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Key Takeaways

  • Truck campers can have a living area, kitchen, bathroom, beds, and storage areas.
  • There are 3 basic types of truck campers - cabover, slide-in, and pop-up.
  • The size of the truck camper you can get depends on the size truck you have.
  • The larger camper you have, the more amenities you can fit inside it.

When deciding what type of recreational vehicle you want to get, truck bed campers may be an ideal choice for you. Let’s look at what’s inside a truck camper.

A truck camper can have anything you need. A smaller popup camper may only have a bed, a small kitchen, and some storage space. Larger slide-in campers will have a bed, a kitchen, and a bathroom. For the most space and all the amenities, a cabover camper will give you the maximum in comfort.

As someone who doesn’t have the budget for a full recreational vehicle, the truck bed camper is perfect. I have been in the market for a pickup camper for some time, so let me share the knowledge I have gained from dealers and reputable websites.



What Are Truck Bed Campers

A truck bed camper is a camper that fits over the bed of pickup trucks. There are different types of truck campers to choose from, and the different types don’t always offer the same amenities. They are perfect for people who want to live the RV lifestyle on a budget.

What Are Pop-Up Truck Campers

A pop-up truck camper fits on the bed of a truck. These types of campers are usually more affordable than the other options. When you get to the campsite, you simply expand the pop-up top for the camper that is already attached to the truck bed

When the pickup truck is moving, the pop-up camper is rolled down for better gas mileage. The flattened top also makes it easier to get through drive-throughs and other places with restricted height clearances.

What Are Slide-In Truck Campers

A slide-in camper slides into the bed of a truck. These have hard aluminum siding. Slide-in campers have more room than a pop-up camper, so they can have more features than a pop-up.

Slide-in campers can have full kitchens, bathrooms, beds, and a seating area. You can even get slide-ins that have expandable sides for more seating area, an extra bed, or extra storage.

What Are Cabover Campers

A cabover camper is the largest truck bed camper you can get. It also is a slide-on camper, but it has an extra portion that goes over the truck’s cab. This section is usually the sleeping space of the camper.

This kind of truck camper leaves more room for other things by putting the bed over the cab. A cabover camper can have extra beds or an office in addition to the kitchen, bathroom, and sitting area.

What Is Inside a Truck Camper

Are There Bathrooms in Truck Campers

One of the main concerns, when people are traveling, is the ability to use the bathroom in privacy. While many people assume that pickup campers don’t have a toilet and shower, this is simply not true.

Most campers like cab-over and slide-in campers have a bathroom. Some will have a wet bathroom and some have a dry bathroom. May pop-up truck campers at least have an outdoor shower setup.

  • Wet Bath - This type of bath has a sink, a toilet, and a shower head all in one room. There is running water in this bathroom. They make for a great space saver.
  • Dry Bath - This type of bath is set up like a home bath. The shower is in a cubicle separate from the toilet and sink. This type of bathroom usually takes up more space.

In a dry bath, the type of toilet will depend on the space available. Some are a toilet you can flush into a compartment that can be drained, while some toilets have to be removed and emptied.

Are There Kitchens in Truck Campers

Many truck campers will have some type of kitchen. The size of the kitchen depends on the size of your truck bed camper. A pop-up truck camper will have the smallest kitchen while a slide-in truck camper will have the largest.

A smaller camper will have a small sink, a small refrigerator, and limited counter space. A larger slide-in camper will have a larger refrigerator, more counters, a sink, and even a separate freezer compartment.

The size of the camper will also determine if the only seating space you have is the table, or if you have an additional couch or chairs.

How Much Living Space Is in a Truck Camper

The amount of living space in your camper will depend on the type of camper you get. If you are like me and only have you and your spouse, it isn’t as big of a concern; however, if you are looking for a truck camper to use with a large family, space becomes very important.

A small pop-up camper will only have a small area of about 104 square feet of living space. A larger RV like a cabover with slide-out compartments can have about 248 square feet.

This may not sound like a lot, but when you realize that pickup campers are made to be as space-saving as possible, you will see that everything you need will fit right in. Also, if you are interested in truck campers, most of your time will probably be spent in the great outdoors.

How Much Storage Space in a Truck Camper

Just like with the other amenities, the amount of storage space will depend on the size of the pickup camper. This is also affected by how many people you will need to sleep in the truck camper interior.

Truck camper manufacturers know how important storage is when you are living out of a truck. Some pickup campers have storage underneath the camper - between the bed of the truck and the camper floor. Some have overhead storage, too.

If you have a camper with 2 beds, but you only have one or two people sleeping in it, then the extra bed can be used for storage. If you think you will need a lot of space for storage, it is better to go with a larger pickup camper.

What Kind of Truck Do You Need for a Truck Camper

The last thing we will discuss is what kind of truck will you need for your new truck camper. The type of vehicle you have will have an impact on the size and type of camper you can purchase.

While there may be factors that are specific to you and your vehicle, here is a breakdown of what types of trucks can carry what types of pickup campers. This is just a rough guide, your owner's manual will tell you the exact weight capacity of your truck.

  • A lightweight pop-up camper can fit in any truck. Your smaller economical trucks are perfect for this type of camper.
  • Smaller cabover campers can be used for a regular half-ton truck like the Titan, Tundra, or F-150.
  • For larger cabover campers,  a one-ton truck like the F-350 or the GMC 3500 is needed.

Another thing to consider is the size of the truck bed. Shorter truck beds have to carry shorter truck campers while trucks with long beds can carry longer campers.