We both grew up camping in tents and campers. When we married, we started out with a tent and would go tent camping up until after we had kids. Once our boys were a bit older, we purchased our first travel trailer, several years later we moved up to a 5th wheel and have had 2 since. Here we are in our 50s, our kids are grown, and love to travel in our 5th wheel. Just recently we decided that we’d like to go back to something smaller and picked out a truck camper. The reason we decided on a truck camper, which is only 100 square ft., was for getting into smaller places we were not able to go in our 5th wheel. Most state and National parks don’t have campsites large enough for a 42ft RV and we felt like we were missing out on some beautiful parks.
Because this is an RV we never owned before we had to do some research to figure out what we needed for a truck camper. We couldn’t find a list anywhere of all the must-haves and some of the nice add-ons, so we made one. Here are the top 10 items we think are needed when you purchase a truck camper.
1. Tie Downs – To even be able to carry a truck camper on your truck the first thing you need to purchase is tie-downs to your truck. The tie-downs are installed under the truck and attached to your frame. They attach to the front and the rear of your truck. These will stick out of your truck a bit, but they are removable when you’re not using your truck camper. You will need to find custom-fitted ones that will fit your brand of truck.
2. Turnbuckles – Turnbuckles are what attach the truck camper to the tie-downs under the truck and keep the camper on the truck. They are a must-have safety item. They turn so you can tighten them onto the truck and the camper, hence the name turnbuckles.
3. Rubber truck bed mat – A rubber mat for the bed of your
truck not only protects your truck, but it keeps the camper from sliding around in the back of the truck. The mat will also keep your camper from bouncing while driving down the road, especially if you are going off the beaten path.
4. Front & Side stabilizers – Here is something that we didn’t know before purchasing our truck camper, most of them are not really meant to sit off the truck without some kind of stabilizer bars on the front of the camper. When you take the camper off the truck, it is front-heavy and could possibly tip over if not stabilized properly. If you purchase front stabilizer bars/stix you will not have any issues. You can even use them while the camper is still on the truck for more stability. The side stabilizers are not a must for a truck camper, but they do make your camper have less of a wobbly feeling, some are even called Wobble Stoppers.
5. Surge Protector - one of the most important items that any camper or RV needs is a surge protector. Never plug your RV into an electric pole without a surge protector. While most campgrounds' poles are safe, we don’t want to take any chances with a power surge. We have always connected our surge protector first and it will let us know by lighting up if the pole is safe and have a reliable source of power.
6. Air Suspension Airbags – When you sit a camper on a truck they are heavy and sometimes the truck will sit too low in the back, and you want the truck to be level when you are towing. If you get airbags for your truck this helps raise the truck to normal height. They also help with steering control and will reduce swaying, which is safer for driving.
7. Hitch Extender – Your truck camper will extend past your truck hitch making it impossible to tow anything behind your truck. A hitch extender will allow your hitch to then stick out past your camper. Then you can add a bike rack, or cargo carrier, or pull a boat, trailer, or another vehicle.
8. Water filtration & drinking hose - If you have a water hookup to your truck camper, you will need a drinking RV hose to attach to the camper and the spigot at the campsite. While most water at the campground is clean, we always hook up a water filter. It attaches to the spigot at the campground and then connects to our designated drinking water hose. There are many different brands and types available. This will save you on weight from loading up on water bottles as well.
9. Dehumidifier – If you are traveling to a wet or humid climate you will need a dehumidifier of some kind or moisture absorption packets. Water is your biggest enemy in any RV, and you want to keep moisture out of your camper. The biggest places you can get mold in truck campers are the bathroom and under the beds. We use a dehumidifier while we’re traveling and moisture-absorbent packets when we’re not traveling or not hooked up to a power source.
10. Backup power - Generators, solar, lithium batteries – These are not a must-have when you purchase a truck camper. But they are always great to have just in case of an emergency. If you are camping at a campground, you could lose power at any time, we have had that happen to us several times. Most people that purchase truck campers want to travel and stay off-road or off-grid. Lithium batteries are great to help you at least run your lights and refrigerators overnight. If you plan to stay longer you will need either solar panels or a generator to charge the batteries so you can enjoy your experience off-grid.
We think the first 5 are a must for truck campers. A few of the others would be great for any camper, the backup power, dehumidifier, water filtration, and surge protector are all great to have for an RV. We hope this was helpful and if you are purchasing or thinking of purchasing a truck camper this could help you with what you need to get on the road safely.
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Updated: Jun 8
This is how we turned our RV dining room into my rolling office. You can use these tips and add what works best for you to make your dining room, living room, bedroom, or extra room into an office. When we first moved into our RV, I was working full-time with the government for one year before we hit the road. We were stationary at a campground near where we sold our house for one year. I worked from a government laptop and that was all I had, working from a laptop on a table is not the best way to work. I knew that I had to get creative because I didn’t want my dining room table to look like an office, but I also needed to function as one. I also had a few other part-time jobs; one is teaching online. So not only did my office need to function, but it needed to function in different ways for each job, and look pretty at the same time.
One of the first things I purchased was an adjustable laptop stand. I teach online and
because I have video calls and meetings with clients, this was a must. The stand raises your laptop up so that you are not looking down at the videos. It is also better for your neck and back to work with the monitor at eye level. This stand is adjustable so I can move it up and down, even high enough that I can stand up to work if my back is bothering me from sitting too much. Another reason I like this one is that it is lightweight and folds down flat to be easily stored away when I am not using it. It can be stored in a cabinet, closet, or behind your couch or a chair. That is the one thing about my little office, I love that everything is easily put up out of the way after I am working for the day.
