Truck Bed Camping: Everything You Need To Explore Outdoors

Truck Bed Camping: Best Truck Bed Mattress, Truck Bed Tents, & Campers

It’s hard to beat a day of outdoor adventures capped off by some time by the fire. But when it comes to getting a good night of rest, some camping setups just don’t cut it. That’s where truck bed camping stands out from the crowd.

There’s a whole world of truck camping accessories to let you sleep like a baby. Truck bed campers and rooftop tents for trucks are amazing, but they’re not the only way to go truck bed camping in style.

Instead, you can get a great night’s sleep with a few truck camping accessories in a compact, affordable package. A truck bed air mattress paired with a truck bed tent camper lets you get a great night of sleep, all while keeping costs way down.

After reading this, you’re going to have everything you need to know to start truck bed camping like a pro. We’ll start with a quick rundown of the main options and budgets, then jump into thorough reviews of:

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Napier Outdoors truck tent camper

Getting into Truck Bed Camping: A Quick Rundown

Pickup trucks are one of the best vehicles for exploring and adventuring, regardless of what your truck camping accessories are. The most important thing is using your pickup to enjoy camping, hiking, and whatever else your heart desires under the sun and the stars.

I like to think about the truck bed camping world as a spectrum. On one hand, throw the essential camping gear in the truck bed and hit the road with some camping apps. The other side has the luxurious life of the best truck campers with multiple beds, a kitchen, and a bathroom.

For most people, landing somewhere on this truck bed camping spectrum works out great.

You can save loads of money while ramping up the comfort just by getting one of the best truck bed air mattresses, a great truck bed tent, and a few other truck camping accessories, like the best truck bed storage options. So let’s dive into those details.

The mattress creates a flat, comfortable sleeping space, and the truck bed tents create a perfect camping space that fits perfectly on your truck bed. You could easily do some Baja camping or use it as a Burning Man tent. It’s a giant improvement over sleeping on the ground, all for a reasonable price.

Pro tip: When using any air mattress, fill it up and let it sit for an hour or two before using it. The materials will stretch out and you can top it off by filling it a little more before going to bed. It’s much more likely to provide support all night long.

The small lake in Evergreen Colorado, a nice little stop on your Colorado road trip itinerary

The Best Truck Bed Air Mattresses: Comfortable Rest

Pickup truck beds are a great spot to throw in an air mattress to step up your camping comfort. The top options fit precisely around the wheel wells and have built-in pumps, but it’s also worth considering some of the alternatives.

Once you pick out your mattress, keep reading to get the ideal tent for your pickup truck’s bed.

If you want to read more about getting comfortable in your pickup, head over to our complete post about truck bed mattresses!

Best overall truck mattressPittman Outdoors AirBedz Truck Air MattressHigh-quality air mattress that maximizes truck bed sleeping space$$$Check Price
Best self-inflatingLOSTHORIZON Self-Inflating Truck Camping MattressFoam/air construction provides superior comfort and better insulation$$Check Price
Top alternative air mattressOffroading Gear Inflatable Truck Bed MattressIncredible truck air mattress designed to go around wheel wells$$Check Price
Best budget optionRightline Gear Truck Bed Air MattressInflatable mattress made to fit between truck bed wheel wells$Check Price
Best foamKingfun Memory Foam Camping Mattress for Truck BedComfortable memory foam mattress in a compact package$Check Price

Don’t want to read about truck mattresses? Skip to:

Pittman Airbedz truck bed air mattress

Best Overall: Pittman Outdoors AirBedz Truck Air Mattress

Known as the gold standard in truck camping air mattresses, you can’t go wrong with the AirBedz lineup from Pittman Outdoors. They maximize every inch of your pickup truck’s bed space and are made with high-quality, durable materials that won’t let you down.

Each AirBeds Truck Mattress features two cutouts on each side to fit the wheel wells and covers them with an air-filled area. It transforms your entire truck bed into an inviting sleeping area.

There are multiple sizes so it doesn’t matter what size your truck is or how long your bed is, there’s still a Pittman mattress that’ll fit perfectly. Plus, you can get inflatable wheel well inserts to use at home.

Pittman AirBedz truck air mattress

We like the AirBedz Pro3 Truck Mattress model the most. It hits a good price level, still has the high-quality construction of the premium model, and has a built-in 12V pump that easily runs off your 12V cigarette lighter. Want to know a great place to test it out? Head to Colorado’s Black Canyon National Park for a hidden treasure.

