Road Tripping Soon? 5 Best Vehicles for Camping

There are a number of variables that determine a vehicle’s appropriateness as a camping car, truck, or SUV. The most important features of a vehicle that is to serve as a camping vehicle are:

  1. Cargo Room
  2. Gas Mileage
  3. Roof Rack
  4. Clearance and Suspension
  5. Four-Wheel Drive

The following five vehicles meet all the requirements of a great camping vehicle:

1) Nissan X-Terra

The X-Terra just screams outdoors. With back seats that fold down, it has plenty of cargo space to carry just about anything and everything you need for a camping trip. And, every X-Terra has a roof rack. There is no need to buy one separately.

The X-Terra has good suspension and plenty of clearance and is available in both two and four-wheel drive. The 2.4 liter X-Terra gets more than 17 miles per gallon. The 4.0 liter engine does not do as well with respect to fuel economy, but it has more power for climbing the hills and mountains on the way to your destination and the 4.0 can also tow a small camping trailer.

The X-Terra fits five people.

2) Subaru Outback

The Outback is a car. Unlike many of its SUV counterparts, the Outback gets very respectable gas mileage. Some models get 25 miles per gallon. In addition to saving you money, the Outback has a town of cargo space. Like the X-Terra, the back seats of an Outback fold down so you can really fill it to the brim.

To outfit your Outback correctly, you’ll need to buy a roof rack. Subaru offers one, but it’s a luggage rack more than a rack you can tie you gear down to. Though the Outback has more clearance than most cars, it’s not as far off the ground as most SUVs. But again, what is lacks in clearance and suspension, it makes up in fuel economy.

The Outback isn’t much four hauling, but it easily fits four passengers.

3) Land Rover Range Rover

Notorious for being gas guzzlers, Range Rovers are the quintessential camping vehicle and some of the newer models get better gas mileage that you might expect, 25-plus miles per gallon. However, the 2004 Range Rover, for example, struggles to achieve 10 miles per gallon!

But, with respect to cargo space, clearance, a quality rack and four-wheel driving capability, it’s very tough to match a Range Rover. Almost every Range Rover has more than 30 cubic feet of interior room.

The 4.0 liter engine has plenty of power for pulling a camping trailer or boat, and can fit up to five people.

4) Isuzu Trooper

While not as large as some of the other SUVs, the Isuzu Trooper is a great camping vehicle, especially the older models. You’ll have to outfit a Trooper with a roof rack and the gas mileage isn’t exceptional, but it’s better than the others on the list. The 1986 Trooper gets better than 20 miles per gallon.

With its square body and fold down back seats, the Trooper has plenty of cargo space. While it can fit five passengers easily, if you empty it out, there is plenty of room for a couple of adults to sleep if you prefer car camping.

The Trooper isn’t ideal for hauling, but if you must, it will manage.

5) Ford F-150

There isn’t a vehicle on this list that is more apt for hauling. With enough power to pull a fifth wheel; enough clearance to manage the toughest off-roading; and an entire bed that can be stuffed full with you name it, the F-150 is a great camping vehicle for up to five folks.

The gas mileage is about the only downfall, but since the F-150 is available with two different size engines, it’s unfair to accuse this Ford of being a gas guzzler.

If you are in the market for a vehicle to camp in, has a wide range of suitable vehicles including Range Rovers, Troopers, X-Terras, F-150s and Outbacks!