The vehicle you drive every day can be a platform for the exploration of the nation’s campsites if you consider factors such as space, appropriate on- and off-road capability, and general comfort. Some auto manufacturers now also offer specific features that make their vehicles particularly camping-friendly.
Edmunds has picked five of its favorite models based on the above qualities and listed a recommended trim level for each, along with its listed manufacturer suggested retail pricing (MSRP), including destination fees. Make sure to research discounts or current incentives that might be available in your area.
TWO-ROW CROSSOVER SUV: 2019 SUBARU FORESTER
Subaru owners have been installing rooftop tents for years, and now Subaru has finally given them an official weight rating to go by. The current Forester has an in-motion maximum weight of 176 pounds on the roof rack and a static rating (when you’re parked) of 700 pounds. This information will help in your search for the right rooftop tent and bolster your confidence on the road while it’s up there. Plus, the Forester has plenty of interior space for other campers and camping gear and standard all-wheel drive to help get you off the beaten path.
Forester Sport starting MSRP: $29,770
THREE-ROW CROSSOVER SUV: 2020 KIA TELLURIDE
The new Telluride is one of Edmunds’ favorite three-row crossover SUVs. It’s got a rugged exterior look to go along with its available all-wheel-drive system. And if you opt for the top-level SX, you can get it with a towing package and a 110-volt power inverter, which is great for charging devices at the campsite. What’s more, it’s one of the most comfortable vehicles in its class. So getting to the campsite will be a breeze no matter how far away it is.
Telluride SX AWD starting MSRP: $45,535
MIDSIZE PICKUP: 2019 HONDA RIDGELINE
The Honda Ridgeline has some neat tricks that make it an ideal campsite companion. For instance, the cargo bed has a lockable underfloor trunk that can be used for storing gear or even ice and drinks ? and a drain plug lets you to get rid of the water when you’re done. There’s even a dealer-accessory tent that Honda will sell you. It’s perfectly sized for the bed and allows for a full-size mattress and off-the-ground sleeping. The Ridgeline is also roomy and comfortable, which helps during those long trips to the campsite.
Ridgeline RTL-T AWD starting MSRP: $39,945
MINIVAN: 2019 TOYOTA SIENNA
Don’t want to sleep outside in a tent? The Sienna, like other minivans, offers enough interior space for lie-down sleeping as long as you fold down the rear seats and remove the second-row seats. On top of that, the Sienna is the only minivan that offers all-wheel drive, which can help provide extra traction in poor weather or road conditions. If you’re looking for a versatile mix of passenger capacity, storage space, protection from the elements, and respectable fuel economy and power, take a closer look at the Sienna.
Sienna SE AWD starting MSRP: $40,165
FULL-SIZE VAN: 2019 MERCEDES-BENZ SPRINTER
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is one of the most customizable vehicles on the road. It’s available with multiple lengths, seating configurations and engines. The Sprinter can also be optioned with a roof so tall that someone who’s 6-foot-4 can stand up inside. Few vehicles on the road offer as much usable interior space as the Sprinter. Then there’s an endless list of available aftermarket options that allow you to customize it for your outdoor needs. This Mercedes is also available with four-wheel drive.
Sprinter 2500 Diesel Cargo 4WD (170-inch wheelbase, high roof) starting MSRP: $53,985
EDMUNDS SAYS: Whether you’re setting up shop in a parking lot with a nice view or traveling off the beaten path for a few weeks, there are lots of vehicles to choose from. Figure out the size and capability you need first, and once you do, go see the best North America has to offer.
This story was provided to The Associated Press by the automotive website Edmunds. Travis Langness is a reviews editor at Edmunds. Twitter: @travislangness.