House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

3 DIY Truck Tents You Can Construct Today (with Pictures)

truck tent used for camping outdoors

Trunk tents are a great way to level up camping or tailgating adventures. However, they can be expensive. Luckily, you can make one yourself with a bit of know-how. This DIY job is usually pretty easy for just about anyone. There isn’t any wood to cut, and the tools you need tend to be very straightforward.

We’ve listed some of our favorite trunk tent plans below. These do differ quite a bit, so be sure to choose the option that works for your model truck and needs.

car and road divider


The 3 DIY Truck Tents You Can Easily Make Today

1. Stylish Trunk Canopy by

diy trunk canopy
Image By:
Materials: Fabric, eyelets, hooks, wood
Tools: Hammer, scissors, sewing machine
Difficulty: Easy

This plan creates a stylish tent that works as a great alternative to commercial trunk tents. You do need a sewing machine to create it, however. Scissors, a hammer, and other standard tools are also needed. Eyelets, fabric, and wood are also required, but these should be easy to find.

This plan is pretty straightforward to follow. However, it does work best if you have some sewing skills. Otherwise, you may find it harder to put this tent together.

Furthermore, the instructions aren’t that straightforward. They aren’t very detailed, which can be an issue for some.

2. Basic Truck Bed Tent How To Guide by Jerry

diy truck bed tent
Image By: GetJerry
Materials: PVC pipes, T-connectors, fittings, pool noodle, sketch, tarp
Tools: Box cutter
Difficulty: Easy

This plan is a bit more specific. It is designed to be very straightforward and requires very little DIY knowledge. You don’t even have to do any sewing. Therefore, this works exceptionally well for those looking for something very simple.

You’ll use piping for the most part for this plan. You’ll need various T-connectors and a pool noodle to accomplish this. You’ll need a tarp to be the actual tent section of this plan, as well. However, in the end, everything fits together pretty simply.

3. Homemade Truck Bed Tent by Carrier Upgrade

diy truck bed tent
Image Credit: Carrier Upgrade
Materials: PVC pipes, corner fittings, elbow pipe, pool noodle, snap clamps, cable clamps, large, thick tarp, measuring tape
Tools: None
Difficulty: Easy

If you have a truck, you can easily turn the bed into a tent for camping purposes. This isn’t difficult to make, and you don’t even need any tools to do it. It is mostly made with PVC pipes, which you then put the tarp over. Therefore, just about anyone can throw up this tent pretty easily without a huge amount of skill.

We recommend this plan for anyone that doesn’t have a considerable amount of DIY experience.

light bulb divider

Can You Put Any Tent in a Truck Bed?

truck tent outdoors
Image Credit: duncantran, Pixabay

Technically, you could. However, the main concern is keeping the tent in place. Most tents are designed to be stacked into the ground. Therefore, when out into the truck bed, they may not stay up at all. Alternatively, they may slide around quite a bit. This may not be a problem if you close the gate on the truck bed. However, you must remember that you may slide around a lot.

Furthermore, the tent won’t be that comfortable unless you have a sleeping mat or similar pad to sleep on. Trunk beds are often quite hard, after all.

Conversely, you cannot use a tent designed for a truck bed on the ground. These tents usually need the sides of the truck bed to hold them up. They aren’t designed to be stacked into the ground or stand up by themselves.

What Are the Benefits of a Truck Bed Tent?

The main benefit of camping in a truck bed is that you can camp practically anywhere. You don’t have to worry about finding dry or flat ground. You can just do it in the back of your trunk. Furthermore, this allows you to camp on the go without necessarily being in a camping ground (assuming it is legal to park in your area, of course).

Plus, you will automatically be raised off the ground. Therefore, you can easily avoid bugs and snakes without them being a huge issue. You can stay raised off the ground without relying on trees and a hammock.

How Many People Can Sleep in a Truck Bed Tent?

Generally, you can fit two adults in a truck bed tent with ease. However, you may be able to fit a child or two in there, as well, depending on how big they are. Usually, the truck tent will specify how many people you can fit in it.

Of course, the size of your mattress also matters. If you have a smaller or a larger bed than average, you may be able to fit more people in it.

car and road divider



Truck tents are super great for camping when you don’t want to worry about finding spots on the ground to camp. You get to stay raised off the ground and always have a place to camp.

However, these tents can be expensive. Therefore, we recommend looking at DIY options, which are often very simple. Making a tent for your SUV or car often requires some sewing. However, truck bed tents are extremely straightforward.

Featured Image Credit: duncantran, Pixabay


Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools