Fellow truck campers challenge the standard camper cabover set-up and create entirely new possibilities. Here’s how a queen mattress splits for sheets, one cabover bedroom becomes divided, and another goes hunting.
For over over half a century, truck camper cabover design has been fairly consistent. First, choose a North-South or East-West configuration, then add a full, queen or king size bed and place cabinetry where possible.
This approach makes complete sense for the great majority of truck camper owners, but not everyone, and not for every trip plan and party combination.
The funny thing is how most of us don’t consider the cabover as an area of camper design to challenge. We sometimes see cabinetry and storage mods, but rarely do we receive ideas that rival the traditional cabover set-up.
That’s where this article comes in. Next time you think, “How could my three fishing friends all use the camper without risking that hilarious, “Those Aren’t Pillows” scene in Planes, Trains and Automobiles?” you’ll remember these ideas. Answer: Two divided in the cabover, and one in the dinette.
Transformation 1: Split Queen Mattresses For Easier Bed Making
Submitted by: Doug Robinson, 2016 Ford F350, 2016 Northern Lite 10-2EX RR
Putting sheets on the queen-sized bed was very difficult for my old and crash-damaged arms and shoulders. The mattress was very heavy and wedged into its space in the truck camper. We could not lift it.
Even getting a corner up was difficult. Plus, one had to crawl over the mattress to get to the two front corners. There had to be a better way to manage to change the sheets.
We ordered a custom made set of split queen mattresses. After checking out the comfort and firmness of the regular queen sizes, two mattresses 30×80-inches in size were ordered, each half the width of the queen size. I can lift and carry one of them.
I put the mattress pads and sheets on each mattress and then put them in place in the truck camper. Because the original queen is tapered on one end to follow the contour in the nose of the camper, I made a 1-inch rigid foam wedge to elevate the front of the mattress to better fit in the space. It also cuts down on snoring.
Since we are both less than 6-feet tall, we fit. Raising the head of the mattresses puts us closer to the curved wall.
Making the bed is now an easy process and does not require three arms and two people. It is also possible to take the mattresses out when not camping to let the air circulate.
The mod took me two trips to the mattress store. It also took an hour to cut and fit the foam. The high-end spring foam mattresses cost me $700. In my opinion, the skill level of this modification is easy.
Transformation 2: Creating Two Cabover Bedrooms
Submitted by: Lidia Soler, 2005 Dodge Ram 2500, 2008 Lance 845
I turned a one-bedroom truck camper into a two-bedroom truck camper. I travel solo with my son.
I removed the queen bed and put in two RV bunk-size mattresses. Then I put an accordion divider between the two beds.
I put some storage containers underneath the accordion divider to store cameras and laptops.
This has worked out great for us. We each have our own space and yet the divider can be opened so we can watch TV, which is on my side of the camper. It can also be removed in case of an emergency since our escape door is above our beds in the roof. I used velcro to put it up.
It took me one hour to complete this modification and cost me $20. In my opinion, the skill level of this modification is easy.
Transformation 3: Queen to Twins, and Back Again
Submitted by: Virgil Apilado, 2006 Chevy 2500, 2006 Lance 845
Above: The original queen bed and front cabinets in the Lance 845
My truck camper is a weekend warrior since we are still working full-time. We camp mostly during spring and fall closer to home. During winter, I used the truck camper with my hunting buddy since my wife does not hunt.
I did a major renovation in the overcab to suit me for camping with the wife or hunting with a buddy. First, the queen bed was discarded and the two corner cabinets were removed.
Above: Queen mattress removed. The corner cabinets were empty since day one, so they had to go.
Above: Front cabinets removed, empty cabover
Above: Two twin-bed configuration. Notice the reading light is relocated on the sidewall and the end table is in the middle.
Above: Zipped the two twin beds together. Notice the small end table is now moved to the side.
The two twin beds are configured when I go hunting with my buddy. We push the two twin beds together so that it is a queen bed when I go camping with my wife.
Check out other camper projects that TCM readers have completed in our Mod section.
Disclaimer: The modifications above are submitted by Truck Camper Magazine readers. It is your responsibility to make sure that any do-it-yourself modification project you undertake is safe, effective, and legal for your situation.