Truck campers can transform the bed of a truck into a cozy mini RV, offering an efficient way to bring comforts from home along on a road trip adventure without the need for purchasing a trailer or an additional vehicle.
For those who pursue overland exploration in rugged terrain, a truck camper can provide functional living space without sacrificing the off-road capabilities of a truck. Plus, they keep your truck’s hitch-free to tow a trailer or a boat.
Truck campers may not offer the mega-spacious floor plans of a large RV or travel trailer, but their compact utility is hard to beat. In recent years, more and more travelers have discovered the joys of truck campers. Typically, trucks are divided into the categories of ½ ton, ¾ ton, and 1 ton, and the market is now full of excellent options for all truck sizes.
Along with the list, we’ve also included a comprehensive buyer’s guide, where we’ll explain the awesome perks of truck campers, the different types of campers that exist, and some of the many perks of truck camper adventuring. By the end of this article, you’ll have all the information you need to decide if the truck camper life is right for you.
Best Truck Campers of 2021
There are many sizes and styles of truck campers available, and it can be difficult to identify the perfect option for your needs. From roomy to compact and pop-ups to slide-ins, we have compiled this list of the best truck bed campers for sale in 2021.
Four Wheel Campers Hawk
The Four Wheel Campers Hawk is known for its durability. For those seeking a rugged option that will hold up to the demands of rough off-road travel, the Camper Hawk is certainly worth a look.
In addition to being extremely durable, the Hawk is simple and lightweight. Four Wheel Campers specializes in lightweight campers, and the Hawk is among the company’s best creations. This model is not the most luxurious or feature-packed, but it’s a cozy and reliable shelter that has been built to last.
For its overall size, the Hawk has impressive living space and headroom. The interior dinette is spacious enough to share a meal with a friend, and there is a lot of functional storage space built into clever pockets throughout the entire camper. Because there are so many tucked-away storage areas, it will likely take a few trips before users fully understand the layout and can dial in their camping systems.
Above all else, this is a practical truck camper built to prioritize function over luxury. All of the essentials, including high-quality cabinets, reliable electrical, and robust plumbing, are built into the Hawk with careful attention to detail. The exterior will keep the elements out, even in gnarly conditions. This camper comes with several different floor plan options, and a variety of custom internal and external upgrades are also available.
- One-piece aluminum waterproof roof
- Aerodynamic design maximizes fuel efficiency
- When open, the pop-up ceiling creates 6’6″ of headroom
- High-quality construction
- Spacious interior
- Large bed
- Roomy dinette
- Storage system takes a while to figure out
- Placement of the windows could be improved
Lance TC 825
The TC 825 is one of the most popular truck campers made by Lance. At 1,837 pounds, this hard-sided model is quite light relative to the impressive list of features packed inside.
In addition to the queen-size bed over the cab, the Lance TC 825 includes a galley, convertible dinette, and a wet bath. The kitchen space includes a 3-cubic-foot fridge and solid-surface lightweight countertops. Designed to be comfortable in all four seasons, the 825 includes air conditioning and heated shower vents. Overall, this camper is 16 feet 3 inches long with a maximum interior height of 6 feet 5 inches.
Like most campers on this list, the TC 825 is highly customizable, with options for electric awnings, solar panels, stovetops, windows, and much more.
Lance considers this camper to be its lightest four-season rated model. For such a compact and lightweight design, the TC 825 is spacious and open in the interior. Up to four adults and one child can comfortably sleep inside.
- Roomy shower/wet bath
- 30-gallon freshwater tank
- Heated shower vents
- Sleeps up to four adults and one child
- Lightweight relative to its spacious floor plan
- Comfortable in all four seasons
- Highly customizable
- Plenty of interior and exterior storage
- 13-gallon grey water tank is on the smaller side
- Pricey compared to similar options
NuCamp 820 Cirrus
The NuCamp 820 Cirrus is a mid-to large-size hard-sided truck camper. With modern aesthetics both inside and out, the Cirrus has been designed with impressive attention to detail. For those who want to bring all of the comforts of home on the road, the NuCamp 820 Cirrus is one of the best options in 2021.
