So you’re thinking about buying a truck camper for your Toyota Tacoma mid-size pickup truck. You’re not alone. Others have purchased or are thinking about purchasing a camper to put on their “Taco” too. If you already own a Toyota Tacoma you chose well. The Tacoma’s rugged good looks, reliability and features have made it the best selling mid-size truck the last decade. Today’s 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 six-speed automatic transmission, an unrivaled OEM suspension, and a hefty payload rating of up to 1,620 pounds depending on options. Better yet, the Tacoma 4×4 TRD trims are even better for off-road truck camper adventures. The Tacoma TRD features 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. Even though the Toyota Tacoma comes in 5-foot and 6-foot beds, we recommend buying one with the 6-foot bed because it offers more space and a higher payload rating, essential factors for those shopping for a small camper. Remember, you saw this comprehensive, well-researched list here first, well before Internet copycats with nearly identical lists publish theirs. So without further adieu, here are the 6 best truck campers for the 2020 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck.
1. Kimbo 6 Slide-in
The best of the best and 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 ratings 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 $19,999, a very reasonable starting point for a lightweight camper of this quality.
2. 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, and matches well with a Toyota Tacoma with a 6-foot bed. 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.
3. AT Overland Summit Topper
Easily, one of the 6 best truck campers for the Toyota Tacoma. 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 the Toyota Tacoma with 5.5-foot and 6-foot beds. Pricing for the AT Overland Summit starts at an affordable $8,900.
4. FWC Project M Topper
Another superb truck topper, which made our exclusive list. The brand-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 with 5.5-foot and 6-foot beds. Pricing starts at a reasonable $8,995.
5. 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. Without a doubt, one of the 6 best truck campers for the 2020 Toyota Tacoma. Pricing for the Phoenix Pop Up Camper Level 2 starts at a cool $37,995.
6. OVRLND Campers Topper
This Flagstaff, Arizona-based company revealed its first pop-up truck topper at the 2018 Overland Expo and hasn’t looked back since. Unlike the traditional slide-in truck camper, which easily weighs over 1,000 pounds, the base model of the OVRLND Camper weighs only 300 pounds, making it light enough to be safely hauled on any mid-size or full-size, half-ton truck, including the Ram Power Wagon. The camper features a vertical pop-top with a canvas height of just under 28 inches and comes standard with a pull-out, north-south 60×80-inch queen bed. The vertical walls of the camper maximize usable space and feature an aluminum “T track” on either side that can be used to secure and mount kitchen counters, stoves, and equipment to provide additional functionality, features, and comfort. Moreover, the topper’s internals can be easily be removed should the owner need the truck to haul plywood, firewood, or any other gear. This can’t be done with a regular slide-in camper. OVRLND Campers are custom-built, so owners can pick from a number of options available such as roof rack tracks, solar power, windows, awnings, extra bedding height, cabinets, counters, rear barn doors, lift jacks, etc. The frame is constructed using welded aluminum tubing, making it easy for interior or exterior hard point mounting of Jerry cans, propane cans, or other recreational equipment. The tubing construction also makes it easy to add 1-inch insulation for thermal protection against the elements. Without a doubt, one of the 6 best truck campers for the 2020 Toyota Tacoma. OVRLND Camper pricing starts at $6,900 for small/mid-size trucks and $7,600 for full-size trucks.
Read This Before You Buy!
Before purchasing your 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 mid-size trucks like the Toyota Tacoma, this rating can be as low as 1,150 pounds or as high as 1,620 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 Toyota Tacoma 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.
Click here for a 2023 update featuring an expanded top 10 list.