Do you want to go camping, but don’t want a whole travel trailer or fifth wheel? A truck camper might be perfect for you. Truck campers offer many of the features of travel trailers, but you haul them in the back of a pickup truck. If you have a good truck, these small campers offer many benefits over traditional fifth wheels and travel trailers.
Just take a look at the long list of benefits these campers offer:
- No Towing. This one benefit could be the reason you choose a truck camper. It takes away most of the problems you’ll run into with a travel trailer, and can make the entire camping experience much easier.
- More Versatility. Want to go on terrain that you normally couldn’t take a travel trailer on? With truck campers, you can go places that travel trailers wouldn’t make it. Yes, you do have a lot of weight on your pickup truck, but you aren’t towing a big trailer behind you either.
- Easily unattach and drive. Want to take the truck for a spin without all the weight of the camper? Truck campers are a breeze to unhook and re-attach, so if you need to run a few errands, you don’t have to drag the whole rig along. Trailers also have this advantage, but they take a bit more effort to unhitch.
- Better fuel economy. This isn’t a deal-breaker, but it is a nice plus. With a travel trailer, you’re towing thousands of pounds of trailer behind you; this’ll definitely take a hit on your fuel economy. Truck campers are heavy, but nowhere near the weight of travel trailers. Like I said, it’s not a deal-breaker: no rig is going to give you amazing gas mileage. But truck campers are lighter, and that’s a nice plus.
- Cheaper. This is a pretty big one. A nice truck camper is going to cost you much less than a similar travel trailer would. The absence of any towing mechanisms will save you a lot to begin with.
- Good resale value. The truck camper market is smaller than the travel trailer market, so truck campers hold their value comparatively well. If you think you may want to sell your truck camper, check campers from a few model-years back: they generally hold their value well.
- Cheaper maintenance. Again, the absence of towing mechanisms saves you money. Maintenance is cheaper, as there are simply fewer things to repair.
If these benefits sound good to you, then I highly recommend looking at truck campers. To start off, we’ve gathered a few of the most popular brands of truck campers for you. Take a look at their websites, and compare for yourself.
When you’re done, if you want to see every brand of truck camper (there are actually 22 different ones), you can download our truck camper brand list. It lists over 100 different truck campers.
Lance is one of the most popular brands of truck campers. They also make travel trailers and toy haulers, but their truck campers are very popular. Lance offers campers for both short- and long-bed trucks. There are 9 floorplans to choose from:
- 825, 855s, 865 for short-bed trucks, such as the F-150 and 1500 series, Toyota Tundra, and Nissan Titan;
- 850, 995, 975, 1050s, 1052, and 1172 for long-bed trucks, like the F-250, 2500 series, and others.
As you’re looking at a Lance camper, you’ll want to make sure it’s compatible with your truck. Click here to read Lance’s Truck Camper Compatibility Guide.
You can see interior and exterior photos, as well as the floorplan, for each camper by clicking on the links above.
Palomino is another popular brand; they make a wide range of travel trailers. They offer two truck camper categories: the Backpack Edition and the Real-Lite.
Both of these editions come in hard side and soft side options. The soft side option is sort of like a pop-up tent camper: the roof can be raised for living and lowered for driving, making the camper smaller and more aerodynamic. Soft side campers are generally lighter and less expensive than their hard side alternatives.
Hard side campers have several advantages, however: they’re offer much more insulation and protection from the weather, and they have a more home-like feeling, like a traditional travel trailer.
With Palomino, both of their soft side models come standard with the Rieco Titan® Electric Roof Lift. This raises and lowers the roof for you – saving you a lot of time and work. Click here to watch the system in action.
Livin’ Lite makes the Camplite brand of truck campers. Camplite campers are unique because they are made of aluminum and composite materials – they contain no wood. Thus, they aren’t susceptible to moisture damage like campers constructed with wood.
Camplite offers 8 variations of their truck camper:
They’re different sizes to fit different size trucks. On the camper pages, they list the trucks that each camper is made to fit.
The Arctic Fox comes in 8 different floorplans, which you can see here. Some have wet baths, and some dry baths.
The Wolf Creek has 2 floorplan options, both with wet baths.
Adventurer Lp. makes two brands of campers.
Adventurer is the first, offering 8 different models:
- The 80GS, which fits 6ft. and larger short-bed trucks;
- The 910FBS, 116DS, and 910DB for long-bed trucks;
- The 86SBS, 89RB, 86FB, and 80RB, for long- or short-bed trucks.
Eagle Cap is their other brand, with 5 models:
- The 850, for short or long box trucks 6′ or longer
- The 960, for long box trucks
- The 995, for long box trucks
- The 1160, for long box 1-ton dually trucks or larger
- And the 1165, for long box 1-ton dually trucks or larger
Adventurer has a YouTube channel featuring extensive walk-around videos of many of their truck campers. Click here to watch them.
Travel Lite is a trailer manufacturer that makes lightweight travel trailers and truck campers.
Travel Lite offers over 30 different floorplans across their range of truck campers. They currently offer a wide range of hard side models, as well as a few with slide-outs.
First, the hard-side campers:
- The 625 Super Lite is a hard-side camper “for half-ton trucks with any bed size.”
- The 690FD is a camper designed for trucks like the Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado, and Ford Ranger.
- The 690W, 700 Series, 770 Super Lite, and 800 Series are for full-size half-ton pickups.
- The 840SBR is designed for “most Full-Size Heavy-Duty 1/2-Ton Short-Bed trucks and larger.”
- The 890R Series is for full-size 3/4-ton trucks with 8′ beds. The 890SBR is for those 3/4-ton trucks with short beds.
- The 960R, 960RX, and 1100RX Illusion are also for full-size 3/4-ton trucks with 8′ beds.
Now for the hard-side campers with slide-outs:
- The 900SBSL Illusion is for 1-ton trucks with short beds.
- The 1000SLRX is for 1-ton trucks with 8′ beds.
So those are six brands of truck campers along with the models they offer. However, there are many more brands of truck campers. This is just a start.
There are actually at least 22 different brands of truck campers. Normally you have to search the internet to find them all… but we’ve done the hard work for you.
We’ve collected these 22 brands and listed them all out for you. Not only that, but we’ve also listed each model they offer. (It came out to over 100 different models!)
If you’d like to download this list, just click here. If you’re shopping for a truck camper, you should definitely visit each brand’s website and check out the campers they offer. You don’t want to miss the perfect camper.
The list is 4 pages long, and contains over 100 models. You’ll have plenty of truck campers to compare.
So in summary, if you want to experience the joys of camping without the hassle of a large travel trailer, a truck camper is a great option. Truck campers are like travel trailers, and they offer most or all of the amenities that trailers do – but they fit into the back of your pickup truck.
Truck campers have a lot of advantages. They don’t require towing, and they’re more versatile. They’re also quite a bit cheaper than trailers.
All things considered, if you plan on doing a lot of camping and adventure, I think you have to at least consider a truck camper.
So look at the brands above, see which ones interest you, and look for nearby dealers where you can experience them in person. That way, you can get a feel for what it’ll be like to live in a truck camper.
I hope this guide has helped you a ton. I wish you the best of luck in finding the best truck camper for you!