Seeking Advice for Weekend Warrior Adventure Truck


The Gist

My wife and I want to sell my car (2002 BMW 525i) and buy a pick-up truck. Aside from the usual reasons for owning a truck, the biggest reason is that we want to sleep in the bed while we camp and travel, so that we’d avoid airfare, rental cars, and hotels. Spending time in the mountains is HUGE for us, especially at this point in our lives.

Stage One: KISS

Money is tight so stage one is to simply buy a truck with a bed cap/cover to sleep under.

The Usual Suspects

We’re currently considering early generation Toyota Tacomas and Tundras. 

It seems there are a lot of 4 door Tacoma trucks out there but they really have held their value, which is both good and bad. The bad is that it’s just outside of our price range. Also, the length of the bed is a major concern as I’m 6’2”. Anyone that tall sleep in the bed without going diagonally?

The prices of Tundras are more reasonable but the lack of a decent backseat (in the Access Cab model) could be a concern. We do hope to have kids and I’ve heard mixed reviews on getting a car seat to fit. I don’t truly mind the lack of fuel economy, and it may also come in handy if I ever need to carry or tow something heavy.

Note: We are very much of the mindset that we should "buy once, cry once” and I’ve heard so many good things about Toyota. However, I’m completely open to other ideas as we won’t be doing any kind of difficult off-road driving where a winch or a buddy may be involved.

Planned Use

For annual travel, we plan on spending two weeks in Colorado and one week in New Hampshire in a “camper” setup. At home, it’ll stay in a daily setup as a regular pick-up truck.


  • Pick-up truck
  • Reliability
  • 4 doors
  • 4x4
  • “Quickly” go between a daily truck setup to 2-week camping trip setup


  • Hitch
  • Can accept larger pop-up style camper later


There’s is where it gets a bit hairy due to our extremely tight budget.

We’re entertaining ideas in the $10,000 and under range. Even that’s stretching it, and it will also depend on how much I sell my car for. 

What do you think?

Update 01: As I’ve done more research, I’m all but completely settled on an 04-06 Tundra Double Cab. Check out this video where a family of 5 (small kids obviously) traveled and slept in the bed of the truck for over 4,000 miles. There's hope.

Update 02: Well, we did a thing. Stay tuned for further updates on our new [to us] Tundra Adventuremobile. Or is it a Fundra? Either way, we're really looking forward to traveling this upcoming year.