Our editors carefully select every product we recommend. We may earn a commission from these links. Learn more

These Are The 10 Best SUVs for Camping

Photo: Subaru Forester Wilderness

Packing up and heading off-grid to spend time in nature can be a fantastic way to unplug from the stresses of modern life and unwind. And while one could take the KOA approach, the best camping is typically found well off the beaten path. Having a purpose-built off-road vehicle obviously makes it markedly easier to reach these locales, however, there’s no shortage of utilitarian, off-road-capable SUVs that can get you to basecamp on the weekends while still serving as a dependent daily driver Monday through Friday. And it’s this category of vehicle that we’ll be exploring today in this guide to the best SUVs for camping.

The Best SUVs For Camping

  • Best Affordable Pick

    Subaru Forester Wilderness

  • Best Upgrade Pick

    Honda Passport Trailsport

  • Best Value Pick

    Jeep Wrangler High Tide

  • Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

    Best Overlanding Platform

    Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

  • Most Off-Road-Capable

    Ford Bronco Everglades

  • Show more

Rolling Base Camp Qualities

The 8 Main Factors To Consider When Buying A Camping SUV

While there are dozens of finer points one can take into account when shopping for an SUV for camping, there are a handful of factors that unequivocally stand above the rest in terms of importance. Directly below, we’ll briefly touch on eight of the most pivotal factors to take into account before buying an SUV for camping.

Daily Drivability: Assuming you’ll also be using this vehicle for regular daily driving, it’s essential that an SUV also lends itself to commuting, grocery getting, and other day-to-day on-the-road tasks. While certain factors here will boil down to opinion or personal preference, one will nonetheless want to explore areas such as tech, miles-per-gallon, maneuverability, and comfort. 

Storage Space: Even if you take a minimalistic approach to packing, having the ability to transport ample gear and equipment is an absolute must when shopping for an SUV for camping. As such, it’s crucial to explore a given model’s available cargo space, looking into both interior cubic footage, as well as available supplementary storage such as exterior roof racks or rail systems. 

Ground Clearance & Suspension Travel: A significant part of what separates off-road-capable vehicles from their exclusively road-going counterparts is ground clearance and suspension travel. These areas give a clear sense of a model’s ride height, the height of the obstacles it will be able to traverse, and how efficiently a vehicle’s suspension is able to absorb bumps, drops, and impacts. It is worth noting that these areas can be upgraded via a lift kit and upgraded shocks. 

Powertrain: As the heart of any vehicle, the powertrain is of extreme importance. Alongside the transmission it comes mated to, one will also want to look into the displacement of an engine, its number of cylinders and configuration, whether it features forced induction or is natural aspiration, whether it features a hybrid system (or a fully-electric powertrain), and how much horsepower and torque it produces. Additionally, how a vehicle’s power is sent to the ground is also of extreme importance, as all-wheel and four-wheel-drive vehicles tend to perform much better in off-road settings. 

Range: Considering camping SUVs are used off-grid, often far from the nearest gas station, having the ability to cover ample miles in between trips to the pump is beyond essential. As a result, one should explore the size of an SUV’s tank, and couple that with how many miles it gets to the gallon. One can also purchase supplementary jerry cans or fuel cells for storing additional gas to use to extend autonomy in between fill-ups.

Tech & Connectivity: With the exception of some budget-focused models, pretty much every new car on the market comes loaded with a decent amount of tech, and SUVs are no different. Modern tech and connectivity features to look out for include Alexa, Siri, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto compatibility, Bluetooth connectivity, touchscreen displays, 360-degree camera systems, HUDs, auto-piloting functions, blindspot detection, lane-keep assist, auto-braking, intelligent traction management, and hill-descent control, just to name a few. 

Off-Road & Off-Grid Amenities: To further an SUV’s off-roading abilities, some manufacturers bestow their respective sport utility vehicles with off-road-specific elements such as steel bumpers, rock sliders, crash bars, auxiliary lighting, and skid plates. These items are often included on some off-road-focused trim levels or are available as optional factory upgrades. There are also SUVs available from the factory with full-on off-road kits that still come backed by a factory warranty. 

