33 Truck Campers For Toyota Tacomas(No Popups)

Hard-Sided Campers For Toyota Tacomas and Other Mid-Sized Trucks

Due to the increased popularity of mid-sized trucks such as the Toyota Slide in Toyota Tacoma Truck Campers and other mid-sized pickup truck campers.Tacoma, there is a high demand for lightweight short bed slide-in campers in today’s market. I’ve written about the elusive Tacoma camper before and how difficult it is to find campers for Toyota Tacoma’s. Along with all of the frustrations that come with searching for a short bed pick up truck camper, or even a lightweight truck camper that will fit a Toyota Tacoma. You can’t just type in campers for Toyota Tacoma’s on craigslist and sort through the choices. 

Thats not a thing. So, if you’re looking for a used lightweight slide-in camper for Toyota Tacomas, you have to gear up for a lengthy research session. One that could span days, weeks, and even months before tracking down a pickup truck camper that will fit your mid-sized truck.  

Other Tacoma Truck Camper Articles

  1. When looking at buying a camper I needed a lightweight truck camper that would fit my Toyota Tacoma. I also had to beef up my suspension with air bags, and add a front receiver hitch for more storage options. Buying a camper is not a split decision, and hopefully this buying a camper guide will answer all of your camper buying questions. WWW.AOWANDERS.COM
  2. Cabover campers are wonderfully versatile & and extremely adaptable. But when trying to find a truck camper for a toyota tacoma its easier said than done. Because its a 1/4 ton truck this creates a variety of challenges from weight to dimensions. This last summer I spent almost 2months trying to find a truck camper that could fit my toyota tacoma until finally I realized I could just modify any cabover camper by cutting the corner so it would fit in between wheel wells. Want to learn how I did it check out my post on aowanders.com
  3. When you don't want to spend thousands on happijac tie downs & cant afford torklft frame mounted tie downs then visit aowanders.com. I made my cabover camper tie downs in less than 30 minutes for less than $15 a piece and all you need to assemble them is a pliers.

But, regardless of why your searching for a hard-sided truck camper, I’ve compiled a list of 33 campers for Toyota Tacomas that will let you take full advantage of an outdoor lifestyle and save you a massive amount of research time.  

This ultimate list of campers for Toyota Tacomas are a sleek ultralight design versatile enough to fit a variety of mid-sized trucks, and my list of Tacoma Truck campers range in price from $3,000 to $40,000. Weighing as little as 750 pounds, and up to 2,100 pounds dry weight. Depending on the year, make, and model could have an aluminum or fiberboard exterior. These Tacoma campers come fully equipped with a full-size kitchen, bed, bath, and double dinette. Along with a host of exclusive truck camper accessories and amenities you can’t find on any other pick up truck campers. Like the outdoor gear closet on the Livin Lite 6.8 ultralight camper.  

So if you are in the market for a lightweight short bed camper for a mid-sized truck like a Toyota Tacoma, let me help you navigate your choices. Below are 17 truck camper manufacturers and their 33 models of hard-sided full-sized 4-season cabover pick up truck campers that will fit any Toyota Tacoma.

Truck Camper ManufacturerToyota TacomaNissan FrontierDodge DakotaChevy S10Ford Ranger
Travel Lite Campers
770 RXX
770 SLXX
Lance Campers
Cirrus Campers
Kimbo CampersXX
Palomino Campers
Sun-Lite Camper
Livin Lite Campers
Forest River Campers
Northern Lite Campers
Bigfoot Camper
Scout Yoho CamperXX
RV Direct Camper
Northstar Liberty CamperXX
Alaskan Cabover
Capri Campers
Adventurer Campers
**SL=Super Light, R=Rear, FD=Forward Dining, HS=Hard Sided, RB=Rear Bath, FB=Forward Bath, RBS=Rear Bath Slide, SB=Short Bed, DB=Dry Bath**
***Some of these truck camper models will require larger suspension, truck frame extension and/or camper modifications to fit your mid-size truck***

Most of these small, lightweight truck campers will also fit any Nissan Frontier, Dodge Dakota, Chevy S10, and Ford Ranger mid-sized trucks with a few modifications to your suspension, frame, and/or camper.  

33 Truck Campers For Toyota Tacomas(No Popups) Outdoor Adventure RV Travel Blog AOWANDERS Travel Blog
Firestone Airbag Suspension Kits
  • Quick, Easy Installation
  • Heavy Duty
  • Increase Payload Capacity

Tacoma’s popularity is growing with outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy traveling, and the most reliable, rugged, heavy-duty mid-sized truck on the market today.  

