Rig Roundup: 6 Truck Campers for Every Type of Traveler

Jun 8, 2022 | Rigs

Rig Roundup: 6 Truck Campers for Every Type of Traveler

Modern designs, off-grid capabilities, and simplicity make truck campers appealing to new generations of campers.

By Kerri Cox

Photo courtesy of LOKI Basecamp

If you want all the fun of RVing without having a whole new rig to tow or drive, a truck camper may be for you. According to the RV Industry Association, only 3 percent of RVers own a truck camper; however, interest in this unique camping option is growing. Several manufacturers produce truck campers for every demographic, from the off-grid overlander to the retiree seeking creature comforts.

Due to the limited amount of interior space, truck campers generally appeal to people traveling solo or as a couple, and who don’t plan to spend extended amounts of time in their RV. However, with the proper expectations and floor plan, almost anyone can enjoy a truck camper. 

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Important Features to Look for in a Truck Camper

Hard-Side vs. Pop-Up Truck Campers

Truck campers come in two main styles: hard-side and pop-up. Hard-side campers are rigid structures, in which the fully formed camper is placed on top of your truck at its full height. As the name implies, pop-up campers are placed into a condensed form while traveling and then popped up for camping.

There are pros and cons to each style. Hard-side campers require less setup and have easy access. They’re built with sturdy construction, which means you’ll have better insulation and less noise. More features can be packed inside. 

Pop-up truck campers are easier to handle while driving, thanks to their low profile and low center of gravity. Many off-roaders also prefer this style since it can fit into tighter spaces. Additionally, pop-up campers are preferable for small pickups due to their light weight.

Matching a Camper to Your Truck

When matching a camper to your truck, you need to consider the camper’s weight and length. Your vehicle has a payload capacity, which is the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) minus the curb weight. To find your curb weight, load up your truck with all the normal operating fluids and gear and have it professionally weighed. 

Next, you need to find out how much weight you can devote to passengers, cargo, and a truck camper. Be realistic about figuring in the weight of all passengers (including pets) and all cargo that will ride in the truck. Once you do that math, you know how much weight remains for a truck camper—and remember you’re likely to carry some gear in it too.

Finally, consider your truck bed length and other dimensions. Truck campers can fit varying setups, from short beds to long beds. When purchasing a truck camper, it’s important to have accurate measurements of your truck bed’s length, height, and width.

Interior Amenities

Like motorhomes and travel trailers, truck campers come in various floor plans and vary greatly in amenities. You might be surprised to learn truck campers can even have slide-outs. Some units have bathrooms, while others don’t. In units with bathrooms, some will have wet baths while others separate the toilet and shower.  

Truck Campers We Love

While there are fewer manufacturers producing truck campers than motorhomes or travel trailers, you can still find a wide range of styles, floor plans, and amenities. Here are a few truck campers to consider:

Interior of Lance 1172 truck camper
Photo courtesy of Lance

Lance 1172

A long-time winner in RV Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards, Lance has earned a reputation for quality. Lance offers nine hard-side truck camper floor plans, with the 1172 model being the largest. If you plan to take the whole family along, this unit is for you. It offers a bed, convertible dinette, and a couch, along with a kitchen and dry bath—almost everything you might find in a traditional tow-behind trailer.

SPECS
UVW 4,318
Exterior Length 20 feet, 4 inches
Exterior Height 9 feet
Fresh Water Tanl 42 gallons
Black Tank 35 gallons
MSRP $68,615
Floor plan of Lance 1172 truck camper
Photo courtesy of Lance

FEATURES AND OPTIONS WE LOVE:

If you’re traveling with little ones, add the optional fold-down bunk above the dinette. It has a soft-side enclosure to prevent falls.

More information on this slide-in truck camper can be found here.


Interior of scout YOHO camper
Photo courtesy of Scout

Scout YOHO

Scout campers are designed for the outdoor adventurer who isn’t afraid to go off the beaten path. The simple, modular styling takes cues from the overlanding community. Built to be sustainable and energy-efficient, these campers can take you off the grid thanks to the solar panels and gravity-fed water systems. 

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Scout offers three models. The YOHO model is the smallest and is described as “a backpack for your truck.” 

SPECS
UVW 884 pounds
Exterior Length 10 feet, 1 inch
Exterior Height 6 feet, 6 inches
Fresh Water Tank 4.9 gallons
Black Tank N/A
Gray Tank N/A
MSRP $21,980
Floor plan of YOHO camper
Photo courtesy of Scout

FEATURES AND OPTIONS WE LOVE:

While the YOHO doesn’t have a dedicated kitchen or bath, you can add upgrades like a portable toilet, indoor/outdoor cooktop, and a fridge/freezer combination.

