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Truck Bed Camping Setup

No matter if this is your first truck bed camping trip or you’re an experienced camper, having the right setup can make all the difference. Not only will it improve sleep quality and efficiency while cooking meals on-the-go, but it will also allow you to fully savor every moment of your truck bed camping experience.

Before you can get started, you’ll need the essentials like a sleeping platform and storage space. After that, add additional items like lighting and cooking equipment for convenience.

Sleeping Platform

The sleeping platform is an essential piece of truck bed camping gear. Not only does it provide a place to sleep, but also protects the floor of your truck bed from getting too cold. Furthermore, it serves as a great storage solution for items like food or cooking supplies that must remain nearby.

Building a sleeping platform in your truck bed can be done several ways. From simple methods that require minimal cost and effort to more intricate designs requiring more time and skill. No matter which option you choose, they all aim to provide comfortable and secure places for you to rest while camping with the bed of your pickup.

One popular method for building a sleeping platform is by building a frame that supports the top of your truck bed. While this requires some carpentry skills, it provides extra sleeping space as well as storage solutions.

Another option is to create a custom truck bed platform that fits snugly between your bed rails and tailgate. This method works best for trucks with long beds. Although it requires more carpentry skills, the end result will be an attractive and well-built bed.

In addition to your sleeping platform, you should also invest in a sleeping bag and pillow that fit your body comfortably and are durable enough for you to sleep with. It doesn’t have to be an ultralight backpacking bag, but rather something high-quality and long-lasting.

When planning a trip, it’s best to find a bag rated for the temperatures you expect during your journey. This way, you can select an appropriate size bag that keeps you warm when temperatures drop.

Some people opt to put air mattresses in their truck bed rather than building a sleeping platform. This cost-effective option works well for weekend trips and short-term travel.

For those seeking a more luxurious option, custom made truck bed platforms are available for your vehicle. These platforms can be constructed out of various materials like PVC or wood.


If you’re going camping, make sure you have enough room for all of your gear. Fortunately, there are plenty of solutions for stowing away everything necessary for a secure and comfortable camping trip.

Before anything else, determine the setup that best meets your requirements. For instance, if you only plan on camping for a few days, then a tent may not be necessary. However, if taking an extended road trip or staying in remote places is on the agenda, then stronger materials might be required.

Truck bed camping with a tent is an ideal option due to its lightweight, durability and ease of set up. Plus, you can add on a canopy for extra shelter when needed.

Another great solution is using a truck tool box. These typically low profile items can easily be stored at the back of your truck, plus they come in various sizes so you can find one that fits perfectly on your vehicle.

When it comes to food, coolers are your go-to. Many of them come insulated, making them perfect for keeping beverages chilled while on vacation. Just remember: packing your cooler items ahead of time helps ensure everything arrives intact on your trip!

By pre-cooling food and beverages at home, you can avoid the annoying ice meltdown that affects your meal options. Not only is this easier, but it also cuts down on the amount of ice you need to carry around with you.

Finally, you could consider investing in a storage bin. These are usually affordable and can be used for various items. If camping in bear country, consider getting an anti-bear container to store food items safely.

There are plenty of ways to maximize the storage space in your truck bed. In fact, there are DIY plans available online which can help you construct your own custom solution. While some of these designs might be complex, they will give your truck a unique look and provide more storage than ever before.


Truck bed camping is an excellent way to experience the world and save money on hotels or motels. Plus, it can be romantic if you’re traveling with someone special. Whether it’s a long weekend trip or heading off on an epic national park adventure, sleeping in your pickup truck is both easy and affordable.

Trucks are comfortable to drive and spacious, with plenty of accessories to customize them for camping adventures. Some of the best truck bed camping setup options include camper shells or canopies that fit inside the bed; these provide protection from elements overnight, keep your belongings secure, and require minimal set up before you retire for the evening.

Another option is a tent, which can be set up inside a truck bed and taken down when not needed. These tents are cost-effective and easy to set up but take up space; additionally, they may attract insects and snakes.

Cooking is an integral part of any camping trip, yet it can be tricky to master. To make cooking quick and effortless on your camping adventure, invest in a camp kitchen that makes the task effortless.

There are plenty of kitchen options, such as portable grills, stoves and camp tables. You can even prepare meals ahead of time and freeze them in a cooler before heading out – this helps minimize cooking time while saving ice from being wasted when bringing the food down to temperature.

When packing for camping, ensure to include the correct ingredients and utensils. It’s also beneficial to have a first aid kit on hand in case of minor injuries or illnesses that arise while outdoors.

A large cooler can hold enough food and drinks for several people. You’ll also need a water bottle with a spigot so you can drink from it easily, filling up with clean water when necessary.

You’ll also need some other items to make your trip more comfortable. Hang up some light-blocking material and use a mosquito killer for good night’s rest, plus bring along solar lanterns or two for illumination in the dark.


Truck bed camping setups provide an enjoyable way to camp without compromising safety or comfort. Plus, they’re a cost-effective alternative to hotels, motels and hookup fees that would otherwise have to be paid.

When planning a truck bed camping setup, lighting should be one of the top priorities. Whether you want an entire light bar system that illuminates the tent or just want some accent lights on top, there are plenty of options available to choose from.

If you plan to spend a considerable amount of time camping in your truck bed, a battery-operated light system that runs off the power source from the vehicle might be beneficial. These light bars come in various styles such as LED, halogen and xenon bulbs.

Another option is using string lights that plug into a portable power source. While these are usually bright, they may drain your batteries quickly if used continuously.

For the ideal lighting, try string lights that weave across your campsite to provide even illumination. Some brands offer individual string lights long enough to cover a large section, while others will offer smaller sections of lights you can tie together to form larger sections of illumination.

You might also consider investing in camping lights that plug into outlets, cigarette lighter ports or car batteries. These are ideal for people with powerful RVs, campers, inverters or other battery systems that will supply these lights continuously.

Finally, you may want to invest in a bug net system that drapes over the canopy of your truck bed. This will keep insects away from your sleeping platform and other camping gear while you’re out in nature.

Given how much storage you require for your truck bed camping setup, it may be tempting to purchase too many extra accessories. But this can quickly spiral out of control so it’s essential that you create a strategy for organizing all of your gear.

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