Best Cars for Car Camping in 2022

Best Cars for Car Camping in 2022

Over the last year, we’ve spent a fair amount of time discussing camping with RVs, but how about car camping? We’re here to share some of our experiences with car camping to inform those who want to try it or perhaps to encourage those who have already started camping in their cars. First, a note about car camping — particularly long-distance car camping. As always, you need to be prepared for weather that is different than what you are used to.

In Colorado, my first-night camping in a car ended up being brutally cold. I hadn’t properly packed clothes and suffered through my first real night in a vehicle. But as with the rest of our camping experiences in the springtime, I had the equipment to deal with it. I still recommend sleeping in an RV if you have to car camp.

When trying to sleep in a car, a lot of people overlook a crucial part of the process: the car. While the car is your home, it can be the complete opposite. It’s not insulated and it gets cold when the sun goes down. There are a lot of ways to take care of that, and I’ll go through each. Let’s review best cars for car camping below:

Toyota Prius

If you want to be a real minimalist, a hybrid vehicle is the only choice. Even though it’s considered a large car, it is still extremely compact and offers great weather protection. The Toyota Prius is one of the smallest vehicles you can get and it is a surprisingly adequate shell for car camping.

While camping, there are a few key areas that people need to keep warm, one of which is the legs. I couldn’t understand why people don’t use car seats as sleep pads before this, but now I see it’s simply because car seats don’t fit the way a piece of insulation does.

My arms rested against the glass, my legs were in the small space between the wheels, and my feet were wrapped up in the fabric of my car seat’s back. My temperatures climbed all night. While the outside temp was subzero, the car itself was comfortably warm enough to sleep.

Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf may have some of the best cabins for car camping. Sure, it’s a slightly larger car than the Prius, but its layout is the perfect compromise between large and small.

The seats have a lot more legroom, and the way they are constructed makes it easy to position your legs in the area above the front seats. As it’s an SUV, you get the benefit of a huge back seat. This makes it easy to sleep with the door open, and you don’t have to walk to a sleeping area.

When a piece of insulation is a must, you can put it in the front wheel wells and crawl inside. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of space for a person to relax.

Subaru Outback

Subaru is one of the best manufacturers for car camping in general, and I feel this extends to car camping. I know what you’re thinking, that’s the Outback I mentioned earlier. That’s no problem, it’s also a great choice for car camping.

For one, the Outback is a four-wheel-drive vehicle, so it has excellent traction in snowy and icy weather. Furthermore, it has all-wheel drive, which makes it harder for an animal to throw itself into your undercarriage when you’re on the road.

It’s also a huge SUV, making it the perfect roof for those who like to set up their own little oasis while camping. The seats have enough room for a person to stretch out in and a ton of storage for supplies. There’s even a 3.6-liter flat-six engine in the back to get the extra power you might need for tailgating or just getting your classic car out and about.

Subaru Forester

When you talk about compact SUVs, the Subaru Forester is often mentioned. It’s the newest Subaru model, and it looks great. One of the biggest problems I had with my Outback was having to lean over the center console to eat.

In fact, I remember one time I was eating a sandwich and the car next to me rolled into me on an icy stretch of road. This could be a real problem if you camping around out-of-the-way campsites or places without much lighting.

The Subaru Forester, on the other hand, has excellent ergonomics. I felt that it was a perfect size, and the smaller size of the cabin actually gave me plenty of leg room. It’s important to have a comfortable, spacious, and well-constructed vehicle, but a vehicle this size was even better.

There was plenty of space to stretch out and relax, and the back seat was the perfect place for reading or listening to music. The Forester was the perfect sized vehicle for car camping.

Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V is another compact SUV, but it’s also a solid choice for car camping. This SUV makes it easy to set up your tent and you can take the entire back seat down. All you have to do is pull out the material under the center seat and you have a flat space for you to sleep.

It’s also easier than having to set up a tent on the ground with no stakes. The CR-V has a “Magic” cargo area, which allows you to fit some extra bags and more equipment. It has the perfect amount of trunk space and if you pack your tent and sleeping bag down well it will keep out the wind.

Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 is another large four-wheel drive vehicle, and for car camping is a good choice. It’s also a good choice if you don’t have a tent, and need to make a make your own little camping station.

As an added bonus, the Ford F-150 is a gas-guzzler, which means it’s a lot quieter than most compact SUVs and it’s also much easier to haul on the highway. The “SuperCab” model has a huge, massive, bed with slots for you to fit your sleeping bag and other camping gear.

This is my ideal car for car camping, even if I don’t have my own tent, because it has a ton of space to pack everything in and it also is easy to tow behind a large camper.

Jeep Cherokee

If you have to camp and you don’t have a camper, the Jeep Cherokee is another great choice. I think it’s an underrated car for car camping.

It’s not your typical SUV, and that’s definitely an advantage. It doesn’t take up as much space in a camping area as a Hummer or a V-10.

This SUV was a perfect size and I had a ton of room to set up my tent. There’s a ton of space to stuff as much stuff as you can think of into the car.

The SUV has a cargo area behind the backseat, and it’s a safe place to store your camping equipment. I thought it was a great choice.

Volkswagen Tiguan

This was the SUV that surprised me. I thought it was going to be a lot bigger and more expensive, and I was disappointed because of this. I thought it was going to be a lot bigger than it actually was.

The downside is that it’s not as practical, because you can’t fit a lot of camping gear into the cargo area, but that’s the trade-off you make when choosing a compact SUV.

I liked this car because it’s so easy to drive. It’s easy to put everything in the car and take it with you wherever you need to go. You can go camping, sightseeing, and going to the grocery store all with this car.

I think it’s the perfect car to get your hands on if you don’t have a car or you’re short on cash and car camping doesn’t cost that much.


I think the Mini is one of the best small compact cars. The cabin is cramped, but it’s also comfortable and the controls are small enough for you to operate them quickly and easily.

There’s enough room in the Mini to put all of your camping gear, but you’re limited by the rear seat and trunk space.

I like that the Mini is a cheap car that’s also a good car. It’s an affordable car to buy and you can add as much storage space as you want to it.

Nissan Juke

The Nissan Juke is a brand new car, and it’s the first one that Nissan has introduced in the United States.

It’s a small crossover, with a big engine, and a tall ride height. It’s meant to go off-road, and it has a ton of interior storage space.

I liked that the Juke is small enough for parking behind a camper, but it’s big enough to carry enough camping gear to take with you on trips.

I thought it was a great choice because it’s still small enough to be a good car to get around in, but it’s still big enough to carry all of the camping gear that you need.

Volkswagen Up

The Volkswagen Up is one of the most affordable cars on the list. It’s a used car, but it’s well-maintained.

You can easily get storage space for your camping gear with the Volkswagen Up, and you’re not limited to just the back seat.

The Up’s small size means that it’s easy to park around a campground, and the exterior dimensions of the Up mean that you can fit all of your camping gear, too.

You don’t have to be camping in the wilderness to appreciate the Volkswagen Up. I think it’s a great car to buy when you’re on the lookout for a good compact car.

The biggest drawback is that it’s not a very fast car. You won’t be going very far if you want to cruise the highway with this car.

Toyota Yaris

The Toyota Yaris is a tiny car that can carry a lot of camping gear and fit in tight spots in a lot of campgrounds.

It’s a little bit cramped because it’s a smaller car, but it’s easy to park, it’s cheap, and it’s easy to drive.

It’s a cheap car to buy, but it’s still big enough to carry a bunch of camping gear with you, and it’s very easy to get storage space in the Yaris.

The Toyota Yaris is also fun to drive and very fun to ride around in. It’s easy to get around in, and it’s a fun car to drive, but it’s not fast or especially efficient, which is a downside.

If you’re a budget-minded camper who doesn’t mind driving a little bit slower and you don’t mind driving in a cramped car, then the Toyota Yaris is a great option to buy.


If you want a car that can give you the peace of mind that you are as safe as possible while camping, I recommend these vehicles. They have strong, independent suspensions that can handle any surface that you could need, and they are very comfortable and safe.

I am very impressed with the entire Subaru lineup. How much do you think you will pay to camp for a weekend? How much will it cost you to camp for the night or for a week? Let us know in the comments!

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