Capri Campers launches the 2022 Capri Lone Star, an all-new hard side, non-slide, short bed truck camper. With the Lone Star, Capri Campers looks to set a new standard in truck camper affordability and half-ton compatibility. Exciting modular concepts ahead!
The trends of overland and van life are no longer mere curiosities, but genuine sea changes. Younger buyers are eager to travel long-distance, camp off-grid, and explore off-road opportunities. Rather than purchase an expensive RV to achieve their desired lifestyle, they are converting any enclosed vehicle they can find and afford. Once that’s achieved, they turn their RV-like transports into reflections of their purpose and personality, and proudly post the unique results on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.
To appeal to this rapidly growing generation of explorers, the truck camper industry needs to take a hard look at ways to make its products significantly more affordable, adaptable, modular, and easier to personalize. After decades of making truck campers larger, heavier, and increasingly feature-rich, the ‘bigger-is-better’ habit will be hard to break – but break it we must to win the hearts and wallets of future truck camper owners.
Aimed squarely at this enormous opportunity, the all-new 2022 Capri Lone Star has been designed to simultaneously set a new standard in truck camper value, hard side half-ton truck compatibility, modular versatility, and maintenance-free simplicity. With a base MSRP of $15,995 USD, Capri Camper is undercutting the hard side half-ton competition by thousands. With a base weight of 1,235-pounds and a 7-foot, T-shaped underbody, the Lone Star can fit and payload match darn near any full-size truck, half-tons and better.
Capri Camper has achieved the cost and weight advantage by aggressively embracing a modular approach. Every component in the Capri Lone Star is immediately removable and replaceable through the entry door. That includes the electrical system, refrigerator, toilet, fans, and even the LED lighting. Every element is modular, removable, and easily replaceable in the field.
For the van life world, the Lone Star is an affordable lifestyle solution that offers the ‘go anywhere, camp anywhere, tow anything’ advantages only a truck camper rig can offer. For the overland market, the Lone Star is the simple and rugged hard side that can adapt to the most demanding off-road, off-grid situations.
And for the rest of us, imagine a camper where every component and appliance can be carried through the door and user replaced in the field. As someone who has replaced (or had replaced) just about every appliance and component in our 18-year old camper, that is an extremely appealing concept.
For more information about the Capri Lone Star, we talked to Pete and Tyson D’Acosta, President and Vice-President of Capri Campers.
Capri Lone Star Specifications
The 2022 Capri Lone Star is a hard-side, non-slide camper made for short or long bed trucks. The interior floor length is 80-inches and the interior height is 77-inches.
The Capri Lone Star has a 3.5-gallon fresh tank (optional RinseKit), 2-gallon RotopaX fresh tank (optional), no grey tank, and no black tank, but there is space for a porta-potty. A GoalZero Yeti 1500 lithium battery system is optional. It has a 20-pound propane tank.
Capri is reporting the base weight of the Capri Lone Star to be 1,235 pounds. The base MSRP for the Capri Lone Star is $15,995. Click here to request more information about the Capri Lone Star.
For over half a century, Capri Campers has offered a classic camper design and aesthetic. In contrast, the Capri Lone Star is a thoroughly modern and modular concept. What’s the thinking behind this new model?
Pete: Tyson and I recently celebrated our eight-year anniversary as the father and son owners of Capri Campers. In those eight years, we have greatly expanded the Capri Camper marketplace. The professional rodeo segment is now only 20-percent of our business. The other 80-percent are hunters, fishermen, outdoor sports enthusiasts, and retired couples who want to explore the country.
Along the way, a younger crowd has also come to us seeking a light, affordable, and minimalist camper. They want to be off-grid and have pushed us to consider an even lower weight, more affordable, and more modular approach. That was the genesis of the Capri Lone Star.
The Lone Star has been Tyson’s project from the beginning. He researched the concept for months talking to vendors and experts in the industry about what works, and what doesn’t. We set out to build the perfect camper for this savvy off-grid niche and are very excited about the result.
Tyson: The Capri Lone Star is a more modern, simple, and modular truck camper than our traditional Capri Retreat and Cowboy models. The Lone Star is also a production camper. Where the Retreat and Cowboy are custom-ordered and built, the Lone Star achieves its lower weight and price point by offering only modular options.
