10 Best Truck Campers for the Toyota Tacoma Mid-Size Pickup

There’s no doubt about it. The Toyota Tacoma is America’s most popular mid-size truck. More than 248,000 were sold in 2021, more than double than the Ford Ranger which came in second place with 94,000.  If you already own a “Taco,” you chose well. The Tacoma’s rugged good looks, reliability and features have made it the best selling mid-size truck the last decade. The 2023 Toyota Tacoma continues this excellence with a powerful 3.5L V6 engine that generates an impressive 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque, a superb eight-speed automatic transmission, and an unrivaled OEM suspension. Better yet, the Tacoma 4×4 TRD trims pack even goodies to make your off-road truck camper adventures even better. The TRDs feature Bilstein shocks, crawl control, an electronic locking rear diff, Multi-Terrain Select, 16-inch wheels, Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Kevlar-line off-road tires, and special fender flares. In this comprehensive, well-researched article, Truck Camper Adventure presents the 10 best truck campers for the Toyota Tacoma mid-size pickup.

In general, the Toyota Tacoma’s payload ratings compare favorably to the competition with a 5,600-pound GVWR and 1,685-pound payload for a standard 2WD SR5 Tacoma with an I4 engine, an access cab and a 6-foot (73-inch-long) bed. For those who are looking for more payload and more power off-road, we recommend going with the basic Tacoma SR5 4WD with the 6-foot bed and V6 engine. Going this route nets a 1,395-pound payload compared with a similarly configured Tacoma TRD Sport with MT tires that nets a payload of 1,285 pounds. Tow ratings fall between 6,400 and 6,800 pounds for the V6.

For those who are looking to haul a small truck camper, we recommend opting for a 6-foot bed and a V6 which offers more floor space for your camper and more power to haul it. Either 2WD or 4WD Tacomas can be ordered with all-terrain (AT) and mud-terrain (MT) tires. Interested in performance more than payload? Go with a TRD Off-Road double cab that comes standard with rear lockers and MT tires. For detailed information on the payload ratings for the 2023 Toyota Tacoma, including a detailed chart, click here. Note, this is the original and best truck camper list for the Toyota Tacoma, and the one most websites copy when they generate their own “best of” rankings. So without further adieu, here are the 10 best truck campers for the Toyota Tacoma mid-size pickup.

[Updated: March 2024]

1. Kimbo 6 Slide-in

The only aluminum hard-side truck camper on this list, the Kimbo 6 truck camper was built specifically with the Toyota Tacoma in mind. The camper’s construction consists of a patented, single wall, riveted aluminum, insulated with rigid R5 foam lined with suede on the inside. In spite of the camper’s diminutive size, the camper still boasts some pretty impressive numbers like 6 feet of floor space, 6.5 feet of headroom, and over 3 feet of clearance in the cabover. Fully loaded, Kimbo 6 weighs only 1,100 pounds, well within the payload rating of most Toyota Tacoma pickups. Standard features include a teak entryway/mudroom with an aluminum partition, a 54×75-inch east-west bed, two couches for social seating, removable lift jacks, and three Arctic Turn double pane insulated “Euro” windows. The camper also comes with a three-speed roof vent fan, a Yeti 400 solar generator with 12 volt USB ports, an exterior propane bay for a 30-pound propane tank, and high-efficiency, dimmable LED lighting. Best used on a Tacoma with the 6-foot bed. Sold factory direct out of Bellingham, Washington. Pricing starts at around $22,000, a very reasonable starting point for a lightweight camper of this quality.

2. Scout Yoho Slide-in

A revolutionary design by Washington-based Adventurer Manufacturing, the Scout Yoho incorporates a number of industry-first add-ons to save on weight. Sure, the Yoho is smaller than other slide-in truck campers, but at 934 pounds, it’s also lighter meaning almost any mid-size truck can haul it. Standard features include an east-west bed, a 190 watt flexible solar panel, a portable Goal Zero Yeti 1500x lithium power station, a moon roof with a screen and solar reflective shade, a four person dinette with sleeper conversion, a stainless steel sink with a Lifesaver portable 4.9 gallon Jerry Can for water, and dual 5-pound propane bottles. Notable options include a portable two-burner cook top, a Dometic CFX3 45L Fridge/Freezer with WiFi, a portable 2.6 gallon toilet, bunk extensions or an under mattress vapor barrier, and a 270-degree “batwing” awning. The Yoho supports four-season travel with robust insulation and an optional diesel heater. The camper will last for generations thanks to it’s rugged aluminum, exo-skeleton shell and no-wood composite structural panels that will never rot. Without a doubt, one of the 10 best truck campers for the Toyota Tacoma mid-size pickup. Due to the camper’s diminutive 5 foot, 8 inch floor length, we recommend hauling it with a Tacoma with a 6-f00t bed. Pricing for Adventure Manufacturing’s Scout Yoho starts at $22,495.

3. AT Overland Summit Topper

One of the best and the lightest too. The AT Overland Summit delivers on features and adventure in a big way, yet weighs only a paltry 340 pounds. Unlike the traditional slide-in pop-up camper, the Summit truck topper sits on top of the bed rails of the truck and has no bottom. This new and innovative approach makes the camper lighter than a standard slide-in pop-up camper yet still retains a comfortable sleeping platform. The Summit is built from CNC-cut and formed aluminum with a bonded honeycomb composite and features a distinctive wedge-style pop-top that provides up to 8 feet of headroom and a 48×80-inch sleep platform with a 2.5-inch mattress that can support up to 500 pounds. Each topper is built to order. Options include a light-blocking Thinsulate liner with a higher R value, a cab slider window, a roof rack, side slider windows, Seitz “Euro-style” side windows (17×43 inches), side hatch doors (17×43 inches), rear liftgate insert window, a 12 volt power system, interior lighting, awnings, interior cabinetry with pull-out refrigerators and cooktops, forced air heating, and a color match to vehicle. Built for Tacoma 5-foot and 6-foot beds. Without a doubt, one of the 10 best truck campers for the Toyota Tacoma mid-size pickup. Pricing starts at an affordable $13,200.

4. FWC Project M Topper

Another superb truck topper, which made our exclusive list. The new Four Wheel Camper Project M truck topper was designed for those who want a camper that is ultra-light, yet retains use of the bed for hauling gear, firewood, and material for home construction projects. Like all Four Wheel Camper truck campers, the Project M features an all-aluminum welded frame, aluminum siding, and a one-piece aluminum roof. The 425-pound topper features a fully insulated roof and sides, four large windows with screens and window covers, and an impressive 6 feet 6 inches of interior standing room. The toppers are pre-wired for solar and batteries. Solar and batteries are future retrofittable options to power portable refrigerators, computers, phones, and lights. Other Project M options include top, side, and hitch racks for things like water or gas containers, shovels, Maxtrax, surf boards, kayaks, bikes, snow skis, etc. In the future, Four Wheel Campers will offer retrofittable, modular interior options like drawers and cabinets for organization, and racks for easy and safe transport of equipment and gear. Available in numerous colors in smooth, ribbed, or diamond-plate aluminum. Built for Toyota Tacoma trucks of all sizes and payload ratings. Easily, one of the 10 best truck campers for the Toyota Tacoma mid-size pickup. Pricing in 2023 starts at a reasonable $11,495.

5. Soaring Eagle Adlar 5.0

A brand-new release from our friends at Soaring Eagle Campers. A minimalistic slide-in truck camper, the Adlar 5.0 weighs only 890 pounds. The camper’s 4-foot 7-inch floor length also means it will fit in Toyota Tacoma’s with a 5-foot bed. In order to keep the weight down, you won’t find a lot of amenities in this camper. Yet, it still offers the essentials needed to camp comfortably when away from home. Standards include a 47×72-inch east-west cabover bunk, a 30-inch face-to-face dinette, a 12 volt vent fan, quick detachable jacks, and a battery compartment large enough to hold two 100 amp hour batteries. If you’re looking for a bathroom or toilet in the Adlar 5.0, you won’t find one. Nature calls will have to be held either outside or inside using a portable toilet. Options for the new camper include a DC compressor refrigerator, a microwave oven, lithium batteries, a 160 watt solar power system, a MaxxAir fan with rain sensor, a RecPro 9.5 roof-top low profile air conditioner, and a 74×72-inch pull-out north-south bed. When using the dinette as a sleeper, the Adlar 5.0 can comfortably sleep up three adults or two adults and two children. Like all Soaring Eagle campers, the Adlar 5.0 features an all-aluminum, wood-free construction using tubular aluminum for the frame.  This approach, the company contends, ensures that the Soaring Eagle Adlar 5.0 will be a “generational camper” that will outlast the truck carrying it. Without a doubt, one of the 10 best truck campers for the Toyota Tacoma mid-size pickup. Lists for between $17,000 and $20,000 depending on options.

