Why invest in a million-dollar motorhome when you can manage with a truck bed camper? Just let your adventurous side decide for you.
Traveling on RV or full-time RV living is pretty standard these days. However, not many people want to invest in a large motorhome or a mighty camper trailer, mostly because it is likely to stand idle in a storage area when they are not camping.
Instead, they choose a more compact yet adventurous way to get the gist of a home away from home, but only to accommodate the necessities.
Truck bed campers are perfect for weekend warriors and camping enthusiasts. However, not everyone wants to invest in a new truck worth thousands of dollars when they already own one.
If you are one of such people and have one heavy-duty truck, all you need to invest in is a truck bed camper.
I understand, it gets overwhelming to choose among hundreds of options available in the market. Thus, I have formulated a list of 10 best truck bed campers to make the selection easier.
10 Best Truck Bed Campers
Off-road trucks come in numerous styles and designs. There is no “one size fits all” truck or camper. Every design is unique and sports different features. Here is a list of ten best truck bed campers, I like.
This specific camper bed truck is ideal for almost everything you may need, whether you want to go on a long route or a wonderful destination. It’s a luxurious truck bed camper that comes with a whopping price tag of $340,000.
Adventure XT Truck comes with a camper bed 26 feet long, 7 ½ feet wide and a total height of 11 feet. It’s body is made up of a molded fiberglass composite.
This particular camper bed sports a very spacious interior while providing all the amenities.
You get a small kitchen area with an induction cooktop, refrigerator, sink, and microwave oven.
Across from that is a small dining area, called dinette, that converts into an extra sleeping area.
The leading sleeping area houses in the cab-over and fits a king-sized bed. There is an enclosed wet bath with a sink, toilet, and shower area.
Moreover, there is an optional mini washing machine in the rear along with a small entry. It allows access to the camper directly from the vehicle’s cab.
The camper bed comes with a 20-kilowatt hour battery bank, which gets power from an 850-watt solar array mounted on the roof. The freshwater tank comes with a capacity of 90 gallons, while the diesel fuel tank can hold up to 100 gallons.
Tischer Trail Box 260S comes from a German-based manufacturer. The truck bed camper can easily fit on either vehicle type, single cab or double cab and comes at a price of $36,993.
Tischer Trail/ Box comes with an aluminum body that is 20 feet long and seven feet wide. The internal height is 6 ½ feet allowing enough headroom for an average person.
When it comes to the floor area, there is a centrally located u-shaped dinette, a refrigerator on one side, and a small kitchen on the other side.
The cab-over has a room for a queen-sized bed. You can set it up in various ways as you deem fit, i.e., front to back or side to side.
Opposite to the side door entrance is an enclosed wet bath. It includes a fold-up sink and a swiveling toilet, thus providing more room to move around.
The high-quality plastic sliding doors are water-resistant and allow free access to the cabin. Many windows and skylights provide sufficient natural light, thus creating an impression of a much spacious area.
Freshwater supply with a 96-liter tank and pressure pump is a luxury. Moreover, the camper sports a 45-liter waste water storage as an underfloor tank.
This unique design is made for flat-bed trucks instead of the traditional pickup trucks. The design allows the owner to use the vehicle for numerous purposes with an additional tent-on-top option.
PCOR 3/4 canopies plug straight into your truck’s central locking, so you don’t need to go through the hassle of any extra steps to secure your off-road setup.
Moreover, you get a 1000-watt inverter, two 160AH batteries, and extra storage drawer areas, and your home on wheels are ready to set off.
The camper bed comes in a powder-coated aluminum body that has a large cabin on both sides. You can customize setup according to your needs, with options like a slide-out kitchen, a mini-fridge, and a rooftop mounted tent.
It comes standard with LED lighting throughout, a 100-watt solar panel, and a 135-amp power battery. Moreover, you get a massive 1,150-liter storage area.
Lance 1062 is a beast of a camper. It comes for $55,140 and lies between an affordable and a high price range.
Lance 1062 comes with a height of nine feet, length of 20 feet, and a width of eight feet, and features a dry weight of 3600 pounds. I would recommend you to haul it on a dual rear wheel truck.
