Technological expertise and solutions for climate target response is already here, but to unlock the hidden potential in industries and cities, we need clear priority setting by politics, orchestrated deployment, and significant public funding (CAPEX and OPEX) backed by an eased regulatory framework
The political discussion about necessity and accessibility of decarbonisation is gaining momentum. At least since the Paris climate agreement, it has been clear: in the long term, combustion processes can only occur in exceptional cases. Energy is precious and must be used as efficiently as possible. Many solutions for the decarbonisation of cities and industries already exist – further potential is being explored.
The FOCUS of all our activities is to ensure that the Europe-wide climate goal does not remain simple “lip service”.
The entire portfolio of E.ON’s Energy Infrastructure Solutions is geared towards supporting customers, companies and cities in their decarbonisation efforts.
The Net Zero industrial competitiveness
On 16 March 2023, the EU Commission published the Net-Zero Industry Act to preserve industrial competitiveness and reduce dependency on third countries.
This proposal defines strategic technologies, but each of these technologies has a different starting point. The way is clear for solar PV, solar thermal and renewable energies – they must be used wherever possible.
A more connected solution is the use of decentralized heat pumps in district heating systems, also in combination with geothermal solutions. These solutions are more of a systemic nature and need much more support. Above all, it is important to speed up municipal heating planning and approval times for the full decarbonisation of cities.
Additional financial support is needed for test drilling. Extremely high importance is attached to the use of hydrogen via electrolysers and fuel cells, but the additional green energy required is not yet available. In addition, both CAPEX and OPEX costs are extremely high making its economic viability today impossible without public funding.
Consideration of CO2 in the entire value chain
The draft act considers that the climate targets cannot be achieved with CO2 savings alone. Therefore, CO2 storage is increasingly becoming the FOCUS of political discussion.
CCU/S technologies are a very important solution component. For a successful market implementation and scale up, promotion of the complete CCU/S value chains is key. In addition to carbon storage, thermal storage for heating networks and electrical storage offers great potential for increasing efficiency (including applications as a grid booster).
Tightening up the regulatory framework
All these technologies are essential on the journey for the decarbonisation of cities and industries – but not all of them have the same maturity and an existing business case. Hence, the deployment of those solutions needs to be orchestrated and individually supported via (CAPEX and OPEX) funding and an easy regulatory framework. In the communication of the commission, so-called Net-Zero Strategic Projects are introduced.
For selected projects, all approval procedures are to be bundled in a national body and the entire approval process is completed within a maximum of 12 months. This is very welcome.
A key missing piece in this legislation is a large-scale demonstration of innovation in industry and cities.
Measurable emissions reduction results are directly dependent on the engagement of key stakeholders such as utilities, solution providers and contractors. They work close to production and industry to implement needs-based and sustainable solutions on-site.
Heat is a key element for the energy transition
If we look at the heat transition, process heat alone accounts for 40% of energy consumption in industry and commerce (in Germany).
Around half of the heat used in industry is lost unused as waste heat. Above all, the energy transition is a heat transition. The FOCUS should also lie in the sensible reuse of unused heat.
Secondly, it must be checked whether system-related energy, mostly in the form of heat, can be recovered or used in another way. Sustainability, costs, security of supply and efficiency are all high on the list of requirements to be met.
An example of new coupled solutions in this segment is the use of waste heat from data centers for supplying local district heating networks. In the past, the temperature levels were too different and using the waste heat was inefficient.
With our E.ON ectogridTM technology, the decarbonisation of cities is possible. E.ON ectogridTM is a complete energy system for heating and cooling that enables the sharing, balancing and storage of energy for entire neighbourhoods and cities and can help achieve zero emissions.
Funding opportunities in municipalities and industry
At the beginning of every transformation process, it is important to demonstrate the capability of new technologies. The promotion of large lighthouse projects is suitable for this. For broader impact, more medium-sized and smaller projects must now also be funded.
Municipalities and industry closely monitor the various funding opportunities (like horizon framework, Innovation Fund, Life, CEF,) offered by the EU.
However, it has been repeatedly shown that these calls are extremely oversubscribed (i.e., the probability of funding is low) and require a lot of effort in the preparation of application documents.
The funding should always be focused on the climate impact. It is necessary that service providers and contractors are also included in the general conditions.
