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The Ultimate Guide To EV Car Camping

February 15, 2024

EV Car Camping Guide and Tips

Photo by Kyle Brumm on Unsplash

So, you've made the switch to an electric vehicle (EV) and embraced the future of sustainable transportation. But here's the burning question: How do you embark on adventurous road trips and explore the great outdoors with your electric vehicle? Fear not, fellow EV enthusiast, for we have the ultimate guide to EV car camping – a comprehensive roadmap that will empower you to merge the thrill of the open road with the convenience of electric mobility.

Related: How to choose the best EV for camping?

Whether you're a seasoned camper or a novice in the world of electric vehicles, this guide is your go-to resource for unlocking the full potential of EV car camping. Join us on this electrifying journey as we delve into the tips, tricks, and essential gear to make your EV car camping experience seamless and unforgettable.

Definition Of EV Car Camping

Electric Vehicle (EV) Car Camping is an innovative and eco-friendly approach to outdoor adventures, blending the benefits of electric vehicles with the freedom and spontaneity of camping. In essence, it involves utilizing electric cars as a means of transportation and accommodation for camping trips, offering a sustainable alternative to traditional gas-powered vehicles. This emerging trend is gaining popularity among environmentally conscious travelers seeking a harmonious connection with nature while minimizing their carbon footprint. EV car camping embodies the fusion of technological advancements in electric mobility with the timeless allure of outdoor exploration.

As more individuals embrace electric vehicles, the concept of EV car camping aligns with a broader movement towards sustainable and responsible travel. It not only leverages the efficiency and environmental advantages of electric transportation but also allows adventurers to explore remote locations without the limitations of traditional fuel-dependent vehicles. By delving into
the world of EV car camping, enthusiasts can redefine the camping experience, combining the thrill of exploration with a commitment to minimizing environmental impact.

Growing Popularity of EV Car Camping

The growing popularity of Electric Vehicles (EVs) has revolutionized the automotive industry, ushering in an era of cleaner and more sustainable transportation. With advancements in battery technology, increased charging infrastructure, and a growing selection of EV models, more outdoor enthusiasts are recognizing the potential of EVs for camping adventures. The shift towards electric mobility aligns with a broader cultural movement towards eco-conscious living and sustainable travel practices.

Outdoor adventures and camping, in particular, have seen a resurgence in interest, driven by a desire to connect with nature and escape the confines of urban life. The synergy between EVs and camping represents a natural evolution in this trend, as individuals seek to embrace a lifestyle that harmonizes with the environment. As EV technology continues to improve and charging infrastructure expands, the marriage of electric vehicles and camping is expected to become an integral part of the outdoor experience, offering a clean and quiet alternative for those who cherish the serenity of nature. This guide aims to delve into the realm of EV car camping, providing insights, tips, and resources for individuals eager to embark on this exciting and sustainable adventure.

Benefits Of EV Car Camping

ev car camping guide

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1) Eco-Friendly Exploration

In the realm of sustainable travel, EV car camping emerges as a beacon of environmental responsibility. The paramount benefit lies in the fact that electric vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions, reducing the carbon footprint associated with traditional road trips. As nature enthusiasts, embracing EVs for camping ventures enables us to traverse landscapes with a clear conscience, knowing that our exploration leaves no harmful impact on the environment. By aligning our outdoor adventures with eco-friendly transportation, we not only experience the beauty of nature but actively contribute to its preservation.

2) Cost-Effective Travel

The financial advantages of EV car camping extend far beyond the initial investment. While gasoline prices are subject to volatility, charging an electric vehicle offers a more stable and often cost-effective alternative. With numerous charging stations providing free or discounted rates, budget-conscious travelers can embark on extended journeys without worrying about fluctuating fuel expenses. Over time, the cumulative savings on fuel costs not only offset the initial investment in an electric vehicle but also redefine the landscape of affordable and sustainable travel, making EV car camping an economically savvy choice for adventurers seeking a frugal yet fulfilling road trip experience.

