What are Truck Campers?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 10 October 2019
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Truck campers are temporary and portable living areas that are fitted onto the bed of pickup trucks. They are especially beneficial simply because they provide an affordable camping option for those who cannot afford, or choose not to purchase, a much more extensive camper. Truck campers have a number of benefits, but they also have some drawbacks.

The design of most truck campers is fairly simplistic. The main portion of the camper, where most of the daily activity will take place, takes up most of the truck bed. It may hang over the sides of the truck bed slightly and may extend off the back of the tailgate a very short distance. The sleeping space is generally elevated and positioned above the cab of the truck. This helps free up area down below and create some additional living space.

Generally, the sleeping space covers about the same amount of floorspace as the living area of the truck camper. However, the total area is less in the sleeping area simply because the headroom is reduced. The living area usually consists of a few basic home comforts, such as a sink and a couple of burners, usually a microwave and television as well. A sitting area and table are also usually present in the living space.


In short, truck campers are just reduced versions of other types of campers. They offer a number of advantages that bigger campers cannot. The cost to transport them, for example, is probably the lowest of any type of camper, except for perhaps a pop-up or a tent. While these campers are higher profile and do have a little bit of a drag, other campers have much more drag. Also, they are easier to maintain than other types of campers and often cost less during that initial acquisition.

However, truck campers also have a number of disadvantages. For those who are used to full-sized camper, the size of a truck camper may make the experience unsatisfactory. Those who feel anxious in tight spaces may also find these campers to be unacceptable. Also, those who go camping often or who go camping for extended periods of time may want to consider another option.

Truck campers are often designed for a specific size of truck and many campers come with recommended truck models. Owners will find the installation and operation of the campers will go better if they choose a model recommended for their specific vehicle. Despite some limitations in models, many models come with optional features and accessories that allow some flexibility for those going camping.


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