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National Camping Month – The Best Vehicles for Camping

BY: Endurance
A red Chevrolet Silverado towing a camper trailer behind it.

June is National Camping Month, so now’s the perfect time to plan your next outdoor adventure. But while camping can involve classic camping gear like a backpack and a sleeping bag, many adventurers prefer to bring along some comforts of home with a camper or a trailer. 

So whether you’re heading off to a campsite at a national park, in the backcountry or in your local area, having the right vehicle can help turn any trip into one to truly remember. But like shopping for any new or used car, knowing what to look out for in a camping vehicle can help ensure you have the right one for wherever your adventures take you.

What to Look for in Camping Vehicles

Recreational vehicles come in many forms, including motor homes, converted motor coaches, pickup-mounted campers, and more. But for those who are considering towable campers, there are a few different types to keep in mind, including:

  • Fifth Wheel Campers: As the largest towable campers you can find, you’ll have the comfort of multiple bedrooms that can rival a small apartment in terms of interior space. However, while spacious and great for camping any time of the year, a fifth wheel camper requires towing by a large pickup with a specialized hitch.
  • Toy Haulers: While similar to a fifth wheel camper, a toy hauler trades some or all interior space for an enclosed garage to store gear like ATVs, motorcycles, jet skis and more.
  • Travel Trailers: Travel trailers have been around for ages, though they really started becoming popular in the 1950s. And like the other types of campers, travel trailers come in various sizes and configurations, with some featuring motorized slideouts for additional space. However, the main difference between a travel trailer and something like a fifth wheel camper is that travel trailers can be towed via a vehicle’s standard towing hitch compared to the specialized one needed for fifth wheel campers.
  • Teardrop Trailers: Stylish teardrop trailers rely on a streamlined design for improved airflow during towing (a plus with smaller, less-capable vehicles). The trade-off, however, is that you’ll have a smaller space to work with, limiting amenities like a kitchen or separate rooms. 
  • Pop-Up Campers: Think of a pop-up camper as a towable tent. It won’t come with all the bells and whistles you may find in other campers or trailers, but you’ll still have access to a kitchen and bathroom. 

Regardless of the camper you are considering, be sure that it meets all of your camping needs, such as:

  • Sleeping Capacity: Camper fundamentals begin with determining how many people will be sleeping inside.
  • Seasonality: Think about when you’ll want to use a camper. If it’s only a summer affair, then anything will do. But a pop-up trailer in winter is no different from sleeping outside. On the other hand, some campers offer insulated exteriors and self-contained HVAC systems.
  • Towability: A camper’s overall weight and special vehicle requirements add to its towabiity, so matching your car with the right trailer is vital. After all, a vehicle with a 3,000-pound towing capacity is worthless for hauling a 5,000-pound camper.
  • Size: There’s no right or wrong answer regarding camper size; it’s solely a matter of preferences. A larger camper offers more space and amenities but costs more to purchase (and maintain) and can be harder to maneuver and park. Conversely, a smaller trailer will have fewer features but be more convenient to tow and manage.
  • Amenities: You’ll want to prioritize what features are the most important. Start with bigger concepts like convenience, comfort, privacy, and ease of use. Then get into the specifics, such as if you need a working kitchen, toilet or shower, or if you’d like extra seating, A/C…etc.

The Best Vehicles for Camping

Whether it’s with a pickup, an SUV or even a minivan, make sure you’re prepared for your next camping trip with one of our picks for the best vehicles for camping:

Pickup Trucks

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (Pictured Above)

Some higher trim levels of the iconic Silverado now boast a Super Cruise enhanced driving system with trailering capability. Still, even at its base model, the Silverado still packs the punch you need for your next camping trip, with higher trims providing even more.

  • 2022 Staring MSRP: $33,800
  • Towing Capacity: 9,500 – 13,300 pounds
  • Payload/Cargo Capacity: 1,930 – 2,270 pounds
  • Fuel Economy: 14 – 31 MPG
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive (RWD) or four-wheel drive (4WD)

Ford Maverick

While not the iconic F-150 or the Ford Ranger, the Maverick can still be a great choice for those looking for camping vehicles. However, you’ll need to step up to a Maverick with a larger engine for maximum towing capability. Still, even the base hybrid powerplant setup can handle up to one (1) ton when towing.

  • 2022 MSRP: $21,490 – $27,355
  • Towing Capacity: 2,000 – 4,000 pounds
  • Payload/Cargo Capacity: 1,500 pounds
  • Fuel Economy: 22 – 40 MPG
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD)

Honda Ridgeline

Based on the Honda Pilot, the Ridgeline offers crossover-like comfort with the convenience and accessibility of a cargo bed, making it a great all-around choice for campers.

  • 2022 MSRP: $39,435 – $46,865
  • Towing Capacity: 5,000 pounds
  • Payload/Cargo Capacity: 1,583 pounds
  • Fuel Economy: 18 – 24 MPG
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive (AWD)

Ram 1500

A red Dodge Ram 1500 parked in front of a mountain range.

An abundance of trims, configurations, and engines make the RAM 1500 a viable towing alternative to the Chevy Silverado or the Ford F-150.

