What Is a Truck Camper?

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On every road trip, you and your friends or family need a versatile and comfortable place to set up camp and settle down for the night. While many customers consider spending money on hotel rooms or setting up tents, truck campers provide a comfortable yet cost-effective alternative. These are an excellent option for anyone who wants some of the perks of a recreational vehicle (RV) but doesn't require that much space.

Truck Camper Definition

Put simply, a truck camper is a deconstructed RV that lies in a truck bed. When the camper is set up, the structure acts as a home away from home and often contains a small bed, bathroom and a kitchenette. A truck camper can be versatile and affordable, an excellent option for adventurers who want the camper lifestyle but don't have the need for a full-fledged RV.

With all of the different styles, sizes and floor plans available, truck campers offer a variety of designs for your unique needs. Some of the most modern versions contain full baths, larger kitchenettes, storage space or sliding doors and walls.

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The Advantages of a Truck Camper

There are many advantages to starting the camping lifestyle with a truck camper. These RVs provide the typical road trip and camper experience with the added benefits of uninterrupted driving and easy parking. Here are a few notable perks of truck campers:

1. Parking

A significant benefit of truck campers is they're easy to park — wherever your truck can fit, so can your truck camper, as it sits on top of your truck's bed. As a result, you won't have to park in RV-designated areas or in odd spots or angles. If you're uninterested in learning the trickiness of parking a larger RV or hooking up an RV to your truck, a truck camper can be a great option.

2. Boondocking

There may be restrictions on where you can set up overnight, especially if you own a larger RV. However, truck campers can boondock in almost any area, and it's easier to boondock a truck camper even if you didn't plan to sleep overnight or experience a sudden weather issue.

3. Maneuverability

Though there's added height and weight on the truck, traveling is made simple with truck campers. Expect no concerns about turning or maneuvering, as you won't have to worry about your truck's movements. In other words, your driving won't be impacted by installing a truck camper, which can give you peace of mind.

4. Separation

A truck camper allows you to separate your driving space from your living space. A large RV can be the perfect solution when traveling on weeks-long road trips, as you have a complete living space for everyone to use. However, people who don't need much space and like the flexibility of keeping their vehicles separate may prefer truck campers.

The Advantages of a Truck Camper

5. Cost

Because truck campers are smaller than the typical RV, they'll cost you less in the long run. While a truck camper can cost several thousand dollars, you don't have to spend money on gas to fuel it. Additionally, insurance costs may be inexpensive, and in many states, you won't have to register the camper at all, taking away the cost of registration fees. Be sure to check your state's laws to see whether a truck camper will count as cargo or a vehicle.

6. Storage

Due to their size, truck campers are easy to store when you're not using them. Because they're smaller than your truck, they can easily be tucked away in a garage or shed or even placed outside under a protective tarp.

The truck camper's storage space should also be considered a positive. While some variations may have more storage space than others, truck campers still offer many areas to stow your necessities during long road trips.

Aspects of a Truck Camper to Consider

A truck camper will require that you stick to paved roads and highways rather than off-road paths. This is due to the added weight on your vehicle that will amplify bumps and get you stuck in snow or mud if you stray from the road. The more off-road you attempt to go, the harder it'll be to control the vehicle.

Some versions or styles of the truck camper may not have as much space for you to use for storage or sleeping. This can affect your comfort levels on long road trips, so you might consider looking at class C motorhomes if you require extra space.

What Is the Cost of a Truck Camper?

These campers can come in many styles and configurations, so their cost reflects that. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from around $5,000 to $60,000 for a truck camper, depending on the layout and design you select. Beyond that, you'll need to pay to maintain your truck camper and outfit it with necessary items like bedding and kitchen supplies.

How to Know if a Truck Camper Is for You

A truck camper will be a good fit if you want a smaller space that still comes with the essential storage and living quarters you need on a road trip. Those who want the flexibility of boondocking and being able to attach and detach the camper when necessary may prefer this kind of RV. If you can't decide between a truck camper and other kinds of RVs, it may help to consider your lifestyle and how large of a space you and your loved ones need on your adventures.

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