When it comes to embarking on memorable camping adventures, the significance of selecting the right vehicle cannot be overstated. The vehicle you choose becomes more than just a means of transportation; it transforms into your trusted companion, facilitating comfort, convenience, and the seamless exploration of the great outdoors.
Whether you're planning serene family getaways, rugged off-road expeditions, or anything in between, the choice of your camping vehicle plays a pivotal role in determining the overall success and enjoyment of your outdoor escapades.
Selecting a vehicle for camping may seem a bit tricky at first. You want a model that can handle off-road trips well and also has enough space inside to be comfy. To make things easier for you, we've chosen the 20 best vehicles for camping.
These are the following best camping vehicles:
1. Subaru Outback
The Subaru Outback is one of the most versatile and reliable camping vehicles on the market. This rugged and capable crossover SUV effortlessly combines off-road prowess with comfortable amenities, making it an ideal choice for outdoor enthusiasts. The Subaru Outback comes equipped with standard all-wheel drive, ensuring enhanced traction on various terrains.
Safety is paramount, and the Subaru Outback prioritizes it with the available EyeSight driver assist system. This includes features like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and pre-collision braking. With supportive seats and a user-friendly infotainment system, the Outback ensures a comfortable ride.
This is especially appreciated after a day of hiking or outdoor activities. Standard roof rails provide additional storage options. You can easily attach roof racks for carrying bikes, kayaks, or a rooftop tent, making it an excellent choice for car camping.
2. Toyota 4Runner
The Toyota 4Runner emerges as the ultimate partner for rugged camping expeditions. Renowned for its off-road prowess, this SUV comes equipped with advanced features such as 4WD with Active Traction Control and Multi-Terrain Select, ensuring adept handling on diverse landscapes.
Its spacious interior and fold-flat rear seats offer room for both passengers and gear, while its robust towing capacity empowers you to bring along extra equipment and make it the best camping vehicle.
With safety features like Toyota's Safety Sense suite and the option of the specialized TRD Pro trim, the 4Runner seamlessly combines rugged capability with advanced safety.
3. Jeep Wrangler
The Jeep Wrangler, an icon of exploration, stands as a testament to unyielding off-road capability. With its distinctive design and removable doors, it captures the essence of adventure like no other.
Equipped with rugged 4x4 systems, solid axles, and ample ground clearance, the Wrangler conquers trails and rocky terrains with ease. If you're seeking open-air freedom or exploring challenging terrain, the Jeep Wrangler will inspire your adventurous spirit.
4. Ford Bronco
The Ford Bronco, a symbol of untamed spirit, redefines off-road exploration and stands as the ultimate car camping SUV. With its distinctive design, removable roof, and doors, the Bronco encapsulates a legacy of adventure.
Boasting advanced 4x4 technology, impressive ground clearance, and customizable G.O.A.T. modes (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain), it's designed to conquer rugged trails with finesse.
You can explore open-air freedom or navigate rocky landscapes with the Ford Bronco, breaking free of conventions and engaging in boundless adventure.
5. Honda CR-V
The Honda CR-V shines as an adaptable crossover SUV, perfectly suited for camping expeditions. With its spacious interior, adjustable seating, and abundant cargo room, the CR-V offers comfort and convenience for both passengers and gear.
Equipped with available all-wheel drive, it ensures stability on varying terrains. Its fuel efficiency makes it ideal for longer journeys, while modern safety features provide peace of mind.
Navigating city streets or venturing off-road, the Honda CR-V offers a blend of comfort and reliability that enhances your camping experiences.
6. Ford F-150
The Ford F-150, renowned for its rugged capabilities, stands as the best camping vehicle, ready to elevate your outdoor adventures. With its robust towing capacity, spacious truck bed, and available features like the Pro Power Onboard generator, the F-150 empowers you to bring along camping gear, trailers, and all your essentials.
The versatile cabin offers ample storage, while advanced tech and safety features ensure a comfortable and secure journey. Whether navigating rough terrains or setting up camp in remote locations, the Ford F-150 embodies unbeatable utility, making it the ultimate choice for an exceptional camping experience.
