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SUV Camping Adventures: Finding The Ideal SUV For Your Trips


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Annemarie Dougherty



Embarking on camping adventures is an exhilarating experience that allows individuals to connect with nature and immerse themselves in the great outdoors. Whether you enjoy hiking through picturesque trails, observing wildlife in their natural habitat, or simply escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life, camping offers a much-needed respite from the ordinary.


When it comes to planning an unforgettable camping trip, having the right vehicle is crucial. An SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) provides the perfect combination of space, versatility, and durability to ensure a memorable and comfortable camping experience. From ample cargo space for all your camping gear to off-road capabilities that can take you to remote and scenic locations, an SUV is the ideal companion for your adventure-filled escapades.


However, with the myriad of SUV options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your camping needs. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you find the ideal SUV that will enhance your camping adventures and cater to your specific requirements.


In this article, we will explore the factors to consider when selecting an SUV for camping, including cargo space, off-road capabilities, fuel efficiency, comfort features, safety features, and budget-friendly options. So, whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a cross-country camping trip, read on to discover the perfect SUV that will accompany you on your camping adventures.


Factors to Consider When Choosing an SUV for Camping Adventures

Before embarking on your next camping adventure, it’s important to consider a few key factors when selecting the right SUV. These factors will ensure that your vehicle is equipped to handle the demands of off-road terrains, provide ample space for all your camping gear, and offer the necessary comforts and safety features for an enjoyable journey. Here are some crucial aspects to keep in mind:

  1. Cargo Space: Look for an SUV that offers generous cargo space to accommodate all your camping essentials. This includes tents, sleeping bags, cooking equipment, coolers, and other gear you may need. Make sure the SUV has foldable seats or a removable third row, allowing you to maximize the cargo area when needed.
  2. Off-Road Capabilities: If you plan to venture off the beaten path and explore rugged terrains, opt for an SUV with robust off-road capabilities. Look for features like all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, hill descent control, and skid plates to protect the undercarriage. These features will ensure the SUV can handle rough trails and provide traction on challenging surfaces.
  3. Fuel Efficiency: Long camping trips often involve driving significant distances. Choosing an SUV with good fuel efficiency can help reduce your fuel expenses and allow you to explore further without frequent refueling stops. Look for SUVs with hybrid or fuel-efficient engines that strike a balance between power and economy.
  4. Comfort and Convenience Features: Camping adventures can be physically demanding, so it’s essential to have a comfortable and convenient SUV. Features like adjustable seats, climate control, ample legroom, and advanced infotainment systems can greatly enhance the driving experience and make long journeys more enjoyable.
  5. Safety Features: Safety should always be a top priority. Look for SUVs equipped with advanced safety features such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, and automatic emergency braking. These features will not only protect you and your passengers but also provide peace of mind during your camping trips.

By considering these factors, you can narrow down your options and find an SUV that meets your camping needs. Take the time to research and test drive different models to ensure that the chosen SUV aligns with your preferences and offers the features necessary for a seamless and enjoyable camping experience.


SUVs with Generous Cargo Space for All Your Camping Gear

One of the most important considerations when choosing an SUV for camping adventures is the amount of cargo space it offers. You need an SUV that can accommodate all your camping gear, from tents and sleeping bags to cooking equipment and coolers. Here are a few SUVs known for their generous cargo space:

  1. Honda CR-V: The Honda CR-V is a popular choice among camping enthusiasts for its spacious cargo area. With its rear seats folded down, it provides an impressive 75.8 cubic feet of cargo space. The low cargo floor and wide-opening tailgate make loading and unloading camping gear a breeze.
  2. Subaru Outback: The Subaru Outback is renowned for its rugged capabilities and ample cargo space. With the rear seats folded down, it offers up to 75.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Additionally, the Outback features integrated roof rails, allowing you to attach roof racks for even more storage options.
  3. Ford Expedition: For those who require a larger SUV with substantial cargo space, the Ford Expedition is an excellent choice. With all seats folded, it offers a massive 104.6 cubic feet of cargo capacity. The Expedition also features power-folding seats for added convenience when loading and unloading gear.
  4. Toyota 4Runner: The Toyota 4Runner is a rugged SUV that combines off-road capabilities with ample cargo space. With its rear seats folded down, it provides up to 88.8 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Its wide cargo opening and flat load floor make it easy to pack larger camping equipment.
  5. Jeep Grand Cherokee: The Jeep Grand Cherokee is known for its versatility and spacious interior. With the rear seats folded, it offers up to 68.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity. The Grand Cherokee also offers a handy power liftgate option, making it convenient to access the cargo area when your hands are full.