Another advantage of the simple and modular approach is that you never need to winterize a Lone Star. Since there are no built-in appliances, you don’t have to worry about a system failure. We have seen the price of RV service skyrocket as the availability of appointments plummet. With the Lone Star, you can replace everything in the camper yourself. Every single component in the camper fits through the door.
“With the Lone Star, you can replace everything in the camper yourself. Every single component in the camper fits through the door.”
That doesn’t mean the Lone Star is compromised. Through the utilization of the best modular components, the Capri Lone Star has a robust lithium battery system, flexible solar panel, fresh water source and pump, LED lighting, fan, propane heater, 12-volt refrigerator, and more. In some ways, the modular versions of components are even more capable and versatile than their built-in equivalents. And you can replace them over time as better versions are brought to market.
Pete: Another advantage of this approach is that we can build them faster allowing us to satisfy the customer quicker. Unlike our custom campers, every Lone Star is built the same way allowing us to further improve quality and value to our customers. It’s a win-win.
Tyson: Our goal is to broaden our audience. If we stay 100-percent custom, it’s extremely hard to scale and grow the company. The Lone Star is literally a blank canvas for customers to bring their own gear and equipment. We offer nine modular options for the camper, but the customer can make their own choices. The result is a well-insulated camper at an affordable price that we don’t think any other manufacturer can touch.
To develop the Lone Star, did you start with an existing Capri model, or with a clean slate?
Tyson: To fit almost any full-size truck, the Lone Star shell dimensions and floor-length are almost the same as our short bed Retreat. With a long bed truck, you can put the tailgate up. With a short bed or super short bed, you keep the tailgate down. It will fit anything.
Beyond the shell dimensions and floor length, the design and floor plan of the Lone Star was a blank slate. The base structure and frame are built the same way as our traditional Capri models, but that’s where the similarities end.
“The Lone Star is a universal fit for any truck size without modifications.”
Pete: There is one significant structural design difference between the Lone Star and our other models. Traditional Capri Campers get wider behind the wheel wells. This is what allows us to incorporate the rear shower in the Retreat. The Lone Star has no shower, so we could straighten the floor. The advantage of this change is that it makes the Lone Star a universal fit for any truck size without modifications.
Tyson: Straightening the camper also made the Lone Star’s huge ski locker possible (shown above and below). I lived in Colorado for several years and enjoyed fishing and skiing. When we were designing the Lone Star, I wanted a ski locker big enough for these items.
The resulting storage space is waterproof, accessible from inside or outside the camper, and can easily hold skis, fishing rods, guns, shovels, and more. To give you an idea of the size of this storage space, you can carry at least three or four pairs of skis in the ski locker; all weatherproof and waterproof.
How did you waterproof the ski locker compartment?
Tyson: We use a waterproof fiberglass reinforced plastic coating. We considered adding a drain to the compartment, but we don’t want to add a potential leak point. It’s better for the customer to simply open the compartment and dry it with a towel, or allow it to air dry.
Did you use any new materials in the construction of the Lonestar?
Tyson: The walls inside the camper are Azdel composite panels. Azdel is half the weight of wood paneling, water and mold resistant, and an insulator in colder climates. We believe Lone Star owners will use their campers in extreme climates. That’s why we also employed glass thermal pane windows.
What kind of insulation are you using for the Lonestar?
Tyson: The walls are insulated by R11 fiberglass batting. We get asked why we don’t use closed-cell foam or spray foam. Capri has been using fiberglass batting for decades and it has proven its worth in cold climates. Along with the thermal windows and Wave 3 heater, the Lone Star is ready for winter camping.
In addition, we provide snap-on window coverings standard. They are easy to install and uninstall and offer a total blackout and privacy shade; perfect for further insulating the windows at night, or those long summer days in Alaska.
Once the first prototype was completed, did you make any changes to the design?
Tyson: I took the first Lone Star prototype home and went camping with it at the lake several times. There’s no better way to test a camper than to camp in it overnight and really use it.
