The payload wars between Ford, Chevy, and Ram have yielded impressive results for today’s consumer. Even the 3/4-ton pickup truck has benefited from these wars with much higher payload ratings. Indeed, most of the gasoline-powered, 3/4-ton trucks rolling off today’s assembly lines have payload ratings in excess of 3,300 pounds. Fortunately, truck camper manufacturers and consumers are reaping the benefits of these higher ratings. Many are building hard-side truck campers light enough to be safely hauled on 3/4-ton trucks like the Ram 2500, Chevy Silverado 2500, and Ford F-250. In this article, we rank the 10 best truck campers for Ford F250 and Ram Chevy GM 2500 trucks.
“Safely” is the key word here. Some truck camper manufacturers say that their hard-side campers can be hauled on a 3/4-ton, but honestly, that’s often not the case. Sure, the dry weight figures they quote in their pamphlets are low enough, but most people I know camp with their campers loaded. This means you have to take into account things like full tanks, batteries, gear, food, and options like air conditioners and solar that were installed after the camper was built. All of this extra “stuff” weighs anywhere between 800 and 1,000 pounds, so a camper with a dry weight of 2,100 pounds will actually weigh around 3,000 pounds fully loaded.
In this article, we rank the best truck campers that can be safely hauled on a 3/4-ton truck. So who makes the best truck camper for a 3/4-ton full-size truck? That’s a great question. We looked at several factors to determine our rankings—build quality, features, and tank capacities. In order to be ranked, each truck camper needed to meet two requirements. First, it needed to weigh less than 3,300 pounds, fully loaded, the maximum payload of most gasoline-powered 3/4-ton trucks. Second, it needed to have a wet bath, a feature desired by most consumers looking for a truck camper in this weight range.
Happily, the eight campers that made our final cut offer the consumer a wide range of choices. Some fit on short-bed trucks only, while others are versatile enough to fit on both short-bed and long-bed trucks. Some have basements, others don’t. Significant differences between the campers are noted here. Due to their excessive weight, truck campers with slide-outs were not included in this ranking. If you’re interested in a truck camper with a slide-out check out this article that ranks the best. Remember, you saw this comprehensive, well-researched list here first, well before Internet copycats with nearly identical lists publish theirs. So without further adieu, let’s take a look at the 10 best truck campers for Ford F250 and Ram Chevy GMC 2500 trucks:
1. Lance 825
The hands-down winner and a steady seller at Lance Campers, the Lance 825 provides the essentials needed to camp comfortably without the burden of hauling around scale-tipping slide-outs. The dry weight of this aluminum-framed, short-bed truck camper is a svelte 1,832 pounds, making it ideal for most 3/4-ton trucks, even when fully loaded, and some half-tons. The 8-foot 6-inch floor plan of the Lance 825 features a gorgeous interior with cherry-stained cabinets, a north-south queen size bed, a full-size dinette, a well-equipped kitchenette, a large wardrobe, and a small wet-bath with a shower. Standard features include a Dometic three-way 3-cubic foot refrigerator with stainless steel refrigerator panels, a two-burner stainless steel cook-top, an Atwood 18,000 BTU propane fired furnace, a 5-gallon propane tank, and an Atwood 6-gallon water heater. The tank capacities of the Lance 825 are fairly large with 30 gallons fresh, a 13 gallons grey, a 14 gallon black. The best options include a 100 watt roof top solar power system, rear and side awnings, a removable carpet kit, and Lance’s own roof rack system. We’re big fans of Lance’s new exterior one-piece TPO nose cap, which gives the camper a sleek and aerodynamic look, and Lance’s new Easy Charge exterior charging center that allows owners to hook up a portable solar panel or a generator for quick battery charging. Without a doubt, one of the 10 best truck campers for 3/4-ton trucks. The camper comes with only one group-27 battery box, but the compartment can easily be modified to fit two larger group-31 batteries if desired. The MSRP for the base model is only $50,460. Available at top dealerships nationwide.
