How To Build A Lightweight Truck Camper By Yourself

Camping is an interesting outdoor activity for people of all ages. And to go camping in a truck camper would guarantee a comfortable and relax experience. But it’s not like anyone can afford a purpose built truck camper. But if you still desire a trip with the truck camper, there is a solution. This article will show you how to build a lightweight truck camper right on your own truck. Read through it and you will see that building a truck camper is not too hard.

If you don’t know a lot about the truck camper, it’s pretty much a tent on wheels. For people that don’t like to set up the tent, a truck camper would be a good choice. Yet this type of vehicle doesn’t come cheap. Therefore, if you want to go camping in a truck camper and save money, you may as well build one. Below are the materials, tools and instruction on how to build a lightweight truck camper. Follow them and you can construct your ideal truck camper.

How to build a lightweight truck camper

A lightweight truck camper

The preparations

The best material for this job would be woods. Gather as many wood planks and beam as you can. Since you will need to set up frames, hammer, drill, nails metal joints are required. You will also need some forms of insulations so foam and cotton would be good choices. For the roof and wall, you can couple metal foil roof or woods with PVC sheathing to waterproof the structure. And if you really hate moisture, get several lines of bubble wraps so that you can airproof the interiors later.

There will be a lot of splinters and dust involve here so remember to protect yourself. Wear a pair of gloves, goggles and facemask while you are handing the woods. It’s also wise to cover your truck first so you don’t damage it’s by mistake. The truck insurances usually don’t cover damages happen while you are remodeling the truck so be careful.  Learning how to build a lightweight truck camper is easy, trying not to create extra cost is hard so watch it. When everything is ready then let’s gets into it.

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How to build a lightweight truck camper?

The procedures

Step 1: Set up the bases

Measure the truck back portion and decide the length and width of the structure. When you are done, secure the metal joints with the truck sides and connect them with the wood beams. When the beams are in place, lock them together with nuts and nails. These will be the main support for the structure frames so ensure that they are thick and strong enough for the job. And to assist you when you want to remove the camper later, the jack points should just overhang the bed.

If you wish to quickly out in and take out the camper, you set up a latch system. With that, you will lose little time and effort handling the camper. But of course, if you wish to make a permanent camper, simply bolt down the camper to the back of your truck.

Step 1 Lightweight truck camper

Step 1 – Set up the bases

Step 2: Attach the frames and roof

When the bases are good, it’s time to assemble the frames. It’s very simple, just connect the planks and beams together so they from box shape frames. In order to form a strong connection, you should chip and interconnect the woods together. Use as many nails and bolts as you want here. Putting a roof is also nothing difficult.  You can either use a curved roof or triangle roof, it’s up to you. Just make sure you secure the roof to the frame as tight as possible.

How to build a Lightweight truck camper

Step 2 – Attach the frames and roof

Step 3: Add the insulation and walls

Determine where your bed would be and put insulation right under that place. Next would be to cover every side of the structure with insulation and water resistant material. To do this, first apply a layer of PVC sheathing then finish with additional treated lumbers. Keep these layers flatted and tightly attached together. Besides protecting the sheathing, the lumbers also contribute greatly to the structural integrity. Of course, you will need to leave spaces for windows and a door here.

How to build a Lightweight truck camper

Step 3 – Add the insulation and walls

Step 4: Install windows, door and process the interior

You are nearly done with the basic now, just need to put in the frames for the door and windows. Do take into account how they operate. You don’t want them to hinder your movement inside the camper. After the door and windows are installed, let’s move on to the exterior insulation. Apply additional layers of cotton and bubble wrap across the length and width of the camper. It’s essential that all seams must be sealed or the outside air might enter.

When the insulations are orderly applied, quickly press another layer of plywood onto them. Again, in order to save weight, you should use wood as your primary material at every task. Among the interior facilities, only use metal if there is no other way.

Lightweight truck camper step 4

Step 4 – Install windows, door and process the interior

Step 5: Electric, heating, storage space and disposal system

If you wish to use electric tools, which are very necessary, there are 2 options here. First is to use pre – charged batteries. You just need to set up the wires that connect the batteries to your electric tools. It’s fairly simple, but if you want a more efficient way, you can combine this with solar panels. In that case, you will need to install solar panels on the camper roof and connect it to the batteries. This method is considerably more expensive but allows you to travel less cumbersome.

For a source of heat, you can use an electric camp heater and it can use the electric from the batteries. Or if you don’t want to do that, there is always compact heater run on gas cylinders. You can store this in the camper storage space simply by making a trunk under the camper. For water and disposal system, you can run some pipes into the camper tabletop with the other end lead to the outside. If you are somewhat experienced with plumbing, you can install a water pump in the camper as well.

Step 5 – Electric, heating, storage space and disposal system


Anyone of us sure likes some fresh air every once in awhile. And there is no way to do that better than to go camping with a truck camper. Yet you can’t really buy a truck camper right away? No worry because you can learn how to build a lightweight truck camper now.  Simply by reading the above information, you can assemble a mobile truck camper with simple material by yourself in no time.

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