Truck Camping

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Some people find sleeping in a truck strange, not considering it on par with tent camping or RV camping, but is there something more to it than its low reputation? And more importantly, is it safe?

Truck camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors with your loved ones without worrying about safety. Of course, this type of accommodation provides more protection than traditional tents. Still, it also allows you freedom and flexibility that are impossible when pitching them self-sufficient living spaces on our precious land! However, you might need to set your truck up correctly to do it safely.

So, to camp safely in your truck, you might need some equipment and a new setup to do it safely and comfortably, so let’s go through what campers would recommend you collect before going camping and why would you choose truck camping over other camping.

Why Choose Truck Camping Over Tent Camping?

Why Choose Truck Camping Over Tent Camping?

There are several reasons to choose truck camping over tent camping, including:

They can be made much more comfortable than tents in wet or muddy weather conditions.

  •  Because of their weight, they are less likely to be blown around or away by a massive wind.
  •  Because of their ability to lock, it keeps your valuables safe.
  • It is much less expensive to set up trunk camping than the equivalent RV setup.

Safety Tips For Truck Campers – Or Any Campers, Really

Before we discuss what types of equipment you’ll need to make for a comfortable camping trip, there are some general tips for any kind of camping that you should make a note of for your own safety:

Avoid drawing extra attention to your truck and yourself – don’t light campfires or make extra smoke unless you need help.

  •  Don’t announce your holiday on social media – try to save the pictures until after the holiday is done because otherwise, you’re telling that your house is empty.
  •  Add some security measures to your camping area – set up some motion sensor lights or cameras around your sleeping space. One little trick you could use is to draw a line around your camping space so you know when either animals or humans have entered without your permission.
  •  If your truck camper is the kind that has ladders, remember to fold them up and secure them when you leave.
  •  Make sure to close any vents since they can be easily accessed outside.
  •  Make sure that you park your truck in a position where you can pull away quickly if you have to (In case of bad weather or other emergencies)
  •  When camping, keep an eye out for birds, bears, snakes, and coyotes.
  •  If you’re camping alone, don’t advertise this fact to people. Instead, leave extra glasses and chairs around the place so it looks like there is more than one person.
  •  Travel with either an air horn or a self-defense flashlight, both for signaling for help and for startling any intruders/wild animals.
  •  Carry bear spray with you and learn how to use it properly.
  •  Make sure you are not camping in an area where hunting season is in full swing – if you are there, make yourself known to the game officer or local ranger and wear bright, high, visibility clothing. 
  •  Put valuables in a diversion safe (a safe shaped like a cola can or something else) if you need to leave them behind so intruders don’t see them in your truck.
  •  Now that we’ve got some safety tips out of the way, we can go over what other bits of equipment you could use to improve your truck camping trip.

What Equipment Would Be Good For A Truck Camping Trip?

What Equipment Would Be Good For A Truck Camping Trip?

An Elevated Truck Bed Tent

This is a very instant option to turn your truck into a suitable camping space. Essentially, it is a tent placed into the bed of your truck.

There are a few advantages and disadvantages to these additions to your truck. The positives of the truck bed tents are: 

  • It is much less costly than a conventional truck bed canopy.
  • It is also much lighter.
  • It is easier to remove when you want the back of your truck back.

The negatives of the elevated truck bed tents are:

  • It is flimsier and less weather-resistant than a more traditional truck canopy
  • Less secure than a canopy as well
  • A canopy can stay; it needs to be set up when parked and taken down every time you drive.

A Truck Bed Canopy

Of course, having gone through all of that, you know the advantages and disadvantages of a canopy as well. 

  • Weatherproof
  • Leakproof
  • Has plenty of headroom
  • Very secure. 

It also has options for windows which can let in more light and ventilation.

A Sleeping Bag

The first thing you need in terms of warmth and comfort is a sleeping bag. Depending on where you are planning to go, you might only need a couple of blankets and pillows, but it depends on the temperature. 

A Sleeping Pad

A sleeping pad, an air mattress, or a platform to sleep on will make the tent immeasurably more comfortable without being too costly or too heavy.

A self-inflating sleeping pad would make for the most convenient camping trip, and it will keep you from resting directly on the hard, cold wood surface of your truck.

Power Inverter And A Second Battery

We almost don’t need to explain why this is necessary. Having electricity in the wilderness has more than a few benefits:

  • Cooking food
  • Powering lights
  • Charging devices
  • Running heaters/ AC for temperature 
  • Running camping fans for stale air

You should get a second battery specifically to hook up your power inverter (just to make sure that you don’t end up stranding yourself somewhere). 

A typical 400W inverter can be connected through cigarette lighters or even directly to the car battery and contains two AC power outlets and two 2.4 A USB ports. 

Cooking Equipment

A lot of trucks contain tailgate tables which are perfect for cooking on, but aside from that, you’ll need to bring some cooking equipment with you – a good list being:

  • Camping stove
  • Silverware
  • Utensils
  • One or two pots or pans
  • Can opener
  • Cutting board
  • Tinfoil
  • Sponges and dish soap
  • Tupperware

Don’t forget the little things like cleaning materials and utensils. It’s the worst to go out camping, only to realize a long, long way away from civilization that you have no way to get into any of the cans you brought with you. 

Don’t forget water! You’ll need it for cooking, cleaning, drinking and much more. A few small bottles aren’t going to cut it. 


In conclusion, trunk camping is not only safe but, in some ways, safer than regular tent camping. The same safety tips one would use for tent camping could also be applied for trunk camping, such as carrying bear spray, having motion sensor lights and cameras installed around your truck, and if you are alone, don’t advertise that fact. When it comes to gathering equipment for a truck camping trip, you will need to decide whether you prefer a canopy or an elevated truck bed tent. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, especially regarding safety. 

About the author 

Vieira Babeker

Hi! I'm Vieira. I've always been interested in different Auto Accessories

My passion here at is to provide helpful straight forward clear advice and tips for Automotive Accessories.

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