Truck campers are an awesome option for a number of reasons. On the flip side of that, these unusual RVs can also seem a little bit daunting at first. After all, it isn’t exactly crystal clear how one might go about getting into the things, let alone how they might be mounted and secured onto a truck bed.
Fortunately, it’s not nearly as difficult as it might seem to use such a camper, and once you know how you’ll be well on your way to having a fabulous time in your teeny tiny RV.
Preparing to Mount Your Truck Bed Camper
Before you ever attempt to mount your cabover camper onto your truck bed, you must ensure you’re properly prepared. This preparation should consist of obtaining and installing the proper tie-downs and purchasing high quality turnbuckles.
Finding and Installing the Right Tie-Downs
You’ll need four tie-downs in all: two for the front of the camper, and two for the back. In our opinion, the best tie-downs mount directly to the truck bed and don’t require any drilling, mounting brackets, or extra fuss. Read reviews to get an idea of which tie-downs are ideal for your situation.
When installing your tie-downs, be sure to read the instructions carefully and follow them closely. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure the front ones are installed a bit in front of the front anchors on your camper, and the back ones a bit behind the back anchors. This will pull the RV in both directions, ensuring it doesn’t slip one way or the other.
Finding the Right Turnbuckles
Look for turnbuckles that lock into place, removing the need to adjust them from one trip to the next. Additionally, you will want to read reviews before making any turnbuckle purchase in order to ensure you are purchasing from a reputable company and that your camper will be held securely in place.
Keep in mind that these turnbuckles are the only things keeping your tiny home from slipping off your truck, so you want something high quality and durable.
Pickup Camper Installation
With your tie-downs installed and your turnbuckles in hand, it’s time to move on to the camper installation. This process is the same for both pop-up truck campers and traditional truck campers, and should be done with great care in order to ensure the process is completed safely and successfully without damage to the RV.
Begin by lifting the camper until the bottom of the RV is about six inches higher than the bed of your truck. Do this by using the camper jacks to lift the front end of the camper a few inches and then raising the back to match, going back and forth until the RV is where you need it to be. Never lift the back of the camper higher than the front, as this could result in tipping, which is both dangerous and damaging.
Once the camper is high enough off the ground, slowly and carefully back your truck under it, stopping briefly to plug the camper in once you are close enough to do so. Be careful not to hit the jacks in the process, and make sure you have a spotter available to tell you when to stop.
With the camper in place, begin lowering it onto the truck bed. Start by lowering the back end by a few inches and then lowering the front to match, repeating until the camper is resting on the truck bed and the jacks are off the ground. Finish by using turnbuckles to securely attach the RV to the truck.
Use the aforementioned indicators to ensure the turnbuckles are tight enough, but be careful not to overtighten, as this can mess up the turnbuckles or even pull your tie-downs out.
What You’ll Love about Truck Bed Camping
As mentioned before, truck bed camping is a fabulous way to travel, not to mention spend some time in nature.
Truck campers allow you to fit in tight spaces, don’t require nearly as much fuel to bring along as a motorhome, travel trailer, or fifth wheel might, and are generally much cheaper than all other RV options. Being in a truck camper no longer has to mean being squished either. There are plenty of truck bed RVs on the market with multiple slide-outs now, and they can actually feel quite spacious.
Ready to hit the road in a tiny truck bed home of your own? Do a search for truck bed campers for sale in your area and see what you come up with!