The slightly more expensive AirBedz Original Truck Bed Air Mattress has a battery-powered pump instead. And the lowest-priced option, the AirBedz Lite Truck Air Mattress, uses a less-luxurious flocked PVC construction and comes with a portable pump.

Why We Like It:

  • Durable yet comfortable fabric construction
  • Fits snugly around wheel wells and in many different sizes to fit every truck bed
  • Built-in 12V air pump and Convenient carrying case
  • 12-inch thickness for maximum comfort
  • 1-year warranty

Where It Could Improve:

  • Premium product that demands a premium price
  • Like any air mattress, you’ll need to treat it with care

Are you ready to go truck bed camping in comfort? Get your AirBedz truck bed mattress today.

LOSTHORIZON truck mattress

Best Self-Inflating: LOSTHORIZON Self-Inflating Truck Camping Mattress

Picking the best model for this truck camping mattress list was not easy. And although the AirBeds is an incredible model, the LOSTHORIZON mattress brings a lot to the table. Most of all, it uses a mixed foam and air support system that is superior to traditional air mattresses.

Despite being only 4.5” thick, this self-inflating camping mattress for your truck can support 440 pounds. It’s more similar to a memory foam home mattress, offering a higher level of comfort and support.

This foam also gives it an incredible 13 R-value insulation rating, making it far superior in cold weather.

While it isn’t cut around truck bed wheel wells, the two-person double size is designed to fit between them. And it’s nice to have a place to store your flashlights, bear spray, and other truck camping accessories you want by your pillow.

LOSTHORIZON self-inflating truck bed mattress

Pull it out of the bag and open the air valve, the LOSTHORIZON Truck Bed Mattress will start to suck air in and inflate to its full size. Then you can take it for a test run and use the valve to add or remove air to get to the firmness you desire.

When you’re done, open the air valve, flip it to deflate, and carefully roll it up like a tent or old-school sleeping bag. It is a little larger than an air mattress when stored, but its increased support is worth it.

Why We Like It:

  • Foam and air support system that’s more supportive and comfortable
  • Self-inflating system doesn’t require a pump (but one can be used to assist)
  • Incredible 13 R-value insulation
  • Downright amazing customer feedback and satisfaction

Where It Could Improve:

  • Not as closely tailor-fit for truck bed usage
  • Large storage size

Want to sleep in superior comfort the LOSTHORIZON Airsoft 4.5” Thick Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad offers? Now’s the time.

Offroading Gear truck air mattress

Best Alternative: Offroading Gear Inflatable Truck Bed Mattress

Another excellent choice is the Offroading Gear Inflatable Truck Bed Air Mattress. Like the AirBedz options, it is cut to fit around the wheel wells and maximize sleeping space. And there are multiple sizes to ensure a great fit regardless of the truck you have.

One thing we like about this option for a truck bed air mattress is that each one comes with two side inserts to use as a full-size mattress at home. You don’t have to purchase them separately like the AirBedz models.

The Offroading Gear Mattress for truck beds is not quite as thick as AirBedz either, which is nice because it’s smaller and lighter, but might not offer the same level of comfort.

Why We Like It:

  • Multiple options to fit around your wheel wells
  • Included 12V electric pump
  • Soft polyester top with durable vinyl body
  • Included side inserts for full-size use at home

Where It Could Improve:

  • Not quite as thick as the AirBeds models

Get your Offroading Gear Inflatable Truck Bed Mattress shipped today so you’re ready for your next adventure.

The Rightline Gear truck bed air mattress in use

Best Budget Option: Rightline Gear Truck Bed Air Mattress

Rightline Gear goes in a different direction than the other truck mattresses for camping. They are specifically designed to fit between the wheel wells in your truck bed, purposefully leaving some space around it for your gear.

By sticking with this rectangular design, you do lose a little sleeping space. But it lets you have somewhere to store small items while you sleep in your truck bed.

It also helps keep costs down, and the price of the Rightline Gear Camping Truck Bed Mattress reflects that. It’s the most affordable model that is specifically designed for a truck bed.

To save more money, check out our tips of how to score discounted outdoor gear. And want a great place to go camping for free? If you’re in Colorado, head over to Red Feather Lakes Dispersed Camping for an adventure you won’t forget.

