A truck camper is a smaller type of camper or trailer that slots into the bed of a truck. If you already own a pickup truck as your towing vehicle, then buying a truck camper makes a lot of sense. How much are you going to pay for a new truck camper?
The average cost for a new truck camper is $5,000 to $60,000. If you’d rather buy a used truck camper, you’d pay $2,500 to $30,000. The price of a truck camper depends on its size, manufacturer, materials, and amenities.
This guide will provide extensive information on the pricing of truck campers. We’ll include real examples of truck camper costs, discuss new vs. used prices, and talk about why some campers are far more expensive than others. Keep reading!
How Much Will You Pay for a Truck Camper?
How much can you expect to pay if you’re going to buy a truck camper for your pickup truck?
That depends if you’re shopping for a new or used truck camper. As we established in the intro, a used camper will sell for less, but the price range is huge.
On the lower end, you could pay $2,500 for a used truck camper. Higher-end models might cost up to $30,000. Yes, that’s for a used camper!
The baseline price for a new truck camper is $5,000. You could pay all the way up to $60,000 for one of these campers.
Are truck campers more expensive than other trailers or less so? Let’s take a closer look now.
- Teardrop trailer: $5,000 to $20,000
- Toy hauler: $12,000 to $250,000
- Pop-up trailer: $10,000 to $20,000
- Fifth-wheel trailer: $25,000 to $100,000
- Travel trailer: $11,000 to $35,000
As the prices for the above new trailers illustrate, truck campers are costly but not the most expensive trailer you can buy.
5 Examples of Real Truck Camper Prices
To give you a clearer idea of which side of the price spectrum the average truck camper falls on, we gathered examples of 5 real truck camper models complete with features and pricing. This section will allow you to see what your money would get you.
Lance 850 Truck Camper – $48,785
The 2022 Lance 850 Truck Camper is a favorite among RV enthusiasts. This durable truck camper is 17 feet, 7 inches long with an exterior width of 96 inches, an interior height of 76 inches, and a floor length of 8 feet, 11 inches.
The Lance 850 comes equipped with an 18-gallon blackwater tank, a 20-gallon graywater tank, and a 30-gallon freshwater tank. The truck camper weighs 2,501 pounds dry.
Capable of sleeping up to five people, the Lance 850 includes a bathroom with ducted heating, a plastic marine toilet (complete with a foot pedal), a medicine cabinet and mirror, a sliding bath door, and a dual-paned skylight.
The cabover has LED reading lights, a headboard, corner cabinets, and a queen-sized innerspring mattress. You even get a dinette!
Palomino Backpack – $31,161
For those who love the Palomino brand, the 2022 Backpack is a viable contender in your search for a truck camper.
The hard-sided HS-8801 model is 18 feet long. The vehicle’s interior height is 6 feet, 11 inches, and its exterior width is 86 inches while the exterior height is 8 feet, 4 inches. Weighing 2,460 pounds, the Backpack features a 7-gallon graywater tank, an 8-gallon blackwater tank, and a 21-gallon freshwater tank.
The Backpack HS-8801 has more of the amenities you need, including a bathroom with a toilet and a sink. A kitchenette includes a sink, a stovetop, a microwave, a refrigerator, and counter space.
The 60-inch jackknife sofa is for lounging or sleeping. A 60×80-inch queen-sized bed will allow you to enjoy sweet dreams too. The bedroom nook has plenty of storage space as well with two chests and a closet.
Rugged Mountain Camper Polar 860 – $24,950
A highly recommended truck camper, the Rugged Mountain Camper Polar 860 is a 15-foot, 11-inch beast. Its floor length is 8 feet, 6 inches with an interior height of 78 inches and an exterior height of 90 inches.
Clocking in at 3,120 pounds, the Polar 860 has a blackwater tank that’s 24 gallons, a graywater tank that’s the same, and a freshwater tank that’s 36 gallons.
The Standard Package includes bed bumper guards, a battery disconnect switch, slide-out step storage, metal blinds, a four-season package built in, hardwood cabinetry, exterior and interior LED lights, a gas cooktop, a 5-cubic-foot fridge and freezer, and a wet bath.
