Taylor Thompson / June 10th, 2022

Must-Have Car Features for Camping

PC - @londonharmon

*Note* Napier vehicle tents work with most vehicles on the market and this is just a suggested list

If you’re a fan of camping, you know that a car can be one of your best friends when you’re out in the wilderness. But not all cars are created equal – some have features that are much better suited for camping than others. So if you’re in the market for a new car or just want to know what to look for in a used one, read on. In this blog post, we will discuss the must-have features for any car when camping.

1. Cars With a Lot Of Space

It is essential to have a car with a lot of space when camping, not only for all of your gear but also for any unexpected guests that may pop up. A van or SUV is usually the best bet for this, as they have plenty of room for both people and supplies. Ample space will aid you in being prepared for anything while camping. In addition, you’ll be able to pack more supplies in case of an emergency.

2. Off-Road Accessible

An off-road vehicle is critical when it comes to camping. If you want to explore all the nooks and crannies that nature offers, you need a car that can handle dirt roads and rocky terrain. A Jeep or other SUV is typically the best choice for this, designed for this driving. However, there are some sedans and even hatchbacks that have off-road capabilities. Do your research to find the right car for your needs.

The downside to this increased size of a fold out model, is the weight. More material makes for more room, but inevitably will be added bulk to your vehicle, resulting in decreased mileage or even lack of compatibly vehicles for the larger models.

PC - Rogue Overland

3. All-Wheel Drive

All-wheel drive is a must when camping, as it will give you the traction you need to get through any terrain. This is especially important if you’re planning on doing any off-roading. Many SUVs and even some sedans come with this feature, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a car that has it. Additionally, all-wheel drive will also help you in inclement weather, preventing your car from getting stuck in the mud or snow.

The draw back for pop-ups comes down to tent volume. Without utilizing any overhang like a fold out tent, the tent is restricted to the size of the roof rack. While this offers benefits for mileage and vehicle compatibility, the reduced size restricts campers to two adults maximum.

4. Good Tires

Good tires are essential for any car, but they are essential when camping. This is because you never know what terrain you’ll encounter when you’re out in nature. Make sure to get tires that are good quality and can handle a variety of conditions. All-terrain tires are a good option, as they can handle anything from mud to sand.

The negative of sleeping off ground is that this can limit accessibility for elderly campers or persons with physical disabilities. Rooftop tent ladders are typically steep, making them difficult for anyone with a history of knee issues.

PC - @go.expol.RN

5. A Spare Tire

It is also essential to have a spare tire when camping, as you never know when you might get a flat. This is especially important if you’re planning on doing any off-roading, as you’re more likely to encounter a flat tire in these conditions. Many cars come with a spare tire, but if yours doesn’t, get one before you hit the road.

6. A Roof Rack

A roof rack is a great way to add extra storage to your car when camping. It’s perfect for storing camping chairs, coolers, and even bicycles. If you’re planning on bringing a lot of gear with you, then a roof rack is a must-have. Many SUVs and vans come with roof racks, but they can also be added to sedans and hatchbacks.

couple camping in a napier rooftop tent in the snow
PC - @londonharmon

7. A Car Cover

A car cover is a must-have when camping, as it will protect your car from the elements. This is especially important if you’re camping in an area known for having bad weather. A car cover will keep your car dry and safe from any storms that may come through. It will also help keep your car clean by preventing dirt and debris from getting on your paint.

8. External Accessories

External accessories like portable battery packs will help conserve car battery power so you can use them for other things like playing music or using your car’s lights at night. A portable battery pack will also come in handy if your car breaks down and you need to call for help. Many of these accessories are relatively inexpensive and can be found at any auto parts store.
          Extra Tips for Conserving Battery When Car Camping

  • Don’t use your car’s headlights unless necessary.
  • If possible, camp near your car so you can use its lights instead of bringing a separate light source.
  • Turn off your car’s engine if you’re going to be sitting in one spot for a while.
  • Only use your car’s AC/heating when necessary.
  • Keep your car’s windows rolled up when driving to reduce drag.


Overall, there are many things to consider when choosing a car for camping. However, if you keep these essential factors in mind, you’ll be sure to find the perfect car for your needs.

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