Extra truck camper storage

One of the cons of a truck camper is storage and on our Northern Lite outside storage is limited. In a four season camper the fewer openings to the outside the better, so one has to compromise outside accessible storage for insulation, one of the pro’s.

extra storage for truck campers is a plus
Extra storage in a lockable box provides us to take a little extra

We have two RV set ups for traveling. One is when we plan on doing a lot of lake camping and staying in one spot for some time, we take our small 4×8 trailer with our 17 foot Grumman canoe as a tow behind. Or when we are planning a trip that requires extra fuel, water and supplies in areas that don’t offer any services.

The second mode we call our “Free and Easy” way of travel with nothing in tow. This is when we do more travelling and less camping. Our back seat is taken up with our 16 foot Sea Eagle kayak, tools, my camp kitchen, portable 100 watt solar panel, camera equipment and anything else we can fit in. This is our preferred way to travel even while camping as we can pretty much go anywhere our truck can get to and be at home. We also can park just about anywhere to overnight. Mileage is much better as well less carbon tax. This limits what we can take like extra fuel.

In the photos I have been posting on our blog I have had a lot of inquiries about the rear storage box. This has been one of my better ideas, that actually works great, some don’t. I started with a hitch carrier from Princess Auto. Due to the design of my back step on the Northern Lite I had to add a drop receiver under the standard hitch as shown in the photo. This will be different depending on your truck and camper, but in my case hides the storage under my back step.

truck camper storage under the rear bumper
Extra truck camper storage under the rear bumper of our Northern Lite 9.6 still allows the step to work
A drop down hitch receiver was required
A drop down hitch receiver was required. This was bolted under my camper tie down bar and into the truck hitch receiver
A view of my hitch set up
A view of my hitch set up including the chain stabilizers to limit movement of the box

I then built a box to fit inside the carrier 4 feet long 19 inches deep and 14 inches high out of 3/8 inch plywood all in one piece no openings. I then cut the lid at an angle so I could pull it off to the back. Inside I then put a liner 1/2 inch higher than the opening to create a seal when the lid was slid back on. This keeps out 95% of the moisture and dust. I bolted the box to the storage carrier and it works great. The photos will perhaps show it better than I can explain it.

Storage is a bonus for travelling
To keep the box more secure from movement I added some chain with tensioners
The extra storage also allows for me to carry my leveling blocks
The extra storage also allows for me to carry my leveling blocks securely and a great place if they are damp or muddy

I can now carry my levelling blocks on the outside of the box, inside I carry a small 10 lb. propane tank, a small propane fire pit, two 10 litre gas cans, a splitting axe, two outdoor mats, water hoses, grill and anything else that fits. We always travel with way too much stuff and think we are travelling simple. For me the extra fuel and propane is almost a must where we travel…the rest well. Over the years we have found the simpler the better and less stuff to worry about makes for a more enjoyable time. Hence the truck camper, home in the back of a pick up truck.

More stuff to take down the road
Hoses, extra fuel, small propane tank just some of the items fitted into the extra storage space
extra storage on my truck camper build
The inner liner provides a secure fit as well as some sealing against the elements
Back of the storage box cut at an angle
Back of the storage box cut at an angle to allow opening under the step of the camper
Leveling blocks
Cutting the box to 4 feet allowed room for my leveling blocks
Locks on the extra truck camper storage
I built the box then cut the angle for the lid and added some locking closures’ to keep the box closed and secure

Hope this helps those who were inquiring and give others some ideas. Some day I would like to get one of those fancy checker plate well sealed boxes and figure a way to put it on a slide out track so I could get at things from the top easier, but for now this works and that quick prototype I built has been in service for at least five years. Just never got around to building one out of better material.

In my next post the last of our northern travels to Meadow Lake Provincial Park and more photographs. I hate playing catch up on posting so will attempt to post regularly as we go. January 2022 has seen no travel yet but the road is calling, we will either be in Quartzite Arizona in February for a truck camper rally we are registered for or going to our plan B of more winter camping in Canada.

This post pretty much was for our truck camper family, for the rest of you with a different RV than a truck camper…well you just don’t know what your missing out on.

Your signing up or subscribing for my ramblings and photographs I thank you this retirement thing would get real bad if I had no reason to ramble and take photographs. Charlotte appreciates it as well it keeps me busy and out of her hair. So please sign up for notifications on new posts. Questions and comments are welcomed. I also post notices on Instagram under my name gerrypopplewell, no creativity there in coming up with a catchy name but it gets the job done.

Heading home in our Northern Lite from the far north we had not traveled this road and it did not lead home

Charlotte and I look forward to meeting you as we travel down the road.

7 thoughts on “Extra truck camper storage”

  1. You did a great job in both building the under deck storage box, but also explaining it, in good detail. Photos are great also.
    In my case I have a Lance 981, a 1996 F350 4×4 and the truck is quite tall in the rear. Using the torklift magnum hitch it would be quite possible to do exactly as you’ve already done.

    1. That’s great one could do a better job on the box construction this was a prototype that never did get changed. I do find it a little low on the back for some off roading in hilly country but happy with the overall performance.

  2. Hi there, enjoy your rambling we were just wondering if Canada is still pretty locked up, were hoping to make a trip with our NL this summer but want to be able to play on the way

    1. Patty right now some provinces are and some are not I figure by summer things may be under control. BC and Ontario appear to be more locked down right now but all could change. Love to have you come into Canada some beautiful areas here but feel free to email me at gerry@studiowest.ca closer to when you are coming and I will give you the real scoop not what the media is saying. Thanks for putting up with the ramblings and enjoy your NL. Heck you can come to Saskatchewan we are not locked down and its only minus 35 Celsius here give the NL a real test. Cheers Gerry

  3. Loving your post Gerry , your storage idea is very inventive , pics are awesome, sure hope our paths cross in the near future . cheers Brent

    1. Thanks Brent those paths crossing would be great you just never know we have to leave Saskatchewan for the summer as I have a canola allergy and that is about all we grow here. This spring it may be the best tailwind and weather who knows, take care and hope you are enjoying retirement. I always warn people to enjoy their time off while working as when you retire there is no such thing as time off.

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