February 09, 2024 4 min read

Introducing HEST Quest! This year, we want to take a deeper dive into what IS the ultimate BEST set up for sleeping outdoors? Is it a van? A rooftop tent? The back of your truck? A truckbed camper? A tow behind trailer camper? A ground tent? With so many options for a base camp, we're on a mission to find the BEST. 

This year HEST has set out to answer the big question: What is the BEST car camping set up? 

Whether you are new to camping or a veteran overlander; everyone wants to know what is the BEST setup. What’s the most efficient, cost effective, easy, comfortable set up for sleeping outdoors?  HEST Quest will explore all the different setups; sharing the benefits and setbacks of each plus “how to’s” tips when it comes to building or shopping for your next mobile base camp.


What Type of Setup is do you have?
We have a   Base Camp 1   by.  TruckVault   in a 2019 Toyota  Tacoma   6’ bed with an ARE cap and   Freespirit   Recreation rooftop tent. The Base Camp 1 by TruckVault unit is available for any covered pickup truck. 

How Many Does it Comfortably Sleep? 
2 adults in the truck bed, 2 kids in the rooftop tent.

Is it Family Friendly?
Yes! Check out our marketing director, Ross Roberts, and his family who took this rig out on a family road trip. We set out to design a setup that would work for all pickups. We intentionally chose the smaller framed Tacoma to prove that a family of 4 can still adventure heavy with a smaller footprint.

Tell me more about the 4wd/ Off Road Capability of your Set up?
Trail driving? Mud Bogging? Rock Crawling? You name it, the Base Camp 1 by TruckVault can handle the terrain. Secure storage drawers and interior-accessible cubbies keep gear stashed and stable while you roll along, smoothly or otherwise. The carpeted top surface minimizes gear sliding around. 

What’s the Kitchen/cooking set up like? Is it inside or outside?
The flagship feature of our Base Camp 1 is the camp kitchen drawer: a fully-extendable food-safe work surface complete with a bamboo cutting surface, two built-in spice and utensil drawers, and of course the camp-stove drawer. This last item provides a safe place to set hot camp stoves. While a stove is not included with the camp kitchen drawer, the stove drawer is compatible with many of the popular cooking apparatuses on the market including Jet Boil and Coleman.

How easy is it to set up, move around, leave the vehicle/go to town?
Stash large items on top of the Base Camp 1 if needed, otherwise the bulk of our gear fit in the drawers. Stow-and-go that’s simple and secure.

Benefits/Pros: What you LOVE about this set up?
The Base Camp 1 is built-to-order. This means if you need any additional customizations, we can work on a design to accommodate them.

Challenges/Cons: What has been a hurdle/setback of the set up? 
Lead time can take 5-6 weeks.

What are the budget considerations for investing in your set up?
The Base Camp 1 starts at $4,420 Pricing considerations include the truck’s bed length, and other customizations like tiedown rails, lights, power, and more.

Tips for others looking to do the same to their vehicle?
Take your Time! We always recommend taking the rig out with nothing built and experiencing it first hand. You get a feel of how you move inside the camper and start to have ideas on how you want things to be laid out. Draw your ideas and make them come to life.

What’s the swag level of your set up? While function is definitely the most important consideration when looking for a rig, we can’t deny that some set ups just LOOK GOOD! How does this set up rank in terms of coolness?

Fit and finish is one of TruckVault’s strongest features. Each build is made to order to maximize space and functionality. It looks as if it’s part of the vehicle! In particular, the Base Camp 1 aesthetic is the stow-and-go functionality which allows for seamless transitions from camp to road. One second there’s a fully-fledged base camp popped up, the next, it can be packed away. The camp kitchen drawer is accessible from both sides, making it the perfect hang-out spot at camp. 

Which HEST mattress works best in this setup?
We run both the Dually and Foamy mattresses, depending on the type of trip. For the single person set-up, the Foamy fits the bill. For the couple or family, the Dually is perfect. Each mattress works great on the Base Camp 1 by TruckVault. The Dually spans the full width of the truck bed and the Foamy provides the perfect space for one. Both adding an essential layer of comfort to our home on the road.

Follow along @hestoutdoors as we meet the people behind these different setups and build outs.