For 2023, nuCamp announces huge Battle Born lithium battery options, standard IsoTherm 12-volt refrigerators, TransCore flooring in the 620, new elevated dinette and ceramic bathroom sink in the 820, and more. Turn on Dark Mode.
After our car accident in 2018, we borrowed a Cirrus 920 while our personal camper went in for extensive repairs. From that experience, two things still stand out.
First, the Alde hydronic hot water and heating system is absolutely incredible. There are drawbacks, but there’s no denying the superiority of the Alde system in use. To be clear, the Alde 3010 is far better than even most home heating systems. If you’re even considering nuCamp product, check out my in-depth Alde system review. It’s simply a stunning product.
And second, the fold-down bathroom sink was awesome in concept but had some challenges in the field. No matter what we tried, the sink dropped a little water onto the floor when returned to the upright position. We worked with nuCamp to address this issue and made a few helpful modifications, but nothing completely solved the problem.
Hopefully, this helps to explain why we almost didn’t see the other Cirrus 820 updates when we saw a 2023 unit this past September. The fold-down sink is gone and there’s a new fixed ceramic vessel sink in its place. What a sink of beauty! If we owned the 2018 Cirrus 920, this update alone would have us upgrading (or immediately modifying) our camper.
Of course, that’s not everything on tap for 2023. nuCamp has made both incremental and substantial changes to both the Cirrus 620 and Cirrus 820 models. Regarding headlines, how about going with standard 12-volt Isotherm refrigerators and making a 100 amp-hour Battle Born lithium battery standard on the 820? Not impressed? They also redesigned the 820 dinette to accommodate a 500 amp-hour lithium option and switched to TransCore floor composite flooring in the 620.
There’s more, which is why we contacted Scott Hubble, CEO of nuCamp for the details. Get ready to lose the shroud, get a better grip and enter Dark Mode.
Above: The new charcoal sidewall option on a 2023 Cirrus 620
Let’s start with the 620. At the Hershey RV show this past September, the first thing we noticed in the nuCamp booth was the dark grey 2023 Cirrus 620. What’s the story behind the new charcoal sidewall option?
The charcoal sidewall option is a carryover from something we realized with our teardrops last year. White sidewalls are sometimes too bland, but the silver we had previously wasn’t really silver. It was more of a dove grey.
The new charcoal sidewalls offer a more modern and distinct variation. Julie McComb, our Marketing Manager, likes to call it Dark Mode. Charcoal sidewalls are already a significant portion of our Cirrus product mix.
Above: nuCamp showcased the charcoal sidewall option at the 2022 Hershey RV Show
Are charcoal sidewalls also available for the 820?
Yes. Charcoal sidewalls are available on both the 620 and 820.
Above: A 2023 Cirrus 620 with charcoal sidewall option at the 2022 Hershey RV Show
Traditionally RVs have been white to better reflect heat.
We definitely took that into consideration. Our roof is still the same silver metallic color and the vast majority of heat from the sun is delivered to the roof.
Is there a charge for the charcoal sidewall option?
Charcoal sidewalls are an option. For the Cirrus 620, charcoal sidewalls are a $1,000 option. For the Cirrus 820, charcoal sidewalls run $1300.
Will the charcoal sidewalls require a factory direct order, or will they be available on Cirrus dealer lots?
Our dealers have been ordering them for stock on their dealer lots. Of course, you can also order a charcoal unit through a Cirrus dealer.
Above: Charcoal sidewall units mixed into on the Cirrus production line
At the Hershey RV show, the accent colors on the charcoal sidewall of the 620 were black and white. Are there other accent colors available for the charcoal sidewalls?
Absolutely. On the order form, you can select black, white, silver, or burgundy.
We launched Cirrus in 2015 with a wide variety of accent colors and matching interior fabrics; lime green, sky blue, and deep red. Our factory lot looked like a bag of Skittles exploded. Over time, Cirrus customers kept ordering black and white, and silver and white. Those color combinations became our norm. The other color that’s remained popular is burgundy.
Above: A 2023 Cirrus 620 with the new chrome entry handle
The 2023 Cirrus 620 also gets a new chrome entry grab handle. What made you decide to change from the black handle for the 2022 Cirrus 620?
We have been using the new handle on a nuCamp towable. It’s higher quality and offers a more robust feel. For the 620, it was an aesthetic home run that checked all our boxes. The previous black handle was fairly basic. The new handle is a nicer way to enter the camper.
Another less obvious change on the 2023 Cirrus 620 and 820 is moving the baggage door hinges from the top to the bottom. Why was this change made?
Moving the hinges to the bottom improved ease of use. We considered adding latches or magnets to hold the doors up, but moving the hinges to the bottom was a more elegant solution.
Above: The Isotherm Cruise 65 refrigerator (center left) in the 2023 Cirrus 620
For 2023, the Cirrus 620 changes from a 2.3 cubic-foot Isotherm Cruise 65 to a 4.6 cubic-foot Isotherm Cruise 130. That’s a 100-percent increase in refrigerator storage. That’s obviously fantastic, but the Cruise 130 is 8.7 inches taller, 3.7 inches wider, and a half inch deeper. Did you need to make any design alterations to make this change?
There’s always a sacrifice when making a change like this and not everyone is going to love it. To go to the larger refrigerator, we had to lose the sliding spice rack between the previous refrigerator and the rear wall.
While we don’t like removing storage in a camper, we felt the dramatically increased refrigerator storage was the superior option. Once the sliding spice rack was eliminated, we didn’t need to tweak the 620 any further.
The Cruise 130 is 36-pounds heavier than the refrigerator it replaced. With a half-ton targeting camper as weight sensitive as the 620, how did you accommodate for the extra 36-pounds?
That is a very good question. We went back and re-examined why we started with the endeavor of designing a true half-ton hard side camper. When we introduced the 620, we wanted to make a statement. To do that, we needed to keep it under 1,500-pounds. That was the doorway we had to walk through.
The new 2023 Cirrus 620 has a base dry weight of 1,563-pounds. At the end of the day, we feel the moderate increase in weight does not make the 620 untenable for half-ton trucks. I also want to make it clear that we have always been transparent with our truck camper weights. At 1,563-pounds, the 620 comes fully equipped and can payload match most half-tons. It can’t match every half-ton, but that wasn’t possible to begin with.
As a side note, another significant factor that added weight to the 2023 Cirrus 620 is a shortage of Coosa. Coosa allowed us to pull a significant amount of weight out of the rear wall, but it’s been unavailable from our lamination company. We are hoping to revisit that change as the shortages improve.
The 2023 Cirrus 620 changes from a laminated floor to a Ridge brand TransCore composite one-piece floor panel. Talk to us about what the TransCore panel is, and why you chose it for the 2023 Cirrus 620.
Ridge is an Ohio manufacturer located an hour away from us. Their TransCore composite floor is weatherproof, thermally fused, recyclable, and incredibly strong. There’s no rotting or mildew potential either. We’ve already been using TransCore floors in all of our towables and the benefits are amazing.
When Ridge walked us through their facility, they demonstrated a TransCore strength test. They dropped heavy metal cylinders from 12-feet up onto 3/4-inch and 1-inch sections of TransCore. The cylinders did nothing to the TransCore material. Then they did the same test with plywood and it was smashed.
We have a good partnership with TransCore. From a structural standpoint, their material is far superior to the composite laminated floors we were using.
Is the TransCore floor panel being used in the 820 as well?
We looked at the 820 design and it was off by a half-inch for the currently available TransCore dimensions. To make the switch, we would need to redesign the 820 including every piece of cabinetry. For 2023, the Cirrus 820 will continue with our proven laminated composite floor. Long term, the goal is to move every product to TransCore floors.
Above: The new radius rear on the Cirrus 820
The Duo-Form shroud above the entry door of the 820 was part of the Cirrus look going back to the 2016 Cirrus 800. Why did you decide to remove the rear shroud for 2023?
When we developed the 620, we did not include a rear shroud. We finished the unit in a new way; a simple radius. It was a function over form decision that received a positive response from our dealers and customers. From a manufacturing perspective, the rear shroud was sometimes a challenge to install. The fitment could be a little problematic.
