If you like to keep your backcountry adventures simple, but sleeping on the ground is getting old, our list of the top 10 best truck campers of 2023 can match you to your perfect new expedition vehicle.
Truck campers are ideal if you enjoy camping off-the-beaten-path, purposely seek remote camping over RV park hookups, and appreciate a fast, easy campsite setup. These types of RVs allow you to make the most of your camping trips, by focusing less on RV logistics and more on experiencing the great outdoors.
Truck Campers Versus Other RVs
If your RV size has ever prevented you from visiting a particular campground, you know that some awesome destinations are just off-limits to trailers and motorhomes. For more rugged adventurers, this aspect alone makes buying a truck camper worth it. This type of RV delivers a different level of accessibility that’s hard to beat.
Designed to snugly fit into the bed of a pickup truck, or bolted to the bed rails as a minimalist “truck topper” camper, these small RVs are compact enough to take you off-grid in the back country, but feature-rich with plenty of comforts,
One of the best truck camper features is their versatility. You can detach the unit from your truck during the off-season, or when you need to utilize your truck bed for hauling and other chores. These are things you can’t do with a camper van.
Do Truck Campers Cost Less Than Other RVs?
The most entry-level, basic truck camper models start around $10,000. You will be hard pressed to find any new ultralightweight travel trailer selling at that price point. Despite the lower cost of a truck camper, you still get to enjoy common RV features like a bed, kitchenette, and occasionally a compact bathroom.
Want more amenities? You’ll find mid-range truck campers equipped with full kitchens, bathrooms, and sometimes slide-outs starting at $25,000 MSRP in 2023. These high-end truck campers have larger bathrooms, premium kitchen appliances, queen-size beds, and high-tech entertainment systems. High-end truck camper manufacturers also built their units with cutting-edge materials for increased durability and lighter overall weights.
Is Truck Camper Maintenance Easier Than Other RV Care?
Whether you own a travel trailer, motorhome, or truck camper, regular RV maintenance is essential to protect your investment. So you will still need to do regular RV chores like roof sealing, appliance maintenance, and spring cleaning. But the nice part about truck camper maintenance is it doesn’t take nearly as long to do these tasks, and costs less money, too.
What’s the Best Pickup for a Truck Camper?
It’s easy to fall in love with the truck camper of your dreams, but how do you know if your truck and that camper are a good match? Many of the best 2023 truck campers are quite heavy, and not suitable for light trucks. The key to awesome truck camper living is making a good match between the camper’s weight and your truck’s payload capacity.
When calculating your truck’s payload capacity, consider the weight of passengers, fuel, and any additional gear you’ll be hauling in addition to the camper’s weight. Always ensure your truck can handle the camper when it’s fully loaded with water, fuel, and supplies.
Buying a new truck for your camper can add a significant cost to your initial investment. Expect to pay anywhere from $30,000 for a basic pickup to well over $75,000 for a higher-end, heavy-duty pickup truck.
The Top 10 Best Truck Campers of 2023
Truck campers deliver the convenience of an RV with the mobility of a car. They’re the perfect choice for travelers who desire more comfort than a tent can offer, and create a compact, cozy home away from home. With lower prices than travel trailers, easier and cheaper maintenance costs, plus better fuel efficiency than other types of RVs, truck campers can be a sensible RV alternative for cost-conscious, outdoorsy travelers.
If all these benefits of a truck camper sound good to you, our list of the Top 10 Best Truck Campers is a good starting place to begin your research.
- Lance Truck Campers
- NuCamp Cirrus
- Adventurer Truck Campers
- Four Wheel Campers
- Northwood Manufacturing Arctic Fox
- Northern Lite
- Rugged Mountain Granite
- Palomino Backpack
- Host Campers Mammoth
Lance Truck Camper
Lance manufacturers 9 truck bed camper models for both short bed and long bed trucks. These are some of the best truck campers you will find. You find truck campers for any 6′ short bed, any 8′ long bed and specific camper models for the Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan, Ford F150/1500, F250/2500, F350/2500, and the F350/3500 Dually.