7. Toyota Tacoma
In the realm of off-road camping adventures, the Toyota Tacoma stands as a premium choice, equipped to meet the demands of the wild. Celebrated for its rugged prowess and durability, the Tacoma effortlessly conquers tough trails and diverse terrains.
Its bed is tailor-made for efficient gear storage, further complemented by features like the TRD Off-Road package that amplify its capabilities.
Accompanied by a comfortable interior, advanced safety technology, and Toyota's renowned reliability, the Tacoma seamlessly marries off-road dominance with camping comfort.
8. Chevrolet Silverado
The Chevrolet Silverado proves itself as a dependable choice among the best camping vehicles, ready to elevate your outdoor escapades.
Boasting substantial towing capacity, an expansive bed, and available features like the Multi-Flex Tailgate, the Silverado offers ample space for camping gear and equipment.
It is durable construction and powerful engine options ensure it can handle a variety of terrains and challenges. Inside, modern comforts and advanced technology create a comfortable and connected driving experience.
9. Ram 1500
Camping is all about being prepared for the journey ahead, and the Ram 1500 delivers on that promise. With its robust towing capacity and ample space in the truck bed, you'll have plenty of room to stow away all your camping essentials.
But it's not just about space, the Ram 1500's features are designed to make your camping experience smoother and more enjoyable. From its durable build to its diverse engine options, the Ram 1500 is ready to take on various terrains and challenges, ensuring you can venture off the beaten path with confidence.
Even when you are off the grid, you'll enjoy comfort and convenience within the cabin's interior, complete with the latest technologies to help you stay connected.
10. Subaru Forester
Discover the freedom of car camping with the Subaru Forester, your perfect car camping SUV. With its flexible design, spacious interior, and all-wheel-drive capability, the Forester is tailor-made for your outdoor adventures. No matter where you're going, Forester's comfort and features make it the ideal camping companion for exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations.
11. Honda Fit
The Honda Fit is your compact companion for memorable camping adventures. With the ability to fold down both front and rear seats completely flat, the Fit transforms into a versatile space tailored for your camping needs.
Craft a cozy bed for a restful night's sleep or create ample room for gear, whether it's a bike, surfboard, or camping essentials.
The Fit's ingenious design accommodates even campers up to 5ft7in tall, making it a go-to choice for comfortable camping slumber. Embrace the journey with the Honda Fit, where innovation meets adventure.
12. Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
In the realm of the best cars for camping, the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack shines as a true trailblazer. Directly competing with the Subaru Outback, this all-wheel-drive crossover seamlessly juggles family errands and rugged terrains.
Volkswagen has raised the bar, delivering substantial cargo room, impressive standard features, and commendable off-road capabilities. The Golf Alltrack presents three trim levels S, SE, and SEL – each catering to diverse preferences.
Notably, the SEL brims with luxurious features, yet the standout remains the Driver Assistance safety technology. From forward collision warning to adaptive cruise control, this package extends its protective embrace.
With the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, you're not just embarking on a journey, you're embracing a new standard of camping excellence.
13. Kia Soul
The Kia Soul is one of the best cars for car camping, poised to redefine your outdoor adventures. This compact crossover isn't just a car, it's a statement of distinctive style and practicality, setting it apart from the crowd.
Its spacious cargo area easily swallows up camping gear, making packing a breeze. Maneuvering through urban streets and off-road paths is effortless, thanks to its agile size.
A Kia Soul is a reliable and convenient vehicle that will bring you excitement and utility on your next camping trip. Get ready to embrace the open road with the Kia Soul as your trusted camping companion.
14. Honda Ridgeline
As one of the best vehicles for camping, Honda Ridgeline is the top choice for camping enthusiasts. Its expansive cargo space, adaptability, and custom camping features set it apart.
Built on a crossover SUV frame, the Ridgeline handles like a car and offers a spacious four-door setup along with a secure, waterproof bed cover that turns the truck bed into a sizable trunk.
Honda even provides a dedicated tent option that transforms the bed into an exceptional car camping experience. While its roof weight capacity is 110 pounds, the Ridgeline compensates with a roomy sealable truck bed perfect for gear storage.