  • 2022 MSRP: $38,370 – $74.085
  • Towing Capacity: 7,730 – 12,750 pounds
  • Payload/Cargo Capacity: 1,970 – 2,300 pounds
  • Fuel Economy: 10 – 25 MPG
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive (RWD) or four-wheel drive (4WD)

Toyota Tacoma

A red Toyota Tundra pickup truck with a pop up camper in the trunk bed parked in front of a desert mountain range.

While not as capable as a full-size pickup as others you’ll find on this list or on the road, the Tacoma is the ideal travel companion for most travel trailers and smaller campers.

  • 2022 MSRP: $29,195 – $47,800
  • Towing Capacity: 3,500 – 6,600 pounds
  • Payload/Cargo Capacity: 1,135-1,560 pounds
  • Fuel Economy: 17 – 24 MPG
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive (RWD) or four-wheel drive (4WD)

SUV/Crossover

Chevrolet Traverse

A spacious three-row interior and robust towing ability make the Traverse perfect for family camping adventures to the great outdoors.  

  • 2022 MSRP: $34,895 – $52,395
  • Towing Capacity: 1,500 – 5,000 pounds
  • Payload/Cargo Capacity: 98.2 cubic feet (behind the first row), 57.8 cubic feet (behind the second row), and 23 cubic feet (behind the third row)
  • Fuel Economy: 17 – 27 MPG
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD)

Ford Bronco

If your camping journeys regularly take you off the beaten path, the Ford Bronco will help you get where you need to go, thanks to standard four-wheel drive (4WD) across the lineup. 

  • 2022 MSRP: $32,395 – $70,095
  • Towing Capacity: 3,500 – 4,500 pounds
  • Payload/Cargo Capacity: 1,015 – 1,324 pounds
  • Fuel Economy: 16 – 21 MPG
  • Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive (4WD)

Jeep Wrangler

A red Jeep Wrangler Rubicon off-roading.

The Jeep Wrangler offers functionality and capability similar to the Ford Bronco. So, choosing between the two depends on if you’re a Mopar or Blue Oval fan.

  • 2022 MSRP: $31,590 – $78,690
  • Towing Capacity: 2,000 – 3,500 pounds
  • Payload/Cargo Capacity: 964 – 1,351 pounds
  • Fuel Economy: 13 – 25 MPG
  • Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive (4WD)

Range Rover Sport

A white Range Rover driving off-road.

Glamping (aka ‘glamour camping’) is a thing, and the Range Rover Sport is one of the reasons, thanks to its iconic design and great towing capabilities. 

  • 2022 MSRP: $70,850 – $131,350
  • Towing Capacity: 6,613 – 7,716 pounds
  • Payload/Cargo Capacity: 62.2 cubic feet (behind the first row) and 27.5 cubic feet (behind the second row)
  • Fuel Economy: 15 – 24 MPG 
  • Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive (4WD)

Other

Subaru Outback

It may look like an SUV, but the Outback is really a wagon in disguise. No matter what you call it, this Subaru can handle a small camper or pop-up trailer with ease.

  • 2022 MSRP: $28,820 – $41,820
  • Towing Capacity: 2,700 – 3,500 pounds
  • Payload/Cargo Capacity: 75.7 cubic feet (behind the first row) and 32.5 cubic feet (behind the second row)
  • Fuel Economy: 22 – 33 MPG
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive (AWD)

Drive Confidently Year-Round with Endurance

Summer is the perfect time for road trips and camping adventures. But no matter where you are heading, you won’t get very far when dealing with an unexpected car breakdown. And for those without the help of an active factory warranty, you’d be left paying for these repairs on your own—but not when you have an Endurance auto protection plan

Each Endurance plan is designed to help protect your vehicle’s most vital components, giving you the peace of mind you’re looking for whether you’re off on your next camping trip or to the store across town. With the Advantage auto protection plan, you can even get comprehensive breakdown protection while saving up to $3,500 in maintenance services like oil changes and tire rotations, PSI checks, and more. Or if you have a high-end luxury vehicle like a Range Rover or other select models from automakers such as Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW, Porsche, Jaguar and more with the Highline protection plan. 

As a bonus, you can find even more coverage and savings with an entire year’s worth of Endurance Elite Benefits. All you need to do is find the Endurance plan that’s right for you, pay a small activation fee and enjoy your full year’s worth of up to two tire replacements or repairs, collision discounts, key fob replacements and even total loss protection. And every Endurance plan is accepted at any certified repair facility, ASE Certified mechanic or car dealership so that you can be certain your repairs will be taken care of no matter where you are. You’ll also automatically receive 24/7 roadside assistance, trip-interruption protection, and rental car reimbursement to help you in case of a breakdown, no matter where you are across the country. 

Get started protecting your vehicle today by requesting a free, no-obligation quote. Or call (800) 253-8203 to talk with an award-winning Endurance customer care representative to find the right plan for your needs and budget, including plans starting as low as $79/month! Also, check out the Endurance Blog for even more articles, including road trip planning guides, expert automotive tips, make/model comparisons, DIY maintenance how-tos, and more. 

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