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Is this a good brand for a Truck Camper? Host-Bachelor


Bob52

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I am not up on truck campers but did a little bit of research on the net and found the parent company, Host Industries has a website here. I also took a look at the NADA website listings and didn't find any truck camper that was 16' long but did find listings for the Host Bachelor as two models. I was a little bit shocked by the prices listed as they seem to have an average retail in the $20K range for that age! I then took a look at RV Trader who lists two of similar age for sale and both are priced significantly higher than your quoted price so it would appear that you have found a real bargain. If course with any used RV it is vital to do a complete inspection to be sure that the unit is in good condition and that everything works as it should.

 

Do keep us posted as you look at this and other RVs as we would be very interested. We have never owned a truck camper but have neighbors who spend nearly all summer in theirs each year and love it. We can always stand to learn more about RVs so please do share with us.

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I spend some time on several truck camper forums. I can't recall Host being bad-mouthed for problems - and that's usually what happens when there are problems. I think most Host owners are happy campers.

Host's "Mammoth" brand is possibly their most popular unit and the one we hear of most.

As with most campers, it is important how the camper was used, how much it was used and how it was stored (if stored).

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There are two Host campers on the Seattle craigslist. One is a brand new 2015 pickup truck camper (an Aspen 9.6) for $45,898!!!

 

The other is a 2006 10' camper with two slides (!) for $24,495!!!

 

I had never heard of the Host brand campers before either but they certainly seem to think a lot of them. The 2006 comes with a generator and a/c. Looks pretty nice.

 

WDR

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Host has been around for many years. We seriously considered one several years ago when we bought a camper, but they were too heavy for our truck at the time.

 

The owners, Dave Hogue and Mark Storch, are the sons of the Hogue and Storch who were involved in Beaver motorhomes. You can always take a trip to Bend, OR and take a tour of the factory to see how they're put together.

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I have owned a Lance TC in the past and have been in some cold weather with it. Never MI. cold though. They are not insulated all that well just as a matter of the wall thickness. They do heat up fast though because they are small sq.footage wise. An issue to be aware of is condesation buidup in a small space like that with cold outside and warm inside. There were cold mornings we woke up with condensation water dripping on us just from us breathing during the night. Make sure you keep a wind cracked open.

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I really think that you need to pick very carefully for any RV to spend winters in MI. I have found that very few RVs of any type are built to live in long term under the winter conditions typical to that part of the US. You will need a very large propane tank to do that is you will soon find that when temperatures go below 0°F your furnace is going to run most of the time. With the cost of propane today it will get expensive.

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I think that a truck camper full time in Michigan winter is a bad idea.

Dual pane windows are an absolute must in that situations. Thicker wall panel insulation is needed. Under mattress insulation is needed.

The hassle of taking the camper off the truck, insuring level ground, drifts under the camper.

Too many problems.

I strongly recommend an RV that can tow a small transportation vehicle.

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I've looked at a Host and was quite impressed. It was a few years old and I don't recall the specific model. but I sure liked what I saw. Would I spend a winter in MI in one, Nope. But that is true for any RV, for me anyway.


If you have an RV you have wheels. Is it imperative that you stay in MI for the winter? If so, that kind of defeats the concept of mobility. A small apartment may serve your purposes more efficiently than an RV. The costs to spend a winter in an RV are going to be steep. You will go through a heck of a lot of propane or electricity to stay warm. Add in park fees and you may be equal to the cost for housing that is more well suited.


There are personal costs to consider as well. The hassle to keep the plumbing from freezing is going to be big. As stated earlier, there will be a LOT of condensation. That has to be cleaned up constantly or you are going to have structural issues and personal discomfort.


If you situation is such that you are considering an RV as a cost alternative, there may be assistance available locally to help out with other housing.


A truck camper could be a life's experience in MI if you have the option to leave.

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Host is one of the better made camper brands, so it has the potential to work. To survive winter, I would be drop the camper off the truck and skirt it with thermal board, hay bales or a combination. This is what people with 5th wheels and motorhomes do in winter. Many also stick an electric heater underneath on a thermostat, or thermostatically controlled outlet, so the heater comes on when it gets into the 30s and keeps pipes and tanks from freezing. They also insulate and heat their water hose and only put out their sewer hose in the daytime when dumping. Vents need to be blocked with insulating pillows (available at camping stores), put bubble wrap on the windows for extra insulation, and other tricks to keep the heat in and the cold out. http://explorvistas.com/ winters in Michigan, with a starting post as http://explorvistas.com/2014/11/05/learning-as-we-go/.

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There are very few RVs which are insulated well enough and which are weather tight enough to serve well in severely cold weather. Those which are constructed for comfort in such weather also tend to be very heavy and to the expensive side of the market. Friends of ours who spent a winter in Kansas in their 35' Bounder motorhome found that in the coldest part of winter they used a 100# bottle of propane each week. You can rent these bottles in most areas or our friend bought two of them. Home propane delivery with a "keep full" service might be a good way to deal with things.

 

25galcylinder.jpg

You probably can survive in any of these RVs but one question will be, how much comfort will you have? You also need to examine where all of the water lines go as frozen pipes will be a problem in most RVs as they were for our friend. For the truck camper I would build some sort of skirting all around the lower portion where it sits into the truck to make that a dead air space and I would insulate it. You will also need to keep it off of the ground, or RV pad. Also, there are RV parks that do not allow you to unload an truck camper so check that before you pay your money.

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The Host brand of cab over camper is a good one. The 16 ft. in the ad is a bit

misrepresented. the body is 6 ft. for a 6 ft. truck bed and I know there is not

10 ft. of camper in front of it, so it is a small space for even one person to live.

 

The 5th wheel may be a better choice for living in a cold climate.

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I have a Lance, which is on par with Host. It has the arctic package. It stays warm and cozy with minimal energy.....until around freezing. I would not want to be in it in 20º weather. Even though the tanks are heated, the drain valves are exposed. A recipe for trouble. Head south, or go S&B. As someone said, no RV is very well suited for 20º weather, with a very few exceptions. That said, this looks like a very decent deal IF it's al in good shape.

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  • 2 months later...

I have been contacted by the owner of this Host Camper and price now is 8900.00 dollars. I wonder if this camper is having any past problems with this camper before I buy it and I'm not going to live in it all winter in Michigan after all.

 

Thanks.

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As with any used RV, you'll want to have it inspected before purchase.

 

You say you're going to be spending the winters in MI. I assume, then, that you have found at least one RV park that stays open during the winter?

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