Let’s take a look at one of their models the 855S.
About the Lance 855S Truck Camper
The Lance 855S truck camper is made for short-bed trucks and people who need a little more room in a truck camper. There is a slide out for the dinette which can accommodate 4 people. The dinette converts to a bed that sleeps two. This model features, LED lighting, aerodynamic nose cap, a bathroom, carpeted bed base, deluxe innerspring mattress.
These truck camper construction features include aluminum-framed walls, floor, cab-over, and roof. You’ll also find laminated, insulated floors and a 1-piece roof. The camper’s Four Seasons Comfort Technology package helps you stay comfortable in hot or cold weather.
Pro Tip: Lance has a terrific “Match Your Truck to the Right Camper” information section on their website.
If you’ve ever researched small travel trailers, the TAB teardrop trailer and the Barefoot bumper-pull by nuCamp are probably familiar. The nuCamp company also makes the Cirrus truck camper line up. These four-season units are available in three models, the 620 for half-ton trucks, the 820 and soon to be released 920 for heavy-duty pickups.
Cirrus 620 Specifications
Cirrus 820 Specifications
Cirrus 920 Specifications
The Cirrus 920 is a full-tize, hard-sided truck camper built for off-road exploring. This unit has been redesigned to specifically engineered to run 100% on lithium batteries and solar reserves. According to nuCamp, it will also have the ability to use an LP tank or generator if desired. As of summer 2023 it is not yet for sale.
Adventurer Truck Campers
Adventurer Campers started in 1969 and currently makes four camper models. Over the last 53 years, the Yakima, Washington manufacturer has earned a reputation for building truck campers with durability, comfort, and thoughtful design.
The Adventurers truck campers are built for light-duty, full-size trucks with short or long beds. Each unit is designed for maximum space and comfort. The interior includes fire-treated high-quality durable fabric that creates a functional and rugged yet nice looking interior decor. The interiors are also very easy to care for, with three different floorplans to choose from.
Since many of us here at Adventurer Manufacturing use truck campers we understand the value of abundant headroom and are proud to announce we design in the largest headroom in in the industry. Our 8.5′ and larger camper all have 41″ to 42″ of headroom.Adventurer Truck Campers
Adventurer Truck Camper Features
Adventurer 80RB Specifications
The self-contained Adventurer 80RB truck camper is the most popular Adventurer Truck Camper model. Built for the most popular light-duty full-size super short and long bed trucks, such as the Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan, it features a bathroom with a shower and toilet as standard equipment. The 80RB has extra sleeping space too, by way of the Adventurers exclusive 72″ roll-over sofa that makes into an additional 40″ x 72″ bed!
To see all models and specification of their pickup campers visit their website: https://www.adventurercampers.com/
Four Wheel Campers
Founded in 1972, California-based Four Wheel Campers is a leader in custom-built lightweight pop up truck campers designed for a wide range of trucks, ranging from light models to flatbeds. Their campers come in three different base models, each with endless configuration choices and options. For this article’s purpose, we’ll just touch on the highlights.
Slide-In Truck Campers
This is a traditional truck camper that into the truck’s bed. The rear tailgate from the truck goes away, and you get a nice entry door instead.
Starting Price: $25,625
Flatbed Truck Campers
For owners of the workhorse flatbed trucks, these campers are bolted to a rugged tray that sits on the bed of the truck. Flatbed campers are bigger than other camper models.
Starting Price: $36,995
Truck Topper Campers
Truck camper toppers are a brand new concept in the truck camper industry. Four Wheel Campers makes the Project M, an ultralight pop-up camper shell that bolts to a truck’s bed rails. The nice part about these is that the truck tailgate stays on, and you get to use your truck as an ordinary vehicle.
Starting Price: $10,995
For more pricing and options, visit the Four Wheel Campers website.
Northwood Manufacturing Arctic Fox
This Oregon-based manufacturer makes two models of truck campers: the Arctic Fox and the Wolf Creek. As of 2023, the Wolf Creek is available in two floor plans, while the Fox is available in six different floorplans.
