How to make any cabover camper fit a Toyota Tacoma or any 1/4 ton truck



Toyota Tacoma Truck Camper Treasuer Hunt

This summer the only thing that was on my mind was a Toyota Tacoma truck camper. It wasn’t because of all the freedom or adventures I had from owning one. No,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 I found out the hard way that hardwalled cabover campers for 1/4 ton trucks don’t actually exist. I spent months scouring the internet for this elusive slide in truck camper for a Toyota Tacoma. At one point I even bought DIY truck camper plans from Glen-L to build my own slide in camper. Instead of getting guidance with step by step instructions to build my new Tacoma truck camper I was left feeling victimized by a company that only cared about getting my credit number so they could deliver a product with instructions that were written in the 70s or 80s accompanied by grainy black & white photos. Singlehandedly shattering my dreams of creating a DIY truck camper YouTube channel, or multi-series blog tutorial here on AOWANDERS on how to build your own cabover camper. You’d think with Toyota Tacoma being the #1 vehicle of choice in mountain towns across America it’d be as easy as opening up craigslist and typing in short bed truck camper, right? Then emailing a few prospects to see which one will fit your Tacoma. Go meet a guy or gal give them some money and enjoy your new truck camper.





There Is NO “Universal” Truck Camper Size

The problem is there is no universal “one size” truck bed wheel well width or length. It doesn’t stop there either. Different models from the same manufacturer don’t even have the same truck box length or wheel well widths. So while one truck camper fits a Chevy S10 there’s no guarantee it will fit a Chevy Colorado both 1/4 ton trucks made by the same company. Add that to the email replies from truck camper owners who simply reply with, “standard size,” when inquiring about wheel well width requirements.  Which creates a wonderful stew of frustration with every bite.



I basically kicked a lot of random objects in my brother’s garage while grumbling to myself all summer long. But this Toyota Tacoma Truck Camper treasure hunt provided me an incredible learning environment on lightweight slide in cabover campers. Which is pretty much the core message in my BUYING AN RV GUIDE so that you don’t buy the wrong RV for the wrong reasons.

Feeling a bit deflated for not being able to find a “Tacoma truck camper” eventually I settled for finding any slide in truck camper with a base as close to 46 ½” Wide x 67″Long. Which are my Tacoma’s truck bed dimensions. I bought a SunLite 690 with a base of 48″Wx 69″L by a company called SunValley who is also no longer in business. Just another ingredient in the stew of frustration.

Truck Bed Wheel Well Hurdles

To make it fit my Toyota Tacoma wheelbase I had four options. Become a wizard and bust some magic out on this cabover camper and call it a day. I could add wood to the bottom of the slide in truck camper to make it rise above my wheelbase. That would create a top-heavy scenario that would probably end in disaster. Cut out a section of my wheel well which wouldn’t be hard since my truck bed is made out of fiberglass, or cut out a corner of the truck camper. Since someone stole my magic wand I decided to cut the driver’s side front corner of the slide in truck camper. 1 ½” deep by 34″ long by 10″ tall. This left my Tacoma intact, and didn’t make me any more top heavy than I needed to be.

Out of fear of screwing up I avoided this crucial cut for a few days. Eventually, with the courage of a few beers, I grabbed the skill saw and just did. It was pretty easy, and to frame it back in with 2×2’s & 1/8″ OSB plywood was even easier. With the original aluminum sheeting, I had removed to make the cut and a few roofing wall tins I put it all back intact like a professional! In fact you wouldn’t even be able to tell if I hadn’t told you. Well…maybe you could, but I am happy with the way it turned out.

Truck Camper Weighing Less Than A 1,000 Pounds

Weighing in at 750 pounds dry weight I had a slide in truck camper to fit my Toyota Tacoma, finally! Long story short if you’re looking for a truck camper to fit your Toyota Tacoma there are literally thousands of them out there. You just need to cut a corner off the camper to make it fit. It doesn’t matter which one you cut, but don’t cut both trying to be all symmetrical. That’s just more work. Make your life easy cut one, and use roofing tins to replace the metal you damage. Super cheap and easy to form. The whole process to make this truck camper fit my Tacoma took about 2 hours, and an hour & half of that was building up the courage. Good thing I had a full case of beer to help me over that hump but to help you over the hump it’s not that big of a deal. It’s 1-2 inches of floor space you will never use or even notice you lost.


I spent every spare moment for two months googling Tacoma truck camper, lightweight slide in campers for Toyota, custom truck campers for Tacoma, short box truck camper, DIY step by step truck camper plans for Toyota Tacoma’s & every other variation you could think of to try and find a truck a camper that would fit my 2013 Toyota Tacoma. I joined more truck camper forums than I ever knew existed and watched awful YouTube backyard Tacoma truck camper DIY cabover camper videos than I ever care to see again. Did you know there are over 2,000 Toyota Tacoma Truck Camper groups on Facebook? You’d think there would be a market for this thing than right?

Pioneers of Lightweight Truck Campers

There kind of is …….short bed truck camper manufacturers have designs to fit ½ ton trucks, but none of them fit the wheelbase of a Toyota Tacoma, and brands like Northern Lite or Big Foot Campers stop making their hard sided lightweight truck campers years ago. You can still find photos of these perfect Tacoma truck campers all over the internet. Good luck finding one for sale though. I searched all 50 states and only found one for sale in the lower 48.  Which was a salvaged electrical fire project that had a sticker price of over $15,000. No thanks, can’t justify that much for a walk in closet sitting in the back of my truck.  That also drops my gas mileage from 20 to 12mpg.


Modern Day Cabover Campers

Most truck camper manufacturers have migrated over to a hybrid between a pop-up camper and slide in truck camper. Cutting down on weight! Which creates a pretty appealing slide in camper for a Toyota Tacoma’s & other 1/4 ton trucks. The catch though is it’s not made for full time living or winter environments. A slide in pop up truck camper leaves you with a canvas wall on the upper half of your rig. Which is probably perfect for scenic road trips or family outings in the summer.  Where you only need temporary shelter a few hours a day. But you have to collapse the camper roof while driving and crank it back up whenever you come to a stop if you need access.



