Sleeping under campershell?


Hi guys I was wondering how many people sleep in their camper shells, toppers or whatever the terminology is in your area. I like the Flippak like TacoDoc has but I live in Colorado and don’t want anything soft sided for winter excursions.

This is the one I was thinking about

I figured on my Tacoma I would build a shelf with storage below and a futon mattress.
If you have any build threads or pics, I would love to see them.


New member
I have also been looking into getting a topper since I have a tonneau on my truck right now and I need more storage space. I am leaning towards the ARE with the win-doors just for the ease of getting to the crap I put in my back of my truck. Here is a link to a thread on camper shells with a bunch of good info. And Here is another link to a thread with many, many, many pictures of peoples sleeping/drawer systems, it might give you too many ideas. Search around the forum and you are sure to find someone who has a setup like you are thinking about building.


We used to do it quite a bunch. It's an inexpensive way to go. I made some cots with storage underneath. The biggest problem always seemed to be water incursion during storms. I also made a reverse shelf system with the gear on the top and the sleep quarters below. That was with a stock height cap on a ranger pickup. It was kind of like a coffin but it worked for my wife and I. We spent a night in March on Togwotee Pass. It was cold (-25 in the a.m.) but we managed o.k. Good luck!!

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This may not apply to your trucks, but we just bought a camper used and we were considering windoors, but with my full size, the reach through in reality was not happening. If you want to see for your truck, sit a 2x4 on your bed rail and see how far you can reach.

Also, if you are a go getter, find a used one and paint it. We bought a snugtop xtra vision, had it repaired and painted, and saved $2400 over new price. Deals are out there, and if your truck is white or black, even easier.


Tour Guide
I'd love to have a shell, but I just don't have the money. My Tundra came with a hard tonneau and I sleep under it with a memory foam mattress. I really like how snug and quiet it is. My wife thinks it is a coffin, but that hasn't stoped us from sleeping in the bed.



sleeping under topper

I have spent many many nights sleeping in the bed of my truck with a thick foam mattress and sleeping bag. I do not have a platform as without I have room to sit up to read, get dressed and such. My topper is a Leer 100 and I have a tule rack/MOAB basket for my other gear. With this set up I can go back to just a PU w/an open bed space for "domestic " chores. My truck is a slightly modded 2009 Ford Ranger Sport x-tra cab 4x4. Pics can be seen on the "Moab 2012 expedition" thread "compleated expeditions" on this forum. Dark gray w/hitch mounted spare tire carrier and jerry cans on cab roof bar's. mjmcdowell


Been doing it for years...then I bought a Wildernest, got sick of that thing, they really "blow" in high wind...and back to a SnugTop...and very happy with that decision. We also have a very nice professional EZ-UP as well with solid and screen walls for an extra room/kitchen area. Just back up the truck to the one end of it.


When it is just me and the dog I usually just sleep in the shell but when the wife tags along she needs a little more room.
monache and green creek 008.jpgmonache and green creek 002.jpg


I slept inside my high rise topper of my 03 taco... Put a camp time cot against one side of the bed and it fitted like a glove.. This setup allows the other half of bed for storage and when i wake up in the morning i can actually sit up in the cot with my feet at the bed bottom surface. This cot is important because it only has two sets of support legs, allowing me to position it over thw wheel well hump... Plastic container at the front of the cot acted as a night stand.. Like was like sleeping at home. Slept in temp down to 17 deg

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Expedition Leader
Thanks, I guess I never paid too much attention...never saw them at the Army Surplus or Sportsman's....the only places I shop for camping gear.

REI and Summit Hut are on my Black List...:ylsmoke:
You're in luck then as REI sells them and they're having their big sale right now. :)^jxBrand%2CCamp+Time

ETA- Yep, I sleep under mine when whenever I can. Since it's almost always just me I have plenty of room for my stuff so I have no need for a platform- I built one to try in my old Tacoma but it didn't last long as I much prefer being able to sit up and easily change clothes (more important if you stealth camp). Carpeted plywood on the bed with a Cabela's Alaskan Guide mattress on top of that and I'm a happy sleeper.
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