As for the interior, the two slide-out sections on opposite sides increase the living space significantly. This area includes a dinette with bench seating and a small kitchenette with a three burner cooking range, microwave oven, and a six cubic foot refrigerator.
The cab-over area is lush with a queen-sized bed, an entertainment system, and a closet with mirrored doors. While there’s sufficient sleeping space for two, if there are four people, you can convert dinette into bed or sleeper.
The camper includes a dry bath and a toilet, sink, and a private stand up shower. The floor is almost 11 feet long while the overall length is 20 feet.
Lance 1062 sports a 20,000 BTU furnace. It weighs dry at 3613 pounds, while the wet weight can reach up to 4073 pounds.
Other features include
- 45-gallon fresh water tank
- 27-gallon grey tank
- Black tank with 22 gallon capacity
- You’ll get a propane tank with 2 to 5 gallons as well
This full-size triple slide-out camper can fit all the features of a home while still on wheels. Host Everest ranges from $65.995 to $75,000.
With a width of eight feet and a length of over 19 feet, this camper weighs dry at 3800 pounds. This massive camper is made for dually.
Now, what is a dually? It’s a heavy-duty truck that has dual rear tires for added support, capacity, and endurance.
First up is the inviting entrance, thanks to the interior that is extremely luxed with three large slide outs. The side entry floor plan has a rear slide-out, which contains the couch and a wardrobe.
The other two slide-outs are on each side of the camper. One side houses the dinette that can seat up to four people, and the other side has a kitchenette.
The camper includes a bathroom with a separate full-size standup shower. The cab-over provides the main sleeping area with four layout options for a queen or a king-sized bed.
Host Everest weighs dry at 3890 pounds (1 slide). The floor is 136 inches long.
The freshwater tanks can hold up to 65 gallons, gray water tank; 51 gallons, and the black water can store upto 32 gallons.
Other features include:
- 25000 BTU Furnace
- LPG capacity of 15 gallons.
Northstar Laredo SC is a perfect choice for couples and families alike. It costs $26,245.
It makes a perfect camper for a half-ton to ¾ ton pickup truck with a 6 ½ to eight-foot bed, due to its weight and size. It measures at 16 feet in length, seven feet in width with a dry weight of 2100 pounds.
Northstar Laredo SC includes a kitchenette with a triple burner cooktop, a microwave, and a three-way fridge.
On the other side, there is a convertible dinette with bench seating. You can convert into an extra bed whenever you need it.
On the backside, near the entrance, is a fully enclosed wet bath. The extended cab-over area includes a queen-sized bed, a TV, and extra storage on both sides. The size of the cab-over bed is 60 X80 inches.
Other features include the fresh water tank capacity of 41 gallons, grey tank volumes 13 gallons, and the black tank has a capacity of 5 gallons.
The all-black painted exterior of the Travel Lite RV Super Lite is as simple as it gets. The interior, on the other hand, is a pleasant surprise with all the modern amenities. It comes for $17,905.
State of the art kitchenette includes a stovetop cooker with two-burner knob, sink, two cubic foot fridge, air conditioning, and microwave. It includes a dinette and couch that converts to extra sleepers when need be.
The cab-over includes a queen-sized bed. Currently, the company offers Travel Lite RV Super Lite in seven layouts for half-ton pickups.
The super lite is around 10 to 12 ½ feet long, with an initial dry weight of 1100 pounds.
When it comes to frame, instead of using a sturdy and robust metal for the frame, Travel Lite RV opts for robust wooden construction.
According to them, the wood offers the best solution for durability, strength, and ease of repair, all the while providing the customer with a lightweight build at an affordable price.
Although it doesn’t look like traditional caper beds, this camper bed from Outback slides onto the truck seamlessly and has the option to use it as a standalone unit. This 100% Australian made camper bed comes at an affordable price of $20,262.
Outback Campers single cab tray topper is made of a lightweight pressed aluminum body designed to work perfectly for reduced wind drag while driving.
It sports a pop-up design. The roof opens up at an angle, to reveal a queen-sized bed or sleeper, while a panel on the rear folds down to create a raised floor for additional space.
