Truck Camper News

Northstar Launches 2024 Wind Bandit

Northstar Campers debuts a hard side non-slide wet bath truck camper for long or short bed trucks. The new model features a 12-volt refrigerator, 175-watt solar panel, larger windows, more storage, a tweaked floor plan, and more. Meet the Wind Bandit!

Northstar Wind Bandit Truck Camper Announcement

Rex Willett, President of Northstar Campers, is on something of a war path reinventing not only the pop-up and hard side models in Northstar’s arsenal, but also the materials, components, and manufacturing processes on the production line. Rather than change Northstar’s design, material, and build approach, Rex is pushing these proven elements forward with a myriad of floor plan enhancements, and even higher-quality materials and components.

We can also report that Rex is making the same types of improvements to the Northstar factory itself. Specifically, the factory’s organization and production lines are all being studied to push efficiency, quality, and the overall well-being of Northstar’s team. Rex seems particularly focused on this last point. It’s logical that a team that feels valued and cares about the company makes better truck campers, and vice versa.

In line with all of the above, Northstar launched a massively reinvented 650SC pop-up this past spring. With the improvements, the 2024 Northstar 650SC is easily one of the highest-value pop-up truck campers on the market today.

Now Rex has turned his sights on another Northstar model revamping it to such an extent that a new model name designation was warranted. In addition to being 1.5-inches taller in height, the new Wind Bandit features a RecPro 12-volt refrigerator, 175-watt solar panel and controller, RecPro two-burner cooktop, larger 27 gallon fresh tank, larger thermal pane windows, new bathroom fan, more interior storage, a telescoping ladder, option for two batteries, and improved center of gravity. The floor plan has also been tweaked for overall flow and comfort.

Best of all, Northstar has kept the price of the 2024 Wind Bandit under $40,000. Once again, Northstar is aggressively charging toward the best-value category. Looking for more truck camper bang for your buck? Northstar has some impressive pop-ups and hard sides to suit.

To dig deeper into the new Northstar Wind Bandit, we talked to Rex Willett, President of Northstar Campers.

Northstar Wind Bandit Floor Plan

Above: The 2024 Northstar Wind Bandit floor plan

2024 Northstar Wind Bandit Specifications

The Northstar Wind Bandit is a hard side, non-slide, wet bath truck camper made for long or short bed trucks.  The interior floor length of the Northstar Wind Bandit is 8’9” and the interior height is 6’5.5″.

The Northstar Wind Bandit has a 27 gallon fresh tank, 4 gallon water heater, 4 gallon cassette reservoir, 13 gallon grey tank, and 5.3 gallon cassette black tank.  It can accommodate one Group 31 battery and has one twenty-pound exchangeable propane tank.

The base weight of the Northstar Wind Bandit is 2,050 pounds.  The base MSRP for the 2024 Northstar Wind Bandit is $37,200.  Click here to request more information about the Northstar Wind Bandit.

Northstar Wind Bandit Camper Exterior

Above: The 2024 Northstar Wind Bandit, Photos courtesy of D&H RV and Northstar Campers

In our research for this announcement, we found a reference to a late 80’s Texson Wind Bandit. Texson is, of course, the original name of Northstar Campers. Is there a family history to this name?

Yes. There was a Texson Wind Bandit a long, long time ago. I have always loved the name and wanted to bring it back. I had the logo and everything in mind but had to wait for the right unit.

Northstar Wind Bandit Camper Interior

Is the new Wind Bandit based on a previous Texson or Northstar model?

It might seem like the Wind Bandit is based on the discontinued Northstar 8.5, but there’s an extensive list of changes that make the Wind Bandit a new camper. We started by looking at every facet and made an extensive list of what we wanted to improve, including the physical dimensions.

For starters, the Wind Bandit is 1.5-inches taller than our other hard sides. It’s incredible what 1.5-inches of additional interior height does throughout the unit. The cabover has more headroom, the wardrobes and overhead cabinets are taller and the overall knee wall height is taller. The Northstar Wind Bandit is 22.5-inches over the side wall for better truck fitment.

Northstar Wind Bandit Camper Interior To Door 2

I’m also a stickler for the center of gravity; not just front to back, but side-to-side and up-and-down. On a long bed truck, the Wind Bandit sits flush with the rear bumper. That’s why it’s 8’9” long.

At 7-feet wide, you can see around it when driving making it safer and easier to change lanes, maneuver in traffic, and put a boat in the water. You’re also not pushing as much wind. It’s called the Wind Bandit because it’s nimble.

Northstar Wind Bandit Camper Exterior Driver Side

Were there any new materials or build processes used in the development of the Northstar Wind Bandit?

We build the Wind Bandit the same way we build all Northstar Campers; wood-framed with Lamilux 1000 fiberglass walls. Our frames are screwed and glued with Sikaflex adhesives for the highest possible strength. There’s no aluminum to sweat and no water-based glues or laminations to fail.

“For strength, weight, and long-term reliability, I would put a Northstar Camper against anything in the marketplace today.”

To further strengthen our structure and seals, we use the highest-grade putty tapes and utilize Eternabond under our molding and fixtures. There’s no clear silicone over the screws to pull away. Our build process has been proven over decades.

