pump function itself is about it. As you can see in the pictures, we have made access to the sump pump extremely easy.
Tell us about the galley kitchen in the Cirrus 720.
As with most of our builds, we started with glass-top sink and stove. We do this to give owners more kitchen counter space.
Speaking of the countertop, we have moved away from heavier core counter and table tops and replaced them with e-wood.
E-wood is a layered foam material that still has great structural integrity at a fraction of the weight.
Another appliance change is the 3.7 cubic foot refrigerator. As we are developing a lighter series of Cirrus campers, we are looking for areas of opportunity to shave down weight.
Tell us about the radius overhead cabinetry in the Cirrus 720.
We like to position nüCamp as making the highest quality truck campers available. In order to further draw the line between us and our competitors, we are introducing radius overhead cabinetry. They look incredible, and make the camper feel less boxed in.
We ran with that idea for some prototypes we were developing and refused to let it go. In the 720, we could have shaved additional weight with standard cabinetry, but the radius cabinetry gives a distinctly modern, rich and upscale look.
That modern, rich and upscale look continues into the dinette and its materials. The leather-like material is easy to clean, plush, and remarkably comfortable. We continued with that theme throughout the camper.
We also added a high-end edge bander that was custom built in Italy for nüCamp and shipped over. We started using it this past fall. As a result, we now make our own countertops and tables.
Are you using the same thermal pane acrylic windows in the Cirrus 720 as you’re using in the 820 and 920?
Yes, we use exactly the same windows. We have been working with Plastoform for six-years and are thrilled with their window quality.
The windows in the cabover are actually the same exact windows in the 820 and 920. We also have two large dinette windows and a large stargazing window in the nose. The 720 is as fully-featured as our other campers.
Tell us about the size of the fresh and grey holding tanks and why you made the tanks that size.
The fresh tank is 20-gallons. We decided on 20-gallons by benchmarking against similarly sized hard side campers. We also didn’t want the 720 getting too heavy when the water tank is full.
The grey tank is 22-gallons. That was determined predominantly by how much space was available in the basement. It also makes sense with the fresh tank being 20-gallons, and the Alde system holding 2.2-gallons.
Above: The 4.75-gallon Thetford cassette
Why did you select a cassette toilet for the Cirrus 720?
We wanted to explore new options with the 720. Moving to a cassette toilet allowed us to do that. We’ve had an influx of individuals requesting cassette toilet systems and it allows us to alter the overall design of the unit. The Cirrus 720 features a 4.75-gallon Thetford C220 cassette toilet system.
How many batteries does the Cirrus 720 have, and where are they located?
Being weight conscious, there is room for a single Group 27 battery in a sealed battery box located under the dinette seating. It’s accessed from inside the camper.
What are the propane tank sizes?
The 720 features a single vertical 20-pound propane tank. It’s located on the driver’s side under the refrigerator.
Above: An Alde convector brings heat into the 720’s wet bath
Does the Cirrus 720 have facilities for winterization; battery disconnect, water heater bypass, low water drains, etc.?
Yes, the 720 has everything our 820 and 920 have. Winterization for the Alde 3020 hydronic heating system is a different procedure from traditional RV furnace and water heater, but it’s very simple.
The benefits of the Alde system are way ahead of the competition. Only Cirrus offers you this technology, and it makes a big difference.
Can the optional air conditioner run on a portable 2,000-watt generator?
We offer the low-profile 9,000 BTU Coleman Mach air conditioner. It’s proven to be highly reliable and operates on a portable 2,000-watt generator.
Tell us about the standard bumper and entry step system for the 2019 Cirrus 720.
There is a single step deployed that stows under the bumper. Some truck and camper combinations may require an additional step stool on the ground.
We were originally looking to use the Torklift Stow N ’Go scissor-step system from the 820 and 920. As we began looking into ways to reduce the weight for a lighter series of Cirrus campers, we realized a bumper wasn’t feasible.
What is the MSRP for the 2019 Cirrus 720 with standard build features?
The MSRP of the Cirrus 720 is $28,906.
What is the warranty for the 2019 Cirrus 720?
There is a one year bumper-to-bumper warranty and a three-year transferable structural warranty. The individual components have their own warranties.
When will the 2019 Cirrus 720 be available at nüCamp dealerships?
We expect that the 720s will start arriving at dealerships by the middle of March.
Should we be expecting additional announcements from nüCamp RV in 2019?
Yes, we have a number of things in the works. First, the 820 will be getting an aesthetic facelift on the interior. The overall design and floor plan will remain the same, but we’ll be infusing deep, rich gray cabinetry, new flooring and some new accent lighting to improve upon the overall décor.
Second, and perhaps most exciting, is introducing the lite series of Cirrus campers. In the second quarter, we will be unveiling the Cirrus 620. We’ve had a number of prototypes out in the field and have been gathering feedback the past few months. We have made the final design changes to make it half-ton compatible and are entering the next developmental stages.
We’ll keep Truck Camper Magazine posted when those things, and anything else, are ready to be announced.
Will we see any of the ideas showcased in the 720 make it over to the 820, 920 or future Cirrus truck camper models?
The decisions we made with the Cirrus 720 are definitely making an impact across the board. We are going to implement Coosa and foam table tops and countertops in all of our campers. When it becomes fully available, we are going to use a new light ply. We are also examining radius cabinetry for additional models.
Is there anything else you’d like to add about the 720?
The 670 prototypes have allowed us to design an even more innovative, future-facing, amenity-laden truck camper. The Cirrus 720 is a one-of-a-kind Cirrus camper that features modern, radiused, 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).
We get asked again and again, “When is Cirrus coming out with a slide-out model?” So, when is Cirrus coming out with a slide-out truck camper?
2020. I wish it was going to be sooner. We are also planning on a camper that is universal for a 5.5-foot bed. Stay tuned!