Not all campers are meant for off-roading. While sometimes doable, you’ll often find that traditional campers are just too big or don’t have off-roading capabilities. If you’re looking for a rig that’s great for off-roading, look no further than a truck camper. Keep reading to learn more about the 5 best off-road truck campers on the market today.
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What Is a Truck Camper?
A truck camper is a fully enclosed and self-contained recreational vehicle that sits in the bed of any pickup truck. Some come with a full bathroom, or “dry bath,” while others come with a wet bath. Truck campers are made in all different shapes and sizes to be used with either midsize or full-size trucks, both long bed and short. Some campers are large enough to sleep four but are created ideally to suit one or two people comfortably.
What Do You Need For Off-Roading?
The most critical component of an off-road truck camper is the vehicle carrying it. High ground clearance, four-wheel drive, and a good set of rugged tires are the basics. It’s also a good idea to have recovery gear on hand, such as a winch, Maxtrax, and tow strap.
Adding suspension to your vehicle will make it capable of navigating rough terrain while allowing for a smoother ride (check out the Hellwig suspension that we added to our Go North truck camper if you’re looking for ideas). And you’ll definitely want basic camping gear that’s easy to set up at the end of a long day. This, of course, is where truck campers come in handy!
Why Truck Campers Are Great for Off-Roading
Driving or towing any sort of recreational vehicle off-road can be a challenge. The sheer size of many traditional RVs is a limiting factor if you’re looking to hit even mild off-road trails. The smaller your camping setup, the further out you can go.
Truck campers provide the flexibility of a compact, simplistic, and nimble camping setup with the comfort of a fully self-contained and enclosed RV. They are easy to drive and do well in many off-road situations if the truck is four-wheel drive.
When compared to a regular tent, they are quieter and more effective at protecting you from the elements. With a footprint only slightly larger than the truck itself, off-road truck campers can easily fit in significantly smaller spots than a full-size rig, making expeditions to remote locations accessible for camping.
While pretty much all truck campers are capable of going off-road, the capabilities will vary significantly on your set up. We took a Lance 1172 truck camper 15,000 miles up to the Arctic Ocean and did thousands of miles on seasonal and gravel roads. This is a very large truck camper, and while we were able to get out much further, we still found some limitations on where we could confidently go.
5 Best Off-Road Truck Campers
The very best offroad truck campers are going to be ones that reduce height, reduce weight, and are able to ride on the back of smaller, single rear wheel trucks. Often, this comes at the cost of amenities and storage space. However, you’re going to be able to venture to some incredible off-the-beaten-path places that will be well worth the compromise!
Here are our top 5 picks for the best off-road truck campers:
A sleek piece of engineering, the Nimbl Evolution’s seamless unibody lift-top design is well insulated, lightweight, and aerodynamic. Not to mention, the interior living quarters of this off-road truck camper are equally as sleek and functional. Rooftop solar panels that come standard are an added bonus with this camper. Ideal for a flatbed Ford F-350, the Nimbl Evolution is suited for almost any one-ton flatbed pickup truck.
Four Wheel Campers
Four Wheel Campers offer the customizability of the lowest profile and best fit soft-sided pop-up truck camper for a wide variety of needs. With a fleet of sizes and styles, including slide-in, flat-bed, or camper shell topper models, Four Wheel Campers are designed to be lightweight yet durable in extreme conditions. Additionally, they are compatible with a wider range of full-size or mid-size trucks.
Bundutec Truck Campers
Ruggedized and durable, Bundutec Truck Campers are offered in many styles and build options, making them adaptable for any truck. Start with just the basics of a sleeping platform and a few storage compartments or upgrade to a more advanced model with a kitchen, toilet, bed, and shower. Bundutec campers come in either pop-top or standard hard-sided build structures meant to withstand harsh environments and off-roading on backcountry trails.
A uniquely designed solid-wall with a hydraulic mechanism makes this hard-sided pop-up truck camper stand out among the competition. It’s also able to withstand the elements. Features like classic interior details and a generous amount of overhead storage not often found in many pop-up models make Alaskan Campers an exceptional style of off-road truck camper.
Hallmark Truck Campers
The seamless fiberglass roof and insulated soft-wall technology make the lightweight and low-profile structure of Hallmark Truck Campers ideal for remote off-road exploring. You will also feel protected from the elements in this design.
Pop-Up Truck Campers vs. Hard-sided
Function and low center-of-gravity are important factors when offroading. This is why pop-up truck campers are the best option for those looking to go seriously off-grid and explore the most remote regions. Plus, you get the added benefit of easy setup and quick takedown.
Now if you’re looking for some of those extra amenities and storage, there are still plenty of places that a hard-sided, non-pop-up truck camper can take you. With large, triple slide truck campers you might even forget you’re in the bed of a pickup truck! Regardless, truck campers in general are a great way to expand your camping abilities and explore some amazing places!
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