Camping is every adventurer’s dream, and you can do it from the comfort of your own car! We’ve bumped into a few folk out on the road, both solo and couples, and I’ve picked up on a few tips on the way, as well as implementing our own.
Best Car for Camping
I’m going to be completely honest with you and tell you that I’m not the best person to be getting car advice from. I’ve also recently learnt that this can be a very touchy topic depending on which car enthusiast you’re talking to.
If you weren’t already aware, I’ve been situated in Australia for the past 5 months. In that time we have noticed that the most popular cars for camping are 4x4s. However, we have noticed a few on the smaller side. It all comes down to how far you’re going and where you intend on going, really!
In fact, check out this ultimate rundown of the best cars for camping by Road Trip Expert.
Prep Your Car For Camping
In order to be comfortable on the road, you will need to do a bit of shopping, unless you already own this stuff.
Keeping a fridge or good quality eski/ice box in your car to keep your human fuel nice and cool is a necessity – especially in the Australian Summer! In our car, we currently have this one from Brass Monkey.
AGM Battery Setup / Solar
Start as the world means to go on by treating your car to a good quality leisure battery setup with a reliable way to replenish its charge either using a solar panel, voltage sensing relay (VSR) or DC to DC charger! We have a 120-ah AGM battery inside a standalone battery box with Anderson plugs for accessories/solar connection along with a 12v cigarette socket and 2 USB outputs which are super handy for charging stuff when we pull up.
We only have a compact 120w fold-up solar panel to charge our current battery but when we had our van, we were able to charge the battery with the van running, using a VSR which was an extra bonus.
This one is super handy. We had a portable toilet back in the UK and we found it really useful because there aren’t many stops for public toilets over there. However, down under there are plenty! This is one of the things that England needs to take note of. If you were wondering what toilet we kept, it was this one.
Storage Compartments/Packing Cubes
We originally invested in these drawers by Titan. These drawers were a dream for camping, we could extend the top shelf to allow a portable worktop for cooking. Unfortunately, we had to upgrade our car and the drawers didn’t fit in our new boot. Liam has now crafted his own portable shelf from some wood and we popped into Bunnings to buy some handy little drawer sets! We also recently purchased these Canvas Bags from 4WD Supacentre.
The great thing about car camping is there are so many options to sleep – you can even mix and match as the days go by… if you have the room.
Camp in the Car
This is probably the most straightforward one and a go-to if you aren’t planning on car camping in the long run. However, there are many people who live in their cars and sleep in their driver’s seats. It’s a convenient way to be prepared if you do get asked to move. It hasn’t happened to us, but we’ve heard that it can happen.
If you are planning on camping inside your car, there are further options for you. Check out these car mattresses!
Good Old-Fashioned Tent!
If you’ve experienced camping before, chances are it was probably in a tent. There are plenty of great tents out there that are made to make you feel right at home in nature with upgraded durability. These days you can even get add-ons giving you a whole portable living room!
We’re the proud owners of our second Rooftop Tent. We loved our first one so much, we thought we’d upgrade! Roof Top Tents come in stages – the basic, the great, the fancy ones and the stupidy fancy ones. We started out with a basic ARB Simpson III Touring which was very good but it took a lot of work to put up and down with not a lot of participation from myself because I’m a weakling. We’ve decided to upgrade to a hard shell tent – just so we’re on the same page, this is the one we have just bought. I’m in love with the stargazing window!
The ‘fancy’ ones refer to the pop-up rooftop tents. This one looks great but it was a bit out of our price range and I think it was compact making it a bit on the smaller side.
When travelling to remote places by car overnight, you want to make sure your car is equipped with the best security. We are lovers of window covers which are very affordable and you can probably pick some up at your local budget store (Home Bargains for the UK, we picked ours up from Red Dot in Australia).
When we get in our tent we ensure our keys are accessible to both of us but nobody else! Our car keys have a feature that enables us to sound our alarm at the press of a button. Our tent windows are always slightly open, so if we see someone tampering with our car we can send them a nice surprise!
Check out this extra safe blog by Yoga Slackers who cover their essential security tips for car camping.