Below the bed, you will find plenty of storage space as well as a slide-out kitchen with two burners stove and a refrigerator. In addition to that, you can extend an awning from the side.
Moreover, you have the tent option, which you can attach to increase the space of the living area.
The robust design, low center of gravity, and lightweight of 1100 pounds make it the perfect choice for the extreme off-road adventure. The recessed doors serve perfection against dust protection.
Outback offers a separate vented gas compartment with 2X 4.5 kg gas bottles and a large open storage area on the driver’s side. Sliding out clothing draws in the tent area adds to the storage options.
Other features include:
- 50 liters’ water tank with lockable filler and water gauge
- Removable sink with 12V water pump and faucet
- Two gas bayonets at the kitchen.
Also, you get a 50 amp Anderson plug on the front for the vehicle or solar charging as well.
The Cirrus 820 is a hard-side, short bed cab-over by Ohio-based NuCamp.
With a dry weight of 2500 pounds and 17 feet length, Cirrus 820 supports an all-aluminum framework with an aluminum and fiberglass shell.
The interior is spacious, with a lengthy kitchenette and 3-way, five cubic feet fridge along one side while the opposite side houses a booth-style dinette.
The entrance somehow conceals a wholly enclosed wet bath with a fold-up sink and a wall-mounted showerhead. The cab-over has a 3 ½ feet of headroom with a space for the queen-sized mattress. There are several large windows all around, including a skylight above the bed.
The body is eight feet, two inches long with the bed area of 60 X 80 inches. The camper bed includes an air conditioner with 9200 BTU.
Other features include a freshwater tank with a capacity of 38 gallons, gray water tank capacity of 32 gallons, while the black water tank can hold up to 18 gallons.
Making it at number tenth on my list of best truck bed campers is the German-based camp crown Stealth DC. It costs around $27,550.
It is a pop-up design where the rooftop raises at an angle towards the front to provide extra space for living. When lowered, it provides a safe and cost-efficient driving experience.
The nine feet long and 8 ½ feet ceiling provides sufficient headroom for an average person.
The living room includes a sink, hideaway toilet, a u-shaped dinette, which is convertible to extra bedding, and a twin bedding in the cab-over. The bed size is 875 X 1880mm.
When you remove it from the pickup truck, its total height is 1650 mm. It weighs 500 kg without the additional weight of water, diesel, or other support equipment.
Few Tips for Buying and Maintenance
Truck campers are often known as slide-in campers as well. These are the camper beds that mostly fit on the bed of the truck. Even if some of it sticks out a bit from the side, it is completely secured on the bed, which means there is no need to tow it individually.
The camper bed acts as a part of the truck. You don’t have to haul or tow a trailer behind your truck, but it’s still a lot of weight on its bed.
Many campers consider camper beds as an economical and easy to use option. However, there are certain factors to consider when you decide on investing in one.
For your convenience, I have come up with few tips on buying and maintaining the camper beds.
The most important thing to consider while buying a camper bed is your truck size. Now there are two main factors you must keep in mind.
Your truck bed
Usually, camper beds are manufactured for either long bed or short bed trucks. However, some companies offer few models that can fit on long-bed trucks and short bed trucks.
Your truck’s weight capacity
The second important factor to consider is your truck’s weight capacity. Please do not confuse it with the towing capacity. Both are entirely different things. You can find your truck’s weight limit from the truck’s manual or the sticker on the driver’s door.
Trucks come in various weight categories, such as one ton, ½ ton, or ¾ ton. You can choose a light-duty truck if you are going for a lite camper. However, for hard wall campers, you must opt for a heavy-duty, one-ton truck.
In the US, many cities don’t allow you to park your camper beds in front of your house.
However, you may park on your driveway. With no space or restrictions, you are left with two options. Either store your camper bed in your backyard or arrange a proper storage area for it.
Since you invested thousands of dollars on a camper bed, you want it to be safely stored when not in use. I would recommend you to keep a storage plan in your mind before you pick one.
If you can store it inside a garage or any other enclosed space, there is a strong chance your camper bed would be safe. You are thus preventing any additional maintenance charges in the future.
