What Is Car Camping? And Why It’s A Perfect Way To Travel In 2021

Who doesn’t love a cheeky adventure with close to no costs involved?

If you could extend your outdoor expeditions to overnight stays, without the need to carry all your equipment including a tent, would you?

The sense of independence without all the baggage attached to your back, car-camping is a tempting option if you’re willing to take your chances and go for a car camping adventure!

For us, 2021 will surely be a year of car camping and we will not have to rely on paid accommodation for most of our travels.

So, how exactly do we define car camping and how are we getting ready to have the best experience possible?

Car camping

What is car camping?

Any time you’ll be spending the night in your car sleeping, either inside or in a roof tent, you’ll be car camping.

It’s more affordable than a motorhome and can be done in most of the medium or bigger cars you see on the road everyday. Moreover, if the terrain you’re exploring is rough, a car is much more suited to conquering the gravel roads and sneaking through narrow streets than a campervan or motorhome.

Also, car camping is much more stealthy, so with appropriate equipment, you should be able to spend your night in a variety of locations without the worry of being discovered!

Tips for car camping

There’s a couple of precautions to consider when you’re camping in a car. You need to remember, that in a lot of places car camping is either illegal or in a grey area – so be careful and respectful towards the neighbourhood you’re staying in. No matter if it’s a forest, a random parking lot by the cemetery or a truck rest-stop. 

Think about car camping as wild camping. We have an article on wild camping tips, but here we will share more tailored advice from previous car camping excursions to Croatia and Georgia.

What is the best car for camping?

Honestly, the best car for camping will be one you already have. Give it a couple of tries before you get a vehicle completely kitted out and dedicated to camping adventures. Unless you own something really small like a Peugeot 107, then we recommend buying or renting out a roof tent (your car needs to have railings). Make a test setup at home by folding down your seats, putting a mattress, pillow and a sleeping bag to get a better understanding of how it’ll feel when you’re staying away from home. 

Even a very modest car can be a great choice for camping, so don’t hesitate and just give it a go! It will most likely be better than you expected it to be. 

If it’s a diesel and you plan to camp in the winter months, you can mount a diesel heater inside and enjoy the cosy nights just like at home! It’s definitely a good idea to pick a diesel over petrol engines, especially for longevity and fuel efficiency. And the warm nights, of course.


So, will you try car camping this year?

The incredible independence, the convenience and the ease of setup are all excellent reasons to give car camping a go in 2021.

Who knows, maybe you’ll love it enough to carry on and go on a full-blast adventure for a couple of days?

We loved our road-trip in Croatia, where we explored the whole country in an old (but feisty) VW Golf with a roof-tent. 

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