Ultralight TC Truck Camper lets you teardrop camp in your pickup bed
The all-new TC Truck Camper was one of the truly eye-grabbing exhibits at this year's Overland Expo West. It looks quite literally like a wheel-less teardrop trailer hoisted up into a pickup bed. But the new micro-camper is more than just an oddity, as it's one of the lightest hard-sided truck campers available, at one of the least expensive price points.
Wisconsin-based TC Teardrops has been building teardrops since 2008. Available in multiple degrees of off-road readiness, its trailers have a distinctive look with a Kamm tail-like combination of sharply angled tailgate and vertical rear wall, TC's own spin on the iconic teardrop shape.
Because of that unique trailer shape, it was clear immediately that the company didn't merely rip its existing teardrop body from its chassis and plant it on a pickup to create the Truck Camper. Instead, it developed a new aluminum-composite truck camper to task.
TC's alu-skinned composite design delivers a solid structure while saving weight and eliminating the corrosion-prone wood often used in teardrops and truck campers. The camper weighs in at a base of 600 lb (272 kg), lighter than any full-height, full-floored hard-sided truck camper we're aware of.
To achieve the low weight, TC also eliminated the sleeper alcove almost universal on small truck campers. The resulting upright shape is part of what grabs one's attention and was the only such design we laid eyes on at Overland Expo – though it's not the only one out there.
Unlike other non-alcove campers, TC's design stands straight up inside the truck bed, rather than extending out over the box walls. The camper is meant to stand atop a bed deck, and TC recommends the Decked drawer system that's become the American standard for truck drawers.
While the drawers will add to the total cost of the camper, they also improve the overall functionality of the camping system by keeping cooking gear and other provisions readily accessible. The cooler or fridge can then store inside the Truck Camper, and the pickup tailgate can double as a work surface.
Like an actual teardrop trailer, the Truck Camper has little space for more than a double bed and some storage inside. In fact, it comes standard as a solo camper with a single mattress. Buyers who aren't comfortable going it alone can add an optional split double bed with slide-out. The slide-out becomes a secondary platform for the dual-mattress double bed at night, then slides away to clear storage and entry space during the day. The single mattress can work as a bench with the slide-out stored away.
Beyond that, the Truck Camper includes a tall rear door with window, two windows on each side and passive air vents. We thought for sure the topographic exterior was just a special show edition to add extra pop, but that also comes as standard, in buyer's choice of white or black.
The Truck Camper starts at $10,800 for the solo model and $12,000 for the double-bed model, carving a space between low-priced camping toppers (no camper floor) like the Radica Moonlander and Go Fast Camper and larger, more well-equipped lightweight truck campers like those from Scout and Kimbo. Available TC options include a drop-down outdoor shower room, hot water heater, 19-L water canister with mounting bracket, and heating port.
The Truck Camper is available to order now, and interested parties can get a custom quote through TC's website by entering their truck make/model and desired build spec.
Source: TC Teardrops