12 Best Car For Camping 2022: Choose Which One You Like

car for camping

What’s not to love about a camping trip? One of the many pleasures of taking a long walk into the woods is the fresh air, peace, and an excuse to skip taking a daily shower.

Choosing the best car for camping can initially seem a little difficult when looking for a model with good interior space and comfortable accommodations combined with a model with respectable off-road capability.

We’ll look at some of the top models in a variety of categories, looking for ones that have a ton of seating and flexible cargo space, great gas mileage, and top-tier off-road and towing capability. Keep reading!

Best Car List For Camping

  • 1. Jeep Wrangler
  • 2. Honda Ridgeline
  • 3. Honda Element
  • 4. Chrysler Pacifica
  • 5. Volkswagen Vanagon (Westfalia) Camper
  • 6. Ford F-150
  • 7. Ford Bronco Sport
  • 8. Subaru Outback
  • 9. Dacia Duster
  • 10 Toyota 4Runner
  • 11. Chevrolet Colorado
  • 12. Range Rover

Best Car Review For Camping

1. Jeep Wrangler

Best for: Remote landscape camping

Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive/four-wheel drive

Sleeping capacity: Two if equipped with an aftermarket rooftop tent

Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler has established itself as an iconic American brand and the most capable American-made off-road vehicle on the market, despite now facing worthy competition from the new Ford Bronco. The Wrangler is your best option for transportation if you need to reach your campsite in the farthest-flung region over the roughest terrain. Although the current Jeep Wrangler was first produced in 1986, its predecessors date all the way back to World War II. The most readily available used cars today are the JL Wrangler (2018 to present) and the more recent JK Wrangler (2007–2017), but enthusiasts still highly value earlier models. The Wrangler is one of the most customized cars in the world because an entire culture has developed around it.

Even though the best Wranglers are more than capable of handling most off-road driving right out of the box, you can always increase their toughness by installing aftermarket wheels and tires, skid plates, brush guards, and lifted suspensions. The Wrangler is well-equipped with useful features to meet most challenges in the bush once you’ve conquered a rocky trail and arrived at your camp. The roof is reinforced to support a rooftop tent as well, so if you haven’t removed the doors, roof, and windshield and turned the windshield down, you’re doing it incorrectly.

2. Honda Ridgeline

Best for: SUV that functions like a pickup

Drivetrain: All-wheel drive

Sleeping capacity: Two in the bed with the gate down

Honda Ridgeline

The Honda Ridgeline is undoubtedly unique, and that is one thing that can be said about it. The Ridgeline succeeds in being a little bit of both in a world where trucks and SUVs rule. The unibody construction of the Ridgeline sets it apart from traditional pickup trucks. Because every 2021 Honda Ridgeline comes standard with all-wheel drive, it provides a smoother, more car-like ride, which some people find appealing. These characteristics led some reviewers to refer to the Ridgeline as an SUV with a bed.

Even though they have less payload and towing capacity than conventional trucks, they are still sufficient for the majority of people’s camping requirements. The 5’3″-long bed is 50 inches wide, enough to carry a couple of dirt bikes. Honda also sells a tent that is attached to the bed so that you can sleep outside without worrying about nocturnal animals or soggy ground. You can store valuables safely and dry in the 7.3 cubic foot lockable compartment that is located underneath the bed. You can use it as a cooler because it has a drain hole as well. The Ridgeline can be a great truck for someone who occasionally needs the functionality of a truck but prefers the ride and handling of an SUV thanks to an excellent engine and Honda’s well-known touch for overall quality.

3. Honda Element

Best for: Large, versatile interior

Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive/all-wheel drive

Sleeping capacity: Two when rear seats are removed

Honda Element

Honda’s distinctive, boxy Element gained a cult following for its quirky looks and inventive versatility, even though it was discontinued at the end of its model run in 2011 (it made its debut in 2003). The issue is that there are fewer used Elements available now that they have been out of production for ten years, especially since owners hate to part with them.

What sets the Element apart is how adaptable its interior is. Its high clearance allows it to fit many large items of equipment that might not fit in other vehicles, including lawn chairs, hand tools, a temporary awning, and even a grill. If you can find one, all the better. At the time, Honda sold an optional six-person tent that hung off the back of the car. The rear seats can be removed, giving you more room to bring even more and bigger items into and out of camp. Alternatively, you can sleep inside the vehicle. Through barn-style doors on either side, access is excellent and the floors and upholstery were designed to be simple to clean.

