If you are not interested in massive and expensive RVs but still want something that suits your mobile lifestyle, then a truck camper might be what you’re looking for. Depending on what type of truck camper you are looking for, you can find some lightweight options that can take you anywhere and you can take anywhere. If this has piqued your interest, you might be asking yourself, what are some excellent options for small truck campers?
There are a vast array of truck campers that vary in size and utility. If you are looking for a lightweight and small truck campers that you can take just about anywhere, you’ve come to the right place. Here is a list of our favorite lightweight truck campers:
- Travel Lite Super-Lite
- Northstar 650
- Lance 650S
- Go Fast Campers
- Northwood Arctic Fox Camper 811
- NuCamp Cirrus 820
- Capri Campers Cowboy
As you continue to read this article, we will discuss what truck campers are. Then we will provide a list of pros and cons for truck campers. Finally, we will provide detailed descriptions for each camper on our list and provide links.
What are Truck Campers?
Truck campers are a type of towable RV that is designed to sit on the bed of a pick-up truck. Truck campers come in many shapes and sizes but typically only have enough room to accommodate two people and some camping gear. Some can be detached from their vehicle and stand on two pop-out legs, allowing you to set up camp and use your truck separately–however, not all truck campers can do this and must remain attached to your truck.
There are two types of truck campers that we will be discussing in this article, pop-ups, and full-frames. Full-frame truck campers are hard-shelled and can come with slide-outs on the larger and more expensive models. On the other hand, pop-up truck campers are the lighter of the two and are mostly made of a canvas tent-like material. Pop-up truck campers offer a more minimalistic camping style, and their light weight allows your truck to traverse more rugged off-road terrain and explore areas where other towable RVs cannot go.
Pros and Cons of Truck Campers
When it comes to pros and cons, truck campers are in a unique situation. The pros of a truck camper can be seen as cons for some people, and the cons can be seen as pros for others. Truck campers are so unique among RVs that some governments do not recognize them as recreational vehicles.
Before we get into the list of pros and cons, we should briefly go over if a truck camper is for you. Luckily, truck campers fit a unique lifestyle, and it is easy to tell if you will enjoy camping out of a truck camper.
A truck camper is perfect for you if you want to go places most people don’t while having the option to go where most people enjoy camping. It’s also an excellent choice for those who want to travel all over and spend most of their time outdoors exploring.
Truck Camper Pros
- Increased maneuverability
- Low maintenance
- Can be detached to set up camp
- Compact size
- Great fuel economy
- You don’t need to register a truck camper
- Good resale value
Truck Camper Cons
- Limited storage space
- Detaching and attaching take time
- Cramped living space
- Limited living space
- Small water storage tanks
- Cabover bed
- Few amenities
Seven Fantastic Lightweight Truck Campers
Travel Lite is a company that specializes in truck campers. They offer four different truck camper models, with each having numerous floor plans. Travel Lite truck campers are hard-shelled and reinforced with solid wood, which offers more durability when compared to the foam and glue composite that most truck campers are made with.
The Super-Lite model that Travel Lite produces is their latest truck camper, and as such, it is the most advanced option in their catalog. The Super-Lite features six different floor plans which will suit various needs. One of which includes a small wet bath that houses a toilet and shower combo, a rare amenity for truck campers.
The Super-Lite model comes with numerous standard features, which makes this truck camper a go-to, in our opinion. Each floor plan comes with convertible jacks, which allow you to detach the camper to set up camp. If you choose a floor plan without a bathroom, you will receive a small porta-potty to ensure you won’t have to do your business outdoors. Finally, the sheer amount of optional equipment can help you customize your truck camper to suit your needs.
The next truck camper on our list is the 650 from Northstar and is the first pop-up style truck camper we will be discussing. Like the previous camper, this one can be detached from your truck to set up camp and allow you to use your truck to explore. In addition, this truck camper is packed with everything you could want for living on extended off-road trips. For example, this camper comes with a 30-gallon freshwater tank and 15-gallon gray and black water tanks, which are on the larger side when it comes to truck campers.
The Northstar 650 features a queen-sized bed with ample storage to its sides. You can also lift the bed when the roof is raised to access the under-bed storage compartment. Like most truck campers, the kitchen is small and sports a lever-operated faucet with a detachable sprayer. The kitchen also features a two-burner stove, tons of cabinets for storage, and a four cubic foot refrigerator. The refrigerator’s freezer can be detached, which can be handy for people who like to fish for food.
The Northstar 650 comes with some other standard features which form a complete package. For example, this truck camper sports an outdoor shower, a tankless water heater, and a swing-away table that forms the dinette. This camper can be equipped with a solar panel to charge its batteries while detached from your truck.