3) Convenience of Charging

The growing infrastructure of charging stations marks a pivotal shift in the feasibility of EV car camping. The convenience of charging has become a cornerstone of electric vehicle travel, facilitating longer and more spontaneous journeys. Fast-charging stations along major highways empower travelers with the ability to recharge quickly, minimizing downtime and maximizing the potential for exploration. Coupled with user-friendly apps that assist in locating charging stations and planning routes, EV car camping offers a level of convenience that aligns seamlessly with the spontaneity inherent in a true road trip adventure.

4) Silent Serenity

In the world of outdoor escapades, the silence of the wilderness holds a unique allure. EV car camping enhances this serenity by eliminating the noise pollution associated with traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. With no revving engines to disrupt the natural symphony of the environment, campers can immerse themselves in the tranquil sounds of nature, fostering a deeper connection with the surroundings. The whisper-quiet operation of electric vehicles not only minimizes the impact on wildlife but also elevates the overall camping experience, allowing individuals to truly appreciate the stillness and beauty of the great outdoors.

5) Versatile and Efficient Design

The thoughtful design elements of many electric vehicles cater specifically to the needs of avid campers. With features like foldable seats and adaptable cargo spaces, EV car camping offers a level of versatility that transforms the vehicle into a comfortable haven for rest and relaxation. The integration of power outlets in certain EV models further enhances the camping experience, enabling travelers to charge devices, power camping equipment, or even prepare meals on the go. This efficient and flexible design ensures that every inch of space is maximized for the camper's convenience, adding an extra layer of functionality to the overall adventure.

6) Reduced Maintenance Requirements

Streamlined and with fewer moving parts, electric vehicles boast reduced maintenance requirements compared to their traditional counterparts. This advantage not only translates into less time spent on repairs but also allows for an extended and uninterrupted exploration of the open road. EV car campers can relish the reliability of their vehicles, confident that the simplicity of their electric drivetrains contributes to a hassle-free camping experience. The reduced maintenance demands align seamlessly with the spirit of adventure, allowing campers to focus on the journey rather than worrying about unexpected breakdowns or frequent visits to the mechanic.

7) Tech-Savvy Camping

As technology continues to advance, electric vehicles come equipped with an array of cutting-edge features that redefine the camping experience. Beyond the eco-friendly aspects, EVs offer a tech-savvy approach to outdoor exploration. Climate control systems within the vehicle ensure a comfortable sleeping environment, while smartphone apps provide remote monitoring and control capabilities. EV car camping merges the timeless joy of nature with the convenience of modern technology, creating an immersive and connected experience for campers who appreciate the best of both worlds. This marriage of innovation and adventure enhances the overall camping journey, showcasing the limitless possibilities that electric vehicles bring to the world of outdoor exploration.

Choosing The Right EV For Camping

ev car camping guide

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- Range Matters

Range matters the most when it comes to choosing the best ev for camping. The range of an EV refers to the distance it can travel on a single charge, and it plays a crucial role in determining the feasibility of your camping destinations. Advances in battery technology have significantly increased the ranges of modern EVs, with many models now surpassing 300 miles on a single charge. When planning your camping trip, take into account the distance to your preferred camping sites and ensure that your chosen EV can comfortably cover those distances without the need for frequent charging stops. A robust range not only enhances the convenience of your journey but also allows you to explore more remote and scenic locations during your camping adventures.

- Charging Infrastructure

The success of any EV car camping expedition hinges on a well-thought-out charging strategy. Alongside planning your route and camping spots, it's crucial to consider the availability of charging stations. Fortunately, the charging infrastructure for EVs is expanding rapidly, with many popular camping destinations now featuring dedicated charging facilities. Utilize online resources and apps to identify charging stations along your route, ensuring that you have a reliable plan for recharging your EV during your camping adventure. Additionally, some EV models come equipped with advanced navigation systems that can help you locate charging stations in real-time, further streamlining your EV car camping journey. By integrating charging infrastructure considerations into your planning process, you can enjoy a worry-free and sustainable camping experience powered by your electric vehicle.