Northwood Arctic Fox Truck Camper – $37,338
The 2022 Northwood Arctic Fox is available in a bevy of models bigger and smaller. The mid-sized 990 is 17 feet, 6 inches long. The floor length is 9 feet, 10 inches with an interior height of 6 feet, 7 inches; an exterior height of 8 feet, 7 inches; and an exterior width of 8 feet, 1 inch.
Weighing 1,365 pounds dry, the 990 Arctic Fox includes a 59-gallon freshwater tank, a 39-gallon graywater tank, and a 43-gallon blackwater tank.
Built for four, the standard features include a 22-inch oven, a two-way, 7-cubic-foot fridge, speakers, an omnidirectional TV antenna, a TruRest queen-sized bed, a porcelain toilet, a full shower with a curtain, LED interior lighting, and an exterior shower.
Host Campers Mammoth – $112,203
The appropriately-named Mammoth by Host Campers is a 19-foot, 3-inch truck camper with a floor length of 136 inches, an interior height of 78 inches, and width of 96 inches.
This four-seasons trailer weighs 3,955 pounds, so it’s truly massive! Included is a 65-gallon freshwater tank, a 51-gallon graywater tank, and a 32-gallon blackwater tank.
Built purely from aluminum, the Mammoth includes features such as Grani-Coat countertops, a three-burner stove, an 8-cubic-foot fridge, day and nightshades, a 24×38-inch shower, and an exterior shower.
Which Factors Influence Truck Camper Price?
While most of the above truck campers were priced at $20,000 to $30,000, there were indeed some outliers, such as the $100k+ Host Campers Mammoth.
Here are some factors that influence how many zeroes you see tacked onto the price of your truck camper.
This is one of the most obvious factors. The smaller the truck camper, the fewer materials are required to build each one.
Thus, the manufacturer could theoretically construct two or more campers using those materials. Compare that to a bigger camper, in which the same materials would only build one trailer.
Larger campers are usually heavier. Just look at the Host Campers Mammoth for confirmation of this. The truck camper is over 19 feet long and weighs nearly 4,000 pounds.
A heavier camper requires more durable materials, which usually cost more money to procure. When you consider also the correlation between truck camper weight and length, it makes sense that you’re paying considerably more for a heavyweight truck camper.
Okay, but the Palomino Backpack is 18 feet long as well and it costs only $31,000 compared to the Host Campers’ Mammoth’s $112,000. Why is that when the two truck campers are about the same size?
It’s likely a difference in building materials. Aluminum–which is used to build the Mammoth’s frame–is one such building option, but manufacturers will also use rubber sheeting, metal foil, batting or foamboard insulation, plywood, or steel for other components of the camper.
Every choice the manufacturer makes influences the overall price of the truck camper. Plywood is very inexpensive, for example, while insulation is not.
Speaking of the manufacturer, they play a significant role in what you’ll pay for a truck camper as well. Big-name brands such as Lance can afford to charge more than a smaller company such as Rugged Mountain Camper because Lance has the name recognition.
With that name recognition comes assumed trust that the quality of your truck camper is going to be excellent. When you purchase a camper through a smaller brand, you’re putting a lot more of your faith in them. You don’t want to over-invest in case you end up disappointed in your purchase.
Finally, the included amenities can easily jack up the cost of a truck camper. Smaller truck campers have fewer amenities, which is why their prices are usually low. A larger camper has the space for more amenities but costs more.
Even in a smaller truck camper, you usually have the option to upgrade a features package, which can make the price of the camper more expensive still.
New vs. Used Truck Camper – Which Is Best?
The time is going to come on your buying journey when you’ll have to decide between a brand-new truck camper or one that’s been around the block several times.
Although the budget-friendly used option seems like the better pick, it isn’t always. How do you choose between a new and used truck camper?
Here are some pointers to help in your decision-making.
Set Your Budget
No other factor is perhaps more important when determining whether you’ll purchase a new or used truck camper than how much you can afford to spend.
Keep in mind when setting a budget that you’re paying for not only the truck camper itself but taxes and potentially shipping as well. Plus, you could have to pay finance charges (interest on your financing plan), warranty fees, and dealership fees if you go through a dealership.
When you’re done crunching the numbers, the figure you end up with is your budget. You can go under your budget, but you don’t want to exceed it.
