Since ending my #vanlife last July after a rapid and unplanned disassembly of an automatic transmission, I did what I had been telling my truck camping friends I would do if the Vanagon ever died.
I bought a truck and started camping in it.
I have been using an inflatable mattress and truck bed tent, but I have been eyeing these 4Wheel or the Alaskan Campers. The price and the lack of utility around the vehicle with camper for anything but camping kinda turns me off.
This rig the guys at TFL and 4WC put together is pretty sweet and a lot like what I'd want.
Trucks are made for dogs, however, and I have two great dogs. I do not need two trucks, and I don't want to back up one of those campers into tiny urban mini-parking spots.
Not only do the dogs totally love the truck — they enjoy sleeping on the Pittman Original air mattress I bought for the full size (6.5') bed in my truck. The material is super tough and heavy. The 70+ lb 9-month-old Golden Retriever can walk around on it and I have no fear she'll puncture it with a claw, even if 'digging' to make herself a cool spot.
The mattress inflates easily with the included pump. Make sure to charge the battery before you head out, however.
I pop this Rightline Truckbed tent over the bed for the sleeping. It has a huge skylight that is lovely on warm nights and absolutely requires you put the fly over the top if camping in cold weather. I made the mistake one night of thinking it wouldn't get that cold.
It got that cold.
The skylight lets all the heat out, which is good in the summer but bad when it is cold — or raining. Luckily the tent and the fly go up fast and easy, even when camping by myself. The tent did require I spend a bit of time learning how it fit to my truck and bed, and adjusting all the tie downs and cinches. Out of the box it was not a great fit. First time up 45 minutes, second time 15, third 10.
I haven't used either the tent or mattress since November however, so I'll likely end up at 20 minutes the first time I use it this season.
My daughter wants us to rent a trailer.
Rightline Gear Truck Bed Tent via Amazon