It’s also pretty obvious when it’s in use so stealth camping isn’t its strongest suit either. Plus, I’m a mountain soul looking for a versatile home during the winter months while I chase powder turns on my ski’s, and its not on anyone’s bucket list to live in a truck camper during the winter months in the mountains. Let alone a Toyota Truck Camper with canvas walls.


Custom Built Lightweight Truck Campers

There is a truck camper company in Texas called Capri Campers. This cabover camper company custom makes slidein truck campers with all sorts of options including solar power.  When I selected every option they had my estimate came in at around $10,000.  Another company called Eureka Campers out of Tennessee makes custom aluminum framed truck campers forr around the same price.  They are more of a shell from my understanding though. I also found a guy that would make a crazy diamond shaped truck camper out of wood from Michigan for around $5,000.



Again that was just a shell. No electrical, plumbing, kitchen or heating. If there is a company out there that makes truck campers for Toyota Tacoma’s at an affordable price or a site that sells them used I couldn’t find it.  So they might want to hire me to help them on their internet marketing & SEO.  Who wants customers anyways?!

My Toyota Tacoma Lightweight Truck Camper

I now have a 30 foot KZ sportsman travel trailer that I love and a versatile truck camper that fits on my toyota Tacoma. Love them both and very appreciative of all the work that went into making this truck camper fit on my toyota tacoma. But more importantly so glad for everything Iearned this last summer modifying a truck camper to fit my quarter ton truck. In any event it worked out in the end for me. I got my lightweight truck camper for my Toyota Tough Tacoma, and didn’t have to relive the experience from my Class A RV. I spent the rest of the summer customizing it for my adventure travel needs.  As soon as September hit I took the most scenic road trip I have ever seen in America. Now I just have to write about the 1,500 mountainous mile road trip that had me stopping for pictures every 3 feet. Hopefully, I can do it justice for y’all.

Got any questions or concerns drop em in the comments below.   AND please please please I beg you please share this post. I know its a boring read, but if I would have found this information at the beginning of my truck camper search.  It would have saved me thousands of dollars and hundreds of research hours.

Trust me when I say this there are thousands of Tacoma owners searching everyday.  Only to find overpriced orProviding RV Life Tips, Guides & Stories one travel adventure at a time. Follow along with me as I discover new destinations & uncover the secret to RV life. Whether your searching for RV hookups, free camping spots or tips on how to buy your first RV AOWANDERS has got your covered. misrepresented information.   Quarter ton truck owners aren’t represented well when it comes to cabover campers compatible with their truck bed’s dimensions. Nissan Frontier, Ford Ranger & Dodge Dakota owners are searching for this information every day, and will be more helpful than you could ever know. Save someone from eating the frustration stew by sharing or linking to this post.



49 Comments

    • Its tough to find a camper that will fit on a Toyota Tacoma isn’t it? I spent months before I figured out this trick to make any camper fit a toyota tacoma. All you have to do is shave one of the corners back on your cabover camper. Don’t worry its not load barring, and won’t effect your camper in any way. By doing this you can buy a slightly bigger camper, and still have it fit in you 1/2 ton truck. Opens up a world of truck camping possibilities. I wouldn’t recommend cutting off anything more than a couple inches, but to each their own. The more creative you are the more solutions there are. Truck Camping for Life!!

      Best,

      Adam

  • This is a wonderful article!! We have been searching for a truck camper for our tacoma for over a year now. We even drove all the way up to Alaska this fall only to have a guy sell it before we got there. After reading this we bought a camper from a local dealership we fell in love with 6 months ago. Shaved 3 inches off the corner and are now traveling the country and pursuing our dreams because of you. Thank you so much. Such a simple solution. Kind of embarrassed we didn’t think of it ourselves, but so glad you came to our rescue.

    • Claire,

      That warms my heart to know my ramblings on this travel blog actually helped someone pursue their travel dreams. So glad I could help out. Thanks for sharing! Where are you guys heading? How are you liking camper life so far? I know we all want to see some pictures! Congratulations, a world of freedom awaits you.

      Best,

      Adam

  • Hi Adam, I am a rookie in the world of camping I am planning to buy a 2001 Lance Cabover camper for my 2005 Toyota Tacoma. Any advice. thanks.

    Daniel

    • Hey Daniel,

      Thanks for stopping by my RV travel blog. Lance truck campers are wonderful cabover campers, but I don’t think they will fit your Toyota Tacoma. Its been almost a year since I did my research on Tacoma truck campers, but if I remember right the smallest Lance truck camper I could find was the 845 which requires 8 feet from your cab to the end of your tailgate. I’m not familiar with the exact measurements of a 2005 Tacoma truck bed, but my 2012 Tacoma measures 64 1/2 inches from the cab to the end of the tailgate (when in the down position). Which means I would need almost another 3 feet to fit a lance. I could be completely wrong though, so make sure you do your research on the lengths and widths before you buy. Here is a link to all of the Lance Truck Camper Floor Plans and dimensions I could find from 2001 ( https://aowanders.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2001_Lance_Truck_Camper_floor_plans_and_dimensions.png ). None of these will fit a Toyota Tacoma without a ton of modifications. Lance truck campers are the king of truck campers with a solid reputation, which is well deserved, but I would double check your measurements before buying a Lance Truck camper for your Toyota Tacoma.

      As for general advice for buying a truck camper check out my new truck camper guide. If you are just buying a truck camper for a few weekend adventures throughout the year just make sure everything works, built solid and the floor plan has a logical layout. If you are buying a truck camper for full time living then I recommend you be extremely picky right down to the roof vents. For example, you don’t want collapsable roof vents. They can freeze shut when winter camping, forget to be closed before a rainstorm, driving or windy days & they are extremely vulnerable to becoming very brittle under the hot sun. Buying a truck camper for fulltime living is like buying a walk-in closet with a bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom to live out of. Truck camping is extremely versatile and way more adventurous than your normal RV camping, but it comes with its trade-offs. Do your research. Go to the local RV dealership and walk through some of the floorplans. Make sure you can sit up in the cabover bed. Make sure there is enough storage for camping chairs, chainsaws, axes, toys, and various other gear. Make sure there is enough storage for food, pans, utensils, seasonings and whatever else you need to cook with. Make the bathroom has enough storage for bathroom products, and after all of that make sure there is enough room for you to live comfortably. It might be fine for a weekend to sit at the table with your foot resting on the generator or backup battery, but after a month you’re going to want to throw that battery or generator out the door. Make sure there is enough lighting. Again, might be fine to get out of bed to turn on/off the reading light for a weekend camping trip, but how obnoxious is going to be after 6 months on the road? New RV’s & campers are starting to incorporate a wardrobe closet into their floor plans. I have yet to see a truck camper with any type of cupboard or storage are big enough for full time living clothes. I had to create my own “closet” which is on the back of the bathroom I also had to install on my own.

      I love my Toyota Tacoma truck camper, but if I had to do it all over again I would have just bought a different truck. A bigger truck to carry a bigger truck camper. I’m not usually a fan of bigger is better, but when it comes to the world of truck camping. Bigger is always better. The bigger it is the more comfortable it is, and the bigger the truck the deeper into the backcountry I can go. I researched truck campers for over 6 months before I bought my Sun Valley 690 truck camper, and have been living in my truck camper for almost 4 months now during the winter months at a ski resort. I love the snow! The cold, and everything about winter. But my solar panels are constantly getting covered in snow. The generator is always running out of gas. The crankable rooftop vents are always freezing. The bathroom/shower I built never gets used because the waterlines will freeze. But I bought this truck camper for basic necessities and built out what I needed for my upcoming adventure (driving to the end of South America and back). I learned from all my RV mistakes to make sure I knew what I wanted, how I wanted to use it, where I wanted to use it & why I wanted to use it before I pulled the trigger on buying a truck camper. And even then I had to modify my Sun Valley 690 truck camper by 1 1/2″ to make it fit within my wheel well base of the Tacoma.

      I love the fact that you want to put a truck camper on your Toyota Tacoma, but I don’t think a Lance truck camper is going to be an option for you unless you buy a bigger truck. I could offer you a lot more advice, but it would be helpful to know where you plan to use it and how you plan to use it.

      When looking at truck campers or any campers storage is king. Look at blank walls, empty roofs and exterior spaces. Can you add a roof rack or basket/bin of sorts? What about hiring a cabinet maker to install more cabinets? Is there a way to add a drawer slide or any type of storage rack to the underside of your truck camper? As you can see in my photos I took an old ski rack and mounted it vertical to the side of my truck camper to hold my ski’s and wakeboard. I was thinking about adding a 4″ inch cubby between my camper and truck bed, but didn’t like the weight or extra height. SO I almost added drawers between the bottom of my truck camper sides and truck bed walls, but they would have only been 3 inches. Didn’t seem beneficial enough for all that work, but maybe you will have more room. But I like to travel with all my gear. You never know when a great surf session will come up, or when a guitar around the campfire would capture the night perfectly. Storage is king, and the more you can add the better. Don’t just focus on the empty roof.

      Thanks again for visiting my RV travel blog. Hopefully this was helpful, and you can buy a truck camper soon. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures.

      Wishing you the best,

      Adam

  • Can you explain to me more how you made this cabover camper fit on your Toyota Tacoma? Because I have been doing the research into what you say, but I am a little nervous about just buying any old truck camper and then try to make it fit for my Tacoma. Thanks in advance for your help. Really looking forward to your reply for my Toyota Truck camper.

    • BD,

      Absolutely, and thanks for visiting my RV travel blog. So lets be clear. Not every truck camper can be forced to fit onto your Toyota Tacoma and shouldn’t be, but the truck camping industry is severely lacking for inventory on quarter ton trucks like Ford Rangers, Dodge Dakotas, Toyota Tacomas, Nissan Frontiers & Chevy Colorados or even S10s. Unless you like pop ups which I absolutely hate, but it looks like your trying to buy a truck camper to fit onto your Toyota Tacoma.

      Try to find a truck camper that is close to the dimensions you need. The closer you get the less work in modifications you need to do. When I first started looking for slide in truck campers to fit onto my Tacoma I contemplated cutting out my wheel wells. Removing my truck bed altogether. There is even a bracket you can buy that mounts into your trailer hitch that arcs up to support the backend of your truck camper that I was looking at purchasing or even have made by a local welder off of craigslist. A ski bum friend of mine is the one that suggested the “corner cut” idea, and it was like an instant “ahh HA — lightbulb” moment.

      Almost every truck camper I came across had a base width of 48 inches, but my wheel wells were only 46 1/2 inches wide. My wheel wells came back 30 or 33 inches and were only 8-9 inches tall. The Sun Valley Truck camper that I bought had a base width of 48 inches just like every other cab over camper I looked at, but before buying this used truck camper I inspected both front corners to see what I would actually be cutting into. The drivers side corner would force me to cut a wall line that was inside of a cupboard. While the passenger side would force me to the cut a wall line inside the same cupboard there was a water tank there I would have had to consider relocating or removing temporarily. Before making my cut I put a lot of thought into which side of the truck camper I was going to cut to make this fit onto my Toyota Tacoma. I chose the drivers side because quite frankly I didn’t want to relocate a water tank or remove it and reinstall it.

      After I made the decision on which corner I still had to build up the courage to do so. I was afraid it would damage my camper and light the money I spent on fire, but in the end there was nothing to be afraid of. It was literally a 15 – 20 minute task that was effortless. From the bottom of my camper I marked up 10 inches. My wheel wells were only 9 inches, but I wanted to give the camper some travel room if need be. Which is why I gave it the extra inch. After that, from the front of my camper I marked back 35-36 inches. Again to give my camper some travel room in case it needed it while boondocking down a bumpy jacked up dirt road in the middle of nowhere. From the front of the camper I also marked in 1 1/2″ inch. I didn’t give any “travel” room here. I didn’t want my camper to be able to move from side to side. Plus my wheels had a tapered wall. Wide at the bottom and skinnier at the top. After that I chalked all the pertinent lines, and made my cuts.

