Over the last several decades, more and more “survivors” have been living out of their vehicles; especially when they take trips. Some have bought a used RV or fifth wheeler trailer while others have put a cap on the back of their pickup truck. This is something that allows anyone to sleep, in safety, in the bed of their truck. It is also very inexpensive. Rather than spending $120 a night to sleep in a hotel, you can do it for free after the truck bed has been outfitted.
So, what type of truck is the best for a “Bed Camp”? Most would agree that an eight foot bed is needed if you hope to make it into your small home. You can do it in a six foot bed truck but that is going to leave you very little room for anything else. If you are over six feet tall you will definitely want an eight foot bed truck.
Some of the most popular trucks to sleep in are the Silverado 1500 and the Ram 1500. The Chevy Silverado 1500 is one of the most popular work trucks on the road but it also serves as a great truck to travel in. If you decide on a Chevy pickup truck understand that a used model can be as much as $15,000 to $20,000 cheaper. A brand new Silverado 1500 can cost as much as $60,000. This is as much as a home!
The other popular truck for creating a “bed camp” is a Ram 1500. Note that some people might still think of this vehicle as a Dodge Ram. They rebranded about seven years ago and all trucks are now just Ram Trucks and there is no Dodge affiliation. They are still part of the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram brand but you will only see Ram Trucks and not Dodge Trucks.
Ram trucks tend to get better gas mileage than both Ford and Chevy so you may want to think about a Ram 1500 or Ram 2500 if you plan to drive long distances. It is also common for Ram Trucks to have an eight foot bed versus a six foot bed. Once again, if you are willing to buy a used Ram truck you are going to save a ton of money. You will want to look on Craigslist and in your local newspaper to see if anyone is selling a Ram or Silverado used truck that has an eight foot bed.
Once you get your truck, you are going to need to outfit it. If you are truly a survivalist you should have no problem doing this. The most expensive cost is going to be the cap for the bed of the truck. A new Leer truck cap can cost as much as $800 but you can get a used one much cheaper. Our suggestion is to look for a used truck for sale that already has a cap.
Before buying any used truck with a cap you will want to inspect it. You do not want a cap that does not fit properly or lets water in. If you travel to some of the colder locations throughout the world, you will also want to make certain you are keeping as much heat in as possible. If you go on Craigslist or look in your local newspaper you should be able to find a used Leonard or Leer truck cap for about $250 to $300.
After you have the truck and the cap, all you need is some plywood, a hammer and nails and a mattress. Once you put your elevated bed frame in the bed of the truck you have to fit in a mattress. This may be as simple as a few blankets and pillows or you may decide to use a blow up mattress. Either way, it is going to be a very cheap way for you to spend your nights while on your trips. Or, it could be your new home away from home.
We suggest the Chevy Silverado 1500 and the Ram 1500 as the best trucks for a “bed camp”. You may also want to look at the Ford F150 with an eight foot bed as well.