Truck Campers are Compact, But Still Comfortable!
You may be thinking, how can a camper that fits into the back of my truck be comfortable? Actually, compared to many other RVs, truck campers offer many of the same comforts of a larger trailer or motorhome. So, if you don’t want to do traditional tent camping, a truck camper gives you a lot of the benefits of an RV for a lower price and ease of transport.
While there are basic truck campers that offer little more than a bed, there are truck campers with kitchen and bathroom facilities. Some truck campers even have slide-outs for additional living space! While small, truck campers can serve as practical, efficient little camping vehicles.
Truck campers sit securely inside of the flatbed portion of your pickup truck. The major advantage of a truck camper is that it greatly reduces your overall footprint. While travel trailers and motorhomes can be large and cumbersome, truck campers fit right into a truck. So, you can be just as mobile as you would ordinarily would be inside of your truck.
A truck camper also allows you to go on much rougher roads that most people would typically risk with a trailer, fifth wheel, or motor home. Your truck’s 4x4 capability won’t be at all hampered by having a truck camper installed, long as your truck is able to carry the added weight efficiently.
Truck Campers are Lightweight and Easy on Your Truck’s Gas Mileage!
Truck campers are built with wood and steel frames just like most other RVs. Then, they are covered by corrugated aluminum or fiberglass siding. Some more high-end truck campers are even insulated for greater comfort and year-round usability. Still, being so much lighter than most towables, your truck’s gas mileage won’t be all that affected by it being there.
Despite just fitting into a truck cab and being an average of only eight feet long, even the most basic truck camper contains more than you’d think. The more basic truck campers have sinks with hot & cold water, a stovetop, Porta-Potty with removable storage tank, a sitting area, and generously-sized sleeping area. While many smaller models don’t contain a shower inside, they do often have an outdoor shower with a privacy curtain provided with the camper itself. Even small truck campers additionally have propane and water storage tanks, so boondocking for a short time is a possibility.
Higher-end truck campers can be as long as twelve feet length with over-cab extensions. These deluxe campers can have a small bathroom with a shower inside. You can even have a queen-sized bed with a flat-screen plasma TV and surround sound system to watch and listen to when hanging out on cold or rainy nights. You can even cook a full meal with a multiple burner stove top and oven, with a fridge and freezer to store plenty of food. With the same heating and cooling system as regular campers, why rent a hotel room?
How Much Do Truck Campers Cost?
Most truck campers are even more affordable than the low-end travel trailers and motorhomes. You can find them brand-new for under $10,000, and they are considerably less if you buy them used. Some RV dealers even sell truck campers along with a truck to slide it into, which can be an even better deal. The best part is that you don’t even need a high-end truck for most truck campers.
There are higher-end truck campers which can approach $30,000 in price that have additional amenities such as the insulation and slide-outs. But, it’s likely that you can find a truck camper within your budget if you decide on what factors are most important for you. Here are some things to consider when setting out to buy a truck camper.
- What weight of truck camper can my truck handle? The lighter truck campers will typically be significantly less expensive than the heavier ones with added amenities. The larger truck campers can be as heavy as 3,000 lbs, so keep this in mind.
- Do I want to detach my camper from my truck while staying at a campsite? You can buy a jack to make your truck camper free-standing when at home or at a campsite. So, consider this additional expense if you want this option.
- What space must my truck camper have? Truck campers come in so many shapes and sizes. Some have cabovers, pop-up roofs, and even slideouts. These options allow you to maximize your storage and living space, but can come at significant added cost.
- What creature comforts must my truck camper have? Ideally you want your truck camper to have an air conditioner, toilet, and some sort of kitchen, even if its just a simple camp stove, mini-fridge, and/or a microwave.
- Do I want to be able to use my truck camper year-round? If you want to use your truck camper year-round, it’s a good idea to buy a winterized model. These winterized truck campers include double-glazed windows, heated tanks, upgraded insulation, and a higher BTU furnace than those found in basic models.
Can I Live Out of a Truck Camper for Full Time RV Living?
If it’s just you, or one other person, planning to do full time RV living, a truck camper is an economical and practical option. For full time RV living, you certainly want to have a winterized model with at least a cab-over area and perhaps slide-outs, with at least a kitchenette and toilet facility. So, yes, with a weatherized model with a fair amount of living and storage space, it’s most certainly possible. That’s especially true if you have an extended cab truck for additional storage.
With a truck camper and a reliable pickup truck, you can go just about anywhere and fit into regular parking spaces with ease. If you’re not comfortable with towing a large trailer or fifth wheel and don’t want to deal with the higher fuel costs and size of a motorhome, a truck camper is a great alternative for those that want to live the RV life!