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Small Upgrades To Your Vehicle For Car Camping


Going on a long weekend country drive, exploring, camping, and having fun has always been a dream. Living that busy city life might cost you time, and going on a camping trip might seem far from reality. Now that you have finally decided to go on the countryside road trip in your car, you need to be well prepared and explore ready. Going on a car camping trip will help you relax your mind, explore the uncharted area, get a change in weather, and refresh your mind.

Before upgrading your car for the upcoming car camping trip, consider analyzing your car details like its size, space, and durability. If this criterion does not match the terrain you will be driving on, upgrading your car might be unnecessary. This might also affect your trip and have an impact on your experience. It is crucial to find a car that suits the terrain and the compatibility of the camping gear. Changing your vehicle overnight is not a one-day task; therefore, in such cases renting a car can be the most feasible option. Here is the list of small upgrades you can do to your vehicle to have a fantastic car camping experience.  

Rooftop Tents

One might say rooftop tents are quite underrated today. People look for an outing where there is a camping tent on the lakeside with various luxuries offered. But what people don’t really understand is the feasibility of the setup, ease of travel, comfort, and space. A traditional tent takes up a lot of space in your car. Secondly, a traditional tent needs a lot of time to set up and takes out the fun in enjoying that beautiful sunset when you are installing the tent hastily or don’t know how to set it up. Lastly, a traditional tent is relatively compact and economical, so the ease of spreading your legs comfortably or including your friends inside for a cozy atmosphere might seem like an impossible task. Another thing that you might find uncomfortable is the bare ground on which you would lie down.

The solution to making your car camp trip to save time, space, and comfort is to consider investing in a rooftop tent. Rooftop tents are easy to install and do not take up significant space in your car, helping you make space for other miscellaneous things. Rooftop tents come in various ranges depending upon mattress type, ease of installation, and many other factors. There are various rooftop tent brands such as Big Agnes, Thule, and many more.

Here are a couple of rooftop tent brands that you should consider investing in due to their design and cost.

Thule’s Rooftop Tent

Thule’s rooftop tent had been released in 2010 and is still trendy even today. Thule is the leading car accessory company in the market, and so the brand name exclusively looks up to the quality of the rooftop tents. The Thule Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3 is priced at $1,750. Considering the price, Thule’s rooftop bed has been tested for durability with the help of a PU-coated rainfly, UV resistant material, and overall has been described as wind and rain protected. This rooftop tent is a softshell tent for ease of stay and comfort. The rooftop tents come with stairs, and the floor area is 37.3 sq. ft and a height of 52 inches.

Ikamper’s Roof Top Tent

It is priced at a higher market value of $3899 due to iKampers Skycamp 2.0 upgraded features owing to its price value. Many individuals have opted for the Skycamp 2.0 rooftop bed as it crosses the $100,000 mark just after its debut in 2017. The upgraded features included a foldable traditional hard shell rooftop tent. It also has a king-size foam mattress for a peaceful sleep and a more robust and secure locking sequence. Due to the premium material, the rooftop tent stays stable and the ease of climbing up with upgraded stairs that are economically spacious. Thus, overall, the campers Skycamp 2.0 is a compact rooftop tent with good interiors and an ergonomically upgraded tent for ease of living. It makes your stay just like home with a temperature rating material.

Solar Panels 

An unlimited energy source can be a challenge, but why should you fear when there is one just in the sky. Yes, the sun, a great natural source of energy, plants use it so why can’t you? The only thing that you need is a way to harness that energy. You might wonder what is the need for unlimited power, especially while camping. The answer to this is simple; going on a camp trip without electronics is no joke. Electrical equipment like light, phones, cameras, and many more need to be charged to stay connected and capture picturesque sceneries. To harness the sun’s energy, you need a solar panel that will convert the sun’s energy into electrical energy. 

Purchasing a solar panel as an upgrade to your car is an investment that will benefit you for days to come. Here is the list of solar panels that will upgrade your car as a sustainable moving battery to charge electronic resources while on a car camp trip.

Renogy 100-watt Solar Panel

The RENOGY 100 Watts solar panel is priced at $255 per 160 watts. It is flexible and can be attached to the car rooftop. Going on a sunny car trip can help you charge during the day and utilize the energy at night. It is capable of withstanding extreme weather conditions like wind, storm, and precipitation. While purchasing the RENOGY 100-Watt solar panel, do not forget to cross-check the roof’s surface area and your car. 

This solar panel is mainly suitable for vans. Remember one thing, while considering your car camping trip, try predicting the weather conditions or checking out local weather reports as cloudy conditions might make you vulnerable to energy, and solar panels won’t be able to recharge. You can easily charge your MacBook and mobile device. The rate of charging will depend on the amount of sunlight on the panel.

Bigblue Foldable Solar Panel

The latest solar panel by BigBlue is capable of storing electrical power up to 28-Watts. It has been designed in such a way that the panel can be folded and opened. Thus it takes up less space as well as charges quickly due to a larger surface area. There are 3 USB ports connected to the panel so you can charge your mobile device quickly. The USB port can be easily connected to your charging cord, depending on the type of cable. A small limitation with this solar panel is that it cannot charge heavy use devices like laptops. It is currently available for $69.96 on amazon.

Network Boosters

Network connectivity in remote areas is one of the significant challenges you will face, and that will put you out of your comfort zone while going on a camp route. If there are any urgent matters to attend you might not even have cell service. To resolve these issues, Network Boosters come into place. The Network Boosters help you amplify your signal boosting your internet connectivity.


WeBoost is a signal amplifier that has a 4G-X drive and has been priced at $450. It has an over-the-road antenna (OTR) that you can fit onto your vehicle. You will observe an increase of 20dBm when you switch it on, which graphically means one or two bars of the signal icon on your phone. Signal Boosters are not affected by severe temperature conditions and can withstand 103 degrees Fahrenheit. The WeBoost network booster can have a farther tower connection range and can simultaneously boost various devices.

Portable Refrigerator And Coolers

Upgrading your car with a refrigerator might seem like a redundant modification at first, but it has a lot to do with your health and keep you full during the car camp trip. Installing a refrigerator in your car can help you store cold cuts, bacon, tuna, milk, and many other eatables so that you don’t skip a meal. Things won’t get stale easily, and carrying ice-cream and soda might not seem like an impossible task. This portable refrigerator will upgrade your car to another level. There are various types of portable refrigerators or portable coolers, like the ones with compressors that work on electricity and just need ice refills. 

Furthermore, you can use coolers meant for cars. These types of portable coolers have been upgraded from traditional ice coolers. They are powered 12 volts, which can be plugged in easily and do not take much space. It can be in a hot and humid environment, and you will still have cold food.       

Alpicool Cx30

 Alpicool Cx30 is a portable compressor refrigerator that runs on electricity. It has a market value of $239 for the model of 20 liters capacity. It can accommodate a box of beer, a couple of wine bottles, and some hot dog sausages and bacon, which is more than enough for the weekend car camping trip.

Igloo Thermoelectric Cooler

You can connect this cooler to your car with an auxiliary cable. The Igloo Sportsman series is famous for its brand and quality of cooler products offered. It is a thermoelectric cooler and does not require ice refills. The volume of the cooler is capable of holding twelve pints of beer. The reduced space due to ice can be filled with food products to have drinks and eat good food while on the trip. The minimum temperature environment that the cooler holds are 32 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the cooling point of water. There has been much positive feedback about the product, and it is economical and compact.                               

Tire Upgrades 

The car camp trip might challenge you to terrain that is not smooth, which can be rough while exploring beaches, mountains, forested regions, and regular concrete roads. In scenarios like these, it is necessary to have spare tires or a tire repair tool. Your whole trip depends on the car’s well-being, so you should make a small investment to keep your tires safe as it is the foundation on which your vehicle can transport easily. You can add an external stand for a tire to carry spare tires that would not take much space. You can purchase flat tire tool kits like SLIME 50107, which hardly cost $20 that will aid you to re-inflate the tire, saving your trip from reaching a dead end. 

Making a small investment in this will help you be independent and not rely on auto-repair shops as they are not always present around the remote location that you will explore. Investing in all-terrain tires like RAZR AT, BRAVO SERIES AT-771, and BRAVO SERIES MA-751 will save you from getting a punctured tired and a smooth drive. If there are muddy regions along the route you have selected for the camping trip, TREPADOR RADIAL M80M60 and RAZR MT are the best options for muddy terrains.

Spare Battery

Suppose solar panels are not compatible with the time and weather in which you will go car camping. In that case, you should think about purchasing a spare battery capable of powering all the heavy equipment mentioned. The battery works like a generator where the fuel converts to electrical energy. The Zero Yeti Lithium 1000 is apt for giving 100 watts per hour consistently for 10 hours. Therefore, the Zero Yeti Lithium 1000 can charge laptops that need a 100-watt stable connection per hour. Some solar panels will not have an energy storage device, so you can connect batteries to the solar panels to store energy. The Zero Yeti Lithium 1000 is priced at $399.95 and has a circuit capable of handling 220 Watts.

Truck Beds

If sleeping on the rooftop is not your thing, converting your car seats into your bed can be what might suit you. Sleeping on the car seats is not an option but with consequences like joint pain, neck pain, and back pain. Why suffer these consequences when there is a way to avoid them?

Milliard Tri-Fold Mattress

The Milliard tri-fold mattress is the best choice while looking for truck beds. It has a foam of 10 cm and memory foam that can adjust according to your sleeping habits. The thickness of the mattress is reasonable as well, considering the height of the car. Therefore, you will not feel cramped up and lose that extra space. It is available on Amazon at $140.

Back-up Fuel Tanks 

Going on a long-distance requires a lot of gas for your car. The car fuel tanks can store a limited amount of fuel, which can last for a certain distance. The vehicle can move in a limited range, and not having a gas station around can cause problems. Imagine being stuck in the middle of the desert with no fuel and no gas station. To prevent scenarios like these from happening, you should invest in an additional fuel tank to help you during emergencies. 


Finding changing rooms while on the camp can be a challenge. You can consider changing in the wilderness, but what if you need to slip into a new pair of clothes or need some privacy in the car? Purchasing car shields will help you get privacy turning your car into a room. For this, you need to purchase a sun protection shield and tamper it to get an opaque black shield so that you can change and get privacy at ease.

Storage Compartments

Storage compartments might seem redundant, but carrying extra pairs of clothes, toothbrushes in a backpack, or a mini suitcase does not make sense, especially when on a road trip. Imagine this; if you are in a hotel room, you first unbox your belongings into the wardrobe so that you can fetch things easily and things are well organized. Similarly, packing your clothes in a backpack will keep your clothes disorganized, and things that are stuffed inside might seem to pop out quickly. 

Such a system can end up your clothes on the bare camping ground while taking them out. The backside of your car is spacious, and to carry your clothes in an organized manner, installing drawers at the rear of the car can help you out. You and your partner can invest in such organizers, and since the car will be your home for a few days, an upgrade like this will help you feel at home. Organizers begin at a price as low as $10 and can go up depending on the quality.


Therefore, small upgrades in your car can change your car camping lifestyle drastically. Investing time and money for little things like this will help you enjoy the trip and prevent you from regretting the vacation you slogged for spending many working hours in the office. To have a peaceful and serene adventure, consider investing in these car camping upgrades.