Pickup Truck Camping: Outfitting a Truck Canopy for Camping and Living in a Truck

Pickup Truck Camping: Outfitting a Truck Canopy for Camping and Living in a Truck


Alright, so I just wanted to give a little video tour of the sleeping arrangement here in my truck this is uh… kind of the mode I have it set up in when I am on the go, on the move, just need a quick
place to uh… pull over and sleep for the night and that’s why I have the uhh… bed up here in the elevated platform um… I debated a long time about how to
best block the windows for privacy especially when you’re in public areas like Wal-Mart parking lots
and what have you I just ended up using a couple of those sunscreens for your front window to
block the sun they work really well for the big windows here in the back and then a couple priority mail boxes disassembled to block the longer side windows um… I’ve got the uh… cigarette lighter adapters that hook up to my
main battery got an inverter so I can charge and run my electronics got a little temperature gauge which gives me the time and temperature, ninety two degrees in here right now, which is terrible uh… yeah, right here you can see are my locks so if I’m parking at a trailhead or
somewhere where I’m concerned about someone potentially breaking in, I can actually uh… relatively secure the contents
underneath of my platform here protect things like my expensive
climbing and backpacking gear I’ll put my uh… electronics uh… under there when i’m out about as well So I just wanted to talk a little bit about these
locks, I ended up putting hinges onto my tailgate that connect to this upper
platform here with these little twist, err, twisting key lock things um, that provides me some relative
security if anyone were to try to break in um… you probably can’t see it but there’s little metal L-brackets down here that actually Keep this uh… entire upper platform from sliding out because if if someone were to try and open the tailgate it’ll catch on that and prevent it from from sliding out you can see i can’t actually open my tailgate, if I were to break in it’s relatively secure. I’ve got the
same thing over here on this side another L-bracket and a lock to keep it in
place and in the back this long wooden platform actually sits underneath the lip of my canopy so it can’t lift up on either the the cab side or the ah… or the back side here and to get in here You’ve gotta have the key obviously, it’s just a
nice little twist lock, pops off it has a different key for each side which is kinda annoying but it is what it is so those fold down you can open the tailgate and then you’ve got whatever you choose to store underneath
here this is where I keep my my gear, typically i have my food
boxes under here as well, not for security’s sake but just ’cause it’s a little nicer to have the boxes underneath but I’m in the Sierra’s right now so I’ve got them in a more accessible location. As i mentioned this is relatively secure storage over here and this is all just free access. I keep my headlamps and other things that i wanna
keep accessible in this little metal basket. I’ve got a brush down there to sweep out the back of my truck, a lot of sand and dirt that infiltrates which is very annoying I need to to clean out my truck now You’ll also notice these large boxes i have
in here are only about half an inch underneath my platform so there is some sagging when I lay on here but it’s relatively
supported and not enough sagging that i am super concerned about it and here’s a look at my truck when I’ve got it in kinda basecamp mode where I’m settled for a while and i can dump stuff off at my camp site you may be wondering about that hole there,
that was something I decided to cut in for access underneath the table just so i can so i can sometimes access things that
might be otherwise a little more inaccessible because of the long uh… shelf or table that we got up there on the back that shelf there is just loose it can move around or lift up or go wherever I want it to go but I’m able to
stack stuff on the back there and just put my feet underneath the shelf um… when i’m sleeping back here so it
makes for a nice uh… storage area get things out of
the way and uh… up above so yeah that was a quick look at the truck camping
set up that i’ve been using for the past few months on the road hope you enjoyed it and if you
have any questions don’t hesitate to ask

100 thoughts on “Pickup Truck Camping: Outfitting a Truck Canopy for Camping and Living in a Truck

  1. I noticed your comment about dust and sand getting into the area. I suggest you go to your local auto parts store and select some weather stripping and add it to the tail gate area, you can also take some duct tape to make a seal at the bottom, or make one with strip magnets wrapped with duct tape on all sides to make a gasket to fit over the bottom of your tail gate and truck bed which can be removed when necessary. It folds up nicely when you close the tail gate.  I have also sealed some of the vent holes on the inside with tape. It helps a lot. I also have a window in the front of my top that I crack open to help reduce the vacuum at the rear area which seems to help reduce dust entering into the area which seems to get into the area even with the seals.  I don't stay in mine, but use it for storage on extended RV trips. 