During those experiences, we lengthened cabinets, added the fold-up countertop for the cooktop, removed a few sharp edges and corners, improved the cabinet hinges and locations, and generally refined every aspect of the camper.
Perhaps the biggest change was the heater. Our original solution was a portable propane Buddy Heater, but that proved to be too big and put out far too much heat for the Lone Star. We were already using the Camco Olympian Wave 3 heater in our other models and made the change. Since the Wave 3 is easy to install, uninstall and replace, it meets our 100-percent modular requirement for the Lone Star. It also takes up less space and affixes to the wall eliminating the need for storage.
How does the Wave 3 heater install and uninstall?
Tyson: There are three screw mounts on the back of the heater that attach to the wall. To uninstall the Wave 3, you lift it off these mounting points. Then you use a wrench to loosen the yellow hose propane gas line. Customers would need to cap off this propane line. Camco sells legs if you wanted to make the Wave 3 even more portable and use it in your shop on the ground.
When using the Wave 3, it’s important to crack a window for fresh air ventilation. It is built for RVs and boats. One 20-pound tank should last for 134 hours of heat. That’s 5.5 days of continuous heat.
The exterior of the Lone Star utilizes what appears to be the same quilted aluminum as the more traditional Capri Camper models. Why not go with a more modern fiberglass or flat aluminum skin?
Pete: We considered changing the exterior of Capri Campers when we first took over the 53-year old company. We quickly learned not to mess with the iconic brand and vintage quilted aluminum presentation. We actually have a legal trade dress on the look. It’s part of what distinguishes Capri Campers in the marketplace. Plus, it’s a head-turner.
Above the ski locker is a propane compartment. What size propane tank fits in this space?
Tyson: The compartment holds a standard 20-pound propane tank. The only appliance that uses propane in the Lone Star is the Wave 3 heater. If you don’t opt for the Wave 3 heater, the propane compartment becomes an additional outside storage compartment.
On the opposite side of the entry door are provisions for two RotopaX mounts. What do you envision people using the RotopaX for?
Tyson: The RotopaX mounts are optional, but the required backing is included on every Lone Star. Each RotopaX Water Pack adds an additional 2-gallons. With two full RotopaX Water Packs and the RinseKit Pro, you would have 7.5-gallons of fresh water. There’s plenty of additional storage space inside the camper for gallon water jugs. Of course, you could also use the RotopaX Fuel Pack to bring additional gasoline or diesel.
Why did you select the RinseKit Pro for the Capri Lone Star?
Tyson: The Lone Star does not have a built-in water tank. The optional RinseKit Pro holds 3.5-gallons of fresh water. Out of every water and pump system we tested, the RinseKit Pro really stood out. It has a built-in battery, water pump, and water reservoir. You can use it inside or out for fresh water, or as an outside shower. I can also see customers using it to clean a surfboard or rinse dishes outside.
The RinseKit Pro battery lasts a very long time. I’ve had one last three-months. When it needs to be recharged, it plugs into a 12-volt cigarette lighter outlet, which is featured on the GoalZero.
What do you recommend to customers for an entry step system?
Pete: We offer the same entry steps that we use with our traditional models; bracket mounts under the doorway, and a four-step system from Brophy. Some truck camper owners may prefer a simple $30 step stool. We keep the Brophy stairs in stock, but customers often have their own preferred solution.
The interior LED lights throughout the Lone Star contain their own batteries, are quickly removable, and charge via USB. Tell us why you took this approach, and how you selected the lights.
Tyson: The goal of this camper was to make every item in the Lone Star modular and removable and allow the customer to arrange the camper as they want it.
I took a long time looking for lighting solutions. The selected lights are amazing. They stick on with a magnet. You can literally pull one off and instantly use it as a flashlight or at a picnic table as an outside area light. They also have a motion sensor and turn on and off as you enter and exit the camper.
At $35 each, these are very well-made LED lights. The built-in batteries last about 12-hours and then take about 1 to 2-hours to recharge via USB. When they start to dim, you can charge them overnight on the GoalZero. Four lights come standard with the Lone Star.
Tell us about the cabinetry and countertops in the Capri Lonestar.
