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TCM EXCLUSIVE: 2009 Northstar Escape Pod Flatbed Truck Camper

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Northstar Campers just sent us exclusive photos and a few details on their all-new 2009 Escape Pod model.  The Northstar Escape Pod is designed specifically for the 2009 Chevrolet Colorado with an aluminum Ute flatbed.  The exact truck configuration shown in the photos, including the Ute flatbed and Supersprings, is available directly from GM dealerships.

Rex Willett, Northstar’s Vice President, included a short description of the Escape Pod with the photos, “The Escape Pod is a compact, self-contained truck camper that features great storage, floor space, shower, refrigerator, and more.  Right now we have two pop-up Escape Pod floor plans and two hard-side Escape Pod floor plans.  One more Escape Pod floor plan should be ready in thirty days.  Then we will have a total of five Escape Pod floor plans with three fully self-contained models.

The Chevy Colorado is rated well over 20 miles per gallon on the highway empty and the flatbed allows for a much bigger camper on this economical truck.  The Escape Pod will debut at the RVIA National RV Trade Show in Louisville, Kentucky and then make the rounds at east coast RV shows with East End Campers.  More information will be confirmed in due time, but we wanted to let the cat out of the bag.  This is the camper for today’s crisis!  It’s time to escape in Northstar’s new Escape Pod!”

2009 Chevrolet Colorado

As the Northstar Escape Pod is built specifically for the 2009 Chevrolet Colorado, here are some details about the Colorado from the Chevrolet website.

The Chevrolet Colorado regular cab is available with two or four wheel drive.  The base engine is a Vortec 3.7L I-5 with 242 hp and 242 lb.-ft. of torque.  With that engine, the two-wheel drive Colorado is rated to 17 city and 23 highway and the four-wheel drive Colorado is rated to 16 city and 22 highway.

According to the Chevrolet website, the maximum available payload of a 2009 Chevrolet Colorado regular cab is 1,422 pounds.  That payload is not for the chassis cab and includes the standard bed, which should weigh considerably more than the Ute aluminum bed.  The GVWR of the truck shown in Northstar’s photos is 5,500 pounds.  Northstar has promised further information on the weight of the camper and the actual fuel mileage of the truck and camper combination.

Standard features include sixteen-inch wheels, four-wheel anti-lock breaks, dual air bags, StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with traction control, power windows, power door locks, power outside mirrors, and remote keyless entry.

For more information about the 2009 Chevrolet Colorado, visit the Chevrolet Colorado website at and the Chevrolet Colorado specifications PDF at

Aluminum Ute Bed

On Ute’s website, they direct potential customers to contact their local GM dealer to order a cab and chassis 2009 Chevrolet Colorado (or GMC Canyon) with a Ute Bed already installed.

According to Ute, the Ute Bed is rated to 2,000 pounds and permits the Colorado to carry a greater load capacity due to lower weight and increased load area.


Northstar reported that the Chevrolet Colorado chassis cab with the Ute Bed came with SuperSprings direct from the factory.  For more information about SuperSprings, visit their website at

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We are cautiously optimistic about the use of a Chevy Colorado cab and chassis with an aluminum bed.  Our jury will be out until we see more concrete details and information from Northstar including the actual camper weight.  That said, this truck and camper combination has the potential to be a breakthrough for the industry.

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