Thirty-nine hard-side truck camper owners prove that it’s possible to assemble a rig for under $50,000 USD / $64,216 CAD. Get ready for some real surprises including Class 5 trucks and multi-slides. One rig was just $5,000 USD.
In mid-2022 we started to notice a troubling trend in Truck Camper Magazine. Without realizing it, we were featuring far too many truck and camper combinations that cost in excess of $100,000 or even $150,000 USD ($127,765 CAD / $191,647 CAD). While these uber rigs are awesome, the message they send is not.
Honestly, if truck and camper combinations had cost that much when we were first looking into this lifestyle, we would have passed. As a magazine, the last thing we want to do is promote that truck camping as unattainable, and have the next generation – or anyone who isn’t wealthy – miss out.
The good news is that truck camping has always been affordable. Even individuals with a budget under $20,000 USD / $25,553 CAD can put a truck and camper rig together. They will likely have to search high and low for the right truck and camper, accept model and condition compromises, and be willing to make repairs. But they’ll also get the satisfaction of having the unbeatable, “Go Anywhere, Camp Anywhere, Tow Anything” experience of truck camping without an exorbitant price tag.
I would also like to suggest that many of us bought our first car, first house and maybe a lot of other big purchases with the same approach.
My first car was an 11-year old 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme (a luxury car in its day, but not when I got it). Our first house was a condo in Gaithersburg, Maryland (not exactly new, and not exactly a mansion). Never mind my first computer and first stereo system. All bought used. All required a lot of research and search. All a compromise. That’s life when you’re not Mr. (and Mrs.) Moneybucks.
And for the record, both truck campers we’ve personally bought were used. If anyone out there thinks we’re not enjoying this lifestyle because our campers have been used, you’re out of your noodle.
Thank you to everyone who sent in an affordable truck and hard side camper rig. Your examples prove beyond a doubt that nearly anyone can get into truck camping.
2008 Ford F-250 + 2020 Capri Retreat = $31,000
“I bought a used 2008 Ford F-250 for $18,500 in April of 2022. The owner was offering to sell the truck and camper as a combo, so we bought the truck along with the camper.
I bought a used 2020 Capri Retreat in April of 2022. We negotiated a deal for the pair, truck and camper together, however, our final cost of the camper alone was approximately $12,500. I was looking at ordering a new Capri Retreat, but the wait time and the final price was more than our budget would allow.
The total for my truck and camper was $31,000 USD.
Affordability was important, but also I liked what Capri was doing with their campers. At only 7-feet in length, and 1,600-pounds, we still got a full-size bed, comfortable dining area, 32-inch television, air conditioning, refrigerator, sink and a shower.
Once I had finalized the selling price, I called my wife (she was in New Mexico for work), and told her I bought this camper. I told her that I needed to fly out to South Carolina from Central Texas to pick it up, and wanted her to go with me. So we both jumped on separate planes and met in South Carolina to pick up our new-to-us truck camper rig. We then traveled down through the south visiting family, beaches, museums, landmarks, and more. We keep exploring all the time, as the places we can go are endless.
We had a Four Wheel Camper in previous years and loved it. However, we knew that we wanted a hard side next with improved insulation and comfort. With a truck camper, we’re not limited to where we can go. We’ve camped in driveways, streets, woods, by rivers, and beaches. And when I just need a truck, I’ve got one.”
2001 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 + 1997 Bigfoot 10.6B = $27,000
“I bought a used 2001 Chevrolet Silverado 3500, extended cab, four door, dual rear wheel truck for $19,000 USD in May 2020. I found my truck on eBay. It was in Shasta Lake, California. I took the train from Tacoma, Washington to pick it up.
I bought a used 1997 Bigfoot 10.6B for $8,000 USD that I found on Craigslist in a town close to home in March of 2018.
The total for my truck and camper was $27,000 USD. I have since spent money modifying things.
Affordability was and wasn’t a factor. I wanted this specific truck because they have a nice body style and are good trucks. The camper was purchased for its fiberglass shell, which is the least likely to have leak problems.
I’ve had truck campers since I was 25 years old and I am now 51. The Bigfoot is my third camper, and by far the best camper I have ever had. I have taken road trips down the West Coast on my way to Arizona, even going onto Highway 1 and camping along the way taking my time.
I have driven to the East Coast, stopping anywhere interesting and visiting friends and family. Once I spent the night in New Orleans for $20 very close to Bourbon Street. I currently have the camper in Ilwaco, Washington for a summer fishing camp. It’s so versatile and free to roam where ever I choose.”