About ten months ago, we switched to Clear Select lumber to further enhance the quality of our frames and structure. Clear Select is expensive, but also stronger and straighter with no knots or intrusions. For strength, weight, and long-term reliability, I would put a Northstar Camper against anything in the marketplace today.

Wind Bandit At Northstar

The Wind Bandit is available with different wraps (or side skirts) to fit standard short beds (6’4” to 6’10”) or long bed trucks. How does a customer figure out which wrap/skirt option is right for them?

That’s a good question for our dealer network. Northstar dealers are truck camper specialists and can help you determine which rear wrap is the best for your needs.

I will say that the vast majority of our customers have detachable wraps because of their versatility. A Wind Bandit with a detachable wrap will fit a long or short bed truck. Imagine a father and son sharing the same camper; one with a long bed, the other with a short. That’s possible with our detachable wraps.

I also recommend short bed trucks to most Northstar customers. They’re readily available, easier to park and maneuver, and offer extended and crew cab configurations.

“Northstar dealers are truck camper specialists and can help you determine which rear wrap is the best for your needs.”

What are the rear bumper and entry step options for the Wind Bandit?

The standard Wind Bandit has no rear wrap or rear wrap storage and fits standard short bed or long bed trucks. On a long bed truck, the standard Wind Bandit sits flush with the rear of the truck bumper without a wrap. That’s why we made the floor length 8’9”.

Most short bed customers select the optional detachable wrap that adds lockable storage boxes. Another option is a permanently installed full wrap. With the permanently installed full wrap, you can add a Torklift bumper with a swing-down step. Or you could use the Torklift GlowStep or Stow N’ Go system.

Ladder Storage Northstar Campers

Above: The ladder can be stored inside the cabinet

The Wind Bandit is the first camper we’ve seen with a telescoping ladder rather than a permanently attached rear ladder. What’s the story behind this change?

Eliminating the built-in ladder was a big thing. I’m 60 and I look at the ladder on most truck campers and say, “Nope. Not happening.”

For a better solution, the Wind Bandit comes with a telescoping ladder that can be stored inside the unit.

Ladder For Northstar Campers 2023

With the telescoping ladder, it’s safer to clean your roof-mounted solar panels and check your roof seals. On the tallest trucks, our camper roofs are about 10’6” high; easy to reach with the new telescoping ladder. The telescoping ladder has been so successful you’re going to see it cross future Northstar Campers.

Windows In Wind Bandit

From the photography, it appears that the Wind Bandit uses four of the same size thermoplastic windows. Is that correct?

The kitchen and cabover windows are the same size, but the dinette window is 5-inches wider and 1-inch taller for a better view. The optional bathroom window is smaller. All of the windows in the Wind Bandit are thermal pane.

All of the windows are exclusively designed for us, built to a higher standard than the competition and directly imported by the container load. Our windscreens and shades are tighter and easily serviceable. The way our windows sit in their own frame is also vastly superior. The way the window recesses avoids catching tree limbs. Like the rest of our campers, I would put our windows up against anything in the marketplace.

Northstar Wind Bandit Camper Kitchen

Tell us about the interior decor of the Wind Bandit.

Starting with the new 650SC, we moved to a more modern countertop, fabric, and cabinetry. All Northstar Campers have updated interior styling.

Dark Wall Wind Bandit

Your readers will notice our new platinum cabover walls. They give our hard side models more depth so the overall presentation is warmer and more appealing.

Northstar Wind Bandit Camper Overcab Bed

Everything in a Northstar Camper is a result of us learning, tweaking, and fine-tuning. We also want to stay fresh and make our campers modern and inviting. If the public doesn’t like how a camper looks, it’s not going to sell.

Northstar Wind Bandit Camper Dinette

The black Lagun table leg and walnut table are real standouts. Does the dinette area make into a bed?

Yes. The L-shaped dinette turns into a 39-inch wide by 72-inch long bed.

Northstar Wind Bandit Camper Interior With Bunk And Bed

Tell us about the drop-down dinette bed area. Is that standard?

The Wind Bandit comes standard with an overhead dinette cabinet. The drop-down dinette bunk is optional, but most people order it. The drop-down bunk is perfect if you occasionally take a grandchild, niece, or nephew. Or, if two or three hunting buddies go camping, everyone can have their own spot. That beats planes, trains, automobiles, and hotels. That same space is also great for gear and food storage.

With the 1.5-inch height increase, the cabinet or bunk has moved up to give the dinette sitting area more headroom.

Northstar Wind Bandit Camper Refrigerator

Across the board, Northstar switched to 12-volt compressors for 2023. What make and model 12-volt refrigerator is featured in the Wind Bandit?

It’s a Rec Pro 3.5 cubic foot 12-volt compressor refrigerator. We’re now using the same model refrigerator in all Northstar Campers. That’s another way we improve our quality, and keep our prices within reach.

Northstar Wind Bandit Camper Sink And Stove

We first saw the Rec Pro narrow flush-mount two-burner cooktop in the new Northstar 650SC. Is this the new standard cooktop for Northstar Campers?