Why We Like It:

  • Lower-priced truck bed air mattress
  • Heavy-duty PVC construction with flocked-top surface for comfort
  • Included 12V air pump
  • Comes with compact stuff sack for storage and transit

Where It Could Improve:

  • By design, it offers a smaller sleeping area

The Rightline Gear Truck Bed Air Mattress is just a click away.

KingFun foam mattress stored rolled

Best Foam: Kingfun Memory Foam Camping Mattress for Truck Bed

If you really want to make things easy and get away from an air-filled mattress altogether, this Kingfun Foam Camping Mattress can be a great fit for any truck camping. It’s a 3-inch thick roll-up mattress that you can keep around for years with your truck camping accessories. And forget about any pump.

It uses a 2-layer design with a 1-inch gel-infused memory foam layer on top of 2-inches of high-density support foam. Even if a total thickness of 3 inches sounds too little, you can be confident that it really does the trick. And it’s not just me. The customer feedback is off the charts.

The biggest drawback is the Kingfun Foam Camping Mattress isn’t made for truck beds and this brand only offers single or twin sizes. So if you want a sleeping space for two people, you’ll need to buy two.

Why We Like It:

  • Foam design gets rid of all concerns about inflated air mattresses
  • Amazing comfort with just 3-inch thickness
  • Durable, high-quality construction that is built to last

Where It Could Improve:

  • Only available in single or twin width
  • Not cut to fit around truck bed wheel wells

Before you head out for your next camping trip, get the Kingfun Memory Foam Camping Mattress to sleep like a baby.

To see more options, check out our complete post about truck bed mattresses!

Backpacking Campfire

The Best Truck Bed Tent Camper: The Cover You Need

Once you have the right truck bed mattress, it’s time to look overhead. Sleeping under the stars can be great, but most of the time, you want some protection from potential rain, blood-sucking bugs, and blinding sun. That’s where truck bed tents hit the mark.

We’ve done the heavy lifting for you and spent hours scouring the best truck bed tent camper options. Here’s a summary of the best options, and keep reading for more details.

Best overall truck bed tentNapier Backroadz Truck TentIdeal truck bed tent with bathtub construction and great amenities$$Check price
Top alternativeJoyTutus Pickup Truck TentAnother excellent tent for a truck bed$$Check price
Most durableKodiak Canvas Truck Bed TentThick canvas that’s great for cold weather$$$$Check price
Best budget optionGuide Gear Full-Size Truck Tent for CampingWell-designed affordable tent for truck beds$Check price

Don’t want to read about truck tents? Skip to:

Napier Outdoors truck bed tent

Best Overall: Napier Backroadz Truck Tent

When you’re dreaming of truck bed tent camping, you might be scratching your head trying to decide which tent is best or will fit your truck. Set those concerns in the past and go with the Napier Backroadz Truck Tent. It’ll make your truck camping dreams come true.

This pickup tent seamlessly fits over the entire truck bed area and tailgate. There are five different sizes that fit any truck from 5.5 feet to 8 feet. 

You can seal everything up to keep the bugs out and crank up your camping air conditioner, or leave open the tailgate door to sit on the edge and enjoy the views. Want an even cooler trick? There’s an option with an available rear canopy included, although we’re not sure if the extra cost is worth it. 

The truck bed tent camper is spacious with a high canopy and has a bathtub floor to provide an all-encompassing seal from the elements.

It comes with a rainfly and storm flaps for when the poor weather rolls through, plus it has a gear loft, pocket, and lantern holder. An easy set-up with color-coded pole and sleeve assembly is the cherry on top.

As if all of this isn’t enough, Napier has partnered with Trees for the Future to plant a tree for every Backroadz Tent purchased.

Why We Like It:

  • Expertly crafted truck bed tent for camping
  • Incredible price point
  • Bathtub design keeps the elements out and comfort in
  • Countless extras like gear storage areas, storm flaps, and easy set-up

Where It Could Improve:

  • It doesn’t come with a chef or personal masseuse (seriously, nothing to improve!)

Don’t waste your time. See the price of the Napier Backroadz Truck Tent right now. And don’t forget to see the model with the awning if you think it’s worth the price.

JoyTutus truck bed tent camper

Top Alternative: JoyTutus Pickup Truck Tent

It’s always nice to have a backup option, and the JoyTutus Pickup Truck Tent for camping is a great choice if you don’t like the Napier. It is incredibly similar with multiple tailored-fit models to fit any truck size and a large rear door with two side windows.

JoyTutus Pickup Truck Tent also has a bathtub design to keep the elements out, and comes from a company with a solid reputation for making quality outdoor gear.

By touting a PU 2,000 mm waterproof rating, the JoyTutus specifies its rating in a way that Napier doesn’t. However, the Napier customer reviews indicate that it has adequate waterproofing. 

2,000 mm is a nice rating to have, but it’s not an incredibly high rating that’s worth going out of your way to get. You can probably get a higher rating by buying a can of Kiwi spray and doing it yourself.

Overall, you really can’t go wrong with either the Napier Truck Bed Tent or the JoyTutus Truck Bed Tent Camper.

Why We Like It:

  • Great truck tent that fits nearly every truck bed around
  • Full bathtub construction that keeps the elements out
  • PU 2,000 mm waterproof rating shows they put some effort into blocking the elements
  • Excellent price point

Where It Could Improve:

  • Another model that’s difficult to point out room for improvement

Get your JoyTutus Pickup Truck Tent and head out to your favorite hidden camping spot this weekend.

Kodiak Canvas truck bed tent

Most Durable: Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent

If you’re expecting poor weather or want a more durable tent for any other reason, the Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent. It’s an extremely high-quality option that fits many trucks and lets you get into truck bed camping no matter the weather or season.

The 100% cotton duck canvas is coated with Hydra-Shield to provide a watertight yet breathable layer of protection. Robus 3/4-inch steel tube is used throughout the frame, which is tunnel-shaped for maximum interior space, even over the tailgate. Want to visit the Great Sand Dunes National Park in the off-season? This is the right tent for the job.

It even has a small access window so you can reach into the truck cab, plus a whopping five windows. The YKK zippers won’t let you down and make for quick entry.

So why isn’t this our top option for a truck bed tent? Well, the price is a tough pill to swallow. Although it has the goods to back it up, it’s not necessary for many campers.

Another reason we like other models is because the Kodiak doesn’t have a bathtub design. It attaches to the truck bed and does provide a good seal with an overlapping design, but you’ll have an empty truck bed inside.

Kodiak Canvas truck bed tent interior

If you want to get another way to escape the elements, the Clam Shade portable gazebos can provide an enclosed area away from your truck. Gazelle Gazebo Tents are another great option.

Overall, the Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent is still one of the best on the market for cold-weather situations and for those who want a more durable truck bed tent. We have zero reservations about recommending it if you want a more sturdy option and don’t mind the lack of a bathtub design.

Why We Like It:

  • Hydra-Shield 100% cotton duck canvas
  • Spacious tunnel shape with high ceiling
  • Sturdy construction and many openings, including to truck cab window

Where It Could Improve:

  • While it’s well worth it, the price is a little high for most people
  • It lacks a bathtub design, but makes up by overlapping the truck bed

To be prepared for anything nature will throw at you, check out the Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent.

Guide Gear truck bed tent in a truck

Best Budget Option: Guide Gear Full-Size Truck Tent for Camping

I have good news if you’ve found the other options too expensive. This affordable truck tent is still an excellent truck bed camping accessory that transforms your cargo space into a comfortable shelter. All at a rock-bottom price.

So what’s the catch? Unfortunately, this truck bed camping tent only comes in one size.

It’s designed for truck beds around 80 inches long with the tailgate down. People make it fit on all sorts of trucks, including as a Tacoma bed tent and Ford full-size tents, but it’s not as perfectly tailored. If you have an 8-foot bed, it will leave a lot of space at the end.

Nonetheless, the Guide Gear Truck Tent for Camping might be a good choice if you want to give truck bed camping a shot without spending much.

Why We Like It:

  • Unbeatable price
  • Full bathtub design with multiple windows
  • Fits 80-inch truck bed length (with tailgate down) well

Where It Could Improve:

  • Only one size

See how low the price is for the Guide Gear Full Size Truck Tent for Camping.

A forest service road leading to our campsite north of Manitou Springs

The Best Truck Camping Accessories

Whenever you head into the wilderness or away from home to sleep under the stars, you’ll need to bring along plenty of accessories. I think it helps to think about life’s essentials and cover those first, including shelter, food, and water. After that, there’s no limit to the amount of games, gear, and other camping accessories you can bring with.

