Do you love camping but since you only have a small pick up truck, you just make do with a tent when you reach your camping destination?
Tents are fine but we all know how mighty uncomfortable they get at night when you just really want to rest after a rigorous day outdoors. You’re stuck with an air mattress which doesn’t offer much support to your tired body and is very uncomfortable to sleep on.
Or when the weather turns bad, you don’t have a decent shelter so you have to pack up everything and leave.
I bet you’ve been wondering if there’s a better way to go camping, right? One where you can enjoy freedom, adventure, comfort, and convenience while you’re miles away from home? Well there is!
You can elevate your camping experience by getting yourself a small truck camper to go with your small pick up truck! Yup, no need to get a bigger vehicle for you to enjoy camping in a recreational vehicle!
Read on to find out more about small truck campers and how they can help you have a safer and more comfortable camping experience.
What are the Best Small Truck Bed Campers?
Without much further ado, here’s a quick look at the best small truck campers available in market today:
- Lance 650S
- NorthStar Popup Camper 600SS
- NuCamp Cirrus 820
- Northwood Arctic Fox Camper 811
- GFC Platform Camper XL
- Capri Campers Cowboy Model
And here are our reviews about these small truck bed campers so you’ll know what makes them standout in the market.
The Lance 650S has been specifically designed to fit a 1/2 ton pickup truck. This lightweight camper features aluminum frame construction, one piece PVC roof, Azdel interior walls, and block foam insulation.
For the sleeping area, it has a deluxe queen mattress with pillow top and bedspread to guarantee a restful night. There are LED reading lights on the cabover and the bed base is carpeted to give it a plush look.
It’s great that it has it’s own toilet on board so you don’t have to use public restrooms. It also has a tankless water heater. To maximize space, the wash station is located outside.
Included in the standard package are a refrigerator, furnace, propane tank, sink with faucet, and a 2-burner cooktop. The Lance 650S has everything you need for a comfortable camping trip.
Key Specs and Features:
- Floor Length 6’10”
- Overall Length 15’6”
- Exterior Width 86”
- Interior Height 81”
- Wet Weight w/Std. Equipment 1903 Lbs.
- Fresh Tank 22 Gal
- Grey Tank 15 Gal
- Black Tank 16 Gal
- Sleeping Capacity 3
- Refrigerator 3 Cu. Ft.
- Furnace 18M
NorthStar Popup Camper 600SS
Key Specs and Features:
- Base Dry Weight: 1,258 lbs
- Interior Height – Open: 6’11”
- Exterior Width: 6’5″
- Overall Length: 12′ 2″
- Floor Length: 6’3″
- Cabover Bed Size: 56″x74″
- Dinette Bed Size: 32″x73″
- Fresh Water Capacity: 17 Gal
- 20 lb laydown LPG tank
- Auto ignition furnace w/ digital thermostat
NuCamp Cirrus 820
The NuCamp Cirrus 820 is a truck camper with hard walls and no slide outs. It will fit a 3/4 ton truck comfortably. To keep it stable when you reach your camping destination, you can use its electric jacks that can be controlled with a remote.
This small truck camper is good to use for all seasons. Its standard package includes a 210 watt solar kit so you can take it for off grid camping. It also features a 1200 watt inverter, Rieco Titan electric jacks with remote, Alde® heat/hot water, HDTV dish for your TV, a microwave oven.
The NuCamp Cirrus 820 has a spacious sleeping area and a wet bath with fold down sink to ensure your comfort on the road. There are cabinets to offer storage space for your travel stuff.
For your options, you can add the Lagun table so you’ll have a place to eat and work. You can also add a rear awning to use the space outside to chill and enjoy the outdoor environment.
Key Specs and Features:
- Overall Length: 209″
- Overall Width: 99″
- Overall Height: 116″
- Bed Size: 60″ x 78″
- 2nd Sleeping Area: 37″ x 69″
- Fresh Water Tank: 33 gals
- Gray Water Tank: 32 gal
- Black Water Tank: 18 gal
- Gross Weight (Wet): 3,272 lbs
- 210-Watt Solar Kit
- Mach 8 Air Conditioning
- Alde® Heat/Hot Water
Northwood Arctic Fox Camper 811
The Northwood Artic Fox Camper 811 is a compact and lightweight truck camper. It can fit mid size pickup trucks and can accommodate 3 people inside.
This truck camper is constructed using fully welded, thick-wall aluminum frame, one piece fiberglass roof, and polyurethane walls. It is a four season camper, meaning you can use it any time of the year. It has foam block insulation to help regulate the temperature inside the camper. It also comes with a furnace, water heater, and a multi-speed reversible vent fan to keep you comfortable in any weather.