2015 Ford F-350 + 2012 Lance 950S = $42,000 USD
“I bought a used 2015 Ford F-350 XLT for $27,000 USD in September 2020. I found my truck on Craigslist.
I bought a used 2012 Lance 950S for $15,000 USD from Craigslist in September 2020.
The total for my truck and camper was $42,000 USD.
Affordability was absolutely a factor! It was either a van or a truck camper so that we could also tow a boat. With a truck camper, we also get a truck to do truck things with. Plus, it was half the cost of a van.
We are avid skiers. We camp in the ski parking lot almost every weekend with our toddler and infant. Without a truck camper, we’d be cold and wet. Our truck camper rig keeps us comfortable so we can do the things we love.”
2001 Chevy Silverado 2500HD + 2004 Northstar Igloo 9.5 = $15,300
“I bought a used 2001 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD four-wheel drive long bed truck for $10,000 in April of 2019. I found my truck locally on Craigslist.
I bought a used 2004 Northstar Igloo 9.5 for $5,300 used on Facebook marketplace in March of 2020.
The total for my truck and camper was $15,300.
Yes, affordability was important on the truck rig model and Northstar has a great reputation.
We’ve gone on Harvest Hosts trips all over the east coast. We’ve towed my 1962 Mini Cooper race car seven hours to the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix several times.”
Chris and Karen Perry
2006 Ford F-350 + 2021 Wolf Creek 890 = $49,000 USD
“I bought a used 2006 Ford F-350 for $17,000 on December 20, 2017. I found my truck after many hours of homework and searching the used ads. Finally, this long bed diesel turned up with the camper package, gooseneck hitch, and only 78,000-miles on the clock.
I bought a new 2021 Wolf Creek 890 for $32,000 from Apache Camping Center in Clackamas, Oregon on May 7, 2021.
The total for my truck and camper was $49,000.
Yes, affordability played a big role as we like to consider ourselves frugal in everything we do. A Northern Lite truck camper was in our sights, but the cost ruled that option out.
We retired in July of 2021. We sold our house and have been full-timing so far ever since. We’ve spent our time boondocking in the Arizona desert and down the forest service roads in Oregon from the mountains to the beach.
We have spent time in California, Washington, and Nevada, and visiting the kids and grandkids. One of the reasons for choosing a truck camper was the ability to tow our boat. We don’t tie ourselves to shore water and power very often.
It’s fair to say we have dry camped 90% of the time. We have 145-watts of solar and don’t use a generator. Being frugal as mentioned above, on warmer days we use only 5 to 6 amp hours per day and on rainy cooler days we might use as much as 15-amp hours per day.”
2008 Chevy C4500 Kodiak + 2004 Lance 1030 = $19,200
“I bought a used 2008 Chevrolet C4500 Kodiak for $4,900 USD in June of 2019. I found my truck at an online auction called Nationwide Work Trucks, Trailers, and Equipment.
I bought a used 2004 Lance 1030 for $14,300 from Noble RV in June of 2017.
The total for my truck and camper was $19,200.
Obviously, affordability was a factor.
I bought the truck and camper to be self-sufficient while visiting someone in another state at their cabin. We go boating and hunting for deer and ducks. And I quote, “Drive anywhere, tow anything, and stay anywhere including a Walmart parking lot!”
2010 GMC Sierra 2500 + 2021 Palomino HS-750 = $44,000
“I bought a used 2010 GMC Sierra 2500 for $21,000 in April of 2021. I found my truck online. Luckily, one in town was available.
I purchased a new 2021 Palomino HS-750 for $23,000 from Gibbs Outdoor in Waco, Texas in May of 2021.
The total for my truck and camper was $44,000.
Flexibility and affordability were the reasons I purchased my truck and camper.
I have visited Yellowstone, Glacier, and Yosemite National Parks. Leaving my dogs at home while traveling never worked out well for them. They almost always got sick. With my truck and camper, they can be with me. That’s the number one reason for my rig.”
2002 Ford F-350 + 2007 Lance 1055 = $35,000
“I bought a used 2002 Ford F-350 for $18,000 in August of 2020. I found my truck on Craigslist.
I bought a used 2007 Lance 1055 for $17,000 from Craigslist in August of 2020.
The total for my truck and camper was $35,000.
