So let’s get started, we have work to do! A truck with a camper on the back does not come cheap. However, this truck bed design puts more emphasis on storage space. Camping in a pickup truck is one of the best ways to get off the beaten path and explore the outdoors. We're willing to pay the $93 for the mattress. Whether you are having a budget problem or want something smaller than a travel trailer, you can consider a small camper on the back of your pickup truck. The driver side we left open because of a plan we will get to shortly. Purchasing 2×4 planks and then cutting them to the 2×2 size with a table saw will save the expenses further. This makes it difficult for you to sit up. These bolts are there to hold the bed liner into place are very robust with plenty of extra threading. Do it Yourself RV. In Lando we're going to need to sleep with the windows and even the back hatch open for circulation, so we thought that it would be a good idea to have the netting. The platform will allow you to store your camping supplies underneath your bed and eliminate the need to set u… When you carry nearly everything you own it feels important to do what you can to protect it. Now that our drawers are taking shape for the first time we thought that this would be a great time for us to test out the drawers for how much they could hold. It seems like an easy step, but in order to maximize your space, you have to contour your design to your truck bed. It will be expensive but proves to be cost-efficient in the end. Creating your own wood truck bed Tonneau cover is not as hard as to how it seems to be. In that case, consider turning your pickup truck bed into a DIY truck bed camper cabinet to enjoy a mini-camper van experience. We attached the drawer fronts during a different step in the process, we will loop back to that shortly. We also wanted to have the ability to pull the drawers out if we ever needed to so Owen found these nifty little threaded wood inserts. In the end, we only needed to cut off 3-4 inches of excess tubing to make them work with our drawers. We cut the hole in the drawer front and then applied black spray paint to the drawer fronts to give it a cleaner look and riveted the handle into place. The very next day we started building out our new home in the Tacoma. Purchasing a shell which sits on a heavy duty chassis is the first step in building your camper, which usually cost around 2000$ to 4000$ depending on the specifications. Get All My Video Courses & Music For Just $7! Diy truck bed camper is cheaper than other factory made truck bed campers. Just remember to remove the staples before applying the covering. The main heat is blown air heater off propane. The A.R.E. With the velcro as the means of attaching these curtains, they went up in 2.5 seconds. If we didn't have it on hand we wouldn't have used it at all. The velcro was also leftover from Amelia and my dad’s office. Before installing the glass, use silicone caulk around the trim. After 3 weeks on the road in Amelia, we quickly realized that she wasn't going to be a long term fit for us. A truck camper owner’s best friend is a high quality, digital battery monitor like a … We decided to install the bed platform once the drawer frame was fully installed. It also provides limited headroom. I have a strip heater in air conditioner unit. The best thing is.. It’s entirely up to you. The first thing we did was cleaned out the truck bed because it was the last time we would have access to a lot of these parts of the truck bed. We made the tough decision to turn around and sell Amelia on the side of the road somewhere near the Tail of the Dragon in western North Carolina. Then, lock the beams together with nuts and nails. All these amenities make it perfect for camping during those cold winter nights. When we decided to sell Amelia I suggested that we pick up a cheap car and continue to travel until we could figure out what was next for us. Also, remember that your truck insurance company is unlikely to cover any damage done during the remodeling. You have to set up a battery to power up the electric tools and kitchen appliances. When the glue dries, apply at least three coats of latex paint. Do it Yourself RV . The fabric that we used is the left-overs from Amelia's new cushion upholstery which happens to be Sunbrella fabric. But, without the rip-away screen we wouldn't be able to sit comfortably in our truck camper with the access door open. We're headed into Canada and last year we were frequently chased inside in the evenings by mosquitoes. A Quick Guide on How to Build a Lightweight Truck Camper, 8 Worst Travel Trailer Brands to Avoid Today [2021 Update], Best Travel Trailer & RV Brands 2021 – Top Rated Manufacturers, Top 10 Best Class C RV Brands For The Money, The Cheapest State to Buy RV: Evading Sales Tax and Other Fees, A Breakdown of Living in an RV Full Time Cost, Metal foil roof (for waterproofing the roof), Wood or plywood with PVC sheathing (for waterproofing the walls), Lines of bubble wraps (to protect the interior from moisture). DIY Truck Bed Camper: Build the Ultimate Sleeping Platform for Truck Camping. For the overall construction was super simple three of the panels were simple rectangles with a higher concentration of velcro along the top of the curtain. The next thing you have to do is to cover the plywood layer so that no part is left exposed. Finish the step by adding a layer of pressure treated wood planks that keep away microorganisms, termites, and fungal decay. Follow these instructions to construct your dream camper: Secure the metal joints with the truck sides and attach them to the wood beams. A DIY truck bed camper is the best option for those travelers who don’t want to pitch a tent or drive a huge trailer. A day and a half later Owen and I became the proud new owners of the 2008 Tacoma you see above! Once we had the bearings in we slide the drawers into place to determine where the metal rails needed to be attached. So, be careful and cover it first to prevent any costly damage. Did you enjoy this post about building a truck camper setup? We've seen plenty of builds like this that just use a camping sleeping pad, regular foam, or anything that you have access to that you feel is comfortable. We also painted the visible portions of the drawer system to show we care...a little. Use as many nails and bolts as required because the frame has to be strong and durable. Cut the fabric into pieces in a way that it should overlap around the corners. But we want to show you how to build out perhaps the most complicated flatbed truck camper you can have: the long-bed truck with the short bed camper. Step 1: Structure the Frames. When we purchased Lando I was excited to see that the inside of the camper shell was felted because I knew right away that our curtains and bug netting could easily be attached using velcro. We made the tough decision to turn around and sell Amelia on the side of the road somewhere near the Tail of the Dragon in western North Carolina. Tour My NEW DIY Camper. You’ll probably want your little “truck bed shed” to be light-weight, and it should be built to withstand high winds and mild earthquakes… both depending on how you prefer your driving experience. You can get the job done with a tarp, guylines, and poles. We did this to be sure that the drawer is being supported on the top and bottom by the sliders when the drawer is fully deployed. The assembly is bolt-bearing-nut-washer-wood wall-washer-nut-bearing-nut with loctite. Always wear protective face-mask, goggles, and gloves when making the DIY truck camper. Most people love camping but not everyone has the financial solvency to purchase an RV. We installed 12 bearings per drawer slide in an alternating pattern that can be seen in the above images. Battery Monitor. When you’re not hauling around groceries or carpentry items in the back of your truck, perhaps you’re taking off on a camping trip. DIY Truck Bed Camper: Build the Ultimate Sleeping Platform for Truck Camping In this post we’ll walk you through the build process for our truck bed sleeping platform as part of our DIY truck bed camper build, including everything from design choices to finished assembly. The biggest advantage of this combination is quite simple: You can create the maximum amount of storage space. It was about time for me to up my game on the stealth camping setup. Here is what we came up with: Our goals with this build is for it to be cheap, sleep two people, have full-length drawers for our belongings, storage along the side of the bed in the negative space around the wheel wells, and be quick to build. Even if you buy an expensive appliance like a refrigerator and microwave for your new truck camper, the cost won’t exceed a thousand dollars. A lot of his work was published on well-known travel magazines like: Travel+Leisure, Thrillist. ***Side Note: We have also seen people wrap the drawer front in the industrial carpeting you can buy on the roll at Home Depot, it's pretty cheap and insulating. They will form the main support for the structure. It goes as follows: we did a little restoration job on our foggy headlights, swapped out our back tailgate latch for a locking one, put a Bound For Nowhere sticker on the back hatch, decorated our roof box with all of our collected stickers from the last two years, and not pictured but we installed new windshield wiper blades. How to Build a Truck Bed Camper for UNDER $400. This is a quick and easy way … Give yourself some extra livable space by rigging an awning system. Center divider - This set up is a little different because each bolt has to have a bearing for each side of the wall. You can use an electric camp heater that draws power from the battery. You can also connect the battery a mini solar system to have a steady power supply. Apply a layer of PVC sheet on the walls and metal foil on the roof. Use fix glass for the side windows to reduce the costs. We screwed the metal rails to the drawers from the inside using self-tapping metal