x2 on the tent.
Get an extra cheapie and throw all of your non trail related stuff in it for the day. we usually set one up and make it the "garage". That way you can get all the extras out of the truck like you are describing during the day, and at night they are ready to go. Also as Tom stated, you'll have a camp spot when you get back to BFE.
Welcome from Tn by the way, I am originally from Memphis (moved here in 07). I know it's 400 miles away from Knoxville, but I spent years messing around in those mountains so it feel slike home also