The Ultimate Truck Camping Guide For 2020

Latest Update 2. January 2021.

COWID-19 has isolated us and set us free at the same time. Before COVID, most Americans dreamed of traveling the world. But even after the closures, Americans are starting to realize that their travel dreams CAN still come true now that telecommuting is widespread. Why pay high rent and be stuck in the same place when you can live and travel anywhere?

That’s why Van Life is doing so well right now. But is living in a van the best solution?

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably chosen to live in a van. But I found a much better (but largely underdeveloped) option: living in a truck, made possible by a camp of creative truckers. Here are 4 good reasons why you should choose him….

Why I chose the life of a truck

This YouTube video convinced me:

Simply put: A couple who had tried everything came to the conclusion that life in a van was best. Your reasoning? Especially since…

Truck availability

The couple had both:

  • 7000 cars
  • 12,500 Tacoma

What do you think will be more expensive in a year? Vanagon.

How much? Over $36,000!

Definitive Guide to Truck Camping in 2020 14

(Source: Bound For Nowhere)

Why so many people? Because the maintenance of the van was incredibly expensive. By comparison, Tacoma costs less than $400 to maintain. Better yet, when they sold the Tacoma, they recovered 95% of the initial cost (12.5k).

This brings us to the great advantage of RV life: It’s very affordable. Another YouTuber, a homeless firefighter, knocked down a similar building for less than $10,000. This building has saved him so much money that he can now pay for the house in cash. The best?

When you sell your truck – especially if it’s a Tacoma – you get back most of what you spent. It gives you the freedom to change your mind. But that’s not the only reason they chose to live in the truck. They also liked how…

Novice lorry

To reproduce the physics of a couple….

Camping trucks Sleeping and storage facilities. Option Sleep and storage facilities for truck camping. Option Optimal orientation for truck camping by 2020 15

(Source: Bound For Nowhere)

…you only need three things:

  • Campershell
  • Storage boxes for trucks
  • Mattress

And you have a mobile home on wheels. No special skills, tools or manual labor are required. Even I can do it – and I barely know how to use a screwdriver. And that’s not all there is to love in the life of a truck. Also…

Vehicle life extension

Do you know of a vehicle that can carry 2 to 6 people with minimal modifications? Trucks. A YouTuber, The Beast’s Big Sexual Adventure, does it all the time. Animal Adventure lives year-round with his shell dog:

Ultimate Truck Camping Guide to 2020 16

(Source: Big Sexy Adventure Monster Channel)

But when his children come to visit, he hangs up a small van and welcomes the whole family in comfort:

TheUltimate Truck Camping Guide Towing Campground through 2020 17

(Source: Big Sexy Adventure Monster Channel)

This is an interesting feature because family size tends to increase over time. And as families grow, so do your recommendations, which brings us to another benefit….

Trucks can go anywhere.

So whether you want to visit national parks or go to remote public places, trucks can take you there.

And not only that: With a truck, you save TONS of money on the first axis: parking.

Truck camping saves parking spaces

Parking costs a ton of money – sometimes it costs over $90 a night (hotel fees). Why waste money on parking your car?

With the RV body I’ll be planning, you can sneak into any public place (like parking lots and Walmart neighborhoods) without spending a dime. This will save you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in parking fees and allow you to spend more on entertainment. And those are 5 good reasons to choose truck life. Are you sure about this? Read on to find out how I did it….

How to start camping in a truck step by step

It only takes three things for a truck to live:

  1. A reliable truck
  2. Few major adjustments for off-road use
  3. Truck living space

With these three things, you can set up truck camps anywhere. Let’s start with the first one:

Step 1: Getting a reliable truck

If you already have a 4×4 truck, scroll to step 2. However, if you don’t have a truck and don’t know what to buy, read about it at ……

1: Establishment of a budget for truck camping

First, choose a budget range that you can afford:

  • $10,000 – $15,000
  • $15,000 – $20,000
  • $20,000 – $30,000
  • $30,000+

Personally, I chose the latter option because I’m in an RV full time. However, choosing the configuration that suits you best ultimately depends on your budget. Choose a budget range you can afford and go to the next step….

#2: Select vehicle size

There are two sizes of trucks:

  • Compact truck : Ideal for singles or couples
  • Full truck: Ideal for families

Choose a truck size that fits your family size, then go to…

#3: Choosing a reliable truck

Your truck only needs 3 basic functions:

  • Capacity 4×4 : Makes your truck suitable for off-road use.
  • V6 engine (or higher) : It gives you the ability to follow any trail.
  • Rear Differential Lock : Helps you get out of tricky situations when driving off-road.

If your truck has these 3 features, you should buy it. Which probably begs the question: which truck did I choose?

My personal choice: 2020 Tacoma TRD SUV

My reasoning is simple: I needed a reliable compact truck that could accommodate two people and had a good price for resale.  Tacoma was the natural choice. Yes, it is: Tacomas:

  • Very reliable: It’s a no-brainer.
  • Amazing resale: Tacoma has the lowest closing rate in the market and is in high demand. This makes the sale easier.

