Owning a pickup truck like a Chevy Colorado is nice for lots of reasons. For example, it’s rugged and can handle lots of different terrain, all without being too massive or hard to handle.
If you’re the outdoorsy type, you’ll likely want to make your pickup truck even more accessible with a camper. However, not all campers are created equally, so we’ve compiled a list of the top six models so you can make an informed decision.
Here’s what you need to know about finding the best camper for a Chevy Colorador or other mid-size trucks.
Why Get a Camper for a Chevy Colorado or Similar Mid-Size Trucks?
Mid-size pickups are versatile and easy to drive, all without consuming too much fuel. Although we’re focused on the Chevy Colorado, the fact is that each of these campers should work for other similar truck models like:
- GMC Canyon
- Toyota Tacoma
- Nissan Frontier
- Honda Ridgeline
- Ford Ranger
The specific measurements of each truck may vary slightly, but it’s a good bet that if the camper fits into one, it should work for them all.
But why do you want to install a camper into your truck bed? Here are a few reasons:
- More Affordable Than a Motorhome – Buying a fully-loaded motorhome, even a camper van model, can be prohibitively expensive. Instead, you can install a truck camper for a fraction of the cost and without sacrificing on the amenities.
- Versatile Camping Options – Driving a massive motorhome isn’t really conducive to exploring the wild. Instead, a mid-size truck like a Colorado or GMC Canyon allows you to go wherever you want without limitations. Plus, whether you install a pop-up tent or a hard roof model, you shouldn’t have to worry about clearance issues or other similar problems.
- Better Than Tent Camping – If you’re trying to go outdoors regularly, tent camping can feel so challenging and accommodating. With truck campers, you can experience many modern luxuries so you can enjoy yourself on the trail without feeling like you’re cheapening the experience.
Overall, pickup truck campers are sturdy, reliable, and fun to use. Now, let’s look at the top six models that can work well for your needs.
Top 5 Campers for Chevy Colorado
When it comes to truck installations, Four Wheel Campers is one of the better brands out there. What we like most about this company is that you can customize your floor plan and amenities based on your truck model. So, with a Chevy Colorado, you can mix and match different accommodations to suit your needs.
Four Wheel Campers are also versatile because they’re pop-up campers, meaning you can extend the roof as needed so you can stand up without having to hunch over. Some of the layout options include:
- Roll-Over Couch – This layout comes with a couch on the side opposite of the kitchenette. You can use the couch for storage, sleeping, or sitting.
- Side Dinette Lounge – If you prefer having a dedicated place to sit and eat, you should get this floor plan. It comes with a two-seated dinette, meaning you and your travel partner can share meals easily and comfortably.
- Shell Model – DIY installation instructions allow you to customize your Chevy or GMC Canyon camper options. So, you can just install a shell slide-in camper and put everything in yourself.
Another point we like about this company is that some layouts can come with casette toilets and inside showers. These elements make it so much easier to head out for a few days or a week without getting too dirty.
- 1045 lbs dry weight
- Exterior Height (Down) – 55 inches
- Interior Headroom – 6′ 4″
- Sleeps – 3
- Freshwater Capacity – 20 Gal
Northstar is another company that specializes in truck campers for pickups like the Chevy Colorado. The Liberty is one of the smallest models in its lineup, but it still packs tons of amenities into a small frame.
What’s most remarkable about this camper is that it comes with everything you need, including a cassette toilet, shower, dinette lounge, and kitchenette. While you have limited space in which to move around and access each element, the fact that Northstar was able to include them all is impressive.
The Liberty is also a hardwall camper, so it doesn’t include a pop-up tent. However, while it’s taller than other campers, it’s not so high that you have to worry too much about clearance issues.
- 1775 lbs dry weight
- Exterior Height – 8′
- Interior Height – 6′ 4″
- Sleeps – 3
- Freshwater Capacity – 20 Gal (4 Gal Cassette Toilet Tank)
Technically, the Topi Camper from Bundutec is built for a Toyota Tacoma, but it will work for a Chevy Colorado or GMC Canyon. This particular model is kind of bare bones, but it has everything you need to stay out in the wild for extended periods. It comes with a bed, kitchenette, dining area, and lots of storage compartments.
As you’ll notice with many pickup truck campers, toilets and showers are not usually provided. So, if you’re trying to maximize the amount of space you have inside, you must figure out what to do about going to the bathroom and keeping yourself clean during your next adventure.
If you’re looking to upgrade this camper, you can install solar panels and battery packs to make it more accommodating for various electronics and appliances. You can also add roof racks and awnings to help minimize the amount of storage necessary inside the rig. Something like a Rhino Rack awning gives you the best of both worlds.
- 1330 lbs Dry Weight
- Exterior Height (Closed) – 64.25″
- Interior Height – 75″
- Sleeps – 2
- Freshwater Capacity – 11 Gal
ATC stands for All-Terrain Campers, and the Bobcat is one of the smallest models so you can fit it into a Chevy Colorado pretty easily. However, despite its diminutive size, the Bobcat can actually sleep three people comfortably, thanks to the sleeper conversion sofa included.
Other than the extra sleeping space, the Bobcat is still pretty basic, with just a kitchenette and refrigerator. If you’re looking for something with a toilet or shower, you’ll need to get a Four Wheels Camper or something similar.
- Interior Height – 6′ 2″
- Freshwater Capacity – 15 Gal
Our final Chevy Colorado camper is this pop-up unit from Overland Explorer Vehicles (OEV). Because OEV is such a high-quality brand, this is one of the most rugged and well-built pop-up campers we’ve seen.
Once you’re inside, you’ll notice that everything is engineered to work perfectly in small spaces without feeling cramped or crowded. Although this camper doesn’t come with a toilet or shower, it’s still very accommodating.
As with the Bobcat, the Camp-M comes with a sleeper conversion so you can ride with two other people without having to sleep on top of each other.
Overall, this is one of the more expensive campers we’ve seen, but it’s built to last and should work well for most seasons (except extra-cold winters). Plus, it comes with a built-in awning, so you get some extra usable outdoor space as well.
- 975 lbs Dry Weight
- Exterior Height (Closed) – 61″
- Interior Height – 81″
- Sleeps – 3
- Freshwater Capacity – 20 Gal
How to Choose the Best Camper for Chevy Colorado
Although there aren’t tons of campers available for the Chevy Colorado, you still need to know how to compare different models to ensure you get the best results possible for your next adventure. So, here are the features and benefits to pay attention to the most.
When it comes to the length and width of your camper, you just have to make sure it will fit within your truck bed. Otherwise, you just have to consider the height of the rig, both inside and out.
If you’re looking at a pop-up camper, you’ll see both closed and open heights. As a rule, these rigs are pretty short when closed, so you don’t have to worry about clearance issues. If you go with a hardwall camper, you have to pay attention to how much taller your vehicle is while driving.
The interior height also matters because taller individuals may not feel comfortable in smaller campers.
If you’re just traveling by yourself or with a partner, you shouldn’t need to worry about the sleeping capacity. However, if you want to bring more than two people with you, your options may be limited. Typically, for a truck camper to sleep three or more, it needs a sleeper conversion. However, keep in mind that you’ll have less room for other amenities, so there’s a bit of a trade off.
Pop Up Camper vs. Hardtop
As a rule, pop-up campers are more convenient and work best for this kind of setup. However, they’re not as well insulated, so if you’re planning to camp in colder weather, you may need to figure out how to keep the inside warm.
Hardwall campers are generally better insulated, but they can increase your truck’s height and weight substantially. But, you can save time by not having to pop or drop the tent topper, meaning you have more flexibility when coming and going.
Most truck campers don’t come with a toilet and those that do have a very limited size. That said, if you’re trying to explore the great unknown, having a toilet on hand is very convenient. But, if you’re staying at campsites with restrooms and showers, this feature isn’t as necessary.
Slide-In Camper vs. Flatbed Installation
One other consideration is whether you’re installing a slide-in camper or a flatbed version. Most models slide into the truck bed, but a flatbed model has a bit more flexibility on how the interior is set up. Look at both types of floor plans to determine which one works best for your needs. That said, slide-in campers are generally cheaper and easier to install, so keep that in mind.