Sometimes, newcomers claim they are reinventing and challenging the norm. Skinny Guy Campers from Bristol, Indiana, has hit the truck camper market with a buzz. Its pop-up camper design is robust yet compact. But is the camper quality and storage space a reinvention?
Today we’re super excited to take a closer look at the company and what it offers, as the first pass seems really impressive.
Let’s dive in!
Who Is Skinny Guy Campers?
Skinny Guy Campers manufactures mostly self-contained overland truck bed tent campers that provide you with heat, light, water, and power. This can’t be said of all overland campers or other rooftop tent setups. All of their trims come with a toilet, which is rare in an overland truck camper as it is. And two of the three trims are self-contained with underbelly water tanks.
New to overlanding? Start here.
With several patented innovations in construction and functionality, these aren’t your fathers’ rooftop tents. Designed to sit just a few inches below the top of your truck rails, you retain the use of much of your truck bed (depending on trim) underneath the camper as well as the entire tailgate. Additionally, you can take these campers off whenever you want.
There are seven models to fit trucks of various sizes. Each model has basic amenities with a ⅛-inch aluminum shell, powder-coated interior cabinets, a tie-down system, an Aqualon tent, and a fully removable jack system. The Skinny Guy Campers fold into a shell for travel or storage and pop up to provide a spacious interior for sleeping, eating, and relaxing. That’s where it earns the “Skinny Guy” Camper name. Total set up and tear down only takes most people about five minutes.
How Did Skinny Guy Campers Get Started?
Skinny Guys Campers (SGC) was founded by Jason Bontrager, SGC’s CEO, and Donavon Frederickson, SGC’s original camper builder. The idea for the original Skinny Guy Camper was born when the two were on a hunting trip in New Zealand. Both had connections to the RV industry and shared similar complaints about the quality and durability of modern RVs. They dreamed of creating an “overland truck camper for any truck, any garage, and any trail.” In 2019, they built the first prototype and in 2020 spun up the company to start making their dream a reality.
How Many People Can a Skinny Guy Camper Sleep?
If you want a camper that will sleep more than two adults, a Skinny Guy Camper probably isn’t for you. A family could put kids in a tent next to the truck. However, the Skinny Guy Campers are designed to sleep only two adults.
Pro Tip: Get the inside scoop on Why Are Truck Campers Called So Many Names?
What Size Trucks Will a Skinny Guy Camper Fit?
There are seven models to suit mid-sized, full-sized, and specialty trucks. Fortunately, Skinny Guy Campers has taken some guesswork out of matching your truck by naming their models by the length of the truck bed they fit.
|SGC Model||Fits Truck||Weight (Dry)|
|4.0 (Coming Soon)||Compact truck with 4’6″||TBD|
|5.0||Mid-size truck with 5′ bed||500-775 lbs|
|5.0 GLR||Jeep Gladiator||600-780 lbs|
|5.5||All trucks with a 5’6” truck bed||725-900 lbs|
|6.0 (Coming Soon)||Mid-Size with long bed||TBD|
|6.5||Full-Size & HD with 6’6″ long bed||670-1029 lbs|
|8.0 (Coming Soon)||Full-Size & HD with long bed||TBD|
Some of their models are not yet available, including the 4.5, 6.0, and 8.0 models. The 4.5 mid-sized Skinny Guy Camper fits trucks with a 4.5-foot bed, the 6.0 mid-sized camper fits trucks with a 6-foot bed, and the 8.0 camper fits trucks with an 8-foot bed.
Among the currently available options, the 5.0 mid-sized camper fits trucks with a 5-foot bed, the 5.5 camper fits trucks with a 5.5-foot bed, and the 6.5 camper fits trucks with a 6.5-foot bed. Finally, they make a specialty 5.0 GLR Skinny Guy Camper that matches the bed length and wall profile of the Jeep Gladiator.
How Much Do These Campers Weigh?
While sturdily built, Skinny Guy Campers weigh only 500-1200 lbs, depending on the model and trim. If you look at the table above, you’ll see the respective dry weight ranges for each model. Remember to count the extra adventure gear and water in your total weight to determine if your truck’s payload will handle your camping style.
What Are the Skinny Guy Camper Trim Levels?
Once you’ve decided what size model you need, you can choose the trim level. Skinny Guy Campers offers three packages: the Skin ‘N Bones, the Skinny Fat, and the Kit ‘N Kaboodle. Plus, you can add the PrimoLoo Package to the latter two, which includes a flushing macerating toilet and a black tank.
All the trims have powder-coated interior cabinets, a tie-down system, an Aqualon tent, and a fully removable jack system. They also come with a smoke/carbon dioxide detector, a fire extinguisher, cushions and mattress, and an entry ladder.
Skin ‘N Bones
The Skin ‘N Bones trim is the most basic Skinny Guy Camper. Besides the standard features, it has a Porta-Potti, interior LED lights, USB charging ports, a 12V power port, and a floor drain. It’s also prepped for a non-vented battery with a 12V charge line from the vehicle.
This trim package doesn’t take up any space in your truck bed, so you still have plenty of room for fishing rods, storage totes, camping chairs, and other gear. This trim is suitable for weekend warriors or campers heading out for a 2 or 3-day adventure.
We’d like to point out that the Skin ‘n’ Bones has a PortaPotti but does not have an internal sink or shower, nor use RV holding tanks. So it is not completely self-contained, which may be required for some campsites.
New to Porta-Pottis? We’ve demystified them in this article.
