Truck bed camping

ringer

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2004
Messages
869
I have always slept in the uncovered bed of a pickup. At 69 i will use a 5" foam pad from my upholstery shop this fall. One turkey hunt I woke up with a couple of inches of snow on top of me but i covered with a tarp so no problem.
 

TheSurveyor

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2016
Messages
225
Location
@ 7500' Colorado
I spent ~15 nights in my truck bed last yr. My topper is carpet lined and I have the foam backed carpet liner for the bed too. It fills in the ribs of the bed and provides insulation. Got down to -5 one night last yr. Was fine inside my bag. I wired up some led lights to a dimmer switch which is nice so you can turn them down to a glow or up on high for whatever.
 

BigTimber

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
32
Location
Montana
I spend 30-40 nights a year in the truck camper. Its especially nice in the winter when its dumping snow.
I use the buddy heater to preheat the camper than turn it off when I get in. Its also nice to warm everything up in the morning.
A couple of Paco pads makes it a queen size bed for me and the old lady.

I built this platform that allows everything to be stored underneath me.
I also like that I can keep my chest toolbox in and have all my truck gear.
I made it 4 pieces so It comes in and out by myself in a couple minutes.
The rear panel removed in the 2nd photo is the exact size and height on the Yeti.

Truck Bed 2.jpg

Truck Bed.jpg
 

TonyS

New member
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Messages
22
I put a raised bed with insulation on the back, insulation side down, carpet covering it. I also use a Thermarest pad. I used it in 20 degree weather out hunting Mearns in AZ. Bought a 7 gallon water jug which gets tied against the front of the bed.

Brought a spare sleeping bag for my dog. He thought I was nuts until about 1 am when that bag became very welcome.

The nice thing is when you want to move to a new location you just start the truck and go.
 

Ttannahill14

New member
Joined
Jan 26, 2016
Messages
281
Location
Central Kansas
Alright you guys definitely convinced me. And nothing screams "outdoorsman" than a truck topper that's not the same color as your truck! ha


Been searching craigslist for the last month or two and can't find a topper that's the same color as my truck (black)... hopefully one comes up soon!

I'll probably just build a shelf towards the cab to put up coolers and tubs. It's just me this trip. If I ever camped with the wife I would consider building a system like BigTimber.
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
848
Location
Wherever the bugles are
Alright you guys definitely convinced me. And nothing screams "outdoorsman" than a truck topper that's not the same color as your truck! ha


Been searching craigslist for the last month or two and can't find a topper that's the same color as my truck (black)... hopefully one comes up soon!

I'll probably just build a shelf towards the cab to put up coolers and tubs. It's just me this trip. If I ever camped with the wife I would consider building a system like BigTimber.
If you want the colors to match you could always snag one off of CL and see what a shop would charge to color match it I wouldn't think it would be too bad especially if you get a good deal on a topper.
 

uncle sage

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Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
266
Location
Lake Almanor, Ca.
Just about anything that you can do with a topper, you can do better with a light weight pop-up cabover. Mine is older, was bought well used for $800., a deal i know but it was out there. I've had lots of different campers but i was between campers back in 1990 when i drew one of the best mule deer tags in Calif. I framed up a rough "A" frame with a 1" by 4" ridge board and 2x4" rafters and pulled a green tarp over that, in business. The thing would flap a bit on the highway, rock back and forth on that units extremely rocky roads, but it was light weight, worked for my needs, cheap, and lasted the whole two week season without a hitch. A buck hunter can always make do if he wants or needs to.

One little camper shell i had for several seasons had about 6-8 inches sticking up over the cab. I framed a bed on one side using the fender well on my Chevy as the Base and leveled the other side using 2x4 legs with a plywood top. I stored stuff in tubs under the bed and it was a very comfortable sleeping arrangement but the big advantage of the bit extra topper height, for me, was that i could sit up on the bed for putting socks and shoes on, or whatever, without hitting my head on the roof.
 
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vanish

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Messages
1,224
Location
Colorado
For me and the wife, we pack a futon mattress. For solo, I sometimes use the futon, sometimes use a cot pad. Real blankets and pillows. Done it as cold as -6, though convincing yourself to start moving in the morning sucks at that point.

I don't like using a raised platform as I like headroom. I think a 2ft shelf is a good idea, but haven't pursued it as my wife likes having her head by the cab. We use the tub method and either tarp them at night, or stick them in the cab. Seems we pack a LOT less crap than most people.
 

1_pointer

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 20, 2000
Messages
16,918
Location
Indiana
Once I get out of the faux-truck I'm driving now and into an actual truck, I could see a sleeper/topper setup in my future. Solo trips or trips with the boys and dog. I like the shelf ideas and am already a fan of tote organization.
 

michsteelguy

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2014
Messages
167
Location
S.E. Michigan
I was wondering about this subject as well. Another option I was considering was a truck tent. Many different styles, sizes, etc. and are available at many retailers and online for a fairly cheap price....... heres an (Internet pic) example:truck tent.jpg
 

prhunter

Active member
Joined
Aug 2, 2014
Messages
571
Location
Far West Texas
I have used a truck tent on many different occasions such as short weekend hunts or hunts when ill be hunting straight outta camp with no issues.
 

Jchiggins2012

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2018
Messages
50
Location
Salt Lake City
I spent 3 fishing trips cruising the rivers in colorado in my self made camper setup. I had a leer 100xq ? i think thats the model. 2 pop out windows and a one solid flush hatch.... Here is what I learned. When its cold you are protected, just use any normal cold weather gear and you should be fine.

On the other hand... when it gets hot.... it sucks.. you need to find a way to move air inside. If I did it again I would make a small portable box with batteries and a small electric fan. i would also pick a topper with better ventilation options and maybe opt for the door model and ditch the tailgate. Trying to maneuver a gate and get out of the truck at 2 am in the dark is a pain in the ass.


Mine was elevated off the truck bed as well. I would built and enclosed box this time around with drawer storage, which I would fill with clothes for insulation.
 

Don K

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2011
Messages
455
Location
Northern Illinois
I had one that I picked up for my truck that I had for 10 years for 25 bucks. Painted it with a roller and it turned out great.

Just bought a new/used truck and have started looking again for one to fit that.

If your on Facebook there is a Marketplace there that you can search for a topper. Lots show up for me just not one that will fit my truck. You can search up to 100 miles from your area and I saw some for Nissans on there.
 

CampRipleyLF

Active member
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
887
Location
Minnesota
Only if I didn't have a GMC Canyon with a 5 ft bed, near impossible to sleep in the back without turning sideways and having no room for gear! Been saving up some coin to get an actual truck suited for my needs.....
 

Paul in Idaho

Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2012
Messages
564
Location
southwest Idaho
I have done it many times. Usually it has worked great. For a November hunt when there may be a lot of wet snow, my main advice is to be sure to have a good heat source to keep your boots from freezing solid overnight. Not having that cost me an elk hunt several years ago.
 
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