Thus far my experiment with a truck bed tent has been positive. It allows me to have a vehicle camping system that also leaves my truck available to use as a truck.
One of my coworkers has a small truck, similar to my own. He has a Six-Pac overhead camper on his. He put the camper on the truck just recently, and this week is camping along with me in the company parking lot. We work nights, and this allows us to get our rest and not put ourselves and the community at risk with sleepy driving. We also reduce our fuel consumption, which is a globally and locally positive thing.
My system requires a bit more set-up than his each time I use it. However, loading and mounting a camper is not particularly easy. Dismounting it to be able to use the truck for truck applications is a bit inconvenient. Much more so than my simple tent. So far my truck tent has met my "minimalist" vision.
In a few weeks I will check out the Little Guy teardrop trailers. My Oregon trip will bring me near enough to the dealer to make a side-trip reasonable. The use of such a minimal system still meets my desire for simplicity, and in some respects is easier and more practical than the truck tent. The down side is the cost, and the increase in overall vehicle size.
The truck does remain a truck, however, with the little trailer behind.
I am also looking into camp stoves, portable kitchen elements, collapsible equipment and much more to assess the least expensive and simplest ways to do things without sacrificing a reasonable level of comfort.
To recruit my wife into some of these adventures will require refining camping to make it comfortable for her. I am thinking cabin tents, inflatable big beds, adequate bedding and other such items, a serviceable bathroom system, and temperature control. Fortunately, all of those elements are available, and can fit in the back of my truck.
Selling my wife on all of this may take some time. During that time I can enjoy the exploration and experimentation.
Some of my friends do this on bicycles and motorcycles. They don't mind the discount in comfort in exchange for the increase in mobility and simplicity. I am coming in somewhere between the two-wheeled experience and the more sophisticated house-on-wheels.
It is a continuum, finding a comfort zone between simplicity and complexity in camping styles.
This is fun, and that is very good.
20 hours ago