We know everyone aspires to own an RV but, in the end, we can’t all afford to own and run an RV, can we?
Yet, many of us do own a truck and the joy of truck campers is that it turns the truck bed we own into an RV-like experience for much less money than buying an RV.
So, we’ve been out and tested a bunch of truck campers to come up with our picks for the best truck campers of the year.
If you want to see the world but you can’t afford your own RV just yet, a truck bed camper may come in very handy, indeed.
Truck Camper Lance 650
One of the most popular brands on the market when it comes to truck campers is Lance Camper.
They’ve been innovating in this arena for years and it shows when you buy something like the Lance 650 truck bed camper.
It’s super affordable and built from very lightweight materials.
This is probably the ideal start for most people looking to buy a truck camper because it’s very spacious inside.
Your family will love it. Just be careful when driving – weight distribution is really important.
Phoenix Mini Max
A confusing name for an excellent bespoke truck camper van option.
The Phoenix Min Max is not cheap but it will be perfectly tailored to your pickup truck and that’s probably worth a few extra pennies on the asking price, right?
The build quality throughout is excellent too. We can highly recommend this if you have the budget for it.
Seeking a little luxury? Then a Cirrus 820 could be the truck camper that you’ve been looking for.
The bathroom is amazing in this model and we like the bedroom too which feels big enough to relax in, when compared to some smaller (but more affordable) models.
The big window is a nice touch too and you can always get a great view of the world outside your door.
North Star 12STC
This is a luxury model and surprisingly, there’s no single slide-outs in the design.
This is a very well-designed lightweight shell and we really found it easy to drive with this on the bed of your truck as it doesn’t have a high center of gravity as you might expect it to.
We wish it had a wet bath, but a dry bath is just fine to be fair.
It’s also very useful and may be the best truck camper if you’re a bit taller than average because there’s plenty of headroom inside.
Four Wheel Camper Hawk
If you want a pop up truck camper that can handle anything the wild world can throw at it – the Four Wheel Truck Camper Hawk is a very hardy beast.
Despite its ruggedness, it’s also very light and you may not even notice the weight when you throw it on the back of your truck for the first time, it’s also perfect for a solar panel array installation.
We love the build quality on this truck camper though we wish they’d make the storage space a little more logically laid out.
OK, before we go any further – this is a very premium model and won’t suit every budget.
However, the fiberglass body gives it a superb look and it handles brilliantly.
You will also find that it should last forever – so, if you want something that will be with you for years, the extra cost for this truck bed camper may be worth it.
It also has the best dry bath of any model that we tested and it’s reflected in the shower stall too.
Northern Lite 8-11 EX
The folks at Northern Lite really know how to lay out a truck camper floor plan so that you feel complete at home.
The dry bath is the big differentiating factor, and it is super convenient.
However, we are bit disappointed by the fact that the sink doesn’t always stay dry.
The biggest frustration with this model though is the toilet roll holder, what were they thinking?
Alaskan Campers 8.5FD
You won’t find many of these on the road because they’re not mass produced, a small team in Alaska makes them by hand and yes, they tend to be a little more expensive but you can get a fantastic amount of customization done in return.
Our only qualm with these models is they are a bit heavier than some of the other pickup truck campers on the market but that may or may not be a big deal to you.
Arctic Fox 865
The 865 is gorgeous to look at and we think what Arctic Fox has done with the inside floor plan is quite incredible, this is essentially three separate rooms around a hallway (and you don’t see many of those in a truck camper van) and it’s really well built.
The bathroom is a particular highlight and the wet bath (fiberglass, of course) is a really welcome addition to this model.
Our only minor complaint is that it’s really hard to get onto the roof rack.
We definitely didn’t leave the least to last.
We absolutely love the Capri Retreat which combines old school truck camper chic with modern technology to deliver a custom-built model that is truly outstanding.
In essence, you start with a shell and then they add options and other packages to it as you want them to.
That means you’re always going to have a unique experience with a Capri Retreat truck bed camper and we simply can’t promise that our experience will be the same as yours, but our experience was very positive indeed.
However, we did feel it could have been a bit taller inside – we had to duck down more than we wanted to.
Last Word on Truck Campers
We always recommend that you never buy a truck bed camper until you have had the chance to rent it from Outdoorsy, because you want to use it as it was intended before shelling out the money. This is no exception to that rule.
We hope that you found this guide useful but if you want to broaden your truck camping horizons before you start to decide why not check out our guide to camper vans here or our guide to pop up campers here?
We think they’ll be very useful in your search for the perfect outdoor experience. Good luck with it!
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