14 Inspiring Camper Shell Interiors That Make Truck Camping Irresistibly Cozy

Living on the road as a dedicated truck camper, staying organized is my lifeline; without it, chaos would reign in my camper shell. I’ve delved…

Living on the road as a dedicated truck camper, staying organized is my lifeline; without it, chaos would reign in my camper shell. I’ve delved deep into finding the best interior setups for a snug and efficient truck camping experience, and I’m thrilled to pass on these gems of wisdom to you.

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1. A Simple Sleeping Platform

Photo Credit: westadw via Flickr

Depending on the make and model of your truck, building a sleeping platform is one of the simplest camper shell interior ideas. My Tacoma, for example, has notches on the walls of the bed that allow me to lay two-by-sixes across and then set two separate sheets of plywood on top. 

The plywood is wrapped in outdoor carpet to protect it (and my stuff) from damage. 

I do sometimes use it to crawl in and get some rest in bad weather. But the platform is also useful for maximizing the storage space in my camper shell. 

2. Wrap Around Shelving

Photo Credit: Camperlife.co

The wheel wells in a truck bed sometimes get in the way when you are packing your camper shell full. Installing wrap-around shelving is a camper shell interior idea that allows you to use that space better

By the looks of it, this method involves bolting two-by-two supports vertically into the truck bed.

They used a total of six vertical supports (three on each side) and they must have made them tall enough so that the shelves on top will rest on the lower edge of your camper shell (just below the windows). 

The secondary shelves can rest on top of the wheel well and bracket to the vertical supports. The other sections may need brackets installed on the walls of the truck bed for more support. 

3. Sliding Drawers for Storing Camping Gear

Photo Credit: Tucker Ballister

In my case, I went with wheeled latching boxes of the same variety that one might use for under-bed storage in their home. But you can also purchase prefabricated truck bed sliding drawers like these from DECKED. 

As you can see from the photo above, you can also tackle this as a DIY project.

Instead of stopping at just the sleeping platform, install tracks and sliding drawers that give you a secure place to keep clothing or kitchen accessories that you want to be able to access quickly. 

You can also quite easily add locks to the handles on your drawers so that you bolster the security of your belongings even further.

In this design, you should also look closely at the sides of the sleeping platform. It looks like the camper shell owner cut out three or four cubby holes on both sides to utilize the storage space around the wheel well. 

4. Double Twin Beds

Photo Credit: Camperlife.co

Isn’t this cool?! This camper shell idea seems to be built in a high-rise camper shell so that you have more headroom when seated in bed. 

Two relatively simple boxes have been built over the wheel wells on either side of the truck bed. They left a small aisle in the middle that can either be used for storage or swinging your legs out of bed in the morning. 

Each “bed” looks like it has an interior drawer that can be accessed above the tailgate.

You will most likely need to find or fabricate custom-sized mattresses for these beds (I doubt they are actually twins). Of course, you will also need to supply your own fruit basket! 

5. Easy Drapes for Camper Shell Privacy

Photo Credit: Azukibean on Instructables

If you want to maintain privacy for sleeping in your camper shell, installing drapes on the side windows is a great camper shell interior idea. Drapes can also be useful to keep prying eyes from canvassing your belongings if your camper shell is loaded with gear. 

6. Floating Shelving

Photo Credit: Ernie via Flickr

If you liked the idea of wrap-around shelving but not necessarily the look, check out this camper shell idea. This owner did not like how little headroom they had with the sleeping platform idea, so they wanted to keep their bed directly on the truck bed. 

The side shelves are eight inches wide, and they are mounted above the bed rail. They secured them using the four camper shell bolts that hold the shell onto the truck bed. 

At the front of the camper shell, they built a larger 22-inch shelf. That shelf simply hangs on the side rails and can easily be removed or installed as needed.

7. Solar LED Lighting

Photo Credit: Gab Travelling

While you could definitely power LEDs using your truck battery or a portable Goal Zero Yeti battery bank, I am a huge fan of solar lighting for truck camping. My lights simply rest on the dash of my truck collecting sunlight during the day and they have enough charge for my needs at night.

If you are worried about solar because you travel in cloudy climates, I suggest something like this rechargeable Knog headlamp. 

For fans of renewable energy, check out MPOWERD’s string lights. Using the screws that hold your camper shell’s windows in place, you can install small hooks along the top sections of the side and front windows. 

You will then be able to drape your string lights over these hooks to have soft, useful lighting for evenings in your camper shell.  

8. The Slide-Out Platform

Photo Credit: BEDSLIDE

If you have a bit larger budget, you can go beyond the simply sleeping platform and get one of these slide-out platforms. 

Honestly, for the number of times, I have awkwardly climbed into my camper shell to reach something that I pushed all the way to the front, this is one of my favorite camper shell ideas on this list. 

BEDSLIDE offers several different models that support 1,000 pounds, 1,500 pounds, and 2,000 pounds, respectively.

