How to Turn Your SUV Into a Camper in 2024

The idea of sleeping in your car might sound great in theory, but there are a few things to consider logistically, especially if you want a maximum of comfort and convenience. However, with a little bit of knowledge and some advanced planning, anyone can become a wizard at turning their cars into campers.

Campers are great to have if you adore the outdoors, but if you don’t have one, there are also a few easy ways to turn an SUV into a temporary camper.

We’ve all witnessed vans converted into a camper, but did you know that SUVs can also be converted? Typically, this conversion will leave you with even less room than a van, but it will still provide the freedom of the open road and shelter at the same time. You could travel from Idaho or Canada, or whatever other landbound destination strikes your mind.

The possibilities are infinite with this transport option, and you won’t be disappointed by the outcomes as you experience everything nature has to offer.

Get A Four-Wheel Drive Version

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Many people consider SUVs to be ideal as campers. These campers offer more room than car campers while providing better drivability, gas mileage and stealth than van campers.

Car campers’ conversions offer a lot of space for storage and can be extremely comfortable to camp in. One obstacle with van camper conversions is that it’s difficult to geta four-wheel-drive van that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

To be more precise, it’s hard to find a four-wheel-drive cargo van at all, and most of the time, you will have to get a customer conversion done to get one.

As for SUVs, you won’t face this problem. Most modern SUVs come with all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive versions. Our recommendation is to make sure you get one of these versions.

Although you may take a hit on gas mileage, you get in turn a vehicle that is much more proficient on long backcountry roads. You will also be more effective on these roads as you won’t get stuck in the snow and ice.

An SUV that has a valid four-wheel-drive option, preferably a Suzuki S-Cross SUV , which you can can at, as it will get you full traction whenever you want it, and you will also have the chance to switch to two-wheel drive mode when you don’t.

Switching to two-wheel-drive mode will bring fuel consumption to a minimum, which is always a plus when you travel.

Upgrade Your Tires

Start with your tires. This is especially necessary if you’re going to be off-road. For all-around performance, consider investing in all-terrain tires – they come with a better tread on them which make them ideal for getting in and out of muddy campsites.
As for winter roads, consider getting a set of snow tires. Winter – or snow tires work great in the snow, so you will be able to go further without having to worry about getting stuck.

The thing about snow tries is that they only work in a colder climate and will not last as long as conventional all-season tires do. So, you will want to make sure you remove them once the weather gets warmer.

Upgrade Your Suspension

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If you are a forest service road lover or a desert area kind of person, you might want to consider upgrading your suspension system. With a larger budget, you can allow yourself to buy a high-performance system that makes your ride somehow smoother and give you the ability to tackle dips and bumps in the road much better.

With that said, you don’t need a tremendous budget to upgrade your suspension system. In case you’ve been driving the SUV for some time, you might find that just changing out your old suspension system for a new one will enhance your ride quality dramatically. That is something that many passionate DIYers can do, but be sure you take your time to research first.


An SUV is excellent if you need a longer and wider area to sleep in, but it doesn’t always provide a lot of headroom. One way to overcome this disadvantage is to take the rear and centre seats out. Certainly, you can easily fold them down, but you will still lose a great deal of space due to the seats still being in the vehicle.

Take advantage of the extra room by taking the seats out and building storage in the areas you removed them from. Not only that you will increase the space, but you will reduce the weight of your SUV as well. This, in turn, will allow you to bring in much heavier equipment without exceeding your car’s CVWR. Also, reduced weight automatically leads to lower consumption.

Use an Air Mattress



Traditional mattresses do provide better insulation and provide a more comfortable bed. But the drawback to this is that they lose a great amount of space and functionality.

On the other side, an air mattress can be stored in your SUV at all intervals and can be easily blown up and used when needed. Not only that but is also lightweight and just can easily be taken out of your SUV when you need it elsewhere.

Consider a Rooftop Tent

Just because you got yourself with some extra space in the SUV, doesn’t mean you have to use it for sleeping. In its place, you might need to use the additional space to bring extra camping gear with you. In this case, you might want to bring your rooftop tent to sleep in.

Luckily an SUV will provide you with more rooftop room and will sustain a rooftop tent even better than a sedan will. What’s more, more SUVs are already equipped with a roof rack, therefore you won’t have to stress about adding one on yourself.

Extra Considerations and Add-ins:

Make an Outdoor Kitchen

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An SUV is even easier to move around with although it won’t offer the exact same cooking space that a van would.
Instead of trying to shove in a camping stove or a hot pot into the rear of your SUV, consider building an outdoor kitchen instead.
To make things a lot easier, you can purchase a hitch-mounted carrier and add the kitchen to hitch instead. Having a kitchen placed outside your SUV means you don’t need to worry about waiting for the stove to cool down before you put it away.

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