Car Camping Setups – Find the Best Fit for Your Roadtrip Adventure

Camping with your car offers a flexible and comfortable way to experience the great outdoors without the hassle of traditional camping setups. Whether you’re embarking on a weekend getaway or a long road trip, having the right car camping setup can make all the difference. This article will explore various car camping options to help you find the best fit for your needs. You’ll learn about different setups, their pros and cons, and which might be the ideal choice for your adventures. Whether you drive a compact car, a roomy SUV, or something in between, there’s a perfect car camping solution waiting for you.

Car Camping Setups

These are some of the most common car camping options, if not all of them. The perfect setup often depends on individual preferences, vehicle type, and camping needs. Explore different configurations and customize your approach to find what works best for you and your adventures.

1. Standard Car Camping

Standard car camping involves driving to a designated campsite where you can park your car and set up a tent nearby. This method allows you to bring all your gear and amenities, as you have your vehicle right next to your campsite. Standard car camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors with the convenience of having all your supplies within arm’s reach. You can cook, sleep, and relax in the great outdoors while having easy access to your car for storage and shelter.

This option is ideal for those who prefer a traditional camping experience but appreciate the added security and convenience of having their car nearby. It’s perfect for family trips or group outings where multiple people can help with setting up and taking down the campsite. Plus, with your car close by, you can easily bring along larger or heavier items that might be cumbersome to carry on foot.



Best For: Campers who enjoy a classic camping experience with the convenience of having their car nearby. Families and groups looking for a traditional camping trip with the benefits of car storage.

2. SUV or Van Camping

Sleeping inside your SUV or van provides a comfortable and secure camping option. You can create a sleeping platform or use a foldable car air mattress, transforming your vehicle into a cozy sleeping area. This setup is particularly popular for those who want to camp in areas where tents are not ideal or allowed, such as during heavy rain or in rocky terrains.

SUV camping offers a lot of flexibility and can be tailored to suit your specific vehicle and preferences. With the right setup, you can turn your SUV into a mobile home, complete with storage solutions, a sleeping area, and even a small kitchen.



Best For: Adventurers looking for a quick, hassle-free camping solution with added security and weather protection. Ideal for solo travelers or couples who want to maximize their time exploring rather than setting up camp.

3. Rooftop Tents

Rooftop tents attach to the roof rack of your vehicle, providing an elevated sleeping area. These tents come with built-in mattresses and are easy to set up and take down. They offer a unique camping experience, keeping you off the ground and away from critters. Rooftop tents are an excellent option for those who frequently camp in areas with uneven or wet ground, as they provide a level sleeping surface above it all.

Rooftop tents are particularly advantageous for car camping in heavy rain, as being elevated keeps you dry and safe from potential flooding. They are also great for SUV camping, as SUVs often have the roof space and strength to support these tents. With a rooftop tent, your vehicle becomes a versatile camping tool that allows you to set up camp virtually anywhere your car can go.



Best For: Campers who want a comfortable, elevated sleeping area and are willing to invest in a quality tent. Ideal for those who camp frequently in wet or uneven terrains.

4. Truck Bed Camping

Truck bed camping involves using a tent designed to fit in the bed of a pickup truck or installing a camper shell. This setup provides a flat, elevated sleeping area and can be customized with additional amenities like storage and cooking space. Truck bed camping is a great option for those who own pickup trucks and want to make the most of their vehicle’s space.

This method allows for a quick and efficient setup, as your camping area is confined to the truck bed. You can create a comfortable sleeping space with a foam mattress or an air mattress, and use the remaining space for storage. Some setups even include built-in kitchens and storage compartments, making truck bed camping a versatile and convenient option.



Best For: Pickup truck owners looking for a versatile and secure camping solution. Ideal for those who want to maximize their truck’s utility and enjoy a comfortable camping experience.

5. 123Camp Camping car setup

The 123Camp Setup is an eco-friendly, modular camping solution made from plywood. It fits various vehicles, including SUVs, vans, station wagons and even most of the hatchbacks. This setup includes a bed with mattresses, a table, a sofa, two stools and all the basic camping amenities you need, offering a comprehensive camping experience without extensive modifications to your vehicle – just fold your rear seats, put the everything inside and you’re ready to go.
The 123Camp Setup is designed to be easy to install and remove, making it a convenient option for many car owners.

This option is perfect for those who want a complete camping solution with minimal effort. The wooden construction is sustainable and durable, providing a comfortable and eco-friendly camping experience. Allows you to stay overnight in your car in a comfortable position, safe, warm and cozy, anywhere, any time – just park and sleep. It has all of the advantages of point 2. but not limited to bigger cars like SUVs and offering more comfort with minimal effort. You can easily take your city car, spend 15 minutes for installation and you’re ready to go camping no matter if you’re driving Toyota Prius, Tesla model Y or even Citroen 2c.



Best For: Campers looking for a quick, easy-to-install, and comfortable solution with minimal modifications with a regular car. Ideal for eco-conscious individuals and those who want a complete camping setup.

6. Camper Vans and RVs

Camper vans and RVs offer a full-fledged mobile living space, complete with sleeping areas, kitchens, and bathrooms. These vehicles are designed for comfort and convenience, making them ideal for extended camping trips or road trips. Camper vans, in particular, are compact yet efficient, providing all the necessary amenities in a smaller package compared to larger RVs.

With a camper van or RV, you have the luxury of a home on wheels, allowing you to travel and camp without sacrificing comfort. These vehicles are perfect for long-term travel and exploring multiple destinations without the need to constantly set up and take down a campsite. They are especially useful for families or groups who require more space and amenities.



Best For: Travelers looking for the ultimate in comfort and convenience on extended trips. Ideal for families or groups who want a home-like experience while on the road.

7. Teardrop Trailers

Teardrop trailers are small, lightweight trailers that can be towed by most vehicles. These trailers offer a cozy sleeping area and a small kitchen, making them a great option for those who want a simple, compact camping setup. Teardrop trailers are known for their aerodynamic design and ease of towing, making them suitable for a wide range of vehicles.

These trailers are perfect for solo campers or couples who want a comfortable and efficient camping solution without the need for a large RV. They provide the essentials in a compact space, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors without the hassle of a complex setup. Teardrop trailers are also a great option for eco-conscious campers who prefer a smaller footprint.



Best For: Campers seeking a compact, towable solution with essential amenities. Ideal for solo adventurers or couples who want a simple and efficient camping setup.

8. Overlanding Setup

Overlanding involves using a vehicle equipped with off-road capabilities and camping gear for extended trips into remote areas. These setups often include rooftop tents, portable kitchens, and other self-sufficient camping equipment. Overlanding is a great option for those who enjoy exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations and require a rugged and versatile camping solution.

Overlanding setups are highly customizable, allowing you to tailor your vehicle to your specific needs and preferences. This method is perfect for adventurers who enjoy long-term travel and self-sufficiency. With an overlanding setup, you can explore remote areas with confidence, knowing you have everything you need for an extended stay.



Best For: Adventurers who enjoy exploring remote areas and require a self-sufficient, rugged setup. Ideal for those who value independence and long-term travel.

So, what is the best camping setup?

When choosing a car camping option, it’s essential to consider your specific needs, budget, and the type of adventures you plan to undertake. Each setup has its unique advantages and disadvantages, making it crucial to prioritize what matters most to you. For most car owners, the 123Camp camping box offers the fastest, easiest, and most comfortable solution, combining eco-friendliness with versatility and convenience. Before making a decision, assess your camping style, vehicle type, and personal preferences to find the perfect car camping setup for your outdoor adventures.

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