Here are 9 best DIY methods for converting a truck bed into a tent. We have also added ready-to-use truck tents and their prices along with this step-by-step guide.
How to Turn Your Truck Bed into a Tent? You can turn your truck bed into a tent by selecting a truck cap, add waterproof insulation, use adhesive tape, mount a roof rack, and add a power supply. It costs around $150 to make a truck tent at home.
It is an easy process and you can do this at home just by following all the guidelines.
How to Turn Your Truck Bed into a Tent?
In this article, we have added 9 proven steps to convert a truck into a tent. Before going int the details, let me explain the required things.
If you do not want to use DIY methods, you can buy a ready-to-use product.
- Nuts and bolts
- hammer drill
- Camper mounting tape
- Adhesive tape
Select a truck cap
Truck caps are enclosed unit, usually having a window and mounted on the truck bed’s top. It is also called a canopy.
First is the DCU truck cap that is extensively used for camping purposes.IT offers you interior aluminum framing. It also has side access doors.
These doors are not only excellent for ventilation but also provides a mesmerizing view of the outside.
Fiberglass products are another suitable option for this. These caps come in various styles and configurations.
These caps are usually made from fiberglass or aluminum. They also have different features like side windows or front windows and rooftop racks.
You can choose and purchase any of them depending upon your choice.
When you want to construct it in a low budget, buy a soft-top or tarp and PVC pipes. These PVC pipes are used to build an A-frame canopy.
Then the soft top or tap is used to cover it. Use clamps to keep them in place.
Use Waterproof materials
It is essential to make it waterproof. Otherwise, raindrops can make your camping difficult. You can use these methods to do it.
One is by using rubber leather stripping. Apply rubber stripping glue on the lid and stick it on the rubber stripping.
It will dry immediately, so adjust the equipment quickly. Carefully seal it using these guidelines.
You can also prime and paint to seal it properly. To close any leaky area, use RTV silicone and apply a thin bead in the leaky part. You can also turn your camper into a food truck.
Use adhesive tape
This step is performed before mounting the equipment on your pickup. First, spread the blanket out on the floor, and its size should be measured before starting this process.
Then put it upside down and place it on the blanket. Apply the adhesive insulation tape to cover the bottom of the product. You can use this when loading a refrigerator on a pickup truck.
This insulation tape is readily available at any store. While applying, make a smooth layer of tape all around the device.
Do not apply it on the rear hatch; otherwise, it will cause problems in opening and closing the tailgate. Carefully use it and use 2 to 3 layers of insulating tape. You can also use it on the door panels, this will help to repair a truck door that is not closing.
Secure the tent
Now you have to secure the cap in its place. To do this, you need to aluminum clamps and a machine to drill holes.
Sit on the back of the vehicle and apply clamps around the railing. They will hold them tightly in place.
Then take the machine and drill two to three holes, don’t worry if there are some other holes present in the cap.
When the vehicle is longer than 6 to 7ft, you have to drill 4 holes to secure it properly. Screw-in the nuts in each bolt and tighten them with the help of a screw tightener.
As we all know, the camper is for night stay at some awkward place where all the facilities are not available.
So to comfort us or sleep at a cozy bed, it is a necessary step. First, you need to remove the old bed liner present in the pickup.
Various automobiles have bed liners made of a solid material. It is rigid, and you cannot sleep on it. After removing it, clean the vehicle bed with some clean cloth. You can turn a half-ton pickup into a 3/4 ton and then add the cover.
It is necessary to estimate the length of the bed rug or cot. Mostly the automobile bed is more than 6ft long.
It can easily accommodate a 6ft bed cot in it. When you are using a bed rug, spread it correctly on the bed as it completely fits in the place. You can use Velcro to fix the bed rug in its place.
Setup electricity system
Setting up lights is an easy task, the first option is that you can take rechargeable LED lights with you.
You can fully charge it before leaving for camping. It diminishes the need for electricity in your vehicle. You can add solar panels on truck camper and get better results.
When you want to set up some system to lighten up the product and need some charging port, Take cords to connect electrical devices.
Take lights that use only 12 volts to get on. The lights should be waterproof. Then connect it to the power generating system of the pickup.
You can also connect your devices like smartphones and laptops for charging.
Add roof rack
After setting up all the necessities, we also need some space to put all our belongings. A roof rack is built for this purpose.
You can take any suitable metal and weld it together to construct a frame, then attach it at some proper place.
When your budget is high, you can make some additional arrangements like hanging curtains at the rear windows.
You can hang them using PVC pipes. It will give you protection from the sunlight.
Use Ready-to-use truck tents
When you do not want to make all the effort and construct it, other options are available. Different ready-to-use tents are available at the market.
You can purchase them depending upon your choice and need.
Milliard truck tent
It is the most widely used for camping in vehicles. Its length is 6.5ft, and because of its size, it can get fit in any vehicle like Toyota, Ford, Tundra, and Chevy Silverado.
It is made from ripstop grade material, and it is known for its durability.
It is equipped with an interior storage compartment and a hook where you can put all the things and hang the light.
Sportz truck tent
It is suitable for two people, and its floor is very cozy and comfortable. The unique feature of this is the rear panel that opens directly into the cab, and it makes it easy for you to enter the automobile without leaving the location.
It contains a rainfly that keeps the rain splashes out. There are about five to six feet of headroom, and you can easily sit into it.
Things to consider
The most important tip while constructing or buying is to consider the size. Measure both of them before starting.
You should also consider the material that is suitable for this product. Mostly tent caps are used and when you are using any plastic fiber or polyester fiber, take precautions about safety. Coat it with weather resistance material.
Wear all the safety tools like gloves and glasses before starting. Always construct or buy equipment with one or two windows for proper ventilation.
Otherwise, it can stale without the circulation of air. When you are camping in a warmer environment, then choose equipment with more vents.
An average truck tent construction cost approximately $100 to $200. It can also take sufficient time to complete it, but this is devoid of accessories.
Rightline gear tent costs $190 to $290 depending upon size. Napier Backroads tent costs $180.