I set forth from Truckee, California with a truck loaded to the max with truck camper accessories. I’ve done a lot of RV travel and road trips in the past, but I’d never really set out to live out of my truck for an extended period before.
So, while I had some idea of the supplies and truck camper accessories I’d need to make life comfortable on the road, I obviously had some learning to do.
In the past several months, I’ve compiled this list of the best truck camper accessories for life on the road.
As you’ll find, some of them are meant to provide organization when living out of a pickup truck, some will make life easier in your camp kitchen, and others will help digital nomads, like myself, stay connected on the road and help you avoid falling behind your remote work schedule.
Keep reading to find the truck bed camping accessories you need for your next trip!
The Best Truck Camper Accessories
To be honest, there’s constantly a revolving door when it comes to my truck camper supplies.
That’s partly because I believe in the constant process of evaluating (and, hopefully, improving) my systems. But it’s also because I’m kind of a gear-nut!
At the moment, however, these are my picks for my favorite pickup truck camping accessories.
I have, unfortunately, left out some essential campfire cooking tools because most of my early travels have been in regions with intense fire restrictions.
But you might check back in a few months as I continue to tweak my setup and pop back in here to update these picks!
1. Camp Stove
I personally love to cook whether I’m relaxing in the comfort of my home or I’m out on the road, making a good camp stove one of my favorite truck camper accessories. But life on the road presents different cooking challenges than you might be used to at home.
I’ve used a camp stove with a single burner before and, I must say, it left me feeling less-than-satisfied.
The ability to use multiple burners will allow you to cook more varied meals when truck camping and it will also help you dial the timing of your meals in so that certain components aren’t getting cold while you’re finishing others.
For this reason, I recommend choosing a camp stove with a minimum of two burners when buying truck camper supplies.
But, if you can find one with more than two burners, it’ll just give you additional capacity to heat up multiple pots and pans at the same time.
Here’s my favorite stove to add to your list of truck camper accessories!
2. Camp Table
A collapsible or folding camp table is also essential for your truck camping accessories list because it will allow you to set up your outdoor kitchen without only relying on your tailgate.
Of course, this is an essential step if you’re tent camping on the ground (like me) or you have a pop-up tent camper on the top of your truck.
I personally love this collapsible Alps Mountaineering Guide Table for my list of truck camper supplies because it adjusts to several heights and the top has a sort of laminate finish that’s super easy to wipe clean.
That adjustable height also allows me to set it up as a standing desk if I’m hanging in a park and working for the day before heading out of town to find a dispersed campsite.
3. Camp Chair
At the end of the day, you’ll obviously want somewhere to sit down and get off your feet.
I picked up this Rendezvous Folding Camp Chair from Alps Mountaineering at the beginning of last summer to add to my truck camping accessories and it has proved quite useful for multiple purposes since then.
I personally like it because it’s light enough to sling over my shoulder and carry into a lakeside or riverside beach for a relaxing afternoon lounging in the sun.
But, some folks have commented on how low this chair is, which does make it a little harder to get in and out of when you’re feeling a little tight in the hips.
So, if you’re looking for something with less recline, I’d recommend checking out the REI Co-op Camp Xtra Chair.
I really don’t spend all that much time awake once the sun goes down when I’m truck camping.
But if I’ve arrived at a campsite a bit late and I’m just struggling to see where I threw my tent in the back of my truck, my Goal Zero Crush Light Lantern always comes in handy.
I love this solar camping lantern as part of my truck camper accessories list because it collapses down and I can just place it on the dash of my truck during the day. It charges up (as long as there’s ample sunlight during that day) while I’m driving and it’s ready for me to use as a campsite lantern when I pull over for the evening.
Plus, it has a handle on top that makes it easy to hang from the center of my tent with a carabiner if I want to crawl in early and read or journal before laying my head down for the evening.
Check out some more of our favorite solar lanterns here: The Best Solar Camping Lanterns to Light up Your Night
5. Solar Shower
I didn’t add a solar shower to my pickup camper accessories because I’m a neat-freak. And I honestly don’t use it to shower every day.
But the showerhead also provides an easy hand washing station around camp, which is essential when you’re thinking about food security and sanitation when you don’t have easy access to running water every day.
I chose this Advanced Elements 5-Gallon Solar Summer Shower for my list of truck camper accessories because of its large capacity and the fact that it was very affordable.