While various upgrades and add-on features are available, the Cirrus comes with a standard package that is quite luxurious on its own. A/C is included, which is uncommon for truck bed campers. The standard package also includes a microwave oven, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 19-inch TV. A wireless backup camera eliminates blind spots and maximizes safety while on the road and at the campsite.
The Cirrus fits on a ¾ ton truck with a 6.5-inch bed, though trucks with other specs may work too. The maximum interior height of 6.5 feet creates an uncluttered feel. It’s quite a large camper, but the total dry weight leaves room for packing plenty of gear without overloading your vehicle.
The spacious above-cab sleeping area includes a plush, queen-size mattress. Thanks to a 210-Watt solar kit, you’ll be able to keep the camper’s systems running even while off the grid.
Additional accessories and features are available as add-ons, but the NuCamp 820 Cirrus is a handsome trailer that feels just like home, even with the standard package.
- Two burner glass top stove
- Keyless entry
- 3-way refrigerator
- Swing-out TV
- Froli™ sleeping system
- Motion-activated cabinet lights
- Modern styling
- Sleeps four
- Larger than average 33-gallon fresh water and 18-gallon black water tanks
- Interior color scheme has a sterile, industrial vibe
- Limited exterior storage
Hallmark Ute 8.5
Based out of Fort Lupton, Colorado, Hallmark is an RV and camper company that offers a diverse lineup of high-quality, pop-up truck bed campers. The Hallmark Ute is one of the company’s top-selling models. The Ute fits onto both long bed and short bed trucks, and it comes with a five-year structural warranty.
As the name suggests, this model features an 8-foot 5-inch floor plan. Above the truck’s cab, an east-west oriented queen bed sleeps two adults comfortably. There is a spacious kitchen area complete with molded one-piece countertops on the driver’s side of the camper. Across from the kitchen are a 55-inch U-shaped dinette and a wet bath with a toilet, shower, and sink. Large double-wide windows allow you to take in the view while cooking or lounging around.
Standard features include a 4-gallon DSI water heater, a dual battery compartment, a swing-away table, and amber bamboo cabinetry. Additional options can be added upon purchase, including a 200-watt solar system, air conditioning, a side awning, and custom flooring.
With a dry weight of 1,643 pounds, this camper is just about average for a pop-up truck bed camper. When full, the 30-gallon fresh water tank, 12-gallon grey water tank, and 14-gallon blackwater tank will add about 450 pounds.
While driving, this camper has a low profile, keeping your total rig height to a minimum. For overlanding, the Hallmark Ute 8.5 is an excellent choice.
- Progressive Dynamics 45 amp “Mighty Mini” power generator
- Large under bed storage compartment
- Wide-view windows
- Durable construction with long-lasting waterproof composite roof
- All LED interior lighting for efficient energy use
- Unique storage solutions
- Can get cold inside, not ideal for four-season use
Norwood Manufacturing Arctic Fox 811
Built by Northwood Manufacturing, the Arctic Fox 811 is a large truck camper fully stocked with high-quality features and plentiful living space. With a dry weight of 3,473 pounds, the Arctic Fox 811 is a hefty camper that you’ll need a heavy-duty truck to haul. When fully loaded with water and gear, this behemoth will probably weigh over 4,500 pounds.
The 811’s impressive heft comes from its extremely robust construction and numerous features. A walk-on arched ceiling, 2-inch thick insulated walls, a 20,000 BTU propane furnace, and two huge 30-pound propane tanks are just a few of the features that give the Arctic Fox its burly charm.
At a full 9 feet, the floor length of this camper offers plenty of space to stretch out with the whole family. The cabover portion of the camper has an internal height of 4 feet, so you can even sit up comfortably in bed if you want to.
To add to its already impressive list of oversized features, the Arctic Fox 811 also has some of the largest water holding tanks in its class. Fifty gallons of fresh water, 38 gallons of grey, and 23 gallons of black will keep you on the road longer and minimize maintenance stops.
Buyers can add custom options, including thermal plane windows, a 170-watt solar power system, and Torklift’s Fox Landing Step.
- 45-amp Progressive Dynamics converter/charger
- Massive fresh, grey, and black water tanks
- Bathroom includes sink, vanity, and skylight
- Range fan over the stovetop
- Full-wall slide-out panel
- Very roomy in every area of the camper
- Lots of storage
- High-quality solid wood cabinetry
- Large refrigerator and freezer
- Very tall ceiling
- Good value relative to the size
- Very heavy
This sleek and lightweight truck camper was specifically designed to be one of the best small truck campers on the market. Unlike most campers designed for ½ ton trucks, the Wild includes a complete wet bath and a grey water holding tank. With the Bundutec Wild, you don’t have to give up essential features just because you’re riding in a smaller vehicle.
Like all Bundutec campers, the Wild is built with a sturdy wooden frame, handsome aluminum siding, and an aluminum roof. The kitchen and the wet bath are both on the driver’s side, and a refrigerator and full-size dinette line the passenger’s side. This camper is quite compact with a 7-foot floor plan, but thanks to its thoughtful design, it makes a great home away from home for a couple or a small family.
Some other noteworthy features of the standard package are the Thetford cassette toilet and stainless steel basin sink. Bundutec offers lots of custom add-ons, including a 160-watt solar system, a wrap-around awning, and a Truma Combi water heater furnace.
At 1,610 pounds dry, this trailer is light enough to keep your rig nimble even on rough roads and carries a very reasonable price tag compared to its competitors.
- Cassette toilet
- Wet bath with 21-gallon fresh water tank and 11-gallon grey water tank
- Electric roof jacks to open the pop-up
- Memory foam queen-size mattress
- Good value
- Durable construction
- Compatible with most ½ ton trucks
- Not a lot of grey water storage
Bison Overland Space Wrangler
This cabover camper from the young Oklahoma-based company, Bison Overland, has a rugged military-like aesthetic. From top to bottom, this rough and road-ready camper features sturdy welded aluminum construction. Its burly aluminum siding is more than capable of rubbing up against bushes and branches while you roll along on off-road adventures.
The roof of the Space Wrangler is strong enough to stand on. Mounting and removing the camper is simplified by jack mounts built directly into the base of the camper’s frame. With its robust features, this hardcore camper frame prioritizes durability in rough conditions.
The Space Wrangler fulfills its potential with Bison Overland’s optional power management package, which includes a 200-watt solar panel, a 2,000-watt inverter, and a DC-DC alternator charging circuit. Additional options include awnings, Dakota lithium batteries, and a unique “garage” slide-out tray that slides underneath the cabover and is large enough to hold two mountain bikes.
With a floor plan of 8 feet 6 inches, the Space Wrangler is a spacious, durable camper shell that will really shine once it has been fleshed out with custom interior features. Upon ordering this shell, buyers work with Bison Overland to create the perfect hardcore truck camper.
- Welded aluminum frame
- Walk-on roof
- Sturdy construction
- Durable outer siding that shines on tough roads
- Highly customizable
- Simple to mount and remove from a truck bed
- Rugged aesthetic
- Expensive for just a shell
- Side-entry door is small and requires a high step
Phoenix Mini Max
The Phoenix Mini Max is a miniature-size slide-in camper that boasts an elegant design and is loaded with features. With a compact size and a super aerodynamic cabover, the Mini Max may be the stealthiest pop-up truck camper on the market.
No one expects a camper of this size to have a built-in wet bath, but somehow Phoenix has pulled it off. Thanks to a grey water tank located under the subfloor and a compact cassette toilet, the bathroom in the Mini Max is just as comfortable as that of a much larger camper.
The total floor length of this camper is 71 inches, so it can easily fit into a long bed truck with the tailgate up or slide into a short bed truck with just a little overhang in the back. With a total dry weight of 1,180 pounds, the Mini Max is fully compatible with small- to mid-size trucks. With the roof popped up, the maximum interior height is 76 inches. The floor length is 5 feet 8 inches, and the entire camper is 7 feet wide.
