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Survey Results: 2020 Dream Truck Survey

The fifth bi-annual Truck Camper Magazine Dream Truck Survey results are in.  With over 1,400-votes and a decade of trend data, one truck make, model, and configuration rules them all.  The long-term trend charts are equally compelling.

2020 Dream Truck Results Featured Image

The Truck Camper Magazine Dream Truck Survey has now been conducted five times; 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, and now 2019.  The purpose of the survey is to determine 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 information 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.

1. CURRENT TRUCK MAKE

For the fifth straight time, Ford dominates as the truck you currently own.  With a 39.49% result, Ford leaves the competition in the dust.

Even when we combine the two GM brands (Chevrolet and GMC) we only reach 28.66% – over 10 points behind Ford.  If anything, Ford is gaining traction with a 2.32-percent increase over the 2018 survey.

The rest of the pack is fairly consistent over the 10-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, faded in 2016 and 2018, and gained 1.68-percent for 2020.  Toyota dropped about 1.85% while Nissan, and Other (Fuso, Unimog, etc.) data is less than 1-percent different over the 10-year chart.

TRUCK MAKE20122014201620182020
Ford37.88%36.6%36.30%37.17%39.49%
Dodge RAM19.89%22.81%23.64%23.00%23.21%
Chevrolet23.30%18.83%18.11%18.51%18.33%
GMC6.44%10.48%9.62%8.68%10.33%
Toyota4.73%4.38%5.13%5.18%3.33%
Other: Fuso, Unimog, etc.0.76%1.06%0.88%0.84%0.71%
Nissan0.95%0.93%0.88%1.29%.078%
None, I do not own a truck.6.06%4.91%5.45%5.33%3.82%

2. CURRENT TRUCK MODEL

The relentless trend in truck models continues towards 1-ton trucks.  For each of the now five surveys, 1-ton trucks have gained as the truck model you own.  In contrast, 3/4-ton trucks dropped in 2016 , held that drop for 2018, and dropped again for 2020.

Mini trucks dropped just over 1-percent.  Half-tons dropped 1.8-percent.  In fact, 3/4-ton, Mini trucks and half-tons are both at all-time lows for this survey.  In contrast, 1-ton and larger trucks are at all-time highs.  As the manufacturers relentlessly chase the half-ton market, the consumer is consistently trending in the other direction.

TRUCK MODEL20122014201620182020
Mini: Ranger/Tacoma, etc.5.87%4.52%4.98%4.42%3.40%
Half-Ton: F-150/150016.48%15.29%15.66%16.09%14.26%
3/4 Ton: F-250/250031.82%33.24%28.67%28.53%26.74%
1-Ton: F-350/350037.5%38.43%41.85%42.79%47.59%
F-450/F-550/4500, etc.2.27%3.46%3.13%2.59%3.90%
None, I do not own a truck.6.06%5.05%5.70%5.57%4.11%

3. CURRENT TRUCK FUEL TYPE

Diesel still dominates.  In fact, diesel trucks gained 5.41-percent over 2018.  After six years of gas gains, gas trucks fell 3.95-percent.  Oh, and nobody yet owns an electric truck for their camper.  Not yet.

FUEL TYPE20122014201620182020
Diesel48.57%55.56%53.99%50.96%56.37%
Gas45.7%39.49%40.37%43.61%39.66%
ElectricN/AN/AN/AN/A0%
None, I do not own a truck.5.73%4.95%5.64%5.43%3.97%

4. CURRENT CAB TYPE

Once again, regular cabs and extended cabs are down, and crew cabs are up.  This follows the same trend we covered in 2018.

Readers had asked us for years to add Ram Mega Cabs to the survey and we finally did for 2020.  The 1.34-percent response was below our expectations, but the facts are the facts.

CAB TYPE20122014201620182020
Crew Cab: Four Doors35.65%54.95%54.42%56.25%61.64%
Ram Mega CabN/AN/AN/AN/A1.34%
Extended Cab: Half Doors35.65%31.68%31.35%30.70%26.96%
Regular Cab12.52%8.16%8.52%7.29%6.02%
None, I do not own a truck.6.36%5.21%5.71%5.76%4.03%

5. CURRENT TRUCK BED TYPE

This chart remains virtually unchanged for 2020.  Long beds dominate in the low 50s, short beds held strong in the mid-30s, super-short beds remain a minority around 4-percent, and everything else is a fraction.