Yes, being affordable was important. The key was shopping patiently until we found a used but very well-maintained rig. We looked at several dogs and rigs that just didn’t meet our needs before finding a keeper.
The excuse was to travel during the pandemic without staying in hotels. We have visited two kids at college, made several trips to our vacation home in Washington, and gone camping with friends.
I am an amateur astronomer and have taken the rig to several star parties; two to four-night camp-outs in remote locations away from civilization’s lights. It is very convenient to be self-contained, and to have a warm place to crawl into after stargazing until 3am.”
2017 Ford F-350 + 2006 Okanagan 811S = $46,500
“I bought a used 2017 Ford F-350 6.2 gasser with 48,500 miles for $33,000 in January of 2020. I found my truck on Craigslist from a dealer.
I bought a 2006 Okanagan 811S for $13,500 from Craigslist local in March 2020.
The total for my truck and camper was $46,500.
Definitely, affordability was important.
This is our second camper. We started with a Capri Retreat and a 1999 Ford F-250. After a second dog, we decided we needed a bit more room.”
2015 Ford F-350 XLT + 2001 Lance 1130 = $37,500
“I bought a used 2015 Ford F-350 XLT, crew cab, 4×4, long bed, dual rear wheel truck for $30,000 in March of 2022. I found my truck on Craigslist.
I bought a used 2001 Lance 1130 for $7,500 from a Google Search for Lance 1130 in June 2022.
The total for my truck and camper was $37,500.
Affordability was and wasn’t a factor. I specifically wanted the Lance 1130 which is a non-slide out camper for its user-friendly options and fresh water capacity. With our truck, weight wasn’t an issue and neither was stability. We wanted a dry bath as well.
I’m traveling in the Colorado mountains right now as I write this while towing a trailer with a side-by-side to run the trails.”
2022 Ford F-250 + 2002 Adventurer 90RDS = $44,500
“I bought a new 2022 Ford F-250 regular cab, two-wheel drive, long bed truck. The camper package and cruise control package were the only options. My truck cost $37,000 USD in December of 2021.
I bought a used 2002 Adventurer 90RDS for $7500 USD from Craigslist in May of 2021.
The total for my truck and camper was $44,500 USD.
Yes, affordability was important. I tow a boat and with my truck camper, I bought a place to stay while I’m on fishing trips.”
2005 GMC 2500HD + 2002 Six-Pac 6.5 = $39,000 USD
“I bought a used 2005 GMC 2500HD for $21,000 USD. All in with tax and upgrades, it was $26,000. I got it in September of 2021 from Craigslist.
I bought a 2002 Six-Pac 6.5 for $8500 USD. All in with the upgrades, it was $13,000. I bought it from Facebook Marketplace in November of 2021.
The total for my truck and camper was $39,000 USD.
Absolutely, affordability was important. I had experience with the GMT800 and wanted this particular truck, drive train, and extended fuel tank.
In the short time we have owned the rig, we have roamed most of Nevada, Utah, Arizona (including El Camino del Diablo) and Oregon.
The main reason for buying the rig is access and seclusion. For example, we used to never road trip during the summer because of crowds. In July, we spent a few weeks working our way up the Oregon coast.
We noted that every state campground was full, on weekdays and weekends. We’d head up a forest service road for a beautiful drive, zero crowds, and find a free campsite; beautiful, quiet, outside showers and affordable.”
2007 GMC 2500HD + 2020 Palomino HS-8801 = $30,000
“I bought a used 2007 GMC 2500HD for $9,000 USD in April of 2019. I found my truck online from a dealer.
I bought a new 2020 Palomino HS-8801 for $21,000 USD from Campsite RV in Cresco, Iowa in August of 2020.
The total for my truck and camper was $30,000 USD.
I bought what I could afford.
My wife and I have been to Teddy Roosevelt National Park in Medora, North Dakota, and the Black Hills of South Dakota twice. We camp around our home in northern Wisconsin a lot. We also go to the National Forest campgrounds. We have the factory installed solar panel and lithium batteries so we can dry camp without any issues.”
1998 Dodge Ram 2500 + 2022 Capri Cowboy = $27,000 USD
“I bought a used 1998 Dodge 2500 with the camper package for $9,000 USD in July of 2018. I found my truck Craigslist.
I bought a new 2022 Capri Cowboy for $18,000 USD from Capri Campers in Bluff Dale, Texas in July 2022.
The total for my truck and camper was $27,000.