  2. not too secure but good enough. just need a battery operated saw and i can cut it open. lol JK.. about the key. i have those locks which are sold at Home depot. if you get the two same number for the locks. it will have the same key for both. example my key is 577 so i bought the other set of lock that is 577 so that way you can use 1 key  have have 3 extra keys.  =)

  3. A lot of great advices from your viewers. You can solve the problem of getting your boxes out from the front of your truck bed by cut your plywood bed to two small 8" to 10" wide and 6' long on each side. When ever you need to get something from under the bed just open it and pull it out from under it. I also built the small 5' long box underneath of my bed to stored my four 6 volts batteries bank right in the middle to balance the weight of the truck. This long box underneath should keep my bed from bend down at the middle. I hope this helps. Be safe and be happy out there.

  4. i miss having a 6ft truck bed for this reason, i can still sleep in the back of my 5ft bed if i sleep diagonal, but its just not the same.

  5. Great ideas! I've got a Silverado 4×4 with 6' bed and want to do what you did, but, as cheap as box trailers are, I was thinking of buying a box trailer to haul a motorcycle in and be able to sleep in that too. 

  6. Awesome, I am very interested in your setup for future venture. I would very much like to know how the side walls are secured to stay vertical as well as how you secured the up position bed rails to the vertical side walls.

  7. What is the height in inches from the truck bed to the support railing? I noticed you are able to fit coolers in the storage area.

  8. This is great! I am hoping to retrofit my truck for a roadtrip this summer. One question: How did you secure the wooden frame to the truck bed? Thanks!

  9. Nice work man.  The locks are especially nice!  I noticed you left the bedliner in.  This is something I'm wrestling with.  How did you support your left and right narrow shelves (over the wheel wells).  Looks just like normal shelving brackets into the plastic.  Also, what inverter is that and where exactly did you run the wire from your battery to the bed?  I occasionally have to use my truck as a truck (to haul firewood and stuff) and am trying to design a setup that allows me the modular and security functions of your set up with a relatively easy removal from the bed (i.e. in about an hour or so).  Love to hear your thoughts. 

  10. For security, you could use very visible empty gun racks so others may think you could walk up on them armed while they are breaking into your truck. It may keep them from taking long enough to do more than grab a couple easy to reach things. On the other hand, anyone stupid enough to break into a truck in the woods around here wouldn't be smart enough to think about stuff like that anyway.

  11. Very nice and well thought out. I am going to attempt Something with my Ranger Truck. I really need to know how the side rails are kept secure. It appears that the bottom has the floor wedged to keep it tight.But what is holding the top of the side boards: are there are there clamps or holes drilled in the bed ? If you could help me out that would be so much appreciated. And thank for the Video Great Job  

  12. Relatively is the key word, Locks are only good to keep out honest people. those locks would be No problem for a crowbar. Nice set up though. You need an alarm back up, But that is even only good if people around. but then again so many people have them, when they go off no one pays attention. Good Luck

  13. Like the setup, very cool idea on the locks… Maybe put in a better center beam for support? Great idea.. But it can get pretty hot or cold in there. Tried sleeping in mine a few times, man it got cold… Great video

  14. Cool setup I'm going to be looking into as well when I get out of school.  A cool Idea I thought up was to have that plywood "bed sheet" reinforced with cross beams and then you could have clip on table legs to convert it to a picnic table at campsites.  I know there isn't much space between the boxes under, but something to think about!

  15. Great video and thanks for posting it. I recently bought a truck cap and I am interested in doing something similar to what you have done. I was looking into using solar panels on the roof rack supplying a goal zero power generator and possibly also charging a few batteries. There are a lot of videos with tons of ideas. Is there anything that you would change to your setup?

  16. Hey ramake ur platform to metal the so is impossibe for break in the platfrom can be easily bust open with a sledge hammer

  17. That was a really clever trick you did with the hinges and the tail gate. I wouldn't have given that much thought to securing everything, but you clearly thought it through really well.

  18. I use a thin futon and down sleeping bag along with blankets. I also have a head tent so I breath warm air. Been at 0 degrees comfy and warm no problem. Its doable in cold weather, just need to figure it out.

  19. I really loved the tour of your truck camping setup. I'm a writer and was looking for something for a character to use while traveling and this is perfect for my "fictional" needs. Thank you.

  20. nice little design I would personally make a 2×4 support for the middle that could easily be mate to the side the wall. what kind of brackets are those you may be able to get better ones that are preformed that won't allow it to sag. one more thing I like the whole hinge and lock idea, you ever think about putting a steel plate behind the lock so they can't just rip it out just a thought

  21. awesome build man, I just made a truck cap camper as well check it out!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5usUMBjoSoM

  22. A solar panel that would lay or mount to the roof and can be taken down during traveling could be an addition to give you a small amount of electric power. But a great idea on the locks concept. A locksmith could probably key the two locks to accept the same key.

