10 Best Truck Campers for Half-Ton Pickup Trucks

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What are the best truck campers for half-ton pickup trucks? Let’s clear the road for a minute and find out what’s a truck camper. Truck campers are just what they sound like. They sit in the back of your pickup truck. You will find them in various sizes that fit different-sized trucks.

They have a small but versatile living space that generally fits a solo traveler or a couple. Some have space for a roof-top tent that kids would absolutely love.

When it comes to a truck camper, you can’t beat it for convenience, ease of use, and a great option for getting off-road. You won’t need to concern yourself about towing or backing a camper. On the flip side, because your camper is on your truck, you can tow a boat or trailer if you want and still have your living space.

Truck campers can come in hard-side, pop-up roof, flatbed, or chassis-mount (although chassis-mounted truck campers are now categorized as expedition vehicles). You can have campers with slide-outs and tons of living space. Some are just big enough so you can sleep in and have basic features.

The truck campers we’ll dive into are on the smaller side and are the best truck campers for half-ton trucks. Join us as we check out these 10 best truck campers for half-ton pickup trucks:

1. Scout Olympic

2. NuCamp Cirrus 620

3. Capri Lone Star

4. Bundatec Sable

5. Northstar Liberty

6. Adventurer 80RB

7. Travel Lite Rayzr

8. Hallmark Milner

9. Four Wheel Camper Hawk

10. Lance 650

10 Best Truck Campers for 1/2 Ton Pickup Trucks

1. Scout Olympic 6.5Perfect for a Short Bed Pickup Truck

Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Scout Olympic 6.5 Exterior
Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Scout Olympic 6.5 Interior
Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Scout Olympic 6.5 Floorplan
  • Truck Category: Half-Ton
  • Bed Length: Short
  • Exterior Length: 10.5 ft.
  • UVW: 1,133 lbs.
  • Center of Gravity: 27 inches
  • Sleep: 4-6

Created by Adventurer Manufacturing in Yakima, Washington, the Scout Olympic 6.5 is a lightweight camper perfect for your ½ ton pickup truck. This little gem has removable add-ons such as a rooftop tent so you can travel with family and friends.

It also comes with a Dometic refrigerator-freezer with WiFi, a 4.9-gallon removable water tank, and a standard 160-watt solar panel, to name just a few. Camp in all seasons with an optional 4,500 BTU propane fireplace.

Ever wonder if an RV fireplace will heat your camper? Check out our article called RV Fireplaces – Heat Your Camper and More! for all the details!

The four-person convertible dinette sleeps two. The camper’s aluminum exoskeleton framing and non-wood structural panels will last for years. The Olympic was made for half-ton pickup trucks such as the Ford F-150, Toyota Tundra, Chevy Silverado, or Ram 1500.

2. NuCamp Cirrus 620 – Excellent Quality

Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks NuCamp Cirrus 620 Exterior
Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks NuCamp Cirrus 620 Interior
Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks NuCamp Cirrus 620 Floorplan
  • Truck Category: Half-Ton
  • Bed Length: Any
  • Exterior Length: 12.6 ft.
  • UVW: 1,493 lbs.
  • Center of Gravity: 25 inches
  • Sleep: 3

Head off in style with the NuCamp Cirrus 620. Whether you plan to boondock or enjoy a longer trip, this versatile camper can sustain you for your next adventure. The camper features a queen bed up front, a 2.3 cubic foot compressor refrigerator, a 19-gallon freshwater holding tank, a 15-gallon grey water holding tank, and an Alde hydronic water heater and furnace.

It also has a 5-gallon propane tank, a 210-watt solar power system, and a large vented battery compartment to hold two group-24 batteries.

Although you won’t find a wet bath, you can take a shower outside using the Nautilus Water Management System. Enjoy the privacy of an indoor 5-gallon Thetford cassette toilet.

