The Best Truck Bed Tent

There are so many options available for tent camping these days: easy to assemble pop-ups, multi-room behemoths that can fit ten or more campers, and even ultra-light bivy sacks designed for fast travel through the backcountry. But perhaps the most unique tent setup is the truck bed tent, which transforms your pickup into a comfy sleeping oasis in the wilderness. If you’ve got a truck of your own and are interested in adding space to get some shut-eye, read on to learn which model might be the best fit for your needs and budget.   

Our Top Pick
Sportz Truck Tent Blue/Grey

The Sportz Truck Tent features one of the best designs, extending a four-foot awning from the front door. This will keep your gear dry and the interior of your tent free of moisture

Best Overall

Our pick for the best truck bed accommodations has to be the Sportz Truck Tent. It’s one of the pricier models on our list, but it also features one of the best designs, extending a four-foot awning from the front door. This will keep your gear dry and the interior of your tent free of moisture.

Best Value For Money

The Napier Backroadz is one of the best truck bed tents out there, featuring quality three-season construction and all the features you’d need for an enjoyable trip into the woods. It strikes the perfect balance between cost and amenities and is a good middle-of-the-road option for anyone buying a truck bed tent.

Best Budget Option

Guide Gear’s Full-Size Truck Tent is a solid option for campers that aren’t ready to throw down a lot of money. It doesn’t have too many features but covers all the basics needed for a weekend camping experience. Plus, it comes with a floor, which is pretty useful for people who don’t keep their truck beds very clean.

Best To Use With a Topper

If you enjoy camping with your pickup truck, there’s a good chance you’ve already outfitted it with a hardshell topper that you can sleep under. These can feel cramped with the tailgate folded up and expose you to the elements when the gate is down, which is why you’ll love the DAC Full – Size Truck Tent. It attaches to the rear of the topper and acts as a rain shell while extending the living space to cover the tailgate.

Best High End Truck Tent

If money is no concern, the Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent is the way to go. Made from stronger and more durable cotton, along with thick aluminum poles, it’s an investment that will last for years. It’s also one of the only truck bed tents that can be used year-round, even when snow is blanketing the ground.

The Best Truck Bed Tent

1. Sportz Truck Tent Blue/Grey

sportz truck bed tent


Sportz’s truck tent is one of the best three-season tents on the market right now, with a whole host of features and a design that takes truck bed camping to the next level. 

You can start with the elegant design, a dome tent but with a sixteen-square-foot awning extending out from it. One of the more annoying issues with truck bed tents is that the rainfly needs to be zipped up in a storm, severely restricting airflow. But with the awning extended, there’s no need to seal up the door, even if you’re camping in a downpour. The Sportz also comes with an integrated floor, a real lifesaver if you’re someone who doesn’t keep their truck bed in the cleanest condition.

The tent is really simple to set up, too, with the dome tent quickly assembled using color-coded poles. From there, a set of padded straps attach to the wheel wells and bumper to lock it into place. The rainfly can be left off but quickly set up using the same procedures as you would for a ground tent’s rainfly. The fly does restrict airflow by blocking the mesh windows of the inner tent, but it’s not a disturbance since so much air can come in through the front door.

This tent comes with quite a few accessories to keep the tent in pristine order, too, like a gear loft above your head. These ceiling pockets are perfect for the stuff that you need to reach in the middle of the night, like a flashlight to find your way to the toilet. There’s also a pair of storage pockets closer to bed level that is nice for eyeglasses or books, the sort of things you might set aside right before hitting the hay. There’s even a lantern holder attached to the ceiling that allows you to install some lighting in your tent.

The coolest feature on the Sportz has to be the cab access port. The whole backside of the tent can be unzipped so you can run cables or even climb through your truck’s back window to reach the cab. Since many campers store their gear in their truck bed, this is a useful feature for truck bed tents as that gear might now be stored inside the cab. 

The Sportz high price tag will turn off many campers. It costs two or three times as much as some of the more inexpensive truck bed tents. However, the extra features and solid construction will be enough to convince hesitant buyers.

