10 Life-Changing Truck Camping Tips For First Timers

Truck camping continues to grow in popularity with road-trippers who seek more flexibility, comfort, and freedom. With a truck camper, you can create a home-on-wheels…

Truck camping continues to grow in popularity with road-trippers who seek more flexibility, comfort, and freedom. With a truck camper, you can create a home-on-wheels and explore the great outdoors with little effort.

However, getting started can be overwhelming if you’re a truck camping newbie. Luckily, we’re here to help!

On Reddit, two popular communities recently discussed the top 10 truck camping tips for first-timers. We’ve cherry-picked all the best responses to provide you with the ultimate list of tips. 

Here’s what we found:

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1. “Make Your Own Camp Food”

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One of the most upvoted tips on Reddit was to cook all your food. Doing so will save you money, which could keep you on the road for longer because you’ll have more money to put toward campgrounds and fuel.

One Redditor recommends practicing if you’ve never cooked food on a camping trip. He told first-timers to “Practice with a small camp stove, pot, and frying pan before you go. Remember to bring a small cooking kit with some cooking oil, a scrubby thing, soap, utensils, and a few seasonings.”

If you decide to eat out, he also recommends eating where the locals eat to avoid inflated prices.

2. Keep A Travel Journal

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Keeping a travel journal is an excellent way to remember your adventures. In your journal, you should write down where you’ve been, what you did and what you saw, memorable locations, and the addresses of places you enjoyed staying.

In the future, you can reminisce about your vacations and find places to visit again. When talking about travel journals, one community member said, “You will appreciate it later, and it is amazing how much you think you will always remember but don’t. The journal is your memory.”

At the very least, keep a list of places you enjoyed in the notes on your phone!

3. “Don’t Rely On Having Cell Service”

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There’s a very good chance you won’t have cell service for the whole duration of your trip. Therefore, it’s essential to be prepared for the times you might not. 

Luckily, one helpful Redditor listed some things we can do to prepare for when we don’t have any service. He advised us to “Download maps on your GPS before you go or before you enter an area” and “Let someone at home know when and where you expect to leave and arrive at specific stops.”

You can easily download maps for offline use on Google Maps, if you didn’t already know. This simple tip could make a huge difference when you have no service. 

4. Pack A Rechargeable Mini Fan

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One truck camper told readers in the r/TruckCampers community to purchase a rechargeable mini fan. In his opinion, this is one of the best purchases a truck camper can make, especially if you plan to travel in the summer.

He told the community his mini fan is one of his favorite $10 purchases because it’s a game-changer when temps are warm. If you’ve ever been awake all night because it’s too hot and stuffy, you know all too well how refreshing the cool breeze from a fan can be.

Unfortunately, the Redditor didn’t leave us with any recommendations, so you’ll have to research which fan is best for you! 

5. Keep The Essentials In Your Truck

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Another Redditor told campers to pack some of the essentials they need in their vehicle permanently. The reasoning is to speed up the time to pack for a road trip.

You might not have the space to keep everything you need in your truck, especially if you use your truck daily, but you can pack smaller things. For example, this Redditor told us to “Go to a thrift store and get silverware, plates, cups, etc., and have them live in the camper full time.”

If you’re forgetful like us and often leave things at home, this could be an invaluable tip to remember (pardon the pun!).

6. Pack A Small Tool Kit

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This suggestion might seem quite simple, but a quick reminder to pack a small tool kit could make a huge difference on truck camping trips. On Reddit, several truck campers pointed out that small repairs are common. 

Packing at least the basics will help you solve most minor problems. A helpful tool kit might include screwdrivers, a spanner, pliers, and a utility knife.

When discussing this tip, one user wrote, “I’d keep a small toolkit and a collection of fasteners with you. I was always having to tighten or refasten something in that camper.”

Meanwhile, another camper told readers to pack some zip ties and a small leveler for leveling their camper.

7. Buy A Small Trasharoo

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One of the challenges with truck camping is finding somewhere to put all your trash. However, truck campers on Reddit have the solution.

That solution is a Trasharoo. For those who don’t know, a Trasharoo is a small waste bag that can be mounted on the spare wheel on the back of a truck. 

This is a fantastic purchase that allows you to keep all your trash in one place, outside your truck. 

8. Carry A Road Safety Kit

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One community member advised first-time truck campers to always pack a road safety kit 

and other essentials that can help in an emergency. The user who made this suggestion said, “Carry a road safety kit, jumper cables, flares or orange triangles, extra flashlight, batteries, etc.”

These things might take up more space in your truck, but they can make things much easier and safer if anything goes wrong during your trip. As the saying goes, “Hope for the best, plan for the worst.”

9. “Don’t drink alcohol and drive”

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This next tip is obvious, but you’ll be surprised by the number of people who drink and drive. Drinking and driving won’t only land you in trouble with the law, but it can also cause severe injury or even death.

Therefore, experienced truck campers recommend staying away from alcohol if you plan to do a lot of driving. One Redditor also said, “No drugs while you’re behind the wheel.”

We’ll even expand this to not driving while sleepy – pull over and catch some z’s if you start feeling drowsy.  Honestly, not driving while impaired is probably the easiest tip to follow on this list!

10. Consider Packing An Empty Plastic Bottle

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Okay, so we’ll end with a strange tip that could actually be a real lifesaver if you’re caught short. Some truck campers recommend packing an empty plastic bottle in case you need to go for a pee at night.

This might sound crazy, but you might be really glad you did this if you’re somewhere that doesn’t have a toilet and don’t want to go wandering into the dark at night.

When telling readers to pack a plastic bottle, one Redditor said, “I use an empty bleach bottle for peeing in during the night when I’m sleeping in the back of my truck.”

I suppose there’s no harm in packing an empty bottle just in case. And ladies? You’ll also need to pack a pee funnel (if you know, you know).

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.

11 Stunning Teardrop Trailers That Will Make You Ditch Tents for Good

Photo Credit: Oregon Trailer

Owning the best teardrop trailer is a wonderful way to enjoy the great outdoors. Not only are teardrop trailers easy to tow and store, but they also come in various styles, from luxury to off-road.

Want a teardrop trailer with a bathroom? No problem! We’ll also give you some options for those.

You’ll soon be drooling over these adorable teardrop trailers for your outdoor adventures.

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