4. Chrysler Pacifica

Best for: Minivan camping

Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive/all-wheel drive

Sleeping capacity: Up to four with Stow’n Go seating

Chrysler Pacifica

For sheer utility at a campsite, the minivan is hard to beat, and Chrysler appears to have had this in mind when designing the Pacifica. However, the minivan receives a lot of flak for being clumsy and uninspired, and perhaps this is fair. If the weather, bugs, or eerie noises force some of the crew to spend the night inside, the clever Stow ‘n Go seating allows you to fold the seats and stow them below the floor, creating an ideal flat surface for sleeping bags or an air mattress. The Pacifica’s all-wheel-drive system will give you some flexibility if your ideal location is down a rough trail. Not all minivans have this option, though. The Pacifica is a good option for your upcoming trip when you consider all the benefits of a van for camping, such as numerous convenient entry points and ample space for cargo.

5. Volkswagen Vanagon (Westfalia) Camper

Best for: Hippie road trip

Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive

Sleeping capacity: Two-person pop-up tent (or just crash anywhere, man)

Volkswagen Vanagon

In 1950, the production of the first Volkswagen Kombi, also known as Type 2 (Type 1 was the fabled Beetle), started. Later, production of the Transporter, Westfalia, and Vanagon followed, and these models were produced until 2003. There are nearly as many variations of this “microbus” as there are actual vehicles because several coachbuilders built campers from the base vehicle and every individual owner had their own particular input and customization. Depending on how much the owner wanted to invest in it, the Vanagon was essentially a very small RV. Options included a rooftop pop-up tent, chemical toilet, camp stove, water storage, and sink, and of course curtains for privacy. Although it’s cliché to refer to it as a hippie van, you could still find dozens of these cars parked outside a Grateful Dead concert as recently as the 1990s. But the VW bus lifestyle was popular among all socioeconomic groups, and the fact that so many of them have been lovingly preserved to this day is evidence of Americans’ constant search for uncharted territory. The microbus is a good choice if you’re going on a longer camping trip that involves a lot of driving between campgrounds or state parks, especially since it has built-in space for sleeping and cooking.

6. Ford F-150

Best for: High-capacity towing

Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive

Sleeping capacity: 2 in the bed

Ford F-150

Some people never camp in a tent on the ground, preferring instead to bring a camper or RV and live more comfortably than they would at home. A lightweight pop-up camper can be pulled by many different vehicles, but a heavy-duty towing truck is needed to tow a large travel trailer or a substantial fifth-wheel RV. Large boats fall under the same category.

For many years, the Ford F-150 was the best-selling truck in the United States and has a reputation for being one of the most dependable pickup trucks on the road. It can tow up to 14,000 pounds when using the 3.5L twin-turbo V6 and max trailer tow package. The tow package includes a locking rear axle for load stability, an integrated trailer brake controlling system, and a class IV hitch. Both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive options are available for the F-150. The F-150 is a cozy truck for day trips and is also an incredibly capable off-road vehicle in four-wheel drive once the trailer has been unhitched at the campsite.

7. Ford Bronco Sport

Best for: High-utility SUV

Drivetrain: All-wheel drive

Sleeping capacity: Only in case of emergency

Since the Ford Bronco Sport debuted more than a year earlier than its larger brother Ford Bronco and because there are a lot more of them on the used car market, we’ll concentrate on it. The Sport was created to be a highly appealing weekend adventure vehicle as well as a fully functional urban daily driver. The Sport’s Badlands variant, which has a 245-hp turbo engine, a lifted suspension, upgraded shocks, as well as rubberized flooring, and easily-cleanable upholstery, is the most durable. A slide-out table, a built-in bottle opener, and a 400-watt power inverter are just a few of the clever additions to the interior space. Search the Rocket Auto inventory for the Ford Bronco Sport that’s right for you. Extra headroom increases cargo capacity and provides clearance for a bicycle.

8. Subaru Outback

Best for: Versatility in a smaller vehicle

Drivetrain: All-wheel drive

Sleeping capacity: Up to four: two inside, two if equipped with a rooftop tent

Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback is designed for intrepid people on the go, which is why you’ll frequently see one with a rooftop luggage carrier or a ski rack, as well as bumper stickers boasting all the places it’s been. The Outback has more than 70 cubic feet of storage space despite having a lower profile than the Honda Element or Toyota 4Runner, and when the back seats are folded down, it can fit two people in sleeping bags if the weather turns chilly or wet.

The Outback has exceptional off-road capabilities for a vehicle that isn’t an SUV, including a sizable 8.7 inches of ground clearance and capable off-road tires to support its all-wheel drive system. To avoid getting stuck in mud or snow, the majority of Outbacks have an X-Mode transmission setting. With a capacity of 700 pounds, the roof rack is one of the best and can hold a rooftop tent for two people.

9. Dacia Duster

Best for: Budget SUV

Drivetrain: All-wheel drive

Sleeping capacity: Up to four: two inside, two if equipped with a rooftop tent

Dacia Duster

The Dacia Duster is your best option if you need an SUV on a tight budget. The back seats can be folded down to increase the size of the boot, and it is quite capable off-road. The base Essential model costs only £13,995, but we advise upgrading to the comfort model, which costs £15,495, as it comes with more standard features.