6. Phoenix Level 2 Slide-in

The Phoenix Pop-Up Camper Level 2 is the newest camper in the Phoenix Camper catalog and the only camper in this article to feature a wet-bath. Phoenix is a quality manufacturer known for producing custom campers. The Level 2’s floorplan features an east-west 60×80-inch bed, a large dinette forward, a toilet on the driver side, and a small kitchenette on the passenger side. Construction consists an all-aluminum double welded tube cage frame, packed with high density foam, and wrapped in a tough outer shell of pre-laminated thick, one piece Crane fiberglass. 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. Weighs only 1,180 pounds dry. Comes in two versions: the Level 2 comes with a water heater and shower, while the Level 1 does not. Comes in two mid-size truck sizes: 5.5 feet and 6 feet. Easily, one of the 10 best truck campers for the Toyota Tacoma mid-size pickup. Pricing for the Phoenix Pop Up Camper Level 2 starts at a cool $37,995.

7. Hotomobil Gladiator SB

Looking for a modern, well-insulated camper? Then the new Hotomobil Gladiator SB 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 one-piece Gladiator SB is an incredibly robust truck camper, yet it’s light enough to be hauled on mid-size trucks with lower payload ratings. This means the 1,300-pound camper can be hauled on any appropriately-rated mid-size pickup truck like the Toyota Tacoma. The Hotomobil Gladiator SB offers everything needed to comfortably travel and explore off-grid, including a spacious large cabover bed, a 49L 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 15 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. Available in six colors and two finishes. The list price for this stylish, European import is $37,000. Can be ordered either factory direct or from dealers.

8. OEV Back Country 5.85 Slide-in

Another outstanding slide-in pop-up by our Canadian friends at Overland Explorer Vehicles (OEV). Released in 2021, the Back Country 5.85 (formerly known as the the Camp-M) features a proprietary composite construction with R8 insulation, and an aluminum extrusion system to help keep the weight down. This approach increases the strength of the camper and nearly eliminates thermal transfer. The 5-foot 6-inch floorplan features a king-size bed, 6 feet 10 inches of headroom, a large kitchen on the driver side and an U-shape dinette on the passenger side. There is no bathroom. Features include a 20 gallon fresh water holding tank, a 20-pound propane tank, a Victron group-27 100 amp hour battery with a battery heater, a portable DC compressor refrigerator, a Remo Removable Dinette Table, a Truma AquaGo water heater, and a Truma Vario Heat furnace. To keep that lithium battery charged, the camper comes with a Redarc Manager 30 along with a Redarc 1240D 50 amp DC to DC Charger. The Back Country 5.85 also comes with an outside shower enclosure bracket kit with universal adapters, four Reico-Titan manual lift jacks, and four Torklift Anchor Guard Derringer tie-downs. Options include a 200 watt solar panel with brackets, a universal awning adaptor kit, a rear Molle rack, and OEV roof rack, and an OEV light bar. Weighs only 1,055 pounds dry. Designed specifically for mid-size trucks with either a 5-foot or 6-foot bed. The Overland Explorer Vehicles Back Country 5.85 lists for $36,363 USD for the base model.