We need to move away from the fear of climate change towards understanding that climate change is an opportunity – especially for growth and prosperity. We expressly welcome the EU’s activities to achieve the climate goals. We are convinced that the transformation can only succeed with intelligent solutions that are at the same time decentralised, future-proof, and above all, efficient.
At the Energy Infrastructure Solutions unit of E.ON, we are working to provide industries with tailored energy solutions, and the decarbonisation of cities, that meet these requirements – whether it’s heating, cooling, power generation, or energy efficiency. Strong partnerships can bring ecology and economy together and thus create unimagined joint opportunities – benefit from unconventional ideas, amazing synergies, and lower energy costs.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Test: Biolite Solarpanel 10 – krävande laddare med smarta hjälpmedel
En solcellsladdare kan vara en lösning för dig som behöver kunna ladda prylar utan att ha eluttag i närheten. Vi har testat Biolite Solarpanel 10 och hittar både smarta lösningar och svårigheter.
Lätt att använda, smidig, powerbank
Kräver väldigt bra förutsättningar för maximal effekt
Sommaren är här och det finns annat att göra än att hålla koll på att alla elektroniska prylar är laddade. Därför är det kanske inte omöjligt att du finner dig ute på utflykt, liggande på en strand eller kanske på resande fot och din mobil eller smarta klocka håller på att få slut på batteri och du inte har möjlighet att ladda. På sommaren är det ju, ändå ganska ofta, rätt soligt och det är något vi kan utnyttja för att ladda våra prylar via en solcellsladdare. Solcellsladdaren omvandlar solstrålarna till elektricitet och låter dig fylla på ditt batteri. Vi har testat Biolites Solarpanel 10 som är deras näst minsta solcellsladdare.
Enkel och Smart
Konstruktionsmässigt består Solarpanel 10 av två solcellspaneler som går att vika ihop för att få en mindre packvolym. Ett utfällbart stöd för att kunna vinkla panelen mot solen, en kantlist som innehåller en powerbank samt ett litet solsikte. För att komma igång och ladda med den behöver du bara fälla upp panelens två sektioner, koppla in det du ska ladda och sedan använda stödet för att rikta in panelen och siktet mot solen. Det här siktet är en stor del av styrkan i Biolites solpanel, för utan det är det lätt att vinkla panelen lite snett och då kan man gå miste om mycket effekt ur solpanelerna. På sidan av panelen ser man också fyra små dioder som visar hur bra förutsättningarna är för laddning.
Utan solsiktet skulle det vara mycket svårare att rikta panelen rätt så att den får optimal laddning.
Förutom det utfällbara stödet finns också hål i hörnen för att till exempel kunna hänga upp panelen på en ryggsäck. Man missar då möjligheten att rikta den helt rätt så klart, men det ger möjligheten att ladda medan man är i rörelse, om än inte lika effektivt.
Svårt att nå maximal effekt
Vi har testat panelen under en tid och har inte lyckats få panelens fjärde diod att tändas, trots att den stått i strålande sol från en klarblå himmel under svensk sommar. Måhända är det solens vinkel från himlen här i Sverige, eller att det kräver en exakt rätt positionering, mer noggrann då än vad som går att få till med siktet. Med de bästa förutsättningarna under testet: strålande sol, mitt på dagen, klarblå himmel, har laddaren gett ungefär 3W i effekt när vi laddat. Det är rätt så långt ifrån den maximala effekten som panelen ska kunna leverera under perfekta förhållanden, men frågan är hur man då uppnår dessa. Man ska dock inte räkna med att kunna få ut maximal effekt just på grund av att det kräver helt rätt förutsättningar vilket är svårt att uppnå. Värt att tänka på är att du inte kan ladda prylar som kräver PD-laddning.
De fyra dioderna kan visa hur bra panelen laddar, men också hur mycket kapacitet du har i det inbyggda batteriet.
Biolite har som nämnt stoppat in en powerbank i Solarpanel 10 som har en kapacitet på 3200 mAh vilket gör att du kan ladda även när solen inte skiner, förutsatt att du i förväg har laddat upp powerbanken så klart. Fördelen är också att du kan ladda upp powerbanken redan hemma och sedan har du alltid kapacitet att ladda när du kommer ut, oavsett väder. Skulle din telefon vara fulladdad när det blir sol kan du också ladda powerbanken med solpanelen för att se till att den också är fulladdad.