- Cargo Space for All Your Camping Essentials

Adequate cargo space is a critical aspect of preparing your electric vehicle for camping expeditions. EVs with versatile interior designs and spacious cargo areas are essential for accommodating all your camping gear, from tents and sleeping bags to cooking equipment and outdoor essentials. Look for EV models with foldable seats, adjustable storage configurations, and innovative cargo solutions that make the most of the available space. Some EVs even feature dedicated storage compartments for charging cables and camping accessories, enhancing the overall convenience of your camping experience. Prioritize practicality when evaluating cargo space, ensuring that your chosen EV can comfortably transport all the equipment needed for your camping adventures without compromising on comfort or safety.

- Off-Road Capabilities

For camping enthusiasts seeking the thrill of remote and off-the-grid locations, an electric vehicle with off-road capabilities is essential. Some EV models are equipped with features such as all-wheel drive (AWD), robust suspension systems, and higher ground clearance, enabling them to navigate challenging terrains. When considering off-road capabilities, assess the specific requirements of your favorite camping spots and choose an EV that aligns with those needs. Whether it's rocky trails, muddy paths, or unpaved roads, a capable off-road EV ensures that you can reach the most secluded and picturesque camping destinations, expanding the possibilities for your outdoor adventures.

- Battery Life and Durability

The longevity and durability of an electric vehicle's battery are paramount for worry-free EV car camping. Batteries are a significant component of EVs, and their resilience impacts the overall reliability of your camping experience. Evaluate the technology and build quality of the battery in your chosen EV, considering factors such as temperature tolerance and resistance to wear. Some EV manufacturers provide warranties or assurances regarding battery life, giving you peace of mind as you embark on your camping journeys. By choosing an EV with a robust and enduring battery, you can confidently explore diverse landscapes without concerns about the battery's ability to withstand the rigors of different climates and terrains.

- Solar Integration

Elevate your EV car camping experience by incorporating solar panels into your setup. Some electric vehicles support solar integration, allowing you to harness the power of the sun to recharge not only your vehicle but also your camping accessories. Solar panels can be set up at your campsite, providing a sustainable and renewable energy source for charging devices, running camping appliances, and ensuring continuous power availability. This eco-friendly approach not only aligns with the ethos of EV car camping but also enhances your self-sufficiency during outdoor adventures. When selecting an EV for solar integration, check for compatibility and explore available aftermarket solar solutions that complement your chosen electric vehicle.

- Connectivity Features

Maintaining connectivity while immersed in nature is possible with an electric vehicle that offers advanced connectivity features. GPS navigation, mobile app integration, and in-car Wi-Fi are among the features that enhance your overall EV car camping experience. GPS navigation systems tailored for EVs can assist in planning routes with charging stations, while mobile app integration allows you to monitor your vehicle's status, battery levels, and charging progress from your smartphone. In-car Wi-Fi ensures that you can stay connected and entertained during downtime at the campsite. Consider these connectivity features when choosing an EV for camping, as they contribute to a more enjoyable and technologically integrated outdoor experience.

- Budget Considerations and Affordable EV Options

Lastly, it's crucial to consider your budget when delving into the world of EV car camping. Fortunately, the market offers a diverse range of electric vehicles, catering to various budgetary constraints. Entry-level EVs, such as the Nissan Leaf or Hyundai Kona Electric, provide cost-effective options for those looking to embrace the trend of EV car camping without breaking the bank. These models offer a solid balance of affordability and practicality, making them accessible choices for eco-conscious campers seeking a budget-friendly entry point into electric adventures.

On the other end of the spectrum, premium electric SUVs like the Tesla Model X or Audi e-tron cater to enthusiasts with a higher budget, offering luxurious features, extended ranges, and cutting-edge technology. While the initial investment might be steeper, these high-end EVs provide a superior camping experience, ensuring that every aspect of your EV car camping journey is infused with comfort, style, and top-tier performance. Whether you're looking for an affordable entry into the world of EV car camping or seeking a premium experience, there's an electric vehicle that fits your budget and enhances your outdoor adventures.