But honestly… Tacoma is a super spy. The truth is that any reliable truck will serve you well without overpaying. You can find reliable truck recommendations on Dashboard Light. This website uses data from over 2 million vehicles to measure reliability. Here are the models, sorted by vehicle size:

Just pick the truck model you want and buy it. But how can you buy? Let’s look at your options….

#4: Lease vs. New vs. Used

I sorted the 3 purchase options by budget:

  • Rent: 10-15K budget or short term (<2 years)
  • Buying second hand : 20-30K budget or major change
  • New purchase: $30,000 or more or long-term use.

Let’s start with the first ….

Hire your truck: 10-15K budget or short term (<2 years)

For 10-15K you can only afford an old truck.

Is there something wrong with the old trucks?


It may not be a big deal, but you’ll have more maintenance costs to offset the lower cash flow costs.

They can be unreliable.

With higher mileage, you are much more likely to have serious problems. If you’re a beginner like me, this is the LAST thing you want (since we don’t have mastery skills). Rent instead. You get a new, reliable truck that won’t break down. This prevents costly repairs and a possible sag in the middle of the journey. It’s not funny. That’s why I recommend low-budget rentals: It is low risk, cheap and safe. But what if you have a little more money? Then I recommend…

Used purchase: 20-30K budget or major change from

For this price you can get a reliable used truck. This gives you room to make serious adjustments.

The only question that arises is this:

How to find a reliable used truck?

How I found my first used truck.

First, use Thanks to extensive research and testing, Autotrader is the best site to find used cars (at least in Texas).

Then customize the filters according to your preferences (budget, model, features). This way you can quickly find truck offers.


Once you have defined the filters, select this link to easily access them later.

Guide to optimal truck camping in 2020 18

After all, look at the vehicles every day. It took me about a month to find a used Tacoma for a reasonable price, twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening). But the truth is, if you don’t follow this advice, you’re probably buying a shit truck full of problems:

  • Buy in a real specialty shop: (Toyota, Ford, GMC, etc.).
    • Professional advice : If you are buying privately, take a mechanic with you to check the car.
  • Read Carfax: Aim for less than 3 owners, avoid accidents and have your vehicle serviced regularly every 5,000 miles. Never buy a car without Carfax history.
  • Get a prepaid vehicle inspection: Google allows you to inspect your car before you buy it and find a local service. This will save you thousands of dollars in hidden losses and can be used in price negotiations.

Follow these tips and you’ll have a great used truck. Don’t you have time for that? Then buy a new one.

New purchase: $30,000 or more or long-term use

The new one gives you security.

The ultimate guide to truck camping for 2020 19

(Image by Dusty Barnes)

You will have no mechanical problems and you will benefit from the original manufacturer’s warranty. If the vehicle ever breaks down (which it won’t), they’ll probably fix it for free. However, I don’t recommend the new one if you have money or are going to be living in the truck for a long time (like me). Otherwise, stick with what you’ve been using. And that’s all it takes to buy your first used truck. So, in short, you should have:

  • Reliable truck model (use a dashboard light).
  • Purchased (or planned).

Once you’ve done those things, it’s time to move on to the next step….

Step 2: Prepare truck for shipment

These are the three basic elements you need to relieve yourself:

  1. Off-road tires: I recommend off-road tires for better traction (grip). The General Grabber AT2 or the BFGoodrich K02 are the most recommended.
    1. Protective plates : The most expensive off-road damage occurs at the bottom of your truck. Anti-slip plates protect against this. Only needed for more serious off-road use.
    2. Recovery Device : If you get stuck, this device is your get-out-of-jail-free card. Here are 5 key points:
  2. Deflator for tyres: By deflating the tires, you can more easily drive over rough terrain (sand, mud) and free yourself if you get stuck.
  3. Air compressor (on-board ARB) : Fills deflated tires with air. So you can drive comfortably on paved roads again.
  4. Catering Committees : If you get stuck, put them under the tires so they don’t get stuck. I like the recovery tips from the BRC.
  5. Boulder repair kit : In case of a flat, this kit allows you to temporarily block your tires so you can return to a safe place for a serious repair.
  6. Preventive mean set for episodic recovery : If you are deeply trapped, you can be towed by another vehicle with a tow strap. No help? Use the winch.

With these three things you can go anywhere.

The rest of the mods people usually buy – bar lights, lifts, stickers – are just for Instagram. In general: The more accessories you put in your truck, the more you spend. Therefore, I strongly recommend keeping the truck as close to the warehouse as possible and only upgrading when necessary. Your wallet and the truck will thank you. If you save on mods, you can spend more on a killer living space.

Step 3: Bring your truck to life

Here are the five best examples of life in a truck.

I’ve sorted each building by use. Whether you are looking for an economy building or a building above sea level, you will find it here. Let’s go!

Best overall performance: Shell Camping Tanker Truck

What is it?

Camper shell + loading =

Camping trucks Sleeping and storage facilities. Option Sleep and storage facilities for truck camping. Option Optimal Truck Camping Guidelines 2020 20

(Source: Bound For Nowhere)

Why build a motorhome?