9. Outfitter Caribou Lite 6.5 Slide-in

At 850 pounds, the Caribou Lite 6.5 is the lightest, lowest profile camper in the Outfitter Manufacturing catalog. The construction of this well-equipped camper consists of vacuum bonded composite walls, a full walk-on roof, and a fully welded, boxed aluminum frame. The Caribou Lite 6.5 is insulated to the hilt with Owen Corning block foam in the hard walls, and Weblon three-layer insulation in the top. One feature that really stands out is the full-size cabover bed that pulls out into a full-size queen. Standard features include a 24-gallon fresh water tank, 5-gallon propane tank, a 1.9-cubic foot three-way refrigerator, a quality Progressive Dynamics 45-amp converter-charger with the three-stage Charge Wizard, a torsion assisted lift system, a 16,000 BTU furnace, a three-burner cooktop, attractive birch interior doors and cabinets, and solar reflective windows. Notable options of the Caribou Lite 6.5 include a 5-gallon cassette toilet, an outside shower, a 3.8-cubic foot Tundra DC compressor fridge, a 95 watt solar power system, a King Dome satellite dish, a Yakima roof rack, and an air conditioner. A fantastic little camper that can be fully used off the truck. A perfect match for all mid-size trucks including Ford Ranger, Honda Ridgeline, and Chevy Colorado. Comes with a LIFETIME structural warranty, the best warranty in the entire industry. The Caribou Lite 6.5 sells for only $22,995, one of the lowest priced campers in this list.

10. Bundutec Topi Slide-in

An excellent pop-up by long-time truck camper designer Rory Willet, the Bundutec Topi weighs in at 1,380 pounds. The Topi features a solid wood frame overlayed with a smooth .040-inch aluminum exterior that looks great. The standard color of the camper is an attractive gray—not your standard, everyday white—and features contrasting black trim and black accents on the exterior. The Topi’s 6-foot 3-inch 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 20-gallon fresh water 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. A plethora of options are offered by Bundutec. Four worth noting are a Zamp 160 watt solar power system, a 2,000 watt inverter, the BunduAwn “batwing” 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. Fits on most mid-size trucks, including the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, and Ford Ranger. Easily, one of 10 best truck campers for the Toyota Tacoma mid-size pickup and built like a tank, the only real negative is the camper’s relatively high weight. The list price for the BundutecUSA Topi is only $19,963, a real bargain when you consider all that you get for the money.

Final Words About Payload

Before purchasing your truck topper or truck camper, make sure your Toyota Tacoma can handle the extra weight. When it comes to matching a truck camper with your truck, the payload rating of your truck is the most important number. For the 2023 Toyota Tacoma, this rating can be as low as 1,135 pounds or as high as 1,685 pounds (this rating can be found on a sticker affixed to the driver side door pillar). This means that your camper, plus passengers and gear, must be below this number. It’s important to stay under the payload rating and GVWR of your truck as this keeps you and everyone sharing the road with you safe. It also prevents excessive wear and tear on the frame and suspension of your Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. You’ll also need to ensure that the wheels and suspension of your truck are up to the task of hauling a camper. This means you might need to upgrade the passenger-rated tires that originally came with your truck with a good Light Truck (LT) tire with a Load Lange C or D. In addition, we also recommend getting a set of Hellwig air springs or another suspension mod to correct rear sag that may occur from hauling the extra weight.

Payload Certification Sticker for a 2013 Toyota Tacoma 4×4 TRD. The payload rating is 1,150 pounds.
About Mello Mike 878 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.

5 Comments

  1. GM recommends that you do not place a slide in camper on the Colorado and Canyon mid size trucks. Check warning plaque inside glove box.

    • All manufacturers do that for for mid-size and full-size half-ton trucks. The main reason is because of the passenger-rated tires they put on their trucks. Upgrade the wheels and tires and perform the necessary suspension upgrades and you should be okay, as long as you are below the GVWR.

  2. Actually, the numbers from the major truck manufacturers don’t support your statement of the “taco” is the “The Toyota Tacoma is America’s most popular mid-size truck,” Yes, the Tacoma was, before competition from the Nissan, Ford, Chevy midsize started up and getting into the competition for that segment of these trucks. I love the Tacoma and my son has one that he has a TC on it, full time. Great article, especially with the RTT.

    • Popularity is based upon unit sales and in 2021 the Tacoma still leads the pack by a comfortable margin.
      I’m sure the margins have closed, however, in 2022.

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