Related: Top 5 EVs For Camping

Essentials For EV Car Camping

ev car camping guide

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- Portable EV Charger

The cornerstone of any EV car camping trip lies in the reliability of your portable charger. Selecting a high-quality, portable EV charger tailored to your vehicle is paramount for a stress-free journey. Opt for models equipped with fast-charging capabilities and the flexibility to adapt to various power outlets. This ensures that you can charge your EV efficiently, regardless of your location. A robust portable EV charger not only provides convenience but also peace of mind, allowing you to explore without worrying about running out of power.

On your EV camping adventure, having a dependable portable charger means you're not tethered to traditional charging stations. This liberates you to explore more remote destinations and engage in off-grid experiences. Investing in a portable EV charger is an investment in the freedom to choose your path, empowering you to enjoy the great outdoors without compromising on the convenience of your electric vehicle.

- Power Bank or Solar Charger

To extend the boundaries of your camping journey beyond the reach of traditional charging stations, consider including a power bank or solar charger in your gear arsenal. These devices provide an eco-friendly and off-grid solution to keep both your gadgets and EV charged. A power bank is a compact, portable battery that allows you to charge devices on the go, ensuring you stay connected even in remote locations. Alternatively, a solar charger harnesses the power of the sun to replenish your EV and electronic devices, offering a sustainable energy source while embracing the spirit of outdoor adventure.

Integrating a power bank or solar charger into your EV car camping gear not only enhances your self-sufficiency but also aligns with eco-conscious travel practices. By tapping into renewable energy sources, you reduce your environmental impact and foster a deeper connection with the natural world around you. Whether you're camping in the woods or parked in a scenic location, a power bank or solar charger adds versatility to your charging options, allowing you to embrace the off-grid experience to the fullest.

- Camping Stove and Cookware

A portable camping stove is a culinary game-changer for your EV camping escapades. Compact, easy to use, and fueled by propane or other energy sources, these stoves enable you to prepare delicious meals in the heart of nature. Paired with lightweight and durable cookware, your camping stove becomes the centerpiece of outdoor dining, turning your campsite into a gourmet haven. Choosing a camping stove that suits your preferences and cooking style ensures that you can savor tasty, home-cooked meals while reveling in the beauty of your surroundings.

In the realm of EV car camping, the camping stove transcends mere functionality; it transforms mealtime into a social and sensory experience. Whether you're enjoying a sunrise breakfast or a cozy dinner under the stars, a well-equipped camping stove and cookware set contribute to the overall enjoyment of your outdoor adventure. Compact and portable, these culinary essentials are designed to complement the nomadic lifestyle of EV enthusiasts, adding a touch of comfort to your camping cuisine.

- Compact Camping Tent

A compact and easily assembled tent is a crucial element for a restful night's sleep during your EV car camping expedition. Tailored specifically for car camping, these tents maximize space and ventilation while seamlessly integrating with the dimensions of your EV. Investing in a tent that aligns with the size of your vehicle ensures that your sleeping quarters are not only cozy but also effortlessly set up at each stop along your journey. As you embark on your EV camping experience, the tent becomes your shelter, offering a private haven amidst the vast landscapes you choose to explore.

Choosing the right tent for your EV adventure goes beyond mere practicality; it contributes to the overall ambiance of your outdoor haven. The compact camping tent becomes a retreat, shielding you from the elements while allowing you to connect with nature. When paired with the convenience of your electric vehicle, the tent becomes a vital component of a harmonious blend between technology and the great outdoors, ensuring a comfortable and rejuvenating night's rest for the adventures that lie ahead.

- Sleeping Bag and Comfortable Bedding

A quality sleeping bag is your ticket to a restful night under the stars. Select a sleeping bag tailored to the climate of your camping destination, ensuring that it provides optimal warmth and comfort. Complementing your sleeping bag, invest in comfortable bedding such as an inflatable mattress or sleeping pad. This combination creates a cozy cocoon in the back of your EV, guaranteeing a good night's sleep as you recharge both yourself and your electric vehicle for the next day's exploration. The synergy between a well-chosen sleeping bag and bedding transforms your EV into a mobile bedroom, offering comfort amidst the wilderness.