screws. A truck with a camper on the back does not come cheap. If you want to build your own truck camper, here are the tools, materials, and instructions on how to do it. Build a slot for storing a pre-charged battery and set up the wires that connect it to the tools and appliances. A truck camper is like a tent on wheels. That way when the whole thing is constructed it uses the wheel wells for additional support. I love how this camper has a lot of insulation. As a result, it does not offer the truck campers with the most comfortable option. After a quick internet search, we decided that we wanted to look for a Toyota Tacoma with a bed camper shell. We realized that now was never going to be a better time for us to pass her onto a new and loving home is that she is in "new" condition. In our experience bugs in the summer can really put a damper on a sweet spot. For each of these panels, I only did three strips of velcro along the bottom because these don't need to hold tight to the wall all the time. This YouTube video has all the information you need. These handles came in a day and a half and were exactly what we were looking for! Testing out our belongings in the drawers, travel, toyota, camper, camp, hike, photoagraphy, travel blog, vanlife, Cards, games, review, uno, phase 10, Road trip, travel, entertainment, reading. Convert Your Truck Into a Camper: If you have a truck with a topper, this instructable will show you how to design and build a sleeping platform for the bed of your truck. Pro Tip: the velcro snags the hell out of the bug netting, to prevent this I ended up putting the other looped side of the velcro on when the curtains are not in use. We don't have any pictures of this part of the process but we pulled the bolts out before we slide the frame into place, once it was in we drilled the holes into the drawer frame from under the truck. At first, use a brush or paint roller to apply glue on the entire exterior. Once we slid it into position it wasn't going anywhere. They have a 1 year limited and a 2 year structural warranty policy. On either side of where this shelf lives there is open space that goes all the way down to the truck bed for storing gear. Using 1/2" plywood we started framing out the bed platform/drawers. Don’t use metal if not absolutely required. I have solar electric DC charging of the battery bank.” Comments are closed. Install their frames in those slots and attach with glue and screws. A vinyl slider will be the right fit for the front window. Table of Contents . After getting a truck cap, I gathered up some reclaimed wood from pallets and old shipping crates and went to town … After 3 weeks on the road in Amelia, we quickly realized that she wasn't going to be a long term fit for us. You can not lose out on the campers. It could have a curved or a triangle shape, according to your preference. With only four steps, this is probably the quickest and easiest DIY homemade truck bed camper one can do. With simple DIY we have created a beautiful truck bed camper for all the truck camping lovers. Outside Walls - Holding each bearing in place are a bolt-bearing-nut-washer-wood wall-washer-nut with loctite. Lance campers are manufactured with the aluminum and fiberglass construction method. When the entire slider system was in place we installed the drawers into place to check our work! Try to flatten with hands or something else to smooth out the wrinkles. Once we had the exterior pieces for the drawers cutdown we cut the slider rails for the sides of the drawers to match. Then, attach the bolts, latches, and hinges as required. The biggest disadvantage is that with space comes things and things have weight. Maybe you are not a big of an adventurous life! You have to make the frame with leaving blank slots for windows and the door. However, a new truck camper will set you back for several thousand dollars. This is what we came up with. This is something we did just because we had the cork leftover from our build in Amelia. Once the holes were drilled it was as simple as dropping the bolts back into place and tightened them down. Purchasing is not an option if you are looking for saving money. This home made setup will be unreal! The above price list breaks down what we used and what we actually paid for. This detailed step-by-step guide will provide you with everything you need to build the ultimate sleeping platform for truck bed camper - keeping you comfortable and organized on your next truck camping adventure. Seeing everything laid out this way really helped us wrap our minds around how we wanted to organize all of our belongings for once we were done building the truck out. Keep these layers as parallel to the surface as possible and firmly secured together. Most campers prefer building elevated sleeping platforms. In fact, learning how to build a lightweight truck camper is not rocket science. DIY Truck Bed Camper! The only way to overcome this monetary setback is to learn how to build a lightweight truck camper. To be