Buying any sort of vehicle is quite an event, regardless of whether it’s your first set of wheels, second, third, or even tenth. It entices parting with a good chunk of cash, a bit of time browsing through the most lucrative deals, and of course, a bit of know-how in terms of knowing what to look for.
We’re here today with three tips that you probably didn’t know, that will invariably help you pick the best camping car, so without any further ado, let’s get straight to it.
1. Go for a hybrid
Essentially, this is probably the best all-encompassing advice a camper can give to another camper.
There’s a myriad of reasons why hybrids have the upper hand over regular cars (especially if you are buying a car for the first time), starting with superior fuel efficiency, over eco-friendlier gas emissions, and an eclectic array of different hybrid types to choose from.
First and foremost, let’s get to the gist of what a hybrid is before we get to the part of why it’s so great for camping.
Hybrid cars utilize electric motors and various sources of gasoline/propane fueling systems that work in synergy to provide a smoother riding experience with substantially enhanced dependability.
Now, the main benefit of having a hybrid on your camping trip is that you’ll be far less likely to run out of gas for various reasons; whether it be cramped up traffic before you hit the off roads, gas tank leakage, or a couple of wrong turns that ended up drying the container, it doesn’t matter.
Even if you do your best to plan ahead in order to counter these situations, there’s just so much you can do to prevent them.
Why choose a hybrid?
A hybrid, especially a quality one, always has an ace up in its sleeve – some models utilize regenerative braking, others feature battery packs that complement the motor’s fuel economy, some combine both.
The schoolbook example of a premium-quality hybrid is a Lexus UX Hybrid. Aside from the fact that it boasts a remarkable fuel consumption rate, it’s also packed with a plethora of exquisite features and technologies.
Typical features of Hybrid vehicles
Some of the most notable features of the UX Lexus models, for example, include full voice-command optimization, app compatibility, both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, an electronic braking system, an integrated GPS system, and a myriad of safety-based features.
An excellent alternative is Chrysler’s Pacifica, which is one of the freshest additions to the Chrysler catalog.
Its combined fuel efficiency is rated at 23 miles per gallon, and it’s a 287 hp workhorse that packs a nine-speed automatic transmission, which lends itself towards comfortable rides, regardless of whether you’re a professional driver or an immediate beginner.
Similar to electric cars
The second benefit of hybrids is that they’re more akin to electric vehicles than regular ‘analog’ cars. Most models can rapidly bounce back and forth between gas and electric driving modes, affording you the much-needed flexibility as you pass through cities and villages right before you reach your camping destination.
Finally, if you’re not too keen on the design of electric vehicles and the similarities they share with hybrids, you can always opt for a ‘mild hybrid’. Essentially, ‘full hybrids’ feature a motor that can independently move the vehicle, whereas the motor built into mild hybrids has more of a support role.
Some of the typical features that separate mild hybrids from ‘full hybrids’ include enhanced auto start-stop technologies and larger fuel tanks. These vehicles are also usually cheaper than regular hybrids. An excellent example of a decently affordable mild hybrid that is perfect for camping is Audi’s A6.
2. Mind the space
You can never have too much car space when you’re a camper. Friends and family members always have that one thing they want to add to the pile at the last minute, and if you’re not a seasoned packer, you’re most likely going to leave quite a few essential items.
Additionally, it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where one of your friends wants to hop along as they see you packing. It wouldn’t hurt to have that one extra seat, even though you may have planned to use it for that bulky generator that won’t fit in the trunk anyway.
Big trunk versus spacious interior
Choosing a camping car with storage being the most dominant factor is fairly easy. Cars with bigger trunks offer extra luggage space, but they’re typically heavier, consume more fuel, and you’ll have a tough time resolving problems with friction if you’re heading uphill.
If you would rather have a more comfortable ride, by all means, go for a car with a roomier interior. Kia’s Sportage 2021 would in this case be a perfect fit for you.
Why not both?
However, if you want to reap both benefits, we advise you to shoot for an off-road semi-truck. Toyota’s Tacoma has more than enough horsepower to handle even the steepest of hills, a high action to counter rocks and debris, a massive trunk, and excellent seats.
It’s long and fairly hard to park, though. Even though it may not be the most perfect camping car out there, it’s certainly among the most versatile models that the current market has to offer.
3. Consider your vehicle’s commuting capabilities
All cars react differently in city traffic and off road. A vehicle with low action and smooth shift transition is perfect for doing day-to-day errands, casual cruising, and such. However, such cars would be ruined if you took them to the beaten, windy paths.
Again, you can kill two birds with one stone if you had a car like Mazda 3 Sedan. This rugged vehicle was originally designed for concrete roads and traffic lights, but due to its small frame and the vast array of exquisite features it’s equipped with, it’s a perfect choice for tech-savvy campers.
Its main drawback is its small trunk and petite interior, although it compensates for these shortcomings with great fuel economy.
An excellent alternative for campers who don’t mind paying extra for gas money and who want a bigger, more spacious vehicle is the latest 2021 Volkswagen Passat with slightly higher action, substantially more space, and just a couple of extra hp in comparison to Mazda 3.
There are so many great car models on the market. It’s always better to have a larger list to choose from, but that in itself may confuse people who aren’t too experienced with the essentials of how cars work or camping in the first place. Happy camping!
Last Updated on April 23, 2021