SUV Vs. Van: Which Is Better for Family Camping?

The pandemic is keeping everyone from truly enjoying their summer, but one of the best ways to get the family together safely is with a camping trip. As long as you only camp with your household, you can maintain social distancing guidelines while still enjoying some of the family activities that you’ve been missing, but the sedans most families have are not really spacious enough to pack a weekend of camping gear for a family of four. If you want to take more camping trips, you’ll want to consider an SUV or van. Here are the pros and cons of each for family camping.

Packing Space

The problem with using a sedan for camping is that there is little storage space. You are pretty much limited to the trunk, unless you have a luggage rack on the roof of your vehicle. Most people mistakenly think that SUVs are bigger than sedans. In actuality, if you park a sedan and a smaller SUV or hybrid side by side, they will be the same length. There is the same amount of space behind the seats as there is in a sedan trunk, although it is easier to utilize.

On the other hand, many passenger vans have a lot of room in the back. These vans may have third or even fourth row seating, some of which can be removed or folded down out of the way. This gives you a tremendous amount of space for your camping gear. You may even be able to put a mattress in the back instead of pitching a tent. 

Another option is a full-sized SUV, such as a Ford Explorer or Chevy Suburban. These SUVs have the same third row seating as a passenger van, but with much more space behind the seats and other benefits.

Going Off-Road

If you’re going to be going off-pavement during your camping trips, you probably want an SUV that has 4-wheel drive. You’re not going to find 4×4 passenger vans. If you’ll be spending a lot of time on dirt or gravel roads or out in the sticks where there might just be a dirt path, you’ll definitely want an SUV over a van.

Gas Mileage

Passenger vans and full-sized SUVs are both going to use much more gas than a sedan or hybrid, but one is still better than the other. SUVs are designed for heavy duty use; and because of that, it has a powerful engine that isn’t designed to be fuel efficient. On the other hand, passenger vans are for families who are often on a budget, and van manufacturers are well aware of the family’s need for a fuel-efficient vehicle. You’ll get better mileage by far with a van.

The bottom line is that you really have to consider a lot of factors before choosing a family camping vehicle. If you’re not sure of the best vehicle for you and your family, come down to our lot and see what we have to offer.

Our main location is at 3923 E. Hillsborough Ave., you can also visit one of our other three locations in Pasco, Ruskin or West Hillsborough Ave. Or feel free to call us at (888) 314-4469

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