In 1892, diesel engines were created bringing increased horsepower and torque to pickup trucks. The best engines being Cummins, Duramax and Powerstroke.
Short bed truck campers are portable living units designed for 5’ and 6’ foot truck beds.
They fit inside the box of the truck with ease making them great for spontaneous camping trips.
Small truck bed campers got designed for ½ ton pickup trucks with shorter beds and lower payload capacity.
They are often less than 2500lbs making them fit almost all small pickup trucks.
Also, check out the best pop-up camper trailers!
In This Article
When it comes to the best small truck camper for your camping adventure.
There are some specifics for your pickup truck and extra features to decide on for your trip.
Slide-in truck campers have hard walls and a fixed roof. This gives them several benefits over pop up campers.
Benefits of slide-in truck bed campers include:
- More Floor Plan Options
- More Extra Features
- Better Insulation
- More Interior Storage
- Sound Isolation
Popup truck campers are almost a universal fit for all full-size and small pickup trucks.
They have a roof that folds ⅓ of the way down when not in use lowering the truck’s center of gravity.
Popup campers are available in both a soft and a hard-walled model.
Some benefits of pop-up truck campers are:
- Improved Fuel Economy
- Lower Sale Price
- Extreme Off-Roading Capabilities
- Fits Almost Every Small Pickup Truck
The size of your truck bed and total payload capacity needs taking into account.
Determine the max weight that your truck can carry and bed length.
Then, find a truck bed camper that is for that size of the bed that’s lightweight, below the max weight rating.
The truck bed camper that you buy needs enough sleeping space for everyone going camping.
Pick a truck bed camper with slides for extra space or buy camping tents to set up for more sleep space.
Do you need a truck bed camper that includes a full bathroom with a flush toilet, sink and shower?
Then, make sure that the camper you buy has the bathroom style you want. But, still includes enough sleeping space.
Do you want a kitchen that includes a stove and dinette?
Then, make sure that the camper layout includes a kitchen with the other features that you need as well.
Be sure to shop for a truck bed camper based on the features that fit your needs.
But, no matter what smaller truck bed you have.
Here are the 5 best small truck campers available for half-ton pickup trucks.
- Best Lightweight Short Bed Truck Camper Under 2000lbs – Lance 650S
- Best Lightweight Short Bed Popup Truck Camper – NorthStar Popup Camper 600SS
- Best Small Truck Bed Campers for a Family of 4 – Alp Adventurer Truck Camper 80GS
- Best Cab Over Lightweight Short Bed Truck Camper – NuCamp Cirrus 820
- Best Lightweight Short Bed Camper with a Bathroom – Northwood Arctic Fox Camper 811
Lance Campers have been in constant pursuit of making truck bed campers more durable and lightweight.
The 2020 Lance 650 is their newest model that’s designed to fit in short bed trucks that have a 5’ or 6’ bed.
Lance 650 short bed truck camper has a dry weight of 1,700lbs with a wet weight of 1,903lbs with the standard gear.
It has a high-quality aluminum frame that’s lightweight yet sturdy.
The roof construction uses a single piece of PVC and the windows are radius acrylic thermopane glass.
The 2020 Lance 650 short bed truck camper is available to buy starting at $25,969.
Standard features included in the Lance 650 short bed camper are:
- Ducted Heating System
- Tank-Less Water Heater
- Bluetooth Audio System
- Air Conditioning
- Keyless Entry
Best Lightweight Short Bed Popup Truck Campers - Northstar Popup Camper 600SS
The best small truck popup camper is the 2020 Northstar 600SS which fits both small and long truck beds.
It will fit almost any smaller pickup truck like the Tacoma, Canyon, Colorado, Ranger and Frontier.
It is a very spacious truck camper that has a kitchen area and dinette but lacks a bathroom.
The 2020 Northstar 600SS popup camper has a dry weight of 1,258lbs and a wet weight of 1,985lbs when loaded with gear.