With FWD or AWD options and a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, the Honda Ridgeline is your key to an array of camping ventures.
15. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Enter the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, the epitome of the best camping vehicle, designed to redefine your outdoor experiences. This iconic van takes camping to new heights with its spacious interior, customizable layout, and luxurious amenities.
Its adaptable design allows you to create a personalized camping oasis, complete with sleeping quarters, kitchenette, and storage solutions. The Sprinter ensures you're not just camping, you're indulging in a lavish and unforgettable journey, wherever the road takes you.
16. Ford Transit
The Ford Transit is the ultimate solution among the best camping vehicles. This best camping van is ready to turn your outdoor aspirations into reality.
With its spacious interior and customizable layout, the Transit becomes your personalized camping haven. Whatever your plans are, the Transit provides the space and adaptability you need.
It is reliability and practical design ensures that your camping journey is comfortable and convenient. Get ready to hit the road with the Ford Transit as your trusted camping companion, ready to make every adventure unforgettable.
17. Volkswagen Transporter
Step into the world of the Volkswagen Transporter, where camping takes on a whole new level of comfort and adventure. This exceptional van, a standout among the best camping vehicles, offers a spacious interior that can be tailored to your every camping need.
From creating a cozy sleeping space to setting up a functional kitchenette, the Transporter becomes your personalized sanctuary on wheels. So, gear up and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime, with the Volkswagen Transporter as your trusted guide to all the wonders that lie ahead.
18. Nissan NV Camper Van
The Nissan NV Camper Van is a beacon of liberation among the best vehicles for camping. Picture yourself behind the wheel, ready to embark on a journey that's equal parts adventure and relaxation. This van transcends its status to become a home on wheels, offering ample space for you to curate your ideal camping setup.
As you hit the open road, you'll discover that the NV Camper Van is not just a mode of transportation; it's a vessel that carries your dreams and aspirations. From waking up to breathtaking vistas to sharing stories under starlit skies, this van becomes a partner in every adventure.
19. Winnebago Travato
Step into the world of boundless exploration with the Winnebago Travato, a symbol of adventure among the premier camping vehicles. Imagine setting out on the open road with a spirit of curiosity, knowing that every journey will be marked by a unique experience.
Inside its compact frame lies a world of possibilities. The Travato's ingenious design transforms the space into a cozy haven, where you can rest your head after a day of exploration or whip up a quick meal to fuel your next adventure.
This van is a true embodiment of freedom, offering you the chance to go wherever the road leads. With the Winnebago Travato as your trusted companion, every mile becomes a canvas for a new adventure.
20. Airstream Interstate
Experience luxury on the move with the Airstream Interstate, a pinnacle of sophistication among premier camping vehicles. This isn't just a camper van – it's a sanctuary that combines high-end living with the thrill of the open road and the best camping vehicle.
From plush sleeping quarters to a well-equipped kitchenette, the Interstate caters to your every need, whether you're exploring urban landscapes or seeking solitude in nature.
Get ready to redefine your camping adventures with the Airstream Interstate as your ultimate companion, embracing the road ahead with boundless luxury and freedom.
How to Pick the Right Vehicle for Camping?
Several factors need to be taken into account when choosing the perfect camping vehicle. From the type of camping you prefer to your budget constraints, each consideration shapes your camping experience. Here's a roadmap to help you pick the right vehicle that perfectly aligns with your outdoor aspirations:
A. Tailoring to Your Camping Style
First and foremost, consider the type of camping adventures you envision. Are you drawn to remote wilderness excursions or do you prefer camping at established campgrounds? Understanding your camping style whether it's boondocking in the wild or setting up camp near amenities, will guide your choice of vehicle.
B. Comfort and Space
Evaluate your accommodation needs. Are you a solo traveler, part of a couple, or a family? Do you require ample storage for gear, or perhaps the flexibility to transform the interior for sleeping arrangements? A vehicle's layout and space play a pivotal role in ensuring your comfort during your camping escapades.
C. Conquering Terrain
Think about the terrains you intend to conquer. Will you be navigating through rough trails, mountainous paths, or predominantly sticking to well-paved roads? Opt for a vehicle that matches the demands of the terrains you'll encounter to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.