The exterior has a tough appearance that should blend in on any campsite, and the interior is sturdy and tough enough to handle your bikes and muddy wellies being thrown in the back.

10. Toyota 4runner

Best For: Large, versatile interior

Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive/all-wheel drive

Sleeping capacity: Two when rear seats are removed

One of Toyota’s longest-running vehicle lines, the 4Runner, cannot be left off any list of excellent vehicles for camping. 4Runner’s body-on-frame construction gives it the rugged ride of a truck and excellent capability off-road. When the second row of seats is folded down, the interior has a cargo area that is nearly 90 cubic feet large. This car is a family vehicle but doesn’t look like one thanks to all the space (ahem, minivan). Excellent styling has always been a hallmark of the 4Runner; it is distinct but unmistakably mercenary. With a Yakima roof rack and a built-in cooler, the Trail Special Edition is a good option for camping.

11. Chevrolet Colorado

Best for: Midsize pickup truck camping

Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive

Sleeping capacity: Room for an air mattress in the bed

The popular Colorado midsize pickup from Chevy now comes with a diesel engine as an option starting with the 2016 model year, making it the only diesel-powered vehicle in its class. The Colorado ZR2 package, which greatly improved the truck’s ability to go off-road, was introduced the following year. This truck is a good option to get you there if you enjoy traveling long distances over difficult terrain.

Additionally, this truck is reliable for towing. The 2.6-liter Duramax turbocharged diesel engine can tow a large boat because of its 369 lb-ft of torque and 7,700 pounds of towing capacity. The EPA estimates that a diesel engine will achieve 30 mpg on the highway, which is a remarkable level of fuel efficiency. Overall, the Chevy Colorado has established itself as a reliable contender in the used midsize pickup truck market; in fact, the 2020 model was named Kelley Blue Book’s Midsize Pickup Truck Best Buy.

12. Range Rover

Best for: Rich Campers

Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive

Sleeping capacity: Room for an air mattress in the bed

If you enjoy the stunning scenery of the natural world, why not drive instead of walking to see it? Off-road, the Range Rover is more than capable of getting you there. The most luxurious Land Rover can rise above flying rocks that would otherwise scratch the car’s underside thanks to adjustable air suspension, and its 90 cm wading depth should make crossing the odd river trouble-free.

The Range Rover is only for the wealthiest campers because prices start north of £94,400.

Read More:

Things To Consider When Buying Best Car For Camping

To make sure you pick the best car for your needs, think about these points:

  • Do you require an SUV with four doors? You do if you plan to go offroad properly
  • Do you want a car for long trips? Will you be spending a lot of time driving and camping at the same time? select a vehicle that has a higher comfort rating. If not, you should be good with a lower comfort rating, but better other attributes like boot size
  • In terms of storage – if you plan to carry a lot of stuff, think about getting a roof box/cargo carrier
  • If you’re a single person – you might have more fun with a 4×4, there’s plenty of room for one person (as seen in this Subaru Outback camping conversion)
  • There are some shorter vehicles (boot under 170 cm) that aren’t in our table, but you can still fit a 180 cm person in them if you tilt the backrests and push the front seats all the way forward. Not ideal, but if you find a car that you love with a boot like this – go for it
  • Since so many locations now have good enough roads and standard cars are capable of handling some rough terrain, most car camping doesn’t require a proper four-wheel-drive off-road vehicle.

The Right Car Makes Camping More Fun

Adapting to circumstances and your surroundings while camping is part of the fun. We appear to be prepared for anything at home, where we follow a routine. In contrast, we get the chance to break out of our routines and get used to a new, temporary home when we are in the woods, on the beach, or at a lakeside campsite at the end of a long, mountainous trail. The best cars and trucks are outfitted to assist us in handling the difficulties—and there are always difficulties—that arise at a remote campsite, occasionally at night or inclement weather. Camping at its best and most enjoyable requires planning. Having the right vehicle is a big part of the plan that helps everything else go a little smoother, depending on where you like to camp and what you enjoy doing once you get there.

Read More: Best Car Tweeters


How can I go camping using my car?

It all depends on your creativity, but you can sleep in pretty much any car. For ideas on how to sleep in any car, including small 3-door vehicles, medium/estate vehicles, and large MPVs, visit our camping conversions category.

Do I need to open a window in order to sleep in my car?

It is typically advised to do this for ventilation. Your desire to open your windows increases as the temperature rises. The problem of insects or rain also arises with that, though. Window deflectors and car window nets are products that can solve these issues.

Can I camp in my car and sleep there?

Yes, you can in most circumstances. You get a spot, with or without electricity, and you are free to do whatever you want there, as long as you abide by the campsite’s rules, whether you choose to sleep in your car or in a tent next to it. I’ve only encountered this in Italy once when I was informed that I couldn’t camp in my car; I needed a tent or a caravan instead.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *