As stated in our Frequently Asked Questions, Truck Camper Magazine reviews are wholly independent and posted without notice or review by the industry until publication.
However, the manufacturers are invited to submit a manufacturer’s response to be immediately published, without edit, the following publishing date.
Rex Willett, President of Northstar Campers, sent in the following manufacturer’s response to the 2017 Northstar 12STC Review.
“I truly enjoyed reading the review you did on the Northstar 12sTc. I found it over the top for information, photos, detail, opinions, and facts. It was really well done. I always have enjoyed Gordon’s style of writing, dry humor, and different perspective and takes on things. Thank you for the time and effort you put into the review.
The review has created a bit of buzz about the 12sTc and we have received a good number of customer inquiries about the camper. It definitely got the attention of people who may have otherwise been dead-set on a slide and basement-style camper.
Based on the review points, I have a bit of feedback that I want to share.
Rear Camera Switch
Above: The rear camera switch is in the upper right corner.
In the review, you asked about the rear camera switch. The rear camera switch shuts off power to the camera to preserve its lifetime. Northstar uses a super high quality, wide view, wireless digital camera and 5-inch monitor. The monitor plugs into a utility outlet in the truck. When storing the camper, we recommend switching off the rear camera to increase its longevity.
One great feature of the camera is the owner can take the monitor from the truck into the camper at night. This gives you a good view of what’s behind your camper. People like this as a safety feature.
Toilet Paper Holder
The dreaded toilet paper holder. We believe that customers should decide on the style and, more importantly, location of their toilet paper holder. Everyone is different – right handed, left handed, 150 pounds, 450 pounds – and will want their toilet paper in different places.
It’s an item that the customer can start making the 12sTc their own. Of course Northstar and our dealer network can add a toilet paper holder if a customer requests one.
The Coat Hangers
The great coat hanger debate. I have had a few 12sTc’s stop in here at Northstar. Each one had light jackets, hats, lanyards, and even pet leashes hanging on the hooks.
I like your mirror idea, but I hate to scare myself right before I leave the camper. I might need to grab the hat to conceal my nifty morning hairstyle for the day. I don’t need a bunch of campers or animals spotting my new styles and starting too many trends, if you know what I mean.
Ducted Heat Location In the Bathroom
We can move the heat duct a bit lower or possibly to the rear of the cabinet but, with no basement, we have some limitations there. Instead of the issue of heat blowing on your hands when setting down on the toilet, envision yourself coming out of the shower. The heat duct position has a very nice drying effect.
110-volt Outlet In the Bathroom
Without the basement to run the heat into, the cabinet is really the only place to bring the heat into the shower room. The 110-volt outlet can be put in many places. We are accustomed to adding outlets where desired.
Dinette Seating and Table
In Truck Camper Magazine’s 2015 debut of the 12sTc, the photographs show the seating cushions as rounded and cushy. The feedback we received directed us to get rid of this bulkier cushion style and open the area up with wall-mounted backrests.
That decision also had something to do with making the dinette area bed easier. Furthermore, throw pillows are a way for owners to make the dinette seating their own and support their individual comfort desires.
Big tables aren’t a problem. I personally prefer a smaller tables, but everyone is different. It’s easy to accommodate a request for a larger table.
Truck Bed Access Doors – and Flying Underwear
Above: As a non-slide camper, the Northstar 12STC has truck bed access doors.
Underwear a flying. Couldn’t help but get a terrible picture in my mind on that one. A good tip there is to use a nylon drawstring duffle bag in the truck bed access area. Open the door to insert your clothes into the duffle bag, When full, pull the duffle bag out and carry it right into the laundromat or home washer-dryer. This works great.
The truck bed access doors are also a super place for extra flats of water or drinks to rotate into the refrigerator when space becomes available.
Pass Through Compression Boot
Harley is so disappointed in you! You missed a big feature that’s directly attributable to a non-basement camper; the pop-out front window with available compression boot.
The compression boot fits between the camper and truck and matches up well with the slider windows. The boot just gets compressed and seals off the area. The boots are made with a durable vinyl fabric that does not rub the camper or truck.
This is “the” pet friendly feature; so useable and functional. With the boot in place and the windows open, pets can go back and forth between the truck and camper. They love it!
If you want to pull over and not take your pets with you, simply crack open the driver and passenger windows a bit and turn on the Fantastic Fan in the camper on low. The fan will pull air through the camper keeping your pet comfortable and relaxed.
When driving, the truck’s air conditioning flows through the pass through into the camper greatly impacting the temperature in the camper. I can even fit through the pass through window if a situation calls for it.
The pass through is a huge non-basement feature that I wanted to point out. Next time put Harley on the phone so I can straighten you out. Gosh!
I will take a hard look at what you call nitpicking. Sometimes it’s the small items that take a camper to the whole next level. Thank you for the suggestions.
A Few Last Things
In every hard sided Northstar truck camper we install 110-volt and 12-volt/USB chargers forward in the cabover. These outlets are a must in today’s world with the emergence and popularity of CPAP machines, cell phones, and the music addictions most of us suffer from.
New in all 2018 Northstars we are installing waterproof exterior USB chargers on the passenger’s side. These external USB chargers are hidden under the wing and accessible to use while sitting under the awning.
I am encouraging dealers to stop ordering campers with AM/FM stereo systems and speakers. In today’s world, people can use Bluetooth to send music to portable speakers that (a) sound amazing, (b) cost far less than an installed stereo system, and (c) don’t require drilling holes in the sidewalls of the camper for speakers.
I have a small portable Bose speaker system in my office I bought for about $150. It fits in the palm of my hand and would blow you out of the camper. It truly sounds like a big stereo system. I can take it outside with me, or it can be thrown in a back pack or brought on a boat.
With the exterior USB ports, a person could plug-in the chargeable portable speaker and their cell phone at the same time and relax outside.
Thanks again for the Northstar 12sTc Review!” – Rex Willett, President, Northstar Campers