D. Staying Within Budget
Your budget is a crucial factor in your decision-making process. Be realistic about what you can afford, not just the initial cost of the vehicle, but also ongoing maintenance, fuel, and potential modifications. Striking a balance between quality and affordability will lead you to a camping vehicle that suits your needs.
E. Efficiency on the Road
Considering fuel efficiency is both an economic and environmental choice. While larger vehicles offer more space, they might consume more fuel. Weigh the trade-offs and select a vehicle that aligns with your priorities, whether it's minimizing your carbon footprint or extending your travel range.
F. Seating and Sleeping Arrangements
Evaluate the seating and sleeping options your chosen vehicle offers. Consider the number of passengers you'll be accommodating and whether the vehicle provides foldable seats or sleeping areas. If you're traveling with a group or family, prioritize ample seating and sleeping space. Look for features like fold-down seats, adjustable configurations, and options to create a comfortable sleeping setup.
G. Connectivity and Entertainment
In the digital age, staying connected and entertained while camping can enhance the overall experience. Check if the vehicle offers modern technology features such as infotainment systems, USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, and Wi-Fi capabilities. These features can be especially valuable during downtime or when navigating unfamiliar areas. However, strike a balance between staying connected and embracing the natural surroundings.
H. Safety Features and Ratings
Prioritize safety when choosing a camping vehicle. Look for vehicles equipped with advanced safety technologies, such as lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring.
Research the vehicle's safety ratings from reputable organizations to ensure it meets your standards. A vehicle with top-notch safety features can provide peace of mind as you venture into various camping destinations.
By taking these factors into account, you'll be equipped to choose a camping vehicle that perfectly complements your style, comfort, and adventurous spirit. Remember, the right vehicle isn't just a mode of transportation, it's a key that unlocks the door to unforgettable camping experiences tailored to your preferences.
Relevant Car Camping Gear
As you embark on your car camping journey, having the right gear can make all the difference in creating a comfortable and memorable adventure. Here's a roundup of essential car camping gear that will elevate your experience:
A. SUV Tailgate Tent
A tailgate tent designed for your SUV adds an extra dimension to your camping setup. It expands your living space, providing shelter from the elements while allowing you to enjoy the outdoor surroundings. Setting up camp has never been easier or more convenient.
B. Ultralight Compact Folding Portable Chairs
Relaxation is paramount when camping. Portable camping chairs that are ultralight, compact, and stable offer a comfortable place to unwind after a day of exploration. Easily foldable, they're a valuable addition to your camping arsenal.
C. Portable Refrigerators
Say goodbye to worrying about food storage. Portable refrigerators keep your perishables fresh and drinks cold throughout your camping trip. With various sizes available, you can find one that fits seamlessly into your vehicle setup.
D. Leakproof Camping Cooler Backpack
Leakproof cooler backpacks are perfect for short hikes and trips to the beach. Keep your snacks and drinks cool while you venture away from your campsite. Its portability ensures you have refreshments wherever you roam.
E. Pickup Truck Tent for Camping
If you're the proud owner of a pickup truck, a specialized truck tent transforms your bed into a cozy sleeping area. Elevating you off the ground and away from moisture, it's a fantastic solution for a good night's sleep.
F. Lighting and Power Sources
Camping doesn't mean you have to be in the dark. Invest in versatile lighting options, from lanterns to string lights, to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Portable power sources keep your devices charged and provide an extra layer of security.
G. Folding Camping Picnic Table
A folding camping picnic table is a versatile addition to your camping arsenal. It transforms any outdoor space into a cozy dining area, providing a sturdy surface for meals, games, and camaraderie. Its collapsible design ensures easy setup and storage, making it a practical solution for both car camping and backpacking trips.
E. Outdoor Cycling & Hiking Hydration Backpack
Exploring the great outdoors requires staying hydrated, and an outdoor hydration backpack is your dedicated companion for this mission. Designed for hikers, cyclists, and adventurers on the go, these backpacks are equipped with hydration reservoirs that allow you to sip water hands-free while on the move.
