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Truck Camper Cost

How Much Does a Truck Camper Cost?

low costBasic Truck Camper: $3,000-$15,000average costLarge Truck Camper: $20,000-$50,000
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A truck camper can be one of the least expensive and smallest types of recreational vehicles, although options can quickly increase the price and size. Also called a slide-in camper or a cab-over camper, a truck camper is a self-contained recreational camping unit that fits into the bed of a pickup.

Typical costs:

  • A standard truck camper can cost $3,000-$15,000. On some units the top folds down to improve the aerodynamics while driving, then pops back up so most people can walk comfortably inside the living space. For example, the 11' folding 2011 Palomino Bronco B600[1] costs $8,000-$15,000 with a double bed, a dinette that converts into another bed, a two-burner stove, a sink and an icebox or a mini-refrigerator.
  • Expect to pay $20,000-$50,000 for a larger truck camper with features such as a bathroom or a slide-out to expand the living space (soft-sided slide-outs are less expensive than hard-sided). The 20' Lance 1191[2] starts at $30,000-$35,000, has about 12' of interior floor length and comes with a queen bed, a dinette that converts into a bed, a three-burner stovetop and oven, a refrigerator and a bathroom (sink, toilet and separate shower stall).
  • Truck campers start depreciating as soon as they're bought, so a well-cared-for camper that's a few years old could be 20% to 30% less than the original purchase price.
Related articles: Class B Motorhome Camper Van, Motorhome RV, RV Trailer, RV Rental, RV

What should be included:
  • A truck camper is basically a narrow room, 8'-22' long, with outside steps up to the door and ceilings tall enough for an average person. Typically there is a bed area (often extended above the pickup cab), a table/sitting area that converts to a bed, and a small food prep area (perhaps a simple sink, icebox and built-in propane stovetop). One advantage of a truck camper is maneuverability; it can go almost anywhere a pickup can go. discusses the pros and cons[3] of truck campers and other small RVs.
  • When not in the truck, the camper is stored on tall jacks. To load it onto the pickup truck, the truck must be backed into position, and then the jacks are lowered until the camper is in place, with the wiring lights hooked up. For unloading, the process is reversed. The Happijac company lists rules for loading and unloading a camper; manufacturer Hallmark RV posts a video[4] of loading a camper onto a truck.
  • Some campers come with a space-saving "wet bath" where the shower and toilet (plus sink if there is one) are in a single stall. When the shower is used, everything gets wet. A "dry bath" has a walk-in shower and separate toilet area. describes and illustrates a wet bath[5] .
Additional costs:
  • A pickup capable of hauling a truck camper starts at $20,000 for a half-ton to $50,000 or more for a one-ton truck with dual wheels an extended cab. Fuel efficiency will depend on the specific combination of pickup truck and camper. Most truck-camper owners report getting about 10-15 mpg, or 18-20 mpg with a diesel truck, according to[6] .
  • Truck campers typically cost less to insure than larger motorized or trailer RVs because the pickup is already insured and the camper is considered cargo that can be covered with a relatively inexpensive rider to the insurance policy.
  • Campground or RV park fees can cost $10-$50 a night, depending on the amenities offered. Most truck campers are stored at home but if that's not possible for a larger unit, renting RV storage space can cost $20-$100 a month.
  • Because truck campers can go anywhere a pickup can go, there are many options for low-cost or free[7] overnight camping.
Shopping for a truck camper:
  • The pickup truck and truck camper are often bought separately, but need to be carefully matched. Truck Camper Magazine recommends selecting a camper first and then choosing a truck. The magazine lists tips for choosing a truck camper[8] , choosing a truck[9] and matching a truck and truck camper[10] .
  • Truck camper shows are a good way to see several different makes and models at the same time; admission can be free, or $5-$10, plus any parking fees.
  • Truck Camper Magazine provides a buyer's guide, and Roaming Times reviews[11] specific models.
  • For used truck campers, start with the price estimating tool[12] provided by Nada Guides, but also research prices locally and at eBay[13] and Craigslist[14] .
  • Search for local dealers through the National Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association[15] or[16] .
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