How to Camp in a Camper Shell

How to Camp in a Camper Shell
A camper shell is a raised roof that can attach to the back of a pickup to create a sheltered spot from the weather. This shell can be used to create a sleeping spot that is an alternative to tent camping when roughing it out in the woods. The advantages of truck camping include not having to use a tent, and having a dry sleeping spot. Using a camper shell to camp is simpler than you might think.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Pickup truck camper shell 5 pieces of 2" X 6" lumber 1 4' X 8' sheet of plywood Saw 6 Carriage bolts 6 Wing nuts 1 4' X 8' Remnant of outdoor carpet Air mattress Sleeping bag Tarp 2-3 plastic tubs 2-3 stretchable cords
  • Pickup truck
  • camper shell
  • 5 pieces of 2" X 6" lumber
  • 1 4' X 8' sheet of plywood
  • Saw
  • 6 Carriage bolts
  • 6 Wing nuts
  • 1 4' X 8' Remnant of outdoor carpet
  • Air mattress
  • Sleeping bag
  • Tarp
  • 2-3 plastic tubs
  • 2-3 stretchable cords
Step 1
Attach your camper shell to the pickup truck by sliding the camper shell over the sidewalls of the truck. Bolt the camper shell in place using fasteners that come with the shell.
Step 2
Place the five pieces of 2" X 6" lumber across the width of the truck bed from sidewall to sidewall along the lip of the shell. Space these pieces of lumber evenly between the front and back of the truck bed. These will form the bed slats of your sleeping platform. Your camping gear will go in the bed below this platform.
Step 3
Cut your plywood sheet so that it will fit over the top of the trusses in the back of your camper to form a sleeping platform. Bolt the plywood sheet to the trusses using the carriage bolts and wing nuts.
Step 4
Cover the sleeping platform with the outdoor carpet to smooth out any rough spots on the sleeping platform.
Step 5
Place an inflated air mattress over the sleeping platform. Cover this with a sleeping bag. Your camper is now ready for you to sleep inside.

Tips & Warnings

 
Purchase plastic tubs to keep your camping gear clean, dry and organized. Use them for groceries, cooking gear and other important objects. Keep all your clean camping gear in the above-deck section of your camper, and the dirty camping gear in the section below deck. Include a tarp and stretchable cords or tie-downs in your truck bed. During summer months, you can sleep with a tarp over the open truck bed. This will help to keep you cool, while keeping out dust and rain.
 
Purchase plastic tubs to keep your camping gear clean, dry and organized. Use them for groceries, cooking gear and other important objects.
 
Keep all your clean camping gear in the above-deck section of your camper, and the dirty camping gear in the section below deck.
 
Include a tarp and stretchable cords or tie-downs in your truck bed. During summer months, you can sleep with a tarp over the open truck bed. This will help to keep you cool, while keeping out dust and rain.

Article Written By Tracy Morris

Tracy Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Arkansas.

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