Tyson: We wanted to make the inside of the Lone Star stand out from what we typically do. We focused on the form and function while making sure it remained homey inside. The counters are a flat grey that matches well with the Azdel walls and brown maple cabinets and dinette cushions. With the neutral and modern decor, Lone Star owners can add colors and accents to personalize their campers.
Inside the entry door on the driver’s side is a sink basin. What is the water source for this sink, and where does the sink drain to?
Tyson: The only water source in the Lone Star is the optional RinseKit Pro. On the driver’s side exterior is a drain port for the sink water. Like our traditional models, the customer connects a hose to this connection and uses a container or bucket to capture the grey water.
Some of our customers have built-in grey tanks or a water bladder. It’s a simple mod to do if that’s what you need.
There are a lot of portable lithium battery systems on the market. Why did you select the GoalZero Yeti 1500X?
Tyson: Out of all the different portable battery systems we evaluated and tested, the GoalZero Yeti 1500X was the best fit for our use.
The Lonestar is not wired inside like a traditional camper. The only power source and outlets are on the GoalZero. The 1500X has two 110-volt outlets, two USB outlets, two USB-C outlets, and one 12-volt cigarette-style outlet. With 140-amp hours on tap from its lithium battery, it’s great for everything inside the camper. With the standard Renogy solar panel on the roof, it should stay continuously charged.
Jackery also offers excellent portable battery systems. This is why the GoalZero Yeti 1500X is an option. I f you want a bigger or smaller capacity or a different brand, you can do that. For everything we have selected for the Capri LoneStar, the GoalZero Yeti 1500X works perfectly.
Is there a port in the GoalZero cabinet to connect the roof-mounted Renogy solar panel to the GoalZero 1500 for charging?
Tyson: Yes. That was another great part about the GoalZero. It has a built-in solar charge controller. There’s no need for a separate installed solar controller, which is another item that could fail. The Renogy solar panel connects to the GoalZero. The fittings and ports are already installed in the Lone Star. The wire from the solar goes right into that area no matter what portable battery system you use.
Is the 175-watt Renogy solar panel standard or optional on the Lone Star?
Tyson: The 175-watt Renogy solar panel is standard. We chose the Renogy panel because it doesn’t require installation holes to be drilled into the camper. We tested different panel types and sizes, and the 175-watt panel is perfect to keep the GoalZero charged. I’ve used the Renogy panel and GoalZero a lot these past few months and never dipped past 75-percent charge on the battery.
The optional cooktop in a Lone Star is an induction cooktop. Does that work well with the GoalZero Yeti 1500X?
Tyson: It does. The induction cooktop we selected has ten different power levels. You can set it from 140 to 460-degrees. At the lowest setting, it’s only pulling 200-watts. At the highest level, it reaches 1,800-watts, so you need to monitor your battery levels if you cook a lot on high.
We like the induction cooktops for their ease of use and safety features. If a pot falls off, it turns off and the induction cooktop remains cool to the touch. We went back and forth between a portable propane or induction cooktop option. If you cook all the time for a week straight, a portable propane model might be better for you.
On the rear passenger’s side is a space for a 12-volt cooler refrigerator. How did you select that spot for the cooler refrigerator?
Tyson: Tucked in that location, the controls are on the right side, and the hinge lifts back. That location also worked well with the plug that needs to reach the GoalZero. When traveling, the refrigerator cooler is tucked and strapped in so that it doesn’t move. It made sense.
What is the model of the Dometic 12-volt cooler refrigerator shown in the Capri Lone Star?
Tyson: It’s the Dometic CFX3 55 IM. The size worked perfectly. It’s incredibly efficient, has a built-in refrigerator and freezer, and a built-in ice maker. You can also convert the entire unit into a refrigerator or freezer. The next size up – the 75 from Dometic – also fits the same space in the Lone Star. The space will accommodate the majority of refrigerators out there.
The whole idea is to give Lone Star owners options. As technology advances, you can upgrade. In twenty or thirty years, this camper could be current with what’s available. There’s a simple solution to keep the camper up to date.
“As technology advances, you can upgrade. In twenty or thirty years, this camper could be current with what’s available.”