Forcing truck camper manufacturers to take notice of the increasing demand for short bed slide-in truck campers. Creating more choices than the usual 5 best small truck campers we are used to seeing at RV shows and Overlanding expos. So, let’s take a look at the 33 lightweight slide-in campers designed for Toyota Tacomas and their mid-sized truck counterparts.

Travel Lite Truck Camper Models That Fit A Toyota Tacoma – 590, 610R, 610SL, 625SL, 690FD, 700SL, 770R, and 770SL

First up are the Travel Lite truck campers. There are eight different Travel Lite truck camper models you can choose from to fit a Tacoma. The 590, 610R, 610SL, 625SL, and 690FD are cabover campers that will fit your Tacoma and other mid-sized trucks without any vehicle or truck camper modifications.  

Meanwhile, the 700SL, 770R, and 770SL truck camper models will require modifications to fit your truck because of how spacious these campers are. 

Depending on the camper model you choose, you will have to upgrade your suspension, and in most cases, an airbag suspension system from Firestone will be adequate enough.  

33 Truck Campers For Toyota Tacomas(No Popups) Outdoor Adventure RV Travel Blog AOWANDERS Travel Blog
Firestone Airbag Suspension
  • Quick, Easy Installation
  • Heavy-Duty
  • Increased Payload Capacity

In other cases, you will have to cut the corner of the truck camper to fit in between the wheel wells, as I discussed in my other Tacoma camper article. Or you can always pull off your truck bed box and install a flatbed system to carry your new truck camper.  

These spacious small campers from Travel Lite are big enough for two people and come with amenities like a porta-potty, refrigerator, bed, pantry, and table. 

Travel Lite’s lightweight short bed camper models are somewhere around 1,285 pounds except for the smaller 590, which is only 1,120 pounds. Except for the 5’9″ floor length of the 590 cabover model, the 610R, 610SL, 625SL, and 690FD are all at least 6’2.5″ and no more than 6’9″.

The slightly bigger models like the 700SL, 770R, and 770SL would need to be modified to fit a Tacoma or any other mid-sized truck, but the extra work and the higher price tags they come with make it worthwhile because of how spacious and more luxurious they are. Not to mention they come with a full-sized bathroom.  

The 700SL may be smaller than the 690FD, but the 770R and 770SL camper models are slightly longer and wider. This will require you to shave a corner of the truck camper to fit between the wheel wells of your truck bed box. The spacious designs of the 770 also come equipped with extra amenities like a sunroof and a full-sized bathroom with a stand-up shower.  

Travel Lite truck campers can be purchased from dealerships around the country for about $15,000. Some dealerships have them as low as $10,000, and I’ve spotted a few on craigslist for $8,000.

Lance Truck Camper 650 Is Designed Specifically For Toyota Tacomas

The 650 is the culmination of Lance Camper’s experiments when it comes to smaller hard-sided campers that will actually fit mid-sized trucks such as the Toyota Tacoma. The design of the Tacoma camper Lance 650 allows it to fit a smaller type of truck bed and weighs in at about half a ton(1,000 pounds).  

What’s great about the floor plan of the Lance Truck Camper 650 is that it’s well-balanced between the bedroom and the living room space. 

This well thought out floorplan includes a full bathroom in the spacious design. Making it the most premier camper for Tacoma’s on the market today. Lance Campers did well with the 650 as they made a small and comfy camper that fits quite well with mid-sized trucks and comes equipped with all of the accessories truck camper owners are used to seeing.  

Cirrus Truck Camper 620 and 670 Will Fit Your Toyota Tacoma

The Cirrus Truck Camper 670 is yet to be revealed to the public as it will be available in 2021, but there is also news about a 620 camper model reported to fit half-ton trucks such as the Toyota Tacoma. Meaning it will be one of the smaller campers in the Cirrus line of products, but the demand for small hard-sided campers comes with big rewards.

Meanwhile, the 670 is a newer model that has only been around for two years. The frame is made with aluminum and comes with a sleek and spacious interior that has a total length of nearly 15′. The bedroom looks more luxurious than most other campers on the market, and the bathroom is beyond reproach. The most impressive thing about the Cirrus 620 truck camper is the vast amount of storage created from transformer furniture.  

Although the Cirrus 620 truck camper isn’t on the market yet, expect to find a price tag of $25,000-$30,000.  

