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8 Different Types of Campers for Trucks

The pickup camper

Are you interested in traveling across the country while staying in your own vehicle and keeping your items with you?

One of the best ways to do that is to get a camper for your truck. You can take a camper just about anywhere from a sandy beach to a paved road. No matter where you want to travel, a camper is travel mode for you. 

What is a Camper for Truck?

A camper for your truck is a type of recreational vehicle (RV) that sits inside the bed of your truck. This gives you extra space with a small kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom.

A truck camper is the smallest RV there is; most of the states do not count them as an RV but as cargo. These are less expensive and have a smaller amount of space. 

Types of Campers For Trucks

A travel trailer is incredibly versatile and comes in a range of formats, weights, and sizes. They are a popular option because of all the options and benefits they provide. Below is a list of each type of travel trailer and what they offer. 

1. The Pickup Camper

The pickup camper

The pickup camper is a classic but it does require having a pickup.  These campers are relatively inexpensive, easy to haul around, can go wherever the truck can go and can sleep four people.  These are an excellent option for folks who want to go to the out-of-the-way places or don’t want to spend a fortune or don’t care for the trouble involved with towing a trailer.

2. Classic Travel Trailers 

Truck pulling classic travel trailer on road near to mountain hill. 

A travel trailer is one that is pulled behind a car or truck. This type of trailer requires a standard ball hitch. If the trailer is a heavy or long model, you may need a weight distribution hitch. A classic travel trailer is tall enough for someone to stand in. 

These trailers have an exterior shell that is anywhere from 10 feet to 35 feet long. They usually contain a bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, entertainment area, and storage space.

Some classic trailers have slide outs to give them more space. They extend out when the trailer is parked. 

Classic travel trailers have large kitchen and furniture areas. These are typically the most luxurious and spacious of all the trailer options. They can be pulled by any car, but the largest trailers need heavy-duty trucks to pull them. 

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Pros

  • Big enough inside to be a mobile living space
  • Come in a wide range of sizes

Cons

  • Some vehicles will not be able to pull them

3. Toy Haulers

A toy hauler trailer on lawn close to lake.

A Toy Hauler is a travel trailer that is designed specifically to carry a large amount of cargo, equipment for camping, and even smaller vehicles, like jet skis or UTVs.

These are about the same size as a classic travel trailer. A travel trailer may even have a garage space in the back. Toy Haulers have a combination of storage space and living space.

Most of them have a lift or ramp that leads to the garage for easy access in and out, especially for heavy equipment. The ramp usually folds against the back of the trailer or retracts inward. 

If your Toy Hauler has a garage, you may have to give up some of your storage space. As a result, you may have limited space for movement.

In addition, you need a heavy tow vehicle to pull a toy hauler because they are heavier trailers. When you combine a trailer with heavy cargo, it may be too heavy for some vehicles to pull. A truck is the best option to tow this type of trailer. 

Pros

  • Combines storage and living space
  • Built-in cargo space removes the need for a separate trailer

Cons

  • Lose storage space with a garage

4. Teardrop Trailers 

A teardrop trailer standby on street side walk.

A teardrop trailer is a miniature version of a travel trailer. This allows it to be towed by just about any type of vehicle. They are super light, compact, and streamlined. These teardrop trailers have limited floor plans but make the most out of what they have. Despite their compact size, teardrop trailers provide a good amount of amenities and comfort. 

Teardrop trailers weigh under 1,000 pounds, making them ideal for those with small vehicles to tow. They are easy to park in a garage. They are easy to store, especially during the winter. You do not need any special garage or storage area for this type of trailer.

Due to the small size of teardrop trailers, they do not usually have bathrooms. Most of the space on the inside is taken up by a sofa bed, or possibly, a mattress. There are some models of teardrop trailers that provide more living space than sleeping space. In some cases, they have a table and storage. 

Just about every teardrop trailer has a meal prep station and a cooking station. This means you can cook while you are on the road. You can bring your food with you while you travel. The trailer can flip open to show a storage drawer, countertops, mini-fridge, and other kitchen appliances. You can often find outdoor stoves in these trailers. 

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A teardrop type of trailer is perfect for the short-term trips and camping trips. These are not ideal for a long trip across the country. They have a limited amount of cargo that they can carry. 

