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If you’re an outdoor enthusiast and enjoy camping in the wilderness, you want a vehicle that can take you and all of your gear to your destination. Whether you’re looking for a truck or an SUV, you’ll want to spend less to get the right vehicle for the job. This means you’ll want to shop in the used market to find the right camping vehicle for all of your adventures.

What SUVs can you sleep in?

Camping From the Back of an SUV
Camping From the Back of an SUV | Shutterstock

It’s easy to imagine sleeping in the bed of a pickup truck, but can you sleep in an SUV during your camping trip? For the most part, yes, you can. Most crossovers offer enough space for two or three adults to fit comfortably in the rear. The second and, if equipped, third-row seats often fold flat to create a comfortable space for a night in the outdoors. This means you won’t need to pack the tent, but you might want to bring along an air mattress to make the backs of the seats a little more comfortable.

What do you need in the right camping vehicle?

A Couple Enjoying a Campout by Their SUV
A Couple Enjoying a Campout by Their SUV | Shutterstock

Whether you’re heading to a campground with sites set up along the access road or you want to venture into the wilderness along an unexplored trail, you’ll want to have the right vehicle for the job. When considering the right used SUVs and trucks for camping, CarBuzz gives us some items to ponder:

  • Can you take the vehicle off-road?
  • Do you have the creature comforts desired?
  • Can you fit your family and all the necessary gear?
  • Will you feel safe and secure in the vehicle?

You should consider all of these questions when shopping for your used camping vehicle. Even if you currently only camp at locations easily accessed by car, it doesn’t mean that won’t change in two or three years.

What are the pros and cons of using larger vehicles for camping?

Could you imagine SUV Camping by a Small Pond with this setup
SUV Camping by a Small Pond | Shutterstock

You can technically camp in a large sedan or station wagon (perish the thought), but SUVs and trucks are best for camping. Here are some pros and cons to consider:


  • Most trucks and SUVs offer AWD or 4WD
  • These vehicles are larger than sedans
  • The ride comfort is much better
  • Tons of choices considering the number of SUVs and trucks available


  • More expensive than sedans
  • Fuel mileage is much lower
  • A large number of options could be a problem

Which used SUVs and trucks should you consider for your camping adventures?

This Truck Brings Everything for Camping
This Truck Brings Everything for Camping | Shutterstock

Kelley Blue Book provides a strong list of vehicles that can give you the qualities you want when venturing into the wilderness. Some great options are:

  • Jeep Gladiator
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Ram 2500
  • Chevrolet Colorado
  • Ford F-150
  • Honda Ridgeline
  • Subaru Outback
  • Toyota 4Runner
  • Honda Element
  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Toyota Land Cruiser
  • Subaru Forester
  • Chevrolet Suburban
  • Nissan Xterra

Don’t forget your ten essentials

The National Parks Service provides a list of the ten essentials for camping and hiking, along with explanations for each. These items are the bare minimum of what you should bring along when heading into the wilderness. Of course, you could add a few more things to the list and enjoy the comforts of home while in the great outdoors.

If you would rather buy a new vehicle for camping, read on and see what the next article has to offer.


Keep on Driving: Top 5 Used Pickup Trucks Under $25,000 According to U.S. News