There is a saying that “Stress is caused by not camping enough.” It is true, and who needs therapy when you can go camping?DIY truck camper

Truck campers are really cool, and there is no single doubt about it. It seems like a tent on wheels.

Bathroom, bed, and a roof in a truck camper, oh my!

And the best part about it is that you can take it almost anywhere.

You don’t have to pack it and carry it. It sits on the back of your truck and looks like a bag pack.

Isn’t it cool?

However, knowing the cost of the truck camper is not that cool. After finding out the prices, you might feel low and think that a truck camper is not really for you.

But, if you are a camp lover and always want to explore the country, then you must have thought about a truck camper. It gives homely vibes, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, the cost of one truck camper will make you sad. 

Want to overcome this monetary setback?

Well, we may have a way for you.


Why don’t you create your own DIY truck camper?

A lightweight camper is the right choice if you are going out camping but hate staying in a boring tent.

If you are reading this blog, then you are probably a new truck camper owner, planning to buy one, or seriously looking for a cheap way to enjoy camping in your own-built truck camper.

If you don’t have capital, then a DIY truck camper is the perfect solution!

We are going to take a deep dive into how to create your very own custom-built yet versatile truck camper right in your garage.

All your questions will be answered, and all the steps will be discussed to build a truck camper.



Did you know that truck campers have been ruling since the mid-1950s? 

Yes, RVs are more popular, but there is a different community that loves to own a truck camper and enjoy truck camping.

Nothing can beat the feeling of traveling in a compact truck that has everything. The advantages of owning a truck camper are many.

And since you are not towing a vehicle, you don’t have to be scared while taking sharp turns. Want to feel the comfort of home? 

Get a truck camper!

Are you an outdoor enthusiast who loves to travel in new places that lack hotels, restaurants, washrooms? 

Get a truck camper!

 Are you a forest ranger or love hunting? 

Get a truck camper!

You see, a truck camper is a total package and the best travel buddy! 

But, wondering How to get it?

Well, As mentioned, BUILD IT!

We know what you are thinking!

 “Can you build your own truck camper?” 

   Of course, you can!

If you have your truck with a topper, then your problem is solved. It ain’t hard to build your truck camper because everything is possible with DIY. 

How to make a DIY truck camper?
How to make a DIY truck camper?

What you really need?

Essentials And A Weekend! Get The Right Truck For You

Now, you must be wondering, “What kind of truck do you need for a truck camper?” 

Well, if you are purchasing your first truck and planning to convert it into a truck camper, then we recommend you to get a 1-ton truck such as a Chevy Silverado 3500, a Ram 3500, or a Ford F-350.


There are many more options to choose from.

 First and foremost, comfort is important. You will be spending long hours driving your truck, so buy the right one that suits you the most.

In the end, also find the truck that has enough carrying capacity for the truck camper you want. Finding the right truck will make you feel like finding your soulmate.

So once you do, slide in the camper and hit that road. And oh, you will love that feeling!

The next question will pop up in your mind that “Is it legal to ride in a truck camper?

Indeed, it is!

 Most states allow passengers to travel in the truck camper. However, there are a few exceptions.


Check if it is allowed in your state before going on a long trip with your family or friends. 

We know that it is a little surprising, but gotta follow the rules, pal.

Once you get the truck, the main question will arise that “Can a 1/2 ton truck carry a camper?” 

To be one the safer side get 1-ton and the 3/4 trucks.

Unlike these trucks, 1/2 ton trucks won’t be able to handle the weight of a full-size camper.

So our answer is no. None of the 1/2 trucks can hold a 1,000- to the 2,000-pound payload.

Now that you know about the weight, let’s head towards the price of a truck camper.


Is your mind itching to know the truck camper’s price? Want to know how much does it cost to live in a truck camper?

How to make a DIY truck camper?
How to make a DIY truck camper?

Well, the price of a truck camper ranges from $8,000 to $40,000. The overall cost of the trucks depends on the brand, features, and much more.

We hope there are no more questions in your mind. If all your doubts and queries are clear, then let’s get straight into the main topic.

Building a Lightweight Truck Camper From The Beginning

A beautiful truck camper comes at a great price. You don’t have enough money, but you are dying to own one.