Solarpanel 10 använder sig av powerbanken automatiskt om panelen hamnar i skugga eller om solen går i moln och uteffekten blir för låg från panelen. Då tutar den på med powerbanken tills solen kommer fram igen. På så sätt får man en jämnare laddning.
Biolite Solarpanel 10 är en smidig panel som dessutom är hyfsat tålig med sin IPX4-kategorisering. Den laddar hyfsat under rätt förutsättningar även om det är väldigt svårt att få ut de där maximala 10W som den ska kunna producera. Fördelarna är den inbyggda powerbanken, solsiktet och stödet som gör att det är väldigt lätt att justera in den och man slipper gissa om den står bra.
The Best Truck Campers of 2023
Check out our best truck campers that can transform the bed into a cozy mini RV on a road trip adventure and some important info before buying.
The best truck camper can transform the bed of a truck into a cozy mini RV, offering an efficient way to bring comforts from home along on a road trip adventure without the need for purchasing a trailer or an additional vehicle.
For those who pursue overland exploration in rugged terrain, a truck camper can provide functional living space without sacrificing the off-road capabilities of a truck. Plus, towing a trailer or a boat is still possible.
Truck campers may not offer the mega-spacious floor plans of a large RV or travel trailer, but their compact utility is hard to beat. In recent years, more travelers have discovered the joys of truck campers. Typically, trucks fit into the categories of half-ton, three-quarter-ton, and one-ton, and the market is now full of excellent options for all truck sizes.
Along with the list, we’ve also included a comprehensive buyer’s guide. We’ll explain the fantastic perks, the different types of campers, and some of the many upsides of truck camper adventuring. By the end of this article, you’ll have all the information you need to decide if the truck camper life is right for you.
The Best Truck Campers of 2023
There are many sizes and styles of truck campers available, which makes it a challenge to identify the perfect option for your needs. From roomy to compact and pop-ups to slide-ins, we have compiled this list of the best truck bed campers for sale in 2023.
AT Overland Aterra XL
After years of speculation and excitement, this flatbed truck camper is finally on the market. The Overland Aterra XL is a fully self-contained home base that can handle tough terrain and year-round use.
Designed to accommodate two adults and a pet comfortably, this camper has lots of living space relative to its impressively light 1,100 pounds. The shell of this camper features the “world’s first fiber-reinforced thermoplastic honeycomb composite shell.” It’s durable, lightweight, and well-insulated for all four seasons.
For shorter trips, this camper can easily house a small family or even three adults. In addition to the two interior sleeping spaces, this camper includes a refrigerator, freezer, waterless toilet, shower, and lots of storage space. A powerful fan and air heater ensure comfortable interior conditions in any weather.
The Aterra XL is powered by a roof-mounted solar array and a powerful lithium battery. All around the interior, several 120V and USB outlets are great for appliances or working from the road. Overall, this camper has everything you need to live on the go, drive on rugged terrain, and preserve comfort wherever life takes you.
Click the link to read our review of the Aterra XL to learn more about this camper’s incredible features.
- Truma VarioHeat Comfort propane heater
- 400W solar array
- Wrappon Trekker waterless toilet
- Inside and outside Sagiv showers
Four Wheel Campers Hawk
The Hawk by Four Wheel Campers is known for its durability. For those seeking a rugged option that will hold up to the demands of rough off-road travel, the Campers’ Hawk is certainly worth a look.
In addition to being extremely durable, the Hawk is simple and weighs very little. Four Wheel Campers specializes in lightweight campers, and the Hawk is among the company’s best creations. This model is not the most luxurious or feature-packed, but it’s a cozy and reliable shelter built to last. With this in mind, the exterior will keep the elements out — even in gnarly conditions.
For its overall size, the Hawk has impressive living space and headroom. The interior dinette is spacious enough to share a meal with a friend, and there is a lot of functional storage space built into clever s throughout the camper. Because there are so many tucked-away storage areas, it will likely take a few trips before users fully understand the layout and can dial in their camping systems.
Above all else, this is a practical truck camper built to prioritize function over luxury. All the essentials, including high-quality cabinets, reliable electrical, and robust plumbing, are integrated into the Hawk with careful attention to detail.
This camper has several different floor plan options, and various custom internal and external upgrades extend its uniqueness to suit your needs.
Click the link to see what we learned after taking the Hawk on a camping trip.