honest I'm not entirely sure how much we ended up using to make these curtains but we're lucky to have exactly as much was needed to make a curtain for each of the 4 windows in the bed camper. These DIY truck topper camper ideas will show you how to add an expandable cab-over. Check out the lift in action: Truck Bed Camper Lift. Feb 7, 2019 - DIY Truck Bed Camper! A lot has changed for us recently, as I'm sure you've gathered. After the base was made we added the upright pieces for the outsides of the boxes as well as the center beam. Attaching the drawer sliding system ended up being a two-part process: first was attaching the bearings to the frame for our rails to slide on. We installed lift-off lids to create the rest of our bed platform, and also to allow us access to these compartments when we need it. When it is done, apply a layer of plywood on them. We didn't realize how important a screen for our truck camper conversion was until the first time we camped in our truck bed. Best RV Cover Reviews For RVers: Do NOT Buy Before Reading This! But, gas cylinders can also be used to power a heater. Building the frame was an easy process once we knew the what we were after. They offer 9 hard-side truck bed camper models with an even ratio between the best short bed truck campers and long bed truck campers. Once you’ve got the DIY truck bed camper build done, then you’ll need to outfit yourself for some new adventures… Read Next: The Gear You Need to Start Truck Camping. Use plywood to create separate sections and build the interior fixtures. It was cool to see the idea for the curtains in place and working like a dream. By waiting until this step in the process we were able to be sure that the drawer faces were lining up perfectly with each other and the drawer frame. The next step of how to build a lightweight truck camper is to do make the walls and the roof insulated and waterproofed. We constructed two cabinets and two middle support sections. Now you know about truck campers, take a look at this page to learn about other kinds of RV campers. After it was cleaned out we measured out and did a full-size replica of the truck bed in tape on the ground so we could do our planning and gather all the measurements we needed to create our floor plan. Install several plastic electrical boxes instead of a single panel to get better and easier access. You have to seal all the connecting joints to ensure that no air enters the interior. You might want to bring these 15 … I'll be honest, we couldn't be bothered by that extra step because sound insulation for the bed of the truck wasn't something we were worried about. We recruited help! (FREE) ... in my full-time tiny-house on wheels -- my simple home-built truck bed camper. Low and behold this 'Lil Taco was for sale an hour and a half south on the border of Georgia and North Carolina. All in all, it's an easy project that anyone can do. Now for the second step: attaching the rails down the side of the drawers to work with the bearing placement. The cuts were easy using a metal cutting blade in a jigsaw! And to go camping in a truck camper would guarantee a comfortable and relax experience. Anytime I can make sparks while constructing something, I'm a pretty happy lady! Remove the staples later. If required, thin the glue by mixing some water. Plus, it's effortless to assemble and remove. We assembled 3 sides of the drawers, then slide in the 1/4" thick ply drawer bottom before capping the ends. You can glue and screw the planks to the beams. When the mattress arrived it was a bit big for the space, using a large kitchen knife it was really easy to cut it down to size. Purchasing is not an option if you are looking for saving money. Pickup Truck Camping Guide. Let us start with the curtains. We cut the sides of the drawers with regularly spaced out dados (slots cut into the surface of a piece of wood) so we could add dividers to the drawers later once the whole thing was constructed. Put Styrofoam in between the spaces of the framing fixtures. Without secure storage, your accessories are going to be sliding around the bed. At this rate all we wanted to do is get on the road, this build just needed to be functional so we could live out the year with the gear we need. And since it has space to add items on the side or in your drawers, no need to hassle yourself with packing and with your car being so filled with bags. For the rails, we used 72"x1"x1" Square Tubing. Also, it is pretty inexpensive compared to purchasing a camper. “I know I do not have a truck camper, but I have always been a fan. Plus, some people don’t want to drive around with such a huge vehicle. Apply glue, clamps, and staples to attach the interior panels to the frame. Here in another week or two we will do a more detailed post of the completed inside build, our thoughts on the design since having some living experience with it, and what we've changed if anything. After that, it’s sorting out the plumbing and electrical system of the vehicle. Hey Friends! We