These SUVs are just a few examples of the many models available with ample cargo space for your camping gear. When considering cargo space, also take into account the vehicle’s overall dimensions, as a larger SUV may not be suitable for narrow and winding camping trails. Additionally, keep in mind that roof racks and cargo boxes can provide additional storage options if needed.


By selecting an SUV with generous cargo space, you can ensure that all your camping gear fits comfortably, allowing you to make the most of your camping adventures without compromising on convenience or leaving any essentials behind.


Off-Road Capabilities: SUVs Built for Adventure

If you are a camping enthusiast who loves to explore off-road terrains and venture into remote areas, choosing an SUV with exceptional off-road capabilities is essential. These rugged vehicles are designed to tackle various challenging conditions and provide the necessary traction and durability for your off-road adventures. Here are a few SUVs known for their impressive off-road capabilities:

  1. Jeep Wrangler: The Jeep Wrangler is renowned for its legendary off-road prowess. With its robust four-wheel drive system, high ground clearance, and specialized off-road features, such as locking differentials and disconnecting sway bars, the Wrangler can conquer the toughest terrains with ease.
  2. Toyota Land Cruiser: The Toyota Land Cruiser is a stalwart in the off-road arena. Equipped with a powerful V8 engine, advanced four-wheel drive system, and a durable body-on-frame construction, the Land Cruiser is built to handle extreme off-road conditions while providing a comfortable and luxurious interior.
  3. Land Rover Range Rover: The Range Rover is synonymous with luxury and off-road capability. With its sophisticated four-wheel drive system, adjustable air suspension, and advanced terrain response system, the Range Rover excels in traversing all types of off-road landscapes, from muddy trails to rocky paths.
  4. Ford Bronco: The recently reintroduced Ford Bronco is making waves in the off-road community. It boasts impressive ground clearance, excellent approach and departure angles, and advanced off-road features like front and rear locking differentials and a disconnecting sway bar. The Bronco is ready to take on any off-road challenge.
  5. Subaru Crosstrek: While not as rugged as some of the other options on this list, the Subaru Crosstrek still offers competent off-road capabilities. With Subaru’s famed symmetrical all-wheel drive, generous ground clearance, and X-MODE traction system, the Crosstrek can tackle light off-road trails and unpaved roads with confidence.

When choosing an SUV for off-road adventures, consider factors like ground clearance, four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive systems, traction control features, and specialized off-road driving modes. These features will ensure that your SUV can handle uneven terrain, steep inclines, and slippery conditions while providing stability and control.


Remember that off-road capabilities often come at the cost of on-road comfort, so find a balance that suits your needs. Additionally, keep in mind that proper off-road driving techniques and caution are essential to protect both the vehicle and the environment.


By selecting an SUV with impressive off-road capabilities, you can embark on thrilling adventures knowing that your vehicle is capable of navigating through challenging terrains, allowing you to explore the beauty of nature off the beaten path.


Fuel Efficiency: Finding an SUV that Won’t Break the Bank on Long Trips

When planning a camping trip, fuel efficiency is an important consideration, especially if you’ll be covering long distances. Finding an SUV that offers good fuel economy can help you save money on fuel costs and allow you to explore further without frequent stops at the gas station. Here are a few fuel-efficient SUVs to consider:

  1. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid combines the versatility of an SUV with impressive fuel efficiency. With its hybrid powertrain, it delivers excellent mileage, making it an ideal choice for long trips. The RAV4 Hybrid offers a smooth ride, ample cargo space, and advanced safety features.
  2. Hyundai Kona Electric: For those looking for an eco-friendly option, the Hyundai Kona Electric is worth considering. As a fully electric SUV, it produces zero emissions and offers a long electric range. With its stylish design, spacious interior, and advanced technology features, the Kona Electric provides a practical and environmentally conscious option for long-distance camping trips.
  3. Mazda CX-5: The Mazda CX-5 combines sleek styling, a comfortable interior, and commendable fuel efficiency. With its Skyactiv-G engine technology, it offers an enjoyable driving experience while providing good mileage for a compact SUV. The CX-5 also boasts excellent handling and a host of safety features.
  4. Honda HR-V: The Honda HR-V is known for its fuel efficiency and practicality. With its compact size and efficient engine options, it offers decent mileage for both city driving and long trips. The HR-V also boasts a spacious interior with flexible seating configurations, allowing you to accommodate both passengers and camping gear.
  5. Subaru Forester: The Subaru Forester combines the appeal of a capable SUV with fuel efficiency. Equipped with Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive, it provides excellent traction while delivering respectable fuel economy. The Forester offers a comfortable ride, spacious cabin, and advanced safety features.

