One lesser known type of RV is the truck camper. These versatile, portable, and underestimated RVs deserve their time in the spotlight too. Have you ever seen a truck camper sitting atop the bed of a truck while driving down the road or at a campground and wanted to know more about them? Harvest Hosts has your back. Get ready we explore everything you wanted to know and more about truck campers.
What are Truck Campers?
A truck camper is a specially-built camper that is either hard-sided or pop-up and mounts into the bed of a truck. Some truck campers specifically fit a short or long bed truck, while other truck campers can fit on either. Truck campers provide unique capabilities in that they can go anywhere that the truck can go. This opens up a tremendous amount of campsite options. Many truck camper owners are huge fans of boondocking, or dry camping, and these campers allow them to find spots that most motorhomes and fifth wheels can only dream of visiting.
Pros and Cons
There are pros and cons to hard-sided truck campers versus pop-up truck campers. Hard-sided truck campers have solid walls and, typically, a larger floor plan. These campers are more insulated, feature more storage space, and have slide-outs, which allow for more features, such as a dry bathroom, instead of a wet bath, where the toilet is located inside the shower. Hard-sided truck campers usually have separate black and gray tanks, but not all models allow for that.
Pop-up campers have a roof that raises and lowers the upper third of the camper. It only takes a few minutes to raise and lower the roof, and the roof must be in the lowered position while driving. These campers have a lower clearance, which can take stress off the driver and allow them to go more places. They are also more lightweight, and occasionally have slide-outs. On the other hand, they are smaller than hard-sided campers and do not typically have dry bathrooms. Instead, they require a separate or dry toilet and often do not have black or gray tanks. There are portable gray tanks that can be hooked up to the camper, and these require either manual dumping or hookups at a campground.
Can these be used at Harvest Hosts locations?
Truck campers can absolutely be used at Harvest Hosts locations. While these are not typical drivable or towable RVs, certain ones can fit the criteria for use at Harvest Hosts locations. Any RV that stays at a Harvest Hosts location needs to be self-contained with an interior restroom. They also need to have holding tanks or a portable toilet that can be disposed of off property at an appropriate location. As long as your truck camper is entirely self-contained, it is suitable for use at a Harvest Hosts location.
Main Features and Advantages
The main benefit of owning a truck camper is that it has the same clearance as a truck, meaning, that your RV can go anywhere your truck can go. Truck camper owners are able to take advantage of some of the most remote, peaceful, and scenic camping locations because no other class of RV can make it there.
Because a truck can tow additional toys, many truck camper owners are able to easily bring along additional accessories on trips. These can include dirt bikes, four wheelers, golf carts, and more. The capabilities of towing are entirely dependent on the individual truck. Don’t forget to take into account the weight of the camper itself when deciding how much to tow.
Setting Up Camp
A huge benefit of truck campers is the ability to detach the camper from the truck and set up camp. This is necessary to do from time to time to prevent additional wear and tear on your truck. Not to mention, this means you can set up camp and take your truck into town for errands, drive on backroad trails sans camper, or do some sightseeing. Truck campers come equipped with jacks that suspend the camper into the air while it’s on the ground in order to make loading and unloading easier. This also makes entering the camper easier, as well.
The Long Term
Truck campers are immediately cheaper than any other class of RV, making these a viable choice for budget travelers. If you already own a truck, then this type of camper can save you even more money. Storing a truck camper, whether hard-sided or pop-up, is also cheaper and easier than storing other larger classes of RVs. These can easily fit into a garage or existing storage unit during the off-season.
However, for long term truck camper usage, travelers must consider how much they want to use their personal vehicle while traveling. The additional miles quickly add up to additional maintenance. However, with a preventative maintenance plan in place, costly repairs can be avoided. Maintaining one vehicle plus a camper is one of the cheapest routes for RVers, especially considering that there are no tires or suspension components on the camper to replace or maintain.
Sleeping and Living
For hard-sided truck campers, the newer models can come with one, two or even three slide-outs, providing considerably more space. The addition of slides brings the possibility of having a dinette, a refrigerator, TVs, and even a king or queen bed. The kitchens in campers this size tend to have comparable counter space to some Class C RVs. Some hard-sided campers have awnings as well, which creates additional outdoor living space.
One of the biggest concerns for RVers potentially purchasing is ensuring that a bathroom is available. Fortunately, most truck campers come equipped with either a wet or dry bath. A dry bath is similar to a bathroom in a house, where the shower is enclosed. A wet bath has the toilet and sink within the contained shower area. This means your toilet and sink will get wet during a shower, which is the intended use. Only the lightest truck camper models don’t come equipped with a bathroom, and, with these, a small portable toilet can often be used instead.
Truck campers are one of the most debated types of RVs. Most RVers either love them or hate them, while others may be indifferent. While these are not for everyone, each class of RV has a variety of pros and cons. Consider touring a truck camper at a local dealership or even renting one before counting them out.
How do you feel about truck campers? Would you ever own one? Have you traveled in one before? Feel free to share in the comments below!
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