      The vertical 10 inch cut was my first cut. Followed by the long 35 inch cut, and the final cut being the 1 1/2 inch cut. I made all my cuts with a circular skill saw. I tried a sawzall, and a dremmel but for me personally I just felt more comfortable making the cuts with the skill saw. The dremmel did come in handy to make the upside down 35 inch cut, but if I could have raised the truck camper higher to create less of a “gymnastic arena” work space I would have used the skill saw there too. To each there own. Whatever you feel more comfortable and safe with run with it. Just make sure to measure 8,9,10,20 times before you make that first cut. Make sure everything is going to work. You can always cut more off easier than you can to add back on.

      After making the cuts and leaving myself a hole that was 35 inches long X 10 inches tall X 1 1/2 inches deep I just framed it back in. Using 2×2’s and 1/8 inch plywood. Then I reattached the existing aluminum that was on before I made the cut. I contemplated buying new metal which you can get for $20 or less at any roofing supply company. Just ask for rolled chimney/valley metal. I would have had to reshape it and form it and all of that. So for me the simplest path was the path of less resistance. Reuse the old shit.

      Again, it literally took me 15-20 minutes to make the cuts. Frame in and close up the hole for this truck camper to now be able to fit on my Toyota Tacoma. It took longer to make my camper tie downs than it did to make this truck camper capable of fitting on my Tacoma.

      In the end I lost 1 1/2 inches by 8 inches long of floor space below the fridge. I tried to find someone to do this for me off of craigslist and other handyman websites. The lowest quote I got was around $1700 for 20 minutes of work. I was told it was unsafe and would make the structure unsafe. I was told it was not doable. I was told all kinds of negative shit. I have since driven over 30,000 mountainous shitty winter driving miles with this truck camper on the back of my Tacoma. Haven’t had one structural or mechanical issue in even the most creative stretch of the imagination. It was super easy. Cheap & anyone can do it. Any truck camper that is 7 feet or less should be able to be modified to fit onto your Tacoma. You could possibly stretch out to 8 feet, but that would be a lot of overhang and a lot of weight.

      Normally I do not care one bit about vehicle specs and manufacturer limitations because in the era of lawsuits they always under bid right? But there is no way I would consider doing an 8 foot truck camper on my Toyota Tacoma unless I drastically beefed up I mean SUPER SIZED my struts, shocks, air suspension & leaf springs. Even than I would be nervous about the weight. Tipping factor and strain I would be putting on the engine as well as transmission. If you want or need an 8 foot truck camper I think you need to upgrade to something bigger than a Toyota Tacoma. Don’t get me wrong I may try it someday. I mean before my truck camper I was towing a 30 foot travel trailer with one slide out, 2 generators, two 560 watt solar panels and 30 feet of gear and living supplies. I am sure I was somewhere between 7,500-10,000 pounds. I never checked. My method of checking was lets hook it up and see if it moves. It did. So for 3 years I called it home.

      Hope that was helpful. If you decide to do it let us know. I am sure others would be curious to see if I am crazy if this a great solution to finding hard walled truck campers for Toyota Tacomas and other 1/4 ton trucks. Enjoy BD

  • Nice Article!! That’s exactly what we did to our truck camper!
    And it works so well, it fits our 2005 Tacoma perfectly!
    But unfortunately, we have to get rid of ours 🙁 heartbroken to see it go.

    ANYBODY IN NEED OF A CUSTOM FITTED TOYOTA TACOMA TRUCK BED CAMPER ?! 🙂

    Seriously, we can’t keep ours.
    It’s hard to find small truck campers and I can only recommend modifying a larger one the way Adam did it! Thanks for sharing this!

    • Jenna,

      Thanks for visiting my RV travel blog. Sorry to hear that you have to move on from what I am sure is a wonderful Tacoma Truck camper. There are entire websites focused on truck campers for Tacoma’s and Nissan Frontiers. You should have no problem passing this onto someone who will love and cherish it as much as you have. But if you want to take an unconventional route and really make someones day find out what you need for a selling point. Then divide that by 100 or 200. Lets say you want to sell it for $3,000. Divide that by 100 and sell 100 raffle tickets or entrance tickets for $30 a piece. Hold a drawing on specified date, and some lucky winner will get Tacoma truck camper for $30. 1 in 100 chances to win. Not bad odds. Everyone wins. You get your asking price, and some lucky Tacoma owner gets a cab over camper for the price of an expensive case of beer. Divide it by 200 and make it even more enticing at only $15 to buy a truck bed camper for a tacoma. There is a lady in Canada doing that for a $1.8 million dollar house. She is offering to sell it for $19 as long as there are 68,000 entrants, and if there isn’t 68,000 entrants she is offering a full refund. Kind of a cool way to sell your truck camper don’t you think? Just a thought. I am actually thinking of doing this for my 30 foot travel trailer since I can’t use both at the same time, and dread what a dealership would offer. Anyways, best of luck. If you send me some photos I can post it to your comment on this article to help you spread the word (Free of charge).

      Warm Regards,

      Adam

      • Bud,

        Thanks for visiting my rv travel blog. My site doesn’t ask for addresses or anything like that so I can’t tell you were Jenna’s truck camper is located, but I did shoot her an email letting her know that you are inquiring. Also by approving your comment she may get notified of a new comment. What year is your Tacoma? What are the dimensions of your Tacoma truck bed? Is this the best email address to get ahold of you incase I come across a truck camper that fits those needs?

        Happy travels,

        Adam

    • Jenna, Might be interested your truck bed camper for my 2004 Tacoma. Mine Toyota Tacoma is a 4 door crew cab with a short bed so I’m looking for a shortbox truck camper. Would yours fit? Thanks!