Upgradability: Alongside being offered with optional off-road elements straight off the showroom floor, some SUV models also lend themselves incredibly well to off-road and overland builds, with some of the more popular platforms featuring hundreds of available off-road upgrades from third-party and aftermarket companies. This includes components such as auxiliary lighting, winches, skid plates, bead-lock-capable wheels, roof racks, rooftop camping tents, slide-out kitchens, and lift kits, just to name a few of the more popular and common upgrades. Purchasing an off-road trailer is also a great way of instantly upgrading your mobile basecamp setup without hindering your SUV’s daily drivability. 

Subaru Forester Wilderness

Photo: Subaru
Why It Made The Cut
  • A practical, off-road-capable compact cross-over offering stellar bang for your buck.

Best Affordable Pick: Considering its sub-$35,000 MSRP, the Subaru Forester Wilderness arguably offers the best value of any new camping-capable SUV on the market, with symmetrical all-wheel drive, a full-sized onboard spare, 9.2” of ground clearance, a 3,000-lb towing capacity,  a 180-degree front-view monitor, exterior cladding along the wheel wells and lower impact zones, a roof rail system, and a dual-function X-MODE with hill descent control and pre-tuned settings for snow, mud, and dirt — all coming as standard. Boasting an interior trimmed in rugged textured StarTex upholstery, the Forester Wilderness doesn’t skimp on tech either, featuring Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology and well as its STARLINK Safety and Security system.

Engine: 2.5L Boxer-Four
Power: 182HP & 172FT-LBs
Max Cargo Space: 69.1 Cu-Ft
Ground Clearance: 9.2”
MSRP: $34,920

Honda Passport Trailsport

Photo: Honda
Why It Made The Cut
  • A practical, affordably-priced SUV offered in Honda’s new off-road-focused Trailsport trim.

Best Upgrade Pick: Back in late 2021, Honda officially debuted its TrailSport off-road label starting with the brand’s 2022 Passport SUV. The TrailSport trim level of the Passport comes standard with independent suspension, a cargo attachment-ready roof rack system, intelligent traction management, Honda’s i-VTM4 all-wheel-drive system, 18” TrailSport-specific wheels, LED fog lights, cargo area under-floor storage, flared reinforced fenders, Honda’s satellite-linked navigation system, and a 280-hp 3.5-liter V6 that comes backed by the world-class levels of reliability that the Japanese brand has built its name on. The Honda Passport TrailSport also gets a suite of modern tech and a surprisingly well-appointed interior. 

Engine: 3.5L V6
Power: 280HP & 262FT-LBs
Max Cargo Space: 77.7 Cu-Ft
Ground Clearance: 8.1”
MSRP: $44,500

Jeep Wrangler High Tide

Photo: Jeep
Why It Made The Cut
  • A classic Jeep off-roader offering impressive off-roading prowess straight off the showroom floor.

Best Value Pick: Restricted to only 5,000 units worldwide (per model year), the Jeep Wrangler High Tide is a high-performance limited edition 4×4 that comes straight from the factory with a host of standard upgrades. On top of being offered in a slew of vibrant paint options — all of which sport model-exclusive decals — the High Tide-spec Wrangler also sports wheels shod in 35” all-terrain tires, LED headlights and fog lamps, heavy-duty steel rock rails, a Sunrider hardtop roof, slush floor mats with a topographical pattern, and a windshield crafted from ultra-rugged Corning Gorilla glass. Like all Wrangler variants, the High Tide is also an excellent candidate for further customization, with an endless sea of available aftermarket upgrades currently made for the 4×4. 

Engine: 3.6L V6
Power: 285HP & 260FT-LBs
Max Cargo Space: 72.4 Cu-Ft
Ground Clearance: 12.9”
MSRP: $56,030

Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro
Photo: Toyota
Why It Made The Cut
  • A capable off-road-spec SUV that’s based on the Tacoma platform & available with thousands of aftermarket upgrades.

