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One of the funniest things people can experience is driving their car on a road trip to visit various camping locations. While this can be a fun thing to do during the summer, there are some mundane aspects folks will have to do first, such as packing the right amount of camping gear and having a way of transporting it safely. Here’s a look at four gear packing tips to help keep your car camping adventure run and safe.

1. Rooftop cargo boxes

According to Erie Insurance, one thing some campers may be tempted to do is pack too much cargo in their car. This is unsafe, as it can hurt your rear-view visibility. Instead, there are some options adventurous people can do instead. One of them is to use a rooftop cargo box. 

The rooftop cargo box market is diverse, and there are a lot of different cargo boxes that can suit your needs. Typically, they are big enough to carry a lot of camping gear. The boxes are also usually waterproof and have a lock. That being said, some folks may need to buy more than a cargo box. The car’s roof rails also need crossbars to ensure that the cargo box is secured onto the roof, and those crossbars may cost extra. 

A grey cargo roof box on top of a car with roof racks.
A car roof box | Getty Images

2. Rooftop cargo bags is a great gear packing tip

A downside of rooftop cargo boxes is that it can cost hundreds of dollars depending on which cargo box a driver buys. That could be too expensive for some people or simply not worth the investment. An alternative is rooftop cargo bags. They are very similar to rooftop cargo boxes because they’ll provide owners with a rooftop storage option. 

Unlike cargo boxes, cargo bags tend to be much cheaper while offering similar amounts of cargo capacity. Plus, when you’re not using them, it’s easier to store a soft cargo bag than to find a spot for a hard cargo box. However, there are drawbacks to being more affordable. The big one is that soft cargo bags may not be as waterproof as a hard cargo box. 

3. Hitch-mounted cargo carriers

Another option to carry more camping gear are hitch-mounted cargo carriers. These are usually boxes that can be attached to the hitch of your car. Companies will usually offer a fully-enclosed cargo box option or an open carrier that will allow owners to put things like a cargo bag or a cooler in it. 

One advantage of this option is fuel economy, as a rooftop cargo box or bag will reduce a car’s fuel economy more than a hitch-mounted cargo carrier would. However, campers who want to use this option should be aware of their car’s hitch tongue weight limit and how much cargo is being carried. 

4. Trailers are great gear packing tips

Folks who are going on very long camping trips or camping trips with many people may want to consider going all-out and getting a trailer. Even a small camping trailer can significantly improve your cargo capacity, thus allowing you to carry all the gear you might need.

These trailers will weigh a lot, so it’s also essential to know if the car can tow such a heavy load. That said, trailers come in all shapes and sizes, and for camping, there are some small and cheap trailers that folks can buy or rent. 


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