Capri Campers debuts an all-new, hard side, non-slide, short bed truck camper for mid-size trucks. With a fresh floor plan and built-in components, this mid-size camper is a serious competitor; pound for pound, and price for price. Meet the Retreat Mid-Size.
Over the past few years, something important has happened with mid-size trucks and campers. For decades, anything smaller than a proper full-size truck was mostly irrelevant to the hard side truck camper marketplace. Yes, there were a few hard side options for mid-size trucks, but they invariably pushed the payload limits of these puny platforms. Not anymore.
In the 2020s, two significant changes have brought mid-size trucks to the hard side camper forefront. First, mid-size trucks have become nearly on par with their half-ton stable mates in payload capacity. And second, the overland market has made small and basic truck campers hip. Spend a few minutes searching for truck campers on Instagram and you’ll run straight into this mid-size truck and basic hard side camper phenomenon.
Capri Campers first embraced this new mid-size lane with their Lone Star Junior last March. Not only was the Lone Star Junior camper sized and payload matched for the Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado, Ford Ranger, Nissan Frontier, and other popular mid-size trucks, but it was also developed as a fully modular design to appeal to both the overland market an minimalists within the traditional truck camper market. This wasn’t entirely new territory for Capri Campers, but it was their most targeted push for the mid-size niche–and it worked.
Hot on the heels of the Lone Star Junior’s success, Capri Campers has developed a new mid-size truck camper based on their most popular full-size Retreat. The new Retreat Mid-Size started with the dimensions and structure of the proven Lone Star Junior, and then drew from the concept and feature set of the best-selling Retreat. As you’re about to read, the design process that followed was not as easy as you might assume, but the end result is more than just a smaller Retreat.
With their new Retreat Mid-Size, Capri is pushing the mid-size, hard side camper category deeper into traditional truck camper territory while handily keeping the weight and center of gravity within the great majority of mid-size truck configurations. They’re also maintaining the price in a range few truck campers roam helping to keep our beloved hobby within reach of mere mortals. It’s more than possible to purchase a late-model mid-size truck and a brand-new Capri Retreat Mid-Size camper for under $50,000 USD. That’s how we grow this market.
To learn more about the Capri Retreat Mid-Size, we talked to Pete and Tyson D’Acosta, President and Vice President of Capri Campers.
Capri Retreat Mid-Size Specifications
The 2024 Capri Retreat Mid-Size is a hard side, non-slide camper made for mid-sized trucks. The interior floor length is 5’8”, the width is 6’8”, and the interior height is 6’0”. The Capri Retreat Mid-Size has a 30-gallon fresh tank, optional 4 gallon water heater, no grey tank, and no black tank, but there is space for a porta-potty. It has room for two batteries and a twenty-pound propane tank.
Capri is reporting the base weight of the Capri Retreat Mid-Size at 915 pounds. The base MSRP for the Capri Retreat Mid-Size is $16,995. Click here for more information about the Capri Retreat Mid-Size.
Last March, Capri Campers launched the Lone Star Junior, a modular camper designed for mid-size trucks. Less than a year later, you’re announcing the Retreat Mid-Size also targeting mid-size trucks. What’s going on with Capri Campers and mid-size trucks?
Tyson: Mid-size trucks have been underserved by the truck camper marketplace for a long time, mostly due to weight concerns. The Capri Lone Star Junior stays within the payload limits of modern mid-size trucks and has had a lot of interest and success.
We wanted to see what else we could do for mid-size trucks while keeping the weight within the available payload. One-size camper doesn’t fit all, and not everyone wants the modular approach of the Lone Star series. Some want built-in components including a sink, an outside shower, and a heater. That focus led us to design and build the Capri Retreat Mid-Size.
Hasn’t Capri Campers always built a Retreat for mid-size trucks?
Pete: Technically, yes. Previously all we did was make a Retreat “fit” a mid-size truck. That worked, but it never looked right. The new 2024 Retreat Mid-Size is an entirely different camper, designed with the same dimensions as the Lone Star Junior.
When Tyson took on the Lone Star Junior project, the entire design was condensed to the proportions of mid-size trucks. For example, the box width was trimmed to 38 inches, the overall height was reduced from 65 inches to 60 inches, and the width was reduced from 84 inches to 80 inches. The changes add up to a camper that perfectly fits and looks fantastic on a Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado, Nissan Frontier, or Honda Ridgeline.