So what should we do? 

Well, for this reason, we have brought a DIY truck camper article just for you. When you are running out of cash, DIY is the perfect option.

But firstly, you should outline because it will help you in your DIY project.

Wake up your inner artistic person and do this project now!

With the help of this guide and a little carpentry skill, you can turn your simple truck into an oh-so-gorgeous truck camper. 

But before we dive into the main topic, you will have to collect a few supplies to make your DIY task easy.

The material you will need to build Truck Camper

  • Wood planks
  • Nails
  • Wooden beams or Aluminium beams
  • Hammer
  • Plywood boards
  • Solar Panel
  • Small sink
  • Measuring tape
  • A ready-made roof
  • Metal joints
  • Foam or cotton insulation
  • Drill machine
  • PVC sheathing
  • Bubble wraps for air-proofing the interiors (optional)
  • Weatherproof tape
  • Pipes for plumbing
  • Small black water tank
  • A big bottle, grey water tank, or a bucket for disposal

Safety Comes First!

You should always think about your safety and buy the necessary materials for yourself as well. For that, you will need a facemask, gloves, goggles, as well as protective gear. Wearing these things while working is mandatory.

Now let’s begin our DIY project, fellas!

There are four main things in DIY truck camper plans, and they are a bed, washroom, shell, insulation, and wiring. We will cover each topic, so keep reading.

DIY Truck Bed Camper

It is time to bring out the wood and show your carpentry skills. 

Your main goal should be to keep it simple, modular, free, and lightweight. 

The bed should be supported by two frames, and a thick platform resting on top. If you wish, then you can build drawers as per the space below your bed.

One small note!

We haven’t mentioned any measurements since the size of the trucks varies from model to model and manufacturer to manufacturer.

That being said, let’s start our work!

Step 1: Start By Building The First Bed Support

Begin your work by creating two-bed frames. You can make the bed frames around 6 feet.

Moreover, the first frame should sit around the wheels, and the second one should be placed in the middle of the truck camper.

If in case your truck’s bed is more than 8 feet, then you can make the bed frame as per the bed mattress. 

What to do with the remaining area? Well, you can use the additional space for other storage purposes.

STEP 2: Making The Platform

Measure and cut the plywood to fit on top of the frames. Once done, then place it above the frames.

You are almost done!

Step 3: Try Out The Bed Yourself In The Truck Camper

By trying it out, we mean that you should sleep on it see if your frame fits on the bed platform.

STEP 4: Storage Under Bed

You will have enough place to put other stuff beneath your bed. So figure out what things will fit under the bed platform.

If your bed height is small, then you can place your kitchen stuff under it. And if your bed height is bigger, then you can store bigger stuff like water containers, camping stoves, utensils, and much more.

Psst! Want to know one quick hack?

You can use plastic dishpans, which can slide easily under your bed frame.

Step 5: Making The Drawers

To make it look tidier, you can create drawers to store necessary equipment while traveling.

It will make it easy to corral your stuff in one place while the truck is moving.

Once you are done with the measurements, move to the next step.

STEP 6: Drawer And Assembly

You can spice up the look of your drawer and show more creativity by adding two drawers above and two drawers below.

It will turn out very beautiful in the end and give a cleaner look to the bed.

The assembly is pretty simple. All you have to do is join all the parts and nail it.

The entire insertion and assembly will take one person and two minutes only. Build a bed in such a way that it can be removed from the truck easily.

If you like it, then you should put a lid or a shell in it!

Once the bed is set, you can move to the roof.

Who doesn’t need a solid shell to protect from sun and rain? Well, we all do.

You can let out your creative side by creating a sunroof, windows, and so much more. Want to know how to create a strong roof? Keep reading!

So here we go!

DIY truck camper shell

Step 1: Create a Design for your truck camper

Want to make your truck camper stand out? Design it!

This step is pretty simple if you already have a design in your head. You can first outline the truck camper design on paper.

Then take all the measurements and join all the parts together. Easy enough?

Step 2: Attach all the beams!

Do not be a miser! Use enough bolts and nails to join the wooden beams together.

Budget ain’t no problem? Then you can buy aluminum beams for a lightweight yet sturdier frame.