  • It’s simple: All you need is a motorhome equipment + boxes to operate it.
  • Save money: You can park anywhere. Whether in a Walmart parking lot or nearby, this stealth parking device will save you a lot of money.
  • Compact : There are 0 unused seats. You have a bed and all your camping equipment neatly stored in a drawer at the bottom.
  • Renovative: Do you need a storage unit for several people? Put a tent on the roof or hang a camper.

Design examples

  • On the way to nowhere: The couple vibrated this building for 9 months without a problem. They recommend it especially for beginners.
  • Great sexy animal adventures: A soloist who contributed to this guide. Patrick has been taking care of the campers for years.

Who is it for?

Couples or single adventurers. It’s the option I personally chose.

Best budget: Camping tents for trucks

What is it?

Truck + tent truck =


It’s very cheap, easy and fast. Here’s a quick comparison between the toppers of recreational vehicles and the tents of trucks:

Simply put:

Truck tents are cheap and quick, while camping trailers are more of a permanent solution. RV bodies also offer better protection from rain and better insulation than truck tents.

Design examples

  • Pay attention: An amateur fisherman was camping in his truck tent.

Who is it for?

A complete beginner on a limited budget. It’s also a great way to test the life of a truck without spending a ton of money. Just rent a truck, a sleeping tent and a sleeping bag and you can camp anywhere without spending much time or money!

Best for ground transport: Roof-tent

What is it?

Storage trailer + roof tent =


Roof tents are light, compact and very comfortable. Very popular in the rural community.

Design examples

  • David Jenk253 : Great contribution to this handbook. Usually he is alone on the land, but sometimes he takes his wife with him.
  • Down2Mob Overland : The adventures of a bearded man who lives in a tent on the roof.

Who is it for?

A lone adventurer or a couple who like to go ashore (drive to remote places and camp). I personally combined this installation with the one in the motorhome for maximum space.

Best for families: RV

What is it?

Truck + camper =

Thewithout giving up the comforts of home.

(Source: Destiny Unleashed)


It’s the most comfortable building. It can also easily accommodate an entire family without losing the comfort of the home. The only problem? It can be quite expensive. You have to buy, store, park and maintain a van. Not recommended for beginners.

Design examples

  • On the way to nowhere: Minimalist couple living on four wheels in the tundra.
  • Destiny unleashed: A couple living full-time in their van.

Who is it for?

People on the go appreciate the comfort of their home, with plenty of room for the family. This sums up the top five truck campsites. Choose the right model for the intended use and obtain the recommended parts. Once you’re done, it’s time to buy the rest of your camping gear for the truck.

Camping frame

Here is my list of recommended truck camping equipment. It took over 4 months of research, trial and error, and costly mistakes to compile this list. I hope this helps you as much as it helped me. Let’s go!

Construction of permanent mobile homes

drawers are another choice for camper storage.

  • ARE MH: The MX has extra maneuvering room and fits my 3rd generation Tacoma. Generation. Select the options in this video.
  • Boxing: Waterproof and robust truck boxes. You need to hire a professional handyman to install them.
    • Alternative option : If you have woodworking skills, you can build cheap wooden sliding chests after watching this video.

Rooms, bathrooms, showers



  • A bottle of piss: A bottle with a wide opening for peeing on the street.
  • Tent of privacy: Do you need to poop or shower? Take it fast and do it your way.
  • Reliable portable toilets: A compact and affordable toilet.
  • Glock folding shovel: To get the truck out of the mud or dig cat mud pits. Don’t tell anyone.
  • Baby wipes: Wipe yourself off with it when the case is over. Faster and saves a ton of toilet paper.
  • Drink Metamucil: Vapors come out easier after drinking. It must be fibers.
  • Personal Mirror: Illuminated treatment mirror.




Food and water storage



Camping clothing and storage

Remote control for camper van


Mobile working space


Emergency facility

These are all devices that I personally use. If you follow this list, you should have 95% of what you need to start your truck camping adventure. What’s the next step? Find out where you’re going.

Plan your trip

Using this method, Luke Makris, a professional travel agent, planned an 80-day road trip to more than 1,000 destinations in 35 states.

The best? It only cost him $2,000. If you want to save time and money when you travel, use Luke’s resources for planning.

Step 1: Decide where to go?

This resource will help you decide where and when to go.

Step 2: Implementation of Google My Maps

This resource provides an overview of Google My Maps. Watch this video for a visual version.

Step 3: Find exciting activities

Luke Makris’ video on how to find cool classes fast. Here is the PDF version of the video. If you like the content, I encourage you to visit the website and Instagram.

If you don’t want to do everything yourself, Luke can plan it for you. But I personally recommend that you do your own research on this topic so that you can plan your future travels.


And that’s the best thing about truck camping. Follow these tips and you’ll have a great truck ready for adventure. Here are some additional resources that can help you:

I hope that truck guide helped you as much as he helped me. If so, I want you to share that with your friends. Thanks and see you at the track!

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