Our DIY Truck Camper

DIY: Truck Camper Build – Intro

About our lil’ Backpack

Our DIY Truck Camper
2019 Truck Camper Build

Welcome to the introduction to our home built truck camper series. From this series of post you will develop a firm know-how of what you can make, and what things to avoid.

Inside Backpack Truck CamperBed Area inside Truck Camper

Our Wants/Needs

We typically take at least two road trips each year of about 2000 miles. We have made this trip in a small 4 door car, A 28 foot travel trailer, A huge truck camper, A pop-up truck camper and good ole’ Backpack. During all of these adventures we learned many things about what we wanted with a travel camper.

We didn’t want something that was big and overloaded. Mrs. Adventure started this conversation with me one day as we loaded up our old 8 ft. long, 1200 lb monster of a truck camper. “Can you cut off some in the back so that we can put up the tailgate?”. This innocent question lead to two months of intensive work to build a suitable truck camper for our needs.

Chainsaw vs Truck Camper – What Could Go Wrong…


  • Small enough to fit in the truck with the tailgate up: 6ft bed.
  • Light enough not to over-load our Silverado 1500. (940lbs max weight)
  • Small enough to fit into almost any parking spot that our truck fits.
  • Place to sleep, cook, potty.
  • Protected from the elements ( heat, cold, rain, snow)


  • A fuel efficient rig that can handle multiple cross country trips from Texas to Washington State.
  • Something that doesn’t leak!
  • Something that looks nice and doesn’t scream, “Handmade!” hehe.
  • A bit of headroom.

The Build Timeline

The overall project took two months from start to finish.

We started planning this build in May 2019 with a goal of mid July to be on the road. We have previously purchased older truck campers and had one that could be used for some parts. Harvesting parts from another camper is not required, but we had it on hand. I will provide a few links to where you can get parts new/refurbished as needed.

What you will need

Build Supply List


The entire project took working from 6pm – midnight most weekdays and 14 hours on Sat/Sun. Most of the work was physical. Tools required were a table saw, miter saw, nail gun and tape measure.

Blood, Sweat and Tears

Ole Backpack contains much sweat and blood from many oops. Be sure to wear protective gear and follow all safety measures. A few tears were shed when I did not measure twice and cut once.

man working with tools
Hammer Hammer, Screw Screw The work must get done!

The Series

This will be a series of posts that will detail the entire build process. This is just the introduction. Please check back for another post on this topic. If you have any questions about the build, please let me know!

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