“Every pound matters with a mid-size truck. To hit the mark, we needed the right layout, functionality, amenities, and storage.”
Were you able to fit all the standard features and options from the standard Retreat into the Retreat Mid-Size?
Tyson: That was a delicate balance. Every pound matters with a mid-size truck. To hit the mark, we needed the right layout, functionality, amenities, and storage.
The overall design was dictated by the size and capacities of mid-size trucks, and what we wanted the Retreat Mid-Size to be. The appliances are mostly the same as the full-size Retreat, but there are differences. To accommodate the size and weight requirements, the built-in refrigerator was changed to a portable cooler refrigerator.
Pete: This smaller camper has been shrunk proportionately to fit the smaller dimensions of a mid-size truck. The cabover is 45 inches long and the ceiling is 6 feet tall.
The smaller cabover led to a more functional 25 inch wide by 76 inch long dinette that doubles as a bed. Once we adopted the dinette design, it changed the rest of the layout versus the full-size Retreat.
How many adults can the dinette area seat?
Tyson: The dinette can accommodate three adults, especially if you place the portable refrigerator on the floor.
Why did you split the location of the sink and cooktop on opposite sides?
Tyson: The dinette bed area necessitated the cooktop area and sink area to be split. We would have preferred these items to be together, but this layout works the best and keeps the weight properly distributed.
Pete: Keep in mind that you can literally reach everything from the middle of this camper. You don’t have to worry about the sink and stove being together because everything is a few feet away at all times.
Are the base features of the Retreat Mid-Size the same as the full-size Retreat?
Tyson: Yes, the base Retreats all have the same features including a heavy foam mattress, built-in battery system with charger, Fantastic Fan, cabinets and hardware, Formica counter top and matching table, adjustable Lagun table system, custom cushions, four windows with screens and escape window, blackout shades, multiple 110 volt outlets, a single 12 volt outlet, dual USB charging ports, interior and exterior LED lighting including a porch light, wood grain flooring, back door with screen and opaque window, acrylic and chrome back door handle, magnetic door stop, dual exterior 110 volt outlets, LP gas, combination CO and smoke alarm, fire extinguisher, 30 amp power plug on back wall, complimentary 15 amp adapter, solar ready prep, and external Zamp solar port.
And like the full-size Retreat, customers can choose interior wood grain or Azdel panels, and exterior color and striping scheme.
Can you get all of the full-size Retreat options?
Pete: Most of the full-size Retreat options are available including a rooftop or residential-style air conditioner, outside shower, stove top, sink, audio/video package, propane heater, water heater, porta-potty, electric jacks, solar panels, and dual pane windows.
There were a few options we couldn’t fit. The bunk bed, bed extension, built-in furnace, indoor shower, and cassette toilet are not available in the Retreat Mid-Size.
You mentioned the Retreat Mid-Size fits Tacomas, Rangers, Colorados and Canyons, and Frontiers. Have you built Retreat Mid-Size campers for these trucks?
Tyson: Yes, we have built a few Retreat Mid-Size campers and put them on Tacomas, Colorados, Frontiers, and the Ridgeline. We haven’t yet had a customer with a Gladiator or Rivian, but we’re looking for that opportunity.
Pete: If a customer hasn’t already purchased their mid-size truck, we always encourage the Ford Ranger, simply because it has the highest payload capacity in the mid-size class. But Tacomas are still far and away the more popular truck.
Can you shut the tailgate on a mid-size truck with the Retreat Mid-Size?
Tyson: No. This camper is 6 feet long. Some customers remove the tailgate while others keep the tailgate on and drop it down. It works either way.
Is it possible to put the Retreat Mid-Size on a full-size truck?
Tyson: The jacks will clear on a full-size truck, but it will need a box under the base to lift the nose over the truck cab.
Pete: Customers ask us about this frequently, but we don’t recommend it. That’s why we offer the full-size Retreat.
Is the interior decor, the walls, cabinetry, countertops, and fabrics, the same as the standard Retreat?
Tyson: For the interior walls, you can choose Adzel, ridge pine, or weathered cedar. We do not offer aromatic red cedar for the Retreat Mid-Size due to weight. Azdel is the lightest option shaving about 20 pounds compared to the ridge pine and weathered cedar.
Pete: I love the lighter Azdel because it makes the camper feel bigger inside. It’s also water and mold-resistant. Azdel is just a great all-around surface.
What size is the fresh tank in the Retreat Mid-Size?
Tyson: Customers have the option of 10 or 16 gallon tanks, and an optional 4 gallon Suburban water heater. If you want to tuck a portable toilet under the cabover step, we can change the water tank to 10 gallons to make space.
It looks like the batteries are also under the cabover step.
Pete: Yes, there’s space for up to two AGM or lithium batteries under the cabover step. Again, this depends on the other options you select.
Where is the propane tank on the Retreat Mid-Size?
Tyson: The 20-pound vertical propane tank is on the back, driver side corner. There’s also an optional propane heater just inside the door on the left; the driver’s side rear corner.
And the optional water heater?
Pete: The optional water heater is located under the cooktop. The optional outside shower is located on the passenger side exterior.
You mentioned two optional air conditioners. Which do you recommend?
Tyson: The rooftop air conditioner is overkill for the space and some mid-size trucks may not be able to accommodate the extra 90 pounds. We also offer a window unit air conditioner that’s a better size and weight, but isn’t as attractive. The window unit is installed on the rear passenger’s side wall.
What kind of storage opportunities are there in the Retreat Mid-Size?
Pete: There’s a long upper cabinet on the driver’s side with a netted front. There is room above the propane tank cabinet in the back driver corner plus a clothes rod, and storage under the sink and stove. There is also a little space in the front floor cabinet.
What does the 2024 Capri Retreat Mid-Size weigh with standard build features?
Tyson: The base weight of the 2024 Capri Retreat Mid-Size is 915 pounds.
The well-equipped Capri Retreat Mid-Size in the photos weighs 1,055 pounds. It has an optional cooktop, sink, portable refrigerator/cooler, propane heater, outside shower, solar panel, and portable toilet.
Where is the center of gravity on the 2024 Capri Retreat Mid-Size?
Tyson: The center of gravity is 26.5 inches from the front wall.
What is the MSRP for the 2024 Capri Retreat Mid-Size with standard build features?
Tyson: It’s the same as the full-size Retreat at $16,995. Customers can use the build-your-own system on our website for selecting options and pricing a camper.
What is the warranty for the 2024 Capri Retreat Mid-Size?
Pete: The Capri warranty covers one full year for the structure and everything in it. The installed components sometimes have their own longer warranties, which we will honor.
When will the 2024 Capri Retreat Mid-Size be available?
Tyson: Right now. We have one sitting here ready to go for a customer.
Is there anything else you want our readers to know about the 2024 Capri Retreat Mid-Size?
Tyson: For the mid-size truck camper customer, the Retreat Mid-Size has the most options for the lowest weight and the best price in the marketplace. There is nothing else on the hard side camper market with everything we offer under 1,100 pounds.
Pete: We think it’s the best looking and best fitting truck camper on mid-size trucks.
Now that you’ve made mid-size versions of the Lone Star and Retreat, what about the Cowboy?
Tyson: That model is challenging because of space constraints. You need a bed. After that things get tricky, especially for mid-size trucks.
Pete: The Cowboy is designed to be a place to sleep at the end of the day. If a customer wants more than that, they should look at the new Retreat Mid-Size.
“We continue to evolve and we continue to look at underserved niches in the entry-level truck camper space.”
Capri has now filled in the mid-size truck category. Do you think you might go in the other direction and build a larger camper than the full-size Retreat and Lone Star, or is that crazy talk?
Pete: That’s crazy talk. We continue to evolve and we continue to look at underserved niches in the entry-level truck camper space. In this case, we have now debuted two mid-size campers because we believe the mid-size truck market has been underserved. Building bigger doesn’t fit any of our strategic thinking at this point.
The truck industry is changing and truck styles are changing too. I think, over time, some new truck designs will lead us to our next opportunity. Let’s wait and see what happens with trucks.
One of our great advantages is that we can react quickly to change or launch quickly if we find an opportunity. We don’t have to go through a committee for approval. We don’t have to build 50 of something to try an idea. Tyson and I can make decisions and take action immediately. That’s one of the things we love about running Capri Campers. If something new and exciting comes along in the truck world, we’ll build a Capri Camper for it.