The dinette features a Lagun table leg system. Is the Lagun system standard in the Lone Star?
Tyson: Yes. The Lagun system is standard in all of our campers. It’s a great system.
You can take the entire system out to make the dinette area into a bed. It’s the best table mount out there; easy and movable.
What size bed does the dinette convert into?
Tyson: The dinette converts into a 43-inch by 80-inch bed. During testing, a 6’4” friend stayed in the dinette bed and was comfortable.
On the front wall under the dinette is a storage area for a porta-potty. What size porta-potty did you put in this space?
Tyson: For the Lone Star we are offering a Dometic 976 portable toilet with a five-gallon tank. Most portable potties will fit in the provided space, as will the optional fan. Both the toilet and the fan fit in that area.
Tell us about the optional fan.
Tyson: It’s the best portable fan out there. Plus, it’s waterproof and weatherproof for outdoor use, only weighs five pounds, and lasts 20-hours on a single charge. When it finally runs down, it charges in about two hours on the GoalZero.
We show the Lone Star with one fan, but you can get two or three for additional airflow. Since it’s portable, you can take it into the cabover at night or out to a picnic bench outside. It’s extremely versatile.
It seems like you created storage for every option available for the Lone Star. Is that accurate?
Tyson: Yes. The countertop folds up to store the induction leaving room for silverware and kitchen items.
The refrigerator has a spot. The battery has a cubby. The RinseKit Pro fits under the counter. And the fan and toilet go under the front seat.
For clothing, food, and gear, you have two long upper cabinets, the ski storage area, and storage above that under the dinette seat. There is another good spot under the counter and above for paper plates and towels.
There’s a ton of open storage, even after the optional items are put away.
What is the bed size and orientation in the Capri Lone Star?
Tyson: The Lone Star has a 60-inch by 80-inch east-west cabover bed. We have a brand new 5-inch mattress with a memory foam topper in this camper. That works well. The converted dinette bed is also east-west with an 80-inch width.
What does the 2022 Capri Lone Star weigh with standard build features?
Tyson: The base model is 1,235-pounds. That includes all standard features. If you add the nine available options, the Lone Star is 1,390 pounds dry. Even at that fully-optioned weight, it should be compatible with most half-ton trucks.
Where is the center of gravity on the Capri Lone Star?
Tyson: The center of gravity is 27-inches from the front wall. We don’t mark that point on the camper, but we include that information for each customer.
What is the MSRP for the 2022 Capri Lone Star with standard build features?
Tyson: The base model $15,995. Completely loaded, it’s $22,250.
What is the warranty for the 2022 Capri Lone Star?
Tyson: The warranty is for one-year and all of the items have their own warranties.
When will the Capri Lone Star be available?
Pete: We are taking orders for the Lone Star now. The Lone Star will only be available direct from Capri.
Do you see anything from what you’ve learned from the development of the Lone Star making it to the Capri Retreat or Cowboy models?
Tyson: Yes. We will be slowly integrating some of the different options we worked on during the development process. For example, the thermal windows and the RinseKit Pro.
Pete: We have already adopted the new mattress into our traditional line. We have also added screens to our back doors and an opaque window.
Later this spring, we will be bringing back the industry dare to go truck camping. Will you commit now to accepting our dare and taking a Capri truck camper out for a camp-out and evaluation?
Do you have any other news to share from Capri Camper?
Pete: We recently doubled the footprint of Capri Camper by acquiring an 8,400 square foot facility. The original location and facility will remain and become our wood shops, and production for floors, walls, ceilings, and cabinetry. The new facility will handle finishing and installs.
Since we took over Capri Camper eight years ago, we’ve had 24 consecutive quarters of growth. We knew we would reach a threshold where we would outgrow our facility. In this little bitty town of Bluff Dale, Texas, there was a brand new Family Dollar that was built. It went out of business only two-years later. The building was fantastic; brand new and sat empty for two years.
We bought the beautiful building and remodeled it for our needs. It turned out to be an opportunity we couldn’t pass up and it’s 60-seconds down from our other building. We have a three-quarter ton long bed to transport the campers in less than a minute. Double the space, and opportunity.