      • Hi Jenna I would also be interested in your in your toyota truck camper. Any pictures on this cabover camper for a toyota? Thanks Adam for allowing us to sell our toyota truck campers on your site at no charge. Plus you have a lot of great camper advice and information that I can’t stop reading. And I love your first rv trip post. Super funny https://aowanders.com/two-dumb-ski-bumbs-take-on-rv-life/

      • Taran,

        Thanks for visiting my RV travel blog. I don’t mind letting you guys sell your Toyota truck campers on my site. I’ve been there. I know how hard they are to find so if I can help any of you out its my pleasure. But I am thinking about selling my toyota truck camper as well. I haven’t made that decision yet, but I am considering it. I only got it for ski season, and ski season is coming to a close. My truck camper is a sun valley 690, and is the one in the photo at the top of this cabover camper article. I have made modifications to it like: Solar panel, roof top luggage rack, 1500 watt pure sine inverter with a 40 amp charge controller. I’ve also upgraded the plumbing to include a 3 stage water filteration system, and the biggest upgrade I made was installing an inside shower. There currently is no howater heater (yes I have taken a cold shower all ski season), but I left room on the backside of the camper bathroom to install an on demand propane hot water heater you can pick up for under $200 at various websites. I was looking at the camper hot water heater from Camper Chef, but there are plenty of brands, makes & models available today. Dry weight my toyota truck camper weighs under 1,0000 pounds, but after I load my gear its probably closer to 2,000. But I am full time living and packing chainsaws, ski’s, kiteboard and various other camping supplies.

        Again I have not decided to sell mine yet, but I am thinking of doing so. Can’t live in two campers at the same time. I am also thinking of just giving it away in some type of drawing or truck camper raffle ticket system. My tentative thought process on giving away my toyota truck camper would be something along the lines of $50 raffle ticket with a full refund if 200 tickets aren’t sold, and I would deliver it for free anywhere in the lower 48. Possibly Canada and Mexico if that variable came into play. SO if there is enough interest in doing this let me know in the comments below. I am thinking of having a deadline of May 25th so that you could enjoy your toyota cabover camper all summer long.

        ON a side note. Thanks Taran for bringing up that embarrasing first RV trip of mine. It is quite commical to look back on now, but boy in the moment that first RV trip was challenging at every turn.

        Happy travel y’all,

        Adam

      • Derek,

        Thanks for stopping by my RV blog. I have reached out to Jenna for you and waiting to hear back from her, but stay tuned I might be giving my toyota truck camper and torklift frame mounted camper tie downs for only $50. Hit that subscribe button so that you don’t miss the announcement.

        Adam

      • Aaron,

        I forwarded your email to Jenna, and reached out myself. I think she has sold it, but I haven’t seen any activity from her on this site in a few months which makes me assume her toyota cabover camper has been sold. I’m thinking of selling mine as well. As I only bought it for ski season, and that has come to a close. If your interested in hearing more about it or want more pictures let me know, and I get em posted for you. I’m also thinking of doing a raffle or some type of giveaway contest for it as well. Which I might choose that route because it would allow someone to win an elusive toyota truck camper that is very hard to find for only couple of bucks.

        If anyone is interested in entering into a giveaway contest for my truck camper let me know, and I’ll put it all together. Might even be able to offer free delivery depending on the level of interest there is out there.

        Happy travels everyone,

        Adam

      • Kerry,

        Jenna sold her toyota truck camper along time ago, but now is the time to find some great deals on truck campers that people don’t want to winterize or pay for storage for another year. You’ll find one. Just keep refreshing that craigslist page.

        Happy camper hunting,

        Adam

  • Awesome write up! I have some photos to share with you regarding my 2016 gen 3 tacoma and the fitment of a travel lite 690FD camper we bought last year. Email me back and I will shoot you some pics and of the mods that went in to putting the whole together.

    Regards,

    Mike

    • Thanks Mike that would be awesome, and I’m sure others would love to see more examples on how to find or make a truck camper fit their Tacoma’s. For those not familiar with Travel lites their bannock South American wood frame are the strongest & lightest in the truck camping industry. The 690FD truck camper by travel lite clocks in at a measly 1,095 pounds, but I don’t think it has a bathroom. Emailing you now Michael. Thanks for visiting my rv travel blog.

      Regards,

      Adam O

    • Didos about everything written in your blog. I’m absolutely frustrated and disappointed that for over a year now there is nothing! I was planning a trip for retirement ( January of 2017 ) & never would have thought I’d be researching my retirement away for a hard sided toyota tacoma truck camper. No way will I buy another truck. Mine is a 2017 Tacoma w the Xtra cab. It is the mountain truck of choice in these parts, along with many other mountain towns. I just don’t understand why there is not a market for hard sided toyota truck campers with all the amenitites including a full bathroom with shower.

      • Frankie, I can feel your frustraiting through the computer. Especially after the popularity of small mid size trucks have taken over the “truck world” I can NOT understand why truck camper manufacturers don’t have a make/model/lineup to cater to the millions of us small truck owners. Chevy s10s, For Rangers, Toyota Tacomas, Dodge Dakotas & Nissan Frontiers have been sold for decades. Chevy even has their new Colorado model, and all of these brands now run with a full crew cab version because of demand, but yet still no manufacturer wants to fill the void. I just drove to Texas to sell mine to lovely couple that has been on the same frustrating search for tacoma truck camper. From my research the best viable option is to find something close and won’t break the bank is to cut a corner like I did. Travel lite makes a 690 & 701 model that would be pretty simple to modify, and you can find about a dozen of them for sale on rvtrader right now. You can find these models for sale for around $5,000. Or use a site like searchtempest to search all of craiglist for a cheaper option you can modify. They did make truck campers to fit tacoma’s years ago and they are still around, but you will have to widen your search. There is one that is sitting on a dodge dakota for sale in Des moines iowa for only $2800, but it is a 1985 model. Craigslist will be your best bet to find a cheap truck camper to fit your 2017 toyota tacoma. Keep looking something will come along I promise, and if you can’t modify it yourself find someone off of the gig section in your local craigslist area to do it for you.

        Best of luck Frankie, and thanks for visiting my travel blog.

        Adam

  • Great info. I’ve been researching toyota campers, like you, for months. I don’t have the ‘handyman’ skills. I’m sure I could figure it out with someone. In the meantime, thank you.

    • Robin,

      Thanks for stopping by RV travel blog. Glad you found some useful information, but the modification I made to make this truck camper fit my Toyota seriously only took about an hour max if I remember right. If you can find a truck camper close to the dimensions of you Toyota Truck bed dimensions you can alway hire a local carpenter to do the handyman skills for you. Even at the highest price point I couldn’t imagine they would charge you more than a couple of hundred dollars. Its 4 simple cuts. Frame a 10 inch X 36 inch X 2 inch hole back in. Put the aluminum skirting back in place and your good. No carpenter or any woodworker worth a damn could mess this up. Send them to this post if they need any guidance or visual assistance on how to modify any cabover camper to fit your Toyota Tacoma. Trust me I was worried too before I finally mustered up the courage to do it, but once I did it and realized how simple it was. Can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner. Super easy modification to find a truck camper for yourself.