Once you know your budget, you can more reasonably shop for a new or used truck camper.
Think About Resale Value
We’re not saying this to inspire you to venture outside of your budget, but when deciding to buy a new or used truck camper, you should always consider its resale value.
A new truck camper is going to have a higher resale value, but only for a limited period. Within your first year of ownership, its value will depreciate at a rate of 20 percent. From there, depreciation will continue at a steady rate over the years.
An older truck camper is going to be more depreciated out of the gate, that’s true, but you’ll have missed much of its depreciation.
Plus, you can control the rate of depreciation of a truck camper, at least to an extent. By purchasing a popular camper model, there’s a better chance that its value will be higher years down the line.
Splurging on a higher-quality camper is another way to potentially assure quality, as is caring well for your truck camper. Perform routine maintenance across the seasons and keep your camper in excellent condition. People won’t mind spending more on it!
Do a Test Drive and Inspection
When browsing used truck campers, a test drive and inspection are integral.
You know the vehicle is not coming to you in 100 percent fresh condition, so wear and tear will inevitably have developed somewhere. It’s your job to find out where before you sign on the dotted line and hand over your hard-earned money.
Even if you’re thinking of buying a new truck camper, foregoing the test drive and inspection is a big mistake. Photos and videos of a camper online are not enough to do it justice.
In your case, you’re not so much looking for what’s wrong with the camper (although you should certainly keep your eyes peeled just in case), but just that everything is in working order.
Know the Ownership and Accident History
This pointer applies exclusively to used truck camper shoppers. You must become privy to who has owned and driven your vehicle in the past. This will allow you to connect the dots about whether the truck camper has been involved in any accidents and how extensive the damage was.
How do you even begin to go about finding this information? Truck campers and other trailers have a vehicle identification number or VIN just as your everyday cars, trucks, and SUVs do. You might have to use a specialty RV/travel trailer VIN service to match up the VIN, but it’s worth doing.
Tips for Buying a Truck Camper
You’ve chosen whether you want a new or used truck camper, which is a good start. Regardless of the option you selected, you have thousands upon thousands of truck campers at your disposal. These buying tips will help you narrow down your options.
Know Which Size Truck Camper You Need
To begin shrinking the range of truck campers you’re interested in, consider how many people you would optimally want in your truck camper.
Truck campers only have room for up to six people, so that’s your limit. That said, if you prefer to keep it cozy with you and another person in the camper, then there’s no reason to buy a truck camper with that upper limit of six.
Families of four might want a five-person camper just to have the extra bit of room.
Stick to the Budget
You set that budget for a reason – because that’s what you can reasonably afford to spend. It’s fine if you overspend by a few hundred dollars on a really great truck camper, but you shouldn’t shell out thousands more than your budget.
Control Your Spending on Amenities
Be aware of which amenities are included standard with the camper and which ones will cost extra. As tempting as those extra amenities can be, the prices can add up fast, especially if the manufacturer doesn’t divulge the prices of the amenities until it’s time to bill you.
Limit the extra amenities as much as you can so you don’t overspend. This will mean making sacrifices, but your budget will be better off for it. Besides, big, booming speakers don’t affect how your truck camper runs in any way, shape, or form. You’re okay without them!
Never Buy Without an Inspection
Yes, we’re talking about inspections again, and that’s only because they’re so highly important in the truck camper purchasing process. Foregoing an inspection for a new or used camper means facing the issues that will crop up with the vehicle without any prior warning. Do so at your own risk!
Consider Renting First
Are you transitioning from a travel trailer to a truck camper or even from an RV to a truck camper? It’s undoubtedly a big switch, and you may wonder if a truck camper is truly the option for you.
Rather than spend thousands of dollars on even a new truck camper, look into renting one instead. You can spend hundreds of dollars for a few days with the camper. Spend a night in there, go adventuring, and get a feel for it.
If you’re happy, then proceed with your purchase!
Truck campers are a type of trailer that hitches onto the bed of a pickup truck. The average price of a truck camper is $5,000 to $60,000, with the price differential due to materials, size, weight, and manufacturer.
We hope the information in this guide helps you find an excellent truck camper whether it’s your first or your fifth!