Best Overlanding Platform: Massively benefitting from lessons learned by the Japanese automaker’s off-road race division, the Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is an extremely off-road capable SUV that’s kicked along by a 4.0-liter V6 engine that cranks out 270hp and 278ft-lbs of torque. Equipped with part-time 4WD, the range-topping TRD Pro-spec 4Runner features a TRD-stamped skid plate, 17” flow-form TRD alloy wheels, a TRD roof rack, TRD x FOX shocks paired with TRD-tuned front springs, an electronic locking rear differential, a unique “TOYOTA” front grille, and a multi-terrain monitor and mode selector with a dedicated Crawl mode. 

Engine: 4.0L V6
Power: 270HP & 278FT-LBs
Max Cargo Space: 89.7 Cu-Ft
Ground Clearance: 9.6”
MSRP: $54,920

Ford Bronco Everglades

Photo: Ford
Why It Made The Cut
  • A factory-upgraded, go-anywhere version of the Blue Oval’s recently-revived SUV model range.

Most Off-Road-Capable: Designed for off-grid exploration straight from the factory, the Ford Bronco Everglades has been outfitted with a generous slew of off-road upgrades such as a factory-installed Ford-designed snorkel with a quick-swap, reversible air vent and a Ford Performance heavy-duty modular front bumper with an integrated 10,000-pound ZEON 10-S WARN winch. The Everglades-spec of this popular retro-inspired model also comes loaded with the Ford Bronco Sasquatch package as standard, and as such also features a 4.7 final drive ratio, Blistein position-sensitive monotube shocks, high-clearance flared fenders, locking differentials fore and aft, and 17” bead-lock-capable wheels wrapped in 35” all-terrain tires.

Engine: Turbocharged 2.3L Inline-Four
Power: 300HP & 325FT-LBs
Max Cargo Space: 82.97 Cu-FT
Ground Clearance: 11.5”
MSRP: $55,520

Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

Photo: Porsche
Why It Made The Cut
  • A sleek luxury SUV that can be massively improved for camping with just a few basic mods.

Best Hybrid Pick: The Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid is a high-performance, daily-drivable luxury SUV that can still take you off the beaten path. Weighing in at 5,164lbs at the curb, the Cayenne E-Hybrid features approach, departure, and break-over angles of 27.5, 24.4, and 18.7 degrees, respectively, as well as a max wading depth of 11” and 8.1” of ground clearance that can be raised up to 9.1” with the Porsche’s Air suspension. Powering the Porsche is a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine equipped with a 100-kW (134-hp) hybrid system that allows it to generate a collective 463hp and 479ft-lbs of torque — figures that allow for a top speed of 158mph and a 0-60mph time of as little as 4.6 seconds. With just a few very basic mods and aftermarket upgrades, the E-Hybrid-spec Cayenne makes for an outstanding luxury glamping SUV.  

Engine: Hybrid Turbocharged 3.0L V6
Power: 463HP & 479FT-LBs
Max Cargo Space: 55.1 Cu-Ft
Ground Clearance: 8.1” (or 9.1” W/ Air Suspension)
MSRP: $91,700

Rivian R1S Quad-Motor AWD

Rivian R1S
Photo: Rivian
Why It Made The Cut
  • An unmistakably modern, all-electric quad-motor SUV offered w/ a wide range of lifestyle-focused features & optional packages & accessories. 

Best Overall Pick: The SUV counterpart to Rivian’s MotorTrend “Truck Of The Year” award-winning R1T, the Rivian R1S is an incredibly high-tech and well-appointed fully-electric SUV that lends itself just as well to off-roading as it does to family hauling and on-road daily driving duties. Guided by a state-of-the-art system backed by 11 cameras, five radars, and a dozen ultra-sonic sensors, the R1S boasts a plethora of drive modes including off-road-specific settings, a wading depth of at least 3’, an advanced all-wheel-drive system, a towing capacity of 7,700lbs, a crossbar cargo rack system, a ride height adjustable between 8.8” and 14.9”, and a range of between 260 and 320 miles on a single charge. The SUV is made all the more off-roady ready by its quad-motor powertrain which cranks out well-over 800hp and 900ft-lbs of torque and allows for a 0-60mph time of only 3 seconds. 

