Pros and cons of using a truck camper?

truck campers don’t see to be as popular as other RVs and I’m curious why. Many of us already have trucks so it seems like a no brainer to get a big camper instead of buying a trailer or big RV. plus you can tow a boat! thoughts?

I certainly agree! I had a tent and while it was not bad I got tired of the whole set-up/take-down thing. The last time was in February of 2019, I was in north Georgia and it was cold and raining when I had to break camp. That did it for me!

We currently use a roof top tent on our truck, but we were really close to buying a slide in camper. I think they are great and would be way more comfortable than our roof top tent set up, but they are really expensive. The down side of sleeping in your truck, is you have to pack up camp to leave the site in your vehicle. Of course, this isn’t an issue if you are towing a motorcycle or some other form or transit. Your belongings would also be more secure in a slide in truck camper.

It would be nice to leave a pull behind trailer set up and take our vehicle to nearby points of interest, but you limit the type of site you can access when you have to tow in a trailer. We like the roads that start with the “RVs and Trailers not recommended” signs, so towing isn’t a good option for us. We have a small 1969 Honda CT-90 Trail Bike that we use on a hitch carrier. It’s not road legal, but it allows us to zip around forest roads.

I think there are pros/cons to all set ups and it really depends on the style of camping you enjoy and the activities you want to do when you arrive.

We had a truck camper for several years and loved it! It was a fairly large Lance on a Chevy dually. Was awesome to drive, super comfortable to live in and felt really roomy. So nice to pull in to a spot and not have to set up. Even pull off the road to have lunch or just to use the bathroom.

Cons were gas mileage (8 mpg on a good day) and having a third vehicle (commercial registration, insurance, maintenance, etc.) plus we had to pay for storage. Those costs are why we sold it.

@PapaGlenn I’m curious how good the insulation is on those truck campers - since they’re smaller. Ever get too cold or warm?

Ours was a larger one (19’ including the part over the cab). Ventilation was excellent with windows on each side of the bed over the cab plus a large vent above it plus several other windows & vents throughout. We never used the AC (don’t usually camp with hook ups) but camped in some hot weather (100ish highs) and it stayed cooler inside than out during the day and cooled off quickly in the evening.

It had a good insulation package and forced air heat which kept us toasty even when lows hit the low 20s.

The con to truck camper is that you are like a turtle. You have to take your house with you everywhere you go. So, once you set up in your site and then decide to drive to a trailhead or elsewhere, you need to evaluate what you feel comfortable with leaving in the site. A small travel trailer - like a teardrop or something 18 ft. (presume you know how to tow as you mentioned a boat) is easily maneuverable and fits in nearly all the public campgrounds. Then, unhook and away you go.

Advantage to the camper is, like you say, that you can then two something else, provided you haven’t used up all the towing capacity with the weight of the camper, passengers, and stuff in the camper.

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“ The con to truck camper is that you are like a turtle. You have to take your house with you everywhere you go.”

You can offload the camper in your site if you so desire. We didn’t because it wasn’t a big deal to take it with us and we liked having things (like a bathroom) wherever we went.

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