Why You Should Buy the Sportz Truck Tent Blue/Grey

  • Includes some great accessories to keep everything organized.
  • Has a large awning so your gear can stay dry.
  • Truck cab is accessible from the tent.

2. Guide Gear Full Size Truck Tent

guide gear truck tent


Guide Gear’s full-size model is one of the best values when it comes to truck tents. It really heaps on the features while costing less than the average ground-based tent.

Let’s start with the size; like most truck tents, it comfortably sleeps two with a 63-inch width. It’s designed to fit most full-size truck beds with a length of around 79 inches. The tent is 63 inches tall at its center point, which is enough to comfortably move about the tent but not enough to stand in unless you come in on the shorter end of the scale. That’s fairly standard for truck bed tents – very few can accommodate a person standing at full height. All packed up; the Guide Gear is 26 inches long, 7.5 inches in diameter, and only weighs 11 pounds. That’s not bad for a large truck bed tent. 

Set up is pretty straightforward, utilizing four fiberglass poles held together with a shock cord. Like other dome-shaped tents, it takes only a few minutes to put together. Admittedly, assembling it inside the truck bed can be more time-consuming than a ground tent as you’re working above your waist. You can save time by putting the tent together at ground level and then moving it to the truck bed to attach the rainfly. Speaking of which, it comes with a full-size rainfly that provides good weatherproofing using 190T polyester fabric. 

The tent comes with a sewn-in floor, which separates you from the bare truck bed. This fabric isn’t particularly strong, though, so if you have any debris or metal fragments sticking up from the bed, it’d be a good idea to lay down a tarp or something protective before assembling the tent. 

Guide Gear added some rather useful features to this tent, including mesh windows and a wide D-shaped door for maximum ventilation. The windows get covered by the rainfly, which is only useful if you’re not expecting precipitation. With the rainfly on, ventilation drops significantly. There is no window at the back of the tent for running cables into the truck’s cab. However, it does have a couple of interior storage pockets where you could stash a power bank to keep your phone and other devices charged. 

The one area where the Guide Gear falters is in durability. The tent poles are thin, and the fabric tears relatively easily. You definitely shouldn’t drive with the tent set up as it could get torn up or blown out the back of the bed. It’s not a good choice if you regularly camp in areas with strong winds, either.

Why You Should Buy the Guide Gear Full Size Truck Bed Tent

  • Set up is easy.
  • It has a decent amount of headspace.
  • The tent is relatively inexpensive.
  • It has adequate weatherproofing for rainy nights.

3. Napier Backroadz Truck Tent

napier backroadz truck tent


Napier is one of the biggest names in the truck bed tent industry; they carry a wide variety of products, but the Backroadz is one of the more popular models. It’s essentially a dome tent with a small vestibule that sticks out over the tailgate. The Backroadz comes in five different sizes, so check to make sure your purchase is right for your make/model and bed length. 

The Backroadz is designed with comfort in mind, which is particularly evident if you’re a tall camper – the center height of the tent is 62 inches. It’s not enough for most people to stand up in, but it will make maneuvering around inside the tent a whole lot less stressful. It also has a full floor, which protects you and the rest of your camping gear from any residual dirt or spills that might be in the truck bed. However, the floor is fairly thin and needs to be treated with care. 

It’s a three-season tent that comes with a fairly solid rainfly that can be attached if the weather goes south. The inner tent is made from 68-denier polyester, which is definitely on the thinner side but helps keep weight down (the tent still weighs 16 pounds). Fiberglass poles hold it all together, which aren’t as strong and are more prone to catastrophic failure when compared to an aluminum frame. The poles are color-coded to make assembly less complicated and time-consuming. It’s easy enough to do on your own, but having a partner will make it go a lot faster.

For ventilation, the Backroadz has two mesh windows plus a large front door. The windows get covered up by the rainfly with only a small gap between the bottom of the rainfly and the tent for air circulation. Napier added some great accessories to this tent, including a gear loft, a lantern holder, and gear pockets to keep everything organized.

