The 9 Best Truck Campers for Off-Road Adventures

Photo: Scout Olympic

If you own a truck and have been thinking about taking it out on the road for a few days or an off-the-grid overlanding adventure, consider opting for an attachable camper rather than a towed trailer. Many people don’t realize that onboard sleeping cabins can offer most, if not all, of the same capabilities as the vessels that trail behind your truck, and with some added benefits. 

Typically cheaper than buying a trailer or towed camper, truck campers also provide better maneuverability in most situations, allowing you to utilize the functionality of your pick-up while keeping your sleeping and storage area intact. Each traveler will be particular about what he or she wants in a camper — as they should be when spending thousands of dollars on anything. Accordingly, most companies offer a plethora of customizations and upgrades due to the flexible nature of these cabins. To help you choose from everything available on the market, we’ve put together a guide to the best truck campers to buy for your next adventure.

Hard-Sided Vs. Pop-Up

Comparing Campers

Similar to rooftop tents, there are hard and soft versions of truck campers as well. However, in this case, the hard-sided — or slide-in — campers don’t fold back down when you’re driving around, although many come with a pop-up option. While this can increase the clearance height and wind resistance of your truck, it’s also less work you have to do in-between drives. In fact, many owners keep their hard-sided campers in place as permanent fixtures on their vehicles. 

On the other hand, softer pop-ups — which are ironically more similar to hard-shelled rooftop tents — are exactly what they sound like. These are better for owners who want to use their pick-up trucks as actual pick-up trucks after they return home. Likewise, pop-ups are more affordable and still made with high-quality, weather-resistant materials that won’t compromise your comfort or safety when using them on your next adventure off the grid or on the road.

Photo: GFC

GFC Platform

The GFC Platform is a nest-like pop-up that has a place to sleep up top while allowing you to still use your truck bed as a truck bed. The three-piece modular floor gives you easy access to the upper bed and enables the conversion of the queen-sized sleeping area to a bunk-style twin bed. During the day, the three panels make for easy stowing so you can stand fully erect inside.

The walls of the cabana down below open up for easy access, meanwhile, an attachable ladder lets you enter or exit the nest through the waterproof side panels.

Recap

GFC Platform

A great pop-up camper regardless of budget.

Pros
  • Versatile
  • Inexpensive
Cons
  • Slanted roof

Photo: OVRLND

OVRLND Pop-Up

Simple and reliable, yet incredibly spacious, OVRLND’s campers are also designed to be endlessly customized to even the most creative owner. Weighing 375lbs at the most, yet with more side-to-side room than its contemporaries (along with a 6’5” standing height), this straight-walled pop-up has a nested queen-sized sleeping area that leaves the truck bed available down below.

Hand-made in Flagstaff, AZ, the OVRLND pop-ups might not be built for luxury, but they are certainly built for utility and comfort.

Recap

OVRLND Pop-Up

A spacious pop-up with solid utility.

Pros
  • Lots of interior room
  • Utilitarian
Cons
  • Not super luxurious

Photo: Rossmönster

Rossmönster Lagom

A major benefit of sleeping on the roof of your vehicle is the ability to take in the views around you, whether it’s watching the sunset or simply enjoying the beauty of nature. Swedish brand Rossmönster made the perfect camper for this with its Lagom model, which sports clear windows on the front and back of the upper nest for the ultimate luxury experience.

However, this hard-shelled camper also thrives on simplicity, letting you use your truckbed as intended, with open access from both up top and outside, as well as 200W of solar power thanks to the Goal Zero Yeti power bank.

Recap

Rossmönster Lagom

Balancing luxury and simplicity.

Pros
  • Glass walls in nest allow for beautiful views
  • Simple yet luxurious
  • Access to truck bed
Cons
  • Only available for three truck models

Photo: Four Wheel Campers

Four Wheel Campers Slide-In Models

If you’re going to be living in your truck for an extended amount of time, you might as well build it out exactly how you want it. Four Wheel Campers’ Slide-In models are slide-in hybrids with a pop-up nest up top for sleeping. These campers have found ubiquity on the road simply because of how versatile they can be, with options for full-size pick-ups or short-bed trucks.

Likewise, the company outfits its wide range of models with high-quality appliances and furniture that help you when trying to resell it down the line.