It comes with a wet bath which consists of a full shower and foot pedal porcelain toilet. The sleeping area features a queen mattress with bedspread which is so inviting to rest and sleep. There are lots of cabinets for your storage space.
The kitchen is complete for your cooking needs. It has a one piece countertop and dinette, microwave, 3-burner range, and a fridge. You can cook your favorite meals with ease. There’s also a pantry to store your ingredients.
For your entertainment needs, this truck camper comes with AM/FM/CD/DVD player with Bluetooth, speakers, TV antenna, and there are USB charging ports on both sides of bed. To maximize the space, it has a rear electric awning with LED Lights and an exterior shower.
The Northwood Artic Fox Camper 811 has been designed with your comfort and convenience in mind.
Key Specs and Features:
- Dry Weight: 2873
- Interior Height: 6’7″
- Floor Length: 9’0″
- Fresh Water Capacity (w/water heater, approx. gal.): 50
- Gray Water Tank (approx. gallons): 38
- Black Water Tank (approx. gallons): 23
- LPG Capacity (approx. lbs): 60
- Sleeping Capacity: 4
- Exterior Shower
- 20K BTU Auto Ignition Furnace w/Digital Thermostat
- Full Kitchen
GoFastCampers The GFC XL Platform Camper
We love that Go Fast Campers invites us to go camping with just the treehouse above our truck bed. The base camper comes with a pop up roof, hard side panels, and a mattress. You can add windows and doors too.
It’s as basic as it gets but of course you can fill it with stuff that you need. The truck bed itself can be used to carry your travel gears such as bikes and kayaks. The main idea is for you to explore the outdoors and still have a comfortable place to spend the night.
The base camper includes the following:
- Pop Top Camper Assembly
- Operable Hard Side panels
- Your choice of base color options
- Installation Kit designed specifically for your vehicle
- 2007-Current Toyota Tundra: All models except for 8′ bed
- 2009-Current Ford F-150: 5.5′ and 6.5′ beds
- 1999-Current Ford Superduty (250 & 350): All models except for 8′ bed.
- 2003-Current RAM Trucks: 5.5′ and 6.5′ beds
- 1999-Current Chevy/GMC 1500-3500: All models except for 8′ bedsBEDS.
- 2003-CURRENT NISSAN TITAN: 5′ AND 6′ BEDS
Capri Campers Cowboy Model
We’re loving the Capri Campers Cowboy Model because the base model alone is impressive already. And yet you still have options to upgrade your truck camper to make it suit your adventure style.
Buyers can choose the exterior color and striping scheme as well as the wood grain panels inside their Capri Campers Cowboy Model. There’s a 48” X 80” bed with heavy foam mattress to ensure a comfortable sleep and 3 camper windows so you can marvel at the view and at the same time, let some light and air in. There are also blackout shades for your privacy and to protect you from the glare of the sun. There are 3 overhead cabinets for your storage solutions.
For your power needs, there are multiple interior 110v outlets, single 12v & dual USB port charging station, and dual exterior 110v outlets. To ensure your safety, this truck camper has a fire extinguisher on board as well as a smoke alarm and a combination of LP & CO alarm.
As for the upgrades, you can choose to have your own toilet and bath, a roof mount, an A/C unit, and a complete kitchen among others.
Key Specs and Features:
- Length In Truck Bed: 72″
- Width Above Bed Rails: 84″
- Standing Height: 5′
- Dry Weight Base: 740 lbs.
- 48” X 80” bed with heavy foam mattress
- Three overhead cabinets & hardware
There you have it – the 6 best small truck campers of 2021! These small truck campers prove to us that you can expect great things in small packages.
What Are Small Truck Campers?
Short truck campers are portable RV that can be loaded and unloaded from the bed of a short bed truck. They have been designed to fit 5′ to 6′ truck beds or 1/2 ton pick up trucks.
Because of their compact size, small truck campers fit inside the box of small pick up trucks with ease which is great for those moments when you just want to go camping on impulse. These small trucks have lower payload capacity and shorter beds but it’s okay because these campers have been specifically designed to fit them just right. Small truck campers come in at less than 2,500 lbs so they are perfect for light duty small pick up trucks.
Small truck campers can be thrown at the bed of your pick up truck so that you can be ready for your camping trip. These are probably the smallest RVs out there. In fact, they’re so small that most states do not even consider them as RVs but as cargoes instead.