Pros

  • Offer a large number of amenities 
  • Lightweight and easy to store

Cons

  • Limited floor plans
  • Do not have bathrooms

5. Stand-Up Trailers 

Side view of stand-up trailer on camp area.

Stand-up trailers are often referred to as standby. They are similar to teardrop trailers because they are miniature trailers that are able to be towed by a large number of vehicles.

However, they are different from teardrop trailers in dimension and design. Stand-up trailers have different contents on the inside of them than a teardrop trailer does. 

Stand-up trailers are tall enough for people to stand up in them. These trailers do not have a standard design because each manufacturer builds them a little differently.

They may include full beds, and others may have cooking space and bathrooms. In many cases, these trailers have a dining area that converts to a bed when needed. 

Stand-up trailers are not one of the more common trailer options, but they are a good option. They give you more variety than a teardrop trailer but are still small enough to be towed by any type of vehicle. 

Pros

  • Can be towed by any vehicle 
  • Small and compact

Cons

  • Not a common trailer type

6. Pop-Up Trailers (Camper Trailers)

Side view of pop-up trailer on camping area.

A Pop-Up Trailer is commonly referred to as a camper trailer. This trailer has some similarities to a tent. However, this trailer is a blend of RVs and tents.

While on the road, they look a lot like a classic trailer. However, once parked, they have sections that extend, or pop, out. These are fold-outs that are surrounded by layers of canvas or other fabric that is weatherproof. 

Included in the extension spaces is a sleeping area. These sections fold out and away from the main area of the trailer, which allows plenty of room inside the trailer. There are two categories within the pop-up trailer grouping: hard-sided trailers and soft-sided trailers. 

A hard-sided trailer has stiff sections that are insulated from extreme weather. As a result, the inside of these pop-up trailers is more sheltered and has less exposure. A soft-sided trailer has canvas sides which promote better airflow. This is the option for those that enjoy open-air camping. 

A pop-up trailer is intended to be easy to set up and allow you to have quick access to your trailer. It often has internal or external cooking attachments.

They also have a dining area and sometimes have a bathroom on the inside of the trailer. These are not typical bathrooms bath you are used to having. They are usually just a cassette toilets. 

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Pros

  • Ideal for camping and campgrounds
  • Easy and quick to set-up
  • Much lighter than other trailers

Cons

  • Does not have a true bathroom
  • Requires a good amount of maintenance

7. Pop-Up Tent Trailer

Pop-up tent trailer

The pop-up tent trailer is a great option if you wish to spend less and/or can’t tow much weight. These are light but offer plenty of room. They sleep 4 to 6 people comfortably. Some are huge with queen beds on each side.  While they don’t offer much space for sofas and lounging, it’s a great sleeping accommodation.

8. Airstreams

Side view of airstream travel trailer pulled by truck on road.

An airstream is a specific brand of travel trailer. It has a unique look and design. They stand out, and you know when you see one. While they have different weights and lengths, they all have the same rounded ends.

All airstreams are plated with a covering that is shiny and metallic. This gives them that distinct appearance that is immediately recognizable. 

Airstreams do not have extensions, slide-outs, or floor plan options. However, they make great use of their space to create a comfortable living area. They have a kitchen and dining area, bedroom, bathrooms, storage, and an entertainment center in many cases. 

An airstream is large and requires a heavy-duty towing vehicle. There are miniature airstreams available, but they are also on the heavy side, so you want to ensure you know their weight.

You do have to buy an airstream from a supplier. Unfortunately, they are not sold everywhere and are not the most popular trailer option you can find. 

Pros

  • Constant updates and upgrades 
  • They are aerodynamic
  • Classic and timeless

Cons

  • Can only buy from select dealers
  • Less popular option

FAQs

What Should I Know Before Buying A Travel Trailer?

You want to make sure you know what size trailer you want and need. Once you determine that, ensure that the one you select has enough space in it.

If buying used, you want to ensure there is no physical or mechanical damage to it. You should make sure that you have the right towing vehicle for your trailer. 

When Should I Consider Buying A Travel Trailer?

Wintertime is the best time to purchase a travel trailer. You will find the best deals during the winter. If you purchase from a dealer, they need to get rid of old models to make room for the new ones.

If you buy from a private seller, they may want to upgrade to the newest model year and need to sell their old one first.