Palomino Truck Campers 6601, 650, 690, and 750 Fit The Toyota Tacoma Perfectly

The Palomino Truck Camper 6601 is one of the bigger campers that will fit Travel lite truck campers for Toyota Tacomasyour Tacoma. It has an astonishing length of nearly 17′ and a weight of more than 2000 pounds. It can accommodate three people and still fit mid-sized trucks despite its size. I would highly recommend an airbag suspension upgrade, at the very least.  

Meanwhile, the 650 is nearly as big but is lighter and more compact than the 6601. Still sleeps two people and comes with a standard floor plan of most truck campers. The 690, while being more compact, is built just as heavy-duty as the 650 so that it feels and looks sturdier. Still, it can sleep two people and is excellent for those who want a camper without the need to modify their mid-sized trucks.

Finally, the 750 is slightly smaller than the 6601 but requires you to modify your Tacoma or mid-sized truck for it to fit within your truck bed. It is more than 16′ feet long and weighs nearly 1900 pounds. Which means you are going to need a suspension upgrade. I used the fireside airbag system for my Toyota Tacoma. 

Sun-Lite 690 Was My First Tacoma Truck Camper

One of the older models of campers on this list, the Sun-Lite 690, was the first truck camper I put on my Toyota Tacoma. It’s a compact, hard-sided camper that will surely fit your mid-sized truck but actually requires you to modify it to fit between the wheel wells. 

Check out this popular Tacoma Truck Camper article on how I did that

Despite its age and modification requirement, the Sun-Lite 690 is a heavy-duty cabover camper that will fit your Toyota Tacoma and costs less than $3,000.

Although I added a bathroom, 3-stage water filtration system, solar power, roof cargo boxes, and a makeshift office, the Sun-Lite 690 truck camper only has a 6’6″ floor plan. Making it one of the smallest footprints on this list, but still comes equipped with a kitchen, side dinette, and cabover bed. This one should be best for those who are solo campers because it might only be enough space for one single person, and its storage options will leave you a bit envious.  

Livin’ Lite Camplite 6.8 Truck Camper Is The Most Heavy-DUTY Toyota Tacoma Slide-In Camper Available

The Camplite 6.8 with an all-aluminum designed frame is easily one of the top truck campers on the market today. Some unique feature exclusive to the Camplite brand is its massive outdoor gear closet, spacious kitchen, and over-sized wardrobe closets. And what I really like about the Camplite 6.8 is the heavy-duty design it displays both on it’s interior and exterior. With every corner being protected by an aluminum guard.  

Truck bed camping with a Toyota Tacoma

The Camplite 6.8 also comes with one of the best kitchens you can find in a small camper, the most versatile dinette, and a conveniently located fridge. Allowing you to quickly grab a snack at night from a fridge that doens’t take up valuable real estate inside your pickup truck camper.  

Before I move on to more campers for Toyota Tacomas, the most significant thing about the Camplite 6.8 model is its high resale value and the potential life span of 60 or more years. Because of its all-aluminum design.  

Expect to spend around $12,00 for one of these heavy-duty truck campers for Toyota Tacomas.  

Forest River Real-Lite HS-1805 Makes For A Quality Mid-Sized Truck Camper

Made by the same people behind Palomino, this is a tremendous hard-sided camper for those looking for a spacious floor plan and still be able to fit a mid-sized truck.  

With enough space for a queen bed, a full-size kitchen, and ample storage, the Forest River HS-1805 is a great two-person lightweight short bed camper design. That will surely fit a half-ton mid-sized truck like a Toyota Tacoma, and has a reputation for dependable, durable flooring options. 

One unique feature of the Forest River HS – Model 1805 is its walkable super flex membrane roof that will hold up for decades. Encouraging truck camper owners to use this as their own personal rooftop patio. 

The Forest River Real-Lite HS-1805 is one of those sleeper campers that flies well below the radar, and you can find them on craigslist for under $6,000. Because most of the owners have no idea what they have.   

Northern Lite 6-10 Fiberglass Truck Camper Is A Classic Tacoma Camper

Built when things were meant to last, the Northern Lite 6-10 truck camper was created. A highly sought after mid-sized truck camper commodity. With its heavy-duty design & well-insulated frame, this cabover is a true lightweight short bed camper built for ages. Making it one of the rarest lightweight truck campers on the market.  

The Northern Lite 6-10 weighs around 1,000 pounds (dry weight) and comes equipped with all the usual accessories and appliances. Complete with sink, stove, fridge, fan, toilette, heater, and two wardrobe closest.

Because of how rare this small truck camper is, it can command a price tag close to $30,000. Making it one of the most expensive campers for Toyota Tacomas on this list.  