The Backroadz isn’t exactly a stand-out tent but rather a solidly good one in several categories. It’ll be the best option for the vast majority of truck tent users, as it’s pretty affordable and performs well enough in just about every situation without any glaring disadvantages.

Why You Should Buy the Napier Backroadz Truck Tent

  • It has a floor to keep everything nice and tidy.
  • Setup is super easy with color-coded tent poles.
  • It’s a very affordable three-season tent.

4. Rightline Gear Truck Tents

rightline gear truck tents


This truck bed tent from Rightline Gear utilizes a familiar form, a dome tent over the bed with a secondary tent shape overlapping the tailgate section. It comes in three different sizes to accommodate short, medium, and full-size truck beds. It’s absolutely critical that you get the right one as the tent doesn’t really stretch or lend itself to a “universal fit.” The first couple of times are a challenge to get it set up, but it can be done in ten minutes or less after a few successful tries.

Unlike some of the other truck bed tent models, the Rightline lacks a floor. The company touts this as an advantage, making it faster and easier to get set up. It also eliminates the most common wear point on a tent. Just be sure you lay down some fabric beneath your mattress, or you may end up getting it dirty with all the grime that’s inevitably left in the truck bed.  

All of the seams on the Rightline are taped, which helps prevent leaks that could ruin your night. The fabric is also a bit thicker than most truck bed tents, utilizing 2000mm polyurethane-coated polyester. While it’s still just a three-season tent, this does provide better protection and makes it less likely that moisture will draw through the fabric if you happen to touch the inside surface of it while it’s soaking wet. 

Most truck bed tents have mesh windows towards the ceiling, which in theory provides better air circulation. Hot air rises, so having a vent closer to the top works better. The Rightline even includes a vent at the apex of the tent, allowing you to watch the stars as you’re falling asleep. Unfortunately, when a rainfly gets added, it covers those vents and severely impedes airflow. The Rightline gets around this by locating the mesh vents closer to the bed rails, where they won’t be as covered by the rainfly. This is a feature you’ll really appreciate when it’s hot, humid, and pouring down rain. 

As for accessories, the Rightline has a couple of gear pockets for handy storage of small items and a hook for hanging your lantern on. The straps and buckles included with the tent are also padded to minimize damage to the paint on your truck. 

Why You Should Buy the Rightline Gear Truck Tent

  • Has some of the best weatherproofing of any truck bed tent.
  • Mesh vents are near the bottom of the tent for better ventilation.
  • Tight fit that forms to the bed of your truck.

5. Milliard Truck Tent | Standard 6.5ft Bed

millard truck tent


A basic tent with all the essentials – that pretty much sums up the Milliard Truck Tent. This dome-shaped tent fills up the standard truck bed and then some, with a small awning section to cover the tailgate. It’s designed to be as simple as possible to set up, so you can spend more time enjoying camp rather than assembling it.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Milliard is that it has a rather durable sewn-in floor. It’s a little thicker than most models to stand up to more abrasion. That doesn’t mean you can abuse the fabric, but it should get you more problem-free years than some other truck bed tents with floors.

Large mesh panels flank both sides of the Milliard, giving it fantastic airflow when the rainfly is removed. Even with the fly attached, it has a couple of small bars that can prop up flaps on the outside of the fly. These are critical for keeping the temperature inside the tent at a comfortable level. The front door comes with a storm flap, so unless the rain is coming in sideways, you can leave the front door open for better ventilation, only sealing yourself off when the weather is at its worst.

Like many truck bed tents, the Milliard comes with several internal gear pockets for better organization. Nothing is worse than trying to find your phone in the middle of the night so you can walk to the bathroom. All your gear should be at your fingertips and easily found in the pitch black of night. 

Milliard’s Truck Tent isn’t all that different from any other model, but it comes with a fairly low price tag, making it attractive to budget-minded campers. Extras like the ceiling vents on the rainfly put it ahead of some of its competitors in ventilation, but that’s really the only area where it is exceptional.