The 825 is one of the most popular truck campers made by Lance Camper. At 2,110 pounds, this hard-sided model is relatively light considering the impressive list of features packed inside.
In addition to the queen-size bed over the cab, the Lance 825 includes a galley, convertible dinette, and a wet bath. The kitchen space consists of a 3-cubic-foot fridge and solid-surface lightweight countertops. Designed to be comfortable in all four seasons, the 825 comes with air conditioning and heated shower vents. Overall, this camper is 16’3″ long and has a maximum interior height of 6’5″.
Like most campers on this list, the Lance 825 is highly customizable, with options for electric awnings, solar panels, stovetops, Windows, and much more.
Lance considers this camper as its lightest four-season rated model. For such a compact and lightweight design, the TC 825 has a spacious and open interior design. Up to four adults and one child can comfortably sleep inside.
The nüCamp Cirrus 820 is a mid- to large-size hard-sided truck camper. With modern aesthetics inside and out, it impresses with astounding attention to detail. For those who cherish the comforts of home on the road, the Cirrus 820 is one of the best options in 2023.
While numerous upgrades and add-on features are available, the Cirrus comes with a standard package that is luxurious on its own. In this case, air conditioning is included, which is uncommon for truck bed campers.
The standard package includes a microwave oven, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 19-inch TV. A wireless backup camera eliminates blind spots and maximizes safety on the road and at the campsite.
The Cirrus 820 fits on a three-quarter-ton truck with a 6.5-foot bed, though trucks with other specs may work too. The maximum interior height of 6.5 feet creates an uncluttered feel. It’s quite a large camper, but the total dry weight leaves room for packing plenty of gear without overloading your vehicle.
The spacious above-cab sleeping area includes a plush, queen-size mattress. Thanks to a 210W solar kit, you’ll be able to keep the camper’s systems running even while off the grid.
Additional accessories and features are available as add-ons, but the nüCamp Cirrus 820 is a handsome trailer that feels like home, even with the standard package.
Check out the video below to see what nüCamp has updated for the 2023 model year.
Based out of Fort Lupton, Colorado, Hallmark is an RV and camper company that offers a diverse lineup of high-quality, pop-up truck bed campers. Next on our list of Best Truck Campers is the Hallmark Ute — one of the company’s top-selling models. The 8.5-foot Ute fits onto long and short-bed trucks and has a 5-year structural warranty.
Notable highlights include a one-piece roof requiring no maintenance and no seams where water may leak in. The lift system that raises and lowers the roof can support up to 400 pounds of gear on top. Furthermore, the insulated soft wall is four-season rated and comes as standard equipment.
Above the truck’s cab, an east-west oriented queen bed sleeps two adults comfortably. There is a spacious kitchen area complete with molded one-piece countertops on the driver’s side of the camper. Across from the kitchen are a 55-inch U-shaped dinette and a wet bath with a toilet, shower, and sink. Large double-wide Windows allow you to take in the view while cooking or lounging around.
Standard features include a four-gallon DSI water heater, a dual battery compartment, a swingaway table, and amber bamboo cabinetry. Additional options can be added upon purchase, including a 200W solar system, air conditioning, a side awning, and custom flooring.
With a dry weight of 1,643 pounds, this camper is just about average for a pop-up truck bed camper. When full, the 30-gallon fresh water tank, 12-gallon gray water tank, and 14-gallon blackwater tank will add about 450 pounds.
While driving, this camper has a low profile, keeping your total rig height to a minimum. For overlanding, the Hallmark Ute is an excellent choice.
- Progressive Dynamics 45A “Mighty Mini” power generator
- Large under bed storage compartment
- Wide-view Windows
- Durable construction with long-lasting waterproof composite roof
- All LED interior lighting for efficient energy use
- Unique storage solutions
Norwood Manufacturing Arctic Fox 811
Built by Northwood Manufacturing, the Arctic Fox 811 is a large truck camper fully stocked with high-quality features and plentiful living space. With a dry weight of 3,473 pounds, the Arctic Fox 811 is a hefty camper that you’ll need a heavy-duty truck to haul. This behemoth will probably weigh over 4,500 pounds when fully loaded with water and gear.
The 811’s impressive heft comes from its robust construction and numerous features. A walk-on arched ceiling, 2-inch-thick insulated walls, a 20,000 BTU propane furnace, and two enormous 30-pound propane tanks are just a few of the features that give the Arctic Fox its burly charm.
