It’s finally summertime. The season of fireflies buzzing about, late-night star gazing, sausages over an open fire, and hammock hangs is upon us. Yes, we’re talking about camping.
If you’re a camping enthusiast, you know the value of car camping accessories for impromptu trips. Perhaps you like to take a couple weeks and drive around, camping along the way. Car accessories are essential for those long camping trips, too!
Ready to gear up for the 2018 camping season? Read on for a list of the best camping accessories, and why you need to put them on your must-haves list!
Strong Roof Rack
If you’re a heavy packer, a good, sturdy roof rack is one of the best SUV camping accessories out there. It’s easy to overpack with tons of gear on a long camping trip, so a roof rack is essential for saving space.
Top it with a hard-case storage shell, which you can fill with camping essentials. You can also use it to tote surfboards, bikes, and fishing poles that won’t fit inside the car.
Truck Air Mattress
Air mattresses are the unsung heroes of truck camping gear. Your truck bed can be utilized a thousand different ways, but sleeping on it is definitely one of the best.
Most basic air mattresses will work, but be sure you’re purchasing a battery-operated so you’re not relying on an outlet to fill it up. Some truck air mattresses are designed specifically for truck beds, so they feature cutouts for the tires. Buying a dedicated truck air mattress like this will ensure the entire bed of your truck is covered with mattress, giving you extra room to get cozy.
Ditch the tent and sleep under the stars!
A towing mirror is definitely a must-have accessory if you’re carting a camper, caravan, motorhome, 4×4, boat, or RV around. It’s essentially another side view mirror that mounts right on your door, extending your mirror coverage and eliminating that pesky blind spot that comes with towing.
It only takes a minute to pop onto your car, and makes towing so much easier. Figuring out how to back a camper up into a campsite is hard enough– why make it harder by limiting your visibility?
Alright, so a camp shower isn’t necessarily the height of glamping, but it’s definitely better than pouring a jug of cold water over your head when it’s time to wash up!
They work like this: you fill the camp shower with water (they usually hold about 3-5 gallons). You set the camp shower on the roof of the car to warm up. When you’re ready to bathe, you hang the camp shower from a tree and turn the spigot.
Voila! A hot shower while camping. It’s almost too good to be true.
Backseat Air Mattress
This is the alternative to the truck bed air mattress for those who drive SUVs or sedans. They’re cut out to shape to your backseat, including support in the foot space area, and super comfortable.
If you’re packing light and don’t want to deal with the hassle of setting up a tent, the backseat air mattress is a must. Many can be blown up using your cars 12-volt plugin, too. Make sure to park in the shade if you’re using one of these bad boys so you’re not baked out in the morning!
If you’re a trail biker, you’re going to need to get yourself a bike rack.
Sure, you can tote your bike around on a roof rack, but that eliminates precious space for other essentials you could be packing. To maximize all your space on long camping trucks, invest in a dedicated bike rack that hangs behind your trunk.
If you’re going to get a bike rack, you’re going to need a trailer hitch. Most bike racks require them to install onto the car.
Even if you don’t plan on getting a bike rack, though, trailer hitches are dead useful to have in other circumstances. When you’re not camping, you can tow Uhaul trailers instead of renting trucks when you move. If you ever want to buy a camper, you’re definitely going to need a trailer hitch.
Truck tents are the mac daddy of car camping gear. They’re designed to pop up from your truck’s bed. They require minimal setup, unlike lots of other standard tents, which also means your break-down time is next to nothing when it’s time to pack up.
The luxe versions have built-in air mattresses for the truck bed, too, which is really nice. Even if you want to buy a less expensive model, though, many will work with the truck bed air mattresses mentioned earlier.
Truck tents are ideal for side-of-the-road campers who don’t want to sacrifice a good night’s sleep just because they’re on the road. If you’re planning a long trip, this is a great option because it minimizes the hassle of setting up and breaking down camp for one night stays.
12-volt stoves are a game changer when it comes to car camping gear. If you don’t want to deal with building a fire and don’t want to tote around bottles of propane, this is for you.
They plug right into your car’s 12-volt outlet, making them a breeze to use. They’re usually pretty small, though, so you’ll probably want to sticks to just eggs and toast on these bad boys.
Folding Trunk Organizer
Tired of toting around huge, plastic bins crammed messily with camp silverware, paper towels, wrenches, and bug spray? Get yourself a folding trunk organizer.
When not in use, you can fold it up and tuck it underneath your seat. When in use, it’ll make everything you need a breeze to find, making impromptu camping trips easier and more organized.
Even when you’re not camping, these things are awesome to have in your car. Keep your first aid kit, flashlight, and tire changing tools in it. You’ll never lose anything under your seat again!
Beyond Car Camping Accessories
Now that you’ve read up on the ten hottest car camping accessories of 2018, you’re probably ready to plan your camping trip. We don’t blame you!
Before you head out, make sure your car is in tip-top shape to avoid any breakdowns along the way. Find your car manual here to consult during your pre-camping trip car inspection!