How To Build A Lightweight Truck Camper

If you are looking for the answer to the question. “how to build a lightweight truck camper?” Just keep reading cause you are at the right place.

List Of The Materials You Need To Construct Your Camper Truck

You’ll need the following items to construct a rudimentary truck camper frame:

  • The structural wood in the form of 2×4’s or 2×2’s, or aluminum framing
  • Foamboard or batting insulation
  • Exterior siding (Vinyl or PVC is lightest)
  • Plywood
  • Nails, screws, brackets, and construction adhesive are all required for installation. Silicone caulk is also necessary
  • Metal foil or rubber sheeting for roof
  • Trim to finish off siding and roof junctures
  • RV specific door and windows

You are free to add anything else to the truck camper once you have completed it.

Step Wise Guide To Construct Your Light Weight Camper Truck

Step 1: Create the Truck Camper Design

Make a list of the dimensions of your truck bed and the sort and size of the camper shell you wish to make.

Use this drawing to create your framing plan, which will show you how much wood you’ll need and where you’ll need to add support at points of stress.

Don’t forget to include windows for light and cross ventilation, but a camper with only a door will have fewer water issues.

Is the camper fixed to the truck bed? If it is, make sure there’s enough space for lift jacks by extending the framing over the truck bed. If you plan to add electrical wiring or plumbing, sketch out where they go within the framing.

Step 2: Cut and Build the Truck Camper Frame

Because it is readily available and less expensive, most people build their truck camper with 2×2 or 2×4 wood. Aluminum framing is durable, lightweight, and does not decay over time.

Increasing the number of 2x4s used in your design increases weight, but it also allows you to insulate more if you want to camp in chilly climates.

If you build your frame inside the truck bed, any mistakes with a poor fit that may occur if you build it free-standing are prevented.

Clamps are useful for keeping the studs in place until you can connect them. Remember to include framing for the door and any window openings.

TIP: Vibrations from the road are more damaging to RV components than you may realize. To make a stronger connection using only screws or nails, apply construction adhesive between joints wherever feasible.

Step 3. Plywood Should Be Used To Cover The Truck Camper Frame.

Then, to solidify the structure, cover the frame with 1/4 inch plywood.

Thicker plywood is more durable, but you’ll have to ensure that your vehicle can bear the extra load.

Use at least 3/4-inch plywood for flooring since it must support furniture and people’s weight when off the truck bed.

Use a lot of construction adhesive where the wood meets the wood to improve the strength.

Step 4. Lay in Any Plumbing or Electrical Lines

Now is the time to install your wiring, terminations, or outlets if you’re adding electricity or water to your truck camper.

You may either drill through 2x4s to make room for PEX water lines and electrical wiring or choose to run them over 2×2 framing near the ceiling or floor, creating secure covers to conceal them later on.

If you only intend to camp where there is shore power and want an exterior power cord with a plug that can be used with a regular 30-volt RV outlet, you may install a residential-style breaker box.

Plumbing is doable as long as you think about how you’ll drain grey or black tanks (by hose or by removal and manual dumping). Consider how you’ll drain grey or black tanks (by hose or by removal and manual dumping) so that users may access them.

how to build a lightweight truck camper

Step 5. Insulate Truck Camper Ceiling and Walls

Insulation is a must-have for both climatic and sound purposes.

Fortunately, advances in insulation technology have allowed manufacturers to develop even thin and flimsy foam boards with excellent R-values.

Bats may require fiberglass batting insulation to surround pipes or fit into odd areas.

If you have the means, consider insulating the floor as well. Keeping your feet warm when it’s cold is a plus.

Step 6. Finish the Truck Camper Interior Walls

The ceiling, walls, and floor may all be left unfinished or covered in a thin luan paneling or other light covering for a pleasant surface.

TIP: Sketch each wall with the dimensions of the studs and electrical or plumbing pipes. You’ll know where it’s safe to nail or screw stuff down later when you cover the walls.

Step 7. Finish Interior Amenities

Create a list of everything you might want to use in your interior design project and place it on the wall. Attach or construct cabinets, bed frames, lights, counters, or seating in your design plan.

Finally, to eliminate any gaps, use super-flexible paintable caulk to seal up any cracks. After the caulk has cured, paint the inside.

Your camper is now ready for a mattress and any decorations you wish to add.

Step 8. Finish Truck Camper Exterior

Cover the roof with aluminum or rubber sheeting. This material is widely available and can be bent to any arches or angles on the roof profile without difficulty.

To prevent the siding from flying off at high speeds, fasten it to the plywood.

Sheets of gel-coat fiberglass used for RV exteriors with a two-part glue that forms a tight bond are often employed in DIY truck campers.

RV-specific windows and doors are thinner in depth to fit into slim walls and can withstand the impact of road bumps and vibrations.

Use plenty of adhesive on the roof and siding materials, then finish with a high-quality water-resistant silicone sealant to prevent water from entering anywhere you see openings.

Step 9. Installation of a Truck Camper Lift Jack

Now is the time to install the lift jack and accessories for a removable truck camper.

Rieco-Titan and Happijac Jacks both have a variety of manual or power jack systems for truck campers.

The Stable-Lift Two Jack System is a one-piece component that combines the tie-down, turnbuckle, and jack systems. The usefulness of this product is unquestionably appealing, but it isn’t particularly attractive.

Whatever brand and type you pick, follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions carefully to ensure success.

Before you set out on your first camping trip in your new custom truck camper, ensure that the lift jacks are in working order by giving them a few practice runs!

Final Thoughts

As a proud owner of an RV with numerous custom modifications, I understand that having a recreational vehicle precisely suited to your needs improves the camping experience.