When I was in my 20s, one of my favorite summer activities was jumping in my pickup with a few friends and finding a stunning spot for camping.
Over the years, sleeping on the ground stopped appealing to me, but I never stopped loving getting out in the great outdoors.
When I first discovered camper trailers, I didn’t think they made any that fit my small truck.
Boy, was I wrong!
Small truck campers have been growing in popularity over the years, so much so that I became overwhelmed with all my choices.
That was ten years ago, and now the market for lightweight truck campers has only become larger.
In this article, I’ll break down what a camper is and how to determine if a camper will fit on your truck.
After that, I’ll go through my favorite campers for small trucks.
What is a Camper?
A truck camper is a structure you attach to the bed of your truck, creating a living space that’s ideal for camping or cross-country road trips.
According to some state governments, a camper turns your truck into a recreational vehicle (RV), while others classify the camper as a form of cargo.
The interior of a camper is often cramped, but that’s the point!
Small truck campers use the space they have as efficiently as possible.
The square footage may be small, but you can get a lot out of such a small space.
The sleeping space is usually above your truck’s cabin.
Camper manufacturers call this area the cabover.
You can find the kitchen and bathroom (not all lightweight truck campers include bathrooms) in the immediate living space, below the sleeping compartment.
Most small truck campers include water tanks for storage, gas burners, a heating device, and electrical outlets for small appliances, like a toaster oven or coffee maker.
Campers made for lightweight trucks weigh less than 2,000 pounds when empty.
They are light enough for half-ton pickup trucks to carry.
The truck’s bed dimensions should be between five feet and six feet to comfortably fit a small truck camper.
Best Small Truck Campers
Now that we know what you should be looking for in lightweight truck campers, we can go through the best campers on the market.
Here are my top choices for the best small truck campers!
Lance campers have been making RVs and campers since 1965.
They strive to create the perfect balance between efficient use of space and comfort.
With the 650 Short-Bed Camper, Lance seems to have found the perfect balance!
The camper weighs 1,700 pounds unloaded and it fits on trucks with beds larger than 5 feet.
Almost all trucks have a larger bed, so you can be sure the camper will fit on your truck without an issue.
The 650 is perfect for a half-ton truck!
The 650 comes equipped with a bathroom.
The bathroom has a toilet, shower, and sink.
The camper also has a kitchen with a removable dining table.
One of the best features of the Lance 650 is its ability to sleep up to three people.
There is a cabover with a queen bed that can sleep two people.
You can reveal the other sleeping space by removing the dining table.
Simply remove the table and pull out the seats to create the third bed.
The 650 includes features such as heating and air conditioning, 22 gallons of fresh water capacity, and appliances like a refrigerator, two-burner range, and a water heater.
The 650 has a starting price of $25,669.
The Northstar Liberty is a large camper built for small trucks.
Its overall length is 14’6”, but it fits on trucks with beds less than 6’10”.
The Liberty is the shortest and lightest model made by Northstar, so it’s perfect for anyone looking for a small truck camper.
Even though the Liberty is small, it has an abundance of living space.
The cabover fits a full-size queen mattress and even has enough space for two storage compartments and a bedside table.
The Liberty comes with a kitchen, which has a sink, refrigerator, and two propane burners.
Beside the kitchen area is a large dinette that can comfortably seat three people.
The Liberty has an abundance of storage space, with overhead cabinets in the kitchen and a wardrobe beside the bathroom.
The bathroom on the Liberty has a toilet and a shower.
The freshwater capacity is on the low side with only a four-gallon freshwater tank.
When you arrive at a camping spot, remember to hook your camper up to a water source to ensure you don’t run out.
A feature in the Liberty not often found in other campers is the ease of access to water pipes.
If you plan on using a camper in the winter, this is essential to have.
You can more easily insulate the pipes for the cold if you can access them.
The Liberty starts at $27, 320.
The Cirrus 620 packs a lot into such a small package.
The overall length is 12’8”, but it can fit on a truck bed if it’s more than 5’6”.
The camper has two sleeping areas.
The primary sleeping compartment is in the cabover and has room for a full bed.
The other sleeping area is on the pull-out dinette.
The 620 isn’t large enough to have a shower, but it does have a cassette toilet.
A cassette toilet hides beneath a cover when not in use, but easily slides off when you need to use the bathroom.
NüCamp equipped the 620 with an 18-gallon freshwater capacity, as well as a 5-gallon black water tank for the toilet.
The kitchen area in the 620 is spacious, with room for a refrigerator, a sink, and two propane burners.
There is space for a microwave, although it is not included.
The starting price for a Cirrus 620 is $38,591.
One of the best features of the 620 is the 210-watt solar panel kit.
NüCamp included this feature because it can come in handy in a pinch.
Using your car’s battery might consume too much power, leaving it unable to start your truck.
With a solar panel system included on every camper, you won’t have to worry about that.
Travel Lite began manufacturing RVs and campers in 1982.
Since then, they’ve become a trusted name for small truck campers.
The Super Lite 610R SL camper’s overall length is 12 feet, but it fits comfortably in a truck bed over 5 feet.
What makes Travel Lite’s campers unique is their natural wood construction.
The siding is aluminum and fiberglass, but Travel Lite makes the structure out of wood.
Not only does this reduce the price, but it also means your camper is lighter than others that use metals like steel.
Travel Lite offers 15-year warranties on their natural wood products.
The kitchen includes two propane burners, a refrigerator, and a sink.
Also included in the 610R is a bathroom that has a sink, toilet, and shower.
The starting price of a 610R is $16,695, but optional equipment like a microwave or roof-mounted A/C will cost extra.
The 610R can sleep up to three people.
The cabover sleeping compartment can fit a full bed, while the dinette area can fold down, turning it into a bed.
The 610R also has enough storage space to pack the camper up for extended trips.
The Adventurer 80RB is perfect for any size truck!
It can fit comfortably on 5’5” or larger beds.
The 80RB has an overall length of 15’10”, which is quite large for lightweight truck campers.
With that much space, you can sleep up to 4 people inside the camper.
The camper has a bathroom with a foot flush Dometic toilet and a shower.
The camper has a black water capacity of 6 gallons, while the freshwater capacity is 15 gallons.
The camper also comes with a furnace, water heater, and a roof-fitted exhaust fan.
The kitchen has a large sink, a refrigerator, two propane burners, and a range hood with a fan.
Most campers don’t have a range hood, so seeing one in the 80RB was a real surprise.
A fan in the kitchen is useful if you happen to be boiling water or cooking aromatic foods.
The 80RB has a starting price of $27,999.
Compared to other small truck campers, the 80RB has more sleeping space but lacks other amenities like A/C and a microwave.
The best small truck campers are out there just waiting for you to purchase one!
Now that you know some of the best lightweight truck campers on the market, you can do some more in-depth research and figure out which one fits your needs the best.
Whether you need a camper to have sleeping space for the whole family or you just need it for your partner and yourself, you’ll find one that suits you perfectly!