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Nissan Titan Camper

Here it comes like an Abrams tank with great ground clearance and important body parts like the transfer case and transmission. It’s tucked above the bottom of the frame, so you can climb off-road to the best camping spots. My first review was at the media launch in California last summer. This time it’s me and the Titan alone, off exploring. Since the Titan is a 1/2 ton, I wanted to try a camper that would be at capacity. This was easy, as one of the best popup campers is built here in Colorado, from Outfitter.

Nissan’s Titan, in it’s first year ever in the full size truck market, has a lot of folks watching. Some want it to fail and some are glad to see the companies that bring them dependable Japanese cars, do the same for full size trucks. The way I see it is that competition improves our lives. I remember the gas guzzling boats we drove in the seventies, that improved when Japanese car competition caused fuel economy to improve in all cars. And why not 5 full size truck brands. There are over 100 horse trailer brands, over 50 car brands, and at least 50 RV trailer brands, so why be so limited on truck choices? Pickup truck diesels has gotten very competitive since 2001, and improvements have sped up because of that competition.

Nissan Titan Camper Review

So now that you have an open mind to possibilities, test drive one of these Titan’s and try not to “burn rubber”. They do have spunk and the torque feels more like the muscle car you had in high school. The only engine option gives you 305 horsepower along with 379 torque. Titan is making an impact as you will see it badmouthed often in Ford, GM, Dodge message boards. Though the Titan is built in Mississippi, creating jobs in the US, Nissan being a foreign company rubs some folks the wrong way. But when the US truck manufacturers moved many truck plants and parts plants to Mexico, taking away US jobs, it didn’t seem to cause the same concerns. Truck folks are very brand loyal just like with tractors. My family is that way too. My grandfather had Fords, my uncles had Fords and my dad had Fords, then the only new truck he bought was a GMC. I owned them all, and sold all the truck brands. So I’ve learned to have an open mind. And then there’s religion and politics….

Nissan Titan Camper Features

The XE Titan has a standard 5-speed automatic transmission with the steering console shift lever having a toggle switch for manual shifting. This feature is ideal for managing a trailer down the big hills here in Colorado. The Titan fit’s me with a seat and steering wheel setup high like a truck should be.

The truck I reviewed had the optional Off road package, with P285/70R17 B.F. Goodrich Rugged Trail OWL Tires, Rancho shocks, fog lights, lower axle ratio, tow hooks, and skid plates. A nice package and even a door on the skid plate for accessing the oil filter. The Titan has excellent clearance, with a clean underbelly protected by the frame. Good for off-roading (coyote herding).

Nissan Titan Camper Advantages

The Titan has great visibility and room for your cowboy hat with the A-pillar (windshield frame) far enough away. One of the reasons we buy big trucks is for all the room. Not all full-size trucks pass the hat test. I drove the XE Titan model, the base work truck model in the King Cab version which only comes in the 6’6″ bed. This truck had the 40/20/40 bench seat, so I had room for 6 people. With the large folding center console that I needed for my desk, the split bench is my favorite. The rear seat is a 60/40 bench that folds up for more inside storage. The overhead console is long, almost reaching glass to glass. Along with the deep pockets in the doors, you can put away all the junk we usually pile on the dash and under the seats. When you think about it, all the junk we leave on the dash and floor will be flying back at us in an accident. That’s cab cargo management, then Nissan is ahead of the curve with bed cargo management. With optional driver side toolbox, bed floor and bed rail channels all for securing cargo. A feature that really separates the Titan is the King Cab rear doors. They open opposite the front doors like the Ford Super Cab and GM Extended Cab, but they really open. These special doors are double hinged and almost open 180 degrees, so you can get past the open door in a parking lot.

Colorado Built Outfitter Popup Campers

I’ve taken notice of Outfitters Popup Campers at the winter RV shows. The first thing that caught my eye on the Outfitter Apex camper, is the large rear door. Most of the popup campers have a doll house door that you have to crawl thru. But the Outfitter Apex has a full-size door you see on solid side campers. The Nissan Titan is surprisingly an easy truck to fit a camper to. The bed dimensions are very similar to the Ford F150 short bed 2003 and older, also the Ford Heritage 04 model. The Titan King Cab 6’6″ bed with a 1508# payload as with most 1/2 tons, just fits the Outfitter Apex 8, with a 1300# dry weight. With a completely stock Titan, loaded with the Apex, the truck was basically level loaded. The majority of 1/2 ton trucks need aftermarket overload springs or air bags for a camper to be level. I had to take the Titan’s tailgate off to fit the Apex 8, which was no problem as the tailgate has a slotted hinge and quick release cables needing no tools. Driving down I-25, on a typical windy day, the Outfitter and Titan swayed a little from the side wind on the low profile popup.

I took the rig off-road on some trails around a lake. The Titans grab handles came in handy as I parked at different angles in creek beds to admire the great clearance under the truck as well as take pictures of the sharp looking camper. This would be a nice combination for duck or pheasant hunting or any outside adventure. That’s one of the advantages of a slide in camper, you can still pull a horse trailer, boat or motorcycle trailer as a compact unit and with a light aluminum framed popup like Outfitter, you have a full-sized camper. When determining your payload and trailer capacity, don’t forget to add the weight of people, water, propane etc. and the trailer tongue weight.

Outfitter Manufacturing, has an unusual amount of history behind it as Brian Ward is the third generation camper builder. His grandfather founded Hallmark Campers and was instrumental in many camper companies in Colorado. This family business builds over 100 campers a year in the factory near Longmont. After the large entrance door caught my eye, the next impressive characteristic is the quality. Top components make the look. The frame is aluminum, the walls are thick foam board-insulated vacuum bonded flat fiberglass and the crowned roof is a one piece rubber Patrick 2000 designed to withstand hailstorms. The Weblon softwalls are double stitched and insulated. And an RV industry first: basement capacity. Just like the campers made in the North part of North America. Having a basement allows more water capacity and it doesn’t freeze. Then having that extra weight on the bottom lowers the center of gravity, a good thing for camper stability.

Outfitter is made for enjoying the great outdoors but lets you keep all the conveniences, like a full bathroom with a standup shower, toilet and sink. You will find the higher quality components inside as well with a marine grade porcelain toilet, Shurflo electric water pump, 3 way insulated refrigerator, Polar Aire ventilation system, 3 burner high-output stove with Piezo ignition, oak cabinet doors, and the largest cab over sleeping area with a Queen size 60″x80″ mattress.

2004 Outfitter Apex 8 Popup Camper

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