So far, I’ve been very happy with how easy it is to hang and utilize for cleaning off after particularly sweaty day hikes.
It does take 4-5 hours to heat up when full, however, so you’ll need to plan for it to have full sun exposure for most of the day if you want to take a shower later that evening.
6. Pot Holders
This can be an easy one to overlook when you’re putting together your truck bed camper accessories for cooking.
I was lucky to throw in these two pot holders from my previous apartment and I quickly realized how essential they were. This is because the plates and pot that I have are made of steel, which is highly conductive.
I like these steel plates for my truck camper supplies because they retain heat better than plastic (plus, I’m not using plastic!). But they do have the downside of getting super hot when I use them to cover my cooking skillet.
So I just keep these pot holders handy so that I can cook just like I was at home. Plus, they also keep me from setting super hot pots and pans down on my camp table and burning it!
When I was traveling into Death Valley for three days, there was quite the need to carry a lot of water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.
I didn’t want to leave my dishes dirty for days at a time and I knew that I’d need quite a lot of drinking water because of the 15+ mile hike I was planning for the second day.
Fortunately, I was able to pick up a couple two-gallon expandable water carriers as truck camper accessories and fill them before I drove up the mountain.
Moving forward, I’ll probably look into something like this Reliance 5-Gallon Folding Water Carrier so that I have to refill less frequently when I’m on the road.
I’ve personally found that it’s better to err on the side of carrying too much water rather than risking running out when you need it most.
Doing your best to keep your cooking and eating utensils clean before you store them back with your other truck camper accessories is vital to your health on the road.
Bacteria can be more likely to remain on dishes and utensils that aren’t adequately cleaned with soap and warm water after each meal.
When you’re living on the road, you can use one of the water carriers I mentioned above as a faucet to clean your dishes.
But you should also grab one of these UST collapsible wash basins and add it to your truck camper supplies to place underneath your dishwashing station.
This will capture food scraps and also keep you from creating a mud puddle in the middle of your campsite.
And you’ll be able to carry your dirty water a good distance away from camp before you dump it so that curious critters are less likely to wander into your camp once you head to bed.
While there are certainly benefits to getting a hard-sided cooler that is exceptionally well-insulated (like a YETI cooler), a folding cooler is great for your list of pickup camper accessories because it can be lighter and less bulky to move about when you don’t actively have it full of perishable food items.
I personally really enjoy the Kelty Folding Cooler that I added to my truck camper supplies because it has a removable inner liner.
That makes it easy to clean and dry without having to hose out the entire cooler. It also has four drink holders built into the lid, which allows me to use it as an end table next to my lakeside lounge chair.
If you arrive at camp late or you simply don’t have the energy to cook a full healthy camping meal, having a small backpacking stove and a collection of dehydrated meals is essential for a good set of truck camper accessories.
On those long days of driving, you shouldn’t always have to set up your entire camp kitchen and cook a full meal.
Plus, when you roll back into camp after a long day hike or a full day of rock climbing, boiling water and adding it to a dehydrated meal is basically the truck camper’s equivalent of ordering food for delivery!
Truck camping inspiration: Family of three travels in DIY truck camper.
Additional Truck Bed Camper Accessories And Resources
While truck camping requires the most efficient use of space possible, I’m not totally convinced that there’s any such thing as too many truck camper accessories.
So here are a few more to add to your setup.
Also, check out a few resources that I’ve come to rely on over the last several months for route planning, navigation, and campsite selection.
11. Cargo Basket
Every truck camper will have his or her preferred storage setup. But I haven’t seen many trucks out there without some sort of roof rack or cargo basket for gear storage.
I’m personally a huge fan of this Thule cargo basket for your supply of truck camper accessories because it makes it easier to strap large items down.
These baskets are also extremely useful for anyone that plans to sleep in the bed of their truck. They give you a dedicated space to move gear out of your camper shell and onto the roof so you have room to sleep.
And you don’t have to worry about storing gear on the ground overnight.
Whether you use it around the fire or to supplement your sleeping bag, a down camp blanket is a great addition to your collection of truck camper accessories. I’ve even seen plenty of people use their camp blanket as a substitute for their bulkier sleeping bag on warmer nights.
Plus, these blankets have the added benefit of being large enough for two people to cuddle up underneath.
So if your truck camping setup includes a human or furry travel companion, you’ll be able to keep each other warmer instead of being isolated to your individual sleeping bags.