We’re already well on our way to covering shelter. With a truck bed, all you need is a nice truck mattress and tent to get a comfortable sleeping space off the ground. But there are a few other items that go along with shelter.

Camping Chairs and Table

The first thing are some comfortable chairs and a camping table. You don’t want to leave home without these. Camping chairs never seem to last long, so I typically go for a decent brand that is comfortable, something like this Coleman model is usually just fine. Some people are really getting into the Zero Gravity chairs, and that could be worthwhile if you’re going to spend all day relaxing or have a bad back.

For camping tables, they now make a lot of them with slat of aluminum that are extremely lightweight and compact for storage and transit. I picked up this small GCI Outdoor side table and am quite happy with it. I also have a larger ALPS Mountaineering one that I love. But both are a bit flimsy.

If you have kids or just want a more stable table that you can lean on without throwing everything onto the ground, it might be better to go with a camping table like this with a flat surface top. The legs still fold down for easy transportation, and it’ll fit inside your truck bed nicely with your other gear. They’re also generally much more affordable.

Bathroom Needs While Camping

Bathroom needs are always a crucial part of camping. With a little planning, you can ensure your needs are taken care of. For beginner campers, sticking to paid campgrounds with toilet facilities can be a major help. Not only will the toilets solve a lot of your problems, they also typically have hand washing areas and sometimes other places where you might be able to wash dishes or even get potable water.

But other times, you might need to take care of business without a toilet and deal with hand washing on your own. One of the easiest ways to handle this is with a small portable toilet and wag bags. It’s so much easier doing it this way than digging a hole, plus it doesn’t leave fecal matter behind that could contaminate water, attract animals, and just be downright disgusting.

If you choose to dig a hole, go at least 100 feet from any road, campsite, trail, or waterway. Dig it down AT LEAST 6″ and bring a little bag to collect your used toilet paper in. Cover it well. There’s nothing worse than human waste ruining a campsite, and unfortunately, it’s an extremely common problem. Do your part and don’t leave your waste in a bad spot. Many campsites are used much more often than you realize.

To make digging easier, avoid the foldable camping ones and the tiny backpacking trowels. Quite often, the ground is much harder than you think. Instead, get a solid small shovel to bring with to make things easier.

Cooking at the Campsite

Figuring out your ideal camping cooking setup will take time. So I suggest starting small and seeing what works best for you. You don’t want to drop a bunch of money on oversized, rugged camping gear you don’t need.

I’ve had this Camp Chef Two-Burner Stove for over five years and absolutely love it. Pair it with a 5-Pound Propane Tank and you have one of the best arrangements in camp cooking. It’s reliable, cheap, and the burners can go from a light simmer to a roaring flame (40,000 BTU total).

You can also get a grill for cooking over the campfire. I think a Dutch Oven is the best way to go for campfire cooking. When you do this, let the fire get nice and hot with plenty of glowing red embers in the bottom before adding food on top. You don’t want to burn your food with flame, you want to cook it over hot coals.

As far as plates, bowls, cups, and utensils go, you can start with affordable mess kits to make things easy. You do typically get what you pay for, but don’t start wasting money before you know what you like. I absolutely love my titanium mug, but I didn’t get that until I needed it for backpacking.

Don’t forget pot holders and dish towels. Can openers can be another item that’s easy to forget before you head out.

Food and Water

The thing that many beginner campers overlook is water. It’s best to bring all the water you need, and I don’t just mean drinking water. At many campsites, and even some paid campgrounds, you’ll need to bring enough water for washing hands, cleaning dishes, cooking meals, and drinking. Spread across a camping group that’s spending a lot of time outside getting dirty, it can really add up.

Since you’re probably looking at at least one gallon per person, per day, bottled water is a terrible and expensive way to get what you need.

Instead, go with large, reusable water containers, like this 5-Gallon Scepter Military Water Container. You’re probably going to need at least two, if not more. There’s nothing worse than running out of water while camping. You can get nice Jerry Can Racks for your truck that make storage and transportation a lot easier.

For food, the sky is the limit. You can simply pack some bread, peanut butter, and jelly, or you can go with a homemade pizza with all the toppings. People go crazy while camping and I love to do that too. But sometimes, sticking with a potato and some chili is perfect too.

