Truck camping can be as simple as throwing a sleeping bag in the truck bed and sleep under the stars to a truck tent or all the way with a full camper with air conditioning. The styles can vary greatly in cost the closer to civilization you get.
One advantage to this style camping is there are a great many more locations to get to that would be otherwise inaccessible by car, camping trailer or motor home. If the truck has 4-wheel drive, the locations are expanded even more. Truck camping is very popular with sportsman who go out over night in to remote locations.
When pulling up to a prospective campsite, first locate where you will be cooking and building a campfire. Make sure to park the truck 20 feet away from either of these two locations. A common sense approach to parking your vehicle should include not parking near streams or areas that could be natural drain ways for rainwater as this could be a problem later if a storm comes up and the vehicle is stuck. Try to elevate the cab portion slightly as any moisture that collects in the bed of the truck will drain away naturally towards the tailgate.
Truck Camping is similar to Van camping in regards to the amount of room for sleeping and the amount of food and other camping equipment you bring. While bringing along everything you think you will need, remember that most equipment needs to be moved to make room for sleeping arrangements.
Make sure that all food and ice chests will fit in the cab of the truck at night. Leaving coolers and other items on the ground are just going to attract night visitors in search of a good meal. If this is not possible, create an area approx. 10 feet off the ground so that the food can be suspended from such as a rope between two trees.
The cooking equipment you bring along with you will work out best if you have a good supply of clean water in which to wash all utensils after every meal. The camp stove should be small enough to pack away or fit under the truck at night.
Sleeping in the bed of a truck should include at least one or more backpack sleeping pad. If some cover is provided over the bed of the truck, then consider an inflatable air mattress to support the sleeping bag. Make sure to remove any sharp objects and put down a heavy tarp before using an air mattress as even the smallest puncture can occur and ruin the whole trip.
A step up is a truck camper that can sleep up to 4 people, with a small kitchen and eating area. Similar to a Pop Up Trailer you are better protected from the elements. Two people can sleep in the area over the cab. The table drops down, making room for two more people. The truck will need to be at least a 3/4 ton model to handle the extra weight and overhang of the camper over the cab of the truck. Care is need when mounting and removing the camper from the truck. Once mounted on truck, double check seals, windows, doors etc. for possible leakage. It is suggested to store the camper when not in use in a cover area, at a level that is the same height as when the camper is on your truck.
Truck camping is a quick way to get to the great outdoors when you don't have a lot of time to set up.