More information on this lightweight truck camper can be found here.


Interior dry bath of Artic Fox 992
The dry bath in the Arctic Fox 992. | Photo courtesy of Arctic Fox

Arctic Fox 992

With six models of hard-side campers, Arctic Fox is another leading manufacturer of truck campers. The 992 falls within the mid-sized range of the Arctic Fox lineup and features a slide-out dinette, dry bath, kitchenette, and queen-sized bed. 

SPECS
UVM 3,235 pounds
Exterior Length 17 feet, 10 inches
Exterior Height 10 feet
Fresh Water Tank 46 gallons
Black Tank 37 gallons
Gray Tank 37 gallons
MSRP $35,901
Floor plan of Arctic Fox truck camper
Photo courtesy of Arctic Fox

FEATURES AND OPTIONS WE LOVE:

Arctic Fox is known for its four-season construction, with well-insulated walls and enclosed, heated holding tanks. 

More information on this slide-in truck camper can be found here.


Interior of NuCamp Cirrus
Photo courtesy of nuCamp

nuCamp Cirrus 620

If light, bright, and airy are what you desire in a truck camper, the nuCamp Cirrus might be for you. White decor, a stargazing window, and plentiful lighting make the Cirrus a standout. 

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nuCamp sells two hard-side units: the Cirrus 620 and 820. The 620 is built for half-ton trucks and weighs less than 1,500 pounds. Tucked inside, you’ll find a queen-sized bed, versatile lounge area, and a basic kitchenette, but no dedicated bathroom.

SPECS
UVW 1,493 pounds
Exterior Length 12 feet, 8 inches
Exterior Height 8 feet, 2 inches
Fresh Water Tank 17 gallons
Black Tank 5 gallons
Gray Tank 12 gallons
MSRP Starting at $44,225

FEATURES AND OPTIONS WE LOVE:

The Cirrus 620 uses a suitcase-style cassette toilet. Once it’s full, simply pull it out of the camper and roll it to the dump station.

More information on this lightweight truck camper can be found here.


A woman and dog sitting in the back of a large black truck camper at sunrise
Photo courtesy of LOKI Basecamp

LOKI Basecamp Falcon

LOKI is making a name for itself in the overlanding community. Named for the Millennial Falcon from Star Wars, the Falcon looks like no other truck camper, with an ebony-black, modular, future-forward design. The innovation continues inside, with multi-functional spaces and furnishings that allow you to make the most of a small space. The black interior and dark hardwoods are a departure from traditional RV decor. 

SPECS
UVW 3,000 pounds
Exterior Length 14 feet, 8 inches
Exterior Height 8 feet, 2 inches
Fresh Water Tank 30 gallons
Black Tank Portable toilet
Gray Tank 20 gallons
MSRP Starting at $135,000
Floor plan of LOKI Basecamp Falcon 8 truck camper
Photo courtesy of LOKI Basecamp

FEATURES AND OPTIONS WE LOVE:

The Falcon 8 is outfitted for extreme off-road, off-grid adventures. The 360-watt solar system has a 600-amp hour lithium battery bank and a 2,000-watt inverter and charger. 

More information on this truck camper can be found here.


Interior of Palomino Rogue EB-2 truck camper
Photo courtesy of Palomino

Palomino Rogue EB-2

Palomino manufactures hard-side and pop-up campers. The Rogue line has a unique pop-up design, resembling the soft-side lift tops found on campervans and Class Bs. One end of the roof lifts to add enough headroom for standing. The EB-2 is designed to fit on compact trucks and features a queen-sized bed, dinette, and kitchenette.

SPECS
UVW 1,224 pounds
Exterior Length 12 feet, 2 inches
Exterior Height 7 feet, 2 inches
Fresh Water Tank 8 gallons
Black Tank N/A
Gray Tank N/A
MSRP $22,183
Floor plan of Palomino Rogue EB-2 truck camper
Photo courtesy of Palomino

FEATURES AND OPTIONS WE LOVE:

Upgrade to the Badlands package for a roof rack, 100-watt solar panel, and second battery tray.

More information on this slide-in truck camper can be found here.

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Kerri Cox

Kerri is a teacher and freelance writer. The decision to buy a travel trailer (christened Birdy) in 2015 changed her life for the better. You can follow her journeys at Travels with Birdy. She lives in Missouri with her husband and teenage sons.

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