Demystifying Truck Campers | RV Small Talk Podcast Episode 189

Truck campers are often misunderstood, which contributes to their niche status within the RV market. Despite this, they are highly cherished by those who own and use them. Today, we aim to demystify truck campers and address some of the most common questions about them.

Celebrities Who Own Truck Campers:

  • Steve McQueen
  • Wilford Brimley
  • Ryan Bingham
  • John Mayer
  • Jason Mamoa

Why Do Truck Campers Cost So Much?

Orange Capri Truck Camper

Truck campers can come with a high price tag due to the intricate engineering, robust construction, and comprehensive range of features. These campers are designed to house all the amenities you’d expect from a larger 25-foot RV, but within a much smaller space that fits on top of a truck. This requires a compact and efficient floorplan that integrates electronics, appliances, and equipment seamlessly. Additionally, truck campers are built to endure rough terrains, making them sturdy and reliable for adventurous travel. Because of the overall attention to detail on truck camper builds, they aren’t mass produced, which also adds to the overall cost.

Are They Difficult to Load and Unload?

Nothern Lite Truck Camper

Loading and unloading a truck camper is just as easy of a process that you’d expect from a travel trailer or fifth wheel. With practice and patience, mastering the loading and unloading of a truck camper becomes second nature. Just like learning to drive a car, initial fears are conquered through experience and repetition. If you are interested in a truck camper, don’t let the fear of loading and unloading be the reason you don’t get into your adventure rig!

Where Can You Use a Truck Camper?

When it comes to camping locations, it’s important to note that some RV parks, especially RV resorts, may not allow truck campers. Before making a reservation, be sure to inform the park that you will be staying in a truck camper to avoid any issues.

Beyond that, the possibilities are endless! The versatility of a truck camper allows you to explore rugged terrain and venture off the beaten path with ease. Many truck campers are equipped with solar panels, lithium batteries, and large freshwater tanks, enabling you to camp in remote locations with confidence and self-sufficiency. Whether you’re heading to national parks, secluded campsites, or boondocking in the wilderness, a truck camper offers the freedom to go almost anywhere.

What Capabilities Are Truck Campers Missing?

Truck Camping in Texas

The biggest missing piece is going to be sleeping spaces…but is it? While it may be challenging to find a truck camper that sleeps 7, it’s not impossible. There are truck campers out there that use every nook and cranny to ensure sleeping arrangements can be comfortably made for larger families. However, most truck campers lean more towards fitting families of 2-4 people. While there may not be loads of dancing room, there are still many different designs that’ll fit each unique need.

Are Truck Campers Safe?

Absolutely! We often hear people fear a truck camper will tip over, or that it will sway going down the road. That, we can confidently say, is not the case. Truck campers are designed to be stable and are no more likely to tipping than a pull behind.

While it’s very unlikely for a truck camper to tip over, it’s not entirely impossible. Incidents usually occur due to improper handling or inadequate tow vehicles. To avoid such situations, ensure your truck is properly equipped to handle the camper’s weight and be mindful of your driving conditions. Although truck campers are built for off-road adventures, it’s important to recognize their limitations, particularly when navigating steep hills or challenging terrains. With the right precautions, truck campers can provide a safe and enjoyable travel experience.

To help support your overall load, there are products you can add on that help stabilize your rig. This includes airbags, tie downs, sway bars, and more.

Are Truck Campers Easy to Steal?

Not at all. The complexities involved in stealing a truck camper make it highly impractical for a quick grab-and-go theft. Most truck campers are equipped with electric or manual jacks, requiring either access to the remote control or the task of manually adjusting each jack one at a time.

Additionally, a concern mentioned at the Texas Truck Camper Rally is that newer trucks can sometimes unlock if the key fob is close enough to the door. So, keep your key fob at a distance from the truck while you’re inside the camper, or consider investing in a Faraday bag to block the signal. These precautions, along with the inherent difficulties of moving a secured truck camper, significantly reduce the likelihood of theft.

Camping in a Truck Camper While It’s Hooked Up to the Truck?

Yes and no, it’ll depend on the manufacturer. However, most allow for camping both on and off the truck. Talk to your dealer for more information!

What You Need to Know When Shopping for a Truck Camper

When shopping for a truck to pair with your truck camper, it’s important to understand the specifications of your vehicle. First, identify the size of your truck bed: is it a long bed, short bed, or extra short bed? Then, you’ll want to be aware of the box length, which will vary based on make and model.

Next, determine the truck’s capacity: is it a half-ton, three-quarter ton, or one-ton truck? This information is vital to ensure your truck can handle the weight of the camper. It’s also important to know the options and packages your truck is equipped with. If you aren’t sure, verify through your dealer.

Lastly, always check the payload capacity of your truck. Even the most powerful and rugged-looking trucks might not have the necessary payload capacity to safely haul a truck camper. Payload capacity is a critical factor to ensure your truck can carry the camper along with passengers and gear without compromising safety and performance.

Do Truck Campers Hold Their Value?

It’ll depend on the truck camper. When you’re looking at mid to top tier truck campers, they will hold their value. Like we mentioned earlier, most truck campers aren’t mass produced so they’ll pass more thorough inspections at the manufacturing plant and will likely last longer.

Our Final Thoughts on Truck Campers

We’ve explored various aspects of truck campers, addressing common questions and misconceptions. Despite their niche status in the RV market, truck campers hold a unique charm and practicality in the industry. At Princess Craft RV, we are thrilled to offer truck campers of all sizes based on your unique needs. Whether you’re a family looking to explore the great outdoors or a couple seeking adventure, we’ve got you covered!

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