I’ve seen it on craigslist and rvtrader for less than $15,000, but it was scooped up in less than a day. So if you come across this rare bird during your Tacoma camper research, don’t hesitate. Pull that trigger.  

Bigfoot 6-11 Truck Camper Made for Mid Sized Trucks & Tacomas

Another classic fiberglass camper built back in the 90s that will fit a Toyota Tacoma is the Bigfoot 6-11 short bed slide-in truck camper. This 2-section fiberglass shell screams reliability and durability. Unfortunately, it was only made for 2 years before Bigfoot pulled the plug on this lightweight Tacoma pickup truck camper.  

33 best small truck campers

One remarkable feature of his relatively lightweight and straightforward designed camper has over the Northern Lite 6-10 is its built-in bathroom. This lightweight camper is oozing with potential with a modern-day makeover for the right person, but the original design is a no-frills masterpiece.  

No hardwood flooring.

No granite countertops.

No transformer furniture.  

Limited storage.

At 1,600 pounds, fully packed with all of your camping gear along with your ski gear, this little camper packs a punch.  

Cozy at -10°, and just as comfortable with 100° temperatures. The Bigfoot 6-11 is a rare bird, and if you should come across one while searching campers for Toyota Tacomas, scoop it up immediately.  

They usually sell in the $10,000 neighborhood, but I know one guy who paid less than $3,000 and another who spent more than $50,000.  

Kimbo Is One Of The Newest Toyota Truck Campers Available

Kimbo truck camper’s slogan is “Nimble, simple living,” and is one of the newest Tacoma campers on the market. With some incredible space-saving furniture, unique one of a kind accessories, and unbelievable craftsmanship.  

With that said, they are the essential bare bones slide-in camper. Yes, their floorplan includes a bathroom, shower, kitchen, and even a wood-burning fireplace.  

Still, the kitchen is basically an oversized Jetboil stove with a one-basin sink. The bathroom is a toilette vanity combo with a shower just inside the entry door that requires a wrap-around shower curtain. All tied together with a Dickenson fireplace made for sailboats makes a very unique handcrafted Tacoma camper.  

Aesthetically pleasing. Next-generation craftsmanship and tons of upgrade potential. Right now, you can pick up this 11 foot 1100 pound dry weight Tacoma truck camper for $20,000 direct from the manufacturer in Washington. 

Scout Yoho Lightest Tacoma Truck Camper Available

At 958 pounds dry weight, the Scout Yoho is one of the lightest campers for Toyota Tacomas on this list. Second only to the Sun-Lite 690 truck camper.  

Made with an aluminum skeleton frame, lightweight exterior boarding, flexible solar panels, and portable appliances, the Scout Yoho is an energized hard-walled camper thats as versatile as a tent and can fit in the truck bed of your Toyota Tacoma. Its portable appliances and transformer build allow this lightweight truck camper to sleep 4 full-size adults comfortably. A quality you won’t find in any of the other Tacoma campers on this list.  

At the time of this writing, you can only pre-order one of these truck campers for $20,000, and you’ll have to go pick it up since they do not offer delivery service.  

Cheapest Campers For Toyota Tacomas Is The Drifter By RV Direct

Drifter is a brand new truck camper for Tacomas that will be available in 2021. Mimicking the same style and design as the Travel-Lite truck campers, but at almost half the price.  

Pickup truck campers that will fit a Toyota Tacoma

Featuring a jackknife pull out couch, kitchen, bathroom, fridge, and overhead cab sleeping area, the Drifter uses its full footprint to offer an array of features.  

Starting at $13,000, the Drifter is the most affordable brand new Tacoma camper on this list and offers plenty of upsell options. Such as solar, on-demand hot water tank, AC/DC inverter, or even an outdoor shower. If you’re considering a camper for a Toyota Tacoma, you should give some serious thought to purchasing a Drifter cabover camper.   

Northstar Liberty Truck Camper Is Designed For Half-Ton Toyota Trucks

The lightweight Northstar Liberty truck camper is a mighty mouse version of their 8.5 model. Featuring an “L” shaped dinette, a wet bath with a cassette toilet, and a large spacious kitchen creates a very comfortable living space.  

What really makes this Toyota Camper stand out from the rest is the ridiculous amount of storage and potential storage options. With a 20-gallon freshwater tank, 13-gallon grey water tank, 6-gallon hot water tank & 5-gallon blackwater tank, you can do some serious boondocking in this Toyota pickup truck camper. 

With 6’4″ of headroom and 3 blank walls, you can add plenty of interior cabinetry to increase your storage options. The roof is wide open for a cargo box or solar panels, and remove one of the propane tanks to make room for an extra battery.  

