Best Vehicles for Car Camping

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To enjoy the great outdoors, you first need to get there. Every camping enthusiast knows the importance of choosing the right vehicle for the task. For starters, the vehicle must be potent enough to get you to your desired camping destination. It also should pack in enough space to store all your various camping equipment. Finally, the best vehicles for car camping are not just excellent workhorses but also assets that can add value to your outdoor experience; offering ample entertainment options and amenities.

The 7 Best Vehicles for Car Camping

Here in this blog, we list down some of the best vehicles for car camping currently available on the market.

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Best All-Around Camping Vehicle – Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road

Affectionately named ‘the taco’ by its driving enthusiasts, the Toyota Tacoma has enjoyed popularity among off-roaders. This is largely thanks to its extraordinary off-roading abilities, stellar list of standard tech features, and a whole host of customization options. If you are planning on buying a Tacoma for your camping trips we recommend the TRD Off-Road. It further upgrades the truck’s ability to handle tough terrains and will allow you to go to all but the most demanding of camping locations. The truck’s base engine is a little meh but Toyota does give the option to upgrade to a beefier V6.

What Makes It so Great?

  • Superb list of tech features
  • Great off-road capabilities
  • Thriving and welcoming truck community

What Makes It Less So?

  • Lackluster base engine
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Best Off-Roader – Jeep Wrangler JL Rubicon

Since its earliest origins as a rugged WW2 vehicle, the Jeep has earned itself a reputation of extraordinary toughness. The latest Wrangler, the JL line-up, offers plenty more in the comfort and entertainment features but at its heart is a powerful, rugged beast. The JL Rubion, thanks to its awesome suspensions and locking rear differential, is the best off-road version of the Wrangler. However, the JL suffers from a terrible mileage, which prevents it from being named as our top pick for the best vehicle for car camping.

What Makes It so Great?

  • Unmatched off-road capabilities
  • Lots of cargo space for storing camping equipment
  • Potent engine that packs a mean punch

What Makes It Less So?

  • Poor fuel economy
  • Not great for daily on-road driving
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Best Luxury SUV on a Budget – Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE

If you want a great off-road camping vehicle that also packs in plenty of luxury and comfort without asking too steep of a price, the Land Rover Discovery is the vehicle of choice. It provides plenty of passenger and cargo space, lots of great tech and comfort features, as well as boasts an almost legendary off-road capability. To gain the most value out of your money, we recommend the Port HSE version, which additionally comes with a panoramic sunroof, power liftgate, and power-adjustable front seats.

What Makes It so Great?

  • Affordable luxurious interior you can sleep in
  • Generous cargo space
  • Excellent off-road capabilities

What Makes It Less So?

  • Subpar fuel economy
  • Mediocre driving experience
  • Below-average reliability
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Most Versatile Camping Vehicle – Honda Ridgeline RTL

There are a lot of nice things one can say about the Honda Ridgeline. Sure, it is a small compact pickup that doesn’t exactly match the looks of a rugged, outdoors vehicle. But make no mistake; the Ridgeline is mean little truck that can withstand an extensive beating from the elements. Plus, it boasts a very high-quality interior for its price.

The Ridgeline’s bed carries a storage truck underneath it, which may come in handy in camping situations. The RTL version offers many advantages over the base model, such as featuring an all-wheel drive, a moonroof, and heated front seats. Take note, however, that since it is a small truck, it isn’t as potent in the towing department, so keep that in mind while planning your camping trips with it.

What Makes It so Great?

  • Smooth, serene ride
  • A nice cushy cabin you can sleep in
  • Versatile truck bed

What Makes It Less So?

  • Pricy
  • Subpar towing – think twice if you plan on bringing in a big boat for camping
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Best in Features – Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road

If you don’t mind the uncomfortable ride quality, the Toyota 4Runner has a lot of good redeeming features that make it stand out as one of the best vehicles for car camping. Its off-road capabilities are incredible and the cargo space of its 5-seater version is one of the best in the list. It offers loads of excellent amenities that would complement your camping experiences such as Smartphone integration, navigation, a household-style power outlet, and Satellite radio. To make the most out of your purchase, consider the TRD Off-Road version which offers the same set of amazing features as the base version plus better off-road performance.

What Makes It so Great?

  • Great off-road capabilities
  • Exceptional cargo space – will probably pack in all your camping equipment except your boat
  • Long list of great standard features
  • Commanding exterior design
  • Rear folding seats can allow you to shove in a mattress and make a makeshift master bed.

What Makes It Less So?

  • Terrible ride quality
  • Poor fuel economy

Best Camping Minivan – Chrysler Pacifica Touring

Minivans were all the rage for outdoor trips during the 70s and 80s when hippie culture was at its peak. Their spot since then has been taken over by luxury SUVs and trucks. However, minivans still remain a viable option for camping trips. The Chrysler Pacifica minivan is one of the best vehicles for car camping if a good fuel economy is high on your agenda and you don’t plan on going to any location that’s too rugged. There are also plenty of packages and customization options to choose from to truly modify your minivan experience to your distinct preferences.

What Makes It so Great?

  • Superb fuel economy
  • Upscale cabin
  • Stellar safety record
  • Healthy cargo space
  • Rear folding seats allows you to shove in a full size mattress at the back

What Makes It Less So?

  • It’s a minivan – take it off-road with extreme caution

Best in Utility – Chevrolet Silverado LTZ

If you want a powerful workhorse that gets stuff done, the Chevrolet Silverado LTZ is a worthy option. You can stack your entire camping gear on it, attach your boat or trailer at the back and then drive it on the harshest of surfaces to get to your ideal location and the Silverado will deliver with ease. The truck is one of the best in terms of utility on the market.

What Makes It so Great?

  • Top of the class towing and hauling capabilities
  • Great off-road capabilities
  • Great fuel economy
  • Spacious interior
  • Many features that will complement your outdoor experience

What Makes It Less So?

  • Pricy
  • Bulky – can be cumbersome to drive

Our Final Thoughts

Outdoor camping is a great way to escape the stresses of daily life and enjoy the beauty of nature first-hand. Choosing the right vehicle for your camping trips would help make the experience all the more enjoyable and make getting to the ideal destination less of a hassle.

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