Braving the vast American wilderness is almost a rite of passage in the USA, and doing so in the utmost style requires a real camp car. By this, we mean a vehicle that is rugged enough to go off the beaten path, and even double as a tent in a pinch. You might think that camping in an SUV sounds a bit bizarre, but today’s machines are certainly large enough and, in many cases luxurious enough, to make spending a night inside them quite appealing when the alternative is the cold, hard ground.
In our detailed reviews, we do not just cover what’s under the hood or drivetrain options. We also pay great attention to the interior, citing not only head- and legroom, but also cargo capacity either as standard or with the rear seats folded down. With all this information at your fingertips, it is remarkably easy to see which are the best SUVs for camping.
There is no shortage of crossovers with space enough to accommodate an adult, or two or three, lying down. Most modern SUVs allow you to fold the rear seats flat, creating a level surface on which to place cargo, or people if that is your desire. Larger machines, like the Kia Telluride or Ford Expedition, are obviously more spacious inside, but even compact crossovers supply more than enough room for a couple of adults. And don’t worry, there will still be enough room for some personal boundaries if you and your buddy are not quite so intimately acquainted.
The best camping cars need more than just a spacious cabin. There are some key boxes you need to ensure are ticked before you sign off on a purchase. Here are some tips to help you reach the right decision.
A number of brands have made it their mission to supply consumers with capable cars. At the top of our list is the Kia Telluride. Powered by a 291-horsepower V6 engine, the midsize crossover easily lugs your family and gear around the wild outdoors. And, when the seats are folded down, it supplies 87 cubic feet of cargo space - more than enough space for two adults to spend the night. It is also ideal for packing the tent and other goodies if you’d rather be out under the stars.
Another midsize model, the Chevrolet Blazer offers more choices when it comes to the engine. Available in front- or all-wheel-drive, it provides up to 64.2 cubic feet of space in the back. If you’re willing to spend more than the starting price of $28,800, you can get climate-controlled seats, a surround-view camera, and plenty of charging points for your devices.
While you could technically camp in a big sedan or a wagon, sports utility vehicles have some key advantages.