One step up from the Skin ‘N Bones trim level is the Skinny Fat package. It has all the standard equipment, the features of the Skin ‘N Bones package, and even more add-ons. With the Skinny Fat trim level, you get a propane gas system, a Truma combi heater and water heater, an underbelly module including a water pump, a freshwater tank, a NOCO AC plug, a 12V battery charger, and an LP detector.
The 6.5 and 8.0 models have a MOLLE rack on the rear wall for more storage solutions. This trim package may appeal to adventurers who enjoy week-long trips. With heat, water, a cooktop, and a refrigerator, you can camp comfortably for days with the Skinny Fat package.
Kit ‘N Kaboodle
Finally, the Kit ‘N Kaboodle trim level is for hardcore travelers who want to camp in more extreme weather or get off-grid for months. You get everything with the Skinny Fat package plus a portable 12V refrigerator, a 1000-watt inverter with an interior GFCI receptacle, a cooktop, a sink in the kitchen module, and an exterior solar panel. The RedArc Battery Manager30 also replaces the NOCO 12V battery charger.
You can further customize your Skinny Guy Camper depending on the model. Whether you choose the Skin ‘N Bones, Skinny Fat, or Kit ‘N Kaboodle package, you might have the option to add a la carte items like a portable 12V refrigerator, a DC to DC charger, a rain guard kit, heated tank pads, a wall dinette table, and a PrimoLoo flushing plumbed toilet system. However, the Kit ‘N Kaboodle trim is the only one with the option to add an innovative solar panel to the roof. When the tent is deployed, the panel swings out from under the roof to continue charging your camper while also providing extra awning.
How Are Skinny Guy Campers Constructed?
The outer shell of the Skinny Guy Campers is dent and corrosion-resistant because of the ⅛-inch aluminum sheets. The interior benches and storage solutions also include this aluminum. The shell forms the exoskeleton, providing some protection as you travel.
Skinny Guy Campers also uses high-quality, robust stainless steel tubing for the tent bows and tie-down system. The high chromium and nickel content makes these tubes corrosion-resistant and durable.
The camper tent has Aqualon Edge fabric. It’s single-layer so that it fits into the compact space of the shell when not in use. However, it’s water-resistant, and the white interior makes it feel more spacious. Skinny Guy Campers also uses stainless steel hinges, laser-cut powder-coated main components, and closed-end and sealed rivets with industrial body adhesive to connect the panels.
Pro Tip: We put together a comprehensive list of The Best Truck Camper Brands.
How Do You Remove A SGC?
Skinny Guy Campers came up with and patented a new way of taking off a camper like this. Some truck bed campers aren’t designed to be taken off once installed by the manufacturer or dealer, so this just adds another element of flexibility to consider.
The fully removable jack system won’t get in your way on the trail and allows you to take the camper off when you need to. You’ll see in the video below what it looks like and how it works, enabling dismount in 30 minutes or less. The jacks operate via a provided manual crank and drill bit. Using an electric drill, you can quickly raise and lower the jacks, the manual crank is good to have on hand if your drill battery is dead.
What Makes Skinny Guy Campers Different?
Unlike other truck campers that take up the entire truck bed, Skinny Guy Campers in the Skinny Fat and Kit ‘N Kaboodle trim packages occupy only the top half of the truck bed, so you have plenty of room for storing your camping gear. Plus, with all the customization options, you can add what you need and leave out what you don’t. Your Skinny Guy Camper may likely suit your camping lifestyle.
Even with the basement of the truck bed not in use, the Skinny Guy Campers have spacious interiors. Most people can stand up with 84 inches of interior headroom. Depending on the model and trim package, you can enjoy four-person dinette seating and a functional kitchenette.
Skinny Guy Campers feature a smart exterior with a patented Rainwater Catchment System. This system collects the rainwater that falls from the tent area above the bed. You can filter this water and use it to replenish your water supply.
Finally, you can always access your tailgate with a Skinny Guy Camper. This allows you to lock away valuables when you go hiking, biking, or paddling. You also have access to the hitch, so you could also tow a boat, a trailer with an ATV, or a second small camper.
Compare the SGC to the top-rated overland rooftop tents to see what we mean.
How Much Is a Skinny Guy Camper?
The pricing varies because the Skinny Guy Camper lineup has different packages and models. According to the Skinny Guy Campers website, the retail price starts at around $15,500 and goes up to approximately $29,500 fully loaded. However, on RV Trader, there was a 2022 6.5 Skin ‘N Bones model for less than $12,000 and a 2023 unit with the Kit ‘N Kaboodle package for over $33,000. So there’s a wide range of pricing depending on the camper’s model, package, and location.
Who Is a Skinny Guy Camper Good for?
Skinny Guy Campers aren’t for everyone. However, neither is a Four Wheel Camper nor a Loki BaseCamp truck camper. Different campers are designed for specific customers. If you enjoy adventurous overlanding but prefer not to leave the creature comforts of heat, water, and power, a Skinny Guy Camper may be a good fit. If you want access to the truck bed to haul your gear, a Skinny Guy Camper can offer you that storage space.
But Skinny Guy Campers probably aren’t the best for traveling families looking to house everyone. There just isn’t a lot of space to accommodate everyone inside. You may want to look at larger models to suit your needs better. On the other hand, a solo traveler or adventurous couple who spends more time outside exploring than inside a camper may love what Skinny Guy Campers offers. You’ll have everything you need but nothing you don’t.
Personally speaking, this is the first overland roof tent camper we’ve come across that could potentially check all of our boxes. As a couple who loves overlanding in our truck camper, if we ever needed to downsize to something even more nimble and versatile for overlanding, we’d definitely consider these campers.
Is a Skinny Guy Camper the right choice for your offroad adventures? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
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