Affordability was a key part of the rig. We chose a truck and camper that were not only inexpensive to start but would continue to be simple and economical to maintain (we hope). Its primary purpose is to visit family and friends without the need for hotel stays. Our rig can also act as a separate master bedroom for our small travel trailer.
With two twin beds, a hand pump sink, and a cooler, this rig was designed to be a bedroom, primarily for moochdocking. When we choose to actually go camping, a kitchen, dining area, and bathroom are located in the 14-foot travel trailer that we can pull behind. So far, the truck and camper have been throughout the central states, visiting family, friends, and some state parks.”
1989 Ford F-350 + 1990 Amerigo Snap and Nap = $5,000
“I bought a used 1989 Ford F-350 for $3,500 in September of 2020. I found my truck on Facebook Marketplace. The previous owner upgraded to a Nissan Cummins.
I bought a used 1990 Amerigo Snap and Nap for $1,500 from Facebook Marketplace. It was being sold with a truck, but I convinced the seller to separate them in May of 2022.
The total for my truck and camper was $5,000.
Absolutely, affordability was the biggest factor. I go out almost every weekend to various outdoor areas. It gets well used.”
2014 Ram 2500 + 2010 Arctic Fox 990 = $48,000
“I bought a used 2014 Ram 2500 Cummins, 4×4, manual transmission truck for $30,000 in July 2021. My truck belonged to my brother.
I bought a used 2010 Arctic Fox 990 for $18,000 after extensive searching on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace in July of 2021.
The total for my truck and camper was $48,000.
Functionality, space, and affordability were key. We use our truck and camper for camping trips that include riding our ATVs and side-by-side, for hunting and fishing trips, dip netting, and – rarely – camping and staying put.”
1999 Ford F-250 + 1994 Lance 480 = $10,400
“I bought a used 1999 Ford F-250 V10, extended cab, four-wheel drive truck for $6,200 USD in September of 2020. I found my truck on Craigslist about three hours away from the widow of the original owner.
I bought a used 1994 Lance 480 for $4,200 USD in February of 2021. I found it on Craigslist about two hours away from the original owner with all the original paperwork.
The total for my truck and camper was $10,400 USD. I have since put about $3,000 into the combo in upgrades.
I wanted all of the family fun factors without monthly payments or debt. Absolutely, affordability was important.
I love having a rolling base camp for my outdoor adventures including mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, or sightseeing. We 95-percent boondock.”
Doug and Cindy McIntosh
2015 Ford F-350 + 2006 Lance 1191 = $44,000 USD
“I bought a used 2015 Ford F-350, four-wheel drive, gas, super cab for $28,000 USD in July of 2019. I found my truck on Craigslist.
I bought a used 2006 Lance 1191 for $16,000 USD delivered. I found it on Craigslist in June of 2019.
The total for my truck and camper was $44,000 USD.
Of course, affordability was important, but the camper was in excellent condition. It was way better than the newer ones we looked at. The truck was just what we wanted, and came with all the tie-down hardware and rear leaf blocks. And it only had 27,000 miles on it.
We have gone to lots of national parks and done tons of boondocking. We went on a six-week ski trip around the United States, multiple cross-country trips, and the Quartzsite truck camper rally. With the mobility of our truck camper, we rarely have to pay for camping!”
2008 GMC Sierra 2500HD + 1994 Lance Squire 4000 = $17,500 CAD
“I bought a used 2008 GMC Sierra 2500 HD for $15,000 CAD and a 1994 Lance Squire 4000 for $2500 CAD in September of 2021. I found both on a Canadian site called Kijiji, which is similar to Craigslist.
The total for my truck and camper was $17,500 CAD.
We just stumbled on the Lance posted for $6,000. I kept after them until finally, they said $2,500 cash tomorrow and it’s yours.
We are finally back to driveway camping with family and friends after twenty years of owning big rigs.”
2001 Chevy Silverado 2500HD + 2001 Northstar 690 = $30,000
“I bought a used 2001 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Duramax for $20,000 in August of 2020. I found my truck on Facebook Marketplace.
I bought a used 2001 Northstar 690 for $8,000 from Facebook Marketplace in March of 2022.
The total for my truck and camper was $30,000.
I’m a broke 22-year-old, so I bought what I could afford over time with cash.
I have worked and lived at ski resorts across the country.”
2002 Ford F-350 + 2001 Corsair Excella = $20,000 CAD
“I bought a used 2002 Ford F-350 Super Cab dually for $12,000 CAD in February of 2020. I found my truck on AutoTrader.
