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How to convert your vintage truck into a camper in 6 steps

How to convert your vintage truck into a camper in 6 steps

A truck camper is a great alternative to an RV if you’re going on a quick trip. It offers some of the comforts of RVing and is a step above the hassle of pitching a tent.

If you have a vintage truck you’ve been waiting to convert into a camper, we’ve got you covered! This little restoration project will have you saying goodbye to dealing with Mother Nature’s rainy surprises. You’ll now have a sleeping platform for the bed of your truck – complete with space to store all your camping supplies.

The best part: you can make all the customized tweaks you want to fit all your personal camping needs! Things like drawers, table extensions, and shelves are all fantastic additions we’ve seen from expert DIYers.

Check out this step-by-step guide that will get your truck camper ready over the weekend.

Converting a Pick Up Truck into a Camper | Tri-lynx | Lynx Levelers Blog

Photo Credit: The Meta Picture

Pick Up Truck into a Camper | Shelving Units | Tri-lynx | Lynx Levelers Blog
Cool shelving units below your sleeping platform.

Photo Credit: Expedition Portal 

Step 1: Design your platform in your truck bed

The first thing you need to do is measure your truck bed and supplies. Things you should be considering are items like a portable grill, cooler, and any clothes you’ll be taking with you. Be sure to measure the height of your items to ensure you give yourself enough space to fit them underneath the bed.

Next, draw your layout. You can use free programs like Google Sketch-Up to do this, or stick to the traditional route of using a paper and pencil. Choosing how you layout the storage compartments is up to you – but keep in mind that creating smaller compartments will help keep things from sliding around. Don’t forget to take advantage of the space beneath your mattress!  

 TIP: For easy installation, design the platform in three sections.

  1. Two outer boxes that go over wheel wells.
  2. A center section to tie the outer edges together.
  3. And a support board in the middle of the bed to ensure the boards don’t sag or break.

Converting a Pick Up Truck into a Camper | Sleeping Platform | Tri-lynx

Photo Credit: Instructables

Step 2:  Get your materials

Here’s a basic list of supplies you will need to transform your vintage truck into a customized vintage camper:


  • Plywood (3/4″ plywood is recommended) – two sheets should be enough for a mid-sized truck with a 6′ bed
  • Fastening supplies
  • Angle brackets and bolts – for easy installation and removal (T-nuts will also work well)
  • Screws – for more permanent joints
  • Hinges
  • Carpet – for a finished look
  • Duct tape


  • Saw (circular saw with a guide is recommended, but a table saw can also work)
  • Electric drill
  • Ratchet and sockets for bolts
  • Staple gun

Step 3:  Cut your boards

First, cut the all boards lengthwise into strips, then using a radial arm saw, cut the required length for each section. Next, fit the boards around the tie-down hooks/other obstructions.

Be sure to check how the boards fit in the bed of the truck after you cut them! You don’t want to continue to the next step only to find that your length is off.

Step 4:  Put it all together

Make install, removal, and storage a breeze by fastening all boards and brackets together using bolts and T-nuts – and be sure to put it all together for the first time outside of your truck so you have lots of space.

Step 5: Finish it off 

Give your new platform some style and cover the top boards with carpet for a finished look and extra comfort (you don’t want to be rubbing up on plywood while you’re sleeping!). If you have the chance, choose a colour that complements the colour of your truck. For a smooth carpet installation process follow this guide:  

  1. Cut the carpet to fit each portion on the top of the platform.
  2. Secure with staples.
  3. Cut out the finger holes.
  4. Use duct tape to finish the edges.

Note: All exposed edges should be sanded to ensure you don’t run the risk of tearing your mattress!

Photo Credit: Intelligent Travel

Step 6: Install your new camper! 

Now that you have everything put together – take it apart and get ready to reassemble it in the bed of your truck! Add your mattress and place your supplies into their compartments.

You’ll also want to have some leveling blocks on hand just in case your campground isn’t level. Lynx Levelers, which provide a safe and easy way to level almost any vehicle, are a fantastic option!

With all your gear in place, you’re now ready to head off on your next camping adventure with your customized vintage camper!



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