Diesel Werks has over one hundred flat beds in stock with over four brands. He said that he could take a customer’s truck bed off and install a new flatbed in about four hours. Customers can drive in with their truck and get their flatbed of choice installed and ready to go a few hours later.
I had no idea that companies like Dieselwerx existed and know there’s more companies like them more out there. With the Ute Limited, the access to flat beds across country is very good.
Another solution is to buy a truck from any dealership and have it shipped to us in Iowa. We have a local company that installs flatbeds for us. We just recently had a customer who flew in, spent a day and a half here, got a walk through of their camper and how it works, and drove home happy as could be.
TCM: We have seen one or two Escape Pods at Truck Camper Warehouse in New Hampshire, but we haven’t seen any at other dealerships. Are there more flatbed Northstar campers in stock at other dealerships?
Rex: Yes, but there are not many in inventory right now. Within a few months there will be three dealers that are on board with our flat bed campers including Truck Camper Warehouse, and S.C.A.T.T. Recreation in Sacramento.
TCM: What do you feel are the key advantages of a full-sized flatbed truck camper?
Rex: The advantage that surprised me over the obvious advantages, more storage and more compact with more floor space, is how well flatbed campers handle on the truck. The fulcrum point is four feet in a traditional camper. In contrast, the fulcrum point for the Northstar American Hero flatbed camper is over seven feet. What this means is that an American Hero rig drives much like a car. That’s been my biggest surprise with flatbed campers over traditional campers.
The storage afforded by a flatbed is also very cool. I also think the American Hero would make for a pretty serious expedition camper. It could go on a Unimog, with very slight adjustments on our end.
TCM: How does the Northstar American Hero tie down to the truck?
Rex: Flatbeds campers need to be tied-down with Torklift turnbuckles and Fastguns. They are not a choice. They are mandatory. We are tying down these campers at a lower point. You need to have that strength and durability. When you tie them down with the Torklifts, they don’t move at all. You’ve got to trust your camper is not going to shift and move around. Torklift is a perfect match. I’m very pleased with their products and their support.
TCM: What does the Northstar American Hero flatbed camper weigh? And what options does that weight include?
Rex: The American Hero in the photographs is very well equipped and weighed in at 3,012 pounds. It had a satellite system with a HD 12v television, a six-cubic foot refrigerator, Queen size tempurpedic mattress, fold down bunk, 135 watt solar panel, digital controller, two side awnings, high efficiency roof air, Honda eu2000i generator, exterior slide out drawer 12 volt compressor refrigerator, and two group 31 AGM batteries installed as options. I also installed Torklift Stable-Loads and an airbag system on the truck.
TCM: What is the MSRP for the Northstar American Hero?
Rex: $22,470 is the base MSRP for the American Hero. With options, it will be a little more. The very well appointed American Hero in the photography was $31,300. When you start putting on lots of options, the price naturally increases.
TCM: Now that you’re building the American Hero, will you continue production of the domestic Escape Pod models?
Rex: Oh absolutely! There is still a good market for the Escape Pods. One customer bought an Escape Pod for an International Straight Truck. Another customer bought an Escape Pod for a gooseneck trailer. Our flatbed campers are not just strictly for flat bed trucks. As our customers keep demonstrating, there are different ways to use and enjoy a flatbed truck camper.
TCM: Are you planning more full-size flatbed truck camper floor plans or models?
Rex: The amount of orders Northstar has been taking has been ridiculous. That will slow us up a bit on making a ton of new stuff. Whenever business slows down, we have more to do new things. As always, the buyers are going to direct Northstar’s direction and new product development. That’s where the American Hero came from.
TCM: Will you be exporting the Northstar American Hero to Australia, or is this specifically designed for the domestic market?
Rex: The Northstar American Hero flatbed camper will be a domestic product.