The kitchenette features a sink, stove, and refrigerator. You can make it a nightly routine of looking at the night sky through the large stargazing window. The beautiful Amish-crafted wood cabinetry makes for a beautiful indoor setting.

3. Capri Camper Lone StarUltra Light Construction

Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Capri Camper Lone Star Exterior
Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Capri Camper Lone Star Interior
Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Capri Camper Lone Star Floorplan
  • Truck Category: Half Ton
  • Bed Length: Any
  • Exterior Length: 12 ft.
  • UVW: Up to 1,390 lbs.
  • Center of Gravity: 27 inches
  • Sleep: 2-4

Capri campers have been built by hand from the ground up since 1969. The modular approach to its construction saves on weight, so you can benefit from several optional add-ons. These include a Dometic refrigerator/freezer, a Yeti Goal Zero lithium battery pack, a Camco catalytic heater, a Duxtop 1,800-watt induction cooktop, a 3.5-gallon freshwater tank, a portable fan, manual jacks, and a Dometic porta potty.

Standard features include dual-pane thermal windows with screens, a queen-size memory foam mattress, 175-watt solar panel, a Lagun rotating table, a 5-gallon propane canister, a fiberglass-lined storage locker, accessed either inside or outside the camper, and much more. It’s constructed of wood and features Capri’s diamond pattern aluminum exterior.

4. Bundatec SablePopup Truck Camper

Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Bundutec Sable Exterior
Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Bundutec Sable Interior
Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Bundutec Sable Floorplan
  • Truck Category: Half-Ton
  • Bed Length: Short or Standard
  • Exterior Length: 2.6 ft.
  • UVW: 1,400 lbs.
  • Center of Gravity: 26 inches
  • Sleep: 2

Located in Iowa, Bundutec is one of the top camper manufacturers in the U.S. The company produces pop-up and hard-walled campers with plenty of floor plans for all truck sizes. The campers are customized and built to your specifications. The company recently started making truck camper box inserts (BIVAK) that aren’t a full cab-over truck camper but more than a topper.

The Bundutec Sable is a great camper option for a half-ton truck. This camper comes standard with a 2.5 cu. ft. refrigerator, 20-gallon freshwater tank, furnace, two-burner drop-in stove, stainless steel sink, pull-out kitchen faucet, etc.

Options include a rear wall air conditioner, 170-watt solar package, electric corner jacks, porta-potty, etc. Also, check out Bundutec’s easy-set-up rooftop tents for even more sleeping space in your camper.

5. Northstar LibertyFits in Ultra Short Bed Pickups

Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Northstar Liberty Exterior
Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Northstar Liberty Interior
Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Northstar Liberty Floorplan
  • Truck Category: Half-Ton
  • Bed Length: Short
  • Exterior Length: 14.5 ft.
  • UVW: 1,775 lbs.
  • Center of Gravity: 24 inches
  • Sleep: 3

Manufactured in Cedar Falls, Iowa, by the Willett family, who also produces the Bundatec brand, the Northstar Liberty is designed to fit short-bed and ultra-short bed trucks.

This compact camper has a front cab-over queen bed with a 6-inch gel high-density memory foam mattress. Check out the storage on either side of the bed and a tv stand at the foot of the bed. The kitchen features a two-burner stove and an L-shaped dinette to enjoy meals or a game of cards. It has a wet bath with a cassette toilet and an exterior spray port shower with a 15-foot coil hose.

The camper is considered a small version of the popular Arrow 8.5 model without the rear overhang. The craftsmanship of this camper is a plus, with a 5/8 inch underlayment floor that covers your truck bed, a reinforced frame, and galvanized steel corners for years of enjoyment. The auto-ignition low amp draw furnace keeps you warm on those cooler nights.

The amount of storage in this camper is awesome and includes two 5-gallon propane tanks and two AGM batteries. The holding tanks are a nice size with a 20-gallon freshwater tank, a 13-gallon gray water heater, a 6-gallon water heater, and a removable 5-gallon cassette for the black water. This model can also be ordered with a flip-out top bunk that extends partially into the cabover.

