We happened to be in a Florida RV park during a big fishing tournament. Anglers from all over the United States seemed to have one thing in common: Each competitor had a slide-in truck camper. Many of these folks travel and fish for a living, so they live in their RVs much of the year. That made me wonder, with all the nice, big fifth-wheel RVs and some equally large travel trailers available, “Why would a person choose a slide-in camper over a roomier travel trailer or fifth wheel?”
So, I asked. Here are some of the responses I got, and the owners’ reasoning makes good sense! See if you agree.
- So many fishermen (and women) I spoke with said they prefer a slide-in camper because they can tow their boat more easily with it. (No wonder we saw so many, huh?) Not into fishing? A truck camper allows you to tow a variety of things: horse trailers, equipment trailers, trailered off-road vehicles, and more.
- A slide-in camper is usually less expensive than other RVs on the market today. A well-equipped, new slide-in camper unit retails for about $40,000. That’s much less than you’d pay for a new and larger fifth-wheel RV or diesel pusher. Pre-owned slide-in campers can be much less.
- Many folks I talked to said they like how much easier it is for them to drive with a camper instead of dragging a long trailer behind them. There’s no extensive learning curve, like learning to safely corner or back up a bigger rig. You just drive your truck!
- Along those same lines, it’s easier to park a camper on your truck. Your rig will fit into any campsite, unlike the RV’s bigger cousins.
- Maintenance issues are less with a slide-in camper. There are no wheels or engine issues to worry about. (Wouldn’t that be a relief?)
- A truck camper is easier to store when you’re not traveling. Many people said they put their camper in the backyard during off season.
- Off-road enthusiasts love that they can take their camper anywhere the truck can go. That means more adventures without sacrificing the comforts of home.
- Many states consider slide-in truck camper units as “cargo” on the truck. That means you need not register this RV. (Check your local regulations.)
Over the years, much has changed with slide-in truck camper designs. Did you know that some 2021 models feature dry bathrooms, multiple slide outs, extra storage space, and sleeping accommodations for more than three adults? It’s true! The newer, bigger, slide-in models are heavy, however, so you’ll need a beefier truck to pull the extra weight. But with all the other positives going for it, maybe a slide-in camper is the right RV for you!
Would you ever consider purchasing a slide-in truck camper? Tell us in the poll below, then leave a comment saying why or why not. Thanks!
Check out some of these recent truck camper reviews: