Truck camping offers a lot in a small package as compared to let’s say RV camping. You get to enjoy an excellent time outdoors with your friends or family hunting or fly fishing. You also get to save on hotel fees. To ensure that you sleep comfortably while truck camping, you will need a truck bed. The good thing is that you can build a bed in the back of a truck on your own.
For first-timers, the prospect of building their truck bed may seem completely overwhelming. However, even with no prior experience in carpentry or design, we will show you how to build your truck bed. All you need is the right tools and a little time and patience. Here is how you can go about it.
Define Your Needs
Once you have decided to turn your truck to a camping rig, you need to define what you want from your sleeping platform. Ensure that you put a lot of thought into what you want. The most essential things will include:
Designing the Truck Sleeping Platform
Next, it’s time to take measurements of the back of your truck and gather the materials and tools that you will need. You will require ¾ inch plywood boards, a box of screws, 2 sets of drawer slides, and a box of ½-inch self-tapping screws. You will use these screws to attach the drawer slides. You should also ensure that you have these tools:
To take measurements, you should first outline the footprint of your truck bed. This will help you to calculate how much space you will work with and roughly the amount of plywood. You should then measure the dimensions of the back of your truck.
Make the Truck Bed Platform Base
To build the bed, you first need to provide a nice and level foundation. You can divide the platform base into 3 sections so that it easily fits into the bed. You will also have an easy time removing it if need be. Next, secure the platform together end-to-end using the horizontal Kreg Joints.
Building the Truck Bed Supports
To have maximum headroom, the top of your truck bed platform should rest on top of the wheel wells. To achieve this, cut vertical supports of the same height as the truck’s wheel wells. You should then fix these vertical supports to the horizontal platform base using the vertical Kreg Jig joints. The joints should be fixed in a toenail fashion to give them an incredible amount of strength.
A speed square is necessary to ensure that the supports are at 90 degrees angles from the base. Next, add the platform drawers and set up your side drawer supports.
Building the Platform Cover
To finish setting up the bed at the back of your truck, you need to add the cover. You will then put your mattress on the platform cover so that you sleep comfortably. Ensure that the cover section rests securely on top of the vertical supports.
If you do not need drawers, then you don’t have to install the vertical supports. Once you have laid down the horizontal base, all you will need is your mattress to start enjoying your sleep. You can watch this video to see how you can go about the whole process of building your bed in the back of a truck.
Other Methods of Truck Bed Camping
While having a bed in the back of a truck makes it easier to go on a camping trip in your truck, it is not the only way you can have the best time camping in your truck. Here are other ways you can camp in the back of your truck.
Installing a Truck Bed Tent
This is not only great but is also an inexpensive way of having the best truck camping experience. A truck bed tent requires no additions to your truck to install. It is also very convenient since it offers a low barrier to entry. Setting up the tent is also very easy since it will only take you a few minutes.
You can still truck camp without having to sleep in the bed of your truck. You can set up a ground tent at the back of your truck. Setting up these tents is easy and takes a short time. Using a ground tent is convenient since when you want to move away, you just dismantle your tent and toss it in the back of your pick up.
Roof Top Tents
Rooftop tents are great and can be installed on top of your truck’s roof rack. Their main advantage is that you sleep in an elevated position, keeping you safe from wildlife and the elements. Rooftop tents come with mattress pads inside them. Their only drawback is that they are quite expensive.
Benefits of Truck Camping
Camping in an RV is quite stressful for some. This is because you have to tow a trailer or manage a large RV. However, for truck camping, you can drive around with a lot of ease. With a truck, you can take the roads less traveled for adventurous camping.
Trucks are easy to store when the camping season is over. They easily fit on standard driveways unlike large camping vehicles such as RVs.
Lower Gas Mileage
Using a low profile camping truck can help you save on gas. This will help you to have a less expensive camping trip.
With a camping truck, you don’t have to worry about hotels and campgrounds. Just load up your truck and drive off to wherever you want. You can camp at any place you choose, and when it’s time to sleep, you can lay comfortably on your bed in the back of the truck. The best thing is that you can make a truck bed on your own.