Introduction: DIY Cheap Minimalist Truck Shell Camper Bed Platform

About: I try to do cool stuff and put it on here or youtube when I can!

A great easy way to go camping is to have a bed platform with storage underneath in a truck bed with a shell. Some people build very fancy truck shell camper but I wanted mine to be cheap, easy to build, and easily removable. In total this project cost me about $90 for the wood and storage bins, took an couple hours to build and can be removed or installed in about 5 minutes.


2 - 2"x6"x104" wood boards (

2 - 3/4" sheets of plywood (

2 - Storage Underbed storage bins (


Tape Measure

Circular saw (to cut 2x6's)

Jig saw (to cut and notch plywood)

Step 1: Step 1: Measure Bed and Cut 2x6's

The 2x6 sit in the notches of the truck be, and these are in almost every truck bed. Simply measure your truck bed width can cut 3-2x6 beams of that length. Circular saw works best but it really is not important how you cut it so just use what you have. Then lay the 2x6's in the notches to make sure they fit.

Note: some bed have slightly different dimensions for these notches in front and back of the bed, so measure all spots you plan on putting a beam.

Step 2: Step 2: Measure Bed Corners, Cut Plywood, and Lay It on Top of 2x6 Beams

This step is not completely necessary because you could just cut the ply wood into rectangle that fit, but then it becomes very likely things you drop will fall to the bottom of the bed and be a pain to retrieve. Measure the corner of your truck bed, the parts stick out at least and cut those into the plywood corners. Here the two pieces are different sizes because we tried to save as much material as possible, but having them be the same is nice because you could put one on top of the other and access the lower storage easier.

Step 3: Step 3: Add Storage Bins and Fill With Gear

One of the best things about the shell camper is your gear generally just sits in there so you are always ready to go camping. For me I just load up food and water and hit the road. It take a lot of the work out of packing for a camping trip!!

Step 4: Step 4: Add a Mattress

I found a camping trailer mattress for free and in got shape on craigslist, but you can also buy a new one or buy a memory foam topper for the mattress. This truck is a 2006 Toyota Tundra and the bed happens to be the size of a queen mattress so I didn't need to resize the mattress, but for other truck bed sizes this might be necessary.

Step 5: Step 5: Go Camping!!!

This is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to go vehicle camping!! If you are interested in vehicle camping and don't know where to start I hope this helps or at-least motivates you to start building!!

Thanks for reading and happy camping!

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