One of the best things about owning a
truckis that it allows you to go places that other vehicles can't (presuming you have four-wheel drive.) Who needs van life when you could have truck life?
Why build a truck bed tent?
Of course, some of you may be asking, “Why should I build a truck bed tent when I already have a good normal tent?” With a trunk bed tent, you'll be better protected from extreme rain or flooding. Anyone who has been camping in rainy conditions knows how miserable a wet tent can be.
Another convenience is you don't have to stake a truck bed tent into the ground. This is especially helpful if you plan on camping somewhere that has very hard or very soft soil.
Lastly, you can keep your truck bed tent in the cabin of the car when it's not in use. This would allow you to go on a spontaneous camping trip or be quite helpful in emergencies. Its compatibility is also quite helpful if you want to jump across different camping parks on a whim.
Material needed for truck bed tent
There are prefabricated truck bed tents that are available for purchase. They can cost anywhere from $80-$370, all depending on how fancy you want to get. However, you can build your own for around $40 and a couple of hours of work. Here is what material you'll need according to
- 4 x 10-ft PVC pipes, 1-inch wide
- 8 x T- connector
- 2 x 90° fittings
- 4 x 45° fittings
- Pool noodle (optional, but worth it)
- Sketch paper
Car Camping Essentials
Sketch it out. The best place to start any DIY project is with a pencil and paper. While this project is pretty simple, doing a sketch will help you visualize what you’re building. If you haven't put it together yet, we're making an A-frame tent that fits into the holes around the truck bed.
Cut the legs. This part will require some measurements which may vary between different truck models. If you plan on keeping your truck tent bed stored in a bag, make sure the legs will be able to fit. The first tier of the leg will probably measure 1 ft. On the end, attach the 45° fittings and then T- connectors directly on top of that.
Shave the noodle. Get the noodle and a box cutter. Cut the noodle so it can fit on the 1ft legs. Then, shave pieces of the noodle so it can fit in the holes of your truck bed. This will better secure the legs, and remove any rattling noises on windy nights.
Connect PVC to the T-connector. Now, connect a PVC pipe that runs parallel with the truck bed. This will provide added stability to the tent. Cut 4 more PVC pieces that measure about 3 ft to go on the other end of the T-Connectors. Attach the next set of T-Connectors on the open end.
Repeat. Repeat another row of parallel PVC pipes at this higher level. Connect the upward ends of the T-connectors with more PVC pipe, joined by the 90° fittings.
Add the tarp. With the A-frame completed, all that is left to do is add the tarp and secure it down. Clamps or bungees will help keep it secured.
If that sounded confusing, no worries. Simply follow the above video for more visualized instructions.
One thing that isn't confusing is that the
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