How to Fit Four People in a Truck Camper: the top toddler bunk

Previously:Driver’s Side BuildOut


A while back we detailed the construction process of the driver’s side fridge cabinet and storage area of our Four Wheel Camper Hawk shell model. The other notable feature of this area is that the top converts into a bunk for our two year-old daughter (edit: she’s now a very tall almost-four-year old and still fits like a champ!).


Here is our sketchup version. It should be noted that our actual length numbers are slightly different than those depicted in the blueprint rendition. That’s Emma on the upper left, above the grey box. Ben is down below in the dinette and we are up above on the over-cab mattress.


Truck Camper Sleeps 4

Hawk Camper for 4 people Sleeping

The area is 37″ long with a 13″ fold-out extension, making for a total sleeping length of 50″. The features depicted in pink are the fold-outs.

Hawk Camper fold out sleepers Hawk Shell with kids


Final measurements (with bed/mattress extension): 22″ wide by 50″ long.

Clearly, given the relatively short mattress length, this isn’t a long term solution for our family. We will consider ourselves lucky if we can get 6-10 years of family camping.

For reference, here are some average child heights:

2 years – 34″ tall
4 years – 40″ tall
6 years – 45″ tall
8 years – 50″ tall

I sincerely doubt that Emma will be inclined to sleep up here as an eight year old but hopefully by then she and her older brother will have absconded to a pup tent outside.


Here is the setup folded down and ready for travel:

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In the next picture, the bed rail has been fitting into the slot, and the extension is being unfolded.

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Fully extended (without bed rail):

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The main mattress cushion comes from the dinette and measures approximately 41″ long. A second extra cushion extends the mattress length.

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Here is an unhappy toddler for scale:

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She may have been crying in that last picture but it’s important to note that she can fully sit up in bed, which is key. She can’t get climb up into the bed by herself but the little monkey can shimmy down the face of the cabinet using the shelves like ladder steps. She performed this trick for the first time at 2am on our last camping trip.  The adults were not amused. (edit: at almost four she can now climb in by herself).

Here is bed with the rail in place. For this year only, we also constructed a temporary foot rail, as this particular girl is a restless sleeper.

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A simple footboard. The mattress rests on the bottom piece, holding it in place. GrandJK kitchen cabinets greige-134442


The footboard is stored under the table when not in use. GrandJK kitchen cabinets greige-134455

The extra cushion is stored in the main storage area next to the fridge (directly below the bed)

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Coming Up Next: Making a bed out of the dinette. (aka where our second child sleeps)

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