At a full 9 feet, the floor length of this camper offers plenty of space to stretch out with the whole family. The cabover portion of the camper has an internal height of 4 feet, so you can even sit upright in bed if you want to.
To add to its already impressive list of oversized features, the Arctic Fox 811 also has some of the largest water tanks in its class. Fifty gallons of fresh water, 38 gallons of gray, and 23 gallons of black will keep you on the road longer and minimize maintenance stops.
Buyers can add custom options, including thermal pane Windows, a 170W solar power system, and Torklift’s Fox Landing Step.
- 45-amp Progressive Dynamics converter/charger
- Massive fresh, gray, and black water tanks
- Bathroom includes sink, vanity, and skylight
- Range fan over the stovetop
- Full-wall slide-out panel
- Very roomy in every area of the camper
- Lots of storage
- High-quality solid wood cabinetry
- Large refrigerator and freezer
- Very tall ceiling
- Good value relative to the size
The design of this sleek and lightweight truck camper ranks as one of the best small truck campers on the market. Unlike most campers designed for half-ton trucks, the pop-up truck camper includes a complete wet bath and a gray water holding tank. With the Bundutec Wild, you don’t have to give up essential features just because you’re riding in a smaller vehicle.
Like all Bundutec campers, the Wild has a sturdy wooden frame, handsome aluminum siding, and an aluminum roof. The kitchen and the wet bath are both on the driver’s side, and a refrigerator and full-size dinette line the passenger’s side.
This camper is quite compact with a 7-foot floor plan, but thanks to its thoughtful design, it makes a great home away from home for a couple or a small family.
Some other noteworthy features of the standard package are the Thetford cassette toilet and stainless steel basin sink. Bundutec offers lots of custom add-ons, including a 160W solar system, a wrap-around awning, and a Truma Combi water heater furnace.
At 1,630 pounds dry, this trailer is light enough to keep your rig nimble even on rough roads and carries a very reasonable price tag compared to its competitors.
This cabover camper from young Oklahoma-based company Bison Overland has a rugged military-like aesthetic. From top to bottom, this rough and road-ready camper features sturdy welded aluminum construction. Its burly aluminum siding is more than capable of rubbing up against bushes and branches while you roll along on off-road adventures.
The roof of the Space Wrangler is strong enough to stand on. Mounting and removing the camper is simplified by jack mounts built directly into the base of the camper’s frame. With its robust features, this hardcore camper frame prioritizes durability in rough conditions.
The Space Wrangler fulfills its potential with Bison Overland’s optional power management package, which includes a 200W solar panel, a 2,000W inverter, and a DC-DC alternator charging circuit. Additional options include awnings, Dakota lithium batteries, and a unique “garage” slide-out tray that slides underneath the cabover and is large enough to hold two mountain bikes.
The Phoenix Level 2 is a miniature-size slide-in camper that boasts an elegant design and is loaded with features. With a compact size and a super aerodynamic cabover, the L2 may be the stealthiest pop-up truck camper on the market.
No one expects a camper of this size to have a built-in wet bath, but somehow Phoenix has pulled it off. Thanks to a gray water tank located under the subfloor and a compact cassette toilet, the bathroom in the L2 is just as comfortable as that of a much larger camper.
The total floor length of this camper is 71 inches, so it can easily fit into a long bed truck with the tailgate up or slide into a short bed truck with just a little overhang in the back. With a total dry weight of 1,180 pounds, the L2 is fully compatible with small- to mid-size trucks. With the roof popped up, the maximum interior height is 76 inches. The floor length is 5′ 8″, and the entire camper is 7 feet wide.
The Level 2 is one of the best small campers on the market. It has been designed thoughtfully for maximum efficiency and is constructed from high-quality components. In particular, the L2 is fully insulated and built for use throughout the year. The standard package includes a 100W solar panel and a good-size deep cycle battery.
Phoenix is a small camper company that builds all of its campers to order. If you want to buy one, contact them ahead of time and expect a lead time of at least several months.
- Included 100W solar system
- Wet bath with cassette toilet
- Walk-on roof
- Insulated pop-up
- Custom cabinetry made from beetle-kill pine
- Compact, aerodynamic, and stealthy
- Roof is rated to 1,200 pounds of snow loading, even when popped up
- Highly customizable upon purchase
Overland Explorer Back Country
Canada-based Overland Explorer Vehicles specializes in truck campers that can handle the demands of overlanding. This particular model is a pop-up camper — a rarity in the overlanding world. Because of the exposed fabric walls, many people think pop-up campers are too cold or too fragile to work well in rough conditions. The OEV Back Country thoroughly dispels that myth.
