Truck campers have always held a special place in the hearts of RVers. Here in North America, we also call them slide-in or cab-over campers while our buddies in Europe refer to them as demountable or dismountable campers. No matter what you call them, there are loads of options and features to choose from in an assortment of sizes and styles. There are also a variety of truck camper RV tie-down options that we will also discuss for your safety’s sake, as well as the safety of everyone else on the road.
Truck campers are one of the most compact and versatile options in the RV world, with their smaller size and easy driveability opening up opportunities. A favorite choice of hunters and anglers, truck campers can be driven and parked much like a regular truck, making the opportunities for boondocking almost endless. A truck bed-mounted camper also frees up the rear hitch, allowing the driver to tow a boat or trailer. With many secure and simple to use truck camper tie-down options, drivers will find it easy to unhook their RVs onto corner jacks and pull away.
Some things that truck camper drivers might want to take into consideration are the weight and height of their combined units, truck and trailer. Don’t forget to include your RV a/c unit! This will be especially helpful when planning your route to avoid low bridges and overpasses and when choosing gas stations with enough height clearance.
As with “typical” RV’s, there is a wide range of choices when it comes to truck campers. Let’s take a look at each type
The most basic and budget-conscious option, the camper shell topper is mostly formed of fiberglass but has VERY limited space. Considered a step above tent camping, the camper shell topper is about the same height as the truck cab with VERY limited headroom so you will have to crawl in.
Camper shell topper units are generally mounted to the truck bed on rails or racks. You'll also need to install tie-downs on your truck to provide anchor points for attaching your camper. Bed-mounted tie-downs typically attach to the bed rails of your truck or the front wall of the truck bed. Bumper-mounted tie-downs attach to your truck’s bumper to provide permanent tie-down points for the rear of your camper. They can either be paired with bed-mounted or frame-mounted front tie-downs. Frame-mounted tie-downs provide the strongest base for securing a camper and help to ensure that your setup won't be too top-heavy.
As the name suggests, these truck campers slide into the truck bed using lift jacks and the sleeping area extends up and over the cab of the truck. Slide-in cab-over campers are secured with truck camper turnbuckles and straps, making them easily removable at the campsite.
More spacious than a camper shell topper, cab-over campers generally offer enough headroom for an average adult to comfortably stand. With the ability to sleep up to a family of 4, most cab-overs also extend over the back and sides of the pickup truck bed. This allows for extra features like dinettes, kitchenettes, and storage space.
Much like a traditional pop-up camper, the pop-up truck camper has a roof that can be raised and lowered while driving. Once raised and with slides opened, the pop-up truck camper offers all the room and amenities of its counterparts with lessened wind resistance from its lower profile. Pop-up truck campers come with both straight-up and cab-over styling.
Much like the slide-in cab-over camper, pop-up truck campers slide into the truck bed and are secured with truck camper turnbuckles and straps.
Also classified as a Class C camper, these campers look similar to a slide-in cab-over camper but the truck bed is removed and instead of turnbuckles and straps, the camper is mounted directly on the chassis of the truck. Getting rid of the truck bed creates more space and allows for more versatility of the camper’s floorplan.
Whichever option you choose, RV Part Shop has the truck camper tie-down options you need for all makes and models. Check out our selection of tie-down parts, turnbuckles, stabilizer bars, clamps and so much more. Make sure you and your family are heading out for the best RV road trip ever with the safest, most secure truck camper on the road!
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