There's no need to buy an expensive RV if you already have a truck. Customizing your truck with the right accessories makes it the perfect camping solution for short or long trips. As an added benefit, you won't lose maneuverability or suffer from low gas mileage like you would when hauling an RV.

Start With the Canopy

Although nearly any canopy topper can make your truck camp-worthy, picking one customized with a few perks will make your sleeping quarters infinitely more comfortable. A few features that come in handy for camping include:

  • An elevated roof. This gives you more headroom so it feels less crowded. It also gives you the opportunity to add storage without giving up too much space.

  • Operational side windows. All toppers come with a back window that opens. Selecting one with opening side windows – which also include screens – will provide those all-too-important cross breezes on a hot night.

  • Internal access. Get a topper with a handle on the inside as well as the outside. This way you can lock yourself in at night for safety when necessary.

  • Custom paint job. Although not necessary, a topper painted to match your truck looks nicer and provides a nice finishing touch.

Add a Deck

If you don't want to stow your gear outside or in the cab, a bed deck is a necessity. A deck elevates your bed a few inches, giving you storage space underneath. This keeps your gear secure and dry, even when you're sleeping under the canopy.

You can stop at the deck installation, or you can customize it further by adding a slide-out storage bin. The addition of the bin makes it easier to access any gear that would otherwise get pushed to the back of the storage area.

A deck doesn't have to take up the whole bed. You can add a half deck, which effectively creates a sleeping platform with storage underneath, while still leaving most of the truck open to use as living or storage quarters.

Add Some Comfort

Decks are usually ridged, which isn't that comfortable for sleeping. Fitting a piece of plywood to the sleeping platform and bolting it down provides a smoother bed. Top this with a camp mattress or foam mattress cover to complete it. You can also pad wheel wells if you plan to use them like benches.

Adding some solar or battery powered lights inside the canopy lets you skip the flashlight. You can even get battery-powered fans to add a breeze. If cold is a concern, look into DC-powered truck cab heaters. You may want to run them off a dedicated battery, though, so they don't drain your truck battery.

There's endless possibilities for outfitting a truck to be a camper. You can have custom built storage boxes that fit over wheel wells, or add a pop-out tent from the back of the bed gate. Let your needs guide your choices. To learn more, contact a company like Pacesetter Truck Caps & Accessories Inc. with any questions you have.