TCM: That’s incredible. It wasn’t that long ago that adding solar to a truck camper was the exception. By making solar standard, you’re making it the rule. Just to be clear, even your smallest and least expensive truck camper, the 6-10 Lite, now comes standard with solar panels?
Keith: Yes. Every single camper, the Lites, the Sportsmens, the Classics, and the Special Editions now come standard with 95-watt solar panel systems.
Above: Solar controller and rear power awning switch
TCM: Tell us about the 95-watt solar panel and digital controller. How did you select that panel wattage and controller?
Keith: We’ve been using 95 watt panels on our Australian export units. It’s a size that works well on our molded fiberglass roofs. The 95 watt panel is a good combination of output and size. Most people only need the 95 watt panel, but we could add another 95 watt panel if a customer requested the upgrade.
Above: New pillows and bedspread in Coffee Bean brown
TCM: We were very happy with our previous truck camper that featured a 95 watt solar panel, two Group 27 batteries, and all-LED lighting. As long as we didn’t need the air conditioner or microwave, we were set with that combination, even with charging our laptops via 12-volt inverters all the time.
For 2014, Northern Lite is making bedspreads and shams standard. Are these mostly ornamental, or are they intended for customer use?
Keith: The standard bedspreads and shams are mostly for RV shows and dealer lots, but they are usable. They make the camper look better and could be useful should a Northern Lite owner want to sell their camper down the road.
Some customers use the factory bedspreads when they winterize to protect the mattress from dust and sunlight.
Above: Roller bearing guides are standard on all Northern Lite truck campers in 2014
TCM: Roller bearing guides are standard on all Northern Lite truck campers in 2014. Is this a new upgrade across the board, or were some Norther Lite models already using roller bearing guides?
Keith: It’s a new upgrade across the board. We introduced roller bearing guides in all of our truck campers about a month ago. It’s standard in every camper now.
The roller bearing guides are more expensive, but they are a definite improvement and give the customer a better tactile experience when opening and closing the drawers.
Above: The seven foot rear power awning is now standard on Special Editions
TCM: Northern Lite Special Editions will now come standard with a seven foot rear power awning. Why was this an important feature to make standard for 2014?