How to Choose the Best Lightweight Truck Bed Campers
We understand that choosing the best small truck camper for your camping adventures isn’t that easy. There are many factors you have to consider. So, here’s our buyer’s guide to help you decide which one will suit your needs and preferences perfectly.
Slide-In Short Bed Camper or Popup Short Bed Camper
Which one will you get – a slide in short bed camper or a popup short bed camper? Here’s how they are different from each other and their specific advantages.
A slide-in short bed camper has a fixed roof and it has hard walls. As such, it offers better insulation. It is able to regulate the temperature inside the camper so that you can stay snug and comfortable no matter what the weather is outside. It also provides better sound isolation. You won’t be bothered that much by outside noises.
A slide-in short bed camper has more floor plan options so you can choose how you can maximize your space and which amenities you want to have. You can also enjoy more extra features and interior storage with this kind of small truck camper to make your trip more comfortable and convenient.
A popup short bed camper has a foldable roof that can be retracted when it is not in use. This kind of camper can have soft or hard walls depending on the model.
Popup campers can fit almost all small pick up trucks. They are more lightweight and offer better fuel economy since they are easier to tow. Pop up campers are also known for their extreme off-roading capabilities. You have more freedom to choose your next adventure. These are also offered at a lower price than the slide in short bed campers.
Size & Weight
Each truck has a maximum towing capacity. Its box or truck bed can only accommodate up to a certain limit so that it won’t be strained during travel.
You have to take into consideration your vehicle’s size and total payload capacity since it is what you’re going to use to tow your camper. Check the maximum weight that it can carry and see if the camper that you’re interested in falls within its limit. Make sure you know the size of your truck bed so that you’ll know which camper can fit inside.
Family or Camping Group Size
Do you like camping by yourself or with your partner? Or do you want to take your kids or friends with you? You need to take this into consideration so that you can choose a camper with adequate sleeping and living space for the number of people who will be using it.
Bathroom & Toilet Style
Are you okay with having to use the public restrooms or are you the type of person who wants to have your own toilet and shower when camping?
Yes, there are small truck campers that offer these amenities! But of course, this will cost you extra bucks. It will also take up space within the camper and will add to the weight of your camper. But if you’re after the comfort and convenience, then it’ll be worth it.
Kitchen & Arrangement
A kitchen is an important feature. It is where you will cook your food while camping. Do you want a kitchen that has a stove and a dinette? You have that option when you choose your small truck camper. Just look for a layout or floor plan that suits you r kitchen needs.
Small truck campers are great to have for those spontaneous camping adventures. You can take your travel stuff and gears and be on your way to your next destination.
There are great choices of small truck campers in the market. This will definitely elevate your camping experience as you will have the best of both worlds – enjoy the outdoors and creature comforts and even some luxury along the way!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the lightest weight truck camper?
Each year, RV manufacturers try to come up with the best campers in the smallest size possible. Especially nowadays that downsizing is in. As of this writing, the lightest weight truck camper is Scout Camper’s Yoho.
The Scout Yoho camper has a base weight of 958 pounds. It is hailed as the lightest hard-sided pickup camper in the industry today. It can sleep up to 4 people with a bed and a convertible lounge for sleeping space. It also has a sink and has a floor length of 69 ¾” and an interior height of 75″.
This lightweight small truck camper can be a self-contained RV when you upgrade it to have a toilet, cooktop, and a fire place. You can also put a fridge or freezer and an awning to maximize the space outside.
What size camper fits a short bed truck?
As mentioned earlier, small truck campers have been designed to fit short bed trucks. Short truck campers have a weight of less than 2,500 lbs and can fit 1/2 ton pick up trucks or those with truck beds with a length of 5 feet to 6 feet.
Are truck campers worth it?
Let’s be honest here. Truck campers will give you comfort, safety, and convenience while camping. But you will be limited when it comes to space. It would depend on your specific travel needs to determine if truck campers are worth it for you.
But here are the main advantages of truck campers for your consideration.
You can go to more places. You won’t be limited when it comes to places where you can camp. You can go boondocking in a rustic place and still have everything you need. There are truck campers that offer complete amenities for your home away from home.
They are more manageable to drive. They also don’t take up too much parking space when you’re out on the road.
Truck campers are easy to store when you’re not using them. They can fit perfectly in your garage or driveway.
They are also less expensive to maintain. You don’t have to pay for registration fees in most states. They also have very low insurance rates. They also have a great depreciation value so you can get a terrific deal when you decide to sell it.