9. The Mobile Office/Surf Camper

Photo Credit: Rig Racks

This custom build-out camper shell interior idea is awesome! I have something new to aspire to when I can finally get rid of some of my recreation gear. It is built in a six-foot Tacoma bed with a high-rise camper shell. The wrap-around seating provides a comfortable couch for day-time lounging but also productive seating for getting remote work done. 

A flip-up desk on the passenger side provides the workstation, and an open storage area under the couch is just long enough for this owner’s short board.

This design even features a pull-out table for your outdoor kitchen setup and it converts into a full bed that could sleep two people (or you and your adventure pup) comfortably. 

10. DIY Truck Bed Extension

Photo Credit: Off Grid Backcountry Adventures via YouTube

This gentleman also has a short-bed Tacoma like mine. It seems he got tired of sleeping in a V-shape in his camper shell and got pretty creative with this truck bed extender. 

He built it so that it slides out of his camper shell and gives him more interior space for sleeping and living inside.

The door locks so that he isn’t worried about security concerns and he built it perfectly so that it doesn’t really compromise the storage space inside the camper shell. 

11. A Camper Shell Lounge

Photo Credit: Camperlife.co

This looks nice on a rainy day, doesn’t it? My bet is that they installed this camper shell idea on a high-rise camper shell so that they would have plenty of headroom when seated. 

The angles are an interesting feature of this camper shell interior idea for me.

They most likely used a wooden frame and then layered some sort of waterproof marine carpet around all of their finishing panels. 

The holes in the design serve the purpose of providing access to secure storage compartments. And several panels can be moved or rearranged to give ‘The Lounge’ different configurations.

Plus, it seems that they kept a full-length compartment (the only place where you can see the truck bed liner) for storing longer items. 

12. The ‘Triple-T” Platform

Photo Credit: Camperlife.co

If you have a longer bed truck or your truck bed doesn’t have easy slots for placing cross beams for your platform, you can use the ‘Triple-T’ design as an alternative. The height of the bed platform is up to you, but many people make it even with the edges of the truck bed to provide the platform with additional support on the edges. 

The only downside of this is that it can feel a little claustrophobic unless you have a high-rise camper shell.

The platform itself may not seem too close to the roof of your camper shell initially, but things get tight quickly if you add a mattress. 

The major benefit of this interior idea for your camper shell is an abundance of storage space under the platform. You can either use the platform as a base and then install your own slide-out drawers or you can simply store all of your camping gear in waterproof totes. 

13. The Mega Drawer

Photo Credit: Camperlife.co

If you don’t want to worry about multiple slide-out drawers, you can always go with the mega drawer approach. This requires less material in the way of rolling tracks, but you will need to make sure the tracks you do get can support the extra weight of a large drawer. 

From my experience, having large drawers can be dangerous unless you have dividers.

In some ways, it is like storing your gear in a large tote or storage container. You will often find yourself rummaging through a bunch of miscellaneous gear to find the one item that wiggled its way all the way to the bottom. 

14. Camper Shell Interior Ideas For Insulation

Photo Credit: GB Conversions & Adventures via YouTube

If you intend to live out of your camper shell during the winter months, you will need some camper shell interior ideas for insulation. Most camper shell owners either use a few rolls of Reflectix foil or rigid foam board insulation. 

Having used both for RV insulation in the past, I would recommend rolls of Reflectix foil.

They are easier to manipulate around corners and in hard-to-reach spaces. Plus, they don’t fall apart when you cut them and result in foam lying all around the yard where you are doing your work. 

8 Must-See Cheap Truck Campers for Thrifty Explorers

Photo Credit: Go Fast Campers

For those interested in getting into truck camping on a budget, starting your search with the best cheap truck campers is natural. I started my truck camping journey by installing a camper shell on a Tacoma and sleeping in the bed, but I couldn’t help but feel a little envy every time I passed a true truck camper on the road. 

8 Hardy Off-Road Truck Campers for Serious Overlanding

Photo Credit: Go Fast Campers

Travel trailers and RVs look nice when they’re sitting in a perfectly manicured RV park. If you’re going to get anywhere on rough roads to get away from large camping crowds, though, you’ll need one of the best off-road truck campers.

Off-road truck campers sit in the bed of your truck and they come in many designs. Some are designed for speed, and others are designed for comfort.

11 Mind-Blowing Motorcycle Campers for Luxurious Road Trip

Photo Credit: Roll-A-Home

Looking to upgrade your motorcycle camping setup? If you love exploring off-grid in your motorcycle but are tired of sleeping on the ground, there’s one simple solution: a motorcycle camper

Here are some amazing motorcycle campers that will have you ditching the tent forever.

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One Comment

  1. Richard Caccamo says:

    wonderful article . I myself have done many truck camper shell ideas from my old 81 toyota sr5 and 92 ford ranger,1995 ford f-150 and 1999 ford f-150. Each one taught me more on making camping life much easier. of all of them my fav was the toyota not so much for its camping ability I had a four cylinder 5 speed manual and you could kill that engine if you tried, i regret selling it the day after i sold it. keep up the good work

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