The base price for the 2020 Northstar 600SS pop-up small truck bed camper is $17,695.
Standard features included with the 2020 Northstar 600SS pop-up camper are:
- Electric Roof Lift System
- Interior & Patio LED Lighting
- Insulated Floor
- Dometic 3.7 C.F 3 Way Refrigerator
- 12,000 BTU Auto Ignition Furnace
- Dometic Glass Top 2 Burner Stove
Best Small Truck Bed Campers For a Family of 4 - ALP Adventurer 80GS Truck Camper
ALP Adventurer 80GS is a short bed truck camper with a slide that fits in 6-foot truck beds.
It’s a short bed truck camper that includes a full wet bath. Including, a bath with a shower, foot flush toilet and exhaust vent with a fan.
Adventurer 80GS sleeps 3 to 4 people with the included front queen bed and dinette that folds down to sleep 1 to 2.
The ALP Adventurer 80GS is a great four-season short bed truck camper that has a dry weight of 1,684lbs and a wet weight of 2,394lbs.
Standard features included with the Adventurer LP 80GS short bed truck camper are:
- Tons of Storage Space
- Spacious Slide-Out
- Full Wet Bath
- Outdoor Shower
- Front Queen Bed
- Folding Dinette
- 6-Cubic Foot Refrigerator
Best Cabover Lightweight Short Bed Truck Camper - NuCamp Cirrus 820
The 2020 Cirrus 820 is a great hard-side short bed truck camper that fits ¾ ton trucks with a 6-foot bed.
NuCamp had a forward-thinking mindset with the Cirrus 820 design.
Their modern design offers an aesthetic, solar-ready design.
NuCamp’s modern truck bed camper design includes a sleek kitchen area with a dinette, a full wet bathroom and all the entertainment luxuries.
The 2020 Cirrus 820 cabover short bed truck camper has a dry weight of 2,685lbs and a wet weight of 3,040lbs when loaded.
It’s very spacious for a small truck camper offering 2 separate sleep spaces that fit 3 to 4 people.
The starting cost to buy a 2020 NuCamp Cirrus 820 short bed truck camper is $40,296.
Features that the 2020 NuCamp Cirrus 820 small truck camper includes:
Best Short Bed Campers With a Bathroom - Northwood Arctic Fox Camper 811
Northwood Arctic Fox Camper 811 is a hard-sided, single-slide truck bed camper.
This truck bed camper is bigger than a lot of other campers fitting in a ¾ ton pickup truck. But, it makes great use of the space.
The Arctic Fox Camper 811 is great for all four-seasons, sleeping up to 4 adults.
It has a cathedral ceiling, a full corner sink and a complete wet bath.
The dry weight of this short bed truck camper is 3,468lbs with a wet weight of 4,569lbs when geared up.
The Northwood Arctic Fox Camper 811 has a starting price of $30,566.
Standard features included with the Northwood Arctic Fox Camper 811 are:
Short bed truck camper models vary in weight depending on materials used, size and included features.
But, truck bed campers are available in weights between 850lbs to 3500lbs.
The price of a short bed truck camper will depend on what brand and the included features.
But, the average cost for bed campers for small pickup trucks is between $10,000 to $50,000 dollars.
Yes, there are short bed campers available for smaller half-ton trucks.
Before buying be sure to decide on the features that are essential for you. Some small campers may not include them.
The lightest short bed truck camper available is the TravelLite Rayzr SS with a dry weight of 885lbs.
It’s a great camper that fits almost any half-ton small bed pickup trucks and sleeps up to 4 people.
Yes, pop up truck bed campers are very good and offer some benefits over slide-in truck campers.
Some of the benefits that pop up truck campers offer are:
- Lower Price
- More Aerodynamic
- Lighter Weight
- More Fuel Efficient
- Easier Storage
Yes, you can put a bed camper on a half-ton pickup truck with a 5.5’ bed.
There are a few models available for super short bed trucks.
A great one being the Lance 650.
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