Do Truck Campers Have Titles? Registration, Titles, License Plates, & More Explained

vehicle registration paperwork

Truck campers offer a unique and adventurous way to explore the great outdoors. They combine the convenience of a self-contained camper with the maneuverability of a pickup truck. But before you hit the road, it's important to understand the ins and outs of truck camper ownership.

How are truck campers different from traditional campers?

Traditional campers, like travel trailers and fifth wheels, are towed behind your vehicle. Truck campers (also known as slide-in or cab-over campers) differ from traditional campers in that they are designed to be loaded onto the bed of a pickup truck. This unique configuration offers a more compact and flexible camping solution, allowing you to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations that may be challenging for larger RVs. However, it also creates some gray areas around whether they are considered “vehicles” or “cargo.” The following sections will explain where truck campers may need documentation like title, registration, and more.

Do truck campers need titles?

The need for a title for your truck camper depends on the state regulations. In some states, truck campers are considered part of the vehicle and may require a separate title from your truck, while in others, they might be exempt. Always check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or relevant authorities to determine the specific requirements in your area.

States that require truck campers to have titles

  • Idaho*
  • Indiana*
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi*
  • Ohio
  • Oregon*
  • Tennessee*
  • Utah*
  • Washington*

* Bold/starred states require both title and registration for truck campers

NOTE: Information updated as of December 2023, confirm with your local DMV that this list is still accurate.

Do truck campers need to be registered?

Similar to the title requirement, the need for truck camper registration varies by state. In some areas, registration is necessary, which means you'll need to pay an annual registration fee, just like you do for your truck. Other states may consider truck campers as part of the towing vehicle, exempting them from separate registration. Always consult your local DMV to ensure compliance with your state's regulations.

States that require truck camper registration

  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Washington

NOTE: Information updated as of December 2023, confirm with your local DMV that this list is still accurate.

How to register & get a title for your truck camper

If you live in one of the states requiring separate documentation for your truck camper, use the following steps as a guide to get it done easily and quickly, while minimizing headaches:

  1. Verify State Requirements: Visit your state's DMV website or contact them to double-check specific registration and titling requirements for truck campers. Regulations vary, so knowing the process is crucial.
  2. Gather Documents: Collect necessary documents, including the manufacturer's statement of origin (MSO), bill of sale, and VIN verification if required.
  3. Complete Forms: Download and fill out the required DMV forms. This typically includes the application for title and registration, as well as some other information that will vary from state to state.
  4. Visit the DMV: Head to your local DMV with the completed forms, documentation, and payment for applicable fees (title, registration, and taxes).
  5. VIN Inspection: If necessary, a DMV official or authorized agent will inspect your camper to verify the VIN.
  6. Receive Title and Registration: Once processed, you'll receive your truck camper's title and registration. The title proves ownership, while the registration allows legal operation on public roads.
  7. Display License Plates: Attach issued license plates as per state regulations. Ensure they are visible and securely mounted, adhering to any placement guidelines.

Other truck camper FAQs

Do truck campers have VINs?

Yes, truck campers typically have Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs). These unique alphanumeric codes serve as the camper's fingerprint, containing crucial information about its make, model, and production details. Check your camper's VIN for registration and insurance purposes.

Do you need a license plate for truck campers?

In most states, truck campers need to display a license plate that matches your truck's registration — or, in states where the truck camper is registered separately, a license plate that matches that registration.

Do truck campers need to be insured?

No states currently require truck campers to have insurance, but it's highly recommended to insure anyway. You can usually add your truck camper to your existing truck insurance policy and insurance protects against unforeseen events, accidents, and liabilities.

Find a lightweight habitat for your next adventure

As you’re planning for a new truck camper to add to your garage, it’s important to navigate the registration process effectively and minimize hurdles along the way.

But your journey doesn't end here. Exciting updates are on the horizon, promising to elevate your outdoor experiences with innovation, comfort, and sustainability. If you’re not sure whether the truck camper design is what you need, check out our smaller trailers like Woolly Bear and TigerMoth, or talk to one of our Adventure Specialists to start planning for your next expedition today!