I’ve been camping my entire life, mostly with my family in our RV. Now that’s fun and a great way to travel but about two years ago I really began camping with my friends. You know, straight up camping in a tent outside with a campfire. “Real” camping as some people like to call it. I freaking fell in love with car camping! Setting up the tent, sleeping on the floor, not showering, it’s awesome! For real, tent camping just has an element that RVing can’t capture. Now don’t get me wrong, an RV is great for longer road trips but I love a good ol’ fashioned tent when I can.
With my new love for camping I needed a vehicle that could accommodate me on my trips. So I traded in my hot rod Dodge Challenger for a Jeep Patriot. It’s not quite as fast but it’s just as cool and it looks good dirty. I’ve always loved building things so my mind quickly began thinking of ways to equip the Jeep better for camping. After a lot of thought I decided on a few elements that I had to have when car camping:
- I needed a kitchen that was easy to access. I hated digging through all my equipment to get the stove and the serving utensils and everything needed just to make some pasta. Everything had to be organized and easy to access.
- Storage for food had to be right next to the kitchen so I could stand in the back and have everything I needed.
- I didn’t want to bring the huge plastic camping bucket that everybody has. I needed something more organized that was easier to access.
- It all had to be quickly removable. Sometimes you don’t get a campsite with a convenient parking spot. For those occasions I wanted to be able to move my equipment to the campsite.
- There had to be little to no setup or breakdown time. I wanted it always available whenever I needed it.
After drawing up a few different plans I settled on a design and got to work. This is what the finished product looks like:
Here’s an overview of the features my car camping setup has:
- A fridge (really just an iceless cooler plugged into a cigarette lighter)
- Two drawers for storage (this is basically what replaced the camping bucket)
- A sink with running water (really just a salad bowl and water jugs)
- Pull out counter space (super handy)
- Storage for my stove
- Storage for a pot and pan
I can take everything out in less than a minute and have my trunk completely cleared. It’s all super secure and doesn’t shift around while driving. I’ve even done a bit of off-roading and had no problems. It doesn’t even rattle or squeak which I’m amazed by. I’ve taken it on a few trips already and it works great!
Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions of things to add or change. I’d also love to see your car camping setup if you have one. Leave a comment below to let me know.