I purchased a used 2001 Corsair Excella, 10’2” slide-in camper for $8,000 CAD from AutoTrader in February of 2020.
The total for my truck and camper was $20,000 CAD.
The truck had 110,800 kilometers/68,850 miles which is very low mileage on a V-10. The camper was older and needed repairs, however, it was a package deal.
After buying the packaged rig, Covid struck and the RV repair shop lost five techs. After that, the repairs required took over four months.
When local travel was permitted again, we made one trip from the interior of British Columbia to Tofino on Vancouver Island. With interprovincial travel restrictions, we finally made a trip to Alberta. The Covid travel complications have delayed our bucket list trip across Canada.”
2005 Ford F-550 + 2012 Eagle Cap 1165 = $48,500
“I bought a used 2005 Ford F-550 for $12,500 USD in July of 2019. I found it on Craigslist.
I bought a used 2012 Eagle Cap 1165 for $36,000 USD. I found the camper on a Google search and drove from Colorado to New Hampshire to pick it up in January of 2022.
The total for my truck and camper was $48,500.
We can not afford anywhere near what the dream rigs cost. But, with a little creativity and a lot of shopping around, we were able to duplicate the majority of the functionality and comfort of the dream rigs within a reasonable budget.
We still have three slides and can travel with two adults, two kids, and two dogs comfortably. We are also well set up for when we transition into retirement. Over time I can fix up my truck and camper to make them better than new, and just as good as the high-dollar dream rigs. We will never get anywhere near the cost of the new ones.
We wanted to downsize from a fifth wheel to a truck camper for ease of travel and maneuverability. We have only had the camper for a little over half a year but we have taken it from Colorado to Texas for a shakedown run.
Then we took off on an almost three-week trip to Florida. We went to Orlando for a week, then up to Carabelle to spend a week on the beach before going to St. Louis for a week. We had a great time and can’t wait for the next trip.
Our future plans include a multi-month trip to Alaska, a trip from Maine down the East Coast all the way to Key West. We have lots of plans.”
2012 Toyota Tundra TRD + 2005 Six-Pac T100 = $23,500
“I bought a used 2012 Toyota Tundra TRD for $18,000 USD in December of 2017. Unfortunately, a friend passed away and we bought the truck from his mom.
I purchased a used 2005 Six-Pac T100 for $5,500 USD from Craigslist in June of 2020.
The total for my truck and camper was $23,500.
Affordability wasn’t our main concern. We already had the truck when we bought the camper. My husband told me the maximum weight the truck could hold, so I looked for about six weeks at truck campers on Craigslist. We went to see a few and the Six-Pac was the best fit for our truck and our needs. It was also in immaculate condition and the grey stripes match the truck.
At the start of the pandemic, we wanted to be able to travel safely. We thought adding a truck camper would at least allow us to travel throughout California. We added a couple of solar panels and switched out the existing lights for LEDs.
Now we can go backcountry camping and stay a few days by recharging the batteries. We have stayed in Northern California so far but hubby retires at the end of this year so we will be able to go further in the future.”
2012 Ford F-250 + 1993 Starcraft Lumastar 852 = $31,990
“I bought a used 2012 Ford F-250 6.7 Powerstroke for $29,900 in April of 2020. I found my truck at a dealership called, All Out Diesels in Cleveland, Ohio.
I bought a used 1993 Starcraft Lumastar 852 for $2,990 from Family RV in Newark, New York in August of 2021.
The total for my truck and camper was $31,990.
I already owned the truck. We had planned on buying tow-behind but switched to a truck camper so we could tow toys behind us, camp in more remote places, and not have the limitations that surround a conventional camper trailer.
We had a line on a nice used Arctic Fox with slide-outs and whatnot, but the deal fell through. We found our Starcraft at a local RV dealership for one-fifth of the price we initially budgeted for. We decided to buy it and have money left over to buy a boat.
My wife and I haven’t done anything too crazy yet. We took a trip to West Virginia and did some exploring in the New River Gorge area. We also went to Shenandoah National Park and Allegheny National Forrest last year. This year we’ve gone to Dover, Delaware, Summersville, West Virginia, the Adirondacks, and Thousand Islands with our new to us boat.”
2004 Ford F-350 + 2004 Bigfoot 2500 = $30,000
“I bought a used 2004 Ford F-350 King Ranch, turbo diesel, dually, four-wheel drive truck for $15,000 US in May of 2018. I found my truck on the side of the road.
