Truck Camping: The Practical RV

While big rigs grab attention, there is another RV. Truck campers sit in the back of a truck and come in a variety of sizes with many floor plans. A truck camper can provide many of the same amenities of a Class A or Class B rig. Campers don't require a special license and are available for a low price. If you have spent your life camping in a cold tent, a truck camper will make you feel like heaven!

So what can you expect in a truck camper? Truck campers offer a variety of options including slide outs, pop tops, extended cabs and outdoor kitchens. Most offer little bathroom facilities along with a kitchenette and two sleeping areas. If you are a cold weather camper, brands like Lance or Silver Fox, specialize in units with extra insulation along with upgraded heating and cooling.

Truck campers, while small, are not always inexpensive. New units can cost up to $75,000 with the average being around $30,000. The good news is there are thousands of used units in every state waiting to be yours at significant savings As with any RV, you must do your research before buying a truck camper. Certain brands, styles and years will stand out from others.

You will need to decide if you want a camper built from a metal or a wood frame, as well as answer other questions like:

  • Will you want slide outs?

  • What is the best length and height for your current truck?

  • Will you need a new truck?

  • What type of insulation package will suit your camping style?

  • Do you want an aluminum or fiberglass shell?

  • What is the weight of the truck camper? Can your truck haul this weight safely?

  • Want to build your own? Truck camper kits and plans are available online.

Here are a few important features to consider when buying your first truck camper.

Affordability. In most cases, you are buying a truck camper because it is an economical RV option. Be sure to compare the new and used price with other RV choices. You want to make sure you are getting the biggest bang for the buck.

The Right Size. Truck campers come in many weights and sizes. Make sure the unit you decide to buy will work with the vehicle you plan to place it on. If you are new to this process, ask a few people for their opinion. Don’t just trust the dealer. Do your homework before you sign any purchase contract.

Detachable camping unit. One of the best features of a truck camper is that they detach from your truck. You can then use your vehicle with or without the RV. Detachable options will vary from unit to unit so take some time to find the right one for your lifestyle.

Floor Plan. Believe it or not, truck campers offer a ton of floor plans. These include cab over sleepers, pop up roof extensions and dining room slide outs. Each option provides additional living space, along with overall weight.

Amenities. If you decide to buy a used rig, be sure that the facilities are all fully functional. Check the bathroom, kitchen, heating and cooling systems to make sure they are operational and in good working order. Take time now to discover how easy it is to get replacements. At some point, you will need to have your rig repaired, and it's best to know what you are getting into before that day arrives.

Insulation. If you plan to camp in the winter, your truck camper will need to have a larger BTU furnace to keep you warm. You will also want to look for double glazed windows, high-level insulation, and heated water tanks to avoid freezing. If you hunt or fish in the cold, these features are necessary to enjoy your stay.

Owning a truck camper will change your life forever. Take a moment at look to glance at the online listings. Read some truck camper forums. In no time, you will be ready to buy your first RV and hit the road!

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