Why You Should Buy the Millard Truck Tent

  • Rainfly vents provide improved airflow.
  • It’s fairly inexpensive for what you’re getting.
  • It doesn’t take long to set up.

6. DAC Full – Size Truck Tent

dac truck tent


This truck bed tent is actually a cap tent, which means you need a truck with a topper/camper already attached to it. The cap goes on the topper’s end and allows you to utilize the tailgate space better while preventing rain from leaking in. The DAC is designed to fit 2005 and later Toyota Tacoma pickups and Tundras, Chevy Silverado’s, and F-150’s with full-size beds.

Setting up the DAC is actually a lot simpler than most truck bed tents – drop the tailgate and hold the tent up to the existing topper. A set of bungee cords attach the tent to the truck body under the wheel wells. It’s simple but not exactly graceful. There are no tent poles involved which keep the weight down to a minuscule five pounds. As the tent only extends past the truck bed camper, it does not have the floor, and you’ll want to lay a tarp out to protect your air mattress. 

Ventilation on DAC is almost entirely determined by the setup of your existing truck bed camper. Its only opening is the front door, which does go pretty wide with flaps that tie back for maximum airflow. If your camper doesn’t have sliding windows, this probably won’t do much for you, and it will get hot and stuffy inside. The door panels also include a mesh layer so you can keep the mosquitos and other biting insects out. 

Overall, this tent has limited usefulness, providing just a small amount of extra space beyond your existing truck bed camper. If you already have a decent camping setup with your truck bed topper, this will improve the experience and might be worth the investment. Unfortunately, it costs more than some of the full-size tents on this list. 

Why You Should Buy the DAC Full – Size Truck Tent

  • You own a newer Toyota Tacoma or Tundra, Silverado, or F-150 with a topper.
  • Want something that can be set up very quickly. 
  • Have a truck bed that’s not quite long enough for comfortably sleeping in.

7. Sportz Avalanche Truck Tent III

sportz avalanche truck tent


The Sportz Avalanche Truck Tent III is one of the more specialized models in this list, checking many boxes if you’re a Chevy Avalanche owner. If you don’t drive an Avalanche, there’s no guarantee this tent will fit your rig correctly (it also works on an Escalade EXT). Additionally, one of the coolest features of this tent is that you can crawl through the back to enter the cab, which is possible thanks to the Avalanche’s large, roll-down back window. 

The Sportz tent comes with a full floor, which is somewhat helpful in keeping the rain out. If your truck bed is wet, moisture will still seep through the floor, but the floor design keeps rain from ever entering the truck bed in the first place. The floor is fragile though, and you need to be extra careful to prevent it from snagging on anything in the bed. Fortunately, it doesn’t make the tent too heavy – the whole setup weighs just 20 lbs. 

This is considered a three-season tent, built with relatively strong poles and tent fabric. It includes a rain fly made from 1200mm polyurethane-coated polyester. The rainfly decreases ventilation somewhat, as it covers the mesh windows, with only a small gap at the bottom for airflow—the only source of fresh air when it’s covered in the large front door. 

Setting up the Avalanche Truck Tent is a breeze; it comes with color-coded poles, so you know where everything needs to go before you get started (be sure to read the instruction manual). That being said, it has more parts to contend with compared to other truck bed tents. There’s a 4 foot by 4-foot awning that extends out the tent’s front door, which is held up by a couple of heavy-duty poles. There are also a few extra poles to give the main tent a more spacious interior (it has a 5.5-foot center height). 

This tent is also packed with great accessories to keep you organized and comfortable. Instead of the usual two storage pockets, the Sportz has a gear loft – a mesh shelf near the roof of the tent where you can store lightweight items like a flashlight, bear spray, or your keys. There’s also a lantern holder, which you don’t see on too many truck bed pop-up tents. That’s a shame since almost every camper sets up some lighting system in their tent. 

Why You Should Buy the Avalanche Truck Tent III

  • You drive a Chevy Avalanche and want a tent that fits it perfectly.
  • Need a tent that gives you access to your truck’s cab.
  • It has a full floor that helps to keep moisture out. 
  • The tent has numerous accessories (gear loft, lantern holder, storage pockets).

8. Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent

kodiak canvas truck bed tent


The Kodiak is certainly the creme de la creme of truck bed tents. It’s easily one of the most well-made tents, and consequently, one of the most expensive. If you’re looking for the very best, look no further. 

The Kodiak isn’t made from the usual tent material, lightweight polyester, instead utilizing cotton duck canvas. The fabric changes up drastically increases the Kodiak’s weight – it comes in at a bulky 41 pounds. That’s more than most campers will want to lift, so you’ll need to have a friend to help maneuver it around. 

While the larger weight seems burdensome, it comes with a major advantage: durability. Not only will canvas provide superior protection in rainstorms and strong winds, but this is also one of the only truck beds tents that can be considered four-season ready. Thin polyester won’t stand up to wet snow sitting on top of it, but the canvas can, and it’s supported by a beefy ¾ inch steel tube frame. Canvas also holds heat, a major advantage when the air temperature outside the tent is below freezing. If you see yourself camping in the colder months, this is the truck bed tent to buy. 

The insulating properties of the canvas aren’t so welcome during the summer months, so Kodiak really had to work to get enough ventilation in this tent and prevent it from becoming an oven. There are five windows on this tent, more than any other model on this list, and airflow is the primary reason for them.

The canvas has another downside – it’s not the easiest material to handle. Set up is challenging compared to lighter tents, as it feels like the fabric (and gravity) are constantly working against you. The heavy-duty construction and high price tag already put this in the “experienced truck bed tent users” category, so this isn’t too much of an issue. 

As for the tent’s fit, the Kodiak is designed to work with compact and mid-size truck beds. If you have an especially long bed, it probably won’t cover everything, and getting the straps tightened could be tricky. The Kodiak does not have a floor, which is a little disappointing given that the tent fabric could have easily withstood the scratching and scraping that normally tears apart lightweight floors. As for accessories, the Kodiak doesn’t have too many. Two gear pockets can be found inside the tent, which is less than you’d expect from a tent of this caliber.

Why You Should Buy the Kodiak Canvas Truck Bed Tent

  • You want the very best truck bed tent and have the budget for it.
  • Weight isn’t an issue for you.
  • You need the most weatherproof tent possible.
  • Ventilation is a top priority for you. 

What to Look for When Buying a Truck Bed Tent

Buying a quality truck tent is an investment; you’ll likely keep this piece of camping equipment throughout the life of your vehicle. As such, it pays to know a little about what makes for the best truck bed tent.

Size and Capacity

Unlike your standard camping tents, the size of a truck bed tent is constrained by the space available in your truck bed. Most truck beds are between five and eight feet long, with the latter being specifically referred to as long bed trucks. There are usually four feet of space between the wheel wheels on a fleetside pickup or between the bed rails on a stepside. Always check the manufacturer’s dimensions to make sure they fit the length and width of your truck’s bed. 

Given those constraints, the biggest size differences in truck bed tents are actually in their height. The more inexpensive models are large enough to sit up in, but you have to crawl into them. Larger, more expensive models are big enough to stand in, which is great if you have mobility issues or change clothes with ease inside the tent. 


With truck tents, you don’t need to worry about finding a soft, debris-free pad to pitch your tent on. So long as it’s relatively flat, you can park your truck on a field strewn with sharp rocks and cactuses, and it won’t affect your camping experience one bit. Most tents have a section that folds out over the tailgate, but you won’t have to watch out for things that could snag and tear up your tent fabric. Additionally, the bed rails provide some protection from the wind, so if you can, face the sides of the vehicle towards the prevailing wind to take advantage of this feature.

Setup Difficulty

Some tents are a cinch to set up the first time, while others require a studious read of the instruction manual. For most users, simple is better, and more complicated setups are not worth the extra effort. 

On the other hand, extra features might require a little more time and effort but are well worth it for enhanced comfort. This is particularly true with truck bed tents that extend over the tailgate for extra storage space and protection from the elements.


