The 15 Best Tips for Camping in Your Car

Skip the expensive hotel and try car camping instead.

car camping
Getty Images

Heading to a beautiful beach or your favorite national park? Turn your car into cozy and convenient accommodations with these easy car camping tips, tricks, and ideas.

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haitral inflatable car bed for car camping
Courtesy of Amazon
Use an inflatable car bed.

$31

If you don't own a tent (or don't want the hassle), this inexpensive piece is your best bet.

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LAPUTA Waterproof Teardrop Trailer Awning for Car Camping
Courtesy of Amazon
Create more room to roam with a portable car awning.

$124

Invest in an easy-to-assemble piece like this, or simply suspend a with some rope from the back of your car.

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Char-Broil Portable 240 Liquid Propane Gas Grill
Courtesy of Amazon
Prepare meals with a portable stove.

$60


This liquid propane gas grill doesn't take up much space and means you can enjoy delicious meals while you camp. You can also use a if you prefer.

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tepui ayer sky tent for car camping
Courtesy of BackCountry.com
Invest in a rooftop car tent.

$1,050

While this is definitely on the more expensive side, it's still cheaper than a hotel or RV.

RELATED: The Best Camping Tents for Every Kind of Outdoor Adventure

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rightline gear 110907 suv tent for car camping
Courtesy of Amazon
Or use a tent designed to fit your vehicle.

$280


This SUV tent gives you the perfect place to sleep outside your car, while still being able to easily access your trunk. And truck drivers, don't worry! There's , too.

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car camping under starry sky
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Learn how to find the best free car-camping locations.

Check out the campgrounds listed on or any , which you can park on overnight (as long as you're not blocking any vehicles).

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anker 21w dual usb solar phone charger
Courtesy of Amazon
Charge devices with a portable solar charger.

$70


Attach this to the outside of your car to charge during the day, and then plug your devices in once you've turned your car off for the night.

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wagan el6224 12v cooler/warmer
Courtesy of Amazon
Keep food and drinks in a car cooler.

$65


Plug this cooler into your cigarette lighter to keep drinks and food chilled all day long.

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roadie the overnighter car camping tent
Courtesy of Amazon
Cover windows with camping screens.

$45

Ensure your car is cool and breezy (and avoid condensation build-up) with this simple trick. If you don't mind some bugs passing through while you sleep, simply crack your windows.

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back of packed suv with bike
Getty Images
Find free parking the easy way.

Whether you're looking for a place to spend the night or simply need to pull over and rest for a bit, the will show you the best nearby spots. You might also find their helpful if you're looking for more places to sleep in your car.

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rubbermaid flip top cereal keeper
Courtesy of Amazon
DIY a trash can for your car.

$10


Transform a cereal container into a lightweight, portable trashcan by lining it with a plastic bag.

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suv back with diy shelf
Courtesy of Hyperbrain.me
Build a platform and transform your car into a camper.

A few simple modifications will turn your car, van, or truck into your very own mini camper.

Get the tutorial at .

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camper and car at gas station
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Save money when you fuel up.

Use the app to find the cheapest gas prices on your route.

Get the app for free at the .

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prepworks by progressive collapsible dish tub
Courtesy of Amazon
Use a collapsible sink.

$13

Wash dishes, do some light laundry, or lather your face on-the-go with this compact and handy tub that folds down and stows away.

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iris 12 quart stack & pull boxes
Courtesy of Amazon
Organize your car with clear bins.

$27 for 6-pack


Leave the bulky suitcases at home and keep everything in clear, categorized bins, so you can easily find what you’re looking for.

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