Camping is a timeless hobby enjoyed by millions, but it’s also an important responsibility. Spending time in outdoor environments is crucial for our overall health. That’s why you need to make the experience as enjoyable as possible with the right gear, starting with the Best Vehicles For Camping.
Here’s a list of the best trucks, vans, and SUVs to take on a camping trip.
Best Trucks For Camping
The best camping pickup trucks don’t need to be bulky and overpowered. They just need solid attributes across the board: Strong towing capacity, a wide bed, a capable set of tires, and comfortable seating for five. These trucks check all the boxes.
1. Ford F-150
The classic F-150 is the best-selling truck in America and the pinnacle of outdoor trucks. This is one of the Best Vehicles For Camping. It has the size and strength to navigate any campsite. The bed is just over 50 inches wide, which is big enough to fit a four-wheel ATV. The interior seats five and the seats fold down to create a spacious sleeping area for two. The F-150’s popularity also means you can make numerous modifications and upgrades at a cheaper price.
2. Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
The Colorado ZR2 is Chevy’s best camping truck. Its suspension is two inches taller than the original model and it has other potential off-road mods, making it a highly versatile vehicle. The mid-size bed doesn’t have as much space as the other trucks on this list. However, it can still tow 1,300 pounds and has one of the more spacious back seats among pickups.
3. Honda Ridgeline
The Ridgeline is the SUV of pickup trucks, with handling and seating space similar to other SUVs on this list. It also has a sizable truck bed with a waterproof trunk inside, so it’s ideal for heavy packers. Honda even includes a fitted camping tent with each model that fits inside the bed, providing the perfect setup for car camping.
4. Jeep Gladiator
The Gladiator carries on Jeep’s reputation for making exceptional off-road vehicles. It handles like a classic pickup and has all the features you’d expect from a Jeep: Removable doors, a detachable roof, and a fold-down windshield. Another nice thing about the Gladiator is that you can make many mechanical adjustments before and after purchase to fit your outdoor needs.
Best Vans For Camping
If your group has more than five people, a spacious van with good fuel economy and plenty of storage space is the car you want. These three minivans – and one cargo van – are ideal options for your camping trip.
1. Chrysler Pacifica
Chrysler has always made top-tier minivans and the Pacifica is among the best. Its all-wheel drive (AWD) feature can tackle those sketchy dirt roads while providing up to 25 miles per gallon on the highway. If you get a model with stow-and-go seating, the second and third rows of seats fold down to provide a roomy sleeping area.
2. Toyota Sienna
The Sienna is another van with AWD capabilities, along with slightly more ground clearance than the Pacifica. It also has climate control settings, making it perhaps the most comfortable car for sleeping on the list. The hybrid models provide enough electricity to power any devices you want to bring along.
3. Honda Odyssey
The Odyssey is larger than the previous two vans, containing more space for storage, seating, and sleeping. It has a long road life with proper preventive maintenance, which should be easy and affordable because of the model’s popularity. All of these factors make it a top choice for experienced campers who convert vans into mobile homes.
4. Ford Transit Connect
The Transit Connect is a larger cargo van with unmatched seating and storage space compared to minivans. It’s not quite tall enough for adults to stand, but it’s still big enough to comfortably fit four sleepers. Many people hesitate to buy cargo vans because they don’t want to devote their whole budget to gas, but the Transit reaches up to 29 mpg on highways. It’s also much more affordable than similar vehicles from Dodge, Mercedes Benz, and other manufacturers.
Best SUVs For Camping
There are many high-quality sport utility vehicles to choose from, but we narrowed it down to seven. These cars are well-equipped for off-road driving, have great gas mileage, and are even spacious enough to serve as sleeping quarters.
1. Toyota 4Runner
The 4Runner has been among the best all-around outdoor adventure vehicles for decades. Its four-wheel drive (4WD), 5,000-pound towing capacity and famous durability make it a perfect choice for your camping trips. This car can last for 20 years and 300,000 miles if you take good care of it.
2. Subaru Outback
The Outback is Subaru’s best camping vehicle to date, and that’s saying something. Its AWD, generous ground clearance, minivan-like storage space, and additional safety features provide everything you need. When the back seats are folded down, it has more than enough sleeping space for two. It’s the perfect mix of a highway warrior and a rugged off-roader.
3. Jeep Grand Cherokee
The Grand Cherokee is another one of Jeep’s quality off-road vehicles. The Trailhawk model is especially gifted at navigating rough terrain. It also tops other SUVs in towing capacity by a long shot, handling a maximum of 7,200 pounds. Finally, it’s one of the last vehicles in its class with a V8 engine, giving you some extra power to get through the mud and up those steep hills.
4. Nissan Pathfinder
The Pathfinder has an aerodynamic frame and top-notch navigability. It tows up to 6,000 pounds and has three rows of seats, making it a great choice for big families. The latest models also come equipped with smart telematics systems for better safety and efficiency. Nissan’s creative team certainly knew what it was doing when it named this vehicle “Pathfinder.”
5. Volvo V90 Cross Country
The V90 is perhaps the most upscale SUV on the list, but it still belongs among these other well-known outdoor vehicles. The B6 powertrain and all-wheel drive enable it to handle just about any off-road environment, while the interior is spacious and comfortable for five. It also tops the other SUVs with over eight inches of ground clearance.
6. Rivian R1T
We had to include at least one all-electric option, and the Rivian R1T is an easy choice. It comes with two battery options of 400 miles and 314 miles – both generous amounts for electric SUVs. The AWD feature has special drive modes for sand, snow, and other rugged types of terrain. The built-in camp stove accessory is the icing on the cake.
7. Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
The Golf Alltrack is smaller than the other SUVs mentioned, but that works in its favor. As the name suggests, its AWD and 4WD features offer the best handling in any environment, bar none. It makes winding dirt roads feel like a drive through the suburbs. If you’re a solo or couples adventurer, the Alltrack is the camping vehicle you want.
Find a Vehicle to Enhance Your Camping Experience
Experienced campers and outdoor enthusiasts develop a close bond with their vehicles. The cars protect them from the elements, take them to new territories, and allow them to check items off their bucket lists. If you want a vehicle to give you that kind of life-changing experience, take a closer look at these trucks, vans, and SUVs.
Jack Shaw is an avid writer and a regular contributor to Modded.com, a men’s lifestyle site. In his free time, Jack enjoys kayaking and reading.