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Buying a Truck Camper

New and used Truck Campers are available in every state, built by an extensive range of manufacturers including Jayco, Forest River, Coachmen, and Keystone. 

While no list is complete, here are a few of the most popular Truck camper manufacturers and models available today.

Adventurer ALP (Adventurer Manufacturing)
Arctic Fox - Northwood Manufacturing
Bronco - Palomino RV
Caribou - Outfitter Manufacturing
Maverick - Palomino RV
Milner - Hallmark Manufacturing
Nepal - Hallmark Manufacturing
Northern Lite - Northern Lite
Okanagan - West Coast Leisure Homes
Phoenix Pop-Up Truck Campers
Ponderosa S&S Campers
Cirrus Truck Campers - Little Guy RV
Chalet RV
Quickup Camper - Quickup Camper
Raton - Hallmark Manufacturing
Real-Lite - Palomino RV
S&S Campers - S&S Campers
Shadow Lite - Shadow Lite
Six-pack Campers 
Travel Lite - Travel Lite 

Truck Campers come in every shape and size. Here are just a few of the classes you may see when you go shopping:

Hardside Aluminum
Pop Up
Camper With Slides
Aluminum Framed
Wood Framed

It’s imperative that you have the right truck-camper combination.

Here are a few tips for choosing the right Truck Camper set up.

1. Payload. The word "payload" refers to the amount of weight that your truck can carry. It's the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and can usually be found on the inside of the drivers door. One of the first steps in Truck Camping is to determine the payload by subtracting the curb weight of your truck from the Gross Vehicle Weight. The easiest way to do this is to visit your local truck scale to get your initial starting weight. Now do the math. You must be sure that your fully loaded camper would be less than your vehicle's payload.

You will also need to know the Gross Axle Weight Rating. Each of your truck axles is assigned an amount of weight that it can safely bare. The safety of your new RV should be your biggest priority. Take the time necessary to research your axle weight in accordance to the rig.

2. Choose The Camper First. The best way to start Truck Camping is to find the camper first, then buy the pickup truck. This ensures that they are a perfect match in both weight and size. Save yourself a headache and choose the RV portion first.

Ask yourself a few questions to determine which type of Truck Camper is right for you.

1.) Where do you plan to camp?
If you are staying in RV parks or places with hookups, your needs will be different than if you plan boondock.

2.) Will you be camping in winter weather?
If so, you may want to consider an all season's model, which is made with superior insulation to keep guests warm.

3.) Are you looking for off road adventure?
Pop-top campers are a great for exploring. They’re light weight, rugged and start at a fairly low price point.

4.) Do you want a slide out or Basement?
Slide outs offer extra space in the width of the living area, but add weight and can leak or cause drafts, so you will need to decide if the positives outweigh the negatives. Basement truck campers offer storage beneath the floor, resulting in additional living space. Unfortunately, this option also adds extra weight.

3. Tires and Suspension. Great tires will make or break your Truck Camper. Be sure that your tires can bear the entire weight of your truck and camper. Proper inflation is essential, so be sure to know the recommended PSI and adhere to it.

4. Loading. As with any RV, there is an art to backing your truck directly under your camper. Ask a friend or family member to help guide you through the process. You can also use painter tape to center the truck bed and to mark reference points.  

If you plan to buy a used Truck Camper, always consult a professional RV inspector. Truck Campers are notorious for leaks and mold and should always be inspected by a licensed professional before signing on the dotted line.