Recap

Four Wheel Campers Slide-In Models

A tried-and-true paragon of the truck camper industry.

Pros
  • High-quality accomodations
  • An array of floorplan options
Cons
  • High demand and takes long to build

Photo: Scout

Scout Olympic

Truck campers definitely have a traditional, roughneck implication, but there are a handful of modern brands that are making the off-the-grid experience more fun and convenient. Weighing just 1,081lbs — far less than its other hard-sided competitors — Scout’s Olympic camper definitely punches above its class.

Sleeping between 4 and 6 people, this shell also gets its power from the sun thanks to a 190W Go Power Flexible Solar Panel. The standard options are more than enough, but add-ons include a Dometic fridge, a slide-out kitchen prep station, and a rooftop tent. 

Recap

Scout Olympic

Pros
  • Super lightweight
  • Fits up to 6 people
  • Has lots of add-on options
Cons
  • N/A

Photo: Northwood

Northwood Arctic Fox 1150

One misconception people have about truck campers is that they can’t compare to the luxury of tow-in trailers or RVs. Northwood’s Arctic Fox slide-in line, especially the top-of-the-line 1150, aims to prove naysayers wrong.

This unit is massive, not just weighing 3,358lbs but roomy enough to function as a small apartment, with a sizable kitchenette with fridge and stove, a bathroom, an above-cab queen-sized bed, and a dinette. Sleeping up to 4 people, the Arctic Fox refuses to compromise on comfort just because it’s a camper.

Recap

Northwood Arctic Fox 1150

A roomy camper that’s like a mini-apartment.

Pros
  • Very roomy
  • Has a host of amenities
Cons
  • Heavy

Photo: nüCamp

nüCamp Cirrus 820

Made for permanent life on the road, nüCamp’s most capable model, the Cirrus 820, comes equipped with a toilet, shower, kitchen with a fold-down sink, and plenty of room for an array of activities.

Intended for ¾-ton or 1-ton short-beds, this hard-shell camper is much similar to the Arctic Fox, but with better four-season amenities such as Alde hydronic heating that can be controlled remotely and allows you to take a warm shower at any time of day. It also has solar power, plenty of storage space, and a roomy lofted sleeping area.

Recap

nüCamp Cirrus 820

A year-round option for the perennial nomad.

Pros
  • Can handle permanent residence
  • Has heating
  • Spacious
Cons
  • Not for smaller trucks

Photo: Loki

Loki Icarus Series

Debuting a year ago as a more compact alternative to the brand’s popular Falcon camper, Loki’s Icarus Series is anything but cramped, featuring a removable interior shower, a full-sized bed, a kitchenette, and an A/C and heating unit, capable of being powered by the 300W of solar power. There’s also a heated floorboard option!

Then there’s the construction. While most of its compatriots are built from aluminum, the body on the Icarus hull is made from aluminum-reinforced fiberglass that’s able to shed some weight for an easier ride.

Recap

Loki Icarus Series

A lightweight alternative that’s easy on your suspension.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Luxurious amenities
Cons
  • Pricey

Photo: EarthCruiser

EarthCruiser Terranova

EarthCruiser’s all-in campers are bought as an entire package, overhauling a standard F350 or RAM 3500 pick-up truck with everything you’ll need for either frequent overland adventures or permanent life on the road. The brand’s newest pick-up model, the Terranova, is its biggest and most capable yet. Featuring 8 windows for a 360-degree view, the large pop-up roof raises electronically in seconds via a flip of a switch or even remotely from your key fob. The over-cab sleeping area sports a queen-sized mattress for front-to-black sleeping rather than side-to-side so you won’t have to climb over anyone to get out of bed.

Likewise, the interior won’t lack much of anything that the rest of these campers come equipped with. It’s also one of the only options on this list that’s more than an actual RV, so be prepared to spend a pretty penny if you want one of the best overlanders available.

Recap

EarthCruiser Terranova

An all-in overland camper with a thoughtful design.

Pros
  • Large sleeping area
  • Sold as a package deal
Cons
  • Very expensive

The Best RV and Camper Rental Services

Photo: Cruise America

If RVs are still more your thing and you’re not sure you’re ready to make the leap into owning one, then check out our guide to the best RV and camper rental services.