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Survey Results: 2018 Dream Truck Survey

The fourth bi-annual Truck Camper Magazine Dream Truck Survey results are in.  With over 5,000 votes and eight years of trend data, one truck make, model, and configuration rules them all.  The eight year trend charts are equally compelling.

2018 Dream Truck Survey Results

This exact Dream Truck Survey has been conducted in 2011, 2013, 2015, and now 2017.  The purpose of the survey is to find out what trucks Truck Camper Magazine readers have, and what trucks they want.  This information helps the truck camper industry and the consumer to be on the same page regarding truck preferences.

For the truck camper industry, this allows management teams to design and produce campers that are size and weight compatible with the most popular truck configurations.  For consumers, this information allows you to benchmark personal truck preferences against the community, and better understand the truck camper marketplace.

This year we asked participants to strongly consider their wallet.  It’s not as informative to find out what your dream truck would be if that’s not the truck you would actually purchase.  For example, I want a Porsche 911 GT3 RS, but I bought a VW GTI.  One costs under $27K, the other $143,600.  Enough said.

Did this perspective change the survey results?  Is your dream truck different than the truck you would actually purchase?  We’ll dig into the data, study the trends, and find out.


For the fourth straight time, Ford dominates as the truck you currently own.  With a 37.17% result, Ford leaves the competition far behind.  Even when we combine the two GM brands (Chevrolet and GMC) we only reach 27.19% – 10 percentage points behind Ford.

The rest of the pack is fairly consistent over the eight year data points.  2014 saw the biggest changes.  RAM gained in 2014 and has held that gain.  Chevrolet dropped in 2014 and has held that drop.  GMC gained in 2014, and has seen that gain fade in the 2016 and now 2018 surveys.  Toyota, Nissan, and Other (Fuso, Unimog, etc.) data are less than 1-percent different over the eight year chart.

TRUCK MAKE2012201420162018
Dodge Ram19.89%22.81%23.64%23.00%
Other: Fuso, Unimog, etc.0.76%1.06%0.88%0.84%
None, I do not own a truck.6.06%4.91%5.45%5.33%


The trend in truck model is towards 1-ton trucks.  For each of the four surveys, 1-ton trucks have gained as the truck model you own.  In contrast, 3/4 ton trucks dropped in 2016 and held that drop for 2018.

The Mini, Half-Ton, and F-450/F-550 categories stayed consistent.  With the rise in popularity of half-ton compatible truck campers we expected to see an increase in half-tons in particular, but the data shows a gain of less than half a percentage point (15.66% to 16.09%).

TRUCK MODEL2012201420162018
Mini: Ranger/Tacoma, etc.5.87%4.52%4.98%4.42%
Half-Ton: F-150/150016.48%15.29%15.66%16.09%
3/4 Ton: F-250/250031.82%33.24%28.67%28.53%
1-Ton: F-350/350037.5%38.43%41.85%42.79%
F-450/F-550/4500, etc.2.27%3.46%3.13%2.59%
None, I do not own a truck.6.06%5.05%5.70%5.57%


With six years of trend data showing gains, we can declare that gas trucks are making headway against diesel trucks.  Diesel still dominates, but we might see gas overtake diesel for the 2020 Dream Truck Survey.  What’s interesting is how his data does not reflect what people answered for their 2018 Dream Truck responses.  Do we want diesel trucks, but buy gas trucks?  I think a future Question of the Week is needed here.

FUEL TYPE2012201420162018
None, I do not own a truck.5.73%4.95%5.64%5.43%


Once again, regular cabs and extended cabs are down, and crew cabs are up.  This trend could be the result of availability.  When we bought our 2013 Chevy 3500, an extended cab was not available in our preferred configuration.  The same was true when we bought our 2014 RAM 3500.  Whatever the reason, crew cabs dominate this result.

CAB TYPE2012201420162018
Crew Cab: Four Doors35.65%54.95%54.42%56.25%
Extended Cab: Half Doors35.65%31.68%31.35%30.70%
Regular Cab12.52%8.16%8.52%7.29%
None, I do not own a truck.6.36%5.21%5.71%5.76%


While long beds continue to be the majority (52.21%), short beds continue to gain.  When you add the short bed and super short bed categories together, you get 39.62%.  That’s up 6.82% from 2016.  Custom storage beds remain under 1%, a number that becomes very interesting when we see the 2018 Dream Truck data.

The big news is the nearly 200% increase in flatbeds.  This would be even more exciting if flatbeds weren’t just 1.68% of the total, but the one year flatbed trend sure is impressive.

TRUCK BED TYPE2012201420162018
Long Bed60.34%56.12%55.96%52.21%
Short Bed32.45%32.98%33.87%35.65%
Super Short BedN/A3.99%3.20%3.97%
Custom Storage Bed0%1.06%0.80%0.76%
None, I do not own a truck.6.26%4.92%5.60%5.73%


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