So you’re thinking about getting a small camper to haul on your Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. You’re not alone. Others have purchased or are thinking about purchasing a camper to put on their Toyota Tacoma pickup too. 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 2019 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. The Tacoma 4×4 TRD trims are even better for off-road adventures and 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. Even though the Toyota Tacoma comes in 5-foot and 6-foot beds, we recommend buying a Tacoma 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 campers for the Toyota Tacoma.
1. Kimbo 6
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 $19,999, a very reasonable starting point for a lightweight camper of this quality.
2. Scout Yoho 6.0
A revolutionary, brand-new design by Yakima, Washington-based Adventurer Manufacturing, the Scout Yoho 6.0 incorporates a number of industry-first add-ons to save on weight. These removable add-ons include a roof-top pop-up tent, that increases the sleeping capacity by two, a Dometic CFX3 75L refrigerator-freezer with WiFi, a 4.9-gallon removable water tank, a removable dining table, a Yeti Goal Zero 1000 lithium battery pack, and a removable Dometic propane cooktop. Standard features include a Renogy 160 watt 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. With a dry weight of only 913 pounds and a floor length of 5 feet 8 inches, the Scout Yoho matches well with the Toyota Tacoma with the 6-foot bed. The Yoho supports four-season travel with an optional Newport Real Flame 4,500 BTU propane fireplace and standard robust insulation. The camper will last for generations thanks to the camper’s rugged aluminum, exo-skeleton shell and no-wood composite structural panels that will never rot. Pricing for Adventure Manufacturing’s new Scout Yoho 6.0 starts at $19,240.
3. Overland Explorer Vehicles Camp-M
Another outstanding, rugged popup by our Canadian friends at Overland Explorer Vehicles (OEV). 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 Camp-M 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 Camp-M lists for $36,363 USD for the base model.
4. AT Overland Summit
Easily, one of the top 6 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 Tacoma 5-foot and 6-foot beds. Pricing starts at an affordable $8,900.
5. Four Wheel Camper Project M Topper
Another superb truck topper which made our 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 of all sizes. Pricing starts at a reasonable $8,995.
6. Phoenix Mini-Max
The Mini-Max 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 Mini-Max’s 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. 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. Mini-Max 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. Due to its 7-foot floor length it should be mounted on a 6-foot bed. Pricing for the Phoenix Pop-Up Mini-Max starts at $37,000.
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 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.