The Northstar Liberty cabover camper is a little on the heavy side at 1,750 pounds but still within the towing capacity of mid-sized trucks like the Toyota Tacoma or Nissan Frontier. With plenty of potential to upgrade as you see fit.   

The Alaskan Cabover 6.5 Is A Mighty Tacoma Camper 

Worth its weight in gold, the mighty Alaskan Cabover truck camper is a hybrid between a pop-up and a hard-walled truck camper. Which is the only reason it makes this list because I hate pop-up campers and everything they stand for.  

Weighing in at 1,300 pounds dry and 1,500 pounds wet weight, this highly functional cabover camper is an impressive display of engineering for mid-sized truck campers built for vehicles like the Toyota Tacoma.  

Instead of using canvas walls like most pop-up truck campers, the Alaskan features a solid-wall design accompanied by a patented telescoping hydraulic mechanism. That raises and lowers the top half of this lightweight truck camper into position by the flip of a switch. 

Accessorized with custom leather mattress and cushion dinettes, 4-burner stove with an oven, and a farmhouse sink. There isn’t another camper on this list that offers more functional appliances than the Alaskan Cabover 6.5.  

All this patented technology and high-end finish comes with a price tag of around $31,000, though.  

Capri Campers Make Two Models For The Toyota Tacoma

Capri Campers are out of Texas and made my radar about 3 years ago when I searched for my first Toyota Tacoma Truck Camper. They came onto the scene out of necessity for cowboys looking for affordable living quarters while traveling from rodeo to rodeo.  

Ultra light campers for Toyota Tacomas

A Capri camper can come as loaded or as unloaded as you’d like it to be. With nothing more than just a bed and four walls, or as loaded as you’d like with the Capri package known as “The Works.”

Capri campers come with an exceptionally “handcrafted” feel to them. As they are built entirely out of wood with an exterior aluminum wrap. That you can even choose from 10 select color patterns. Even the interior wood paneling offers 4 different wood pattern choices, and you can choose from 3 different truck bed sizes.  

Capri campers are one of the only lightweight truck campers I know of that you can customize interior color, appliance lineup, and exterior colors direct from the manufacturer. Not only that, you can create your own floorplan. For $10,000-$20,000, you can get your own customized Toyota Tacoma truck camper from Capri through a short phone call and a few back and forth emails.  

You can also find these mid-sized truck campers on craigslist for around $5,000.  

Adventurer 80RB Is A Highly Polished Camper for Tacomas

Finally is the Adventurer truck camper lineup, and my personal favorite the 80RB truck camper designed exclusively for light-duty full-size short truck bed boxes. Like the ones found on a Toyota Tacoma.  

The Adventurer 80RB is a ridiculous model name, but in the top 3 of high-end finishings regarding campers for Toyota Tacomas. Don’t overlook this unbelievable mid-sized truck camper.  

This self-contained, fully-featured truck camper incorporates a comfortable bathroom complete with a shower and toilet as a standard feature on all of its models.  

Adventurer Camper Manufacturing offers 6 models (80RB, 86FB, 89RB, 89RBS, 901SB, 910DB) that will fit a Toyota Tacoma, including 2 of them with a full wall slideout. Can you imagine a camper slideout on a 1/2 ton truck!!!

These 6 camper models will fit truck bed sizes of short-beds (5.5′, 6′, 6.5′, 6.75′) and long-bed (8′) trucks.

These high-end truck campers made by Adventurer manufacturing start out at $20,000 and go all the way up to $50,000, depending on the package you select.

Finding Campers For Toyota Tacomas

Why you have to search multiple cities, states, and even other countries to track down a short box truck camper that you can afford to fit the popular rugged Toyota Tacoma is beyond me.

Every ski bum, surf bum, climber, hiker, camper and outdoor enthusiast dreams of the day when they can say, “I own a Toyota Tacoma truck camper.” Not to mention its the #1 vehicle of choice for overlanders across the globe. 

That doesn’t mean it’s any less baffling why the number one most reliable, rugged, heavy-duty, and most popular mid-sized truck doesn’t have an endless supply of used & affordable Tacoma campers to choose from, on sites like craigslist, rvtrader or facebook marketplace.  

Give it a decade, and you’ll be able to find most of these high end pickup truck campers for sale on websites across the internet. Who knows if this pandemic continues these 33 campeers for Toyota Tacoma’s may end up for sale for a lot less than you’d expect to see them.