As you nestle into your sleeping bag in the back of your EV, you're not just experiencing the practicality of camping gear; you're embracing the essence of nomadic living. The sleeping bag and bedding represent the bridge between the modern convenience of electric travel and the timeless allure of outdoor camping. This combination ensures that, regardless of where your EV takes you, you can unwind and rejuvenate, waking up ready to seize the day's adventures with renewed energy.

Related: A Quick Guide To Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads

- Portable Power Station

For those seeking additional power storage and versatility during their EV camping excursion, a portable power station becomes an indispensable companion. These devices act as a hub for charging various electronics simultaneously, from laptops to cameras and beyond. By incorporating a portable power station into your gear, you ensure a reliable power source beyond traditional outlets, providing the freedom to explore without concerns of running out of battery. Compact and easy to transport, a portable power station is a reliable ally for staying connected and capturing the moments of your EV car camping journey.

The portable power station elevates your camping experience by expanding the capabilities of your EV beyond transportation. It becomes a power hub, enabling you to charge essential devices and gadgets, making your camping adventure both connected and convenient. Whether you're working remotely, capturing memories through photography, or simply staying entertained, a portable power station ensures that the nomadic lifestyle of EV car camping remains seamlessly integrated with the demands of the modern world.

- LED Camping Lights

Illuminating your campsite with energy-efficient LED camping lights is not just a practical necessity but a means of creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere. These portable and durable lights offer an eco-friendly alternative to traditional lanterns, consuming less power while providing ample brightness. Whether suspended in your tent or strategically placed around your camping area, LED camping lights contribute to the overall ambiance of your EV adventure. Their versatility ensures that, as the sun sets, you can extend the enjoyment of your outdoor haven well into the night, fostering a warm and inviting space beneath the open sky.

As you bask in the gentle glow of LED camping lights, you're not merely lighting up your surroundings; you're enhancing the experience of EV car camping. These lights become beacons, guiding you through the darkness while creating a sense of comfort and security in your temporary outdoor home. Compact, lightweight, and energy-efficient, LED camping lights epitomize the harmonious blend of technology and nature, allowing you to appreciate the beauty of your surroundings while enjoying the modern conveniences of electric travel.

- Outdoor Furniture

Elevate your EV camping experience by incorporating collapsible outdoor furniture into your gear lineup. Portable chairs and tables designed for camping are compact, lightweight, and easy to set up, turning your campsite into a comfortable oasis. Whether you're enjoying a meal under the open sky or simply unwinding with a book, outdoor furniture adds a touch of luxury to your EV adventure. Its collapsible nature ensures that you can effortlessly pack and unpack, allowing you to create a comfortable and inviting space wherever your electric journey takes you.

Plus, outdoor furniture goes beyond functionality; it becomes an essential element in crafting a home away from home. Folding chairs provide a comfortable perch by the campfire, and a portable table serves as a convenient surface for meals and activities. As you revel in the comfort of your outdoor haven, you're not just camping; you're creating memories of relaxation and camaraderie, ensuring that your EV adventure is as enjoyable at rest as it is in motion.

Related: What to look for in a camping chair?

Planning Your EV Car Camping Trip

ev car camping tips

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- Route Planning

Planning the route for your EV car camping trip requires meticulous attention to charging infrastructure. Unlike conventional road trips, EV journeys involve strategically mapping out charging stations along your route to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted adventure. Utilize online tools and apps that provide real-time information on charging station locations, availability, and charging speeds. Platforms like PlugShare, ChargePoint, and the charging network's proprietary apps (e.g., Tesla Supercharger) can be invaluable resources in this planning phase.

Once you've identified potential charging stops, consider the duration of each charging session. Plan breaks at scenic spots, attractions, or rest areas, allowing you to explore the surroundings while your EV replenishes its energy. This dual-purpose approach transforms what might be perceived as a logistical necessity into an opportunity to immerse yourself in the journey. By incorporating charging stops into your overall itinerary, you can turn each break into a memorable part of your eco-friendly road trip experience.