The Arctic Fox is Northwood’s most popular truck camper. It’s available for both short-bed and long-bed pickups. Let’s take a closer look at the Arctic Fox 811 floor plan. This unit comes with a 58″ x 80″ bed and a wet bath. You will also find a dinette slide-out that adds some more interior space.
Arctic Fox Features
When it comes to standard features the Northwood Arctic Fox 811 truck camper does not disappoint. It is loaded with features that make it a true standout from the pack.
As optional equipment, you can add an Onan 2.5LP Generator, 11K BTU air conditioner, convection oven, rear view camera, slide out topper, RV barbecue grill, and more.
Arctic Fox Specifications
To see all models and specification visit: Northwood
Northstar is an Iowa-based company that makes two types of truck campers. A typical hard-sided model and a pop-up model. We’ll take a look at their pop-up models.
There are 4 pop-up models ranging in price from $25,000 to about $30,000. The 600SS is their lowest-priced model and is made for a truck such as the Tacoma, Canyon, Colorado with a short or long bed.
600SS Pop-Up Camper Specifications & Features
There is a selection of optional equipment, such as a 7.5 gallon gray water holding tank, 3.5 CF 12v only Compressor Fridge w/175 Watt Solar Panel, and more.
To view, all the Northstar models, visit their site: Northstar Campers
Like most other slide-in truck camper manufacturers, they make campers for both short bed and long bed trucks. Three models of campers are available. They include the Special Edition, Sportsman Edition, and the Limited Edition. What I like about these campers is that you have a choice of either a wet bath or a dry bath.
The Special Edition is available in 5 floorplans. 2 short-bed and 3 long-bed models. Each floor plan is available with either a wet bath or a dry bath.
The Sportsman Edition is available in 3 floorplans. 2 short-bed and 1 long-bed. The long-bed does not have the option of a dry bath.
The Limited Edition is available in 5 floorplans. 2 short-bed and 3 long-bed models. Each floorplan is available with either a wet bath or a dry bath.
Special Edition 8-11EX SE Specifications
This is a partial list of specifications for this specific model.
- Dry Weight: 2650lbs
- Overall Height: 94″
- Overall Width: 98″
- Overall Length: 195″
- Center of Gravity: 39.5″
This is a partial list of standard equipment:
- 100 Watt Solar Panel
- 2-12v/USB Charging Station
- 24″ LCD TV Screen 12v
- Electric Jacks
- 6-Year Structural Warranty
- No Leak Clam Shell Design
There some very good reasons to consider these truck campers. For example, they are constructed out of a 2-piece Fiberglass Clam Shell. Similar to the design of a boat, it only has one seam. This ensures a leakproof camper in any condition.
The campers are built in such a way that wood or aluminum framing is not required, reducing weight by almost 25%.
The interior cabinets are all built with solid plywood using hardwoods and paneling. Nine-ply Russian Birch is used for drawers. You also get 4-season insulation and a 6-Year Warranty Structural Warranty.
Visit their website to learn more.
Rugged Mountain Granite
Rugged Mountain Custom RV is one of the new kids on the block when it comes to truck campers. They started manufacturing their line of campers in November o 2016. They make 4 models that include the Granite 11RL, Granite 9RL, Polar 990, and the Polar 860. We like the 11RL because it has a dry bath, so we’ll take a closer look at it.
- Floor Length: 9’7″
- Overall Length: 18’10”
- Exterior Height: 8’4″
- Interior Height: 77 1/2″
- Fresh Tank: 36 Gallons
- Grey Tank: 38 Gallons
- Black Tank: 24 Gallons
- Dry Weight: 3720 lbs
The floor plan for the 11RL is very well-designed. You’ll find a 60×80 bed flanked by cabinets for storage, a hamper on either side and a clothing wardrobe. As a matter of fact, this truck camper has two wardrobes, which are a very nice feature.
As I mentioned, we like this camper because it has a try bath, meaning there is a separate shower. You’ll also find a 7 cubic foot refrigerator, and a 3-burner stove.
This is a partial list of standard equipment:
- Real wood paneling
- High-gloss exterior finish
- TPO roof
- Single panel sliding windows
- Smoke detectors
- Interior and exterior LED lights
- Dual 20-lbs propane tanks
Rugged Mountain RV gets a lot of positive reviews around the web. Though we have not been inside one of their truck campers, we tend to agree with the owners that these are quality campers that offer excellent value.
To see all models visit their website at Rugged Mountain Custom RV.
The PalominoRV manufacturer is owned by Berkshire Hathaway and operates as a separate division of Forest River. The truck camper they make is the Palomino Backpack.
The campers are designed to fit a wide range of trucks on the road today. The living area is spacious and has most of the features found on larger travel trailers.
The Backpack is available in two versions, with each version having multiple floorplans.
The hard-side version has 6 different floor plans available, and the Soft-Side version 6 plans as well. Let’s take a look at the HS-750.
Here is a partial list of the HS-750 specification:
- Ship Weight: 1860 lbs.
- Exterior Height: 8′ 2″
- Floor Length: 8′ 2″
- Exterior Length: 16′
- Exterior Width: 86″
The construction consists of Hi-Gloss Gel Coat, High-Density foam insulation, an Alpha Super Flex Membrane roof, and aluminum framing among others.
Standard Equipment includes some of the following:
- LED Interior Lighting
- Vented Battery Box (2 Std. on Max Series)
- Battery Quick Disconnect
- Exterior Battery Charging Station
- Rieco Titan® Electric Roof Lift (Soft Sides Only)
- Aluminum Frame
- Ball Bearing Drawer Glides
- “Landing Pad” Integrated Bumper (Hard Side Max Only)
- Laminated Walkable Roof (Hard Side Only)
- Congoleum® Flooring
- Mortise and Tenon Walnut Hard Wood Cabinets
There are lots of options you can order to customize your camper including, but not limited to, air conditioning, entry step, microwave, rear awning, and solar panel.
Overall, the Palomino Backpack is a relatively nice truck camper, however, its lack of a dry bath is a no-go for us. Truth be told, there are nicer, better-equipped models by other manufacturers.
Check our Palomino here.
Host Campers Mammoth
Host Campers manufacturers 5 models of truck campers. They include the Mammoth, Everest, Cascade, Rainier, and Tahoe. Here we’ll take a look at the Mammoth.
The Mammoth has a one-floor plan that offers multiple layout options. For example, you can have just one-wardrobe in your bedroom, or you can have two or even one long one. In the living room, you can add a laundry center or and optional 6-foot couch with Hi/Low table.
Here is a partial list of specifications:
- Type: Triple Slide-Out, Side Entry
- Base Weight: 3955 lbs.
- Width: 96″
- Exterior Height: 113″ – 118″ w/air
- Interior Height: 78″
- Floor Lenght: 136″
- Overall Length: 19′ 3″
When it comes to standard features Host Campers is right up there with the best of them. This is a partial list:
- Ultralite 100% Aluminum Structure
- Complete Fiberglass Exterior w/Exterior Graphics
- Vacuum Bonded Foam Insulated walls, Floor & Ceiling
- One-Piece TPO Roof
- Cabinets w/ Raised Panel Doors
- Large 3 Burner Range
- Double Door 2-Way 8 CU FT Refrigerator
- Extended Cab w/60 x 80 Queen Bed & Bed Spread
- 12 Volt LED Interior Lighting System
- Adjustable Reading Lights in Bedroom
To view, all Host Campers specifications and features visit their website.
Best Truck Campers Summary
Like the purchase of any other RV, do your research first. Determine what you need and your budget. Visit dealers, ask owners of truck camper models you might like, and ask questions. I have found most owners are very happy to help.
If you are interested in a camper that fits atop a truck bed but doesn’t look like a truck camper, check out this review I wrote about the Base Camp by Hower Built.