Thanks to three layers of burly fabric, the Back Country is fully insulated and three-season rated even when it is popped up. This camper has been tested in sub-zero temperatures, and the combination of the fabric insulation and propane heater kept the interior toasty and comfortable all through the night.
The interior of this camper is relatively straightforward and can sleep up to four people. One downside is it does not have a restroom. However, the camper is designed to be compatible with an exterior showerhead and shower tent. Under the dinette, there is a storage space built to house a portable toilet. A tankless water heater is also included.
The camper’s simple kitchen is equipped with a sink and a two-burner propane stove. The Back Country comes with a 100Ah AGM battery system, though it is easily upgradable with a bigger battery and a 200W rooftop solar array.
Ultimately, this is a simple, high-quality, and highly customizable truck camper. Though the lack of an enclosed bathroom may detract some people, the Back Country is all about simple reliability.
The video shows a walk-around of the CAMP X, which was subsequently renamed Back Country.
Truck bed campers are not necessarily known for their plentiful storage space and elbow room. In fact, many people prefer the extra space of fifth-wheel trailers or large RVs over the compact profile of truck bed campers. However, some contemporary extra-large truckbed campers are breaking the mold. The Host Campers Mammoth 11’6″ is luxurious, well-made, and incredibly spacious.
Truck bed campers don’t come much bigger than this. Mammoth is a fitting name for this model, as its 180 square feet of living space and overall length of 19’3″ offer tons of living space. Three large slide-outs turn the interior of this camper into a roomy and comfortable home away from home.
The interior of the Mammoth is packed with high-end amenities and luxurious features. A spacious dry bath includes a porcelain toilet and a large shower. In the gally, a two-door refrigerator/freezer sits next to molded countertops and a four-door pantry. Other noteworthy features include an electric fireplace and a mantel with a 32-inch flat-screen TV. One can also add various options and features upon purchase. The interior of the Mammoth feels more like a fancy suite than a camper.
You’ll need a heavy-duty truck to haul the Mammoth. With a dry weight of 4,700 pounds, this camper will likely weigh over 5,500 pounds when fully loaded. However, if you’ve got what it takes to haul it, the Mammoth will certainly live up to your dreams of on-the-road luxury.
- Comfortable and spacious
- Better for lounging than most truck campers
- Well-designed floor plan
Alaskan 8.5 Cabover
Alaskan has been making truck campers since the 1950s. While the contemporary truck camper market is filled with feature-packed models and cutting-edge designs, this tried-and-true camper from Alaskan has remained popular and reliable.
Compared to the many oversized behemoth campers on the road today, the Alaskan 8.5 Cabover is compact and low-profile. Alaskan Campers are handmade by a small team in Winlock, Washington, and a few iconic characteristics define the personality of these campers. First, Alaskan’s patented hard-sided pop-up helps reduce wind drag during travel and prevents a major reduction in gas mileage. Another classic Alaskan trait is its gorgeous and vintage-looking interior. Two leather sofas sit opposite each other, and a dinette table comes down from a ceiling mount to provide a comfortable eating space.
Tall individuals will find that there is not much space to sit up in the cabover sleeping area. There is also no storage space near the bed for clothes, and users will probably need to bring their own luggage for longer trips. We like that a large fan vent sits just above the bed for easy temperature regulation.
Other features of the Alaskan 8.5 Cabover camper include a Nova-Cool 12V compressor refrigerator, a tucked-away cassette toilet, 12V and USB outlets, hand-crafted cabinetry, and a three-burner propane cooktop.
Alaskan campers have been in production for decades, and their exceptional quality standards have never wavered. Though these campers are not the best choice for everyone, they are perfect for travelers seeking a classic look and hand-made build quality.
A good truck camper will come with enough storage space for you to keep essentials, cookware, and some adventure gear. However, many truck camper users find storing everything and staying organized are the biggest challenges of truck camper life. When shopping for a camper, look for options that have external storage compartments.
Some truck campers have built-in ports that allow you to access the unused space in your truck bed and use it for storage. On the inside, common truck camper storage includes cabinets, the space under the bed, and the area above the dinette. When purchasing your truck camper, you may be able to select custom storage options like roof racks, bike racks, and rear-mounted containers.
