It’s hard to come up with a better way to explore the great outdoors than an extended overlanding trip. The combination of the open road and an adventurous spirit gives you a sense of freedom that is difficult to replicate.
Of course, overlanding is still hard work. For many of us, it means having a heavily outfitted vehicle with features like a roof rack, a roof top tent, a makeshift galley, and so forth, and working within the confines of your vehicle. For others, overlanding involves towing a trailer, which helps remove the need to carry as much gear inside your vehicle but adds the dimension of towing a trailer wherever you go.
That’s why a slide in camper might be the ultimate overlanding option. Think about it - a truck slide in camper has room for storage (which frees up space to have a more comfortable experience in the cab), a place to sleep, a place to prepare meals, and in many cases, a place to use the restroom and shower. All this without towing a trailer, too!
In this guide, we’ll explore six top features that make a slide in camper oh-so worth it. We’ll use the OEV Back Country as a prime example for illustration purposes.
Let’s get started!
Build Quality is Paramount for a Slide In Camper
When it comes to embarking on off-grid adventures, you want a slide in camper that can stand up to the rigors of your travels. The OEV Back Country 6.5-foot slide in camper is a great example because it’s crafted with durability in mind.
For example, the Back Country has a pop-top roof that gives you much more headroom and a greater sense of space inside. Another advantage to the pop top is the lower profile when traveling. This aids in fuel management and creates a lower overall height when driving offroad, under trees, and so forth. The camper also features dual acrylic side windows equipped with blinds and screens, which allows you to embrace nature while maintaining privacy and comfort.
The inclusion of a screen door and an entrance door with a grab handle enhances accessibility and convenience, while the OEV Gen 4 composite floor, walls, and roof, constructed with powder-coated aluminum extrusions, not only provide structural integrity but also contribute to the insulative value of the camper.
Top all that off with high-traffic-grade Lonseal vinyl flooring and structural powder-coated aluminum interior cabinetry, and you can see OEV’s commitment to quality. Whether you opt for an OEV slide in camper or not, be sure you prioritize a camper that has a reputation for high-quality materials and exceptional build quality.
You have to keep in mind that the slide in camper can “flex” when driving on uneven surfaces, especially off road. Cheaper models made with cheaper and less durable materials aren’t designed for and can’t handle the movement. So if you’re buying a slide in for off road or overland use, make sure you get a quality unit that can handle it.
Climate Control Features Make a Slide In Camper Far More Comfortable
Unlike rooftop tent camping, something that sets slide in campers apart is the focus on climate control, ensuring a comfortable living space in various weather conditions.
Rigs like the OEV Back Country have many different features to ensure your comfort. For example, this model is equipped with OEV Gen 4 composite panels with an R-value of 8 or less and insulated soft walls with an R-value of 4 or less. The result is a camper that provides effective insulation for three seasons of traveling.
The inclusion of a Thermo Break Foam Kit, Truma Vario Heat with a thermostat, and a multi-speed roof vent further ensure your camping experience is a comfortable one. Throw in a Truma Aquago hot water system, and you can enjoy hot and cold water on your trip, too! Of course, all of these features are self-contained, so you can be more comfortable and enjoy a more functional setup at the same time. Nice!
Seating and Sleeping in a Slide In Camper
One of the downsides of overlanding in your car, having a rooftop tent, or towing a trailer is that seating is often an issue. But with a slide in camper, you have a ready made spot to sit and eat a meal with your loved ones, play games, and relax.
Again, the OEV Back Country is a prime example of this type of convenience. The C-shaped dinette, which has 4” medium-density foam cushions covered in marine-grade fabrics, provides a nice spot for dining and relaxation. Try that inside your Subaru or rooftop tent!
Better still, the C-shaped dinette folds down into a 38”x77” bed. With a 4-inch-thick queen-sized mattress in the upper sleeping area, you get room for four adults. With an optional king bed extension, you can further maximize your sleeping comfort.
A Slide In Camper Comes With Water & Fuel Storage, Plus a Galley!
Yet another benefit of a slide in camper is that they have room for onboard water storage, fuel, and a place to store and cook food - all inside a neat and tidy unit in the back of your truck.
A 20-gallon fresh water tank with a 12v pump, combined with the Truma Aquago Hot Water System mentioned earlier, ensures a reliable water supply while you’re traveling. This camper also features a Sagiv outside shower connection so you can wash off after a long day of hiking, biking, or other explorations.
The galley is well-equipped with a stainless steel cooktop and a stainless steel sink. Both have flush-mount glass tops, so when they aren’t in use, you get ample counter space for prepping meals. You can cook a lot of food, too - with a 20-pound propane tank inside its own storage cabinet, you have all the fuel you need to cook while you’re on the road.
Think about it - you’ve been on the road all day and can’t wait to set up camp and cook a hot meal. You can do so with a slide in camper within a few seconds of arriving at camp. That’s often not the case when you’re tent camping or have a trailer.
Need Power While Overlanding? A Slide In Camper Has You Covered
For many of us, staying connected and powered up is crucial during overlanding adventures. And since many slide in campers have robust onboard power systems, they are the ideal choice for powering your needs while you’re on the road.
Let’s use the OEV Back Country as an example once again. The camper features USB charging ports (Type A & Type C), a 12v auxiliary connection, and LED lighting for both the rear entry and interior. There is also a Victron Orion-tr Smart 12-30 DC/DC charger to ensure efficient power management.
Whether you need to get some work done at camp, charge your phone to stay in touch with loved ones, or keep the lights on to play games before bed, a slide in camper can accommodate your needs - and then some!
Customize Your Truck slide In Camper To Your Heart's Content
While all the features mentioned above are awesome, the best feature is that slide in campers are often customizable, allowing you to tailor your camper to suit your specific needs and preferences.
For example, the unit pictured in this article has numerous optional features, not the least of which is the king bed extension mentioned earlier. Not only that, but the bed extension makes space for a Dometic 65L refrigerator. Other goodies include the following:
- 200-watt solar panel
- A second multi-speed fan for added ventilation
- OEV Molle accessory racks for even more functional storage
- Awning adapters with powder-coated hardware for adding protected outdoor living space
With all that said, what’s not to like about a truck slide in camper like the OEV Back Country?!
You’ve no doubt heard the phrase, “Work smarter, not harder.” Well, that certainly applies in this situation. A slide in camper kicks the convenience, functionality, and comfort up a notch. The result? A better overlanding experience. We should know - that’s why BTR - pronounced better - is in our name!