Powertrain: Quad-Electric Motors
Power: 835HP & 908FT-LBs
Max Cargo Space: 104 Cu-Ft
Ground Clearance: 14.9”
MSRP: $92,000

Jeep Grand Wagoneer Series II 4X4

Photo: Jeep
Why It Made The Cut
  • A modernized all-American full-size SUV with a commanding presence & over 90cu-ft of storage.

Best Full-Size Pick: After a roughly three-decade hiatus, Jeep has revived its iconic Grand Wagoneer model, delivering the plushest, most capable, and most high-tech iteration of the full-sized luxury SUV to date. Offering a unique combination of comfort and off-roading capability, the Grand Wagoneer Series I features Quadra-Lift Air Suspension with semi-active damping, a healthy 10” of ground clearance, and a generous 94.2 cubic feet of collective cargo space. Powered by the brand’s new 510-hp twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter “Hurricane” straight-six engine, this American-made SUV also gets Jeep’s ParkSense automated parking system, 24-way adjustable heated and ventilated Nappa leather seats, a 12.3” info cluster display, a 12” Uconnect touchscreen, and an industry-first MX950 19-speaker entertainment system from renowned American audio brand McIntosh. 

Powertrain: Twin-Turbocharged 3.0L Straight-Six
Power: 510HP & 500FT-LBs
Max Cargo Space: 94.2 Cu-Ft
Ground Clearance: 10.0”
MSRP: $96,595

Land Rover Defender 130 X

Photo: Land Rover
Why It Made The Cut
  • A super premium, well-appointed full-size SUV with ample storage space & impressive stock off-roading chops.

Best Luxury Pick: Offering seating for up to 8, the Land Rover Defender 130 X is a thoroughly high-end and high-tech take on an off-road-capable SUV. Riding on 20” Style 5095 diamond-turned wheels, the Defender 130 X sports an electronic active differential, configurable terrain response, all-terrain progress control, wade sensing and a 35.4” maximum wading depth, electronic air suspension with adaptive dynamics, a 3D-surround camera, second-generation Terrain Response, and approach, departure, and break-over angles of 37.5, 28.5, and 27.8 degrees, respectively. The Defender 130 X also features excellent road-going capabilities with a 395-hp 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that allows for 6.3-second 0-60mph time

Engine: 3.0L Inline-Six
Power: 395HP & 406FT-LBs
Max Cargo Space: 76.1 Cu-Ft
Ground Clearance: 8.5” (or 11.5” W/ Air Suspension)
MSRP: $99,900

GMC Hummer EV 3X SUV

Photo: GMC
Why It Made The Cut
  • A behemoth of an EV equipped with a unique array of cutting-edge tech & immense off-road capabilities.

Best EV Pick: Appropriately referred to by its manufacturer as a “super truck,” the GMC Hummer EV 3X SUV is tangible proof that the electric vehicle era has ushered in new levels of performance that would have sounded utterly ridiculous only a few years ago. Along with available four-wheel steering and the ability to diagonally crab-walk, the Hummer eSUV boasts GMC’s underbody camera-equipped Ultravision system, independent front and rear suspensions, optional front e-lockers and virtual rear lockers, an Infinity roof with modular Sky panels, a 14-speaker Bose audio system, and 10.2” of ground clearance plus an extract mode that lifts the SUV up by an additional 6”. Powering the electric truck is a trio of electric motors that allow this fully-electric SUV to put down 830hp and an even more impressive 11,500ft-lbs of torque.

Engine: Tri-Electric Motors
Power: 830HP & 11,500FT-LBs
Max Cargo Space: 82 Cu-Ft
Ground Clearance: 10.2” (or 15.9” W/ Air Suspension)
MSRP: $105,145

The Best Off-Road Trucks & SUVs

Best Off Road Trucks and SUVs 0 Hero
Photo: Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

Looking for an even more competent go-anywhere rig? Then be sure to cruise on over to our guide to the best off-road trucks and SUVs for off-grid exploration and adventure.