2. Bigfoot 15C8.2R Series
A superb fiberglass, clam-shell camper built by our Canadian friends up north. Weighing only 2,061 pounds dry, the Bigfoot 15C8.2R is the company’s smallest and lightest truck camper. But that doesn’t mean the company cut corners, quite the opposite, the build quality and fit and finish are top notch, exactly what you’d expect to see in a Bigfoot camper. The 1500 Series’ stylish interior features a north-south queen-size bed; a large U-shaped dinette; a well-equipped kitchenette with loads of storage; a massive, two-way 6-cubic foot refrigerator, 6 feet 5 inches of headroom, and a floor length of 8 feet 6 inches. Notable features include a porcelain toilet, an 11,000 BTU air conditioner, a 16,000 BTU propane-fired furnace, two 20-pound propane tanks with an auto change over, a rear awning, and a three-burner propane cooktop. The camper also comes with a number of upgrades, including a battery disconnect switch, an integrated stereo system with interior and exterior speakers, a black tank rinse, accordion-style day-night shades, and thermal pane windows. Easily one of the 10 best truck campers for 3/4-ton trucks. However, the tank sizes in this camper are a bit on the small side with only a 32-gallon fresh water holding tank, an 11-gallon grey water holding tank, and a 14-gallon black water holding tank. The MSRP of the Bigfoot 15C8.2R is $39,175.
3. Wolf Creek 850 by Northwood Mfg.
In response to complaints about its Arctic Fox campers being too heavy, Northwood Manufacturing expanded its catalog in 2011 by offering a lightweight line of campers called the Wolf Creek. The Wolf Creek 850 is the company’s most popular model. The dry weight is only 2,008 pounds, a figure that puts it well within the payload ratings of most 3/4-ton trucks, but not half-ton trucks which the company erroneously claims. The 8-foot 8-inch floorplan features a north-south queen bed, a dinette long enough (78 inches) to sleep an adult; an excellent one-piece, molded wet-bath with a sink; a large kitchen with a 5-cubic foot refrigerator; and a sizable wardrobe. Noteworthy options for the Wolf Creek 850 include a 2,500-watt Onan generator (the only camper in this list to offer one), Hehr thermal pane windows, a curbside wardrobe in the cabover, and the excellent Fox Landing folding step made by our friends at Torklift. The camper also features a dual battery compartment and a basement, which houses fairly large holding tanks—27 gallons of fresh water, 19 gallons of grey, and 20 gallons of black. The camper also features two 5-gallon propane cylinders. Available for both short-bed and long-bed trucks. If this floorplan, doesn’t appeal, Northwood Manufacturing makes a longer Wolf Creek 890 model with even more features and elbowroom. MSRP the Wolf Creek 850 is $31,259.
4. Scout Kenai
A revolutionary approach to truck camper design by Yakima, Washington-based Adventurer Manufacturing, the Scout Kenai incorporates a number of portables to save on weight. These portables include a removable Dometic CFX3 75L refrigerator-freezer with WiFi, a 4.9-gallon removable water tank, a removable dining table, a Yeti Goal Zero 1500x lithium battery pack, and a removable propane cooktop. Standard features include a 175 watt flexible solar panel, a moon roof with a screen and solar reflective shade, a four-person dinette with sleeper conversion, and dual 5-pound propane bottles. The best options include a Thetford Cassette Toilet, a Newport Real Flame 4,500 BTU propane fireplace, and a Rhino Rack Batwing Awning. Particularly noteworthy, is that the Scout Kenai can sleep up to six people when you include the optional roof-top tent, an unheard of number for a truck camper let alone a camper of this size. With a dry weight of only 1,265 pounds and an floor length of 8 feet, the Scout Kenai works well with any long-bed, 3/4-ton truck. Interested in a short-bed model? The company has that angle covered too with the Scout Olympic, which features a floor length of 6.2 feet, a dry weight of 1,081 pounds, and most of the features listed for the Kenai. The starting price for the Scout Kenai base model is an affordable $26,990.