The Mini Max is one of the best small campers on the market. It has been designed thoughtfully for maximum efficiency and is constructed from high-quality components. Built for all four seasons, the Mini Max is fully insulated — even in the pop-up. The standard package includes a 100-watt solar panel and a good-size deep cycle battery.
Phoenix is a small camper company that builds all of its campers to order. If you want to buy one, contact Phoenix ahead of time and expect a lead time of at least several months.
- Included 100-watt solar system
- Wet bath with cassette toilet
- Walk-on roof
- Insulated pop-up
- Custom cabinetry made from beetle-kill pine
- Compact, aerodynamic, and stealthy
- Roof is rated to 1,200 pounds of snow loading, even when popped up
- Highly customizable upon purchase
- Long wait time
AT Overland Aterra XL
After years of speculation and excitement, this flatbed truck camper is finally on the market. The Overland Aterra XL is a fully self-contained home base that can handle tough terrain and year-round use.
Designed to accommodate two adults and a pet comfortably, this camper has lots of living space relative to its impressively light 1,100 pounds. The shell of this camper features the “world’s first fiber-reinforced thermoplastic honeycomb composite shell.” It’s durable, light, and well-insulated for all four seasons.
For shorter trips, this camper can easily house a small family or even three adults. In addition to the two interior sleeping spaces, this camper includes a refrigerator, freezer, waterless toilet, shower, and lots of storage space. A powerful fan and air heater ensure comfortable interior conditions in any weather.
The Attera XL is powered by a roof-mounted solar array and a powerful Lithium battery. All around the interior, several 120V and USB outlets are great for appliances or working from the road. Overall, this camper has everything you need to live on the road, drive on rugged terrain, and preserve comfort wherever you go.
- Truma propane Vario Comfort heater
- 400-watt solar array
- Wrappon Trekker waterless toilet
- Inside and outside Sagiv showers
- Super light
- Durable, even in rough conditions
- Built for all four seasons
- Requires flatbed
- Relatively low interior height (6’3″)
Overland Explorer CAMP-X
Canada-based Overland Explorer Vehicles specializes in truck campers that can handle the demands of overlanding. This particular model is a pop-up camper — a rarity in the overlanding world. Because of the exposed fabric walls, many people think pop-up campers are too cold or too fragile to work well in rough conditions. The CAMP-X thoroughly dispels that myth.
Thanks to three layers of burly fabric, the CAMP-X is fully insulated and weather-proof even when it is popped up. This camper has been tested in sub-zero temperatures, and the combination of the fabric insulation and propane heater kept the interior toasty and comfortable all through the night.
The interior of this camper is relatively straightforward. One downside is it does not have a restroom. However, the camper is designed to be compatible with an exterior showerhead and shower tent. Under the dinette, there is a storage space built to house a portable toilet. A tankless water heater is also included.
The camper’s simple kitchen is equipped with a sink and a two-burner propane stove. The CAMP-X comes with a 100 amp-hour AGM battery system, though it is easily upgradable with a bigger battery and a rooftop solar array.
Ultimately, this is a simple, high-quality, and highly customizable truck camper. Though the lack of a bathroom may detract some people, the CAMP-X is all about simple reliability.
- Aerodynamic low-profile design
- Well-insulated three-layer pop-up
- Tankless water heater
- Comfortable in all four seasons
- Easily customizable
- No bathroom
- Low water capacity
Host Campers Mammoth 11’6″
Truck bed campers are not necessarily known for their plentiful storage space and elbow room. In fact, many people prefer the extra space of fifth-wheel trailers or large RVs over the compact profile of truck bed campers. However, some contemporary extra-large truckbed campers are breaking the mold. The Host Campers Mammoth 11’6″ is luxurious, well-made, and incredibly spacious.