Be extra careful with raw meat. It’s hard to keep everything separate in the cooler and when the ice melts, it turns the cooler into a soupy mixture. If you bring raw meat, cook it early in your trip and be careful about contamination.

You’ll also need something to keep food cold. Rotomolded coolers are all the rage these days, just don’t be expecting a miracle. I love my Yeti cooler, but it’s still a cooler and the ice melts over time. A cheaper basic cooler is fine to start with and can make a great drink cooler if you decide to upgrade.

If you want to go big, get one of the best camping coolers. They’re now much more efficient and more affordable.

To get the most out of any cooler, follow these tips:

  1. Get it cold before using it by putting an extra bag of ice in it at least 5 hours before you drain it out and pack it for the trip.
  2. Keep the cooler as full as possible with cold items. Air is the enemy, so is adding warm drinks or food.
  3. Try to avoid opening the lid too often. Getting a small secondary cooler to keep drinks and snacks handy can help.
  4. If possible use ice blocks instead of or in addition to ice. They stay whole a lot longer.

Lights, Safety, and Other Gear

When it gets dark, you’ll need more than your phone’s flashlight. I can’t get enough of the little solar-powered lanterns. The MPOWERD Luci Outdoor is my favorite since it provides a lot of light, lasts forever, and collapses into a small package. Simply set it in the sun during the day, and you know you’ll have the light you need.

A decent headlamp is worth its weight in gold while camping. It’s ideal for cooking or getting around the campsite with your hands full. I highly recommend a headlamp over any flashlight. Black Diamond is the brand I’ve trusted time and time again.

Heading out of cell phone territory is something to take seriously. You’re not only away from contact, you’re also far from rescue services and medical help.

I strongly encourage every camper to invest in a Garmin inReach Mini. This tiny, affordable device serves as a lifeline anywhere in the world to a dedicated team of rescue professionals. You can also use it for basic text messaging to anyone back home. And of course, GPS navigation. You do have to have a small subscription to use it, around $20/month, but you can pause it at any time.

This incredible device can literally save your life and I can’t recommend it enough. I’ve had one for about four years now and have a new sense of security when traveling in remote Rocky Mountains, Baja Mexico, and more. Plus, I get to stay in touch with family and let them know I’m doing just fine, even if I decide to stay an extra few days.

You should also take your personal navigation seriously. Getting lost is one of the most common issues for people exploring the backcountry, and it results in serious survival situations.

At minimum, have a physical map and compass to use if everything else fails. Nat Geo makes awesome adventure maps for tons of areas around the US. They’re also a great memento to have for each trip. You can also use free services like CalTopo to print one off for free, plus you can add your own waypoints and routes.

You can also download offline maps on your phone with Google and camping apps like Gaia. Just remember that your battery might fail in an emergency, so having a physical paper backup is key.

Do plenty of people skip this step? You bet. And some of them become terrible statistics.

Instead, treat navigation and safety as one of the top items for camping accessories. It’s not just a great way to ensure you make it back, it’s also an incredible way to connect with the land you’re exploring. Studying maps and getting familiar with an area beforehand can be one of the most exciting parts about camping.

Once you have the safety aspects down, it’s entirely up to you what you can bring with for fun. Common items include:

Storage Solutions for Truck Bed Camping

There’s one big problem when you use your truck bed for sleeping. You don’t have anywhere to store your gear.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a few different truck bed accessories that can make a big difference. Some are a little expensive, but others are affordable solutions to this storage issue.

The premium option that is a little heavy on the wallet is the DECKED Truck Bed Storage System. This sleek device installs multiple slide-out drawers with a flat top in your truck bed. Although it’s a serious investment, it’s also a major truck upgrade that pays off for camping and daily use.

DECKED truck bed storage system with drawers

If you’d rather save some cash and take things into your own hands, then some simple DIY truck bed storage drawers are worth considering. They won’t hold up to the elements like the DECKED option, but can be useful for quick camping trips or if you have a truck bed topper already.

Another truck camping accessory for storage is the UnderCover Swing Case. These provide a useful storage box that fits in the space between your wheel well and tailgate. You can easily swing them back and forth, and even take them off when you want your entire truck bed. Once again, a great option for truck bed camping and general daily use. 

Of course, a general storage bin goes a long way too. Rather than go with the cheap options from Home Depot, it’s worth getting higher-quality ones that help protect your gear, such as:

IRIS weathertight storage containers for camping

Truck Bed Campers and Rooftop Tents for Trucks: A Camping Life of Luxury

For a lot of truck bed campers, the basic truck bed air mattress and truck bed tent camper goes a long way. But if you’re ready to make a bigger commitment to camping with your pickup truck, then the truck bed campers and rooftop tents for trucks are worth checking out.

Truck Camper Tops for Trucks

There’s no shortage of amazing truck camper tops on the market. I highly recommend checking out your local classified listings on Facebook, Craigslist, and even NextDoor to see what your neighbors are getting rid of. But the new options can be well worth the investment too.

Our personal favorites come from Four Wheel Campers. These are generally very lightweight models that pop up for more space. This means your truck doesn’t have to stress while on off-road trails, yet you still get the luxurious amenities of a truck bed camper.

Four Wheel Campers offers slide-in models that go right in the stock truck bed, topper models that provide an oversized truck bed topper that bolts to the bed rails (no floor), and flatbed models to maximize the truck camper space.

Four Wheel Campers for truck beds

On the other hand, if you’re really looking for a truck bed camper with everything, then Lance Campers are worth checking out. They can sleep up to 6 people with a slide-out design, have incredible designs that utilize every inch, and still let your truck be a truck. You hardly need any other truck camping accessories.

And of course, it’s hard to mention truck campers without saying Arctic Fox. This is a reputable and trusted brand that happens to be one of the most popular in the industry, especially for cold-weather situations. People swear by these and their solid construction. Definitely ones to put in your search bar.

Arctic Fox truck campers

Best Rooftop Truck Tents

Another popular item is a rooftop tent for trucks, SUVs, and even smaller cars. What’s nice about them is that they get you up off the ground, like a truck bed tent does, but it also retains your truck bed for storage and other camping gear.

Now, if you haven’t looked into these before, you might be surprised by the price. Just keep in mind that these are sophisticated systems that bolt onto a truck bed’s rails, a rooftop rack, or a rack in your truck bed. Plus, most come with comfortable floors and they fold down nicely for traveling and can be put up in an instant.

Smittybilt Rooftop Tent

You’re paying for the convenience factor. And it can be worth it, but not always. The Yakima Skyrise and Thule Approach Tent are two of the best options.

But the Smittybilt Overlander Rooftop Tent is one of the best values around in the industry.

Don’t forget that you might need a truck bed rack, like the minimalist TMS Truck Bed Rack for Rooftop Tent or the gear-friendly Hooke Road High Overland Bed Rack. Throw on a 5-pound propane tank and other camp kitchen gear and you’re ready for anything.

Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Bed Camping

Can you camp in the bed of a truck?

Absolutely, get a truck bed air mattress plus a sleek truck bed tent camper and you’re ready to go. Models like the Pittman Outdoors AirBedz Truck Air Mattress fit snugly around your wheel wells, plus the Napier Truck Tents transform the space with protection from bugs, rain, and sun.

What size air mattress fits in a truck bed?

Truck beds come in different sizes, so you’ll have to know your size before buying an air mattress. Pittman Outdoors AirBedz Truck Bed Mattress and LOSTHORIZON Self-Inflating Truck Camping Mattress make multiple models to fit different trucks.

Why are truck bed campers so expensive?

Truck bed campers are expensive because they squish a lot of components into a small, lightweight option. If you don’t want to make the investment, it’s worth checking out a much more affordable truck bed tent paired with a truck bed air mattress for camping.

How much does a truck tent cost?

Some of the best truck tents can cost less than $200. It’s a great price for a tent that gets you off the ground and into a more comfortable, flat space without rocks, tree roots, or critters crawling around. Napier Truck Tents and JoyTutus Truck Bed Tent Campers are great options.

JoyTutus truck bed tent

Wrap-Up: How To Go Truck Bed Camping Without Breaking the Bank

If you’re ready to go truck bed camping, it’s time to get the right gear. An affordable truck bed air mattress combined with a great truck bed tent will give you a great place to sleep at a low cost. Make sure you get something to keep your gear secure while you’re sleeping in the truck bed, and you’re set for adventures everywhere.

Do you like truck bed camping? Have any tips for first-timers? Leave a comment below to help pass along the knowledge to fellow truck campers.

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