For those already in possession of a modest four wheel drive truck, small truck campers could be the perfect platform to explore and investigate those scenic and rare camps that those with larger rigs will never get to. The go anywhere, spontaneous, nature of a package such as this, affords the owner greater avenues and choices than most other types of recreational vehicles that are available. In this article we are covering the small truck camper characterized by its hard sides whether fiberglass or aluminum, and offering full stand-up height. We will be saving pop up truck campers, and ultra-light campers for a future post.
With a small truck camper, any terrain is fair game to explore and possibly camp in. These are truly the most versatile packages on the market. Many now own adequate pickup trucks to serve as the perfect stage for carrying one of these rigs. There are many models to choose from, from those that will fit a short bed pickup, to larger units designed for long beds. As the nature of this site is geared towards small RVs, we definitely include even the larger truck campers in this category, as their overall footprint matches our criteria of small rv’s.
Small Truck Campers, and the Trucks That Carry Them
The footprint of a camper rides completely within the confines of a pickup truck. Larger models will overhang in the rear, usually from one to three feet in the largest of truck campers. Bear in mind that these large truck campers will require a dually truck, those with duel rear wheels, to safely transport and accommodate one of these larger models. The front of the camper will oftentimes overhang the driving cab of the truck. The larger models can overhang quite a bit, somewhat obscuring the front view. Very small models will ride to the edge of the cab and stop.
Inside small truck campers, one is still greeted with all the comforts of home on the road. Though the floor must conform to the bed of a pickup truck, spacious floor plans can still be had. In the case of the larger models, manufacturers will build a basement over the wheel wells further extending the width of the base floor. Freshwater and waste-water holding tanks will be built in this basement affording greater storage within the rig. Smaller models will need to accommodate these tanks within cabinets, dinettes and so on, taking away from the available storage space. Bedrooms in the smaller models can be cramped, especially with regards to ceiling height, while the larger models can be very spacious. Of course, no truck camper will offer full stand up bedrooms.
Slideouts Expanding The Interior “View”
A recent trend is the inclusion of one or more slide outs. These greatly add to the interior space, blurring the line between small truck campers, somewhat approaching the comfort and feel of a class C motorhome. A bonus of a four wheel drive truck as a carrying platform is the greater versatility as to the terrain that one can navigate in. Bear in mind that the camper can be removed from the truck when arriving at camp by virtue of the camper jacks. Higher and coaches will feature automatic electric jacks, allowing easy leveling and removal of even the largest of the truck campers.
A small truck camper has a definite appeal to those who desire to visit the wildest, most remote spaces available to camp in. If you already own a truck of sufficient strength and power, you are halfway there to owning a new versatile recreational vehicle. For those fortunate enough to also have four wheel drive, you will be in possession of a four wheel drive motorhome. Truck campers run the gamut from Spartan, compact units, to full blown luxury coaches rivaling their class C motorhome cousins, providing features that will appeal to those who want the ability to travel those magical back roads. If you find you are one who dreams of pristine campsites only accessible by long gravel and dirt roads, do yourself a favor and investigate the world of small truck campers.