Top Tips for an Enjoyable Car Camping Experience

Don’t own an RV and not a fan of tents? You can totally camp in your car! If you are going car camping, these tips will help you to have an amazing travel experience!

Car Camping Tips

Car camping is becoming a very popular way to explore the outdoors, particularly for people who do not like to do tent camping. You will also have the added advantage of mobility, and the capacity to bring more gear to make your camping life more comfortable. If you are planning on hitting the road to car camp in the near future, here are some tips that will enhance your car camping experience.

Top Car Camping Tips

Carry as much gear as your car can handle
Unlike backpacking or tent camping, you are not super limited to what you can bring along when you are going car camping. The more gear you can bring with you the better. Carry as much as your car can handle, though be careful not to overload.

Add more room with an awning
Buy an awningOpens in a new tab. and attach it to your car to add more room to the vehicle. Make sure that this awning is waterproof to keep your exposed gear dry. If your car has a large truck space, you can use the trunk as a table. It would be good idea to carry portable chairsOpens in a new tab. to use around the car as well.

Organization is key
You do not want to spend precious camping time looking for a matchbox that is lost in a mountain of luggage inside your car. Keep everything neat and organized. You can carry storage basketsOpens in a new tab. or pocket organizersOpens in a new tab. to help things stay sorted.

Use of your roof
Your roof can provide much-needed additional space for your gear. Make sure you have a waterproof roof bagOpens in a new tab. to keep your gear safe. You may also decide to invest in a car roof tentOpens in a new tab. for additional comfort. (The roof tents are a MAJOR investment, so you’re likely only going to purchase one if you are an avid and frequent car camper!)

Find a free camping location
If you are on a budget, you can always boondock or find other free camping locations for your outdoor adventure. There are many websites to help you find these locations. The US Department of Agriculture and Forest ServiceOpens in a new tab. is a handy resource when you are looking for free camping spots.

Carry additional gas
This is especially important if you will be going camping in remote places. The last thing you need is having your vehicle stall because you do not have gas. Keep an eye on your gas tank and carry a backup can of gas.

Keep the lights in the car turned off
Unless you have a solar backupOpens in a new tab., it’s a good idea to keep the lights in your car turned off. These lights drain the battery and if you are planning on going car camping for a few days, you will need the car to start up. If you have a power station, you can use this to power your devices or jump-start the car if the battery gets drained.

Carry a lot of water and food
Do not limit yourself when it comes to the amount of water and food you can carry when car camping. You have the space – use it! Bring a portable stove as well and make sure to replenish your water at gas stations or malls whenever you come across one along your camping route.

Invest in good sleeping gear
Cars can get as cold as tents at night. That is why you should have the right sleeping gear when you go to car camping. Thermal sleeping bagsOpens in a new tab. will come in handy when you are camping in a cold location.

Keep yourself entertained
Carry all the entertainment options you might need to have an amazing camping experience. MusicOpens in a new tab., podcasts, audio booksOpens in a new tab., and other games and activities can provide entertainment AND break up the monotony of a long drive.

Do you love car camping? If you have some experiencing with camping in your car and have some advice for us, please drop us a comment and let us know!


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