6. Adventurer 80RB

Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Adventurer 80RB Exterior
Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Adventurer 80RB Interior
Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Adventurer 80RB Floorplan
  • Truck Category: Half-Ton
  • Bed Length: Any
  • Exterior Length: 15.8 ft.
  • UVW: 1,762 lbs.
  • Center of Gravity: 30.5 inches
  • Sleep: 2-4

As a fully self-contained truck camper, the Adventurer 80RB includes a bathroom complete with a shower and toilet as a standard feature. Designed for short and long-bed trucks, this lightweight, affordable truck camper also features an Adventurer-exclusive 72-inch roll-over sofa that converts into an additional 40 X 72-inch bed.

The inside of the Adventurer features cherry cabinets with stainless steel appliances and beautiful accents. The camper features a wood tru-composite construction overlayed with high-gloss fiberglass. The holding tanks are 15 gallons for the freshwater tank, 6 gallons for the gray water tank, and 6 gallons for the black tank.

The kitchen features a 4-cubic foot refrigerator, stainless steel round sink, high-necked galley faucet, 2-burner cooktop, and residential stainless range hood with fan and LED light.

With a 4-gallon water heater, heated tanks, and a 16,000 BTU furnace, you can boondock in this rig without much effort. Some options include an air conditioner, scissor steps, an awning, and stainless steel microwave.

7. Travel Lite Rayzr FK – Compact Truck Camper

Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Travel Lite Rayzr FK Exterior
Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Travel Lite Rayzr FK Interior
Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Travel Lite Rayzr FK Floorplan
We are featuring the Full Kitchen (FK) floorplan but the Razyr also comes in a Full Bed layout (FB).
  • Truck Category: Half-Ton
  • Bed Length: Any
  • Exterior Length:  6.3 ft.
  • UVW: 1,059 lbs.
  • Center of Gravity: 43.75 inches
  • Sleep: 2

Travel Lite campers are made with natural wood construction with insulated floors, walls, and roofs, allowing you to camp in the late RV season. Opposing windows on this hard-sided camper offer great ventilation and views.

Standard features include an LED light package, a 12,000 BTU furnace, a 20 pound LP tank, a refrigerator, a sink, a 2-burner stove, a water pump, and a solar prep. The camper is made with the lightest weight in mind and is designed with netting instead of cabinet doors in some areas.

The u-shaped dinette conveniently turns into a bed, while its tall interior ceiling gives you space to stand up. Wireless electric jacks, microwave, port potty, and side-mounted A/C are just a few of the options in this model.

The Rayzr comes in two models, the FK (full kitchen) and the FB (full bed) with differing specifications.

8. Hallmark Milner Overland – Molded Fiberglass Truck Camper

Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Hallmark Milner Overland Exterior
Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Hallmark Milner Overland Interior
Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Hallmark Milner Overland Floorplan
  • Truck Category: Half-Ton
  • Bed Length: Short or Standard
  • Exterior Length:  11.6 ft.
  • UVW: 1,212 lbs.
  • Center of Gravity: 31 inches
  • Sleep: 3

The Hallmark Milner Overland features a queen cab-over and is a great option for your half-ton pickup truck. This camper is lightweight and perfect for off-road adventures. It includes a clean waste toilet, 215-watt solar system, a Truma heating system, heated lithium batteries, and acrylic windows.

The outside has a standard molded fiberglass composite exterior frame and a one-piece molded fiberglass composite roof. The molded fiberglass provides structure and durability.

Standard features include real bamboo cabinetry doors, a manual crank roof lift mechanism, water heater, 2-volt compressor refrigerator, LED lighting, manual camper jacks, and plenty of storage options. It boasts a 30-gallon freshwater tank, optional 12-gallon gray, and a 5.3-gallon black tank.

Options also include solar panels, awnings, television, entertainment systems, speakers, microwave, tank heaters, etc.

9. Four Wheel Camper Hawk – Most Versatile Floorplans

Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Four Wheel Hawk Exterior
Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Four Wheel Hawk Interior
Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Four Wheel Hawk Floorplans
We feature the Front Dinette Seating Floorplan, but the Hawk comes with two other layouts: A Roll Over Couch and a Side Dinette Seating Layout. Both add extra seating and sleeping space.
  • Truck Category: Half-Ton
  • Bed Length: Short or Standard
  • Exterior Length: 10.6 ft.
  • UVW: 1,100 lbs.
  • Center of Gravity: 32 inches
  • Sleep: 3-4

Four-Wheel Campers are built with a rugged design and are lightweight with aluminum frames and a low profile to maximize fuel efficiency. The Hawk is a pop-up version with hard and soft-sided materials that can withstand the elements.

The Hawk features a 20-gallon freshwater tank, a fully-equipped kitchenette, a queen bed, a three-way 1.7 cubic foot refrigerator, and attractive and durable interior woodwork. You can also choose from one of three floorplans, a rollover side couch, a side dinette, or a front dinette. A cassette toilet and an outside shower can also be added as options.

For more off-grid time, Four Wheel Campers offers a 160-watt roof-mounted solar system, a dual Battle Born lithium battery setup, an 85-liter DC compressor refrigerator, and two 10-pound propane tanks. Four Wheel Campers also use a proprietary tie-down system with four zinc-coated eye bolts reinforced with steel backing plates mounted to the pickup’s bed. It presents a clean look on the camper’s outside and works great for driving off-road.

The aluminum roof is waterproof even after years of use. The Hawk, as are others in the Four Wheel brand, is made and installed to fit the bed of your truck with the right height, width, and balance for the best ride.

10. Lance 650 – Highest Quality Truck Camper

Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Lance 650 Exterior
Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Lance 650 Interior
Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Lance 650 Floorplan
  • Truck Category: Half-Ton
  • Bed Length: Short or Standard
  • Exterior Length: 15.5 ft.
  • UVW: 2,061 lbs.
  • Center of Gravity: 22 inches
  • Sleep: 3

The Lance 650 is a great half-ton truck camper with many great features. It can be used with most half-ton trucks, but it’s at the top of the payload rating. Before purchasing this camper, check your pickup’s owner manual and consider your engine specs, suspension, and other factors.

This Lance is also a four-season camper with dual pane windows, blackout shades, ducted heating, water heater bypass and winterizing valve, insulated hatch covers, heated tanks, and an insulted bed pad.

Boasting a wet bath, a three-way refrigerator in the cab-over, and a 12-volt TV, the Lance 650 has plenty of options for a comfortable and spacious camping trip. It has a full walk-on roof with thermoplastic polyolefin, a power awning with LED lights, power jacks with remote control, and a five-gallon propane tank with an outdoor grill connection.

What’s the Best Truck to Put a Camper On?

What’s the Best Half Ton Truck to Put a Truck Camper On Ford F 150 Lightning EV Truck
The 2022 Ford Lightning is an eco-friendly half-ton EV pickup for truck campers.

The best half-ton trucks to put a camper on first have a payload capacity to safely haul the camper. Today’s half-ton trucks have a payload capacity between 1,500 lbs. and 3,000 lbs. The term ½ ton is a classification, not a weight limit.

Ford recently announced the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning EV, an all-electric vehicle. This truck is 100 percent electric, has advanced technology and is built for serious work according to specifications. It’s even touted to power your home, like a generator, in case of a power outage. A fully-tricked-out version is priced at around $100,000.

Weight designations date back to 1828 as motor vehicles competed against horse-drawn carriages. Early trucks needed to show the transport industry why they had better horsepower. The engineer wanted to patent a “4-ton truck,” referring to how much the vehicle could haul.

Don’t single out the half-ton as the only valid truck option to put your camper on. Using a 3/4 ton truck or one-ton pickup with more hauling capacity than you need can make for a more uncomfortable ride. Also, know that payload capacity isn’t the same as towing capacity, which you will need to consider if you plan to haul a boat or trailer.

Is a Pop-Up Truck Camper Better on Fuel Economy?

Is a Pop-Up Truck Camper Better on Fuel Economy Best Truck Camper for Half Ton Truck Toyota Tundra with Four Wheel Camper

Factors such as weight and wind drag make a difference in how many miles per gallon you can get. The heavier the vehicle is, the more gas it needs to run. If it fits other needs, choosing a pop-up truck camper is a great option for better fuel economy.

The pop-up roof of the truck camper is closed during travel reduces the air resistance compared to a hard-side truck camper. A pop-up truck camper will be lighter and lower profile than a hard-shell truck camper.

What is a ½ Ton Pickup Truck?

What is a Half Ton Truck 1950 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup Chevy
Half-ton trucks, like this 1950 Chevy 3100, built in the Antique (1910-1944) and Early Vintage Era (1945-1970), could haul up to 1,000 lbs; hence “half-ton.”

A ½ ton pickup truck is considered a light-duty truck that you can use for smaller hauling and utility needs (compared to medium and heavy-duty commercial level trucks). Depending on their individual capacity, they’re a great option for hauling a truck camper.

The term half-ton came from older 1/2 trucks that could haul up to 1,000 pounds. Modern half-ton trucks can exceed that amount.

Here is a brief range of payload capacities for the popular half-ton trucks and EV pickup trucks. Make sure you find the exact capacity for your truck before you purchase a ½ ton truck camper (All payload capacities are based on 2022 models).

Popular Half-Ton Truck Gas Models

BrandModelSeriesMin Payload (lbs.)Max Payload (lbs.)
FordF-Series1501,4002,443
NissanTitan1,5022,398
ChevroletSilverado15002,1162,443
GMCSierra15002,1162,443
DodgeRam15001,3102,325
ToyotaTundra1,6001,940

Current and Upcoming EV Pickup Trucks

BrandModelBed Length (ft.)Payload Capacity (lbs.)
FordF-150 LightningShort (5.5)2,079
RivianR1TExtra Short (4.5)1,760
ChevySilveradoAbove Short (5.11)1,300
GMCHummerBelow Short (5)1,300
DodgeRamAppears ShortUnknown

How Do I Know My Truck Camper’s Center of Gravity?

How Do I know My Truck Camper’s Center of Gravity on the Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks
It’s crucial to know your camper’s center of gravity to avoid damaging your truck and a possible accident. Photo via carscoops.com.

The center of gravity on a truck camper is the point where most of the camper’s weight sits. There’s a point on the truck bed where this point of your camper should sit. When positioned correctly, you’ll have a good, stable driving experience.

The center of gravity is an important piece of information to know. Damage to your truck and camper can occur if this point is off. Most of the camper’s weight should rest on or in front of the truck’s rear axle, meaning the weight should sit in the front and center part of the truck bed.

If the center of gravity is too far back towards the tailgate, this can cause damage to your truck. This can cause the suspension geometry of the truck to change by lifting the weight off of the front axle and making the rear axle a pivot point. Along with poor handling, this can cause suspension oscillation, resulting in a crash.

As listed above, truck campers should have the center of gravity information included in the camper’s specifications. It may even be marked on the camper. The center of gravity is measured from the front to the back wall. If the center of gravity is 27 inches, that measurement is from the front wall of the camper (where the cargo bed meets the passenger cabin).

Measure your truck bed from the front wall of the bed to the center of the rear axle. This number is the truck bed’s center of gravity point. Your truck camper’s center of gravity can sit anywhere in this area but not behind.

Why Should I Choose a ½ Ton Truck Camper?

Why Should I Choose a Half Ton Truck Camper Kimbo With Toyota Tacoma or Tundra Half Ton Truck
A Kimbo is a truck camper for half-ton trucks or some quarter-ton pickups.