      Happy hunting & let me know if you need any pictures or anything else if you choose to go this route.

      Happy travels,

      Adam

  • Hey Adam, did you end up selling your toyota truck camper? I’ve been struggling to find one as well and plan to get one for the next winter season! Let me know!!

  • Hello Adam! I am so glad that I came across this truck camperarticle and all these replies that people wrote. I have a 2004 Toyota Tacoma and I am a travel nurse and tired of corporate housing Across America. I want a truck camper to fit my beloved truck but I’m unable to find a hard sided cabover camper and I have been looking for months now. So I’m glad that I came across your article because it opens up a whole world of possibilities. I would love to purchase your toyota truck camper or be entered into the raffle. Or just help on making my own to fit! I don’t know how to build stuff but I’m sure I can learn 🙂 thank you so much and I look forward to hearing back from you. Kryssa

    • Kryssa,

      Thanks for visiting my rv travel blog. Unfortunately Ijust sold my toyota truck camper last week to a couple in Texas that have also been looking all over the nation for months. I’ve been getting a lot of emails about how i modified this truck camper to fit on my Tacoma. And it really wasn’t that hard once I committed to modifying any slide in truck camper that was close enough to the dimensions I required to fit on my Toyota Tacoma. I’m not sure the exact dimensions of a 2004 Tacoma truck bed, but mine were 69 inches long (5 3/4 feet) and 46 1/2 inches wide (1 1/2 inches short of 4 feet). So all I had to really do was subtract 1 1/2 inches from one side or the other. Like I said in a previous reply don’t try and be all symetrical and cut both corneers 3/4 of inch off. That will just make more work for your self. Shave one corner back the needed length and then frame it back so that it will fit your truck bed. The couple I sold it to had a longer truck bed then my Tacoma so the wheel wells were more centered in the truck bed instead of positioned upfront like mine. If you have the same type of setup I wouldn’t even consider trying to make a cutout that fits snug in the space between the wheel wells and the front of the truck bed box. Just cut it straight off and use that extra space as sometype of storage for things like your battery or other things you won’t need to access on a daily basis. Trying to make a “U” shaped cut that will come out and back in is just more work for your self. Keep it simple.

      And even if your not that handy building stuff there are plenty of people off of craigslist looking for side jobs to help make ends meet. I was on a deadline for ski season so I didn’t put the effort into that option I could have mainly because I felt confident enough to do it myself. But if your nervouse or concerned about whether or not you can get it done shop around. There is bound to be a framer, carpenter, cabinet maker, retired woodmaker someone that would come to your house and do this for you for a reasonable fee. Even if you offered $50/hour there is no way this will take more than 1 hour to do. 2 hours max. It took me less than 30 minutes if I remember right. And dont worry if you damage the metal skirting on the outside. You can buy replacement metal that you can easily shape and form to fit your truck camper from home depot, menards, lowes or even a roofing supply company. Its called roofing wall tins (less than a $1/piece) or you could even use rolled valley metal (10 foot section costs about $20). Just remember when replacing the metal, if you have too, start installing it from the bottom up. Water runs downhill so you want to make sure your overlaps don’t catch water. You want the overlaps to cover the bottom tin by atleast an inch so that no water can get in. Water doesn’t roll up hill, and to be on the safe side caulk your seams with a waterproofing compound. I used roofing tar, but there are a million choices.

      You’ll find somehting now that you know how to modify any slide in truck camper to fit your tacoma. Just be patient, and try to get as close to your dimensions needed. The closer you get the less work you have to do. If you need any help at all modifying your new truck camper shoot me an email [email protected] and we can figure out how to chat in real time. Be more than happy to jump on a call or video chat to walk you through it. RVtrader has 3 travel lite truck campers for less than $3,000 right now. Two 690s and one 701. Both of them should be perfect for this type of modification. My slide in truck camper was sun lite 690 so the travel lite 690 should be a faily similar design, weight and construction. You can also use a site called searchtempest to do a nation wide search of all of craigslist to find cheap used truck campers that might fit your tacoma. If you want to get a custom built one I know capri campers out of texas does theres for around $10,000 & theres another outfit in Tennesse that starts at $9,000.

      ANother unconventional approach is to buy a trailer and mount the truck camper on the trailer. Than you could buy any size you want, and wouldn’t need camper jacks or even truck camper tie downs. And to take it on and off your truck would be as simple as unhitching it from the bumper. Wouldn’t even need to buy airbags or extra suspension. There are a ton of lightweight campers you could tow behind too that come with all the bells and whistles without any modifications. But i get it truck camper life offers way more freedom than a pull behind camper does. But since I just sold my toyota truck camper I am back to dragging around a 30 foot travel trailer with my 2012 Tacoma. It hasn’t even been a week and I already miss it more than I thought I would. So I’ll probably be getting another one. Only this time I will for surely do a video and post it here for you all. So you can see how easy it is. But I might need some encouragement. Don’t know if I am the video type.

      But if you need any help locating, modifying or just want to bounce ideas off of someone for your new Tacoma slide in truck camper reach out. I would be more than happy to help. I mean I just drove to Texas and back in 3 days to help someone else out. So don’t hesitate.

      Good Luck & Happy hunting. Hope you find the truck camper of your dreams and all the rewards that come with truck camper life.

      Adam

  • Shared it to facebook…hope it came out ok…i have a 2002 tacoma…great trucks…over 320000 mi on it

    • Clyde,

      Thanks for the share Clyde. Somebody somewhere is going to be very thankful when they come across it. Maybe it will be a manufacturer who has enough power to force their company to start making truck campers for Toyota Tacoma owners also known as the most adventurous truck owners on the planet!. Thanks again for the share and stopping by my RV travel blog.

