Top 5 Regrets of a Truck Camper

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Truck campers seem like the perfect small camper, but are they worth it? We scoured the internet, from Facebook groups to camper forums, to bring you the top truck camper regrets from owners all over the world. 

This article shares the top truck camper regrets and some of the best benefits to help you decide if it’s a smart purchase for you. Let’s get into it. 

What Is a Truck Camper? 

A truck camper sits entirely in the bed of a pickup. Other names for truck campers include slide-in and backpack campers. 

These versatile campers surprisingly offer many amenities for such a small space. Some have pop-up tops, and others are hard-sided. It usually has a seating area in the truck’s bed and a sleeping area that extends over the cab. 

Bigger ones also have bathrooms, kitchens, slideouts, and more. You can even purchase a model with a washer and dryer nowadays!  

A truck camper on a big truck parked in a dirt lot. One of the truck camper regrets is having to buy a big truck.

How Much Do Truck Campers Cost? 

You can find used, older model truck campers for as low as $3,000.

Brand new ones start around $12,000 to $100,000 or more. 

Factors that affect the price of truck campers include whether it’s pop-up or hard-sided and additional amenities like seating, slide-outs, bathroom, kitchen, holding tanks, and more. 

Top 5 Truck Camper Regrets

Though you can fit into a regular car parking space and take them just about anywhere, you’ll find a few downsides to owning a truck camper, too. Here are the top five truck camper regrets. 

1. Seriously Tiny Space

There’s only so much you can do when you’re limited to the bed of a truck. They’re seriously tiny, and the lack of space can get to you after a while. 

Some models have slide-outs like the Host Mammoth 11’ 6”. They can feel like a mansion in the bed of your truck. But, the majority don’t have slides and have minimal space and floorplans. 

2. Not Practical for Families 

When it comes to truck camper regrets, families definitely fall into this category. Truck campers aren’t practical for families due to limited space. They work best for solo travelers or couples. They’re also not great for pets, as many have issues with stairs. 

These models tend to sit higher than regular RVs or travel trailers. Therefore, a truck camper might not be the best choice for you if you have a family. 

Interior shot of a truck camper showing the wet bath, bed, and couch. The small size is sometimes a truck camper regrets.

3. Needs Expensive Truck

You need an expensive and heavy-duty truck to carry this kind of camper safely. Unlike other towable RVs, where you look at the weight against your vehicle’s towing capacity, a truck camper’s weight needs to fall below your truck’s payload. 

Payload capacity is how much weight your truck can safely carry in the bed, and towing capacity is how much it can pull on the ground. 

Most truck campers weigh upwards of 2,000 lbs. The Mammoth 11’ 6” weighs just under 4,000 lbs when empty. That means it needs a big truck like a Ford F-450. Pricing for an F-450 starts at $50,000.

4. Small Holding Tanks

Owners said that one of their top truck camper regrets is the lack of holding tank capacity. Many truck camper models don’t even have any holding tanks, and the ones that do are limited in size.

Though they fit everything you’d find on a regular RV in the bed of your truck, if you do have a sink, toilet, or shower, don’t expect large holding tanks. 

Screenshot of the small holding tanks in some truck campers. It says fresh tank capacity is 30 gallons, grey tan is 20 gallons, and black tank is 18 gallons.

5. Difficult to Load and Unload Solo

You can leave a truck camper in the bed of your truck, but what about when you want to unload it at a campsite to use your truck bed? Or load and unload from your driveway or storage spot? This can be difficult to do solo. You may want others to help get it in and out when needed. 

Benefits of Truck Campers

Although some have truck camper regrets, they have benefits too. And for many, the pros outweigh the cons.

Can Fit in Any Parking Spot

Truck campers can fit into almost any parking spot. You don’t need to worry about taking up multiple spaces or avoiding small downtown areas because you can pretty much take it anywhere you take your truck. 

However, you need to be aware of your vehicle’s width, height, and length with your camper attached. 

Truck camper at a gas station pump fueling up

Perfect for Solos or Couples

These versatile rigs work perfectly for the solo camper or couple on the go. You can access remote campsites, drive down winding scenic roads, and have an RV that’s the perfect size for you and your partner. When it comes to truck camper regrets, solo travelers don’t have many!

Have Everything You Need in the Bed of Your Truck

There’s something to be said about having everything you need in the bed of your truck. Higher-end campers even have bathrooms with showers, washer and dryer combos, and an electric fireplace. 

Truck camper parked at the top of a lookout

Are Truck Campers Worth It?

If you can live with some of these truck camper regrets, we think this stylish and versatile RV type is worth it. 

However, if you have a family or just need more space, a travel trailer or fifth wheel might be more up your alley. 

Keep in mind that truck campers have limited space and require a high payload capacity to tow safely. 

1 comment
  1. Perhaps one of the most overlooked features is off-roading – or semi-off roading. Towing a trailer through rough dirt roads in the desert with any 4×4 pickup for example, can still be risky maneuvering with anything other than a small, tough, off-roadable trailer (you know the type with knobby tires), and such models can be so expensive that you might as well invest into a better vehicle. I find the small Cowboy Camper from Capri to be the perfect compromise without too much weight that larger cabover models could bring – since you also need to consider how top-heavy your camper top might be when navigating rough terrain. Last thing you need is to end up in a gulley wash in the desert!

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