RV Classifications

In Truck Camper

In Truck Camper


In The Truck Camper


The “In Truck Camper” or “Slide-In Camper” does not fit in either the Drivable or towable type of RV. It is a unit that literally slides into the back of a pickup truck. Because it fits onto a pickup truck, this set up is great for those who love to fish or hunt. Depending on the weight of the camper and type of truck you have, you might even have a little capacity left to tow a small trailer behind you.

Scaled Down To Size

The bigger ones have many of the same amenities you would find in other bigger RVs, just scaled down to a smaller size. We have even started to see some of the newer ones come with slideouts!!! They can also be taken out of the truck at a campsite and mounted on stands so you can leave it at the campsite as you drive around. This will save you gas as now your truck will be lighter.

No Registration Fees?

Another bonus to owning this type of RV is that most states still classify these as cargo so there would be no registration fees. Make sure you check with your home state to find out if yours is one of them.

Insurance on these units is also much cheaper than the other types of RV’s. The big thing to remember when insuring this type of set-up (or any type of set-up) is not to be overweight. In other words, do not exceed your vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating or more commonly known as GVWR. If you exceed the GVWR and you are in an accident, you could possibly void your vehicle’s insurance. If you are unsure of what GVWR is check out our RV Terminology page.

One thing to keep in mind is as the campers get larger and add slide-outs, this means added weight. Most people who have campers of this type add some kind of suspension modifications whether it be some kind of spring helpers or even air bags.

That being said make sure you know the weight of the camper and the capacity of your truck. Once you have matched them properly the possibilities of where you can go with this set up are almost unlimited.

Nothing To Hook Up

Another great feature is when you are leaving one campground and heading to another, there is no hooking or unhooking to do unless of course you are pulling some toys behind you. When you are leaving an area with almost any travel trailer or fifth wheel there are certain hook-up procedures to be done.

Lets talk maintenance. One cool feature of the in bed truck camper is there is very little maintenance to be done. There are no tires to be changed, no bearings to be greased, and no brakes to be changed. All you will need to do is maintain your truck as you would have to anyway.

No Hotel Room Needed

Also, if you needed to put your truck into the shop for a few days you could drop your camper at a campground while your truck is being repaired or upgrades are being made. This is a huge plus if you are a full-time RVer or even someone who goes out on extended trips. After all, breakdowns happen. If you owned a motorized unit you would either need to rent a hotel room or sleep in the mechanic’s building parking lot.

Where Will You Store It?

If you are not a full-timer and still own a home, do you have a place to store a large motorhome or towable? Most neighborhoods have laws against storing large RVs at your house so now you would need to pay for storage. Storage which is expensive. Ask me how I know. With an in truck camper they are small enough to fit within most property boundaries so as not to break any local laws so you can store it in your own backyard.

So far we have painted a pretty bright picture of the in truck camper. Like everything else in life there are always some negative things to every subject. The in truck camper is no exception.

A Little Challenging

While this is a great vehicle for weekend or extended weekend excursions, it may be a little small for full-time RVers. Although most full-time RVers are pretty good at downsizing and keeping things to a minimum, this would be a huge challenge as there is very little storage.

Another huge downfall of this set-up is that the bed is over the cab. That means climbing up into bed each night. This could be a little challenging if you are older or have any kind of physical disabilities. For those with back or knee issues this can be extremely difficult.

Pros

  • Great off-road capabilities
  • Because your camper is in the bed of your truck, you are able to tow cool toys like jet skis, ATV’s or motorcycle trailers
  • Easy to store when not using
  • Cheaper to insure
  • You can still camp while your truck is at a repair shop negating the need for a hotel room
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • Minimum storage
  • The bed is over the cab making it difficult to access for older or disabled people
  • Small living area

Final Thoughts

Slide in truck campers have come a long way in recent years. They have almost if not all the amenities of larger RVs, just scaled down to size. They are even coming with slide outs making them a little more roomy. These types of RVs are great for anyone who loves to go off road and spend some time “off the grid” with nature.

They are easy to manuever and even someone who might be afraid to tow a travel trailer or fifth wheel or even drive a motorhome would probably have no problems driving this type of RV around. If you can drive a pick up truck you can probably drive a slide in camper.

Not For Us

We have considered this type of RV for us but ultimately decided against it. The main reason is we are full-timers and although we don’t have a lot of stuff we have more than this could carry. We also tend to stay in places for longer amounts of time and like the extra room our travel trailer gives us.

We are also getting older and the thought of climbing into and out of bed every night is not appealing to us.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever camped in this type of RV before? How did it work for you? Let us know in the comments below.




10 thoughts on “In Truck Camper

  1. Hello,  Thank you so very much for this amazing review of truck campers.  Personally I love camping and have always done that with tents. When we are not camping and we go fishing away from home, we wind up paying a lot of money for a Hotel. Now that I have read your article, I realized I should look into a truck camper so I can go fishing away from home, off-road, and eliminate the need for a hotel at the same time!!! Thanks. 

    1. Joy- We are glad we opened you up to the idea of combining fishing & camping while not paying for a hotel. After the initial expense of the camper (hopefully you already have the truck) and maybe some mods to a truck, you won’t have to lay out too much more money. Let the savings & fun begin!!!… Dennis

  2. Hello there and thanks for the review. It was really helpful and informative I must say. A truck camper seems like a unit that anyone who wishes to go on a long-distance journey should install in their truck. This unit cancels out expenses of lodging in a hotel and offers more storage space than an ordinary truck can offer.

    1. Philebur- You are right. If you travel a lot this can be a great set up. Because these units are self-contained you travel using your own shower and bathroom while sleeping on your own bed. If you are like me, that’s a big deal, especially in whats going on in the world today. Besides that, you can park on any scenic road (or off-road) (that’s legal to do so) and enjoy a peaceful night’s rest with an awesome view!!!… Dennis

  3. Hello there, thank you so much for this very detailed and informative post on the “in truck camper” and I must say this could be exactly what I have been looking for.  Seeing that summer is almost here and I already have plans of going camping with my family, I certainly will be needing some type of camper and I will definitely check this type out. This type of set up seems like a great way to get out camping on a budget.

    1. Jomata- This is a great way to get you and your family out camping. If you already have a truck to put the camper in and find yourself a used “in-truck” camper, it could save you a lot of money in vacations over the long run. Some of the new ones are starting to creep up there in price as they add more options. Also, I don’t know how many people will be camping with you as this type of camper does not sleep very many. What you could do is also bring a tent and some of you can sleep in the camper and some in the tent… Dennis

  4. Wow! this is actually my first time seeing something like this, and your description and explanation about it, I think it isn’t bad at all for a normal couple’s date. I will inquire if my country allows it so I can use it during my honey moon.

    Thanks for sharing this with me, my wife will love this idea!

    1. Chimmhogevagreenesnr- I am not sure what country you are in but most countries allow at least some form of camping. This type of set up will allow you to go to places you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to get to with other types of campers. Camping and traveling is an awesome way to spend your honeymoon!!!… Dennis

  5. Hey, nice article you have there. This is indeed an awesome initiative for those who travel a long distance to combat fatigue. With the in truck camper, you don’t need to spend money to get a hotel/motel, all you need is to get into your camper and you are good. One unique feature I admire most in the truck is its ability for the camper to be dropped in any place you think it’s safe for you.

    1. edahnewton1-  Not only can you save on the hotel/motel fees, but you can also find a nice scenic trail by a lake and spend the night there. In the morning you can make yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy it while sitting at the lake. You can’t do that in most hotels/motels!!! The ability to remove the camper from the truck is a great feature and easy to do… Dennis

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