5. nuCamp Cirrus 620
nuCamp’s first attempt at building a true half-ton capable truck camper in 2019 failed with the company releasing the now defunct Cirrus 720. But where the Cirrus 720 failed, the brand-new Cirrus 620 succeeds. The Cirrus 620 weighs only 1,491 pounds dry making it an excellent payload match for most half-ton and all 3/4-ton pickups. The floorplan features a refrigerator and a hideaway Thetford swivel cassette toilet on the driver side, a small kitchenette on the passenger side, and a small dinette and north-south queen size bed up front. The interior height is a shade over 6 feet 4 inches. Unfortunately, nuCamp designers were unable to shoe-horn a wetbath into the camper’s diminutive 5-foot 9-inch floorplan though you can take a shower outside using the company’s excellent Nautilus Water Management System. Standards include a 2.3 cubic foot DC compressor refrigerator, a 19-gallon fresh water holding tank, a 15-gallon grey water holding tank, the all-in-one Alde hydronic water heater and furnace, the Froli Modular Sleep System, one 5 gallon propane tank, a 210 watt solar power system, and a vented battery compartment large enough to hold two group-24 batteries. The general shape of the camper is very reminiscent of the popular and much larger Cirrus 820 model, though you won’t find anything like the 820’s rear bumper and entry steps on this model. The nuCamp Cirrus 620 truck camper lists for a $44,014. Available at top dealerships nationwide.
6. BundutecUSA BunduVry
Truck camper guru, Rory Willett, the owner of the BundutecUSA, likes his campers to stand out in a crowd and this one does in a major way. Like all BundutecUSA truck campers, the BunduVry is constructed of wood and overlayed with a smooth .040-inch aluminum that not only looks great, but also holds up better than standard fiberglass siding. The BunduVry’s 8-foot 3-inch floorplan features a north-south 56×74-inch bed, a large, L-shape dinette and a wardrobe on the driver’s side, and a wetbath and a large kitchenette on the passenger side. Standard features include a 20-gallon fresh water tank, a 7-gallon grey water holding tank, a Thetford cassette toilet, an exterior shower, Dometic Seitz windows, a Dometic 3 cubic foot compressor refrigerator, and window and door screens fine enough to keep out annoying “no-see-ums.” Bundutec offers a plethora of options, including a Zamp 320 watt solar power system, a dual battery compartment, the En-Suite Exterior Shower Enclosure, and the Truma Combi, the revolutionary water heater furnace that not only saves on weight and space, but is also whisper quiet when in operation. With a dry weight of 1,900 pounds, the BunduVry fits well on most 3/4-ton trucks and works on either a short-bed or a long-bed. The camper can also be ordered in either grey or white. Easily one of the 10 best truck campers for Ford F250 and Ram Chevy GMC 2500 trucks. The list price for the BunduVry only $27,143, a real bargain when you consider all that you get for the money.
7. Alaskan 7 Cabover
Can’t decide between a hard-side or a pop-up? Well, look no further. The good folks at Alaskan make a hybrid camper that’s a little of both. Unlike the traditional pop-up truck camper, which has canvas sides, the patented pop-top on an Alaskan camper features a “solid wall” design with a hydraulic mechanism that raises and lowers the entire top of the camper with a simple flip of the switch. The benefits of this telescoping design are obvious. Not only does it provide full standing room in the interior when camping, but also less wind resistance and better gas mileage. It also makes the camper more capable off-road. Inside this rugged, well-insulated camper, you’ll find a gorgeous leather dinette, a wood-paneled ceiling, and attractive maple cabinets throughout. You’ll also find a generous amount of overhead storage and counter top space inside—more than many hard-side models. Standard features in this 1,560-pound camper include a NovaKool 2600 refrigerator, a full-length door (no stooping or bending is needed to enter or exit the camper), a 5-gallon propane tank, and a 27-gallon fresh water tank. One Group-34 AGM battery comes standard, but as many as two can be added as an option. Popular options include a Thetford C-200 swivel cassette toilet, a Zamp 170 watt solar power system, a 4-gallon water heater, a Suburban 20,000 BTU furnace, and LED lighting. Easily one of the 10 best truck campers for Ford F250 and Ram Chevy GMC 2500 trucks with a numerous benefits. Fits on both short-bed and long-bed trucks. The Alaskan 7 Cabover model goes for $38,190.
