Picture this situation: you want to go camping. But you don’t want to deal with the hassle of dealing with setting up your campsite or you just want to go for a quick camping trip for a night or two. What to do? Well, one option is to go for car camping instead. In this form of camping, you drive to a campsite or  pull up at a good area, and then spend time camping with your loved ones. You even sleep in a tent at night; contrary to what you might expect from the name, you’re not sleeping in a car.

Why Do You Need Car Camping Tent?

There are several reasons why car camping—and, by extension, a tent designed for just this purpose—might be a good idea for you. Here are several helpful reasons.

  • If you want to go camping with your family
  • If you enjoy camping at a tent site that’s located in another state or province
  • Car camping tents hold more people and objects, since they’re carried around in a car rather than a pack
  • If you go on longer camping trips that require carrying more cargo with you

Things To Consider When Buying Car Camping Tent

If you’re looking for a new (or your first) car camping tent, there are several things to take into account. First, you need a car camping that’s stable and sturdy. When you’re in it, you’re going to be dealing with long treks, harsh weather conditions—and the very real possibility that, while you’re sleeping, a wild animal might come up to the tent and have a look at these strange creatures. Secondly, you’re going to want to look at the price. Many of us can’t afford the more expensive versions, and—even if you do pay more for a tent—you might not get your money’s worth. Finally, ideally, your car camping tent should be easy to get assembled. This is more convenient for you (especially if you’ve got young kids), and safer as well.

  • What are you going to be carrying in your car? This will depend both on how much space there is inside your car, and on how well you can pack your things. If you have a smaller car, you might have to carry some of your things in your hands while trekking—and, by extension, carry them around in your tent at night. If, on the contrary, you have a larger car, then you can settle for a smaller tent that doesn’t have a lot of room inside.
  • What area are you located in? Different tents need to be adjusted to different kinds of weather. For example, if you live in New England or Eastern Canada, you’ll want a tent that’s built for surviving snowfalls, including heavy snowfalls. However, if you’re going to be camping in Arizona or Nevada, then your tent should be able to withstand high temperatures. If you frequently camp while traveling in diverse areas, you can also get a tent that’s optimized for all kinds of temperatures.
  • How big would you like your tent to be? It’s true that—if you’re going car camping—you’re probably going to be storing most of your stuff inside your vehicle. That being said, you’ll still need to carry things inside the tent—things like food and water, first-aid supplies, cameras, and binoculars. You’ll need enough space inside the tent to hold all these things without them hitting into you while you’re sleeping. Also, if you have a smaller vehicle, then a larger tent might be a preferable option.
  • Who are you going to be camping with? If you’re going with kids—such as your own children, your kids’ friends, or students from your job or volunteer program—then you’ll a tent that’s got more wiggle room, so that they can move around and not feel suffocated by the space. Conversely, if you’re just going to be camping with other adults—such as your spouse, your friends, your cousins, and others—then a smaller tent might be appropriate. If you’re camping with older adults, or people who have disabilities, then you’ll want to find a tent that’s both accessible and relatively easy to set up.
  • What is the purpose of your trip? If you’re going camping simply to see the sights, a smaller tent with less space might be fine. In contrast, if you’re planning on taking film and pictures for your blog or business, then you might need a tent that has enough space to carry your equipment. The same can be said if you’re bringing equipment for geocaching. Similarly, if you want to bring exercise equipment—like snorkeling equipment, water skis, or others—then you’ll need space for those, too.

Recommended Product Reviews

1.   Explorer 2 SUV Tent

  • It’s got great workmanship; it simply won’t come unsewn, not even if you’ve been using it a long time
  • It’s made out of solid, durable polyester of 5 oz
  • It’s quick and easy to set up; installation takes 5 minutes
  • The price is very affordable
  • You can use it while your vehicle is attached to a trailer, including boat trailers
  • It’s flame-resistant; it complies with the AFAI-84 standards

Compliant with many models of vehicles

More specifically, this tent is compatible with the Acura SLX, Dodge Durango, Ford Odyssey, Nissan Pathfinder, and the Volkswagen EuroVan, among many others. In fact, it’s compatible with vehicles made by most of the major car dealers.

