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