I bought a used 2004 Bigfoot 2500 10.6 for $15,000 US from Craigslist in August of 2017.
The total for my truck and camper was $30,000 US.
I bought used for affordability. I put my rig together to travel to Alaska after retirement. Then Covid hit. So far I bought only been camping in Michigan where we live.”
2001 Ford F-350 + 2022 Capri Retreat = $30,000
“I bought a used 2001 Ford F-350 for $8,000 in January of 2022. I found my truck on Craigslist. Then, while traveling in Montana, I noticed a lot of flatbeds on the road and – as luck would have it – there was one for sale.
I bought a new 2022 Capri Retreat for $22,000 from the Capri factory in July 2022.
The total for my truck and camper was $30,000.
I bought my truck and camper 70-percent for affordability and 30-percent for customizations from Capri.
I have driven my truck camper rig from Texas to Oregon exploring national parks in Colorado, Wyoming, and Idaho. We also go mountain climbing in remote and snowy places. Four-wheel drive was increasingly becoming a necessity, so we traded our self-converted Promaster van for our truck camper.”
1999 Ford F-250 + 1999 Lance 1010 = $17,400
“I bought a used 1999 Ford F-250 Super Duty PowerStroke diesel for $12,000 in August of 2017. I found my truck on Craigslist.
I purchased a used 1999 Lance 1010 for $5,400 from a private party on Craigslist in September of 2017.
The total for my truck and camper was $17,400.
Yes, affordability was important. It was a southern truck with low miles.
I wanted a truck camper to travel now that I’m retired. I have taken several trips to the Upper Peninsula, two trips to Illinois, and two weeks to Maine. Usually, I take a boat or UTVs when I travel.”
2004 Ford F-350 + 2001 Bigfoot 2500 = $19,500 USD
“I bought a used 2004 Ford F-350 for $11,000 USD in October of 2020. I found my truck on Craigslist.
I bought a used 2001 Bigfoot 2500 series for $8,500 USD on Craigslist in October of 2021.
The total for my truck and camper was $19,500 USD.
I wanted something I could purchase with cash. I’ve since spent several thousand dollars on upgrades, mods, and accessories.
I’ve done in-state travel only to date within a couple of hundred miles. Mostly I’ve gone to Sedona for hiking and biking and to mountain lakes for trout fishing and paddling. There have been lots of minor issues but no major breakdowns (knock on wood). I love making improvements and mods to the rig. It’s my happy place.”
2005 Chevy Silverado 2500 + 2015 Northstar Laredo SC = $26,000 USD
“I bought a used 2005 Chevy Silverado 2500 four-wheel drive truck with a 6.5-foot bed for $12,500 USD in November of 2019. We scoured the area for a suitable vehicle to carry a 2,000-pound camper. The truck was found at a nearby used truck dealer.
I bought a used 2015 Northstar Laredo SC for $13,500 USD from Stoltzfus RV in Adamstown, Pennsylvania in October of 2019. We looked extensively at truck camper listings online and saw a posting of this camper. We got lucky. We had looked through at least five other campers and this one was right for us. It was fully featured, and a size we are comfortable with.
The total for my truck and camper was $26,000 USD.
Yes, affordability was important. We had a 1999 Fleetwood Trakker truck camper that was tired. We needed to update and upgrade but did not have the budget for, or interest in a larger, heavier set-up. We wanted a bath onboard, along with other basics.
We like to drive and park anywhere – towns, cities, stadiums, etc. – without dealing with a trailer or oversize parking facility. Being just a bit wider than the truck, it is easy to get to pretty remote places, too. The Laredo has a solar system that is capable of operating the refrigerator, which we like a lot.
The longest trip we’ve taken with our rig so far was a round trip of 5,000 miles. The trip took up to St. Louis where we started on Route 66. We too Route 66 as far as Winslow, Arizona where we stood on, “the corner”. Then we ventured north to southern Colorado where we went to Great Sand Dunes National Park before heading back east.
We have also tried dispersed camping in state or federal forests in the south and central Pennsylvania. The solar charging system is amazing for outings like these.
The maneuverability of our rig is great. One of the dispersed sites where we stayed required a long, very steep climb and return. The rig handled it so well that it convinced us we made the right decision in putting this truck and camper together.”
2018 Nissan Titan XD + 2017 Travel Lite 770R = $43,000 USD
“I bought a used 2018 Nissan Titan XD for $29,000 USD in March of 2018. I found my truck during an internet search for used trucks in our area.