8. Soaring Eagle Adlar 6.5XL
A super lightweight hard-side from a brand new company, Soaring Eagle. The Soaring Eagle Adlar 6.5XL weighs only 1,200 pounds dry (1,700 pounds wet) and is made especially for half-ton and 3/4-ton trucks. Featuring an aluminum frame and fiberglass walls, the shape of the Adlar 6.5XL is aerodynamic, and this, along with the low weight, means the camper with acheive excellent fuel mileage on the highways. The “XL” variant of the Adlar features a roomy cab-over bed area and increased ceiling height offering more living space. Standards include a 30-inch wide dinette, a 44×80″ cabover sleeping area, passenger side and driver side counter tops, and a large wardrobe, while additional storage can be found in the dinette seats as well as in the passenger-side overhead cabinet. Additional features of the Soaring Eagle Adlar 6.5XL, include a portable toilet, durable diamond vinyl flooring, a microwave, underfloor storage, window blinds, and LED ceiling lights. Options include a north-south pull-out bed which expands the main bed to 80-inces in length, a low-amp draw air conditioner, a MaxxAir 12 volt fan with rain sensor, a Blackstone Griddle, 160 watt and 320 watt solar power packages, a 100 amp hour lithium battery, a Dometic CFF35 DC compressor refrigerator, electric jacks, quick-detach jacks and more. The camper features the bare essentials to camp comfortably off-grid, meaning no fresh or grey water holding tanks nor a wet-bath, just a portable toilet. Sold from select dealerships nationwide for an incredibly low MSRP of $19,500.
9. Adventurer 80RB by Adventurer Mfg
The Adventurer 80RB is unique in that it’s the only camper on this list that fits on both short-bed and long-bed pickup trucks. While the holding tanks in the 80RB are fairly small with 15 gallons fresh, 6 gallons gray, and 6 gallons black, this low-profile, wood-framed camper has everything else you need to boondock comfortably, including a nicely equipped wet bath and a kitchen with a 4-cubic foot refrigerator. Perhaps the most striking aspect about this 1,762-pound camper is its attractive and roomy interior. The cherry cabinets with the fully radiused corners and the stainless steel appliances and accents give the interior a modern, residential feel. We’re also fans of the 42×68-inch dinette, which features a flip-out sofa that can be converted into a full-length bed. However, there are some issues with the camper’s design and 8-foot floor length, the biggest being the rear overhang when mounted on a short-bed truck. A rear wrap with side storage boxes would solve the problem with the looks and increase the storage capacity of the camper, but unfortunately, the company doesn’t offer side storage boxes as an option. Obviously, the 8-foot floor length and center of gravity of the Adventurer 80RB precludes it from being mounted on a 5-foot 5-inch mini short-bed truck. A great little camper, the MSRP for the Adventurer 80RB is only $29,470.
10. Travel Lite Up Country 775
Travel Lite RV recently revamped its entire lineup by offering two new truck camper brands: the Up Country for full-size trucks and the Atom for mid-size trucks. Travel Lite also upped the game by eliminating wood and staples and going with a composite structure and aluminum trussed roof. The Travel Lite Up Country 775 is probably the best-equipped model for a half-ton with a floor length of 7 feet 4 inches and a dry weight of only 1,722 pounds. The 775 floor plan features a front dinette with a kitchen on the driver side and a wet-bath and refrigerator on the driver side. Standard features include a 13 gallon fresh water holding tank, one group-27 battery, a 200 watt solar power system, one 20 pound propane tanks, a stainless steel sink, a free standing table, a Shur-Flo water pump, a 40 amp converter, and a DC compressor refrigerator. Additional standards include a two-burner stainless steel stove, a stainless steel microwave, a 20,000 BTU furnace, an outdoor spray port, and detachable electric jacks. Only one option is offered, a 13.5k BTU air conditioner, but, hey, for a small camper as well equipped as this one, you don’t need much more. Easily one of the 10 best truck campers for half-ton trucks, the MSRP for the Travel Lite Up Country 775 is $34,993.