For 2023, the Cirrus 820 gets the same radius finish we debuted with the 620. The only thing we lost from the shroud is the custom light arched over the entry door. We now have a different lighting design that works well. Overall it’s a small change that moves the product forward.
Did removing the shroud require any other changes to the design of the 820?
The only other change was to our marker lights. There were no structural changes necessary.
At the Hershey RV Show, I climbed up the 2023 Cirrus 820 roof access ladder to save the nuCamp balloon from a rather strong gust. Other than aiding my heroism, what’s the story behind the new 820 roof access ladder?
The ladder change started with deleting the rear shroud. When the shroud was deleted, we had more ladder options. From an aesthetic standpoint, the new ladder looks better and gives the camper a cleaner presentation. The new ladder also doesn’t need to be folded or strapped. It offers the same function with easier use and improved aesthetics.
Above: LED strip lights illuminate the 2023 Cirrus 820 entry area
For 2023, nuCamp has added LED strip lighting under the rear bumper. Where did this idea come from, and where is the switch for this light?
I believe that’s something we saw one of your readers do in Truck Camper Magazine. We thought it made sense and made it standard on the 820 for 2023. It’s nice to be able to see the steps and the lay of the land around your campsite in the dark. The switch is just inside the entry door.
Above: The standard lithium battery is located under the front dinette seat (left) on the front wall
For the 2021 model year, the battery storage in the Cirrus 820 was moved to the exterior front wall along with the addition of a built-in 1200-watt pure sine wave inverter. For 2023, you’re moving the batteries to under the dinette seat. Why are you making this change?
The front wall battery compartment worked well, but we did experience some fitment issues with some truck and camper combinations. Some customers wanted to move their campers forward to improve the center of gravity, but the front wall battery compartment would not allow it. Finally, there were ease of access issues when a camper was loaded on the truck.
The new approach keeps the weight far forward in the camper design, maintains ease of access to the batteries, and fully embraces lithium. The decision was made through dealer and user feedback, and our desire to partner with Battle Born Batteries. For 2023, the 820 comes with a 100-amp-hour Battle Born lithium battery standard.
Above: A 100 amp hour Battle Born lithium battery is standard on the 2023 Cirrus 820
Wait. Did you just say the 820 comes with a lithium battery standard?
I did. The 2023 Cirrus 820 comes with one 100 amp hour Battle Born lithium battery standard. We also have a new option to add up to 500 amp hours of Battle Born lithium batteries.
Wow. Making a lithium battery standard is an industry first. What does the 500 amp hour lithium battery option cost?
For the 820, it’s $9,995. That includes the 500 amp hours of lithium batteries with internal heaters, Bluetooth-connected smart shunt, and an upgraded 3,000-watt inverter/charger. It’s a package that was designed and implemented through our partnership with Battle Born. Their products are the cream of the crop.
For 2023, we’re also making a lithium package available for the Cirrus 620. For $7,995 you get a single 270-amp-hour lithium battery with internal heat, Bluetooth connected smart shunt, and a 3,000-watt inverter/charger.
One of our goals for the lithium packages was the ability to run the roof top air conditioner. That’s what the 3,000-watt inverter allows you to do. You can run our roof top air conditioner for one hour per 100 amp hours. For the 2023 Cirrus 820 with the new lithium package, that’s five hours of run time.
Above: The solar panel on the Cirrus 820
Can the 2023 Cirrus 820 still accommodate two Group 31 AGM batteries?
Yes. The battery area can accommodate five Battle Born lithium batteries so Group 31 AGMs would be no trouble. Now that the battery compartment is inside, all batteries need to be sealed; either AGM or lithium.
Are you still installing a standard 1200-watt pure sine wave inverter?
Yes. The 1200-watt pure sine wave inverter remains standard. The inverter is now located adjacent to the battery under the front dinette seat.
For 2023, the dinette in the 820 has been elevated. Talk to us about this change.