Related Posts

  1. When looking at buying a camper I needed a lightweight truck camper that would fit my Toyota Tacoma. I also had to beef up my suspension with air bags, and add a front receiver hitch for more storage options. Buying a camper is not a split decision, and hopefully this buying a camper guide will answer all of your camper buying questions. WWW.AOWANDERS.COM
  2. Cabover campers are wonderfully versatile & and extremely adaptable. But when trying to find a truck camper for a toyota tacoma its easier said than done. Because its a 1/4 ton truck this creates a variety of challenges from weight to dimensions. This last summer I spent almost 2months trying to find a truck camper that could fit my toyota tacoma until finally I realized I could just modify any cabover camper by cutting the corner so it would fit in between wheel wells. Want to learn how I did it check out my post on aowanders.com
  3. When you don't want to spend thousands on happijac tie downs & cant afford torklft frame mounted tie downs then visit aowanders.com. I made my cabover camper tie downs in less than 30 minutes for less than $15 a piece and all you need to assemble them is a pliers.

Got Feedback?

Let me know in the comments below if I missed any truck campers that could fit a Toyota Tacoma, or other mid-sized trucks. Share your experience with one of these small lightweight truck campers. Got any advice for others looking to add a backpack camper to their truck? Let us know your thoughts, concerns and advice below.

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  • Thank you so much for a detailed list of campers that fit Tacoma trucks. It must have taken a lot of time to research all of this so many thanks. I am little confused though. The standard payload size of a Tacoma max that I could find is about 1400 lbs, many Tacoma’s are at about 1100lbs. It would appear that most of the campers on this list far exceed the payload limits of Tacoma, even that of a Tundra which rated at 1700lbs. So they may fit but really shouldn’t be used on a Tacoma?

    Take the Lance 650 which has a dry weight of 1700 lbs or the Travel Lite 610RSL which has a dry weight of 1600lbs – Am I missing something, how could Tacoma carry these (safely)? I really wish I felt better about using a Lance 650 or Travel Lite 610RSL. I do thank you very much for the hard work that it took to research this.

    • Bill,

      Thanks for visiting my travel blog, and sorry for the delayed response. Your truck’s payload ratings are more subjective than you think and should be labeled with numerous footnotes and asterisks. Because there is no industry standard “variables” in the industry-standard equation used to define vehicle payload capacity.

      For example, Ford defines “curb weight” as cargo only while GM defines “curb weight” as passengers and cargo weight. Then you have other gray areas like GM who calculates passenger weight at 150 pounds, but Dodge calculates passenger weight at 160. The FAA is considering increasing passenger weight to 170 to account for a more accurate calculation to help avoid overloading small aircraft, but the average individual weight in America is closer to 200 pounds per individual nowadays.

      So its really important to keep in the mind that websites, brochures and salesman project a “best-case” scenario when configuring payload capacity, but in reality are really giving you a worst case scenario. Because vehicle owners can manipulate payload capacity by swapping out steel wheels for aluminum wheels, aluminum engine blocks versus cast iron, smaller mirrors, deleting spare tires and removing bumpers. Or any number of things, right?

      But you are correct about the Tacoma’s payload capacity ranges between 1,050-1,685, but that’s with factory suspension. If you add airbag suspension like these https://amzn.to/3vN3DfJ you can increase you payload capacity tremendously. In fact, a couple of years ago I threw a Sun Lite 690 truck camper onto my Tacoma for over 22,000 mountainous winter storm chasing miles during ski season, and you can read how I did that in this article. https://aowanders.com/toyota-tacoma-truck-camper/

      The key thing to keep in mind to payload capacity is not to let your payload ride on your frame. That is when things break. Which is why I installed an airbag suspension from amazon for my Tacoma (https://amzn.to/3vN3DfJ), but I’ve also been dragging a 30 foot travel trailer with a 12 foot slide fully packed with outdoor gear for over 5 years before ever installing my airbag suspension. Tacoma’s have an incredibly sneaky “unofficial” payload capacity which is why they are the most popular mid sized truck on the market.

      The trick to stretching your payload capacity is balance and proportionate weight distrubution. So for a Lance 650 or Travle Lite 610RSL you should be ok as long as you cut a corner to make it fit your box. You will be a little top heavy which means you won’t be able to do as much off roading as you like, but if you stick to “normal” roads and campsites I wouldn’t worry too much. My Sun Lite 690’s base measurement (part that sat in my truck bed) was 81 inches long. Both the Lance 650 truck camper and Travel Lite 610 RSL cabover camper if I remember right are both under or right at 81 inches long. Just keep in mind both of those truck campers are around $20,000, and to make it fit in your Tacoma truck bed you’re going to have to cut a corner down to 43 inches to fit a 2nd generation Tacoma. On top of air bag suspension I would also recommend getting load range “E” tires to help carry the weight. Along with a tire pressure monitoring system which you can find here https://amzn.to/2UmBTBq, and the next few days are Prime days so there should be some real good deals right now.