I bought a new 2017 Travel Lite 770R for $14,000 USD from East Coast RVs in August 2017.
The total for my truck and camper was $43,000 USD.
Affordability and size were the main reasons we bought our camper. This is our first RV. The main reason we bought a truck camper was so we could tow our boat, have a comfortable RV to stay in, and have a vehicle to use as well.
Our main activity is camping at lakes and boating. We have also taken it on sightseeing trips for the week to the eastern shore.”
2005 Silverado 2500HD + 2020 Adventurer 80RB = $48,500
“In March of 2018, I bought a used 2005 Silverado 2500HD from my neighbor for $25,000.”
I bought a used 2020 Adventurer 80RB for $23,500 from Craigslist in March of 2022.
The total for my truck and camper was $48,500.
Yes, affordability was important. I really wanted an Adventurer 86FB but, by the time I was ready to buy, I could not find a decent one for under $30,000.
I have not used our truck camper rig much yet due to work and family issues. I have a Grand Canyon trip planned for October.”
2013 Chevy 2500HD + 2013 CampLite 8.5 = $26,000 USD
“I bought a used 2013 Chevy 2500HD crew cab work truck for $13,000 USD in June of 2022. My truck was part of a package with the camper.
I bought a used 2013 CampLite 8.5 for $13,000 USD. I bought the truck and camper as a turnkey setup from a private party that I found on RV Trader in June of 2022.
The total for my truck and camper was $26,000 USD for the package.
Affordability and durability were part of what made us choose this specific combination. CampLite truck campers, with no wood, really appealed to us, as well as the fact that this was a turn-key setup, complete with tie-downs.
The truck is a little small for the camper. We only have about 300-pounds for water and stuff after the camper and the family are in the truck. But, it’s a good starter rig for a family of three.
Keeping the cost down, and not having to finance the truck or the camper was a big plus. Even with the $4,000 USD we have pumped into the truck and camper for maintenance since we got it, it has still been a great deal. The truck needed front-end work and tires, and one of the legs on the camper locked up three months after we took ownership.
We plan to do some cross-country touring with our setup next summer. This summer was basically weekend shakedown trips to New York State parks.
The current truck does not have the cargo capacity to tow while the camper is on it. Our goal is to buy a slightly bigger/newer truck when used vehicle prices come back down to earth. Then, we can maybe tow or haul bikes and a small generator so that we can do more remote/dispersed camping.”
2008 GMC Sierra 3500 + 2015 Palomino HS-2902 = $37,000 USD
“I bought a used 2008 GMC Sierra 3500 for $22,000 in April 2018. I found my truck Online RV & Auto Trader.
I bought a used 2015 Palomino HS-2902 for $15,000 from Facebook Marketplace in October 2021.
The total of my truck and camper was $37,000.
Yes, affordability was absolutely important. The low price was the main reason for our purchase.
We had previously owned two pull-behind campers and two fifth wheels, but found that many state parks would not accommodate our larger rigs. So we decided to downsize to a truck camper that was still large enough for our needs. Since purchasing, we have taken several boondocking and lakeside camping trips.”
2007 Chevy + 2020 Travel Lite 700 = $25,000
“I inherited my father’s truck when he passed away, but you can buy the same truck used for about $10,000 or so.
I bought a new 2020 Travel Lite 700 for $15,000 from Dukes RV in Lancaster, South Carolina in September of 2019.
The total of my truck and camper was $25,000.
I use it to go to motorcycle and bicycle events. I also traveled to New Mexico to visit the National Parks.”
Just Missed The Cut
For our call for affordable truck campers, we requested that all submitted trucks and submitted campers needed to be purchased after August of 2017. We also stated that all rig combinations could not be over $50,000 USD / $64,216 CAD. Well, not everyone who entered made those cuts, but they still wanted to share their affordable rigs, so we are still going to publish their responses. Here are even more affordable truck camper rigs for inspiration.
2016 Ford F-150 XL + 2021 Capri Cowboy $7,500 = $30,500
“I bought a new 2016 Ford F150 XL regular cab 6’6” bed RWD for $23,000 USD in September of 2016. This date doesn’t make your August of 2017 cut-off, but even with inflation my truck and rig would quality under your $50,000 cap.
I bought a used 2021 Capri Cowboy for $7,500 from RV Trader in June 2021.
The total for my truck and camper was $30,500.