      Happy Travels,

      Adam

  • Hi Adam,

    Great article. I have a 2007 Tacoma with the access cab. It is a 2WD with the 2.7-liter 2TR-FE 4-cylinder engine. I have a friend who is selling their 2005 Sun-Lite 690 camper. Would my truck have enough power and payload to carry this slide in truck camper if I did your alterations?

    Thanks, Franz

    • Franz,

      Thanks for visiting my RV travel blog! Glad you enjoyed the read, and looks like you found it more than helpful. Thats the same truck camper I put on my Tacoma.

      As for your trucks power and payload I wish I could say yes or no, but I duno. I have a brother that owns his own mechanic shop so I tend to just go for it and if shit breaks well I know an affordable mechanic. I mean I tow a 7,000 pound travel trailer around with Tacoma which you can see in this article. Tacoma are a sneaky tough workhouse though. Which I am sure your aware of, but if your Sun Lite 690 camper is made the same mine was it should only weigh 700 pounds and gear should be another 500-1,000 pounds. Tacoma’s should be more than capable of carrying less than 2,000 pounds.

      **** BUT I DON”T KNOW FOR SURE **** I’M A GUY THAT TAKES THE ….LETS SEE WHAT HAPPENS APPROACH SO…….

      I bought fireside airbag shocks and would highly recommend them as well as 10 ply tires.

      I know that doesn’t exactly answer your question, but I love my Tacoma and would hate to break iteven with a mechanic for a brother. So I don’t want to tell you yes and then find out in an angry email I was wrong. I would check the manual or tacomaworld forums or even call up an off road customizing shop and ask them. Any mechanic should be able to look it up, and googles full of answers.

      Let me know what you find out. I’m sure others have a similar question.

      Happy Travel Franz and hopefully next we hear from is from your new toyota tacoma truck camper.

  • Hi Adam, I own a 2018 Toyota Tacamo 4×4 sr5 v6 and I think the load capacity is 1300lbs. It’s an extra-cab (2 doors and 2 1/2 sized suicide doors), not double cab (4 full size doors), so the bed is longer, I think 6 feet. The bed came lined with a tough black plastic liner. Should I remove it before attempting to install the slide in truck camper? I’m not sure what the dry weight of the camper is (I’ll have to get back to you on that.) Given a load capacity of 1300 lbs., is there a weight that you suggest would be in the “safe zone” that I should not exceed? It appears as though I’d only have to remove about 2.25 inches from each side of the front of the slide in , extending about 3 feet back to clear the wheel wells. The length required for how high is a mere 9″. So 9″ x 36″ x (2.25″ deep) bilaterally. Any advice or comments you can give/make would be of great help….I don’t want to by the blasted thing and then not be able to install it. Thank you! , Kevin
    BTW: (It the load is iffy, I guess I could throw in an extra leaf. Ciao! K

    • Kevin,

      Thanks for visiting my RV Travel Blog. Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you and approve your comment I have been traveling through the backcountry so really haven’t had any service to do any work. I am not familiar with the manufacturing specs of a 2018 Toyota Tacoma payload capacities, but my 2013 has a payload capacity of 2500. I also added airbag suspension which you can find here at amazon https://amzn.to/2Hp9rpq

      Another reader who lives out in California bought these same airbags to help her with upgrading your gen 1 tacoma. Way easier and simpler to beef up your payload capaicity to carry the weight of a truck camper. You didn’t mention the brand or manufacture of the one your thinking of buying, but just make sure it is a lightweight truck camper. Also I wouldn’t remove the tough plastic liner. Thats there to protect your truck. I have the same thing in my Tacoma. Never created any issue, but I would also recommend not cutting both corners. I would only cut one corner. Don’t make more work for yourself than you have too. I have since sold my truck camper to a guy down in Texas who has an extended truck bed on his gen 2 Tacoma. So he had to extend my orignal cuts to fit his Tacoma, and it looks fabulous on his Toyota! He also made a cut in the side to install an additional window A/C unit. On another note as you are finding out that they make lightweight full walled truck campers for Toyota Tacoma’s so if you feel like this isn’t for you afterwards you will have no problem finding a buyer for it. When I put my up for sale just in case Texas backed out I had over 200 emails in less than a week from Florida to Alaska!. If you have any more questions I shoot me an email I would be more than happy to walk you through what I did so that you can have a truck camper to fit your Tacoma!

      Regards,

      Adam

  • I am looking to buy a lightweight cabover camper for my 2018 Toyota Tacoma, but was wondering if you had any advice on what brand is best to modify to fit my Tacoma better than another? THNX Kevin

    • Kevin,

      There are brands that will fit your Tacoma better than others, but they are so highly sought after you can expect to pay close to $15,000 for those lighweight truck camper gems. The best advice I can give when looking for a cabover camper to modify to make it fit your Tacoma is to try and find a wood based build truck camper as close to the dimensions as you require to fit between the wheel wells of your 2018 Toyota Tacoma. The close you get to the dimensions you need for your Tacoma Truck bed the less work you will have to do. I would also beef up your suspension with these Fireside airbags https://amzn.to/2Hp9rpq from amazon. This is what I purchased for my 2013 Tacoma so make sure when your looking on amazon you enter your vehicles specs properly. Different years require different models, but I am sure they will have a kit for your Tacoma. Let me know if you have any more questions.

      Regards,

      Adam

  • I am in the same boat as many others..cant find a camper for my beloved Toyota Tacoma, makes no sense. I need to hire someone to modify a camper (not yet purchased). I am writing to ask you to post a video of your process. I have read your step by step process but would find it very helpful to actually see how you do it.
    Can you please make a video and post it?
    I want to thank you for your honest, helpful information.

