Cirrus 620 pickup camper turns Ford F-150 into cozy micro-home
It's no secret that America loves its pickup trucks. Specifically, it loves its full-size half-ton pickup trucks, like the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado 1500 and Ram 1500. Given this ongoing love affair, it's somewhat surprising that pickup campers often exceed the payload capabilities of half-ton trucks. It's just not that easy to build a tiny home that's both comfortable and light enough for a pickup bed. Ohio manufacturer nuCamp fixes this issue with its all-new Cirrus 620, an impressively specced four-season camper that's light enough to ride on a variety of half-ton truck models.
There's been a lot of activity in the lightweight pickup camper market over the past few years. In 2020, debut brand Scout Campers rapid-fired its way to a three-model ultralight camper lineup for half-ton and midsize trucks. The Cirrus 620 weighs a little more than the Scouts at 1,491 lb (676 kg) dry, but it also includes a higher level standard equipment package, with a fixed, permanent floor plan. It looks to strike a nice balance between a comfortable pickup-top shelter and a lightweight camper that rides comfortably on a daily driver.
The 620 is something of a take two for nuCamp. The Cirrus 720 the company introduced at RVX 2019 was supposed to be a half-ton pickup model but ended up coming in too heavy, finding itself much more a 3/4-ton model. So nuCamp went back to the drawing board, shaved more weight, and finally found the sweet spot of weight and livable comfort it wanted for the half-ton class.
The 12.7-foot (3.9-m)-long 620 uses a hard-sided, four-season construction built to adventure flexibly throughout all 12 calendar months. Step up inside the rear door, and you'll find a neutral-colored, 6.3-foot (1.9-m)-high interior packed from corner to corner with all the major necessities of living. The three-sleeper floor plan has its main 60 x 76-in (152 x 193-cm) queen bed in the alcove over the driver's cab, with a 30 x 78-in (76 x 198-cm) single bed converting over from the dinette. And if you happen to get an all-new Ford F-150 with "Max Recline" sleeper seats, you might just have yourself a five-person camper rig.
Stepping back from the dual-bench dinette, you'll find a kitchen block on the passenger side. A dual-burner stove rests below a flush-mount lid that doubles as the countertop, with a stainless steel sink right beside it. Shelves on the adjacent wall keep things like seasonings and tools close at hand. A space for the optional microwave stands at the ready next to the overhead cabinets above.
Across the aisle, an unassuming bench seat in the corner conceals a 19-L cassette toilet below. Up above that covert toilet, the fridge stands next to a slide-out storage pantry.
The Cirrus 620 features list also includes a 210-watt solar kit, dual-battery compartment, Alde heater/water boiler, Bluetooth speaker and smartCamp mobile device control. A 68-L tank carries fresh water to camp, and a 45-L tank carries the gray water away.
As for whether or not the Cirrus 620 is the perfect fit for the half-ton truck sitting in your driveway, that will depend heavily on the truck trim. The 2021 Ford F-150 brings 1,705 pounds (773 kg) of minimum payload, which is probably too tight once you consider filling the camper tanks and bringing the family and luggage along, but its payload jumps over 3,000 pounds (1,361 kg) with larger engines and upgraded equipment packages. Competitors have a tighter range but still enough capability. The 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500, for instance, ranges between 1,780 and 2,280 lb (807 and 1,034 kg). The 2021 Toyota Tundra falls on the low end with a range between 1,440 and 1,730 lb (653 and 785 kg).
NuCamp does not list a price on the Cirrus 620 web page, but an extensive article in Truck Camper magazine (which appears to double as nuCamp's official announcement) puts starting price at $38,591. The camper will begin arriving at nuCamp dealerships later this month.