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5 Reasons To Avoid Truck Campers

5 Reasons To Avoid Truck Campers

There’s no doubt about it – truck campers look really cool. 

A camper that sits on the back of your truck seems about as nimble as a campervan – you could take them almost anywhere!

But, is a truck camper really for you? What are the downsides of truck campers? Today, we’re taking a dive into 5 reasons why you might want to avoid truck campers. 

What is a Truck Camper?

A truck camper, also referred to as a slide-in, is a camper that sits in the bed of your truck. Truck campers are kind of like backpacks for trucks – and usually come with many of the same things a regular RV has.

There is typically a cabover area with a bed, a small kitchen area, and a small seating area. 

Some truck campers have slideouts to maximize space. Others have a pop-up canvas tent top to make them more nimble on the road and more lightweight overall. 

Also, when you’re parked at a campsite, you can remove the truck camper (lifted off the truck bed on four stands) and explore the local area without carrying extra weight.

How Much Do Truck Campers Cost? 

Truck camper prices vary depending on the type, age, etc. If buying a new truck camper, you can expect to pay anywhere from $8,000 to $60,000. 

Truck campers tend to hold their value very well. But, you can find used truck campers starting at $2,000 and up for a camper in decent condition. 

5 Reasons to Avoid Truck Campers: 

Truck campers are great because they’re compact and allow campers to get far off-grid.

But, there are several reasons why a truck camper may not be the right rig for you. 

They’re Heavy (Require a Big Truck)

Many truck campers are very heavy and typically require an expensive, heavy duty truck. You can find some truck campers that you can put on half-ton trucks – especially the pop-up truck campers. 

But you will sacrifice some amenities and creature comforts for the more lightweight options – storage, water, and bathrooms, usually.

Because truck campers are heavy and require heavy duty trucks, they are more expensive overall than a travel trailer – and they have much less space. 

In fact, we’ve seen underpowered trucks bend in half because they’ve been hauling around a truck camper.

Pro Tip: Here are our favorite heavy-duty trucks.

Truck Campers Aren’t Great For Families

Most truck campers don’t sleep more than 3 comfortably. 

You probably wouldn’t want to travel in a truck camper with more than just a partner. And, you’d probably want to have a pretty good relationship with your partner to live in such a small space! 

Truck campers are best suited for overland-camping solo travelers or small families on road trips. 

Lack of a Full Bathroom

Many truck campers don’t have a full bathroom. Some will have a cassette toilet, and some will have a wet bath. These types of bathrooms are doable… But having a fully functional bathroom (that you can actually move around in) makes life on the road a lot easier. 

You can modify the truck camper bathroom with a composting toilet to extend time between dumping tanks.

Difficulty of Loading and Unloading

Truck campers are totally unique in the sense that you don’t simply hitch them up… You load the entire thing into the bed of your truck.

This can be incredibly difficult to do if you’re alone – and still difficult with a partner. This is something that you can learn and improve upon, but definitely worth noting. 

However, new luxury truck campers have easier-to-use jack systems. They can be loaded and unloaded with one person. These truck campers will cost a premium.

Limited Space and Storage

If you’re considering a truck camper, you already know they have limited space. Like, very limited. Just think about living in the bed of a truck… That’s about how much standing room you’ll have, minus the space that’s taken up by the stove or sink, couch or dinette, etc. 

In addition to having very limited standing space, there’s very limited storage space too! 

While most RV and truck camper manufacturers try to make the most out of the small space, there’s only so much you can do. They have to make room for the plumbing, the water tanks, the propane, and all the other systems that make the camper work. That doesn’t leave much room for belongings, clothes, dishes, or food. 

Truck campers can be great campers for weekend getaways or shorter road trips, but they leave a lot to be desired for many full-time RVers.

If you’re solo, a truck camper can be great! But if you have a family, lots of belongings, or just can’t afford a heavy-duty truck, a truck camper probably isn’t the best choice for you. 

We’re Not Biased – All RVs Have Reasons to Avoid Them

There are RVs for everyone, no matter your camping style. We know that truck campers will be perfect for some travelers.

If you want to discover the reasons why you may want to avoid other RV types, you can access the information below.

Reasons to avoid…

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Why Are Truck Campers So Expensive? - Muhammad Ardhi

Saturday 6th of August 2022

[…] Truck campers are all the rage, but they’re not always the best option. You may spend more money and time than you should on a camper that lasts only a few years. There are some reasons why you shouldn’t buy a truck camper. This depends on your priorities and preferences of living. Here are some of the general causes of not buying a truck camper: […]

Tucson Tom

Wednesday 12th of January 2022

Please tell me where you have seen a truck camper bent in half due to hauling a truck camper?


Tuesday 12th of October 2021

Interesting that you are critiquing a truck camper when you have no experience with one. I have gone from a pop up trailer to a bumper pull to a 5th wheel to a 42' Momentum toy hauler and now have a Truck Camper. Your review is subjective as is my opinion, therefore, not that valuable.


Monday 20th of September 2021

Touring east coast Canada for months and we find a truck camper on a 4x4 gets us where others can not go. We have a full bath and plenty of storage. It takes less than 10 min to drop the camper and be on the road and 15 min to pick it back up. I find the points here not realistic. Just me.

Simon Jones

Sunday 15th of August 2021

Had them all--motorhomes--airstream trailers--5vers--tents--vans-- and always wind up going back to campers because we hate parking in commercial campsites but can always find some hideaway in our camper.Had four so far and now looking for my fifth. Ever been down a likely looking road only to find you cant turn your trailer around and have to backup for miles?I have.No more of that thanks--give me a camper on a 4WD truck with a Cummins every time.

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