Having good airflow is critical to enjoying your truck bed camping experience. While the most minimalist tents are nothing more than a mesh net over your head, the vast majority have a rain fly that traps heat and reduces ventilation. However, these tents usually have a couple of flaps or windows that can be propped open to get better airflow. The tradeoff is that rain can sneak in these ventilation ports.

You might think that ventilation is only important in hot climates, but it’s equally necessary when the temperature is low. Humans produce massive amounts of water vapor while breathing, and all that moisture can collect on the inside of your tent if ventilation is not adequate.

Included Accessories

It’s the little things that really make the difference, like having a place to put your flashlight or keys and be able to find them in the middle of the night. Don’t blow off these accessories as nice to have add-ons; they separate a great camping experience from a mediocre one.

Gear Lofts and Pockets

Keeping your tent organized is no easy task, and without a few pockets and pouches to stash things like a flashlight, water bottle, or bear spray, things can get pretty cluttered. Each camper should have its own small pocket to store things inside the tent.

Door Flaps

Having a method for keeping the tent door open will vastly increase its ventilation. Additionally, keeping it out of the way makes it easier to climb in and out.

Wiring Ports

Campers who like to use their electronic devices during the night should look for a tent with a hole or two for stringing wires into the truck’s cab. This way, you can keep your phone and sound system fully charged.

Season Rating

Seasonality is an important thing to consider when purchasing a truck bed tent, considering local weather conditions and the months you’ll be making use of it. 

1 or 2 Season

Also known as summer-only models, these tents are for use in great weather – sunny days with little to no wind. If they have a rainfly, it usually won’t cover the entire tent. The tent fabric isn’t going to leak (though it may require some seam sealant to keep it water-resistant), but moisture can move to the inside via capillary action if you press on it. If you’re only camping a few nights per year and can plan around good weather (or you live in a desert climate), this could be a good, inexpensive option. 

3 Season

Most truck bed tents are considered three-season ready; they can repel a fair bit of rain, withstand moderate wind, but cannot handle snow. The vast majority of campers will be happy with a three-season setup. They’re designed to be comfortable in most situations. Manufacturers put a strong focus on ventilation with these tents, allowing them to shed both heat and moisture to keep their occupants as comfortable as possible. 

4 Season

Four season tents differ from three-season models in their construction – thicker fabric and beefier tent poles. These improvements help them stand up snow, hail, heavy rain, and strong winds. The tradeoff is that they both cost more and are less comfortable. The thicker fabric and tighter construction result in less ventilation; you won’t want to spend any time in them; they’re only for sleeping. Don’t assume that stronger is always better – four seasons tents should only be used if you need one. 

Expedition Tents

You don’t see many of these in the truck bed tent market as they’re designed for the most extreme conditions like a couple of feet of snow on top of the tent and gale-force winds. Since that kind of weather is usually only seen on top of a very tall mountain or in the Arctic, it’s not somewhere that your truck is likely to go.  

Should You Pitch a Tent in Your Truck Bed?

So you’re intrigued by the idea of sleeping in the bed of your truck but aren’t sure what that entails. For the most part, truck bed tents aren’t that different from ground tents – they don’t sit on the ground. These are some of the advantages and disadvantages of that kind of setup.


Keeps You Off the Ground

All sorts of creatures can bump in the night when your tent is pitched at ground level. Being a few feet up and with some bed rails enclosing you on three sides will certainly feel more secure. It’s also not so far off the ground that you could get seriously injured climbing out of the tent, as might be the case with a rooftop tent.

Usually Not Very Expensive

Since the truck provides some stability and structure to the tent, it doesn’t need to be made from strong materials. As such, truck tents come with a lower price point than equally comfortable ground tents and certainly less than a rooftop tent.

Can Pitch Your Tent Anywhere

To set up a ground-level family tent, you need a relatively flat surface, free of rock and other debris. Not so with a truck bed tent – anywhere your truck can go, a valid camping surface. Ideally, you should still find a level spot to park the truck, but whatever you consider comfortable is good enough. 


