10 Best Truck Campers for the Chevy Silverado 1500 Half-Ton Pickup

If you already own a Chevy Silverado 1500, good on you. You chose well. If you’re looking to buy a quality half-ton pickup, then the Chevy Silverado 1500 is a terrific choice. The looks and off-road performance are hard to beat. The Chevy Silverado 1500 is also a great choice when it comes to hauling a small truck camper with a excellent payload rating of 2,443 pounds. Ten years ago, the choices in truck campers for half-ton trucks were slim. Today, the number has increased ten-fold. Of course, when it comes to hauling a truck camper, we actually recommend doing it with a more capable truck like a one-ton truck, but this isn’t always practical. Many Silverado 1500 owners have already paid-off their trucks and don’t want to invest in something bigger, heavier, and more expensive. Not only that, but a good number of Chevy Silverados are daily drivers and need to split time between work and play. Fortunately, truck camper manufacturers know this and have done their homework by building a wide variety of campers that are lightweight and easy to store. So without further adieu, let’s take a look at the 10 best truck campers for the Chevy Silverado 1500 pickup truck:

1. nuCamp Cirrus 620

The best of the best. nuCamp’s first attempt at building a true half-ton capable truck camper in 2019 failed with the company releasing the excellent Cirrus 720 for 3/4-ton trucks instead. 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 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 cream of the crop, the nuCamp Cirrus 620 truck camper lists for a $44,014. Available at top dealerships nationwide.

2. Scout Olympic 6.5

A revolutionary design by Washington-based Adventurer Manufacturing, the Scout Olympic 6.5 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 Olympic 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 1,081 pounds and an floor length of 6 feet 2 inches, the Scout Olympic works well with any short-bed, half-ton truck. Interested in a long-bed model? The company has that angle covered too with the Scout Kenai, which features a floor length of 7 feet 7 inches and a dry weight of 1,265 pounds. The starting price for the Scout Kenai base model is an affordable $23,990.

3. Outfitter Spire 8

A brand new, full-size offering from our friends at Outfitter RV. The Outfitter Spire 8 features everything that made the Apex and Juno models popular but with a number of enhancements to make the camper lighter and more nimble. These changes include removal of the heated basement, a smaller, 24 gallon fresh water holding tank, a larger 20 gallon grey tank, and a cassette toilet. Construction of the camper, however, remains the same as other Outfitter models and includes a foam core roof, a fully-welded aluminum frame with block foam insulation, vacuum bonded composite walls, and an electric roof lift with a manual override. Standards include a three-way 3 cubic foot refrigerator, a three-burner cooktop, molded countertops, a 20,000 BTU furnace, a north-south, queen-size bed, underbed storage, bed-side cabinets, an overhead storage cabinet, and an interior privacy shower stall and cassette toilet. With a dry weight of 1,850 pounds and a floor length of 8 feet 4 inches, the Spire 8 is perfect for half-ton trucks like the Chevy Silverado 1500. The best options include a 200 watt Renogy solar power system with a 30 amp Go Power PWM charge controller, a 30 amp Blue Sky Energy MPPT Charge Controller, and a Renogy 2,000 watt inverter with a built-in transfer relay. Battery options include a 12 volt AGM battery, dual 6 volt AGM batteries, and a Battle Born 100 amp hour lithium battery. Sold factory direct, the list price for the Outfitter Spire 8 is a cool $37,495.

4. Supertramp Flagship LT

Looking for a cutting-edge pop-up with all of the amenities including the latest tech? Then the Supertramp Flagship LT is for you. The Flagship’s monocoque structure consists of a 100 percent composite fiberglass/epoxy shell using a vacuum infusion process for an optimum strength-to-weight ratio. The floorplan features a queen-size cabover bed, a full kitchenette, a dinette and a wet-bath. The camper also features a quick-disconnect jack system for serious off-roading and a pop-top that raises and lowers using four electric linear actuators in just 10 seconds. Standards for this space-age camper include a 330 watt solar power system, 24 gallon fresh water holding tank, a 5 gallon grey water holding tank, two 10-pound propane tanks, two thermopane windows with interior screens and shades, a heated basement, two Maxxair vent fans, a 65L Isotherm DC compressor refrigerator, a pull-out exterior stove, a portable cassette toilet, and a Truma Combi Eco water heater-furnace. Options of this high-end camper include a 400 amp hour lithium battery system, an interior and exterior shower, a 1,500 watt inverter, a 180-degree awning, and can be ordered in several colors and wrap combinations. The Supertramp Flagship LT is made for full-size trucks with 6.5-foot and 8-foot beds with floor length of 82-inches and 100 inches respectively. Fully optioned-out, the camper weighs only 1,350 pounds. Lists for an affordable $59,975. Sold factory-direct from the company’s Golden, Colorado factory.