Truck campers are becoming more popular because they are smaller, easier to maneuver, and have a great ability to access remote locations. The ½ ton truck camper is ideal for solo campers or couples.

Many women striking out on their own choose truck campers in record numbers. Like vans, truck campers are great because they provide that all-in-one package. They are easy to park, store, and cheaper than camper vans and many travel trailers.

When you think about stopping at a roadside attraction or trailhead, you can probably forget it if you pull a travel trailer due to length restrictions. Some Class C motorhomes may be too awkward for a small parking area. You can easily navigate those in your truck camper.

Your maintenance costs and fuel economy will be lower than a larger rig. You won’t have to learn new driving skills or worry about low bridges when you’re on a trip.

Do I Need to Register My Half-Ton Truck Camper?

Do I Need to Register My Half-Ton Truck Camper for a Half Ton Truck

The majority of states don’t require truck campers to be registered or titled. In general, they fall under the category of “cargo.” A Certificate of Ownership or a Bill of Sale is all the information you should need to prove that you own the camper.

These states require truck camper owners to register or title their RVs ( Yes = + ).

StateRegisterTitle
Idaho++
Indiana++
Kentucky+
Michigan+
Mississippi++
Montana+
Nebraska+
Ohio+
Oregon++
Rhode Island+
Tennessee++
Utah+
Washington (State)++

Do I Need RV Insurance for My Truck Camper?

Most states don’t require separate RV insurance. It should be under your truck’s policy as cargo. Check with your insurance agent to find out what your insurance covers.

When you speak with your insurance agent, ask detailed questions. What’s covered exactly? How do repair or replacement procedures work? What about your personal items and camping gear? You may want to learn more about RV insurance to see if it’s advantageous to you.

Let’s Recap

Lets Recap Best Truck Campers for Half Ton Trucks Palomino Real Lite Hard Side 1803
Palomino Real-Lite Hard Side 1803 With a Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Purchasing a truck camper for your half-ton truck is a great option to get out in the fresh air, enjoy the sunshine, have a place to sleep off the ground, and get away from any inclement weather. Like any RV purchase, there are several details that you’ll need to keep in mind before making your purchase.

Always be aware of your payload capacity, bed length, and center of gravity. If you don’t currently have a ½ ton pickup truck, I recommend getting that first. You want the best truck camper for a half-ton truck that matches well with your pickup. Many campers will meet your needs and wants.

If you already have a half-ton pickup truck, make sure your purchased truck camper is compatible with that truck. Your pickup’s payload rating is the most important aspect of pairing your truck with a camper. Remember, the dry weight is how much the truck camper weighs when it’s empty. Leave some extra weight for you, your gear, and some horsepower to climb through the trails.

Payload rating can be found in your vehicle’s owner’s manual or on the driver’s side door jam. You’ll need to ensure that your truck’s tires and suspension are also up to the task. If you’re purchasing a truck, make sure it has a payload package ideal for truck campers. If not, you may need to make some modifications.

Once you decide on the best truck camper for your half-ton truck, it’ll be no time before you’re enjoying the great outdoors.


RELATED READING:

1. 10 Best 3/4 Ton Truck Camper Brands

2. 13 Best Flatbed Truck Campers

3. 4 Season Truck Campers for Year-Round Camping!

4. 25 Essential Truck Camper Accessories

5. Is it Legal to Ride In a Truck Camper or 5th Wheel?


About the Author

Terri Nighswonger and her husband Todd are full-time RVers and work campers. They have been living full-time in their RV for nearly three years with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Newton, and their Minnie Australian Shepherd, Remi.

They originate from the Midwest but plan to enjoy the west for a few years, wintering in Arizona and summering wherever the road may lead. Writing is Terri’s passion but she also loves hiking, kayaking, walking her dogs, and anything she can do outdoors.

Full Time RVer Terri Nighswonger

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