Step 3: Attach the frames and roof.

Once you have attached your beams, it is time to install the frame and roof.

While doing so, you can seal the edges with weatherproof tape. To give it a good finishing, you can use fiberglass, corrugated tin, or rubber to hide the tape.

An important note!

Secure the beam and tape as tightly as possible to avoid any trouble while traveling.

Step 4: Add the insulation and walls

Now, it is time to move forward and add strong walls to the skeleton. For this, plywood boards are the right choice.

It will not only protect you from a harsh environment but also support a somewhat wobble frame. Of course, plywood panels won’t complete the finishing look.

Now, attach the walls to the framing. Again, don’t be a miser and use enough screws and adhesive to stick everything together. 

Note one thing in mind, the stronger the walls are, the longer your truck camper will last. Got it?

Once all the fixing part is done, cut an opening for a small window near the bed. Then, fix the frames and attach a small glass window.

Now, let’s move to the tricky part.

DIY Truck Camper Electrical Wiring

Solar panels are the best option while traveling. With that, you can easily charge your phones, use a microwave, make coffee, turn on lights, and do much more.

How to make a DIY truck camper?
How to make a DIY truck camper?

Step 1: Install Solar-Powered System in your Truck Camper

Find the best spot on the roof and install the solar panel. Then, run the wires through inside the wall.

Make sure the wires are not exposed, or else it will cause electrocution.

Let’s come to the electrical part!

A 12V system will take power from several battery units and supply it to the appliances. These batteries will receive charges from the engine when it runs or an external 110V power source.

For that, you can simply use an inverter to convert into 110V from 12V power. Then, your moving electricity is ready!

DIY truck camper with bathroom

A bathroom is necessary for a truck camper. If your truck is large and lightweight enough, then you can build a small bathroom that will have a pot and a sink.

Step 1: Install Essential Equipment

Firstly, install a black water tank for the toilet. And a small washbasin will be handy as well. The used water can be thrown into a big bottle, grey water tank, or a bucket.

Besides, you can store fresh water above the sink. 

Step 2: Install the plumbing

It is another important step for a lightweight truck camper. Install the water and disposal system to maintain a hygienic environment.

If you are experienced with plumbing, then you can install a small RV water pump and use good quality pipes for plumbing.

A quick suggestion!

Many people do not install toilets due to the minimum space. If you want to have one, then we would suggest you go for a composite RV toilet. 

Yes, it is a bit expensive, but it’ll get your job done. Plus, you won’t need any plumbing. 

Once the bed, roof, and washroom are complete. Only one thing is remaining.

Any guesses?

It’s insulation!

Insulate the camper

The best truck camper needs proper insulation too. It is the last part of creating a DIY truck camper. You will have to follow certain steps to finish the entire look. So let’s have a quick view of the steps below.

Step 1: Shield The Walls And Floor

You can use a layer of PVC sheathing or foam panel boards to insulate the walls and floor. Make sure to attach the layers tightly with screws, bolts, and strong adhesive.

Doing so will maintain the structural integrity of these outer layering. Let’s move towards the final step of this fun DIY project.

Step 2: Finishing the Insulation

Now, apply a layer of bubble wrap or cotton across the dimensions of exterior walls. Then, finish the insulation, pressing a layer of decorative plywood onto the insulating material.

That’s it!

Overall, it is a great build. You will have to work very hard to make your DIY truck camper successful.

Once you are done, you can pack your bags and get ready for a camping trip.

Our Final Thoughts

So now, you know how to create your truck camper. We have shared basic and easy steps to encourage you to build your own version of a travel truck camper. So go to your garage now and pull this DIY project.

We hope you liked and enjoyed our easy peasy DIY truck camper plans. If you did, then don’t fail to share it with your loved ones.

Have any great tips and ideas for a truck camper? Then do share it with us!

Hop on to the driver’s seat and explore new places with your family.


Read more: Diy Pull Up Bar At Your Home


Shashank Jain, a young and energetic entrepreneur has always been fond of technology. His liking for technology made him go for engineering in computers. During his studies, he learned & worked on different computer languages & OS including HBCD, Linux, etc. He also has a keen interest in ethical hacking.

Write A Comment