Turn Your Vehicle Into An Outdoor Base Camp
Backpacking deep into the wilderness and finding a remote spot to pitch your tent offers a simple yet regarding challenge. Getting that same experience with your vehicle provides a different set of challenges, however.
There are a vast selection of tents and accessories that allow you to use your vehicle as base camp for your outdoor excursion.
There are a variety of styles and sizes of tents that will fit in most truck beds.
Most of them are two-person tents and are the familiar collapsible pole and nylon construction, which drivers should find simple to set up and take down. These truck tents fit snugly in the bed and usually fasten securely with straps that run over the sides and hook on the underside of the truck.
In addition to all the normal features of tents, truck bed tents usually offer extended rain awnings. With the tailgate down, it offers ease of use and additional coverage against the weather.
If you have an SUV, you can find tent styles that attach to the rear of your vehicle. With the rear hatch open, these tents allow access to the inside of your SUV. You can use your vehicle as storage or even an extended area for sleeping.
In addition to fully enclosed tents, a variety of options are available: something to cover an eating or gathering area, awnings with roofs and sides. These items connect to the rear of the vehicle in a similar manner to the tents, and the walls can be opened for air flow and enjoying the view.
With the addition of a couple of chairs and a table, this allows your SUV to serve as a food prep area or a place to get away from the elements.
If you have an SUV or even a truck with a durable rack or rails, consider tents that attach to your vehicle’s roof.
Rooftop tents get you up off the ground and can provide a great view. Look for ones with built-in ladders connected to the second level for easy access, reminiscent of safari tents. Larger versions include an enclosed area that extends to the ground for more sleeping space or storage area.
Check your vehicle’s rail or rack load capacity to ensure that it can handle a rooftop tent. Most of these styles offer a hard floor, some of them even come with mattresses, padding and built in lights. If you are someone who camps a lot, look into self-contained and pop-up versions that will add to ease of use.
Staying Inside Your Vehicle
If you don’t want to go all out and just want to sleep in your vehicle, look for inflatable mattresses designed to fit in the rear of your SUV or even the backseat of your car. These beds can also come in handy if you are using one of the extended SUV tents.
While the majority of beds are one-size-fits-all, some are designed specifically for certain models of vehicles, and they may include custom inflatable support that fits in crevices including the gap behind the front seats. Products may offer built-in pillows and air pumps which connect to your vehicle’s electrical system.
Trailer Hitch Accessories
If you are craving coziness, consider the various chair styles suspended from your trailer hitch. Using a strong support system attached to the hitch, there are single and double chair options, so you can share the experience of the great outdoors with someone special.
There are also various styles of BBQs and stoves that can be attached to your trailer hitch. Also, consider a food prep counter that extends the tailgate area. Accessory organizers are designed for all your cooking tools and offer easy access to food as well as utensils.
Bring along the comfort of your home by creating a privy attached to your trailer hitch. You may add a modicum of privacy with a small tent, especially if you are parked in a public campsite.
Tips for vehicle camping accessories:
- Enjoy the great outdoors by extending your truck bed with a tent. Get one designed for your specific make and model.
- Create a room with a view by attaching a tent to the roof rack or rails of your truck or SUV. Be sure to check load capacities of your vehicle before installing.
- Attach an extension tent to the rear of your SUV. This gives you access to the inside of your vehicle and can offer storage or more sleeping areas.
- “Camp” inside your car or SUV with specialty air mattresses. Look for ones that are fit to your specific vehicle. These can also be used with SUV extension tents, offering more area for sleeping.
- Use trailer hitch accessories ranging from chairs to BBQs and even toilet seats to make your camping experience more comfortable.