      Let me know if you have any more questions.

      Safe Travels,

      • I am confused about a couple of things in this article. Its a wonderful resource for identifying which truck campers will actually fit a Tacoma, but do airbags allow you to go over the low payload capacity of a Tacoma? I’ve also been reading your, “Weight of a small camper,” article, but I’m still unsure as to what airbags do in regards to the payload capacity of a Tacoma.

      • What a great question Mark!!

        There’s a lot of bad information out there regarding payloads and towing capacities. Let me preface my answer to your question in a couple of ways. First payload & towing capacities are merely guidelines and not absolute (black and white) numbers. They are there for people that need directions and guidance before making decisions.

        Secondly, I have been towing a travel trailer with my Toyota Tacoma that weighs close to 10,000 pounds after I load up all of my gear for over 8 years. Before that, I was lugging around a 3,000-pound pickup camper for 3 years, and I’ll be honest I never once looked at my payload & towing capacities. All I did was hook up and see how it felt driving down the road. I could do this approach because my brother owns his own mechanic shop, so I wasn’t as scared of things breaking as most people are because I wouldn’t get an astronomical repair bill no matter what broke. Also, I am the type of guy that is more of a “let’s see what happens kind of guy.”

        So, to get back to your question, “Does adding airbags to your vehicle increase its payload and towing capacities?”
        The short & simple answer is, NO!. Because you have to remember that an airbag suspension system only addresses the management of your payload or towing capabilities from a weight distribution variable, but an airbag suspension like this one (https://amzn.to/3vN3DfJ) from amazon doesn’t take into account your Tacoma’s braking, cooling & transmission systems that are specifically manufactured-rated for a Tacoma or whatever vehicle your adding airbag suspension to. Exceeding manufacturer’s ratings is NEVER a good idea, but like I said above not only did I ignore them I never even consulted them before drastically overloading my Tacoma for over 11 years. Keep in mind though, I had a safety net that wouldn’t compound my stupidity with a repair bill I couldn’t afford.

        So, while airbags do increase your ability to manage larger payloads or heavier towloads in reality all it does it transfer the stress of larger payloads to other mechanical parts that aren’t equipped to handle increased payload capacities, and could result in expensive repair bills or other catastrophic failures.

        Hope that answers your question Mark.

        Happy travels,

      • Bill,
        Frank is right. Truck engineers design trucks in a way that doesn’t allow accidental payload overloads because you can only carry so much in the space provided. You have to intentionally ignore weight, shapes & sizes to go over your truck’s payload capacity. On top of that, truck camper designers have the same focal points, and they don’t want to be sued for liability negligence. If a truck camper fits the dimensions of your truck bed you are most likely within your payload capacity, and any full-size truck with an 8×4 foot box was the foundation that every manufacturer designed around. Today’s trucks with shorter truck beds have better shocks and suspension allowing them to tote around backpack campers from the 1970s, 1980s, and even the 1990s. Most truck campers nowadays are built with lightweight materials. The only thing you need to be careful of is when you start looking at truck campers with slideouts because that adds a significant amount of weight to a truck camper or any camper for that matter.
        Hope that helps Bill.

  • Well I am putting 590sl in my short bed tacoma. It weighs 1300lbs dry. I am going to install Timbrens. I will let everyone know how it goes.

  • Great article! Thanks for this! I now need to figure out which ones would fit a short bed Tacoma. Any chance you have a list? I’m also new to campers. I have air bags installed but I suppose I need Billie bars installed as well?

    • Chris,

      I had a shortbed 2012 Toyota Tacoma, and it had a 41 in wheelbase with 5 foot 6 inch box. I put a Sun lite 650 in there for over 3 years using only airbags.

      For a Tacoma setup like that I would stick to any truck camper that calls itself a 525,550 or 650.

      Hope that helps.


  • I have been doing a lot of research lately on truck campers. I reall appreciate all the information here. Because its way different than what I have come to understand from reading a lot of the truck camper forums, information about payload capacity for slide in truck campers, and weight of many of the truck campers listed in your chart.

    I wish I could find one of those older Lance 650 truck campers for 1000 lbs because the newer models are 2000 pounds without any upgrades.

