Over the years, electric vehicles have been one of the best cars to take camping, especially when looking forward to having a home-away-from-home feel.
However, even though they are so common now, not all campsites have charging outlets or spaces for EVs.
If using your electric vehicle for camping is possible, you’re at the right place. I’ll give you a complete exposition of the topics in a few moments.
You can go camping with an electric car because most of them have additional features like light modifications and outstanding strength. However, you must consider factors like your car size, model, camp location, and battery capacity before deciding if you still want to use it for camping.
In this article, I will give you a detailed explanation of EV camping, what it entails, the reliability of electric vehicles for camping, and the best vehicles to use for that.
By the end, you’ll also learn some tricks and tips you can use to enable you to get the best out of your camping experience.
Can You Use an Electric Car for Camping?
Of course, you can use your electric car for camping, especially if you own one of the Tesla X or Y models.
You can camp in your car, with a roof-top tent, or do the pull-a-trailer method. However, your setup depends on your car size, model, and available resources.
You must also consider factors like the car range, availability of charging spots, and vehicle strength before using it for camping.
On the flip side, camping in an electric car gives the best and most satisfying camping experience that will leave you wanting to camp more often.
What Does EV Camping Entail?
Car camping is a fun way to explore while saving money and time and creating new experiences. However, EV camping is not the best way to enjoy outdoor camping.
However, to enjoy the best of your EV camping, you must first have a detailed knowledge of what it is and the key considerations you need to consider while camping in an EV.
Here are the key features of EV camping.
#1. Camping Inside Your Car
Most people prefer to sleep inside their vehicles when they go out for EV camping since most of these electric cars have spacious interiors to accommodate at least 2 to 3 people.
One such EV is the Tesla Model Y. The Tesla Y folds so efficiently in such a way that it gives campers enough space to sleep inside.
For Tesla vehicles, there are air mattresses you can go camping with. You can purchase one from a foam store to help you enjoy your car space better.
Additionally, Tesla cars have a pre-installed camp mode, which turns the car into a comfortable cabin when enabled.
With that, you can switch on your Television, play games, play music on Alexa, and enhance your interior car lights, temperature, and airflow.
However, even with all these fantastic camping possibilities, you can only have enough space to sleep in your car but may need more room to walk inside or even move around.
The table below shows the pros and cons of camping in your EV.
|It gives you full access to all internal features||Low battery issues may arise|
|It is cheaper than purchasing a camper||Restrictions in movement|
|Offers complete protection from the car’s elements||Inability to access your camping gear when you lay out your bed in the EV|
#2. Camping on Your Car Roof
Here is another fantastic option for the ultimate EV camping setups. Most people prefer this EV camping option when they need help to set up a camp in their car.
However, depending on the brand, size, and number of people camping, you may need to install a rooftop tent on your car.
You only need to ensure the roof-top tent and roof rack are compatible with each other.
The compatibility entails factors like the weight limits and the size of the tent and rack. It would also help to choose between a soft shell tent and a complicated roof tent.
Softshell roof tents are bigger and more spacious, while hardshell roofs offer long-lasting battery life due to their aerodynamic features.
Below is a table showing the pros and cons of camping on your car roofing
|It gives you a more traditional feeling, like you’re sleeping outside||It could weaken the car’s battery life|
|It makes room for extra spacing to enable you to walk inside.||Unfortunately, only a few EVs support roof gent camping.|
|You can also use your EV to power up your electric appliances.||Most roof tents require are difficult to install.|
#3. Trailer Pulling
Here is the last method for the ultimate EV counting setup, and it involves your vehicle pulling a trailer.
However, this method is more suitable for gas-powered cars than Electric ones.
When using an Electric vehicle for this method, you will spend so much money, and there’s a likelihood that the battery will drain faster.
On the other hand, most camping trailers have enough space to accommodate a mini house and get equipped with everything you will need.
Below is a table that outlines the pros and cons of using the pushing a-trailer setup for Camping:
|It provides enough room for walking, sleeping, and sitting||The trailer is expensive to maintain|
|It gives a cozy and refreshing feel to a room||It exerts excess pressure on the battery, thereby reducing its efficiency|
|It has additional storage space||Unfortunately, not all EVs have the structural strength to tow a trailer|
Tip: Not all EVs can tow or pull a trailer efficiently. Always look out for a suitable car to use for this. The Tesla Model X and Model Y are an excellent choice for this.
Can You Sleep in an Electric Car While Camping?
Of course, you can always sleep in your car when you go EV camping.
This is probably the best setup for Tesla users with Model X or Y since these cars are spacious enough to accommodate at least 3 to 4 people.
Additionally, most Teslas come with automated camp mode. With Teslas, you can watch TV, listen to music on Alexa and even play video games when camping.
How Long Should You Charge an Electric Car Before Going Camping?
The ideal thing to do when taking your car camping is to ensure you charge it fully. Many factors affect how long you should charge your electric vehicle before camping.
You must consider the battery size, environmental conditions, battery capacity charging, and outlet capacity.
The total duration a particular car model will take to charge completely can always be different from another.
For example, if you charge an Ipace on a 22kWh outlet, it will take at least 4 hours to charge fully, whereas if you charge a LEAF on the same charging station, it will take only 2 hours.
On the other hand, if you’re using a fast charging station for your car, it will take at least 4 to 6 hours to charge fully, even if it was empty before you plugged it in.
An EV can take at least 11 to 24 hours for smaller charging stations to charge fully. In addition, environmental factors such as cold environments also affect how fast an EV charges.
For example, a Nissan LEAF will take 30 minutes to charge up to 80% if the weather is around 20⁰ but would charge only 44% of its battery in 0⁰ weather.
Also, the type of charger you use to charge your battery affects how long you can drive your car after charging it.
For instance, a slow charger of 3.7 kWh will add extra 15 miles to your vehicle range, while a fast charger of 7 kWh adds 30 miles to your car range.
Are Electric Vehicles Reliable for Camping?
Most electric vehicles are reliable for camping because of their extra features.
Most have pre-pre-installed camp mood with features such as Television and air conditioners, amongst other unique features.
However, without the proper knowledge of EV camping, you may never fully get the best of your camping experience if you camp in one.
Nevertheless, using an Electric Vehicle for EV camping is one of the best ways to enjoy camping while saving time and resources.
Unlike camper, EV camping is safe, economical, and comfortable.
If you decide to camp in an EV, you should expect the ultimate traditional feeling of camping and even more.
5 Best Electric Cars for Camping
Even though electric cars are highly reliable for camping, each vehicle has its unique feature. Here are some of the best EV cars suitable for camping.
• Hyundai Ioniq 5
• Volkswagen ID.4
• Tesla Model 3, S and Y
• Rivian RIT
• Friska Ocean SUV
Seven Tips and Tricks to Make EV Camping Better
One of the significant advantages of EV camping is that you can go all the way out to enhance your camping experience.
Thankfully, there are some tricks to help you achieve this, so let’s quickly delve in.
#1. Upgrade Your Car Lightning
Consider replacing the default lights if you want to get the best out of your car lighting.
These lights usually get too harsh for relaxation, requiring you to replace them with dull, warmer, and ambient bulbs.
#2. Use Good Camping Mattress
Purchase a more comfortable mattress that can give you the support you need. A memory foam topper and a more cozy bed sheet are excellent additions.
#3. Have Your Cleaning Supplies Ready
To keep your EV clean throughout your camping, consider having all your cleaning supplies, like a car wash, brush, and even air fresheners, in your car.
#4. Add Personal Flare to Your Car
Adding personal accessories in your car, like artwork or photos, or even carrying extra packs of your favorite drinks makes you feel more comfortable.
#5. Hang Up a Dry Board
Your dry board must contain things like your To-do list, shopping list, meal list, and generally any activity you want to carry out while camping.
#6. Utilize Space Saving Containers
Since your car will have limited space, consider using space management containers like food containers, disposable bins, and dangling storage baskets.
#7. Carry Along Multipurpose Items
Some items serve you more than one purpose when using them during camping. For example, consider using a foldable table that can serve as a workspace and a dining table.
Consider using a foldable sofa that you can convert into a comfortable mattress.
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