View Full Version : "Bed camper" Tokyo Airport version

January 6, 2012, 01:17 PM
I currently hunt and fish out of a tent most of the time. I won't be buying for a while, but planning some sort of "bed camper," but not like the ones i can find for sale. I want the profile to not go over the normal roof and I want the back not to hang down. Seems 4 ft bed +tailgate is going to be almost long enough both my wife and I could sleep in it(being short is great from the day you get your HS diploma forward). Want it to be light so I am not spending a fortune on gas when i have it.

At current it seems nothing is commercially produced and it is best to buy a cap, maybe like the Leer 122,yes, i know it sticks up a little bit, and modify it. By modify I mean attach a bottom to it, work out just a little insulation, throw a mattress or maybe a memory foam mattress top in it and hit the road.

Did a search here and the only thing at all similar I found was this:
I like the side boxes and might include them. The platform is ridiculous, although in places where legal I might just hop on top to hunt.

Anyone modify a Suburban for this use? Some of the old Suburbans are pretty inexpensive. The problem is I won't be driving a suburban around any other time, but a short bed truck I could drive all the time and use for a number of other things.

I could use this with the car I have now, us it for limited cargo hauling, etc.
Going muzzleloading for the next few days, so if I don't reply it isn't b/c I forgot/lost interest.

January 6, 2012, 03:46 PM
I've slept in the back of a pickup under a topper numerous times. Works great.


January 6, 2012, 05:41 PM
I got that Tundra Sportsman model for Christmas.

Just kidding. I wasn't that good this last year :o

The platform does look generally pretty bad. But it could come in useful at times. I wonder how much of it can be assembled and taken down easily. Seems like a guy could make it that way.

January 6, 2012, 07:05 PM

JD Powell
January 6, 2012, 09:52 PM
Search fold out camper on you tube. There are a lot of ingenious people who have created their own solutions for this very thing.

January 6, 2012, 10:16 PM
That Teardrop is a very efficient use of space...but I think they are pretty expensive. However, if you are a handyman type, there are plans available for building them for a very nominal amount of money.JMO

Teardrop Plans (http://http://teardrops.net/plans01.html)

January 8, 2012, 09:00 PM
I like the tent, thinking about one, but I was hoping for something that I could roll into deer camp at 3 Am with and just crawl into without having to set up and to store things in somewhat securely.

January 8, 2012, 09:26 PM
I think a mini-van could be made to serve your purpose quite well.

January 8, 2012, 09:51 PM
I've done it, and don't recommend it. Every time you need to move the truck, you have to break camp and set up again. I have found it to be easier, cheaper, and much more comfortable to just use a tent and cot's or sleeping pads.

With many new tents they can be set up in 2-3 minutes by 1 person.

January 8, 2012, 10:28 PM
I think a mini-van could be made to serve your purpose quite well.

This works for me. I take the back seats out of my van and there's more than enough room for me and lots of stuff.
I stopped feeling the need for a pick-up a while ago.

Major Dave (retired)
January 10, 2012, 12:04 AM
in my Nissan Frontier P/U, lay my sleeping bag over it, put a "Horseshoe" pillow behind my neck, and drift off to sleep.

It is a regular cab truck, so if you get one with 4 doors, you should have even more room to sleep.:)

January 10, 2012, 09:34 PM
Every time you need to move the truck, you have to break camp and set up again. I have found it to be easier, cheaper, and much more comfortable to just use a tent and cot's or sleeping pads.
Yeah, this is why I want something hard sided but lite and low profile.

A Suburban/minivan would be great, but the other 340+ days a year a small pick-up will serve me better.
Considering a suburban, pull all the interior, rhinoline it, stick the seats back in, cut the top so it is detachable... But at that point I am expensive, illegal, or both.
this seems a great option. Would seem the lower area is accessible and usable all the time, so if I have to "break camp" just toss it all to the middle.

Actually, I know a guy who makes custom trucks for fire departments, SWAT teams, etc. I bet he would have some great ideas. Probably some scrap materials also.

January 10, 2012, 09:59 PM
im buying a topper on craigslist in my area and just making it more suitable i.e. spray on insulation, re,caulcking the windows, tinting them, and i got a memory foam matress and cut out my wheel wells on it, then sealed my bed with rhino liner, should be airtight. i called a guy about 30 minutes away and he's selling his topper for 50$

January 10, 2012, 10:09 PM

January 10, 2012, 10:19 PM
I'd really like the whole unit to lift out of the bed instead of using the bed full time or putting a hodgepodge of things in each time. Might be a good place to keep a lot of my hunting equipment and store new things I don;t want the wife to see :)

January 12, 2012, 02:13 PM
I use my old 2001 Ford Expedition and kept everything simple.
I took out the third row seat and folded the second row. I put in a cot on left side for sleeping and a 48qt cooler holds all my kitchen stuff. A 120qt cooler is used to take home games. Another 48 qt cooler is used as dry storage. I put a cargo platform that goes on to my 2" hitch to carry extra coolers. I keep a pair of folding seats in the back. I have a 3'x5' plywood platform that I put on top of my cargo platform to use as table when eating and stuff. It takes me less than 3 minutes to set up anywhere and less than 5 mintes to break camp and move.

January 12, 2012, 03:31 PM
Check out one of these.


Fairly inexpensive as campers go, high enough clearance to tow off road, and stroage on top for ATV's or other gear. Be sure to look at the image gallery to see different ways to set it up.

I still much prefer to tow something or just use a tent if the roads are too rough, or slick for towing. I have a mid-size pop-up that has good ground clearance that I've towed into some pretty rough spots. If there is any chance of snow, I'd rather set up my camp in a tent so I don't have to tow in the mountains with snow and ice on the ground.

If I didn't already have the pop-up I'd be looking hard at one of these for all my camping.

Deja vu
January 12, 2012, 04:19 PM
I've slept in the back of a pickup under a topper numerous times. Works great.


I agree. I throw in a fold up cot and I am gold.

January 12, 2012, 04:43 PM
My camping has run the gamut. Back pack tent, done it. Cabin tent with cots, done it. In the back of a pick up under a topper, done it. Small travel trailer, done it. Large travel trailer, done it. The wife and I have settled on this:


To tell the truth I did a much better job building this one than I needed too. I could of spent 1/2 the time and 1/2 the money and ended up with something just as functional. Also do a search on line for free teardrop camper plans. There's some good articles from the 40's and 50's on them.

If it was just me and I didn't want any amenities I'd be fine in the back of a pick up. Might even prefer it. But I'd still build what I wanted instead of buying.