  23. Nice video …..I lock up my tail gat from the inside with two bolts  …like you would use on a fence or cabinet , 1 on each side . same principal but you don't need a key .  bolt is welded onto tail gate and I drill a hole into the  side of truck 1/4 "  and the bolt slides into the hole locking the tail gate …works good only other way in is breaking  the window .

  24. If you are watching this, you could do this as well as throw some solar panels on top to charge during the day while driving or sitting, with a small battery somewhere for backup power.

  25. Large locks like that would more likely attract thieves (thinking you must have something really valuable to secure), not repel them. Security should be as low-keyed as possible, but effective when encountered.

  26. If you're someone that's considering using this type of lock I suggest you double and triple check them. After using this type of lock on a tool cabinet for over six months I discovered it could be opened with just about any key. I quickly switched to a heavy duty padlock.

  27. do you have a link for a general blueprint or video showing how your bed/plywood is set up/supported? you are a badass btw thanks for posting as much as you have.

  28. I had something similar back in the mid 80's, where you have the flat platform (over wheel wells) mine had 3 storage areas on each side. The bed platform consisted of 3 pieces of plywood that sat on a rail like yours and could be used as foot boards. The whole thing was padded and carpeted, made basically a queen size bed in the back.
    I did use it for camping.

  29. So you have a 4 ft wide sheet of 1/2 plywood with no real supports underneath and that is going to support your weight???
    Your kidding right. Y0u need supports like at least every 2 ft.

  30. Try looking up a tailgate seal, usually you can buy it in a roll and cut to fit and you can get sticky back weather stripping to help seal the canopy door too.

  31. this set up would be very uncomfortable for me in a sense that to access your things in any tote under the bed / mattress you have to fish for that tote and often need to remove two in front to get to the one in a back. Besides, there is no way you can do it discretely. I would re-do the set up completely to have an easy access to your storage boxes/totes without you having to move other ones out of the way and you having to be outside the truck to do it. Unless, of course, you don't need to be stealthy.

  32. Not sure why so many people build stuff into the truck bed or rear of station wagon. soft luggage army duffle bags and laundry bags and a thick roll up mattress is all you need. soft luggage is great pillows. everything soft is nice, much more head room especially when changing to fresh undershorts or sitting up…Splitting hairs here–. you built nice rig, have fun climbing every day instead of only weekends

  33. hey man they sell DC power adaptors for your laptop. like one that fits into a cigarette lighter. I didn't see what brand that was but there should be something available. just an idea:)

  34. I like this setup and thanks for some inspiration, I’ve watched over 50 videos on these truck setups and this is one that I could see myself installing in mine. I’m saving up for a year and taking a few months away from work and going to explore this country.

  35. Hi

    My friend gave me a pickup bed topper for my 04 ram

    he said it was on a 02 ram

    It fits perfect length but the height is short

    Its not flush with top of cab its about 1.5'inches too low…..

    I dont like how it looks…..should be flush with cab top…….any ideas how to raise it 1.5 inches?

    I was thinking a 2×4 on bottom of topper perimeter but would have to modify rearvwindow somehow

    Any ideas?

  36. Hi, mind if I ask, is it a diesel or petrol hilux? v6 or i4? Whats your fuel economy like?

    awesome video, thanks, thumbs up

  37. REALLY SICK MUSIC!  Video info is ok but can't stay with your vid because of that absolutely sick music!  Signin off!

  38. I really want my design like this for my 2015 Toyota tundra but my bedliner is layed out in a way that it prevents me from sliding the plyboard on the side of the wheel well smoothly like yours. Any suggestions?

  39. Not sure if you still check this channel but need some help. I just bought a used leer 122 camper but it came with no serial number. I need the serial number in order to buy the windor/ easy access window like you have. I was wondering if you could give me the measurements of your window?

  40. With all due respect, given so much of the video focused on your 'security system', anyone with a tire tool style lever opens your tailgate and pops your latches in less than 1-2 minutes. Locks kee honest people out…

  41. A nice setup if you like that arrangement but I prefer a single cot over to one side. A really good quality sleeping pad and a real pillow tops the cot. It allows me to swing out, put my feet on the floor and have comfortable sitting headroom. The plastic bins slide right under the cot and can be pulled out to access, so no need for built cabinets. One bin serves as a night stand and a breakfast table for that first cup in the morning. I hate to have the entire floor area covered and then have to crawl around the on bed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *