Best Truck Camping Setup… For Us

After deciding that we wanted to spend a year living like rich vagabonds out of our truck, we had to decide how traditional or eccentric we wanted to be during this homeless period of our lives. What follows are some of the options we considered for this trip as well as why we did (or didn’t) end up using them.

Option 1: Build a Tiny House onto the Truck, a Mini-Tiny-Itsy-Bitsy Home

Pros: beautiful, hipster-esque option that would allow Dave to work with his hands again. He already built us a tiny house we lived in for a couple years, so why not build an even smaller version that we would live in for half that time? Also, we could sleep in it, which sounds pretty nice.

Cons: You need to be used to people staring at you and your stuff. I am a hopelessly awkward human that hates drawing attention to myself, so this posed a bit of a problem. I immediately imagined us driving through New York City in something akin to this gem.maxresdefaulttinyhouse

Am I ridiculous? Hell yes! We were intending our truck-house to look more like below, but you never know how something will turn out when you are building it in the woods with a generator and a handful of tools. Oh. Did I forget to mention that the house would need to be built after our apartment lease was up? Well… there was that too.


Option 2: Truck Camper

Pros: minimal work and everything we would need is already in there.

Cons: Used ones were selling for upwards of $15,000. I said we were rich vagabonds, not actual rich people. See the picture above for an example of what a dream house looks like for me, then tell me how I can pay $15,000 for anything less than a lifetime home.


Option 3: Camper Shell Lift-Kit

Pros: This option looks more normal than Option 1 and would still allow us to sleep inside the truck. It would basically be like we created our own pop-up truck camper, but more redneck-y.

Cons: Quite a bit of work and still pretty expensive, especially if we bought a kit like the one below. Plus, when lifted, it is still pretty conspicuous.


Option 4: Tent Camping with Totes – – Our Plan

Pros: More affordable option with plenty of room for adjustment. Don’t draw (too much) attention to ourselves. Still easy to get off-road or travel on rough dirt roads.

Cons: If a tote we need is in back, we have to pull everything else out to get to it. We are becoming quite good planners in that respect. Also, setting up a bed can be a hassle as you have to do more than just crawl onto it. We avoid having to set-up/tear-down as much as possible by choosing spots we want to stay at for (at minimum) a few days at a time.


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