Converting a Truck Bed Into a Camper
Your truck bed can be a lot more than a place to haul things around in. You can pile into the back of the truck at the drive-through and watch a movie, put the dogs in there when you're going on an adventure, and lay down in it to look up at the stars on a clear night.
Right now, campers are everywhere. The idea of hitting the road, going off somewhere, and camping out is compelling. Everyone is in on the trend. But you don't have to get a camper to get into the lifestyle. With a little DIY, anyone can turn a truck bed into a camper. All you need is some wood and a can-do spirit, and you can make the conversion without too much sweat...or money!
For this project, you will need standard protective gear like goggles, gloves, and sturdy boots. You should also get all your materials and tools ready, so you won't have to stop your project. Use extreme caution when operating all power tools and cutting tools.
To know what materials you'll need, you have to measure the bed of your truck carefully. Measure the height, depth, length of the bed, along with the dimensions of any protrusions or indents. Write down all the measurements you take. With this, you'll be able to figure out how to build your camper and what you’ll need to do it.
Build a DIY Camper
Make sure you have a nice, dry day to work and plenty of time. You can do this DIY project alone, but there are many steps, so you'll need lots of hours to get your work done. If you can get a helper, even better.
Step 1 - Cut the Wood
Plywood sheets will work fine for this project. You can reinforce them with 2x4s if you like. Either way, cut your wood first. The frame around the bed and the bed itself will run almost the length of the truck bed. Cut plywood sheets for the frame to be at least 18 inches wide.
Step 2 - Build the Frame
You need plywood for the bottom and the top. Cut around the wheel well. Use another sheet to build a short wall from the bottom sheet of plywood to the top. The top of the frame will meet the top of the truck bed. Build a frame all the way around the inside of the truck bed, on the sides, and across the front. Angle brackets, bolts, and hinges will secure the corners of the frame together.
Step 3 - Add Supports
Cut a piece of plywood to the length of the truck bed that, when turned vertically, will match the height of the truck bed minus 3/4-inch. This will be placed at the center of the bed, rising from the bed to stand perpendicular.
Step 4 - Build the Bed
Place plywood sheets across the top of the frame and the support. Secure it to the frame and support it with nails.
Step 5 - Cut Carpet
Measure and trim carpet pieces to cover all exposed plywood. Use a staple gun to secure the soft surfacing.
Step 6 - Add a Mattress
A foam mattress can be cut to size and placed on the plywood to create a comfy bed. Meanwhile, the space under the bed is convenient storage.
Step 7 - Add a Topper
A truck bed topper will enclose your cozy camping area and complete the design. When you get out into the great beyond, however, you can always go an alternate root. Once you get to your campsite, remove the truck bed topper and use a tent. The tent roof will be higher than a standard truck bed topper, so you have more room to enjoy your DIY work.
Step 8 - Hit the Road!
Don't forget to load in your portable grill, cooler, fishing rod, and anything else you might need to get out and enjoy camping.