Camping in (or on) your car can be a good alternative to finding a flat, dry enough piece of ground to set up a tent. From laying out a mattress in the back of your SUV, to setting up a tent in your truck’s bed or even on your vehicle’s roof rack, you can use your vehicle for more than just getting to your favorite place in nature.
Try a Car Tent
Some of the best vehicles for tackling the great outdoors are 4x4s, which are made to handle the rough and uneven roads that take you to your favorite camping spots. The Jeep Wrangler is a perennial favorite, available in the classic “no-nonsense” Sport or a more “upscale” Sahara, and always offering ruggedness and capability when off-roading. And there’s plenty of storage space in the four-door, so what’s better than removing the Jeep’s top and doors, kicking back and sleeping with the stars for your roof?
If rain or bugs will be a concern, you can also find tents made specifically for the bed of your truck. Or, you can just put a tent on the roof! The roof top tent, which you can find at many retailers, might be an investment, but there’s something to be said for setting up the tent on the roof of your car. That way, you won’t have to worry about laying on rocks, wet ground or an uneven surface. Just park your vehicle somewhere flat, attach the tent to your roof rack and enjoy a slightly elevated view of your campsite.
Stay Comfy with an Air Mattress in Your Car
If you’re more the mattress type, an air mattress is a comfortable way to sleep in your car in the great outdoors. The Toyota Tacoma is one of the most popular of the mid-size pick-ups, and affordable to boot. You can simply put an air mattress into the open bed of your truck—is this why it’s called a bed?—and enjoy sleeping under the stars. Air mattresses of various types are fairly inexpensive and can be found in most camping stores. For example, AirBedzproduces a mattress designed for your pickup’s bed; it’s shaped to fit around the wheel wells.
The Chevrolet Tahoe is another popular 4×4, this time of the full-size SUV variety. With more than 90 cubic feet of storage space available in several models, you can easily put your mattress in there and, despite what you might lose in sleeping directly under nature’s splendor, you remove the bugs from the equation as well as any surprise rain storms. The industrious among you can rig up a curtain, tarp or blanket inside to cover the windows for privacy and shield your eyes from morning sunlight. Plus, mosquito netting lets you sleep with the windows open for fresh air while keeping your sleep space comfortable and bug-free.
Camp in Your Car Your Way
While far from complete, this list gives you some examples of the options out there for transforming your home on wheels into your vacation spot on wheels. Today, it’s not about getting away from it all, but taking it all with you in the best way possible.