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Can You Camp in a U-Haul Truck?

Can You Camp in a U-Haul Truck?

If you live within the continental United States, you’ve likely seen a few U-Haul trucks driving around. While most know this company for assisting people in moving, some wonder if these trucks could serve another purpose. We will look at what precisely a U-Haul truck is and some of the surprising ways you can use the space in the truck. Let’s dive in!

What Is a U-Haul Truck? 

Before we look at the uses of a U-Haul truck, let’s learn a little more about who U-Haul is.

Started in 1945, U-Haul is a company that specializes in moving trucks, trailers, and self-storage units. After their humble beginning in a Washington garage, U-Haul quickly spread across the United States.

It became a standard name in moving companies. You can rent standard U-Haul trucks for days or weeks. You can also return them at any U-Haul facility around the country. 

We Converted A Rented U-Haul Into A Camper

Can You Camp in a U-Haul Truck?

With the ample space in the back of each truck, you may wonder if it’s possible to camp in them. While it is possible to transform the back of a U-Haul into a temporary camper, U-Haul does not approve of using the trucks for camping.

Several issues and hazards can arise when living in the back of a U-Haul. Let’s take a closer look at some of these possible issues. 

Three men putting boxes in a U-Haul
While U-Hauls are primarily used for moving, they can also be used as a base for a camper build.

Can You Lock U-Hauls? 

Like many other rental trucks, you can lock U-Hauls from the outside to keep your valuables safe. However, these trucks do not lock from the inside. This poses numerous safety issues for you if camping and sleeping inside the truck is your goal.

Pro Tip: Considering a unique camper conversion? We took a closer look at Do Ambulance Conversions Make Good Campers?

Can You Breathe in the Back of a U-Haul? 

Another reason attempting to camp in the back of a U-Haul truck is dangerous is the lack of airflow. A standard U-Haul truck cannot carry living creatures. The airflow in the back of the truck when the door is closed is non-existent. While the back of the trucks is not air-tight, they will not allow the amount or quality of the air you need to breathe comfortably.

Man sleeping in the front of a U-Haul
If you need to catch some Zs in a U-Haul, the safest place to sleep will be in the front of the vehicle.

Can You Sleep in the Front of a U-Haul? 

Sleeping in the front of a U-Haul may not get you the most comfortable night’s sleep. However, there is nothing particularly wrong with sleeping in the front of a U-Haul.

If you need to spend a night in the truck, the front is the safer option. It is crucial to note, however, that falling asleep with the engine running can run the risk of asphyxiation. 

Can a U-Haul Truck Tow a Camper?

Maybe you aren’t interested in camping in the back of a U-Haul, but you want to use one to tow a camper you already own. Can a U-Haul truck tow a trailer? Yes!

While some weight restrictions exist, each U-Haul truck has a hitch to hook up and tow a smaller camper. U-Haul’s website claims that each truck can tow up to 6,000 pounds.

U-Haul parked on a street
Convert your U-Haul into a camper by adding insulation and a way to improve airflow.

Can You Convert a U-Haul to a Camper? 

If you want to buy and convert an existing U-Haul into a camper, you are not alone! Box truck conversions have become a popular project for many DIY campers in recent years. Turning a current truck into an RV is an excellent way to get the experience of camping in a U-Haul while avoiding the issues mentioned earlier. 

How Do You Turn a Box Truck Into a Motorhome?

One of the first things to do once you purchase a box truck is to strip the inside until you are down to the truck’s basic structure. This process involves removing the paint on the inside walls and the metal sheet that separates the driver’s seat from the rest of the truck.

You’ll need to clean the inside of the truck and begin padding the walls with insulation to weatherproof the vehicle.

Then it’s time to introduce the necessities. Add furniture, air conditioner, hot water tank, and even a small refrigerator or hot plate.

All that remains is to decorate your new space and make it comfortable. It is crucial to ensure that you nail down all furniture and decorations. The truck’s movement could cause valuables to move around during transit. 

Grandparent putting grandson into U-Haul
Pack up your family into your U-Haul and hit the road for an epic adventure.

How Much Does It Cost to Convert a Box Truck Into a Camper? 

For a basic conversion, the cost of turning a box truck into a camper can start at around $35,000. This may seem a steep price, compared to the cost of buying a new trailer. However, you could potentially save thousands of dollars. The more additions and modifications you make, the higher the cost.

Pro Tip: Don’t know where to start with your build? We uncovered How Do You Build a DIY Truck Camper?

Box Truck Conversion | Uhaul Truck Camper Tour | Full Time RV Living

Is Camping with a U-Haul a Good Idea? 

Now that we have learned more about what camping in a U-Haul looks like, is it a good idea? If you’re planning to rent a U-Haul as is and camp in the back, we strongly advise against it. However, purchasing a box truck and converting it into a livable camper is an exciting option for those wishing to experience the box truck life.

Whether you are moving or looking for a new way to see the country, a box truck is an excellent place to start. 

Would you camp in a converted box truck? What kind of modifications would you make? Tell us in the comments!

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About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of The RVers, producers of “Go North” on Amazon Prime, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for and an Arizona travel guide.

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