However small, the percentage of flatbed owners is on the rise.  At just 2.34-percent, it’s not significant enough to interest the industry, but it’s moving up.

TRUCK BED TYPE20122014201620182020
Long Bed60.34%56.12%55.96%52.21%52.77%
Short Bed32.45%32.98%33.87%35.65%35.60%
Super Short BedN/A3.99%3.20%3.97%4.04%
Custom Storage Bed0%1.06%0.80%0.76%1.06%
Flatbed0.76%0.93%0.56%1.68%2.34%
None, I do not own a truck.6.26%4.92%5.60%5.73%4.18%

6. CURRENT TRANSMISSION TYPE

The consistent trend in transmission type continues to be toward automatic transmissions.

TRANSMISSION TYPE20122014201620182020
Automatic Transmission81.59%83.9%86.17%86.54%88.67%
Manual Transmission12.02%11.23%8.5%7.95%7.44%
None, I do not own a truck.6.4%4.87%5.34%5.50%3.90%

7. CURRENT DRIVELINE TYPE

Four-wheel drive absolutely dominates at 84.48-percent.  Only 11.6% now own a two-wheel drive truck.

DRIVELINE TYPE20122014201620182020
Four-Wheel Drive: 4×476.63%79.78%77.42%81.06%84.48%
Two-Wheel Drive: 4×217.43%15.23%16.94%13.50%11.60%
None, I do not own a truck.5.94%4.99%5.65%5.44%3.91%

8. CURRENT REAR WHEEL CONFIGURATION

This is a real horse race!  Single-rear wheel trucks have always outnumbered dual-rear wheel trucks, but the data points to a real up and down battle.

For 2020, dual-rear wheels hit an all-time high of 29.19-percent.  If this trend continues, maybe we’ll have a full third of truck campers driving on dual-rear wheels in 2022.

REAR WHEEL CONFIGURATION20122014201620182020
Single Rear Wheel: SRW70.1%68.23%66.35%68.50%66.83%
Dual Rear Wheel: DRW23.81%27.08%28.04%26.09%29.19%
None, I do not own a truck.6.1%4.69%5.61%5.42%3.98%

Next: The 2020 Dream Truck Winner and Truck Survey Results

1. DREAM TRUCK MAKE

Ford not only ran away with the dream truck make category, Ford hit an all-time high with over 44-percent wanting a blue oval.  This gain came at the expense of every other brand – except Ram.  Ram gained 0.39-percent for 2020.

DREAM TRUCK MAKE20122014201620182020
Ford42.31%37.68%40.18%40.89%44.06%
Dodge Ram22.31%24.23%26.30%24.73%25.12%
Chevrolet20.38%16.78%14.92%15.39%14.52%
GMC8.08%13.72%11.31%11.79%11.03%
Toyota3.65%2.93%3.93%4.13%2.56%
Other: Fuso, Unimog, etc.3.27%4.39%2.89%2.37%2.56%
Nissan0%0.27%0.48%0.69%0.14%

2. DREAM TRUCK MODEL

Once again, Mini trucks cease to be a major factor with a mere 1.91-percent of the dream truck nod.  Only in 2012 did Mini trucks break 2-percent, a surprise given the recent improvement in trucks for this category.

Half-ton trucks are now at an all-time low in the dream truck rankings.  Only 2.76-percent of our readers dream of a half-ton for their truck camper.  Worse, half-tons have faded each and every year we have held the survey.

Three-quarter tons fell dramatically in the dream truck results with a 3.6-percent drop.  This helps explain the upticks in 1-ton and larger truck data.  The message here is clear; we want bigger trucks, and more payload.

TRUCK MODEL20122014201620182020
Mini: Ranger/Tacoma, etc.2.31%1.60%1.67%1.45%1.91%
Half-Ton: F-150/15004.42%4.39%4.22%3.67%2.76%
3/4 Ton: F-250/250016.35%15.56%14.80%15.14%11.54%
1-Ton: F-350/350052.69%49.34%55.93%55.50%57.89%
F-450/F-550/4500, etc.24.23%29.12%23.39%24.24%25.90%

3. DREAM TRUCK FUEL TYPE

Diesel got clobbered with a massive drop in the dream truck category.  Most of this is likely from the inclusion of the new electric fuel type option added to the survey this year.  How many people dream of an electric truck for their truck camper?  4.38-percent.  We expect that to rise as electric trucks become available.

Gas trucks continued to gain with a sixth-straight, survey-over-survey increase.  Gas is still less than one-third in the dream truck results, but the trend is remarkably steady.

FUEL TYPE20122014201620182020
Diesel78.99%77.27%75.26%72.18%63.58%
Gas21.01%22.73%24.74%27.82%32.04%
ElectricN/AN/AN/AN/A4.38%

4. DREAM CAB TYPE

Ram Mega Cabs were just 1.34-percent of the trucks we own, but a full 3.4-percent of the trucks we want.  Maybe the Mega Cab has some legs.  We’ll see in 2022.

Crew cabs are holding steady with only a few-tenths difference from 2018.  Extended cabs fell 4.74-percentage points to a record-low and Regular cabs continued their oscillation around 2 to 4-percent.

CAB TYPE20122014201620182020
Ram Mega CabN/AN/AN/AN/A3.4%
Crew Cab: Four Doors65.32%70.17%68.72%68.23%68.58%
Extended Cab: Half Doors30.25%26.23%28.72%29.55%24.82%
Regular Cab4.43%3.60%2.56%2.23%3.19%

5. DREAM TRUCK BED TYPE

It blows our minds that the dream truck bed numbers could be so consistent after two full years.  We’re talking tenths of a difference here in every category from 2018.

And for all the interest in custom storage beds and flatbeds – year after year – we just don’t see the results in the trucks we own.  Perhaps all we do is dream about custom storage beds and flatbeds.  We see them out there, but nowhere near the 20-percent of the market this survey shows us dreaming of.

TRUCK BED TYPE20122014201620182020
Long Bed62.33%56.31%60.99%53.59%54.17%
Short Bed17.59%22.58%20.62%24.92%24.86%
Super Short BedN/A0.66%0.48%0.76%0.92%
Custom Storage Bed14.72%15.54%13.69%14.91%14.12%
Flatbed5.35%5.35%4.22%5.81%5.93%

6. DREAM TRANSMISSION TYPE

This trend data could not be more consistent.  Overall, readers clearly want automatic transmissions.

TRANSMISSION TYPE20122014201620182020
Automatic Transmission82.49%86.96%88.23%88.73%90.48%
Manual Transmission17.51%13.04%11.77%11.27%9.52%

7. DREAM DRIVELINE TYPE

The ‘Go Anywhere, Camp Anywhere’ spirit of truck camping almost necessitates four-wheel drive.  Once again, four-wheel drive destroyed tw0-wheel drive with an incredible 94.96-percent of the dream truck nod.  This one is an eclipse.

DRIVELINE TYPE20122014201620182020
Four-Wheel Drive: 4×492.12%92.15%92.49%93.42%94.96%
Two-Wheel Drive: 4×27.88%7.85%7.51%6.58%5.04%

8. DREAM REAR WHEEL CONFIGURATION

No surprise, rear wheel configuration is an all-out tug of war!  This year the pendulum swings back towards dual-rear wheels with almost 51-percent.  Look at the data below and see the sentiments go back and forth every two-years.

Keep in mind that only two categories of trucks (1-Ton: F-350/3500 and F-450/F-550/4500, etc.) are available as single rear wheel or dual rear wheel trucks.  The other categories are only available as single rear wheel trucks.

REAR WHEEL CONFIGURATION20122014201620182020
Single Rear Wheel: SRW48.85%52.25%50.16%52.37%49.04%
Dual Rear Wheel: DRW51.15%47.75%49.84%47.63%50.96%

And the 2020 Dream Truck Survey Winner Is…

2020 Ford F350 Diesel, Crew Cab, Long Bed, Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive, Dual Rear Wheel

If you’re researching a truck purchase for a truck camper rig, please start by reading our Newbie Corner.  Specifically, read “The Best Truck Camper“, “Picking the Perfect Truck Camper“, and “Matching A Truck and Camper“.

 

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