How to Make a Homemade Truck Tent

How to Make a Homemade Truck TentCamping out of the bed of your truck is an easy method of camping, especially if you are moving from campsite to campsite. You have the convenience of keeping all your gear in one place during the entire trip. This makes breaking camp quite a bit quicker than having to dismantle tents and place all the gear back into the truck. Making a homemade truck tent is not as hard as it may seem. With a large tarp and some PVC piping, you will have your tent erected in no time.


Difficulty: Moderate

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Broom
  • Plywood
  • Carpet
  • Saw
  • Scissors
  • PVC pipe
  • Tie wraps
  • Tarp
  • Rope
  • Tent stakes
Step 1
Clean the bed of your truck out before you head out on the camping trip. Though the bed is bound to get dirty during the trip, it will be easier to maintain if you sweep out excess dirt and leaves beforehand.
Step 2
Create flooring by cutting a piece of plywood or carpet the size of the truck's bed. This will eliminate the discomfort of having to sleep or walk on the bed's ridges. If using a plywood board, you can lay it directly on top of the bed and pack gear on top. Do the same with the carpet, unless you prefer to store it rolled and then roll it into place when you set up the truck tent.
Step 3
Cut four two-inch PVC pipes to a length of approximately five to six feet. The pipes are the tent poles and their length is how much height the tent will have. Most standard-size pickup truck beds are six to eight feet long, allowing room for the pipes to fit comfortably inside the bed while traveling.
Step 4
Set each PVC pipe, standing upright, at each corner of the truck's bed by a cap hole. Place an eight-inch piece of tie wrap through the cap hole and around the PVC pipe, pulling it taut. The pipe should be standing tall and firmly in place. Continue until all your PVC pipe tent poles are in place.
Step 5
Drape a tarp that is large enough to create a roof over the PVC pipes and hang down the sides, covering a portion of the truck. This will assure that your tent has the ability to be closed shut in the event of bad weather.
Step 6
Tie a rope through each corner grommet of the tarp. Pull each rope tight to the ground and stake it down, which should hold the tarp securely in place. Pulling the rope and tarp outward at an angle and then staking it down will allow airflow through the tented area.

Tips & Warnings

Pack your camping gear and supplies in large plastic containers. They will eliminate wasted space and keep your items dry in wet weather.
You can substitute metal tent poles for PVC poles, though PVC will not rust or corrode and is lighter to carry.

Article Written By Joyce Starr

Joyce Starr is a professional writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawn care and gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.

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