    • Monique,

      Its kind of amazing there are so many Tacoma owners with no options to choose from!! Someday that will change. Anywho, I wish I could post a video, but once I posted that Toyota Tacoma truck camper article a few weeks later my computer had an accident and I lost all my media. If you want I have walked a few others through the process by phone, but don’t make the mistake I did by putting too much thought into it. Its actually really simple. Measure the distance between your wheel, and cut that difference off of only 1 corner. You can do both if you want, but that means you have to do two corners instead of one. Don’t make more work for yourself. And most truck camper floors are 48 inches wide. If your Tacoma is like mine it will be 46 1/2 inches wide between the wheel wells. So all you have to do is cut one corner back 2 inches for the camper to fit between the wheel wells. Than you have to cut up. My wheel wells were 9 inches if I remember right so I cut up 10 inches, and 34 inches back since my wheels wells were 33 1/2 inches long. Again if I remember right. Think of it like Tetris. Your just cutting a square rectangle shape out so one wheel well can fit inside the hole you cut out. Any carpenter worth their salt should be able to figure that out and shouldn’t take them more than an hour to do. Two hours at the most. Just remember they are cutting into 1/4 inch plywood and 2×2 inch wooden beams. It can all be fixed with a trip to the wood supply store. A wonderful woman from Southern California connected with me before she bought a camper that had the entire bottom 6 inches rotted out from water damage. With the help of her daughter and ex husband in a couple days she had a brand new Toyota Tacoma Truck Camper for her generation 1 taco. Its just wood and screws that takes a little thought on how to take it all apart before you put it all back together. If you go ahead with it if you make a video I would love to post it for others so we can all benefit from manufacturers ignoring us Tacoma owners.

      My email is [email protected]

      Let me know if you have any other questions.
      Regards,

      Adam

  • We have a 2019 Tacoma, 4 doors, 6 ft bed, 4wd.
    We are thinking of buying a 2006 Sun Valley Sky Hawk SB, I think it’s by the discontinued SunLite.
    Our question is how to secure the camper to the bed. Will the tie down room rings in the bed work, or does it need more? Advice please!

    • Nancy,

      Thats a great question, and one that I wish I had a full complete answer for you. I am not familiar with the 2019 Tacoma’s truck bed “material”. I thought my 2013 Tacoma had a metal truck bed. It does NOT, and I found that out after purchase when I went to drill an anchor point through what essentially is tough cardboard. I am finding out more and more Tacoma truck beds are nothing more than a composite material. Knowing that I would suggest either find out by calling the dealership or take a drill to your truck bed in a place that wont matter to see if in fact it is actually a metal truck bed. If you do have a metal truck bed than they probably can be used as an anchor point for some type of truck camper tie down system. Here is what I did to create my own frame mounted truck camper tie downs for less than $50 . You can also buy premade Toyota Tacoma Truck Camper Tie downs from a variety of places here is a link to purchase them from Amazon https://amzn.to/2HTZccN. I would also check your local craigslist to see if anyone has a used pair you can pick up for a discount. Hope that helps. Let me know if you have anymore questions.

      Thanks for visiting my RV Travel blog.

      Regards,

      Adam

  • HI Adam:
    We are looking for a (non-canvas) truck camper for our 2005 1/4-ton Toyota Tacoma with automatic transmission. When you researched for your 1/2-ton camper, did you come up with any ideas for lighter weight trucks? Our bed measures about 57″ w x 73″ l. I’m not too intimidated by cutting into an existing camper to make it fit, but I am concerned about keeping our overall weight down as much as possible.
    Jason

    • Jason,
      Thanks for stopping by my travel blog. My tacoma is a 1/4 ton truck not a 1/2 ton truck. So I’m not sure what you mean by 1/2 ton camper? I just found something that was a close enough fit and went for it. It sounds like you have a bigger box than I do. I can’t even fit a full sheet of plywood in the bed of my truck. After loading up the camper I am guessing my payload was around 2,500 pounds after loading gear, water and other supplies. Which is why I added the airbag suspension and 10 ply tires to my Tacoma. Both made noticeable improvements in handling, gas mileage and overall control. Gave me a much more safer feeling when traveling with the truck camper on. Toyota’s are tough, and built to work.

      Everytime I pulled into a gas station towing the travel trailer or the slide in cabover camper I was asked something about my Tacoma. What engine do you have? What is your gear ratio? Do you have aftermarket shocks & struts? Do you have any problems going over mountain passes? Blah blah blah. Every question you can think of I am sure I have been asked by a stranger at the pumps at one point, and most of the time my answer is I duno. I just turn the key, pump the gas and drive on down the road. Over thinking deletes all the fun out of the adventure. I have helped three people by phone, two by email and one in person. If your worried about weight beef up your shocks, springs and struts. Add airbag suspension. Purchase a bumper mount truck camper support. Don’t fill your water tanks. Load less gear. Build your own.

      I have no idea what the payload capacity of my Toyota Tacoma is, but I know it pulls a 5,000 pound 30 foot travel trailer with a 12 foot slideout with full tanks and thousands of pounds of gear no problem. I’m talking ski’s, wakeboard, 30 foot kite, chainsaw, tools, skill saws, grinder, 54 inch TV, laptops, camera gear, TWO 570 watt solar panels, battery bank, food, clothes, hatches, tents, hammocks, fishing gear, climbing gear, mountain bike, 50cc scooter and much much much more. Over mountains, around mountains, down mountains and up mountains during ski season when roads are covered in snow and ice with no guard rails in the middle of nowhere. And I did that for 3 years. I also know it pulls a fully loaded truck camper that wasn’t designed to sit in my fiberglass truck bed that has no metal on its base or walls. Tacoma’s are tough. Last winter I put a tow strap on a semi that had driven off the road because of the snow in Minnesota. It probably had more to do with his 16 wheels, but my Tacoma pulled a semi out of of the ditch in 3 feet of snow in the middle of February. I’m that guy. Just hook it up and see what happens. Deal with the fall out afterwards.

      I understand your concern for weight, but unless your willing to spend $20,000-$30,000 your not going to find a lightweight truck camper that won’t give you any pause. Your most likely going to load a 1,500-2,500 pound backpack on your Tacoma, and your gas mileage is going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $50=200 miles. Depending on where and how you drive of course.

      If your asking if I came across any brands that are more compatible with Tacomas than another. I would say any slide in truck camper from the 90s-2009 that is close enough to make it fit your Tacoma with the least amount of work. There is nothing out there besides the Bigfoot & Northstar fiberglass truck campers that are designed to fit Tacoma’s, but both those companies stop making Tacoma campers. So if you find one on the web its not going to be cheap.

      Hope that helps. Shoot me an email if you have any other questions.

      Adam

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