Ah, truck camping. Just the thought of it stir up images of camping in a cool mountain forest or desert mesa. If you love clean air, peaceful solitude and beautiful vistas, then truck camping is your thing.
If you’ve camped before in RV parks and campgrounds, then you need to try this exclusive way of camping. Unlike before, you will depend solely on equipment found in your truck. This means that you will not only need to depend on your camper’s holding tank for all your water uses, but also on your camper’s battery for electrical power and it’s propane system to cook and run the refrigerator.
This means that you cannot leave the lights on when you are not using them or take long baths. You will obviously do these things but you’ll swiftly drain your batteries and run out of clean water.
In order to avoid such mistakes and others from happening, we will look at tips and tricks to have up your sleeve. So, without further adieu, here are some truck camping tips and tricks to help you while truck camping:
How to conserve water
When truck camping, water is a precious commodity; use it sparingly. Never leave your taps running when using them. Use half a bottle of water to brush your teeth. Take conservative showers, wet your body, turn of the shower, lather up, and then rinse off. For personal hygiene, use biodegradable wipes.
Use disposable plates, cups and bowls to save on cleaning water. For cooking pots wash them in a basin or tub and save the water for flushing the toilet. Always remember that the more you save on the amount of clean water you use, the more you limit wastage of waste water.
Sources of portable water
Without a doubt, knowing where to get portable water at little or no cost is good tip when truck camping. These sources are city parks, ranger stations, county, gas stations, truck stops and campgrounds. Use a hose to get water from sources without spigots.
To top up on the capacity that the camper can hold, carry bottled water and extra water containers. You can also get water from natural sources such as streams, rivers and lakes but you have to filter the water first before filling your holding tank.
Do not drain your batteries
Always keep your AGM batteries and wet cell at 50% and above charge and 80% and above your lithium ion batteries. By doing this you will increase the batteries lifespan. Never rely on a basic alternator charge circuit as the main mean to charge your batteries when truck camping instead have a generator or solar as the primary source.
The size of your solar system depends on your camping needs. For most trucks, a 200 watt solar system is sufficient. For generators invest in quiet inverters. You can also install a high amperage wind turbine.
This is easily one of the best tip to have up your sleeve when truck camping. Another truck camper’s tip and trick is to have more than two AGM or ion batteries for camping. If your battery compartment can hold a battery at a time, install another power unit to have two. Only use fans, lights, TV, and water pumps when needed.
Make sure that your bulbs are LED. If you are truck camping in cold weather, use a zero degree sleeping blanket and not the heater to keep warm. If your camper does not have a battery monitor, install one to avoid the guesswork on the state of your batteries.
Use the toilet sparingly
Avoiding water wastage is a big challenge to campers. The truck’s holding tank is not big, so try to reduce your visits to the toilet. Use gas stations, rest stops, restaurants and pit toilets whenever possible. Do not fill the toilet bowl after flushing but use a little water to cover your toilet’s rubber seal.
Where to dump the black water
One primary rule for campers is to dump the black water at only approved sites such as campgrounds and RV dump stations. For the camp trucks with cassette toilets, dump the black water in toilets in campground pit latrines, county or restrooms.
Avoid dumping the black water in open spaces and in the wild at all costs. It pollutes the environment and it is illegal. You also are inconsiderate of other campers who may camp there after you.
Always be ready
Unlike in campground camping, truck camping will take you to isolated places without cell networks, so you should always be ready for any type of contingency. Some items to have for preparedness are an emergency roadside kit, a Ham radio, a fully-stocked first-aid kit, an axe, a water purifier and a portable compressor.
If your truck camping includes travelling to no man’s land a lot, carry a shovel and a winch to dig out of the mess. Another important truck camping tip is to always include personal protection such as a dog, bear spray or firearm.
Do not litter the environment
This is easily one of our top truck camping tips for all campers. Keep in mind this golden rule when camping. Be considerate of the environment and other people. Always pick your trash and extinguish your campfire and leave the campsite better than you found it. When lighting your campfire do not burn wood pallets as they leave nails behind. Leaving trash on public land is against the law and extremely inconsiderate.
Where should you truck camp?
After loading your truck cap camping with all the camping necessities, where do you head to? You are allowed to camp on timber company properties, wildlife preserves, state land trust, state forest, or on private property but with permission. Choose a good camping site using blogs, maps or Google Earth.
To know the roads that can be used for overnight camping, talk with the park rangers. You can truck camp on any road as long as there is an open road and no sign prohibiting camping.
If you own a truck and are ready to forego some personal comforts, you will find the above truck camper tips and tricks handy. So, with the above tricks you’ll find your next truck bed camping less costly and absolutely fun.