Truck Bed Tent?

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BCJohn

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Boulder Creek, CA, USA
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Anyone use a truck bed tent? I'm starting out and don't have the $$ for a RTT. Have a ground tent. I like the idea of being off the ground - but I expect the issue will be removing the gear. My truck is also my daily driver, so I have to keep it versitle. Thoughts?
 

Plasmajab

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When I had my f150, I used the kodiak canvas bed tent. Strong. Worked well. Relatively expensive tho.

http://www.kodiakcanvas.com/canvas-truck-tent-mid-sized/

This size should fit yours. Works pretty dang good. When its time to go back to work, the main rails stay in the bed for next time.

This tent does not have a floor. So after the first set up when you put the side rails in you dont have to worry about it. Leave the bag by the tailgate, pop the tailgate open and pull it out and then set it up on top. You can leave the kit inside.
 
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Pecci

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I had one and it worked out pretty well. As you said the only draw back is you have to empty out the bed of the truck to use it, or at least mine since it had a floor. On multiple days the tent I had could be lifted out of the truck and set on the ground if I wanted to use the truck and still maintain my camping site. But in the end it was easier to use a ground tent and keep things not being used stowed in the bed of the truck.
 

Pathfinder I

I've only used mine a few times, around here ruffing it means no room service. No floor is important, you don't need to empty the bed to set up. Takes 5-10 minutes to set up, a few more to add a rain fly. It keeps the weather out, I sleep OK in the 6 ft bed. Draw back is you need to take it down to use the truck. I got mine as a open box new from Amazon for $130 or $50 off.

They have several sizes for different bed depths and lengths.

Rightline Gear 110761 6 Foot Mid Size Long Truck Tent
 

Biker Eagle

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Try finding a used aluminum camper cap for your truck. Bel-Air in Cal. makes new ones that start at $549. With a camper shell you still can use your pickup bed during the week and on weekends just throw a Thermarest and sleeping bag in the back.

My 1st truck was a 1974 Toyota HiLux with a camper shell. My MIL sewed curtains for it and my FIL made a bed platform for it, and we stored our Coleman stove, cookset, ice chest, and duffel bags underneath the platform. We camped this way for several years until our first daughter was born and we moved on to a popup. But to this day, our favorite trips to Colorado and Utah were in that Toyota Hilux with a camper shell.
 
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BCJohn

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Traveler I

271
Boulder Creek, CA, USA
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17125

XqfA9yU2SVGWOwRUp96Opg.jpg Got a tent, Rightline (based on reviews). Fitted it to the truck and seems to go on well and quickly. It looks a little wonky because I didn't take my folding tonneau off. I also built a platform for sleeping. Yea, it's a low budget set up, but will get me out quickly and I'll build as I go. I'm focused on building my base camp setup. hNqAqOlWQTeQ1w44b7+xww.jpg
 

FrontyFrank

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Looks great! Planning on a similar set up. I might make a set of drawers/truck vault for the bed on mine. I thought about a cap for the bed, but it's a 5ft bed and I'm 6'1".
 

Utilityman

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Albuquerque NM
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I had a truck bed tent when i had my 03 Tacoma. It was AMAZING getting off the ground. The only thing that was frustrating was unloading nearly everything to get the tent set up and us into the bed of the truck.

I only mention this because you expressed this concern in your comment.

The Gazelle T4 seems to be pretty popular. I can't wait to use mine. Come on spring!!!
 

BCJohn

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Traveler I

271
Boulder Creek, CA, USA
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17125

I had a truck bed tent when i had my 03 Tacoma. It was AMAZING getting off the ground. The only thing that was frustrating was unloading nearly everything to get the tent set up and us into the bed of the truck.

I only mention this because you expressed this concern in your comment.

The Gazelle T4 seems to be pretty popular. I can't wait to use mine. Come on spring!!!
Agreed. The Rightline doesn't have a bottom, so you don't need to remove everything to set up. With the platform, I built I have storage underneath. Its a compromise for sure, but much cheaper than at RTT. Maybe one day...
 

Utilityman

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Albuquerque NM
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Agreed. The Rightline doesn't have a bottom, so you don't need to remove everything to set up. With the platform, I built I have storage underneath. Its a compromise for sure, but much cheaper than at RTT. Maybe one day...

The platform is a great idea! Can't wait to see what to see some trip pics!
 
Last edited:

Cdaug

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Austin, TX
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View attachment 80462 Got a tent, Rightline (based on reviews). Fitted it to the truck and seems to go on well and quickly. It looks a little wonky because I didn't take my folding tonneau off. I also built a platform for sleeping. Yea, it's a low budget set up, but will get me out quickly and I'll build as I go. I'm focused on building my base camp setup. View attachment 80464
We have a really similar setup! Combination of the sleeping platform you built (almost exactly the same, less than $80 in plywood) with a $200 camper shell. We leave the shell on all the time, the platform is a few pieces and can be taken out if needed. So we can sleep on top and have a few under-bed storage bins that fit nicely under the platform (Tacoma bed has a daily about 8-9" off the bottom). Nothing to set up or take down, just hop in the front and drive off! Definitely less vertical room in mine than yours.. but in the 6 foot bed, we fit me (6-3), girlfriend, and pup.
20171002_193612.jpeg
 

BCJohn

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Traveler I

271
Boulder Creek, CA, USA
Member #

17125

We have a really similar setup! Combination of the sleeping platform you built (almost exactly the same, less than $80 in plywood) with a $200 camper shell. We leave the shell on all the time, the platform is a few pieces and can be taken out if needed. So we can sleep on top and have a few under-bed storage bins that fit nicely under the platform (Tacoma bed has a daily about 8-9" off the bottom). Nothing to set up or take down, just hop in the front and drive off! Definitely less vertical room in mine than yours.. but in the 6 foot bed, we fit me (6-3), girlfriend, and pup.
View attachment 82264
Looks great! I've been thinking about a camper shell... might add it to the wish list!
 

Cdaug

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Austin, TX
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14387

Looks great! I've been thinking about a camper shell... might add it to the wish list!
Cab height camper shell with the sleeping platform is just enough for us. The mattress on it is "cozy" and just enough room to roll over, but I wouldn't call it spacious by any means. About enough to lean up on your elbows. Without the platform, maybe with a foldable foam mattress cut around the wheel wells, enough headroom to sit up if that's what you need. There are also options for camper shells with a few more inches of height like the ARE MX or TW models (usually lower MPG and less available used).