Getting the most from your truck is a must, especially if you use it for work or mundane hauling throughout the week but enjoy weekends spent in the woods. For this reason, you may not want to invest in a dedicated camper shell, since this will make it difficult to haul other items. The key is to outfit a regular truck shell with a few accessories so you can switch from workday to weekend simply. The following are just a few ideas to help.

Start with the right shell

Truck shells come in a variety of designs, but the best choice for a work-to-play set-up will have plenty of windows along the sides that you can open for airflow when you are using it for camping. You may also want to consider getting an elevated topper. These sit higher than your truck's cab, which gives you more head room for camping plus added load space when you are using the truck for hauling.

Consider your access options

A standard shell usually has a standard hatch access in the back, which works with your tailgate to create the main opening to the bed. This works well for transporting items, since you can leave the gate and hatch open if an item you are hauling is longer than your truck's bed. The problem is that this can be difficult to close when you are using the shell as a camper. You can have the tailgate removed and replaced with a topper that uses a split door system, which works more like a regular door. Opt for split doors that can be easily removed so you can still use the truck to haul oversize items without removing the entire shell.

Add some storage

Removable storage is a must. Some shells have built in storage cabinets that run along the sides, usually just beneath the roof and above the windows. You can also get shells with a built-in storage drawer that is fit into the roof of the topper. A more custom option is to get a bed compartment. This usually sits flush in the bed, level with the tire wells. You can access the items in the compartment either from drawers placed at the tailgate-end of the bed, or by removing covers from the top to reach the items beneath.

Finish it out

The final step to transitioning to a weekend camper is in the accessories. If you have a bed compartment, you can usually just throw a mattress or air pad on top for an instant sleeping area. There are also special air mattress available that are shaped to fill the bed, including around the wheel well humps, that you can use if you don't have bed storage. The final option is to have a piece of sturdy plywood on wooden rail supports that you can slide into the bed, over the wheel wells, to create a sleeping platform with storage underneath. Then, simply add some curtains for privacy and your shell is ready for the weekend.

Contact a business like Rhino Linings &Terry's Top Factory to learn more.