The Lance 650S is a perfect camper for shorter truck beds and is specifically designed to fit half-ton trucks. This lightweight camper is constructed with an aluminum frame, a one-piece PVC roof, Azdel interior walls, and excellent block foam insulation.
This truck camper features a plush queen-sized bed with a pillow top, which is possibly the most comfortable bed we have seen in a truck camper. The cabover bed sports LED lights, which can function as an excellent light source if you like to read in bed. Finally, the cabover and bed base are carpeted, which gives it a lavish look.
The Lance 650S comes with a full wet bath which includes a toilet, sink, and shower. This camper also features a tankless water heater which helps save space. Finally, this truck camper comes with some excellent standard features like a furnace, a three-way refrigerator, a two-burner stovetop, a microwave, and an exterior wash station.
If you are looking for the lightest truck campers around, Go Fast’s platform campers are your best bet. These campers use a very lightweight camping system that is best for people who like to go off-road and explore remote areas that other RVs can’t go. In addition, the platform campers feature machined aluminum hardware and a steel frame for increased durability.
These campers also come with adaptable honeycomb floor panels, which you can detach at a moment’s notice if you need some extra room for seating. Furthermore, these campers do not use sealants or glue, which can degrade over time. Finally, the platform campers from GFC are very easy to clean, thanks to the removable floor and mattress covers.
One of the best features of platform campers is that you can access your entire truck bed. Platform campers fold up and sit on an adjustable frame that hangs over your truck bed, which allows you to store all of your camping gear in your truck bed for easy access.
The Northwood Arctic Fox truck camper is the heaviest camper on our list, but we had to include a camper that features a more luxurious interior and amenities. While this camper is the heaviest, it is also the largest and even has enough room for three people to sleep comfortably.
This camper is constructed with a thick-wall aluminum frame, polyurethane walls, and a one-piece fiberglass roof. This truck camper is four-season which means it’s an excellent option for year-round camping, and its foam block insulation helps regulate temperature, helping you stay warm during winter. This camper also comes with a furnace and a tankless water heater.
You will also find a fully equipped wet bath which includes a toilet, a sink, and a shower. The cabover houses a queen-sized bed and lots of storage space. This camper also comes with a complete kitchen setup that sports a one-piece countertop, a microwave, a three-burner stove, a dinette, and a five cubic foot refrigerator.
The Arctic Fox truck camper comes with a good array of entertainment options as well. This truck camper features an AM/FM radio and CD player and a DVD player to watch movies. The entertainment center has Bluetooth connections, a great sound system, and a 30-inch TV.
The NuCamp Cirrus is a hard-shelled truck camper that fits comfortably on a ¾ ton truck. This camper model comes with electric jacks, which help keep the camper stable during transportation. You can control these electric jacks with a remote.
This is another example of a four-season truck camper thanks to its box foam insulation, 15,000 BTU furnace, and double pane windows. This camper also features a 210-watt solar panel that comes standard with this model. The addition of a solar panel makes this camper perfect for off-grid camping and for recharging the RV batteries without using your truck for power.
The Cirrus sports a large sleeping area with a plush queen-sized bed in the over-cab section. You will also find ample storage for your clothes and other items in the over-cab area. This camper comes with a full wet bath equipped with a toilet, a sink, and a showerhead.
The Cirrus has a wide range of optional add-ons which allow you to customize your camper to suit your needs. For example, you can choose to have a Lagun table installed or have the rear awning attached to provide shade if you want to hang out outside and enjoy the outdoors.
The Cowboy model from Capri Campers is an excellent take on the minimalistic style that pop-up campers have but in a hard-shelled package. This truck camper features many customizable options, allowing you to custom fit your camper for your needs.
You can choose the color and striping schemes for the exterior and the wood style you want to decorate the interior. You can also choose to forgo the dinette in exchange for a small bed. Both beds and dinette are made with heavy foam, allowing comfortable sleeping and seating options. You can also choose to install a wet bath, which is a must for us.
This camper sports three windows which let in a ton of natural light and can be opened to let in some fresh air. Each window is also equipped with blackout shades that provide privacy and ensure the interior stays dark if you decide to sleep in. The Cowboy has a kitchen equipped with a sink, three-burner stovetop, and a four cubic foot refrigerator, all of which have upgrades.
Truck campers are perfect for people who yearn for adventure. While truck campers are small and do not offer a lot of living space, they make up for it in price, weight, and maneuverability. If you like to travel off the beaten track and explore and set up camp in areas where most RVs would dream, then a truck camper is perfect for you. As this article ends, we hope that our small and lightweight truck campers list has provided the examples you need to find what you are looking for.