The next thing you might want to purchase for your office is some kind of storage. I purchased this small cabinet from IKEA, but I can't find it on their website. I found this one on Amazon, that is very similar. This one fits perfectly in our space in the dining room. I use it to store my printer,
extra paper, and contracts, and I also store my laptop and Tri-Screen from Xebec. The cabinet is not very heavy and travels right here in this space with no issues on our travel days. I don't need to strap it down or anything. But, our slide comes up to our table and the chairs kind of hold it in place. If you are worried about it moving, you could always attach it to the wall in the back of the cabinet. This functions great for me by adding storage for my office, and I added plants and my WiFi router on there as well.
If you don't have the space for a cabinet like this one you can always find a smaller one or use an empty cabinet in your RV, a basket, or even make a space in a closet or under your bed to store supplies when you are done for the day. I also have a basket under the table for storing all my teaching props and toys. I teach very young students sometimes so I have toys and puppets that I needed to store. This decorative basket is great for storing your office supplies as well. It looks like it is just a pretty basket that I added that looks like it belongs here and is not meant for storage.
The best upgrade I made was adding the Tri-Screens by Xebec to my laptop. This gives me three screens to work from. I can work on a project, teach a class, or write a blog and have my calendar and emails up on the other two screens. The best part is how easy they are to install and how portable they are. We now have a truck camper for smaller trips, so I pack my laptop and my Tri-Screens in a bag and then have a rolling office in there as well. It takes seconds to set up, just pop it on the laptop, plug it in, and you're ready to start working.
This is great for us traveling nomads that don't have room for large bulky extra monitors. I can now be so much more productive and I can travel anywhere with my setup because it is so portable. Love that I can take it and work from anywhere.
I also like using it when making our travel plans. I keep a map up on one screen, a calendar on one, and the campground reservations website on the main screen. This makes booking our travels so much easier. Shane even has one now for his laptop, although he uses it for watching multiple sports games so he can see all the scores.
A comfortable chair is a must for your office space. I wanted one that was not just functional, but also pretty and matched my decorations. I found these brown chairs that are much more comfortable and definitely nicer looking than the ones that came in the RV. I added a lumbar pillow to help my back when sitting for long periods of time. Also, the blue just adds a pop of color and makes it pretty to look at.
The last and probably most important thing you need for a rolling office is some kind of WIFI. There are so many types of traveling internet out there these days. When we first started looking three years ago it was very hard to find portable internet that could travel with you, and it was very expensive. We have a couple of ways we get internet now because I need backups to make sure I have internet for my jobs.
The first way we get internet is from ATT unlimited router through a company called Millenicom.
The second internet we use is T-Mobile unlimited home WIFI. It has traveled with us and done very well, especially for the price, we only pay $30 a month because we have the military plan. But, if you don't it is only $50 a month. Lastly, if all else fails we use the campground WIFI. But, for the last 3 years, we haven't had to use theirs. Here is a tip, you will need your own WIFI because the campground's internet is never reliable.
You can make any space in your home or home on wheels an office. Whether you are at your kitchen table, a tiny desk in the bedroom, or a huge office space in a bunkroom or toy hauler, any space can become a rolling office. I even like to work outside sometimes when the weather is nice, and it is great that most of my stuff is portable and I can work from anywhere. As long as you have the basics that you need to work, and you are comfortable that is all that matters. Some of the items I have added are not necessary, but they sure do make it a lot easier for me to get my work done.
Updated: Jan 24
Port Aransas, Texas
321 N on the Beach, Port Aransas, TX 78373
A campground on the beach for $37 a night, count us in! This campground is located on the beach in Port Aransas, Texas. The beach is about a 5-minute walk from most of the campsites. If you don’t feel like walking, a short drive out the campground entrance is a road with beach access. In Texas, most of the beaches allow vehicle traffic.
You can drive and park on the beach if you purchase a beach pass at just about any store in the area. Right now it is only $12 for the beach parking pass. This pass will last you for an entire year and it works on any Texas beaches. This campground doesn’t have a lot of amenities, but it is on the beach and what else do you need? Three years ago, when Hurricane Harvey came through, it destroyed this campground. The campground has been closed for three years rebuilding and has just reopened last year.
Each spot is fully paved and large enough to fit your RV, truck, and boat. They are constructing a brand-new clubhouse that features an office, showers, bathrooms, and a laundromat.
When this office opens the rates will go up to $50 a night, which is still a great price for the location of this campground. It will also be a much shorter walk to the beach once the office is open. It is just behind our spot in this photo above. You will be able to walk under it straight to the beach on the other side. Right now because of construction you have to walk around. If you want to be super close to the beach without all the sand, we highly recommend this campground. There is only one negative for this campground, and that is the stickers/burs. All of the grass between each campsite is covered in stickers. If they would just spray and take care of the stickers this campground would be perfect.
If you like the ocean and water activities Port Aransas is the place to go. You can take boat tours for dolphin watching or deep-sea fishing. If you would rather do something a little more active there are a few bays and inlets where you can go paddleboarding or kayaking on your own or there are several places to rent them. There are tons of little beach shops in the area, you can find decorations, bathing suits, and all the souvenirs you would ever need. If you like seafood this area has many great seafood restaurants, our favorite in the area is Moby Dicks and Fins Grill. Here is a tip if you want to go to a restaurant, go early, all their restaurants are very busy, and if you wait until 6 pm or later you will wait for at least an hour and a half. It is a small island with not many restaurants and a lot of people wanting to eat out. Port Aransas is a great touristy beach town.