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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I enjoy camping but, sleeping on top of rocks and uneven ground at National Parks is getting old. I have a good lightweight hiking tent, and a good late 3 season tent but, now I'm starting to camp in subfreezing temperatures in the National Forests with lots of heavy frozen dew. I need to either buy a dedicated 4 season tent or, something for my new pickup (a 2007 used Tundra double cab 6.5' bed).

I am looking at the in bed tent from this company: Sportz by Napier :: Truck Tents, SUV Tents & Car Tents :: Outdoor Adventures
When I go camping, I won't need the bed for utility since almost everything will be behind the front seats. Lifting a box or two and a propane cylinder out of the bed is not a concern. Being up off the cold ground, away from bugs, or water when it rains seems like a nice benefit.

I'm also interested in soft canopy or pop up shell options for the bed of my pickup. I don't want a hard shell because I don't want to deal with the storage when doing day to day driving locally and when I need the open bed for cargo on out of state trips.

What works for users in this forum? What do you recommend I do and don't do with regards to the tent and canopy options?

Thanks!
Sid
 

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I do the same thing you do with your truck-use it as a tent in national & state parks. I went with a topper because there is no set-up involved, it is much more weather resistant than a tent, I can camp in areas that exclude tents because of bears and the resultant requirement of a hard sided shelter, I can cook in it with my backpacking stove without worrying about fire, and it does wonders to minimize the bed bounce. Also, it makes my travel trailer easier to tow because it eliminates the turbulence caused by the empty box.
 

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motel 6. :)
 

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Being a lifelong camper I would be concerned that a tent above ground in freezing weather would remove the built in insulation coming from the ground. Camping in a tent or topper in the back of your truck you have cold air not only above and around you but also comming up from the bottom.... just like when winter camping you would not use a blow up air mattress in your tent as the air gets in the mattress COLD.
 

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I think there's some truth to this. I was camping recently and a buddy was sleeping in the back of his truck with a fiberglass shell and I was in a small two man dome tent on the ground. it got down to about 40 degrees during the night and the next morning the back of his truck seemed to be much colder than inside my tent. Maybe that steel truck bed is acting like a heat sink and pulling all the heat away. I still think the truck bed tents are neat, and if I saw one on sale I might be tempted to get one for spring/summer.

Being a lifelong camper I would be concerned that a tent above ground in freezing weather would remove the built in insulation coming from the ground. Camping in a tent or topper in the back of your truck you have cold air not only above and around you but also comming up from the bottom.... just like when winter camping you would not use a blow up air mattress in your tent as the air gets in the mattress COLD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Not an option at the North Rim and other neat places. ;)

Plus you miss out on the nature experience. I like deer to wander through my campsite at ~10K feet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Being a lifelong camper I would be concerned that a tent above ground in freezing weather would remove the built in insulation coming from the ground. Camping in a tent or topper in the back of your truck you have cold air not only above and around you but also comming up from the bottom.... just like when winter camping you would not use a blow up air mattress in your tent as the air gets in the mattress COLD.
I camp with a "ground sheet" which insulates me from the ground. Would a good thermal barrier in the bed provide enough insulation?

A good sleeping bag has served me well in really cold temperatures. I've slept in below zero temperatures with the right stuff (many years ago when I was more adventurous). I could see an issue with the thermal heat sink issue if I rolled onto a sidewall or wheel well but, a good tent should keep me off the vehicle.

Hmmm ... the four season tent might be a better idea with the truck bed tent becoming a good warm weather option .... :confuseda:
 

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Well if you can weld, i reccomend you just make your own. I made an elaborate folding tent contraption for my truck and it comes in so handy. It was pretty fun to make it. When its real cold i line the inside with blankets and it stays really toasty in there for me and my girl!
 

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Being a lifelong camper I would be concerned that a tent above ground in freezing weather would remove the built in insulation coming from the ground. Camping in a tent or topper in the back of your truck you have cold air not only above and around you but also comming up from the bottom.... just like when winter camping you would not use a blow up air mattress in your tent as the air gets in the mattress COLD.
I have a bed rug in my box & I use a 4 inch folding mattress in addition to a back packing mattress when the temps are below freezing. The back packing mattress makes up for the inevitable compression of the folding mattress. For me it works very well. I have camped this way comfortably with the over night temps in the mid 20's. The tough part is getting out of a warm down sleeping bag in the morning. That first hot beverage tastes real good!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have camped this way comfortably with the over night temps in the mid 20's. The tough part is getting out of a warm down sleeping bag in the morning. That first hot beverage tastes real good!
You can say that again! :tea: brrr ....
 

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I camp with a "ground sheet" which insulates me from the ground. Would a good thermal barrier in the bed provide enough insulation?

A good sleeping bag has served me well in really cold temperatures. I've slept in below zero temperatures with the right stuff (many years ago when I was more adventurous). I could see an issue with the thermal heat sink issue if I rolled onto a sidewall or wheel well but, a good tent should keep me off the vehicle.

Hmmm ... the four season tent might be a better idea with the truck bed tent becoming a good warm weather option .... :confuseda:
I think there's some truth to this. I was camping recently and a buddy was sleeping in the back of his truck with a fiberglass shell and I was in a small two man dome tent on the ground. it got down to about 40 degrees during the night and the next morning the back of his truck seemed to be much colder than inside my tent. Maybe that steel truck bed is acting like a heat sink and pulling all the heat away. I still think the truck bed tents are neat, and if I saw one on sale I might be tempted to get one for spring/summer.
Being a lifelong camper I would be concerned that a tent above ground in freezing weather would remove the built in insulation coming from the ground. Camping in a tent or topper in the back of your truck you have cold air not only above and around you but also comming up from the bottom.... just like when winter camping you would not use a blow up air mattress in your tent as the air gets in the mattress COLD.

I know this is an old thread but found it in a search . . .

I just wanted to comment on the "there might be some truth " statement. . .

It is very true, it is the same reason that bridges freeze before roadways. Ever see one of those signs?

:)
 
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