To accommodate the new five-battery option, it made sense to elevate the dinette. This also improved the available legroom and recaptured some of the lower storage we would have lost. There’s storage underneath both seats and the floor area.
To preserve headroom in the raised dinette, we needed to eliminate the upper dinette cabinetry and replace it with a full-length 6-inch deep storage shelf. We also raised the window to maintain the proper eye-line and visibility.
Above: The new 2023 Cirrus 820 upper dinette shelf with netting
The elevated dinette and lower storage sound like a nice improvement, but we never like to see storage removed. Were you able to add storage anywhere else to help rebalance the available storage?
Other than the additional lower dinette storage, we added another storage area above the new refrigerator. There’s still plenty of available storage in the 820.
Above: Isotherm Cruise 130 and storage above the refrigerator
Like the 2023 Cirrus 620, the 2023 Cirrus 820 is changing to the Isotherm Cruise 130 12-volt refrigerator. The headline here is the switch from a 3-way Norcold refrigerator in the 2022 Cirrus 820 to a DC refrigerator in the 2023 Cirrus 820? Why did you switch to 12-volt?
We employ the Isotherm Cruise 130 in a number of nuCamp units and have been extremely pleased with the refrigerator’s performance and low battery draw. It’s incredibly efficient with only a 4.7 amp hour pull. The change was a no-brainer.
The Isotherm 130 is a little smaller than what it replaces (4.6 square feet versus 5 square feet). Was that part of your calculus?
The 0.4 cubic foot difference didn’t sway us. There are many benefits to this unit that outweigh that consideration. For example, the Isotherm 130 can fit out the front door. If the previous refrigerator needed service, we had to pull it out through the roof window. We almost have no warranty claims on this unit. With the previous model, it seems we were always dealing with something. It may be perceived as a bold move, but 12-volt compressor refrigerators are the way of the future.
Above: The new 2023 Cirrus 820 bathroom sink. Note the new toothbrush holder and towel ring
For 2023, nuCamp has redesigned the Cirrus 820 bathroom sink from the folding design to a corner vessel design. Before we talk about the new sink, tell us why you’re moving away from the folding sink. It was innovative.
We loved the concept of the folding sink and enjoyed working with the partner who makes it. They were willing to make tweaks and improvements over time, but we were never able to solve all of the design challenges. From user feedback, the folding sink was a red flag that we needed to address.
For a more modern look, we wanted a vessel sink. When we brought in samples, one nestled in the corner and made the most sense.
Is the sink ceramic?
Yes, it’s ceramic. The rest of the bathroom design really didn’t change. We added a few small conveniences; a toothbrush holder and a towel ring.
Above: The 2023 Cirrus 820 in silver
Are Cirrus truck campers increasing in price for 2023?
Yes, there is a price increase. The 2023 Cirrus 620 MSRP increased 3-percent. The 2023 Cirrus 820 increased 5-percent.
As CEO of nuCamp, I have been surprised at how much inflation we have experienced. It’s much greater than the 10-percent our country has experienced on average. Our price increases over the past 18-months have only covered these increasing costs, but the materials, parts, and components costs have all continued to go up. We’re now a little behind in terms of breaking even.
I am sensitive to the impact of price increases on the consumer. It’s a double-edged sword. To date, we’ve passed on what we’ve been given. Unfortunately, supply and demand from 2020 forward created an environment where RVs have been sold at MSRP without any discount. That demand is starting to subside and we’re seeing discounts from MSRP again. I believe we’re returning to where we were in 2019 where smaller dealer margins were appreciated.
We are seeing that trend as well. What’s going on with Cirrus 720 and 920 development? And are you still thinking of developing a slide-out model?
We can probably drop the slide-out conversation, at least for now.
We’ve looked at the 720 and want to bring it back with a redesigned bathroom. The new bathroom in the 720 will look more like the bathroom in our TAB 320 teardrop. I have no ETA on that model.
On the 920, our long bed camper, we are unearthing feedback from dealers and customers and starting with prototypes. Our goal is to debut the new 920 in 2023. The 920 will be on the cutting edge leading our industry forward while staying true to who we are as a company and brand. I’m really excited about it.