One of my favorite things about truck camping is the ability to have a fire, making this hatchet a must for my truck camper supplies.
If you bring plenty of firewood (and you observe local fire restrictions…ALWAYS!), you won’t have to collect as much wood to enjoy the flickering glow and warmth of a campfire.
But you’ll need the right tool to turn larger logs into kindling that will help you get your fire started. Coming from someone who kept a dull, bent hatchet in his kit for far too long, a quality hatchet is definitely a must-have truck camping accessory.
There’s nothing quite like enjoying a hot cup of coffee as the sun bathes your campsite with the first light of day. But you won’t have the ease and convenience of your Mr. Coffee Electric Coffee Maker when you’re truck camping.
While I’m a standard French Press kind of guy myself, many truck campers swear by the AeroPress Coffee Kit as part of their truck camper accessories.
I will say I’ve had the immense pleasure of enjoying several steaming cups of coffee brewed by friends using this kit. And I’ve never been disappointed!
I was fortunate enough to work with Smelly Proof on a promotion a while back. They sent me a few samples of their Smelly Proof Bags in exchange for a review and social media posts.
I quickly fell in love and added them to my list of truck camper accessories.
While these Smelly Proof bags might look like they should be used for hiding conspicuous items that may or may not be legal in certain states, I use these bags for food storage when I’m truck camping.
They help me rest easier knowing that I’ve done everything I can do to reduce the risk of animals trying to break into my truck overnight. And these bags are even great for keeping vegetables fresh in your refrigerator at home!
I can’t believe I got this far without mentioning a first aid kit as part of my truck camper accessories. One of my former bosses always said, “It’s not a matter of if an emergency or injury occurs, but it’s rather a question of when it does occur, will you be ready?”
That’s why I’ve always believed in carrying this type of first aid kit from REI wherever I go.
Whether it’s part of your collection of truck camping accessories, stored in an easy-to-reach location in your RV, or stuffed into your backpacking pack, you won’t go wrong with one of the first aid kits from Adventure Medical Kits.
So, this isn’t a physical item to add to your truck camper accessories, but it sure comes in handy.
I stopped in Mammoth to pick up locking cam straps for my kayak rack and just happened to ask the salesman about hot springs and dispersed camping sites in the area. He proceeded to tell me that he had just returned from a 10-day road trip and has used The Dyrt Camping app to find free campsites along the way.
I quickly downloaded it and have been putting it to use ever since. This app not only has a wide selection of dispersed camping sites throughout the U.S., but it also has regular campgrounds and RV parks listed on there as well.
And it allows you to filter your results depending on what type of campsite you’re specifically looking for.
18. Paper Road Atlas
While I still use my phone’s internal GPS to plan routes and map my travels when I have service, there’s no substitute for a paper road atlas. This is especially true when you’re seeking more remote destinations where service is unreliable along your final approach.
19. Nat Geo Maps
Along the first stretch of my journey, I had an inkling that I’d like to explore Death Valley National Park.
And it just so happened that I camped next to two gentlemen that were on their return journey from the park on my first night on the road. I informed them of that inkling and they came over to show me their Death Valley Nat Geo map that they had relied on while off-roading in the park.
I quickly found a store where I could purchase my own map before I lost service in the park and I have since purchased a few more Nat Geo maps of other locations that I’ve been lucky to explore.
They are incredibly handy when you don’t have service and can help you plan your drives, hikes, paddles, bike trips, and much more.
20. Park Rangers
Whenever you visit a park, park rangers are an excellent resource for the most up-to-date park information possible. You can ask questions that you simply won’t get complete answers to on the phone or on the park’s website.
This is usually true for national and state parks, but some areas will obviously be more fully staffed than others.
But my luck of running into a park ranger in Death Valley helped me confirm that the remote campground I intended to drive about two hours to reach indeed had availability and was a good place to set up a basecamp before summiting Telescope Peak (the highest point in Death Valley) the next day.
Final Thoughts on Truck Camper Accessories
While I hope you’ve found my choices for the best truck camper accessories useful, I must admit that I realize every truck camper is different. And we all have slightly different preferences when it comes to how we like to travel and where we like to stay (and/or camp!).
Because of that, we’d love to hear about some items you’d choose as the best truck bed camper accessories that we might’ve left off our list. And we’d also love to know why those accessories are so important to you and your truck camping style.
Feel free to drop a comment directly below this article and share your favorite truck camping accessories with us!
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