Truck bed campers don’t come much bigger than this. Mammoth is a fitting name for this model, as its 180 square feet of living space and overall length of 19 feet 4 inches offer tons of living space. Three large slide-outs turn the interior of this camper into a roomy and comfortable home away from home.
The interior of the Mammoth is packed with high-end amenities and luxurious features. A spacious dry bath includes a porcelain toilet and a large shower. In the gally, a two-door refrigerator/freezer sits next to molded countertops and a four-door pantry. Other noteworthy features include an electric fireplace and a mantel with a 32-inch flat-screen TV. One can also add various options and features upon purchase. The interior of the Mammoth feels more like a fancy suite than a camper.
You’ll need a heavy-duty truck to haul the Mammoth. With a dry weight of 4,700 pounds, this camper will likely weigh over 5,500 pounds when fully loaded. However, if you’ve got what it takes to haul it, the Mammoth will certainly live up to your dreams of on-the-road luxury.
- Two-way, 8-cubic foot refrigerator
- High-end cabinetry
- Leather sofa
- Comfortable and spacious
- Better for lounging than most truck campers
- Well-designed floor plan
- Extremely heavy
Alaskan 8.5FD Truck Camper
Alaskan has been making truck campers since the 1950s. While the contemporary truck camper market is filled with feature-packed models and cutting-edge designs, this tried-and-true camper from Alaskan has remained popular and reliable.
Compared to the many oversized behemoth campers on the road today, the Alaskan 8.5FD is compact and low-profile. Alaskan Campers are handmade by a small team in Winlock, Washington, and a few iconic characteristics define the personality of these campers. First, Alaskan’s patented hard-sided pop-up helps reduce wind drag during travel and prevents a major reduction in gas mileage. Another classic Alaskan trait is its gorgeous and vintage-looking interior. Two leather sofas sit opposite each other, and a dinette table comes down from a ceiling mount to provide a comfortable eating space.
Tall individuals will find that there is not much space to sit up in the cabover sleeping area. There is also no storage space near the bed for clothes, and users will probably need to bring their own luggage for longer trips. We like that a large fan vent sits just above the bed for easy temperature regulation.
Other features of the Alaskan 8.5FD camper include a Nova-Cool 12-volt compressor refrigerator, a tucked-away cassette toilet, 12-volt and USB outlets, hand-crafted cabinetry, and a three-burner propane cooktop.
Alaskan campers have been in production for decades, and their exceptional quality standards have never wavered. Though these campers are not the best choice for everyone, they are perfect for travelers seeking a classic look and hand-made build quality.
- Dual comfortable dinette sofas
- Classic Chris-Craft-style interior
- Included cassette toilet
- The entire camper is well-built and high quality
- Can last for many decades with proper care
- Classy and elegant
- Zero storage in the cabover
- Heavy relative to its size
- Roof-mounted dinette table is tricky to set up
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Truck Camper
Truck campers allow you to camp in style without giving up the nimble off-road qualities of your truck. Unlike trailers, fifth wheels, and oversized coaches, truck campers won’t compromise your off-road capabilities or compact footprint. Plus, they’re straightforward to maintain and super comfortable.
Once you’ve decided the truck camper life is for you, it can be tricky to figure out how to pick the perfect model. As you browse new and used truck campers for sale, it’s wise to be equipped with some understanding of what you’re searching for. In this “how to choose” guide, we’ve provided all of the information you’ll need to make an informed truck camper purchase.
Truck Camper Dry & Wet Weight
The dry weight of a truck camper is the total weight before any of the onboard tank systems are filled with water. Many truck campers include integrated fresh water, grey water, and black water systems. The total dry weight is the weight of the trailer when all of these tanks are empty. When these tanks are full, the trailer’s weight is referred to as wet weight. To calculate wet weight, you should know a single gallon of water weighs about 8.34 pounds. For example, if your truck camper has a total tank capacity of 10 gallons, the wet weight will equal the dry weight plus 83.4 pounds.
Wet Bath vs. Dry Bath
In a truck bed camper, the term “wet bath” refers to an enclosed room in the trailer that houses the shower, toilet, and possibly a sink. In most cases, the toilet is located in the shower area. A dry bath includes a toilet that is separate from the shower. Because most truck campers are compact and must use space efficiently, they do not typically include dry baths.
Space & Storage
A good truck camper will come with enough storage space for you to keep essentials, cookware, and some adventure gear. However, many truck camper users find storing everything and staying organized are the biggest challenges of truck camper life. When shopping for a camper, look for options that have external storage compartments.
Some truck campers have built-in ports that allow you to access the unused space in your truck bed and use it for storage. On the inside, common truck camper storage includes cabinets, the space under the bed, and the area above the dinette. When purchasing your truck camper, you may be able to select custom storage options like roof racks, bike racks, and rear-mounted containers.
Pop-up vs. Hard-Sided
Pop-up truck campers have two modes. While driving, the pop-up portion is fully compressed and locked in place with a series of latches that gives the entire camper a lower profile. When it’s time to camp, opening the pop-up achieves maximum interior space. Some pop-up campers open manually, while others include electric motors that open and compress the pop-up with the click of a button. Though some pop-ups are rated for four-season camping and include insulation in the non-rigid walls, it is generally more difficult to control the temperature inside a pop-up truck camper.
A hard-sided truck camper is fully walled in by rigid walls. Though these campers have a higher profile and are usually less aerodynamic on the road, they are easier to heat and cool and may be a better choice for cold-weather winter camping.
East-West vs. North-South Sleeping
Most truck campers include a full- or queen-size bed that sits over the cab on the truck. If the bed is oriented, so the sleeper lies parallel to the long axis of the truck, the bed is considered “north-south.” If the sleepers lie perpendicular, the bed is “east-west.” East-west is the more common configuration, but some campers allow the sleeper to sleep either way using a bed extension.
Truck Camper Size
When determining which size of truck camper you need, there are two important factors to consider. First, ask yourself how much space you need. If you plan on traveling with a group, you’ll want to have enough space to accommodate everyone comfortably.
Truck campers are usually built to fit into a truck bed with specific dimensions. In many cases, a bit of overhang beyond the tailgate is not an issue as long as the camper does not exceed your truck’s payload. Before you buy a camper, make sure it will be compatible with the truck bed dimensions.
Truck Size & Gross Vehicle Weight
The second factor to consider is the size and maximum payload of your truck. All trucks have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), which is the maximum allowable weight of your truck, including all cargo, gas, and passengers.
The curb weight of a truck is the weight of the truck without any cargo or passengers. The truck’s payload is the GVWR minus the curb weight. You can usually find payload ratings on the inside of the driver’s side door or in the glove box on a payload certification form.
Most truck bed campers require a full-size, heavy-duty truck. These burly vehicles, also known as “one-ton” trucks, have the largest payload ratings and are often equipped with the suspension and brakes that you’ll need to haul your camper.
Typically, trucks are divided into the categories of ½ ton, ¾ ton, and 1 ton, though these terms only give a rough description of the truck’s probable payload. Once you have calculated your truck’s actual payload, you will need to make sure the camper you buy fits within these limits.
Though campers are often marketed with their dry weights, they will weigh much more once loaded down with water, gear, and other cargo—factor all of this in before purchasing a camper to ensure that your truck can safely haul it. For example, if your truck’s maximum payload is 2,000 pounds and your camper’s dry weight is 1,200 pounds, you will only be able to add 800 more pounds to the rig in the form of cargo. Eight hundred pounds really isn’t much once you start adding up the weight of passengers, water, and gear.
While many campers will physically fit onto mid-sized trucks, they are usually too heavy. It is advised to always stay below the GVWR of your truck. In general, full-sized trucks should be used to haul truck campers.
Truck campers vary in price from less than $10,000 for a good used model to well over $50,000 for a new, high-end model. Because the price spectrum is wide, it’s helpful to determine your budget before you begin shopping. Still, remember a well-made truck camper can last a long time so that the initial investment may be worth it in the long term.