5. Phoenix Level Series

Interested in a semi-custom pop-up to haul on your Chevy Silverado 1500? Well, the good folks at Phoenix Campers build perhaps the coolest looking truck campers in the industry. Customers start with a base model like the Level 1 and add only the options that they want. The 7-foot floorplan features an east-west 60×80-inch bed, a large dinette forward, a wet-bath on the driver side, and a small kitchenette on the passenger side. With a dry weight of only 1,180 pounds, construction consists an all-aluminum double welded tube cage frame, stuffed with high density foam, and protected by a tough outer shell of pre-laminated thick, one piece Crane fiberglass. Level Series highlights include an 18-gallon fresh water tank, a Thetford cassette toilet, an 8-gallon grey water holding tank, and Dometic 1.9 cubic foot compressor refrigerator. The standard cabinet color is birch with a clear coat finish, but more exotic cabinet materials like bamboo can be ordered. Popular options include integrated power inverters with a built-in transfer relay, solar power systems of various sizes, roof racks, a rear ladder, flood lights, a low profile air conditioner, and Rotopax fuel-water containers. They’re also one of the few companies that can paint your camper a custom color to match your truck. The design is so exquisite it even works well on mid-size trucks albeit with smaller holding tanks. Comes in two versions: the Level 2 version comes with a water heater and shower, while the Level 1 does not. Pricing for the Phoenix Pop Up Camper Level 1 starts at $32,995.

6. Hiatus Camper

The unique, lightweight design of the Hiatus Camper offers all of the benefits of today’s truck topper without the use of canvas for a better four-season experience. “The pop-up truck camper market is dominated by canvas sided models, so our folding, rigid pop-top really stands out” explained Erin Sofinowski, co-owner of Washington-based Hiatus Campers. “Our fully hard-sided design insulates you from the cold, stands up to wet and snowy weather better, and provides a barrier from wind and external noise. Another thing that sets our camper apart is the option to upgrade to the double-back door, which makes it easier to get in/out of the camper and does a great job keeping dust/water out of the camper.” The Hiatus Camper is fully insulated, mounts to the bed rails of the truck, and provides a comfortable four-season camping experience. The campers weigh 460-550 pounds depending on truck size. The innovative, patented design features a large bed that can comfortably sleep two, which slides-out, and can be assembled in seconds. For a mid-size truck, the sleeping platform is 50×74 inches and for a full-size truck 57×74 inches, but if customers opt to upgrade to the vertical lower frame they will gain 11 more inches of width. Standard features include slider windows with screens in the pop top, a cab pass through window, a side access door, a roof vent, fixed window in the tailgate compatible door, an integrated third brake light, and Yakima tracks. They also offer the option to customize your camper, including adding electronics, extra windows, awnings, and customizable frame options. Pricing for the full-size Hiatus Camper starts at $17,000, a real bargain.

7. Hotomobil Gladiator STD

Looking for a modern, well-insulated camper? Then the new Hotomobil Gladiator STD is an excellent choice. The sleek, European styling and one-piece fiberglass body stands out in stark contrast to the more ponderous, fiberglass campers made by Northern Lite and Bigfoot. What also makes the German-import stand out is the bedliner texture that’s resistant to scratches. Nobody in the North American market offers anything quite like it. While the Gladiator STD is the company’s largest short-bed truck camper, yet it’s light enough to be hauled on full-size trucks with lower payload ratings. This size means the 1,700-pound camper can be hauled on any appropriately-rated half-ton pickup truck like the Chevy Silverado 1500. The Gladiator offers everything needed to comfortably travel and explore off-grid, including a spacious large cabover bed, a 90L DC refrigerator, a well-equipped kitchen with a two-burner stove, a diesel water heater and furnace, a comfortable U-shaped dinette, and a wet-bath with storage cabinets and a raised bathroom sink. Standards include a stealthy tie-down system that eliminates outriggers, a 23 gallon fresh water holding tank, jacks that can either be removed or flipped in the up position, a side-mounted awning, a lithium battery, a 205 watt solar power system with an 20 amp MPPT charger controller, a rear ladder, a cassette toilet, and an optional roof-top tent. Hotomobil offers two Gladiator sizes for full-size pickups: the STD for 6 foot 6 inch truck beds and the LB for long-bed trucks with 8-foot beds. Available in six colors and two finishes. The list price for this stylish, European import is $40,000. Can be ordered either factory direct or from dealers.