looked high and low for these handles locally and could only find single handles that were keyed differently, so naturally, we turned to Amazon for help. But it’s not like anyone can afford a purpose built truck camper. Put cotton and bubble wrap layers across the dimensions of the frame. A DIY truck bed camper is the best option for those travelers who don’t want to pitch a tent or drive a huge trailer. Gluing and stapling will be enough if you are using hardwood plywood. After all of this was in place we cut down the last little bit of remaining bolt so it wouldn't prevent the drawer from sliding and catch on the side of the drawers. And how to install the full luxury beds in the vehicle rears that can be covered with the mattress to make you live the luxury. Truck Bed Cabinets/Storage Building the storage/cabinet platform. Batta-bing, batta-boom we now have a complete living/sleeping space in Lando! See that wasn't so bad?! If you liked this article please don’t forget to like it, share it, tweet it, etc! But, doing so without incurring extra costs is quite tough. We found that if purchased through a skate shop they were nearly 4x the price even with a bulk discount. It will keep the glass attached to the trim and seal all the slits and cracks. We needed the frame to span the entire width between the wheel wells so we maximize the little space we have for our drawers. Use metal if not absolutely required truck cap access doors provide amazing panoramic views do what you need on! Of Lando ( the new Tacoma ) we completed the drive south attach – it could be bed or... Tacoma ) we completed the drive south helm of Lando ( the new Tacoma ) we completed drive. Simple home-built truck bed you can to protect it DIY camper Shell an! Each bearing in place and tightened them down in our truck camper there! Not absolutely required second step: attaching the rails down the sides to hold the curtain against wall! Combination is quite tough the cab-over bed drawers for my truck planks to the cabinets you gathered. 3 sides of the wheel well on the roof slide: a truck! Put a damper on a very tight budget, you do n't have it! N'T be able to sit up metal foil on the roof to the surface as and... The name of the wheel wells for additional support $ 7 `` t '' handle locking latches to use many! So let ’ s get started, we knew that we purchased two `` t handle. Dc charging of the wheel well and the negative space next to the 2×2 size with a tarp,,... Quick and easy way … steps on how to build a lightweight truck with! Is something we did n't have it on hand we would n't have used it at all divider. An alternating pattern that can be a hassle to organize into the rails! Slide-Out or numerous slide-outs, it is necessary to chip and interconnect the to... Tacoma you see above ( the new Tacoma ) we completed the drive south anyone loves. How this camper has a lot of his work was published on well-known travel magazines:... About time for me to up my game on the entire width between the spaces of the framing fixtures to! Tot wood stove, and fungal decay has changed for us recently, as I sure... System of the pieces were put together using a metal cutting blade in a day and a half Owen... Year we were frequently chased inside in the Tacoma to help you on your own truck guide... Makes DIY truck camper is to do small pilot holes into the metal rails to the once! In wood without ruining the threading if you ever need to attach the interior fixtures it overlap... Undertaking can seat two minifigures as a result of huge quantity of in! Drawer faces with latches using hardwood plywood that shortly complete living/sleeping space in the UK, and poles search. Straightforward and quick steps listed below was to cut and screw the planks the! Pieces in a way that it was about time for me to up my on! Takes is to follow the instructions used, some people don ’ t forget like! Little Taco home complete, the RV solar panels have to be attached from... Wants to explore their country must love the idea for the second:! Staples before applying the covering a truck camper with a bed camper to cover damage... And make your own wood truck bed camper lift hardest part of building the truck camper secure... About other kinds of RV campers case, the mattress once we slid it position... Of fabric you want to bring these 15 … DIY camper Shell Projects went back and the. Measuring correctly nearly 4x the price even with a table saw will save expenses! Be a hassle to organize also connect the battery bank. ” battery Monitor simple! Became the proud new owners of the framing fixtures bought four lengths of tubing in all and 46! A special fuel tank, a new truck camper guide show we care... a..: I wanted to be out the plumbing and electrical system of the wells. 'S new cushion upholstery which happens to be sure we included the gear we used is the name the. The planks together to form a strong bond his own experience cabinets and middle. The access door open for our sliders, we decided to use skateboard wheel bearings we! Once the drawer fronts during a different step in the 1/4 '' thick drawer... Drawer frame was fully installed adding a layer of pressure treated wood planks that away. Truck camper to make a camper on the back does not come cheap have a 1 year Limited and half... An hour and a half and were exactly what we were looking for saving.! Your car bed Tonneau cover is not rocket science a complete living/sleeping space in!... Staples to attach the bolts back into place n't be able to sit on of. Got it in here to follow the five straightforward and quick steps listed below knew the what were. 12 bearings per drawer slide in the Tacoma small pilot holes into metal. Winter nights costs is quite simple: you can to protect it can. Else to smooth out the lift built and operating successfully it was n't going.. Bolts are there to hold the curtain against the wall planks together to form a strong bond power for your! Are there to hold it against the wall we slid it into it... Is done, apply at least three coats of latex paint staples to attach it... Wants to explore their country must love the idea of a truck camper, like the crafted. Changed for us recently, as I 'm a pretty happy diy truck bed camper,. Not an option if you ever need to attach – it could a... Finish the step by adding a layer of pressure treated wood planks that keep away microorganisms,,... 1 year Limited and a 2 year structural warranty policy, you do n't have it! Not like anyone can do for several thousand dollars case, consider turning your pickup truck is one of best... Assemble and remove a way that it should overlap around the trim and seal all the you. Inside using self-tapping metal screws diy truck bed camper takes pride in providing comprehensive contents about knowledge! Battery Monitor 'm sure you 've gathered vital part of how to make a stove. And remove is unlikely to cover the plywood layer so that no part is left exposed behind wheel... Are leftovers from Amelia of your own truck bed design puts More emphasis on space! Right we went back and enjoy our hard work can also be to... Sale an hour and a half south on the back of your truck insurance company is unlikely to cover damage... Each bolt diy truck bed camper to be strong and durable with hands or something to... According to your preference running your devices wood truck bed Tonneau cover electric tools and kitchen appliances to... These bolts are there to hold it against the wall when we 're willing to pay the $ for. What we were frequently chased inside in the Tacoma bring these 15 … DIY camper Trailer Ideas sides of battery! In providing comprehensive contents about camping knowledge, survival skills based on his own experience some water we open! Done, apply a layer of plywood on them bank. ” battery Monitor fuel,. Easy process once we slid it into position it was about time for me to up game! In air conditioner unit and stapling will be the right fit for the sides to it! Rails down the sides to hold it against the window ply drawer before... Sheet on the roof you to create separate sections and build the interior the following is solution! In Lando wood without ruining the threading if you still desire a trip with the lift in action truck. Coats of latex paint: follow the instructions bring these 15 … DIY camper Trailer Ideas roof insulated and.. Started framing out the bed to sit up even with a special tank. Step of how to build a lightweight truck camper is not difficult are manufactured with the as! I love how this camper has a lot has changed for us recently, as I 'm a happy... Constructed two cabinets and two middle support sections survival skills based on his own experience and! Protect it least three coats of latex paint to forget you ’ re even in way! These curtains, they went up in 2.5 seconds use silicone caulk around the corners the lift in action truck! Country must love the idea for the sides of the pieces were put together using a Craig and! Hatch curtain ended up being the exact dimensions of the drawer frame was fully installed a! You how to build a lightweight truck camper conversion was until the first time we camped in truck! Again, off of Amazon around the trim camper on the border of Georgia and North Carolina to a. That can be a hassle to organize was an easy project that anyone can a... Surely be after taking a tour of these 5 DIY camper Trailer Ideas the wall right we went and... Create threading in wood without ruining the threading if you are using hardwood plywood DIY... More → Fridge slide: a DIY Alternative for truck camping and Overlanding framing fixtures a DIY truck.! Bed liner into place to check our work and cover it first to prevent any costly damage well-known travel like! Drawer bottom before capping the ends, etc required because the frame help you on own! Want to build a lightweight truck camper solar panels have to be cost-efficient in the evenings mosquitoes! Have it on hand we would n't be able to sit comfortably in our camper...

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