Autos Best

The 3 Best Cars for Car Camping

Jeep Wrangler

A new craze has descended on the auto world and it goes by the name of car camping. If you haven’t heard of this growing fad, you aren’t alone.

When most people think of camping, they envision backpacking into the great outdoors or time spent setting up a tent by the lake. Others consider camping to be hooking their RV up at their local campground or unloading groceries at a cabin. 

Car camping, which thankfully doesn’t require shag carpeting or lace curtains, is one of those terms that have multiple meanings

The first is driving your car directly onto the spot where you plan to camp and setting up your tent, rather than parking in a car lot and hiking your gear in.

The next definition is when you sleep in your camper.

The third, and the term that we’ll be discussing in more depth, is when you camp right in your car.

If camping in your car sounds a dream come true, here are 3 cars that are perfect for sleeping in while taking that epic road trip.

Jeep Wrangler

2019 Jeep Wrangler
2019 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Not all campsites are accessible without 4WD and the Jeep Wrangler is known for its ability to go almost anywhere. Whether you’re driving over boulders, crossing shallow creeks, or bravely facing down highway traffic during rush hour, the Wrangler will get you there. 

The Wrangler also comes with lots of great accessories as shown by Extreme Terrain like hammocks and tents that fit over the roof of your Wrangler, fridge freezers, and air compressors. Since accessories often make your camping experience more comfortable, it’s nice to shop around and not have to worry if your brand new air mattress will fit in your car.

Subaru Forester

If you’re traveling on a budget and need to save your hard-earned cash for things like your favorite steak for grilling out, the Forester may just be your dream vehicle.

This SUV gets 33 mpg, meaning you don’t have to cringe every time you fill up your tank. AWD and 8.7-inch ground clearance allow you to go a large variety of places. Now hitting unpaved roads or driving through snow is just another part of the adventure.

The Forester also has increased cargo room and rear seats that lay flat. A mattress can fit in the back, so you aren’t waking up with a sore back before you wake up for that legendary hiking trip you’ve been planning all year.

The 2019 Forester comes with some new safety features such as Eyesight Driver Assist, LED lights, and adaptive cruise control, all of which can come in handy whether you are hitting dirt trails or cruising through the city.

And since very few people nowadays want to completely leave civilization behind, the 2019 Forester has built-in WiFi Hotspot Connectivity.

Kia Soul

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While Kia may not be the first automaker to pop in your mind when considering vehicles to go camping in, don’t be quick to dismiss the Soul.

Not only is the Soul a two time Car and Driver winner for Best Subcompact SUV, but the 2019 model also won the Best Compact Car For the Money award from U.S. News and World Report and the IHS Top Safety Pick Award.

With a starting price of $17,490 for the 2019 model, the Soul is perfect for anyone on a budget. While it doesn’t come with a lot of space, the Soul offers 62.1 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat. This is more than enough room to throw in a small mattress and sleep for the night. 

The Soul doesn’t have AWD, so you won’t be able to go off-roading, but as long as you are going on fairly decent roads, you’ll be fine.