A Cab Over Camper is a Great All-Around, Multi-Purpose RV

Having gone through an evolutionary process through the years, a cab over camper or truck camper (TC), can rival some of the larger RVs! That's a bit surprising if you haven't been in one of the newer, more modern rigs that are out there these days.

And, because of all the improvements and enhancements that have been made through the years, they're no longer just for short weekend camping trips...

cab over camper

Many people have chosen these compact, attachable RVs as their full-time home.

Not possible, you say?

At first glance, it may not seem feasible. Certainly, it’s too small and too plain to live in 24/7/365, right?

Maybe not.  Certainly, there are plenty who will quickly disagree with you.  Why?


Your camping options are almost limitless.

You can camp in campgrounds and RV parks, of course.

You can camp on the beach or in remote areas because you’re only limited by the ability to traverse the terrain in your truck.

And, you can camp in areas that prohibit boondocking because you’re likely to fly beneath the boondocking radar.


Like any of the attachable RVs (trailers - not motorhomes), the overall expense for this type of camping vehicle is less.

  • There's no additional cost for tires on the unit you are pulling (because you won't be pulling an additional unit).
  • The cost for fuel and maintenance is less.
  •  The cost for insurance is most likely going to be substantially less.
  • Registration? Depending on your state of residency and its laws, you may not need to register your camper.


They’re easy to maneuver. If you've mapped out sites in the city that you want to visit, you should have little or no problem. Especially if you’ve already detached the camper.

And, there’s no need to worry about pulling a trailer or backing into those sometimes ridiculously tight spots at campgrounds.

If you can drive a vehicle, you can easily enjoy RVing with a cab over camper.

The only concern? Your height.

You’ll need to remember to compensate and adjust accordingly for the height of your rig. For example, some/many parking garages may not be able to accommodate you and some gas stations may not be tall enough to allow you to refuel.

What About Cab Over Camper Amenities?

At first glance, it seems that such a compact unit would have limited market appeal to those of us who prefer not to “rough it”.

Granted, some of the older cab over campers were quite basic and crude.

However, the newer units offer many of the features and conveniences afforded by the larger RV types.

For example:

  • Comfortable mattresses
  • Sinks
  • Ovens
  • Countertop space
  • Toilets
  • Showers
  • Roll-out pantries
  • Air conditioning and heating
  • Double-door refrigerators
  • Wardrobes
  • Skylights
  • ...And, some can sleep up to seven people!
cab over camper interior

Worried About Space?

As time and technology have progressed, so have cab over campers.

Slide-outs are now available on cab over campers. It’s truly amazing what a mere 12 inches (or more) can make in living space. Ask anyone who has owned an RV without slides and then has upgraded to one with slides. There's a substantial amount of room to be gained by a simple slide out.

...Oh, and let’s not forget the addition of awnings. Many of us rely on awnings. They help shade our units during the day - keeping our units cooler, and they provide additional living space in the evening and during times of nice weather.

side entry cab over camper

Another Consideration?

If you're going to be pulling anything like a boat, an ATV, a golf cart, etc. with you, look for a camper with a side entry.

It eliminates the need to unhook when you find yourself boondocking for an evening or two, for example.

The Egg or the Chicken?

Which comes first? The truck or the camper?

If you're thinking about buying a recreational vehicle, should you begin with a specific truck in mind, or with a specific camper in mind? That’s often the question about cab over campers, fifth wheel campers, and lightweight travel trailers.

If economics plays a large part in your purchasing decision, by all means, start with what you have.

If you already own a truck, determine which camper you will be able to safely carry. Safety should ALWAYS come first.

If you have a camper, take your time to find out which type of truck is best suited for it, which has the best mechanical performance record and, if possible which has the best success with an attachable camper.

...But, if you have a choice, and budget isn't a primary concern, start with the camper. Why? You can choose the camper that best fits your living and camping needs. Then you can focus on researching and buying the truck that is best suited for your camper--not one that is too small or too large.

However, if you are seriously interested in towing other items behind you and, especially if feel you may want to upgrade at some point, it may make more sense to buy the heaviest truck you can afford. This will give you plenty of options for any type of recreational vehicle your heart may desire.

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