Sleeping in the bed of the truck

Another upcoming weekend, another camping trip! Our next stop is Paso Robles with friends, and we inevitably wind up getting asked a lot of questions about our choice to opt for truck bed camping.

How we do Truck Bed Camping

Nate's been a truck kinda guy as long I've known him, and if you ask him he'll tell you that I was perhaps a bit of a prissy when we met. I've always liked my creature comforts, so it only made sense that when we started exploring the world our two styles meshed into one big glamping extravaganza.

We used to stick an air mattress in the bed of his old Tundra, which worked well when it was just the two of us without a lot of stuff or concern about keeping kiddos contained. The biggest annoyance was the fact that we'd inevitably get eaten alive by mosquitos when we'd go truck bed camping open-air style.

extended cab

Fast forward a few years and we wised up. We put a camper shell on our extended Ford F-350, enclosing the whole back end into one big traveling sleep space. They do make tents designed to go over the top of truck beds, but we wanted a more permanent truck bed camping solution since we're on-the-go so often.

Truck bed camping

We use a simple mattress topper to soften up the sleeping situation when we went truck bed camping.

truck bed camping with a mattress topper

We have a queen topper that takes up the whole truck bed for when we all pile in there, and a twin topper for when it's just the boys (Nate and I sometimes sleep in an adjacent tent if we're going to be somewhere longer than a night or two). The twin setup works well to leave space for coolers and other gear. We lay down a blanket, then the topper, then the sleeping bag.

truck bed hook

It was dang near impossible to get a decent picture of this, but the inside the truck bed has anchors along the sides where we can attach a rope or bungee cord. I can roll up the whole truck bed camping sleep pad and hook it up against one of the walls this way to maximize space in the truck bed in case I need more room for transporting the dogs or equipment.