Absolutely. The two-burner stove gives you a lot more countertop area. The Wind Bandit also offers an optional oven.

In the kitchen, we also went from an angled to a square countertop for more counter space. I also moved the kitchen window up an inch to create even more countertop space.

Northstar Wind Bandit Camper Doors And Drawers Open

The Wind Bandit comes with a standard convection microwave. Why did you make this feature standard?

Customers order a microwave about seventy percent of the time. If customers don’t want it, they can delete it, and we will give you another storage door.

Wet Bathroom Wind Bandit By Northstar Campers

The wet bath appears similar to previous Northstar designs. Any changes there?

The Wind Bandit bathroom is 3-inches wider than our current lineup and has the 1.5-inch taller ceiling with the overhead cabinet. With the new fan, the ceiling dome, two LED lights, and an optional window, it’s a large, bright, and inviting bathroom.

Northstar Wind Bandit Camper Bathroom Cassette Toilet Mirror

What furnace and water heater did you select?

The Wind Bandit features a 20,000 BTU furnace by Dometic and a four gallon Suburban water heater. Dometic’s 20,000 BTU furnace has a low 1.8 amp draw and continues to impress us with its heat output and quiet operation. We almost never hear about a problem with a Suburban water heater. That’s why we use it across the board on Northstar Campers.

Wind Bandit Rec Pro Air Conditioner

What make and model air conditioner are you offering for the Wind Bandit?

We’re using the 9200 BTU Dometic Penguin. I like the 10.5-inch height, overall operation, and price of that unit. I also like the fiberglass shroud. It’s strong to prevent damage from tree limbs or hail.

What size solar panel is standard on the Wind Bandit?

The Wind Bandit comes with a 175-watt solar panel. The roof is fully decked with plywood for a full walk-on roof that’s ready for even more solar. We can add two or three additional panels if a customer wants them.

The solar option includes the Bluetooth solar controller so the per-panel price goes down with additional panels. I tested our compressor refrigerator in front of the factory with two AGM batteries and a single 175-watt solar panel and it went months without a problem.

What quantity and size batteries are specified for the Wind Bandit?

That relates to a change we made to the fresh water holding tank. With the 8.5 Adventurer, you got a 20 gallon fresh tank and two batteries. With the Wind Bandit, we increased the fresh tank to 27 gallons and one battery inside the camper, and a second optional battery on the driver’s side exterior.

Is the Wind Bandit compatible with AGM and lithium batteries?


Northstar Wind Bandit Camper Cassette

What size is the grey tank on the Wind Bandit?

The Wind Bandit holding tanks are 27 gallons fresh and 13 gallons grey. The Thetford cassette system is 5 gallons black/4 gallons fresh (cassette toilet). The grey tank is built into the floor, the same as our 650SC. Most of the grey tank is above the truck bed.

Plug For Batteries Wind Bandit

Is that what the ‘external plug for quick add truck battery’ option is?

Yes. That option provides a two-prong plug outside the unit so you can set a battery in your truck bed in front of the wheel well. You plug the battery into the two-prong plug and double your battery capacity. When you unload, you need to unplug the battery first.

This approach allows us to add seven gallons of fresh water to the Wind Bandit design and keeps the dual battery capability. It’s a good solution.

What quantity and size of propane tanks did you spec for the Wind Bandit?

The propane tanks are under the refrigerator on the passenger’s side. The Wind Bandit comes standard with one 20-pound exchangeable propane bottle, but there’s space for two.

What does the 2024 Northstar Wind Bandit weigh with standard build features?

The base weight of the Wind Bandit is 2,050 pounds.

Wind Bandit Passenger Side View

What is the center of gravity for the Wind Bandit?

The center of gravity is 32-inches from the front wall.

What is the MSRP for the 2024 Northstar Wind Bandit with standard build features?

The MSRP is $37,200.

What is the warranty for the 2024 Northstar Wind Bandit?

All Northstar Campers come with a two-year structural warranty. The built-in appliances have their own warranties.

Where will the 2024 Northstar Wind Bandit be available?

The Wind Bandit is now at Truck Camper Warehouse in West Chesterfield, New Hampshire and at D&H RV in Apex, North Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida. There will be more Wind Bandits at more Northstar dealers in the fall.

Is there anything about the 2024 Northstar Wind Bandit that you would like to add?

The Northstar Wind Bandit is perfect for two people and a Labrador. By that I mean that there’s lots of open space; plenty for a large dog to lay on the floor and still have room for two adults to get around.

If you want a slide-out or dry bath, the Wind Bandit isn’t for you. For everyone else looking at a hard side camper, I invite you to make an appointment at your closest Northstar dealer to see if it makes sense for you.

Are there any other new model announcements coming from Northstar Camper this year?

The Northstar Laredo is our next model to be redesigned. We’re on target to announce it in the fall and we will have it available next spring.

We want to keep our truck campers under $40,000 USD. Customers can use Northstar Campers like the Wind Bandit for a decade and get the majority of their money back when they sell it.

For more information about Northstar Campers, visit Click here to request more information about the Northstar Wind Bandit.


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