When evaluating an SUV’s fuel efficiency, it is important to consider factors like the vehicle’s engine type, transmission, weight, and aerodynamics. Additionally, fuel-saving technologies such as start-stop systems and regenerative braking can contribute to better mileage.


Remember that individual driving habits, terrain, and cargo load can also influence fuel efficiency. Maintaining proper tire pressure, avoiding excessive idling, and practicing smooth driving techniques can further enhance the fuel economy of any SUV.


By choosing a fuel-efficient SUV, you can embark on long camping trips without the constant worry of fuel costs. Not only will you benefit financially, but you will also contribute to a greener and more sustainable environment.


Comfort and Convenience Features: Making Your Camping Trips a Breeze

When planning camping trips, comfort and convenience play a significant role in enhancing the overall experience. Having an SUV equipped with the right features can make your journey more enjoyable and ensure that you have a comfortable retreat after a day of outdoor adventures. Here are some key comfort and convenience features to consider when choosing an SUV for your camping trips:

  1. Adjustable Seats: Look for SUVs with adjustable seats, both in terms of height and lumbar support. Having the ability to customize your seating position can greatly enhance comfort during long drives and provide proper posture support for those with back issues.
  2. Climate Control: Camping trips can involve varying weather conditions, so having a reliable climate control system is essential. Look for SUVs with dual-zone or multi-zone climate control, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking and keep all passengers comfortable.
  3. Ample Legroom: Ensure that the SUV you choose provides ample legroom for both the driver and passengers. Long trips can be tiring, and having enough legroom allows for better circulation and minimizes discomfort during extended periods of sitting.
  4. Infotainment Systems: A good infotainment system can make your camping trips more enjoyable. Look for SUVs with user-friendly interfaces, touchscreen displays, smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay or Android Auto), and a high-quality sound system. These features provide entertainment and connectivity options, keeping you entertained and informed during your journey.
  5. Cargo Management: An organized cargo area is essential for hassle-free camping trips. Look for SUVs that offer practical cargo management systems, such as adjustable tie-downs, removable bins, and underfloor storage compartments. These features allow you to keep your gear organized and easily accessible.

In addition to these features, consider options like panoramic sunroofs, power liftgates, keyless entry, and intelligent storage solutions to enhance convenience and functionality. Also, pay attention to the overall noise levels in the cabin, as a quiet interior can significantly improve the comfort of your camping journeys.


Remember that comfort is subjective, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s always a good idea to test drive different SUV models and experience their comfort features firsthand. This will help you determine which SUV provides the optimal comfort and convenience for your specific needs.


By selecting an SUV with the right comfort and convenience features, you can make your camping trips more enjoyable and create a relaxing and inviting space to return to after a day of outdoor exploration.


Safety Features: Ensuring a Secure and Enjoyable Camping Experience

Safety should always be a top priority when choosing an SUV for your camping adventures. Having the right safety features not only ensures your well-being but also provides peace of mind during your journeys. Here are some key safety features to consider when selecting an SUV:

  1. Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS): Look for SUVs equipped with advanced driver-assistance systems such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, and automatic emergency braking. These features help mitigate the risk of accidents and provide an extra layer of protection during your camping trips.
  2. Stability and Traction Control: An SUV with stability control and traction control systems can help you maintain control in various driving conditions. These features detect and correct any loss of traction, ensuring stability and reducing the risk of skidding or sliding on slippery surfaces.
  3. Rearview Cameras: A rearview camera is an invaluable safety feature, especially when maneuvering in tight spaces or reversing with limited visibility. Look for SUVs with high-definition rearview cameras that provide a clear view of what’s behind you to prevent accidents and collisions.
  4. Blind-Spot Monitoring: SUVs with blind-spot monitoring systems use sensors and warning indicators to alert you of vehicles in your blind spots. This feature enhances safety during lane changes and helps reduce the risk of side-impact collisions.
  5. Strong Body Construction: Opt for SUVs with strong and durable body construction. This includes features like reinforced safety cages, side-impact beams, and crumple zones designed to absorb and redirect impact forces away from the occupants in the event of a collision.

In addition to these safety features, consider SUVs equipped with multiple airbags, including front, side, and curtain airbags, to provide comprehensive protection in case of a collision. Electronic stability control, anti-lock braking systems, and tire pressure monitoring systems are also important safety features to look out for.


Remember that safe driving practices and defensive driving techniques are equally important in ensuring a secure camping experience. Always follow traffic rules, adapt your driving style to prevailing road conditions, and be aware of your surroundings.


By choosing an SUV with a comprehensive range of safety features, you can enjoy your camping trips knowing that you and your passengers are well-protected in various driving situations. Prioritizing safety not only ensures a secure journey but also enhances the overall enjoyment of your camping adventures.


Budget-Friendly SUV Options for Camping Enthusiasts

If you’re a camping enthusiast on a budget, there are plenty of affordable SUV options that can provide the necessary features for your outdoor adventures without breaking the bank. While these SUVs may not have all the bells and whistles of their more expensive counterparts, they still offer reliability, versatility, and ample space for your camping needs. Here are a few budget-friendly SUV options to consider:

  1. Honda CR-V: The Honda CR-V is known for its practicality and value for money. It offers a comfortable ride, good fuel efficiency, and a versatile cargo space that can accommodate all your camping gear. The CR-V also boasts a reputation for reliability, making it an excellent choice for budget-conscious camping enthusiasts.
  2. Subaru Forester: The Subaru Forester combines affordability with rugged capabilities. With its standard all-wheel drive, generous cargo space, and impressive safety features, the Forester is well-suited for camping adventures. It also offers excellent resale value, making it a cost-effective choice in the long run.
  3. Toyota RAV4: The Toyota RAV4 has long been a popular choice in the compact SUV segment. It offers a comfortable interior, good fuel efficiency, and a spacious cargo area. The RAV4 also has a solid reputation for reliability, making it an ideal option for budget-conscious camping enthusiasts seeking a dependable vehicle.
  4. Jeep Cherokee: The Jeep Cherokee provides off-road capabilities at an affordable price. While it may not have the same level of ruggedness as the Jeep Wrangler, it still offers respectable off-road performance along with a comfortable interior and ample cargo space. The Cherokee is a budget-friendly option for camping enthusiasts who want a versatile SUV.
  5. Ford Escape: The Ford Escape combines affordability with a range of features. It offers a comfortable ride, good fuel efficiency, and a user-friendly infotainment system. The Escape also has a decent amount of cargo space, making it suitable for carrying camping gear without sacrificing comfort.

When considering budget-friendly SUV options, prioritize reliability, fuel efficiency, cargo space, and overall value for money. Research and compare different models, read reviews, and consider purchasing certified pre-owned vehicles, which often offer a lower price without compromising on quality and reliability.


Remember that even budget-friendly SUVs can deliver a satisfying camping experience. With careful consideration and research, you can find an affordable SUV that meets your needs and allows you to embark on memorable camping adventures within your budget.



Choosing the right SUV for your camping adventures is essential to ensure a memorable, comfortable, and safe experience. By considering factors such as cargo space, off-road capabilities, fuel efficiency, comfort and convenience features, safety features, and budget, you can find the perfect SUV that aligns with your camping needs and preferences.


From SUVs with generous cargo space for all your camping gear, to those built for off-road adventures, there are plenty of options available to suit your specific requirements. Consider the features that are most important to you and prioritize accordingly to find the ideal vehicle for your camping excursions.


Remember, safety should always be a top priority. Look for SUVs equipped with advanced safety features that provide added protection on the road. Additionally, comfort and convenience features can enhance your overall camping experience, making your journey more enjoyable and stress-free.


Don’t forget to consider your budget as well. There are budget-friendly SUV options available that offer reliability, versatility, and value without compromising on essential features.


By carefully evaluating your needs and preferences, researching different SUV models, and perhaps even taking test drives, you can make an informed decision and choose an SUV that will be your trusted companion on many wonderful camping adventures to come.


So, pack up your camping gear, hit the road, and get ready to create lasting memories as you embrace the beauty of nature with the perfect SUV by your side.