The Strong Family, including Russ, Olga, Garrik, 8, and Kimberly, 6, of Cashmere, Wash., are part of this growing segment of buyers.
“We went with the pop-up for the ability to travel on forest service roads and other rough access areas,” said Russ Strong, who owns a 2012 Ford F350 Lariat, short bed.
They selected a 2012 8.5-foot Northstar 850SC because they could get almost all the amenities of a hard-sided camper, even a north-south sleeping arrangement in the cabover bed.
“So far it has paid off,” he said in an e-mail from the family vacation touring the West. “The narrow Going to the Sun Highway with its rocky overhangs in Glacier National Park was easily handled with this camper.”
They heard “oohs” and “aahs” from spectators when they passed through the smallest tunnel on the Needles Highway Scenic Byway in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
“The steep, rough road down to Echo Park in Dinosaur National Monument, Utah, presented no problem for the F350 and the Northstar,” said Strong. “We were rewarded with one of the most spectacular campsites of our trip.”
Over the past two years, “the kids have accumulated a dozen Junior Ranger badges from National Parks and Monuments,” said Strong. “We are using the camper to explore America with the kids before they grow up.”
The next, and final installment in this series on pop-up truck campers with list sources of additional information and links to camper manufacturers.
If you missed: Pop-up truck campers, Part # 1 — ‘Perfect backcountry recreation vehicles’ click here.
Check out: Pop-up truck campers, Part # 2 — ‘Lightweight, easy to handle’ click here.
Read about ‘Pop-up truck campers, Part # 3 — ‘To go where the big RVs fear to tread’ by clicking here.
Photo: The Strong family of Cashmere, Wash., (from left: Garrick, 8, Russ, Olga and Kimberly, 6) seek out forest service and national park campgrounds in their 2012 8.5-foot Northstar 850SC pop-up truck camper. (Julianne G. Crane)