In North America the term Truck Camper is generally used to refer to any recreational vehicle that is designed to be carried in the bed of a pickup truck. This RV type is sometimes known as a slide-in or cab-over. Like everything else in the RV world – there are loads of differences between the lover end units and the higher end ones.

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On the lower end the units will generally have sleeping space, some sitting areas, a cooking stove and cold food storage. As you move up in price and size, the sleeping areas, sitting areas and overall storage areas increase dramatically. Some basic ones I have seen, even had a neighbor that owned one years ago, have collapsible top allowing you to lower it during transport and storage but raise it when parked for more head room and total space. Large units might also have a slide out on one or both sides allowing for more total usable space when at the camp grounds.

Truck Campers will have legs or supports that can be lowered to the ground to allow the unit to be removed from the truck’s bed. Depending on some situations, the legs might also be lowered at the camp ground to help level the unit or support the weight when side slide outs are used.

Truck Campers are generically considered a step up from pop-ups, sort of from the pop-ps and on par with to a smaller bumper towed travel travel trailer. As the name implies, you will need a truck to haul these around. There are really small ones for compact trucks but most require a /2 ton or 3/4 ton pick up. Regardless be sure to check your vehicle’s Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) be insure you are not overloading it.

There are distinct advantages to a Truck Camper. A top reason is that you greater ease getting into and out of campgrounds and parks. You do have to very alert to the height of the over all unit, but other then that issue, you can basically go and park anywhere you would with your truck. In cases where you have to back in to a parking area, it is 10 times easier then a trailer of any kind. Another advantage, the more wheels on the road, the more wheels that can go flat or need replacing. Also, the truck camper will not require additional license plates. I am unsure of the insurance costs. Storing a truck camper can also be easier as being much smaller then most travel trailers, it is easier to find a spot at your house or cheaper to rent a space at a u-store-it, based on size.

A draw back is that compared to even the smallest towables, there is less overall space including sleeping space. Plus once at the campground, it still goes with you everywhere. If yo are taking the truck to the store – the camper goes along for the ride. So other people remaining at the camp ground will loose access to the cooking and refrigerator and any items they have stowed such as clothes, hiking gear or fishing equipment. Unless you brought an additional tent, they also loose shelter from any weather.

Typical Truck Camper images:

A unit with an lifted top for more space when at the camp ground.

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Courtesy S. Ward – Lonely highways and byways