Need to Unload Gear

To set up your tent, you’ll need an empty truck bed. Most of us carry our camping gear (cookstoves, tables, and camping chairs, sleeping bags) in the bed of the truck, which means you’ll have to clear all of that out before setting the tent up. To keep them from getting wet, some of those things will need to go in the truck’s cab, which might not be big enough. 

Truck Tents Don’t Always Fit the Bed

Unless you’re buying a tent designed for your truck model and bed length, there’s a chance it won’t fit perfectly. Universal-fit tents aren’t adjustable; they’re just designed to fit in a wide variety of truck beds. An ill-fitting tent, one that does not stretch to the edges of the truck bed, could cause water to pool up around the sides, which is a recipe for a very uncomfortable camping trip.

It Might Only Fit Your Current Truck

This is the converse of the previous problem, a good tent for truck beds will only fit in one size of bed. If you trade in your truck for a newer one, there’s a good chance it won’t fit. Selling a used truck bed tent isn’t easy either, and you’ll probably take a big loss if you can get it sold. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Any Safety Issues with Truck Bed Tents?

Truck bed tents are incredibly safe and easy to use. Since they’re assembled a few feet above ground level, they’re not susceptible to flooding or pests in the way that conventional tents would be. However, that extra height does make camping slightly more dangerous in a few ways. 

Trips and Falls

Your truck bed may only be a few feet above the ground, but tripping on your way out of the tent can lead to a pretty nasty fall. Always exit the tent feet first, so nothing gets caught along the way; sit on the tailgate before getting down.

Incorrect Assembly

Read the directions before assembling your truck tent; doing it wrong could have catastrophic consequences. For instance, if you don’t get the tent or rainfly attached to the outside edge of the truck bed, you could end up with water flooding into the bed. That’ll make for a pretty wet night. A strong wind could blow the tent out of the truck bed if it’s not securely attached, similar to improper staking with a conventional tent.

Driving with the Tent Up

It’s possible that you could move your truck between different campsites within the same campground, though you need to be careful of overhanging branches that might snag on the tent. However, you cannot drive down the highway with the tent assembled, as the poles are not designed to withstand that much wind. 

Adverse Weather

Know the limitations of your truck bed tent before you start a camping trip. Most truck bed tents are not designed for four-season use – snow, particularly wet and heavy snow, will cause the tent poles to buckle. High winds and hail could also cause the tent to tear or collapse, and most manufacturers will list what their product is capable of withstanding. 

How Do You Prevent Damage to Your Truck?

One of the foremost questions on buyers’ minds is how they can prevent damage to their vehicle using a truck bed tent. Your truck might cost hundreds of times what the tent does, so it will be the first thing you want to protect. 

Don’t Drive with the Tent Up

This seems common sense, but driving down the highway with a set-up tent would be a disaster. Not only will you ruin your tent, but the poles will almost certainly scratch everything in their path. Flying tent pieces would also be a hazard to any driver behind you.

Use Protective Straps

Look for tents that have some padding over the strap hardware. Buckles and other metal pieces on the strap will quickly gouge up the paint on your truck. 


A truck bed tent can be an excellent addition to your camping gear collection; they’re easy to use, keep you protected from the elements better than a ground tent, and make good use of your vehicle’s cargo space. Tents vary in quality and price, so you must make a detailed checklist of all the things you’re looking for in a truck bed tent before you even start searching for one. This will ensure you find the one best suited to your needs and at a price you can be happy with. 

Our Top Pick
Sportz Truck Tent Blue/Grey

The Sportz Truck Tent features one of the best designs, extending a four-foot awning from the front door. This will keep your gear dry and the interior of your tent free of moisture.

Ryan Victor - Camp4 Writer
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Ryan is an outdoor enthusiast and gear expert originally from Montana who spent four years living in Boston, after stints in India, Rwanda, Senegal, and elsewhere. He and his wife are on a new journey to travel the world and blog about their adventures at Passions and Places.

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