8. Lance 650

When it comes to luxury and comfort for today’s Chevy Silverado, nothing compares with the Lance 650. The Lance 650 is one of our favorites as well. Not only does it provide a north-south queen bed and a full size wet bath with a sink, but it also features a large kitchen and a dinette long enough to sleep an adult. With standard equipment, the Lance 650 weighs just 1,700 pounds dry and 1,903 pounds wet. It has a floor length of 6 feet 10 inches long and offers a spacious 6 feet 9 inches of interior height. The tank sizes of this short-bed camper are excellent with 22 gallons fresh, 15 gallons grey, and 16 gallons black. We’re also big fans of Lance’s new exterior one-piece TPO nose cap, which gives the camper a sleek and aerodynamic look, the on-demand tankless water heater, and Lance’s new Easy Charge exterior charging center for quick battery charging. Versatile enough to fit on both 6.5-foot and 5.5-foot pickup trucks and a great little camper, the Lance 650 offers everything you could possibly want except for the excessive weight. Still, many Ram 1500s will need to have the suspension upgraded and have higher rated wheels and tires installed to haul this luxury hotel around—unless, of course, the truck is already equipped with the heavy-duty payload package. We also recommend getting the 5.0L V8 for extra climbing power up hills and mountains. The base MSRP for the Lance 650 is $49,032. Available at top dealerships nationwide.

9. Bundutec Wild

A relatively new design by truck camper guru Rory Willet, the Bundutec Wild pushes the truck camper envelope in a big way. The Wild not only comes with a complete wet-bath, but also a large, grey water holding tank that makes using that wet-bath practical. With its gray aluminum exterior and black accents, it’s also a great looking camper. The Wild’s 7-foot floorplan features a kitchen and wet-bath on the driver side, a refrigerator with loads of storage on the front wall, and a full-length dinette on the passenger side. Standard features include a north-south 56×74-inch mattress with lift up under bed storage, a 21-gallon fresh water tank, a 17-gallon grey water holding tank, a NovaKool R3000 compressor refrigerator, a stainless steel sink, and window and door screens fine enough to keep out annoying “no-see-ums” bugs. Bundutec’s best options include a Zamp 160 watt solar power system, the BunduAwn wrap-around awning, and the revolutionary Truma Combi water heater furnace that not only saves on weight and space, but is also whisper quiet when in operation. Easily, one of the 10 best campers for the Ram 1500. At 1,610 pounds the Bundutec Wild is a bit on the heavy side with its rugged, all-wood construction, but it’s hard to downgrade a camper as well-equipped as the Wild, which is why it’s ranked so high. The list price for the Wild is only $26,593, a bargain when you consider all that you get for the money.

10. 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 trucks like the Chevy Silverado 1500. 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.

Read This Before You Buy

Before purchasing your camper, make sure your Chevy Silverado 1500/GMC Sierra 1500 can handle the extra weight. When it comes to hauling a truck camper, the payload rating trumps all other performance numbers including horsepower, fuel-mileage, and torque. For a Chevy Silverado 1500, this rating can be a low as 2,116 pounds or as high as 2,443 pounds. This means the camper you buy, plus passengers and gear, must be below this number. Determining the payload rating of your Silverado/Sierra 1500 is easy. It can be found either on the driver side door jamb sticker (pictured here) or can be determined by taking the truck to the scales and subtracting the weight of the truck from the truck’s GVWR. You’ll also need to ensure that the wheels and suspension are up to the task of hauling a camper. This is because only a fraction of factory Silverado/Sierra 1500s are made to do it. In order for this truck to carry more weight, light truck (LT) load range D- or E-rated wheels and tires and a set of heavier coils or air bags at a minimum will be needed. Aftermarket suspension mods like these won’t officially increase your truck’s payload rating, but they will make hauling your camper easier and a whole lot safer.

About Mello Mike 899 Articles
Mello Mike is an Arizona native, author, and the founder of Truck Camper Adventure. He's been RV'ing since 2002, is a certified RVIA Level 1 RV Technician, and has restored several Airstream travel trailers. A communications expert and licensed ham radio operator (KK7TCA), he retired from the U.S. Navy in 2004 as a CWO3 after 24 years, holds a BS degree, and now runs Truck Camper Adventure full-time. He also does some RV consulting, repairs, and inspections on the side. He currently rolls in a 4WD Ram 3500 outfitted with a SherpTek truck bed with a Bundutec Roadrunner mounted on top.

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