You may have your truck and are in the market for a truck camper, and you want to make sure that you get a camper that is compatible with your truck.
There is some variation depending on the type and the model of the camper, however, the range weight for a truck camper varies from 1,000 to 5,000 pounds dry weight.
We are going to have a look at some of the other things you need to consider when you are looking for the ideal truck camper for your truck, and we will give you some great examples of campers that might be right for you.
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What Is A Truck Camper?
As you have probably discovered, there are a lot of different types of RVs out there. A truck camper refers to an RV that can be carried in the bed of a pickup truck. It includes hard-side, pop-ups, and slide outs.
Why Does It Matter What My Truck Camper Weighs?
If you get a truck camper that exceeds the payload capacity of your truck you are going to limit the lifespan of that truck as well as reduce the safety of the truck and anyone that is using it. You need a safety margin for things such as non-optimum conditions and if you need to carry more cargo, later on, it gives you some leeway.
What Is Dry Weight Versus Real Weight?
When you are trying to calculate the weight of your camper so that you can see if it is going to come in under your payload capacity, knowing the difference between dry weight and real weight is important.
Dry weight is the weight of the camper with nothing in it, as it came from the factory, and real weight is what the camper weighs with all of the equipment in it, which for the average RVer clocks in at around 1,500 lbs.
How Do You Size a Truck Camper?
The things that you have to look at when you are sizing your truck camper are the weight, as well as how the dimensions, including the floor, and any over cab measurements square with your truck. You are also going to need to know what the center of gravity is.
Your truck camper manufacturer should have published the data on the center of gravity. If the center of gravity is listed as being 36 inches, you would measure that from the front wall of the truck camper, which would be behind the cab of the truck. This would have been measured with the camper dry, so it would shift when the camper was wet. You want the center of gravity to be above or in front of the pickup's rear axle.
How Do You Choose A Camper?
You may be coming at this from one of three positions - you have a camper but have not yet decided on a truck; you have a truck but have not yet decided on a camper, or you have neither and you are looking to get the perfect combination.
If you have your camper you are going to need to work out what the dry weight is, and then add about 1,500 to that to get the real weight. Once you have this you are ready to look for your truck.
When considering what truck you want, you need to work out what the payload of the truck you are looking at is and see whether it can accommodate a truck camper of the size that you have. You want to look at the size of the bed and whether the camper is designed for a short bed or a long bed truck as well.
If you have your truck already, you are just going to determine the weight of the camper and see whether the dimensions match your truck.
If you have neither then you can make the calculations and then match up the truck and the camper and then go and get your perfect combination.
5 Great Truck Campers - And how much they weigh
1. Northern Lite 8-11EX WET
This great truck camper weighs in at a dry weight of 2650 pounds and has a 9ft floor length.
It has a north-south queen-size bed, a roomy wet-bath, a face-to-face dinette, a lot of storage, and a large kitchenette.
The standard features that you get include all-wood cabinets; a 6.3-cubic foot refrigerator; a 6-gallon DSI water heater; a dual battery compartment, and a three-burner propane cooktop.
2. NuCamp Cirrus 820
Nucamp gives you a beautiful camper with a wet bath and a queen-size bed. It has a dinette, a huge wardrobe, and a large kitchenette. You get a lot of storage with this model. It has a hydronic heating system and a water heater furnace combo that saves on space.
It weighs 2540 dry and is 8ft 6 in long.
3. Bigfoot 25C9.4SB
This camper comes with 6 different configurations. You get some great standard features, such as a microwave, an oven & range top with bi-fold cover, heated enclosed tanks, and a porcelain toilet.
It has a dry weight of 2980 lbs. and is 16'-6" long. You can get some great additional features too, but you are going to want to think with how that affects your real weight.
4. Lance 865
This camper looks really beautiful and has a dry weight of 2012 lbs., with a floor-length of 8’ 7” and an overall length of 16’ 5”. It sleeps 5 people, has a toilet, a wet bath, a great countertop with 3-burner high output range, and a full-size queen bed.
5. Northstar Arrow 8.5 U
This camper is for short beds only. It has a dry weight of 2,480 lbs., and the exterior length is 16’ 2”. As standard, you get a drop-down step, a 6’ cubic fridge, double sink, a microwave, and more. This is a really great choice for you.
Can A Half-Ton Truck Carry A Camper?
Yes, there is a market for campers that can be carried by half-ton trucks, so, of course, manufacturers are going to cater to what people want, and there are a number of great options for you if you have a half-ton truck.
Lance has the Lance 650, you have the Northstar Liberty, and the Camplite 6.8 by Livin Lite just to name a few.
If you aren’t sure whether your truck can handle a camper, check out this great tool.
Can A Truck Camper Be Used Without A Truck?
You’re going to make sure that you have a camper that is designed to be used without support under the floor; most manufacturers are going to let you know if it can be used off the truck.
There are some amazing truck campers out there that will transform your truck into a home away from home. There are definitely some measurements that you need to bear in mind when you are looking at the ideal camper to fit in the bed of your truck. The good news is that all of this information is readily available to you from your truck and camper manufacturer.
There is the perfect truck camper out there for you and doing your due diligence will lead to a great RV experience.
Want to learn more? Check out this post about Truck campers with slideouts, or this one about small truck campers (mostly pop-up soft-side ones) that can take you camping where no other RV can. Also, don't forget to check out our pickup truck category for more ideas!