With convenient pockets and compartments, they provide space for essentials like snacks, sunscreen, and maps. This backpack not only keeps you hydrated but also enhances your mobility, ensuring you can stay on the trail longer and fully immerse yourself in nature.
Benefits of Each Vehicle For Camping
Choosing the perfect camping vehicle involves understanding the unique advantages that different vehicle types bring to your outdoor adventures. Each vehicle type offers distinct benefits tailored to specific preferences and requirements, ensuring you can embark on your camping journey with the right companion by your side.
SUVs: Versatility and Off-Road Capability
- Well-suited for various terrains, from urban streets to rugged trails.
- Available all-wheel drive (AWD) or four-wheel drive (4WD) enhances off-road performance.
- Offers a balance between off-road prowess and on-road comfort.
- Ample interior space for passengers and gear.
Trucks: Towing Capacity and Cargo Space
- Impressive towing capacity, ideal for hauling trailers and equipment.
- Robust construction ensures durability and reliable off-road performance.
- The spacious truck bed provides ample cargo space.
- Well-suited for transporting larger items while maintaining ruggedness.
- Fuel Efficiency:Cars are renowned for their fuel efficiency, allowing you to cover longer distances on a single tank of gas. This not only saves you money but also extends your range, enabling you to explore diverse landscapes without frequent refueling stops.
- Easy Maneuverability: Navigating narrow trails, tight parking spaces, and city streets becomes a breeze with a car. Their compact size and agile handling make them highly maneuverable, ensuring you can access even the most remote campsites with ease.
- Lower Operating Costs:Cars generally have lower operating costs compared to larger vehicles. From fuel consumption to maintenance expenses, cars are often more budget-friendly, leaving you with more resources to allocate toward your camping adventures.
- Urban Camping:Cars are well-suited for urban camping, allowing you to seamlessly transition from exploring cityscapes to setting up camp in nearby parks or campgrounds. Their inconspicuous nature blends in with the urban environment, providing a convenient camping option for city dwellers.
- Quick Setup and Breakdown:With a car, setting up camp is often quicker and more straightforward. You don't need to deal with extensive leveling or hitching processes, allowing you to spend more time enjoying the outdoors and less time on logistics.
- Compact Storage:Despite their smaller size, modern cars offer creative storage solutions. Utilize rooftop cargo carriers, bike racks, and interior organizers to maximize storage space, ensuring you can pack all your essential camping gear efficiently.
- Access to Urban Amenities:Camping in a car provides the convenience of easy access to urban amenities. Whether it's grabbing a meal at a local restaurant or resupplying at nearby stores, you're never far from the essentials.
- Environmental Considerations: Opting for a fuel-efficient car for camping minimizes your carbon footprint and environmental impact. This conscious choice aligns with sustainable camping practices, allowing you to enjoy nature responsibly.
- Minimalist Adventure: Car camping encourages a minimalist approach, allowing you to focus on the essence of camping rather than the complexities of a larger setup. It's an opportunity to connect with nature on a more intimate level, free from excess distractions.
Vans: Ample Interior Space and Customization Options
- Offers abundant interior space that can be customized to fit camping needs.
- Interior configurations range from basic setups to fully equipped campervans.
- Provides room for sleeping, storage, and potential amenities.
- Appeals to those seeking a versatile balance between comfort and adaptability.
RVs: Full-Featured Comfort and Convenience
- Comprehensive amenities include kitchens, bathrooms, and sleeping quarters.
- Provides a home-away-from-home experience during camping.
- Perfect for extended trips and those prioritizing maximum comfort.
- Offers a luxurious and convenient camping option with a wide range of features.
Overall, Discovering the ideal camping vehicle is essential for transforming your outdoor explorations into cherished memories. From rugged SUVs ready to conquer the wild to luxurious RVs offering home-like comforts on the move, the options are limitless.
Whether you're a solo traveler seeking simplicity, a family longing for comfort, or an off-road enthusiast desiring rugged terrain, the perfect vehicle awaits. Choose wisely, embrace the open road, and let your vehicle open doors to endless outdoor possibilities.