While camping and sleeping under your trusty tent has always been the norm for outdoor lovers, there are several advantages in camping at the back of your pickup truck. Think about it this way, you have just spent the day walking and hiking, soaking in the sceneries and enjoying your trek. Chances are you’re already all tuckered for the day.

Let’s throw in a sudden rainfall or thunderstorm in there as well, shall we? Now, which sounds more appealing? Setting up your tent while fumbling over in near complete darkness or opening your camper top lid, snuggling over a ready-made bed and calling it a night?

Tell me what should i do…

The choice is pretty clear: If you have a pickup truck or any vehicle with a spacious back, then you should definitely think about incorporating it during your camping trips.

Kevin SmithBlogger

It is called truck bed camping and it’s one sure way to sleep comfortably and securely when camping outdoors. If you are still new to this camping trip then you will need some help when it comes to setting up the best truck bed. In that regard, I’ve come up with some helpful tips and tricks for you to get started. But first…

Organize your Gear

First and foremost, you need to organize your camping equipment properly. Try putting specific items together based on their use and importance. Separate each by category by using a waterproof bag. By sealing them neatly in a waterproof bag you can take them out of your truck and place them outside to increase space inside your truck bed. Electronics and other gadgets should, of course, be stored inside the vehicle.


As for the camping gears, try storing them by importance. For example, first aid kits should be easily accessible. This way, you can quickly grab specific items such as the first aid kit when the situation arises. There is also the issue of bringing essential items that you need, specific to the area you will be camping. Does the place have an easily accessible water source? If not then you should think about bringing your own water reserve. 6-gallons of water should be enough for a couple days. Research the area thoroughly to know what essential items you will need to bring.

Now then, let’s get to some great truck bed camping ideas that you can use! Below are 5 truck bed camping ideas that you can use to make your camping experience even more enjoyable.


It is vital that you learn the importance of maximizing space when camping. This also true when making a truck bed. Divide the space into two: your sleeping quarters and a storage compartment. You’ll need some carpentry work done here. Create a divider using plywood or lumber that fits perfectly inside your camper. Now that it’s divided, you can place a mattress or airbed at the top bunk and your camping equipment at the bottom.

I recommend you or someone else create the dividers and storage compartments if you wish to save some cash. You can also opt to simply buy commercial storage boxes if you have cash to spare. You can follow my setup plan or you can do your own thing. Just remember to make the most out of every nook and cranny of your truck.

There are, literally, dozens of ways to set up the interior for your truck bed. Depending on the size and make of the vehicle, you can really optimize space while still having more than enough leg room for when you sleep.


Okay, I know what you’re thinking, isn’t this close to just simply camping? Well, hear me out for a bit. You can go about this in one of two ways; either you close the windows and doors of the truck or pitch a tent. Simply rolling up the windows and closing the door is easier but during a summer downpour at night? It is going to get extremely stuffy inside your truck. Pitching a simple tarp setup should help ventilate the truck better during hot and humid nights.

Setting up a tent on a truck is quite easy, you know…

Watch this video on how to set up a tent on your truck!

Pitching a tarp is simple and easy. All you need is a bungie cord, 2 to 4 aluminum tent poles, tent stake and accessory cord. One thing you need to remember when setting up the tarp is to adjust the height to ensure proper drainage during heavy rainfall. Voila! You now have a well ventilated and less stuffy sleeping quarter.


Now, if you truly want to boost your experience then maybe you should think about installing some electronics into your truck bed. A nifty audio system will definitely enhance your camping experience. Sure, the whole point of camping is to get away from people and technology but enjoying the perks offered by modern technology can enhance your outdoor experience.


You will need a 12-volt power supply which you can choose to hardwire directly into your truck’s battery. Once that is taken care of you are all set. Plug in your stereo, smartphone or laptop and enjoy the best of both worlds. Make sure that the wires are all safe and secure. You don’t want any sparks going off at night. If you’re not confident about setting up the power supply then ask someone else to do it.

Or you can check online for tutorials on how to set up an audio system yourself. Like this…


Now that you have created the best and proper setup for your truck bed, there is one other important factor that you need to consider and that is your safety. You never know what you’ll encounter in the outdoors. For example, mosquitoes could make your stay a living hell. In this case, you can find some of these mosquito traps useful. 


Avoid this by installing mesh cloth across the openings on your truck. This allows cool air to come in while keeping annoying bugs outside. Keeping your truck sealed also helps prevent other animals from sneaking into your vehicle.


You should also consider bringing a heater. Coleman sells great quality and compact heaters that you can use to keep the inside of your truck warm during exceptionally chilly nights. Remember that there is no need to spend exuberant amounts of cash when setting up your own truck bed camper. You have all the items you need at your local Wal-Mart.


If you have an open-air pickup truck then you might want to also check out truck bed camping tents. These are easy to set up tents designed specifically to be installed into the back of your truck. These tents have a price range of around $100 to over $500. You can check out them out at your local outdoor sporting goods store or from online shops. We’ll discuss everything you need to know about truck bed tents in the future.

All you need to know about Truck camping tents…

Final Thoughts

Truck bed camping is a smart and cost-effective way for campers to incorporate their four-wheel drive pickup trucks into the mix. It might take a lot of work to complete but trust me when I say that it is a worthwhile investment in the long run. For campers and hunters who usually stay outdoors for more than a day or two, customizing their ride in order to double as a shelter will greatly make their experience run smoothly.


If you have a pickup truck and you love staying outdoors then I believe it is high time you start to convert it into a rolling home. You will definitely not regret it once you get to stay snug and comfortable inside your own little fortress.

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Kevin Smith
Ahoy there! The name’s Kevin Smith, the proprietor of this little travel and outdoors blog. Since I was a kid, the outdoors has always been a passion, as my parents were avid campers themselves. They taught me everything I know about camping, hiking, etc. I would like to do my part by imparting my know-how to like-minded individuals who enjoy the same hobby. I started this website in the hopes of helping other people when it comes to answering questions, giving tips and recommendations focusing on the camping niche. Along with some close friends of mine, we are here to help you make the most out of your outdoor experience. Enjoy your stay and enjoy the wild side!

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