I would recommend you to keep your camper bed off the ground. It would increase the camper’s life and cut down on insect or rodent issues as well.
You can also place it on a concrete pad or driveway to ensure its better condition, eventually saving your money and time from any extra maintenance or repair.
Outdoor Camper Storage
You can explore an RV storage facility for your camper bed as well. I have just a few tips to help you decide there as well.
Try to look for one with concrete parking pads. The concrete pad works like a dehumidifier, thus capturing all the moisture in the air. And ultimate prolonging your camper bed’s life.
There are some facilities with glass or dirt parking pads as well. These pads are not very effective against the humidity and may retain the moisture in the air. You are thus exposing your camper’s undercarriage to speed up the rusting process.
In addition to that, look for a covered facility or unit. It is to ensure your camper bed is safe from the hardships of extreme weather. Be it rain, extreme heat, cold, snow, gale, or much more.
Lastly, if you neither have a proper storage facility nor want to spend on an RV storage facility, I recommend you at least cover your camper with a tarp securely. It may help save your camper bed from direct elements to some extent.
Gas or Diesel
Another critical factor to consider is the choice between a diesel or gas-fueled truck. If you already own or are planning to invest in a truck, you must know the merits and demerits of both engines.
A diesel engine, although expensive, offers economy in the longer run. The torque output is high; thus, the performance of your truck’s engine will be exemplary. There will be no to very less strain on the vehicle’s engine.
Gasoline, on the other end, is an affordable option. The fuel and the engine both cost less. Gasoline engines are also highly capable of carrying and pulling massive weights. So the choice entirely depends on your preference.
Just keep the much-needed compatibility of your truck and the camper bed in mind while you pick one.
Storage Space or Living Area
You know you can’t expect the luxuries of a motorhome in your camper bed. Although with modern furnishing and numerous techniques, manufacturers are offering state of the art facilities there as well. Though the area is small.
Now, designers are coming up with numerous designs that offer more storage options. However, bear that in mind, with more storage options, there may be less living space.
Some people prefer living space over storage options, considering it’s not for full time living. Every camper bed is different from its counterparts. Some are designed for more storage options, while others for living areas and some for both may be.
So, consider your requirements before you pick one.
Truck camper beds come with various features. However, just like any other vehicle, or even an apartment, these amenities differ from brand to brand.
Some come with comparatively better features than others. Keep in mind, the more the features, the bigger the price tag.
Similarly, with more features, the size and weight of the camper bed increases. Thus requires a bigger truck and more fuel to take it from one place to another.
Just like RVs, you can use camper beds throughout the year. Some of these are specially made for the winter season or dessert camping.
You can choose to extend your awnings on a bright summer day or stay put in the camper on extremely cold winter days.
But bear in mind, with extreme weather there are some restrictions, and you must study your requirements before you make a purchase.
Camper beds with slide-outs are a revolutionary addition to the old way these campers worked. You get a lot of additional space for living. Storage and various amenities.
A truck camper with slide-outs adds to the pocket, but it’s worth it if you can afford one. It significantly increases the comfort level and living space.
Some manufacturers offer as many as three slide-outs, such as the Host Everest from my list above.
Although slide-outs increase the space considerably, they add to the total weight on your truck as well. Every slide-out may weigh up to 300 pounds each, requiring a bigger truck. Not to mention the limitations to reach several destinations too.
Although with proper, secure storage, you can ensure very less maintenance cost. However, there is always some work you need to do on a unit that moves on the road.
Keep your truck camper safe from rusting, tarnishing, or wearing off with regular cleaning. It also helps in preventing any infestation if a camper stays in storage for a more extended period.
Several items like the corner jacks, slide outs, and awnings need regular, routine-based maintenance to keep them in the perfect working condition.
These are some important factors for buyers to consider when deciding which camper will be right for them.
I hope my list of ten best truck bed campers helps you decide the one you want for yourself. Don’t forget to check out the tips for buying and maintaining your truck campers.
There are multiple options available in the market, offering fundamental requirements to advanced storage options, spacious living areas, and many other features.
Weigh your requirements and your budget well before you make a final purchase.