I wanted a bare-bones lightweight camper for a half-ton truck. So far, I’ve traveled around Florida. I lived in it for five months last winter working as a volunteer for the National Park Service at Big Cypress National Preserve.”
Mike and Nancy Pohl
2015 Ford F-250 XLT + 2015 Lance 855 = $40,000
“I bought a used 2015 Ford F-250 XLT super crew, two-wheel drive, short bed for $24,000 USD in March of 2017. I spotted my dream truck in November of 2016, but I had promised my wife that I would not buy a new truck until her car was paid for.
My dream truck was still at the car dealer in March and it had only 8,600-miles on it. Being a two-wheel drive, nobody wanted it in Minnesota. I don’t need four-wheel drive if I know how to drive a two-wheel drive in the snow. My last three trucks have been two-wheel drive since back in the 70s.
I bought a used 2015 Lance 855 for $16,000 USD. By using your truck camper match, I was able to narrow my search down to what would be the best camper for my needs. The Lance 855 met all the requirements I was looking for, and then some.
I watched the camper sales on TCM and searched everywhere for one. I could only find them out on the West Coast. I finally found one in Salem, New Hampshire. They had it in consignment after their father had passed and sold the truck right away. I shot them a bid and they excepted it. So off we went in May of 2018 to New Hampshire to get it. We made a vacation out of it as long as we were out there. We even camped in the Hamptons.
The total for my truck and camper was $40,000.
I couldn’t pass up the truck that had maybe its second oil change. I found the window sticker in the glove box that said $42,000, so $24,000 in was a great buy that I couldn’t pass on. As far as the camper, I got it about $10,000 to $12,000 under all the others I looked at.
This is my third truck camper. The first one was a 1972 Ford F-250 Camper Special with a 1985 Vista Liner 10.5. My second one was on my 1999 Ford F-150 standard cab long box with a 1985 American Pilgrim 8.5 hard side. I put that camper on the 2015 Ford F-250 until I found the Lance 855.
We enjoy traveling and have gone to all of the Lower 48 and most of Canada, but not Alaska yet in our truck campers. We towed a 20-foot Cuddy for ten-years and sold it in 2009 because we were traveling in the truck camper and not using the boat. Now I bought 20-foot enclosed car hauler that I can bring my hot rod and side-by-side wherever we go.”
2001 Ford F-250 + 2014 Lance 855S = $41,000
“I bought a used 2001 Ford F-250, 7.3L diesel, crew cab, short bed for $27,000 in 2004, but say $15,000 on today’s market in August of 2004, presently 274,000-miles. I found my truck on the internet.
I bought a used 2014 Lance 855S that cost $23,000 from a dealer in Tacoma, Washington that I found on Facebook Marketplace in September of 2020.
The total for my truck and camper was $41,000, with suspension upgrades.
Yes, affordability was important.
In 2020, I took a trip across the United States; 24 states in 30-days. In the fall of 2021, I went from North Carolina to Rochester, New York, to Maine to Nova Scotia. In August of 2022, I went from North Carolina to Rochester, New York (family), to Quebec to Nova Scotia, to Maine, and then North Carolina.”
2011 GMC Sierra 2500HD + 2011 Travel Lite 800SBX = $48,000 CAD
“I bought a used 2011 GMC Sierra 2500 HD SLE crew cab for $32,000 CAD in May of 2018. I found my truck through a truck dealer. The previous owner only used it for camping with a fifth wheel. It had less than 80,000-kilometers and a full warranty from GM.
I bought a used 2011 Travel Lite 800SBX for $16,000 CAD that I bought directly from the owner. I found it through internet ads in June of 2016.
The total for my truck and camper was $48,000 CAD.
I have been camping for many years. Our last good road trip had been 15,000-kilometers traveling for three-months in eighteen states; Florida, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, and others.
We climbed and visited five canyons, boondocked in the desert, and came back home in March the same day the government was closing customs for Covid.”
2018 Chevy Silverado 2500 + 2014 Northstar Igloo 9.5 = $70,000
“I bought a used 2018 Chevy Silverado 2500 diesel for $39,000 in September of 2017. I found my truck from a personal sale.
I bought a used 2014 Northstar Igloo 9.5 for $31,000 US from an RV site in July of 2016.
The total for my truck and camper was $70,000.
Yes, affordability was important.
I’ve been across the United States with this truck and camper. The rig has been great for BLM areas and national parks from New England to Florida, California to Arizona, and into Michigan.”