Comfortable to sit in

With many camping tents—including car camping tents—you might find that sitting inside it on top of damp or rough ground is very uncomfortable. However, with this model, you can (metaphorically) get off this “creepy crawler” type of ground. Not only is this efficient and comfortable, but it’s also ideal for when you’re settled into a camping area that hasn’t been “established,” so to speak.

Quick, easy installation

Once you’ve found your campground, it takes five minutes (if that) to set up this tent. Place the tent over your vehicle, connect to the tire wells with the bungee cords, raise the gate—and that’s it. It’s that easy.


2.   Rightline Gear 110907 SUV Tent

  • The fabric is sturdy and water-resistant; includes seams that are sealed with tape
  • Compliant with all models of these vehicles:
  • Comes equipped with everything you need: the tent, a carry bag, a rain fly, and an installation guide
  • Measures 8’ x 8’ x 7.2’
  • You don’t need a ground tarp to install it

Durable and resistant

It’s made of a fabric that’s resistant to water, and this fabric also features seams that are tape-sealed, In addition, this water-resistant fabric is efficient for the bathtub floor, which is made out of polyethylene. Because it has this floor, it also doesn’t require a ground tarp, which makes things more efficient for you and your party. Owing to its durability, you won’t have to worry about this tent drowning in rainwater at night—or, for that matter, suffering from storm damage during the day. You also won’t have to worry about any wear and tear generated down the line—this tent is strong enough to handle it.

Large carrying capacity

This tent is large enough to fit 4 camping adults, and the vehicle cargo area is large enough for two adults. Therefore, it’s good if you’re going on a camping trip with 6 people (or more, if some of the people sleeping within the tent proper are kids). This is large enough to cover most camping trips, seeing as most trips involve six people or less. It measures 8′ (length) x 8′ (width) x 7.2′ (height).


3.   Texsport 5 Person Retreat SUV Truck Tent with carry storage bag

  • Durable, strong build that features solid construction and storm flaps
  • This is flame-retardant, and it’s consistent with C.P.A.I.-84 standards
  • Everything is included for setup; you won’t suffer for lack of tools
  • Can stand on its own, or can attach to the hatchback of SUVs
  • Includes carry-on bag (300D)

Rugged, solid construction

This tent features high-quality construction. It features both tape seams and cascading wall pockets (3 of them, to be precise). It includes storm flaps, as well as a “D” style front door that’s made out of mesh. This mesh complements the windows, which are also made out of mesh. The rest of it is made out of very strong 190T polyester. It also features high-quality stitching that won’t break apart after usage.

Comes with everything you need

When you purchase this tent, it has everything you’ll need to install it—steel stakes (16 of them), an oxford bag for carrying (300D), and helpful instructions. Installation is straightforward and doesn’t take a long time.

Compatible with most models of SUVs

This tent can stand on its own if you need it to, on account of its unique design; you don’t need to attach it to your vehicle. However, if you do, then you’re in luck: it’s compatible with the majority of SUVs. If you have an SUV, then you’re well-equipped to go camping with this amazing tent.


4.   Sportz Dome-To-Go Tent

  • Amazing ventilation: 2 large doors and 3 large windows
  • Setup is quick and easy, thanks to the poles, which are made of fiberglass
  • You can convert it from a vehicle tent into a ground tent that can stand on its own
  • Comes with everything you need: a full-size rain fly, and awning, and complete instructions
  • 8.5’ x 8.5’

Family size

This tent measures 8.5’ x 8.5’ (length and width), and as such it’s big enough for four people to sleep comfortably. This makes it the perfect size for small families or small groups of friends who are going out on a camping trip.

Rugged build

The mesh windows are perfectly designed to avoid no-see-ums (biting midges), and there are three of these large windows. These windows match with the two entrance doors, which are quite well-sized, making entering and exiting the tent a breeze. No longer will you have to force yourself to squeeze through a small opening. It also features solid shock-corded, fiberglass poles.

Straightforward conversion

You can easily convert this tent from a standalone tent into a tent that fits in with your vehicle, depending on your needs and tastes. It works well for either purpose, and, in consequence, can be adjusted for camping in different areas, with different people, and for various durations of time. In other words, it’s a versatile tent that’s well-suited to a variety of diverse trips.


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