- Charging Etiquette

Understanding proper charging etiquette is crucial for a positive EV camping experience. Familiarize yourself with charging station protocols and be mindful of the time it takes to charge your vehicle. While EVs are becoming more prevalent, charging stations can still be limited, especially in certain regions. Plan your charging sessions efficiently, allowing others in need to access the stations promptly. Consider using apps or websites that provide real-time updates on station availability, ensuring you can adjust your plans if needed.

Additionally, be prepared with alternative charging options. Carry a portable EV charger as a backup, providing flexibility in case of unexpected station closures or occupied charging points. As the EV community continues to grow, embracing and practicing good charging etiquette contributes to a positive and collaborative atmosphere, making the overall experience enjoyable for everyone on the road.

- Packing Essentials

When preparing for your EV car camping trip, thoughtful packing is essential to make the most of your limited storage space while minimizing environmental impact. Opt for compact and lightweight camping gear to maximize the available room in your electric vehicle. Consider versatile and eco-friendly products, such as reusable utensils, biodegradable soap, and eco-conscious toiletries, to reduce waste during your journey. This mindful approach not only aligns with the sustainable ethos of EV travel but also ensures that your camping adventure has a minimal ecological footprint.

In addition to camping gear, don't forget to pack a portable EV charger compatible with your vehicle. While planning charging stops is crucial, having a backup charging option provides peace of mind and flexibility in case of unexpected situations. As you pack, consider the principles of "leave no trace" camping – strive to leave the environment as pristine as you found it, taking all waste with you and minimizing the impact on the ecosystems you encounter.

- Camping Site Considerations

Selecting the right camping sites is pivotal for a comfortable and eco-friendly EV car camping experience. Research and choose campsites that offer electric hookups or are situated near charging stations, allowing you to recharge your EV conveniently. Many national parks and private campgrounds are adapting to the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, providing the necessary infrastructure for a seamless camping experience. Prioritize sites that align with your sustainability values, aiming for locations that implement eco-friendly practices and promote responsible outdoor recreation.

Additionally, consider the amenities available at your chosen camping sites. Access to clean water, waste disposal facilities, and eco-friendly practices at the campground can enhance your overall camping experience. By selecting campsites that align with your values and needs, you contribute to the growing trend of sustainable outdoor tourism, encouraging further development of EV-friendly camping options for future adventurers.

- Energy-Saving Tips

To maximize the efficiency of your EV during your car camping trip, consider adopting energy-saving practices. Moderating your driving speed can significantly impact your EV's range, as higher speeds typically result in increased energy consumption. Utilize regenerative braking when driving downhill or coming to a stop, converting kinetic energy back into electric power to recharge the battery. Minimize the use of energy-intensive features like air conditioning, as this can conserve energy for more critical purposes during your journey.

Additionally, plan your route to include gradual elevation changes, allowing your EV to take advantage of regenerative braking when descending hills. Familiarize yourself with your vehicle's energy consumption patterns and adjust your driving habits accordingly. By incorporating these energy-saving practices, you not only extend your EV's range but also contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly road trip.

- Emergency Preparedness

While meticulous planning is essential, it's equally important to be prepared for unexpected situations during your EV car camping adventure. Pack emergency supplies, including a well-equipped first aid kit, extra water, and non-perishable food items. Consider carrying a backup power source, such as a portable generator or solar charger, to ensure you have a reliable energy source in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Familiarize yourself with the locations of emergency charging stations, towing services, and nearby repair shops along your route. Having this information readily available can be invaluable in case of mechanical issues or if you find yourself in need of assistance. By combining careful planning with emergency preparedness, you'll enhance the safety and resilience of your EV car camping trip, allowing you to enjoy the journey with confidence and peace of mind.


As we conclude this ultimate guide, we hope you've gained valuable insights into the essentials of planning, charging strategies, and the unique experiences that come with electric vehicle camping. The future of camping is undoubtedly intertwined with the evolution of electric vehicles, as more people recognize the benefits of reducing their carbon footprint while enjoying the beauty of nature.

So, charge up, map out your route, and embark on a journey that not only connects you with nature but also contributes to a sustainable and eco-conscious future. Happy trails, fellow EV enthusiasts, as you embrace the excitement and freedom that electric vehicle camping brings to your outdoor escapades!

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