Different Types of Truck Campers

Different Types of Truck Campers

Truck campers are an American institution.  They help people to enjoy the great outdoors in comfort and style.

If you are thing about getting and owning a truck camper, it can be a difficult decision to make.  You first need to understand what the best truck camper for your needs will be.  You need to choose one that matches in with your particular needs, lifestyle and also budget.

With so many truck campers available it is a mine field.   To help you out, a summary list of the most common truck campers is provided below.  Enjoy!

Toppers –  Camper Shell

As its name suggests this is a basic box that mounts to the side wall  of  the truck bed.  You don’t get any options with this style of camper. It will provide basic shelter and a safe place to sleep. It can be built from a variety of materials, ranging from metal frames to wood structure to simple canvas to fiberglass.  They are perfect for couples, or people looking to get away for only a few nights. We know of a lot of people who use these as a way to save money when traveling. As a benefit, depending on the vehicle they are placed on, they can almost go anywhere. If you are using the truck camper for overnight trips then you need to have a bed.  Simple!

Pop up truck campers

Pop up truck campers are perfect if you are traveling long distances and want to minimize weight and wind resistance.  In other words, save fuel! The pop ups are low profile and the roof has to be raised mechanically when camping.  They can be both soft walled or hard walled depending on the design. They are often well priced and make for a versatile option.

Slide In Pick-up truck campers

 This refers to when a camper is placed on the back of a pick-up truck.  The camper slides onto the truck bed for mounting.  The biggest advantage to this type of camper is it can be installed and removed at any time.  Perfect for those who want space or to go anywhere. The only downside is fuel efficiency.  But it’s a worthwhile compromise!

Slide Out Truck Campers

These are truck campers that have moveable walls.  These walls allow the space of the interior to be expanded.  To have a slide out you need to have a sturdy frame design usually metal.  It can be a great option if you have more than two people using the camper as it creates significantly more space.

 Cab Over Truck Campers

 The cab is a feature on many truck campers.  The cab over is a section of the camper that overhang in a cantilever fashion over the pickup truck cab.  This extra space is use as a sleeping bunk.  When the truck is a four door crew cab, oftentime the overhang is extended providing a queen-size bed.

Chassis Mount Campers

A chassis mount sleeper is a camper that is mounted directly to the the truck chassis.  The truck bed is eliminated.  The advantage to this type of camper is additional living space and expanded floor plan.  Unlike the slide-in camper this is a permanent installation. This make the vehicle solely dedicated to camping

Box Camper

The box camper is simply a box mounted to the truck chassis.  Normally these are trucks used for moving and commercial uses.  With the box camper, one will start with an empty space.  From there it can be outfitted to fit the needs of the user.  This camper configuration will not have a cab-over section.  As the name suggests it is simply a box.

In summary, when you see a truck camper you like, you need to quickly assess if it matches your needs. The key questions to ask yourself are:  What is my budget, what are my space requirements, and where will I be going in the truck camper. If you ask these, then finding the right truck camper for your needs becomes a lot easier.

Truck Camper HQ Website moderator. Loves camping and especially love truck campers. If it has to do with a truck camper I want to know about it and share it with others.

3 Comments on “Different Types of Truck Campers

  1. Truck bed camper means one that sits in the pickup bed, which is also known as a ‘slide in’ or ‘cab-over’ camper.

    I cannot think of one camper that doesn’t have a bed (for sleeping). Refrigerators? Ovens? Inside showers? Toilets? Air conditioning/heaters? These are all the upgrades, but a bed is pretty much basic to even the most inexpensive pop-up trailer.

    The difference between a truck bed or slide in and a flat bed mount, is the flat bed mount does not slide in to the pick up bed, and does not have the notched lower sides that fit into a standard pickup bed. The bottom of this camper is flat, and it mounts directly to the flat bed of the truck. Consequently, it is a more permanent mount than the truck bed camper.

    You referred to a slide in as the ones with movable walls. Nope. Those are slide outs.

    Just Google ‘slide in campers’ or ‘flatbed campers’, and you should quickly understand.

    • I really appreciate your comments and take them to heart. You are correct that the slide-in should be slide out instead. I’ve revised the article to correct this error. In regard to the amenities, every camper includes some sort of sleeping area.

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