Pop-up vs. Hard-Sided
Pop-up truck campers have two modes. While driving, the pop-up portion is fully compressed and locked in place with a series of latches that gives the entire camper a lower profile. When it’s time to camp, opening the pop-up achieves maximum interior space.
Some pop-up campers open manually, while others include electric motors that open and compress the pop-up with the click of a button. Though some pop-ups are rated for four-season camping and include insulation in the non-rigid walls, it is generally more difficult to control the temperature inside a pop-up truck camper.
A hard-sided truck camper is fully walled in by rigid walls. Though these campers have a higher profile and are usually less aerodynamic on the road, they are easier to heat and cool and possibly a better choice for cold-weather winter camping.
East-West vs. North-South Sleeping
Most truck campers include a full- or queen-size bed that sits over the cab on the truck. If the bed is oriented so the sleeper lies parallel to the long axis of the truck, the bed is considered “north-south.” If the sleepers lie perpendicular, the bed is “east-west.” East-west is the more common configuration, but some campers allow the sleeper to sleep either way using a bed extension.
Truck Camper Size
When determining which size of truck camper you need, there are two important factors to consider. First, ask yourself how much space you need. If you plan on traveling with a group, you’ll want to have enough space to accommodate everyone comfortably.
Truck campers are usually built to fit into a truck bed with specific dimensions. In many cases, a bit of overhang beyond the tailgate is not an issue as long as the camper does not exceed your truck’s payload. Before you buy a camper, make sure it will be compatible with the truck bed dimensions.
Truck Size Gross Vehicle Weight
The second factor to consider is the size and maximum payload of your truck. All trucks have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), which is the maximum allowable weight of your truck, including all cargo, gas, and passengers.
The curb weight of a truck is the weight of the truck without any cargo or passengers. The truck’s payload is the GVWR minus the curb weight. You can usually find payload ratings on the inside of the driver’s side door or in the glove box on a payload certification form.
Informal Classifications of Trucks
Most truck bed campers require a full-size, heavy-duty truck. These burly vehicles, also known as “one-ton” trucks, have the largest payload ratings and are often equipped with the suspension and brakes that you’ll need to haul your camper.
Typically, trucks fall into the categories of half-ton, three-quarter-ton, and one-ton. However, these terms only give a rough estimate of the truck’s potential payload. Once you have calculated your truck’s actual payload, you will need to make sure the camper you buy fits within these limits.
Though campers are often marketed with their dry weights, they will weigh much more once loaded down with water, gear, and other cargo — factor all of this in before purchasing a camper to ensure that your truck can safely haul it. For example, if your truck’s maximum payload is 2,000 pounds and your camper’s dry weight is 1,200 pounds, you will only be able to add 800 more pounds to the rig in the form of cargo. Eight hundred pounds really isn’t much once you start adding up the weight of passengers, water, and gear.
While many campers will physically fit onto mid-sized trucks, they usually exceed the truck’s capacity. It is advised to always stay well below the GVWR of your truck. In general, use full-sized trucks to haul truck campers.
Truck campers vary in price from less than 10,000 for a good used model to well over 50,000 for a new, high-end model. Because the price spectrum is wide, it’s helpful to determine your budget before you begin shopping. Still, remember a well-made truck camper can last a long time, so that the initial investment may be worth it in the long term.
If you are starting out without a truck or a camper, it’s best to buy the camper first. This way, it will be easy to ensure that you purchase a truck with the proper payload.
Locate the payload rating on a plate found on the driver’s side door pillar or in the glovebox on a payload certification form. You can also determine the payload by subtracting the curb weight of the truck from the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.
In some cases, half-ton trucks can carry truck campers. Many half-ton trucks have a payload of around 1,600 pounds. This limited payload will probably limit you to lighter-weight pop-up campers, but there are many good options in this category. Most trucks can also be fitted with custom improvements to help them carry heavier loads.
Every camper has a center of gravity where its total weight is centered. On most campers, this center of gravity is marked with a visible sticker. It is important to make sure the center of gravity is in front of your truck’s rear axle. Otherwise, watch for the decreased performance of your truck’s steering and handling.
Yes, many truck campers include a toilet. While many models on this list include built-in wet or dry bathrooms, other truck campers have stow-away toilets instead of a bathroom.
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Native American representatives were not invited to craft the Colorado River Compact in 1922. Now they are at the table — and insist they must be part of solutions.
June 21, 2023 3:30 am
The Colorado River flows through Ruby and Horsethief canyons area near Mack, June 9, 2023. (William Woody for Colorado Newsline)
A version of this commentary originally appeared in Big Pivots.
Voices of Native American residents, long shunted to the side room, if acknowledged at all, are being heard more clearly in Colorado River discussions, as reflected in two recent water conferences in Colorado.
At the first, a drought summit held in Denver, a panel that was devoted to the worsening imbalance between water supplies and demands included Lorelei Cloud, the vice chairman of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. Her presence was an overt acknowledgement by conference organizers that the Ute tribe, if a part of Colorado, is also a sovereign. That’s something new.
The conference was sponsored by the Colorado Water Conservation Board, the state’s preeminent water policy agency. Cloud recently became a board member, representing southwestern Colorado. She’s the first Ute ever on the board.
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Cloud lauded Colorado for being ahead of many other states in including native voices. “We’re making strides,” she said but added that work remains.
The next week, she was on a stage in Boulder, at the Getches-Wilkinson Center’s annual conference about the Colorado River. Thirteen of the 30 federally recognized tribes that hold water rights in the Colorado River Basin were present.
Their rights stem from a 1908 Supreme Court decision involving tribal lands in Montana. The high court agreed that when the U.S. government created reservations and expected tribes to live there, water sufficient to the presumed agrarian ways was part of the deal.
This decision, called the Winters Doctrine, has enormous implications for the shrinking Colorado River. Tribes collectively hold 25% to even 30% of the water rights in basin. Not all claims have been adjudicated. Most tribal rights predate others. The Southern Ute rights, for example, date to 1868.
All predate the Colorado River Compact. Tribes were not invited to Santa Fe in 1922 to apportion the river’s waters among the seven basin states, though the compact does acknowledge federal obligations.
Our ceremonies and prayers revolve around water. That is what Hopi can contribute, along with dialogue.
– Tribal member Dale Sinquah
Now, with the Colorado River delivering an average 12.5 million acre-feet, far less than the 20-plus assumed by those who crafted the compact, with flows expected to decline further, we have hard decisions to make. Tribal voices are being integrated into the discussions. Not fast enough for some, but very different than just a few years ago, when the federal government merely “consulted” tribes in the 2019 drought plan. The states were fully engaged.
“We need to be at the table, not just at a side table,” said one tribal representative at the Boulder conference.
Some tribes have been amenable to leasing their rights to cities and others. But will tribes with a few thousand members exert as much influence as California with its giant farms and its huge cities? California maintains that its senior rights be respected in any agreements. Still unclear is what hewing to that principle means when it comes to tribes with their even more senior rights.
Also unclear is the practicality of fully integrating the 30 tribes, each with unique circumstances and perspectives, in discussions with the seven basin states and federal government about how to address the sharp limitations imposed by the river. What has changed is broad recognition that tribal voices must better be included. Through the Water and Tribes Initiative, the tribes themselves have insisted upon being heard.
Residual anger at being shunted aside remains. Also ample is a spirit of cooperation. Many representatives suggested their tribes offer creativity and innovations in the community of 40 million Colorado River water users that extends from the farms of northeastern Colorado to the metropolises of Southern California.
Stephen Roe Lewis, the governor of the Gila River Indian Community south of Phoenix, pointed out that his tribe has undertaken the largest integration of solar panels over water canals in North American, a practice called aquavoltaics.
Others suggested they offered perspective. The Hopi have been in Arizona for more than 2,000 years. They’ve experienced drought before, said tribal member Dale Sinquah. “Our ceremonies and prayers revolve around water,” he said. “That is what Hopi can contribute, along with dialogue.”
Native American people often talk of water as being sacred, but that does not mean roped-off, kept in closets. The Native understanding is different than the legalistic framework most of us use. They see water as something to be used, yes, but not in the same lens as most of us, who view it more narrowly as a commodity. What that means in practice is hard to tease out.
Peter Ortego, a non-native attorney representing the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe of Colorado, said he found it odd the session had not started with a prayer. “Maybe we should ask, ‘What should we do day today to respect the spirituality of water?’”
He’s got a point. I’ve never asked that question, but I am very curious about the answer.