Recently, I bought my first camper. It’s a decent model- nothing wrong with it at all. It may not be flashy like some others, but it works just fine for my purposes. When I started taking it on trips, I also started wondering- can you sleep in a camper off the truck?

You can absolutely sleep in a truck camper off the truck while camping. Campers are designed to be used both attached to your vehicle and unattached. This is because some campers like to leave their campsites after arriving. You might, however, save your jacks for a while by leaving it attached.

But are there any risks to sleeping with your truck camper off the truck while camping? Is there anything you should seriously be worried about? Read on to find out.

Why you would want to take your truck camper off the truck?

It may be necessary depending on your camping trip to take your camper off of your truck. This may be the case for several reasons:

  • Hunting
  • Off Roading
  • Lighten the Load
  • Driving in Towns
  • Staying multiple nights in one place

A truck camper is a big bulky item. If you are going out hunting and have a home base set up as a campsite, you may want to ditch your camper and take your truck deeper in the woods. Leaving your camper attached may add unneeded width and bulk to get down back roads.

This may also be the case when you are off roading in your vehicle, a large camper can reduce your capabilities.

If you are driving for long distances from your campsite or driving through towns or downtown, removing your camper will make your vehicle easier to drive and smaller for crowded areas or parking lots.

Driving with your camper attached can be a pain, so it makes sense to leave it at the campsite if possible.

If you are staying in one place for multiple nights, it may be easier to remove the camper and use it. Chances are, you will still be using your truck and it will be much easier to drive without the camper.

Possible Drawbacks to Unattaching Your Truck Camper

Now, when I started unattaching my camper from my truck, I initially thought that someone (in very Looney-Tunes fashion) jacking it up and stealing it while I slept was the only possible problem I could have.

As it turns out, however, there are just a couple real disadvantages to taking your camper off the truck. Nothing serious- you’ll still have a good long life with your camper if you sleep in it off the truck. But, you can experience some slight difficulties.

Here is a quick video of loading a camper, it can take some time, so that will be the biggest drawback of unloading and reloading.

You Have to Reattach Before you Leave

For one, getting a camper on a truck can be quite a hassle. I remember my first time attaching my camper to my truck. I started to wonder- how does anyone ever get one of these things on? I can’t see my where I’m going back there at all!

After a few tries, though, I was a pro, and found myself lugging my camper all across the USA.

It can, however, still be a little daunting from time to time. Especially in the mornings, when I’m groggy and tired. When my friends ask whether or not they should take the camper off the truck, I’m always quick to stop them.

This is especially important if you’re going on one of those long-haul trips across the country- as I like to do. If you just want to pick up and go in the morning, having to reattach your camper puts you at a huge disadvantage and gives you a pretty substantial chore when all you really want to be doing is going to a diner and getting a coffee.

It Could Wear Out Your Jacks

Now, I don’t want anyone to confuse my meaning here. I’m not trying to say that you’re going to be finding your jacks broken every month or so. Stock jacks on campers are sturdy and will last you years. All I mean to say is that you might buy yourself a little extra time.

Studies on this kind of thing are few and far between, if not non-existent. This is because taking a camper off the truck is just something most people take for granted. We really couldn’t even tell you how long a camper jack will last in general- maybe your whole life, if you treat it right.

In any case, your engine’s likely to give out before your jacks do.

However, you still may be able to extend your jack-life and keep them running smoothly by reducing use. It’s really quite simple- use something less, and you’ll have it longer. The same applies for everything on a camper, from your jack to your brakes to your engine.


In conclusion, there will be no problems if you sleep with a camper off the truck. There are some slight benefits to leaving it on, but these can be outweighed by the benefits of taking it off in certain situations.

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