How to build a truck topper camper

Updated June 27, 2018

Building a basic truck topper camper can be accomplished in a single day with basic materials and tools. Many trucks have a topper that provides a nice shelter but organising the space and creating a comfortable bed is a must for regular camping excursions. With a simple plan and some lumber, you can create the bed and have ample space for storing camping gear. The gear can be stored in milk crates or plastic storage bins to keep the camper clean and make everything accessible.

Measure the interior width and length of the truck bed, and beneath the lip of the topper for the width. Clean all gear and tools from the bed of the truck and sweep the bed for a fresh start.

Divide the width measurement into thirds. Build two benches with each being one third of the bed width and the full length of the bed. Build the benches by framing a rectangular base with 2-by-3 lumber and 3-inch wood screws. Add several uprights along the length portion of the frame and add a matching rectangle to the top of the frame.

Use a skill saw to cut a piece of 1/2-inch plywood to cover each bench. Reduce the width of the plywood by one-inch to create a gap on the inside of each bench. Connect the plywood to the benches with one-inch wood screws.

Place the benches inside of the truck bed. Cut pieces of plywood with a combined length of the truck bed and a width of one third of the bed plus two inches. Slide each piece between the benches. The inside gap will allow the wood to rest on the benches.

Cover the bed with foam cushions that are cut into sections. This allows the cushions to be easily removed. Remove the centre plywood for access to the gear beneath the bed.


Store the gear that used most frequently near the tailgate of the truck. Remove the centre plywood to create comfortable bench seating and replace the plywood for sleeping.


The number of upright supports used in the frame will determine the weight capacity of the bed. For multiple people, use extra supports to prevent collapsing the bed.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • 2-by-3 lumber
  • 3 inch wood screws
  • 1/2 inch plywood
  • 1 inch wood screws
  • Skill saw
  • Foam cushions
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About the Author

Zach Lazzari is a Montana based freelance outdoor writer and photographer. You can follow his work at