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Old 04-22-2018, 10:12 AM   #1
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Truck cap as a camper?

Anyone do this. Seems it would be a simple camper. Air mattress and sleeping bag and you have a place to sleep.

If anyone has done this what else makes it more doable?

I have lots of stuff but want to keep it as simple as possible.
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Old 04-22-2018, 11:08 AM   #2
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During the '60's I used one of these for several years just as you describe for hunting and fishing activities in WV.

I built a raised plywood base for the bed under which was stored a Coleman stove, lantern, cooler, and various other camping items. The vehicle used originally was a '47 4wd Willys Jeep PU followed by a '62 4wd Jeep PU. They were about the only 4wd vehicles around during that period, and though somewhat limited in speed and power, they worked well. As you already know, there are much better 4wd vehicles now.

That worked well for one person, but after the family grew to a point where they could go along we got a large tent and used the original camping equipment with it.

Another idea is the rig my wife and I used in the early '70's for our first trip from WV to the west, including CA, OR, and WA. We had an Opel Cadette wagon with air mattresses in the back for quick overnighters, and towed a '50's tent trailer for cleanups and somewhat more comfortable overnighters. That too used the same original camping equipment. We only had 3 weeks for the trip before I had to be back to work so it was a fast trip.

Using the cap allowed the 4wd PU access to anyplace the truck alone could go, but after discovering the conveniences of a 4wd TC there was no going back. A compromise of sorts.

Steve
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Old 04-22-2018, 12:36 PM   #3
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This will be for a family reunion. I have a trailer but now other family members need it. Only one family member still lives there so everyone else will need a place to stay.

I am thinking I can make a truck cap very comfortable.
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Old 04-22-2018, 12:49 PM   #4
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I’ve done it a few times with my work truck. It’s like having a mobile tent with less headroom. Airflow can be a bit of an issue if it’s warm.
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Old 04-22-2018, 12:54 PM   #5
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Sleeping in a truck camper is like sleeping in a backpacking tent. Tough unless you are very flexible or have a high cap and a stool to sit on while getting dressed. I'd also put a closed cell foam pad under the air mattress for insulation unless the night time temperature is above 75 or so. BTDT.
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Old 04-22-2018, 01:32 PM   #6
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Night temps will be a bit chilly at 58 to 62 degrees. Good idea to put an insulation pad down under the air mattress, thanks. I will do that. I have a tent but tents are not 100% dry in a downpour. It rains a lot in the area I will be staying. 75 miles east of Pittsburgh in the mountains. That explains the chilly night time temps.
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Old 04-22-2018, 02:00 PM   #7
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I've camped in mine in November at around 4k' and freezing in WV, but I had a Coleman fuel heater. Also a good bag. The air mattress provided enough insulation for me. Although I've never used one, a mat should provide the same thing, but may not be as soft. Double should be as good as it gets.

I didn't completely understand the question at first. I've used a pup tent and the cap. I would choose the cap every time, although it does require a bit of effort to get dressed. I would think that, with an air mattress and a bag any place out of the weather would be good for sleeping.

I had a friend who camped in a smaller wall tent during the December late elk bow hunt out here near Coos Bay. It really rains a lot there, more in just winter than all year in the WV, PA, MD area. Also freezing temps. and wind. He had a propane tank about 5' high with a heater on top. It was toasty and warm in there.

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Old 04-22-2018, 02:09 PM   #8
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If it is bug season, screens on the windows is a must if it gets hot. Not being able to get any air flow because of bugs coming in can be uncomfortable.
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Old 04-22-2018, 02:30 PM   #9
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20 years ago, I preferred the back of my ranger with a cap over sleeping in tents. No chance of water getting in while everyone else had a river running through their tent.

Only problem with sleeping in the bed was leaving the keys in the ignition and being the first one to pass out. Woke up the following morning parked in a ditch and had to walk a few miles back to camp to get the keys.
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Old 04-22-2018, 04:01 PM   #10
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Lots of this info on Expedition Portal
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Old 04-22-2018, 04:42 PM   #11
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About 15 years ago traveled from Austin, Tx. To Alaska in a Chevy P/U with a cap on the back. Stopped to shower at camp grounds. Had a Coleman stove and cooler. Never ate out during the trip. Biggest hassle was tahini things out of the cap and putting them in the cab at bedtime. It was a great trip. I was not a youngster at the time. In my early 60s.
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Old 04-22-2018, 05:56 PM   #12
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For years I camped in my truck before moving to a motorhome. I recommend a Lee Anderson carpet kit for storage options, comfort, and configuration options.

Here is an old blog post showing my setup... https://leisuretimelarry.wordpress.c...07/comfy-time/

Here is a kit link... Socal Truck Accessories - Interior Accessories
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Old 04-25-2018, 05:03 AM   #13
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WA Larry - interesting, as I saw a person yesterday with the truck bed rug in a 2015 F-150. It adds the insulation that I think I may need. Also he told me it is easy to get the cap color to match the truck with the paint code.

Your set-up looks comfy but for some reason I was thinking I will only want to sleep on 1/2 that size airbed. That the other 1/2 will be used for my stuff.

Have you read anything about the redesigned 2019 Chevy? They say the bed will be wider and have class leading cargo volumn. That might make a better overnight area.
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Old 04-28-2018, 07:31 AM   #14
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Very common on Long Island, NY. Guys convert them into "beach buggys" There's a lot you can do with a camper top. You're only limited to your imagination.
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