17 DIY Truck Camper Ideas to Inspire You to Build Your Own - The Self-Sufficient Living (2024)

Camping in the wilderness can be an amazing experience. Tent camping is not for everyone which is why DIY truck campers are a wonderful way to scale up camping at a DIY price. With the COVID pandemic, mass transit and crowded passenger traveling on planes and trains are not as appealing as earlier years. Creating a DIY truck camper is a wonderful way to travel without leaving some of the comforts of traditional travel accommodations.

With more and more individuals learning how to live in smaller spaces and finding the freedom in traveling more often, DIY truck campers are a fantastic way to take the idea of tiny houses on the road. If looking to convert a truck into sleeping space or finding a unique off grid camping experience, learning how to DIY a truck camper can be a great idea. Let us explore seventeen of the best DIY truck camper projects and tutorials we found on the internet.

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1- Skate Away Truck Camper

A lightweight DIY truck camper by sawsonskatesthat looks a lot like a tiny house like this one we have and that is also waterproof is a fantastic way to enjoy wilderness adventures. This DIY truck bed camper can be constructed in a couple weekends. This camper tutorial is incredibly detailed with a lot of easy-to-follow instructions.

Build this homemade truck camper with a saw, drill, and a few hand tools. The goal for this truck bed camper is to be under eight hundred pounds. This build is designed with a lot of windows so that it does not feel cramped and has a large sleeping area.

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2- Camper Cab Pickup Cabin

With a pine lumber construction, the lightweight frame of this diy truck camper cab cabin by instructablesis paired with a fabric and paint technique to stay lightweight without breaking the budget. This DIY tutorial shows how to build a truck camper with detailed plans. Unlike the one we have shown you earlier you can download this plan with detailed supplies and steps.

The total cost for this DIY truck cap camper materials is 450 dollars, and the camper cab weighs less than two hundred pounds. The modular and modern design allows for a straightforward design that also helps reduce driving hazards of other DIY camper tutorials.

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3- Homemade Solo Truck Camper

At third number we have a truck bed camper shell by takethetruckwith built in storage underneath the sleeping area. Using long drawer slides, with the compact storage, pulling everything out from under the bed provides usable storage for essentials. Oak boards and plywood are the foundation materials for this DIY truck camper.

The detailed instructions use language that any DIYer can understand. The tools needed for this homemade truck camper are, a jig saw, power drill, and a Kreg jig kit. The solo sleeping area provides comfortable height and weight without feeling boxed in. The entire project will take one or two days to complete.

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4- Off-Road Truck Camper RV

Learn how to fully customize a truck bed into an off-road RV in this Youtube video. The truck cab to RV conversion took two people two and a half months to design and build. While other DIY truck camper projects use a wood frame, this project uses a welded aluminum frame.

The truck bed was removed for adding the aluminum frame which has insulated foam side panels for ultimate weather protection. This project construction went above and beyond with customization that can be altered for the average DIY camper build. The aluminum frame allows for less weight and longer lasting quality.

5- Easy and Removable Truck Bed Camper

Creating an easy and removable homemade truck camper like this one on Youtubewithout a lot of construction knowledge is possible. With a two by four-inch wood frame and support boards, any DIYer has the knowledge and skills to essentially build a box frame for a mattress to rest on as the main goal of this DIY truck camper project. Sliding drawers for storage can go underneath the box frame. Slats on the frame allow it to hold a lot of weight.

6- Recycled Redwood Truck Camper

Getting materials for a DIY truck camper build by doityourselfrvcan be as simple as checking out salvage yards or buying old decking on an internet marketplace. This homemade truck camper uses a lot of recycled and salvaged items to save money. The tall frame of the build allows for ample room while camping and traveling around in both warm and colder temperatures.

The miniature RV features a twin bed, stove, sink, refrigerator, cabinet storage, couch, skylight, and wood burning stove. The entire project is under fifteen hundred pounds so a truck can carry it. The tutorial provides photos and descriptions that help with the construction of the truck camper. You may also like to check out diy camping showers.

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7- Affordable Truck Cap Camper

Turning a truck cab into a functional living space can be a simple and affordable way to enjoy comfortable living while on the road and away from home. At a total cost of under fifteen hundred dollars, this truck cap camper by wildwewanderallows for storage area with space for double bed sleeping.

Moveable cushions that can be transformed from lounging to sleeping are a terrific way to create versatile living. Wood storage compartments create secure places for storage of various camping supplies. The truck cap creates an atmosphere of camper living without the excessive cost. Truck cap camper

8- Angular Truck Bed Camper

With a fresh angular look, this truck camper by preyonadventureis spacious enough to sleep up to four people while also being easy to remove from a truck bed when not in use. The truck bed camper is light enough to be able to haul a boat as well without overpowering the truck’s ability to travel.

This camper is waterproofed using a DIY fiberglass technique with fabric and paint. With two-by-two-inch framing, this camper frame is lighter than most. An angular design helps combat wind resistance while driving. All the details were thought out for designing and building this truck bed camper.

9- Hinged Pop-Up Truck Cab Camper

Building and customizing a pop-up diy camper by imgurthat is able to fit in the bed of a truck is a fantastic way to camp out on the open road. Under bed storage creates sliding storage that tucks away and keeps supplies secure. Solid hinged sides are a wonderful way to keep sturdiness but also an insulated interior.

An aluminum construction canopy helps make this hinged pop-up camper lightweight. The interior is decked out in tongue and groove wood flooring. Insulation is key with the aluminum frame to keep the wintry weather at bay. This project can be built with a friend on an affordable budget.

10- Truck Topper Classic Wood Camper

Rather than a slide-in truck camper unit, learn to construct a cab topper camper that sits on the rails of the truck. The classic look of wood makes this DIY truck camper by truckcamperadventurea realistic and exceptional way to enjoy camper-style outdoors living. This wooden truck bed camper is almost like going back to childhood and sleeping in a tree house.

A two by four-inch frame with cedar board covering, the construction is similar to a boat, only upside down. The entire DIY truck bed camper weighs around six hundred pounds so it does not over power the truck.

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11- Weekend Truck Topper Camper

With an existing truck topper, getting room to sleep two in the back of the truck can be a weekend DIY project. With two by four-inch framing, creating a space for storage and a support for two single beds, this truck topper camper by theparentsflewthenestis easy to build and easy to haul. Without an existing truck topper, consider purchasing a truck topper tent for an inexpensive alternative.

Foldable cushions create an easier and more versatile way to go from sitting around to laying down for rest. Ample storage underneath the two single beds allows for coolers, cooktops, and other supplies needed to make a comfortable camper experience.

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12- Tiny House Truck Bed RV Camper

Learn How to Convert a truck bed into an RV camper in this Youtube videowhile also thinking about staying within a budget. A tiny home on the back of a truck, this RV camper is built with a metal frame. This DIY camper project is the ultimate RV experience with fully customized interior and exterior.

With everything that an RV provides, this truck bed RV camper is the ultimate camping experience. With the goal of building this custom camper to the highest potential, this project can be cut down for faster, budget friendly DIYers.

13- Homemade Pickup Truck Camper

Wood framing is made to fit the bed of a pickup truck with added metal sheeting for the exterior shell. This camper is put together similar to a repair person trailer with the added benefit of windows, insulation, and sleeping quarters. This video tutorial is a series of videos designed to show the steps in constructing a truck bed camper that fits construction abilities and budget limits.

The DIY truck topper camper has form and function with easy framing construction that allows many DIYers to complete this project. In this DIY project creator shows detailed instructions on how to build a truck camper in this Youtube video.

14- Truck Bed Topper Canopy Camper

Creating a fold-down space that can be popped up for sleeping quarters off the ground is a fantastic DIY truck cap camper idea by overlandkitted. Eliminating road hazards by designing and building a pop-up and fold-down that does not limit driving views is ingenious. This DIY truck camper project essentially creates a two-story camper that can be folded down into a slim and streamlined design.

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15- Camper Van Inspired Truck Bed Camper

Combining a pre-made roof rack that carries a significant amount of weight with a DIY sleeper shell, this project tutorial takes inspiration from VW camper vans. This project details the creation of a camper shell while using a universal truck bed roof rack. A DIY pop-up truck camper by instructablesis a wonderful way to feel less claustrophobic without adding more space.

The project tutorial features detailed supplies, high-quality photos, and descriptive instructions.

This camper build can comfortably sleep two adults for on-the-road travel living. The hinged roof is made of waterproof fabric that can be popped up with sides that hinge out.

16- Slide-In Truck Cab Camper

Following other truck bed camper projects on Youtube, a two by four-inch framing helps this slide-in camper support a dual-purpose sleeping and storage area in the back of a pickup truck. Double bed framing allows for optimum space for sleeping and underneath storage. Wooden slats help evenly support the weight of the sleeping surface.

Drawer pulls or a custom-designed DIY drawer sliding system can be utilized for easily accessing storage areas. Long pullout drawers make storage space expansive for a cooktop, food, and other camping supplies.

17- Slanted Roof Low Profile Camper Module

A wooden framed DIY pop-up truck camper in this Youtube videofeaturing an expanded roof using piston hinge lifts for a safe and powerful construction. A four-foot-high slanted roof that tapers to a two-foot sleeping quarters, this low-profile pop-up camper is perfect for travelers who do not want to haul a separate camper. The all-wood frame allows for DIYers with a range of construction skills to complete this project.

When the pop-up roof needs to be folded down for driving, the sides fold in for a streamlined design that minimizes wind resistance. Plywood studs make this design a lot lighter than other truck bed designs and can be less expensive to build as well. This camper is light enough to easily slide in and out, so it can be stored away when not being used.

Final Thoughts!

There are many ways to DIY a camper when owning a pickup truck. Rather than hauling and storing a large and expensive camper or RV, it can be more affordable to learn how to build a DIY truck camper. There are several budget friendly and lightweight construction projects such as the ones we have shown you above that allow DIYers to build the perfect custom truck bed camper to meet their outdoor living needs.

Based upon some of the most common questions asked I have prepared a questionnaire.


Can you make your own truck camper?

Yes you can use your existing truck shell for your camper. You will need a hard shell cover to make your own truck camper. You can buy from dealership, auto parts shop and can also buy online. You can build your own home inside shell. The truck troper you buy is usually tall enough to stand up or stand under.

How do truck campers attach?

You can attach your truck camper using “tie-downs”. No matter what types of truck camper you have, you will need to buy four tie-downs. They serve as an anchor point to your camper. You will need two tie-downs for the front and two tie-downs for the rear of your truck bed.

Can I convert a car into a camper?

You can convert your car to a truck camper. You don’t need to do anything to or make any amendments to your car. You just buy a tent box and install it on the roof of your car. You can also remove it anytime you don’t need to.

Is it cheaper to convert a van to a camper?

Converting your existing van to a camper should be cheaper than buying a ready made van camper from the market. By making your own van camper you have options to customize it according to your needs.

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17 DIY Truck Camper Ideas to Inspire You to Build Your Own - The Self-Sufficient Living (2024)


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