A Guide To Truck Campers

My family did not go camping when I was a child. Don't get me wrong. I had great parents but we lived on a dairy farm which meant there was work to do every day of the week so we didn't take vacations, although during slow times my Dad would hurry up with the morning chores so he and my Mom could take us on a day trip somewhere and get my bike on the best truck bike rack he could find online.

I had cousins that camped though. They had a truck camper, and after seeing it I had no desire to go camping. That thing was tiny and cramped! Four people slept in it and they were jammed in there like sardines. To say it was cozy was an understatement. And because the truck they used to take it camping was also their everyday work truck, they had to continually take the camper off and on the truck which was no easy task.

So when people recently told me that some of the newest truck campers are actually quite spacious and easy to load and unload from the truck bed, I was dismissive and disbelieving. After all, a truck camper's floor space is limited by the amount of space in a truck bed and even on large pickup trucks it is not that much space.

But, when I stumbled on a truck camper by Okanagan at a recent RV show, I was stunned. This camper was nothing like the truck camper my cousins had.

Okanagan Truck Camper Exterior View

My husband and I could both move around in it easily without continually bumping into each other.

The banquette style seating area was attractive and spacious.

Okanagan 115TNT Ultimate Suite Camper Dining Area

The kitchen area had stainless steel appliances and a surprising amount of counter space for a truck camper.

Okanagan 115TNT Ultimate Suite Camper Kitchen Area

The interior spaciousness was the result of a dining area slide-out.

To keep things from getting too dark and dreary inside, a common problem with truck campers because there are limited areas to put window, there was a large skylight to let extra light in. For privacy, the skylight had a blind on it.

The bed was queen sized and had an innerspring mattress on. The sleeping area also had a wardrobe, shelving, and even an area for a television.

The kitchen had a stove, microwave, six cubic foot refrigerator and a small freezer.

There was also a Lance truck camper on display and it was nearly as roomy and spacious and also had two slide-outs.

Lance 992 Double Slide-Out Truck Camper

Lance 992 Double Slide-Out Truck Camper Interior

What most impressed me about both these truck campers is how convenient they are to use. They have hydraulic lift systems which makes loading and unloading from the truck bed easy. And when you get to your campsite with your truck camper you can engage the hydraulic lifts to set your truck camper down on the campsite and drive off in the truck to do sightseeing and go off on other adventures. That's pretty convenient.

Another great feature of having a truck camper like these is the ability to tow something behind the truck because the camper itself is on the bed of the truck. So, as long as you stay within the carrying capacity of your truck, you can haul a truck camper and still tow your boat or trailer with ATV's dirt bikes, or snowmobiles. This makes truck campers a great camper for sports enthusiasts. You can load the truck camper on to the bed of your truck, hook up your boat and trailer, and head to your destination. Once you arrive, you unhook the boat, set the truck camper on the ground, then hook the boat and trailer back up to the truck, and you are ready to take the boat to the nearest lake for some relaxing boating and fishing.

Your local truck camper dealer will help you choose the right size and type of camper for your pickup truck. There is a truck camper to fit most pickup trucks.

If you need extra sleeping space in your truck camper, Okanagan has a model that includes an electric fold down tent with a foam mattress bed.

Okanagan 116TNT Ultimate Suite Camper Exterior with Tent Sleeper Folded Down

These are the major American and Canadian Truck Camper Manufacturers:

Lance Truck Campers http://www.lancecamper.com

Okanagan Truck Campers, Manufactured by West Coast Leisure Homes Ltd. Which includes several "Ultimate Suite" models  http://www.okanaganrv.com/

Palomino Truck Campers, Manufacturer of Bronco, Maverick, and Winter Creek Truck Campers http://www.palominorv.com/palomino/site/?page=truckcampers

Northstar Truck Campers, Manufacturers of Both Pop-up and Hardwall Truck Campers http://www.northstarcampers.com/

Arctic Fox Truck Campers by Northwood Manufacturing http://www.northwoodvirginia.com/FoxCamperFloorplans.htm

Outfitter, Manufacturer of Apex and Caribou Truck Campers http://www.outfittermfg.com/home.htm

S&S, Manufacturer of Bitterroot and Ponderosa Truck Campers http://www.s-scamper.com

Alpenlite Truck Campers, Manufactured by Western Recreational Vehicles, Inc. http://www.wrv.com/html/alpenlite_lim_about.html

Host Truck Campers, Manufacturer of the Bachelor, McKinley, Rainier, Tahoe, Yellowstone, and Yukon Models http://www.hostcampers.com/subs/campers.html

Eagle Cap Truck Campers http://eaglecapcampers.com/

Four Wheel, Manufacturer of the Keystone, Grandby, Hawk, Ranger, Eagle, and Falcon Models http://www.fourwheelcampers.com/

Six Pac Truck Campers http://www.six-pac.com/

Hallmark Truck Campers http://www.hallmarkrv.com/controller/home?_load=default

Snow River Truck Campers http://www.snowrivercamper.com/

Snowbird Truck Campers http://www.snowbirdcamper.com/

Bigfoot Truck Campers http://www.bigfootrv.com/campers/index.html

Northern Lite, Manufacturer of the Special Edition, Ten 2000, Classic, and Lite Campers http://www.northern-lite.com/

Prices of truck campers vary widely with the size, model, and amenities chosen. A basic shell camper that can be customized to the owner's preferences can be purchased for around $6,000 but that won't include any interior amenities like a bed, bathroom or kitchen facilities. The owner customizes and adds what amenities they want. A basic truck camper without a slide-out costs around $11,000.   And if someone is looking for a luxury truck camper, the 117DBL model from Okanagan that has 2 slide-outs, a hydraulic lift system, and just about every amenity a person could want for around $46,000.

In addition to hard side truck campers there are pop-up models which are nice because they weigh less and cause less wind resistance than the taller hard side truck campers.

There is a truck camper for nearly every truck and every budget. Don't rule them out as a viable option when looking for your next camper.