Truck camping - staying mobile?

corylee4870

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2016
Messages
139
What’s your setup? I’m thinking a canvas cutter and/or a truck bed topper.

I’ve set up a camp and had to come back to it every night and leave from there in the morning. I think it would be a little easier if I could just go to bed when I get to the truck.

I’ve seen the tents that set up on top of the truck but they seem like a pain in the butt. Maybe not?
 

Olbadae

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2014
Messages
88
Location
Minnesota
Got my color/model matching topper off Craigslist for 180$. It took a bit of cleanup but totally worth it. Got it wired for power, bed rug and a board across the front with tie downs for my mr buddy. It’s a great setup for being highly mobile, warm and dry.


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Stewart

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2017
Messages
14
Location
Lewiston, Idaho. Would rather be In 10a.
I’ve got a topper with the two side windows that swing up. I sleep on a 4” foam pad. If it’s nice out the windows are open, if it’s raining they are closed but propped open about two inches. I have all my camping gear in an action packer, all my food in a tote and drinks in a cooler so I can just pull it all out and leave it outside. It’s very quick to setup and to load back up. It’s nice to be able to lock it all up too.BE386A6A-AE40-4849-977F-875D5372D5B6.jpeg
 

Mike Islander

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Aug 10, 2019
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314
Location
Lowcountry, SC
I sleep in my truck, but it's an Expedition. It is downright luxury. I sleep on two layers of memory foam mattress toppers. 95% of time rear hatch is open. Tarps keep the rain out. Also have a huge mosquito bag cover if buggy.
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tdot

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2014
Messages
326
I've watched the number of truck tents around here explode. I personally find them a bit ridiculous for the majority of users. I really wanted them to be better for my use, but in the end the only way I can see them making sense is if: a) it'll get your wife out into the backcountry more often, b) there are snakes or nasty little things around that, c) you plan on parking and setting up camp for more then a day.

I ended up lightly camperizing my sprinter work van years ago. Have 100's of nights on it, and 1000's of miles on logging roads. I added a bed and a heater, it's all I really needed. I could use the same setup in the my truck camper, but I do enjoy the standing room to change.
 

wind gypsy

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
2,361
IMO the choice is between taking 5 minutes to set up a kodiak canvas flexbow tent on my own, or moving things in/out of my pickup bed frequently (sleeping at night, gear storage while out hunting). I'm not sold on there being a significant convenience benefit to either direction.

My pickup bed is usually packed with stuff (coolers for meat, coolers with food, spike camp gear, base camp gear, spare weapon, chainsaw, gas cans, etc) so it would be a little more inconvenient to load/unload the truck than if packed minimally to only sleep in your truck.
 
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corylee4870

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Jan 7, 2016
Messages
139
@wind gypsy, is the flexbow really that fast? I was looking at that before this season and stayed with what I had. If the flexbow is really that fast I think it would be worth it.
 

wind gypsy

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Dec 30, 2014
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2,361
@wind gypsy, is the flexbow really that fast? I was looking at that before this season and stayed with what I had. If the flexbow is really that fast I think it would be worth it.
Yep, it's really that fast. I haven't set it up in rocky ground yet and I never put the awning out but it is very quick and simple.

I could see a topper being more convenient if you don't pack a pile of "what if" gear but I do like the comfort of the flexbow and it's definitely a better option for 2 people.
 

ChrisS

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2013
Messages
763
Location
A fix back east
The flex bow is fast, the rest of your stuff still takes a bit (like all stuff you use in a big canvas tent like setting up cots, totes, getting out bags and pads, etc). The only downside is that when that sucker is wet, it's heavvvvvy and can be a pain (the canvas seems to shrink a bit) to set up again until it dries out. If the weather cooperates, it'll dry out pretty quick though
 

elkduds

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2016
Messages
836
Location
CO Springs
Got my color/model matching topper off Craigslist for 180$. It took a bit of cleanup but totally worth it. Got it wired for power, bed rug and a board across the front with tie downs for my mr buddy. It’s a great setup for being highly mobile, warm and dry.


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How to double the value of any vehicle: Put a Vizsla in it!
 

backcountryshaffer

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Joined
Jul 15, 2017
Messages
389
Location
Parker, Colorado
I have an 8.5ft bed in the truck (with shell) and use an Exped 10LXW sleeping pad. It has an R-Value of 10 and I use a sleeping bag that is appropriate for the weather. I can't imaging sleeping in a canvas cutter, doesn't that make otherwise normal people claustrophobic?
 

mlgc20

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
89
Location
Dallas, TX
I have a Ford F250 (regular bed) with an ARE topper. I originally got the topper thinking I would sleep in the truck bed. But for me, the back of my truck has so much stuff everywhere. So, I have a simple two pole Marmot tent that I use. For me, it's much quicker to setup that tent, than rearrange the stuff in the bed to make room to sleep.
 

Brian Fahs

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
974
Location
Pennsylvania
I have a leer topper on my toyota tundra double cab. The bed is 6'6". I have a queen size mattress I cut in half for about 8 inches of foam. I pulled an old coleman sleeping bag over the foam. Turned it inside out for a nice fleece surface. When I bought the truck I ordered the topper to match. It has a carpeted liner that matches my bed rug.

I mainly use it to hunt deer and turkey in the northeast. I probably spend over 50 nights a year in it and love it. I sleep where I hunt so I get at least 2 more hours of sleep per day while hunting. I cook on the tailgate. Really simplifies things.
 
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corylee4870

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Jan 7, 2016
Messages
139
I think I’m going to go with a camper top. I might look into the idea of using a ladder rack and pulling a tarp over it.

I think the canvas cutter would not be very comfortable & the tent may be fast, but all the stuff to go with a tent may take a little longer
 

MCR

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2017
Messages
54
Location
Arizona
I use a disc-0-bed cot. I cut 10" out of it to make it fit in the back of my truck with a camper shell. I also cut off the bottom base bar. This works fantastic for on the go hunting trips. Two people can sleep and you have enough room to move around and put clothes on in the morning. We put a buddy heater on a small plastic stool in the corner to heat up before going to bed and in the morning when its cold. I will also put the small moving blankets you get from harbor freight under the cots covering the hole floor of the bed. This insulates things a little and makes a softer floor for moving around on.
 

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Btwiceborn

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Nov 18, 2019
Messages
12
I have watched a few youtube videos where guys have fashioned a pivot up cot with a foam mattress to go along with storage, heating, cooking and ventilation. I am considering doing the same but wanted to make it a unit with the topper so I could take it out of the bed for parts of the year.
 
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