    Most of the truck campers on your list have a dry weight (without propane, water, and batteries) are at least 1300 lbs. Payload on my f150 is 1730 lbs, and this has the beefed up suspension for greater towing, higher the most 1/2 tons. Several Tundra’s I’ve seen are around 1250 lbs. How did your Tacoma carry the weight of your truck camper. Do you think an S10 could really host a slide in cab over camper?

    Sure, if you have a standard cab 2wd you might get near 1500 (4×4, extended cabs all add weight which decreases your payload), but who drives those? More like 1100lbs for these rigs. I will be traveling with 2-3 people and 2 dogs so that is 500-650lbs. So a 1300 lb camping trailer, with wet weight and passengers I am probably 300 lbs over. No gear yet.

    I’ve often read, assume 1000lbs over dry weight is your total weight, but you can trim this back a little. I am willing to go 300-500 over the payload with airbags (which does nothing for payload, just handling). But I have a big truck. Seems like most recommendations here are really focused on the life test capacity rather than the manufacturers payload capacity of smaller trucks. I do appreciate that.

    • Nick,

      Thanks for reaching out to me through the comments on my site, and I understand your concerns as I did exactly what you’re doing now. After a couple of months, I finally said, “FUCK IT!”


      I circled back to a truck camper that had been posted months ago and was still for sale, but it was the closest camper to my box size. Honestly, I didn’t even know about payload capacity. Towing capacity. In fact, if I’m being really honest, I am extremely lucky that I didn’t find a bigger truck camper to fit my box because I would have just bought it.

      Because I had just spent 5 years dragging a 30-foot fully loaded 8,000-pound KZ sportsman travel trailer with a 12-foot slide around the country with my 2012 Toyota Tacoma. Up and over every mountain range I could find to ski, and I wanted something more manageable and less obvious.

      So I pulled the trigger on a SunLite 690. To make it fit inside my box I had to cut a corner back 2 inches, 10 inches high, and 34 inches long if I remember right. And I did nothing to reinforce that corner structurally. All I did was get some rolled roofing tin and cut it to size.
      You can read about that here https://aowanders.com/toyota-tacoma-truck-camper/

      That camper weighed 1300-1400 pounds dry weight. I added a bathroom and a full-size air conditioner. that included 2x4s and a custom steel-plated shelf. Both of these were installed with a “wing it who gives a fuck,” attitude by simply just cutting and drilling into exterior walls with no concern for wiring, plumbing, or structural stabilities.

      After that, I loaded that doghouse up with over 2000 pounds of gear. From toolboxes to skis and hockey equipment. I ran out of room I had to start mounting things on the ceiling, walls, roof and exterior walls to make it all fit. I even made a closet bar in the backseat of my tacoma to hold 200 pounds of shirts and hoodies that I thought I would need while living full time out of a truck camper. I made the classic mistake of every rookie traveler….I overpacked

      If you’ve missed the point, here it is………I was ignorantly bliss to weight, payload capacities, young and dumb, BUT after loading up my truck camper to the brim I motored around the country for 3 years with a V6 Tacoma lugging around a 3,000-pound plus backpack camper with no problems ever. I drove up and down mountains in the worst conditions possible. When they closed schools, governments, and highways that’s when I was out playing on the mountainside in my grossly overweight truck camper with its weakened structure and had ZERO problems.

      And to add insult to injury if I had any knowledge of solar panels I would have also added a battery bank to run my A/C and furnace instead of a 3,400-watt dual fuel generator.

      I hear what your saying. I know what your saying. I read what your saying, but I’m the kind of guy that says, “let’s find out,” “let’s break this rule and see what the consequences really are.” and I’m here to tell you that I didn’t even know the payload capacity of my truck at the time and I was lugging around almost triple what its recommended amount was with my sunlite 690 truck camper.

      Sometimes book smarts aren’t equivalent to life skills and sometimes they surpass street smarts, but just because they stray from the norm doesn’t mean they aren’t valid.

      I am currently running a crew cab tundra with a 5’8″ box, steel wheels, lift and airbags rocking a Lance with a slide-out because I vigorously tested truck camper life with a much smaller truck than your F150. You’ve got an F150 that has a better resume than my Toyota Tough Tundra. Find something in between what I would do and what you would do and I’m sure you’ll be fine with anything from that level on down.

      And before you go spending hundreds on truck camper tie downs heres how to make your own for under $50 (well maybe before inflation) https://aowanders.com/discounted-torklift-frame-mounted-truck-camper-tie-downs/

      Warm Regards,
      Adam O.

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