How to pack your car for camping

The challenge of fitting your camping gear into your vehicle gets a whole lot more difficult as your family grows. In fact, it can be downright frustrating, if not impossible, unless you have a planned approach to packing your car for camping.

With the right car for camping (and not necesarily the biggest car), the right camping setup such as our camping setup for beginners, and a well planned approach to packing your car, you will be amazed at how much your car can comfortably and safely carry while still staying within the payload limit, or the designated weight carrying capacity of the car.

The exact way in which you will pack your particular car for camping will vary depending on:
  • The size of the rear cargo area - we have packed quite a few different cars now and none of them pack our camping gear in exactly the same way.
  • How many rear seat passengers you have, and therefore how much space is available in the rear passenger cabin for safely transporting soft items like bedding and clothing.
  • Whether your vehicle has fitted roof racks and a tow / hitch bar.

Car packing summary

While everyone might pack differently, as a guide we have outlined below a summary of how we would pack our camping setup for beginners. You will see we have distinguished between packing a car with roof racks and a tow / hitch bar and also without these accessories.

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Related articles

Packing the car for camping:

Loading the rear cargo area
How to tie gear to the roof racks

Car packing tips:

Tips for packing your car
Tips for securing gear to the roof racks
Tips for utilising the available car space