Northstar truck top campers are popular among seasoned adventurers and camping newbies! However, even experienced campers can come up against some problems during travel.
Northstar campers often experience electrical issues due to low battery charge, or malfunctioning outlets. It is important to keep the battery charged during use and storage. Here are some other commonly experienced problems with Northstar campers, and how to solve them.
If you have ever experienced issues with your Northstar camper, you are not alone! A malfunctioning camper is never pleasant, but there are ways to troubleshoot and solve some of the most common issues with Northstar campers.
Northstar Campers Problems & Fixes
Problem: The Battery is Out of Charge
Your Northstar camper has a lot of electronic components! If you are plugged in at a campsite, the camper can be plugged into a 30 or 50 amp power pole. Otherwise, all those electronics run off of the battery.
If the battery is out of charge, so is the camper. Even if you turn off everything in the camper, there are electronic components, such as the propane detector and control panel that are constantly running. If you rely on the electricity in your camper for lights, cooking, and other tasks, a dead battery may be an unpleasant surprise.
Solution: Keep the Battery Charged
Northstar campers come wired for an Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery. The battery is either supplied by you, the owner, or by the dealership. AGM batteries are ventless and sealed. There won’t be any caustic fumes, and you don’t need to maintain the water level within the battery.
Use a 30 or 50 amp Hookup
When the camper is plugged into a 30 or 50 amp hookup at a campsite, the battery is not only running the electronics in the camper, it is also charging itself.
Plug Into a 15 or 20 amp Outlet
Your camper battery can also be charged by an extension cord from your home. Unlike the campsite, your home probably is outfitted with 15 or 20 amp outlets. These will not charge the battery as quickly, but will still do the job!
Avoid running the air conditioner, microwave, or other electronic components in the camper while charging the camper from a 15 or 20 amp outlet. The battery will charge faster, and you won’t risk tripping a breaker in the camper.
Attach to Vehicle Power
While you are driving, the camper is attached by a power cord to your vehicle. This will slowly charge the battery. It is best not to rely on the power from the vehicle alone to charge the battery.
Use a Generator
A generator is a great option if you plan to do a lot of off-grid camping. Many travelers enjoy the peace and privacy of camping away from others. If this is the case, a gas, diesel, or propane generator can be hooked up to the camper to run the electronic components, and charge the battery.
Invest in Solar Power
A small solar power can be attached to the power cord while the camper is unplugged. A little solar power can maintain or even charge the battery.
Problem: No Power to the Outlets
The battery is full of charge, the camper is plugged in, and you still aren’t getting any power from the outlet! You could have a faulty outlet. Sometimes, the motion of the vehicle during travel can cause issues with the wiring in the camper.
Solution: Check the Connections
The first step is to troubleshoot. Determine which outlets or outlets are not working properly.
Look at the Circuit Breaker
Check the circuit breaker. Are any of the breakers flipped? This may be a simple solution!
Check the GFCI
Camper outlets are attached to a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI), just like your house. Find the GFCI for the camper outlets, and depress the reset button.
Test the Outlet
Outlet testers are available at most hardware stores. These inexpensive gadgets are really helpful to determine if there is any power to the outlet. A simple reading from a voltmeter should help you troubleshoot the problem.
Ask a Professional
If you have tried everything, and the outlet still isn’t getting any power, contact your dealership or repair shop. Electrical issues can be tricky to repair. If you don’t have previous electrical experience, ask a professional.
Problem: The Camper and a Boat/Trailer Can’t be Plugged in at the Same Time
One of the benefits of a truck camper is that the hitch is available to tow another trailer. However, both the camper and the trailer need to be plugged into the vehicle.
Solution: Y-Cable Splitter
Northstar carries a Y-cable splitter. This cable connects to the port on the vehicle and splits into two cables, so you can connect your camper and trailer at the same time.
Problem: The Manual Jacks are Difficult to Use
Truck top campers are equipped with jacks that lower to the ground and lift the camper up off the bed of the truck. Manual jacks are lowered by a hand crank and can be difficult to operate.
Solution: Install Electric Jacks
Many Northstar campers come pre-wired for electric jacks. The dealership can add the electric jacks and the panel to control the jacks. A cordless remote easily raises or lowers the four legs all at once, or one at a time.
Problem: The Camper Makes the Truck Top Heavy
Northstar campers can weigh anywhere from 1,300 to 2,600 pounds. This weight is perched on top of the truck. You may notice the camper feels top-heavy while you drive, especially on winding roads.
Solution: Adjust Your Driving
The most simple solution to this problem is to alter your driving while the camper is in place. In other words, slow down for winding roads.
Securely Attach the Camper
Make sure the camper is securely attached to the truck bed before driving. Use the tie-downs and turnbuckles to attach the camper. Most camper manufacturers recommend applying about 300 pounds of tension to the turnbuckles.
Store Heavy Items on the Floor
The center of gravity for the camper should be on the floor near the camper’s front wall. Store heavy items near the center of gravity while traveling.