It does not matter if you like to assemble a tent, or rent a small wooden cottage in a secluded space, we still consider both of these as “camping.” The main idea is to get your family on board, or you closest friends if you have not started a family, and drive to a remote place where you live for a few days without any interference from the outside world.
If you want to be able to do that, it takes more than knowing how to start a fire and getting the right groceries to last for everyone. It even takes more than the patience to turn off your smartphone, tablet, and go without the Internet for a few days. That is because you need a dependable car that can take you there without any worries of getting stuck. The bulk ammo from Palmetto Armory is usually bought before going camping into the woods for safety.
In the summer, if you get stuck somewhere during an off-road escape, you have to deal with dirt, sand, mud, or all three. However, you do that at a hospitable temperature. In the winter, ice and snow will be the things that stop you in your tracks, while the cold takes all of your energy.
We decided to make a list of five cars that can take you off-roading with a few friends or with your family this winter. The term “car” is an understatement here, because most of the models on our list can handle themselves in off-road conditions without much need for anything more than a set of specialized tires. The stock ones work fine when the soil is dry, but that is not something you can bet your money during the winter.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
While the Wrangler might be more capable for off-road adventures, it is significantly smaller than the Grand Cherokee when interior space is concerned. Evidently, you can just get a Wrangler Unlimited and be done with the whole “vehicle for vacations that involve off-roading” thing, but it will have to come with an overhead luggage carrier.
On the other hand, the Grand Cherokee will carry five people like it is nobody’s business, and their luggage will fit in the trunk without a hitch. From there, you fill the rest with essential groceries for the camping trip, and you are done.
As we noted above, it is important to fit this model with tires that are suitable for off-roading. Evidently, only the versions with a 4×4 system are included in our recommendation for this kind of adventure, and the Trailhawk version fits the bill if you are into driving your automobile up a mountain with your family/friends inside. Any “Trail Rated” Grand Cherokee will do the trick.
Just like the Wrangler Unlimited, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a classic design that has been left behind when interior space is concerned. The German off-roader is excellent once the asphalt has left your sight, but it needs people that are careful while packing their luggage. This goes for a longer trip, but a few days of camping gear will fit in the trunk without a hitch.
The best part about the G-Class is that you will not feel bad for ruining its aerodynamic coefficient with an external luggage box. In a way, it makes you feel like it was meant to get that luggage box one day, and that was what its designers expected owners to do when the time came.
Regardless, the current generation of the G-Class is not going to be available in showrooms for more than a year or so, so be sure to get one if it is what you desire for your off-road adventures. Its replacement should be just as good, but you might have to wait until mid-2018 to get one of those. For more serious off-road action, you can buy one of these.
Nissan launched the second generation of the Armada in 2016, and it fits the bill for off-roading in style. It is built on the Patrol’s platform, which means it has strayed from the first generation’s pickup truck base, but that does not mean it does not have all-wheel-drive and a reasonable ground clearance.
The Armada may have switched its orientation towards the tarmac, but a proper set of tires can bring it back to its origins. It can fit eight people inside, and its trunk is big when the last row of seats is not used. If you like your road trips with many people, there’s always the option to get a big luggage box for everyone’s needs.
It is only available with a 5.6-liter V8 engine, so make sure to fill up before you leave civilization behind. Unlike the models above, it may not be the most capable off-roader, but that happens mainly because of its weight and size. After all, most forests do not have paths big enough to fit the Armada.
Toyota was inspired with the 4Runner, as it offers an ample line of accessories right from the showroom. You can get off-road tires, an upgraded suspension, and many other dedicated accessories right when you order the 4Runner.
It comes with all-wheel-drive as an option, so make sure to order that when you get yourself a 4Runner. Just like every other model on this list, this vehicle can be your daily driver if you insist, but it is best suited for driving in areas that do not have pavement. Its weight might be an impediment in some situations, but it comes with the territory when you get a vehicle that is as big as the 4Runner.
The only engine option is a 4.0-liter V6 gasoline unit, which provides 274 HP and 278 lb-Ft (377 Nm). It is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission, and it offers 18 mpg in the combined cycle. That means you should be sure to fill up the tank before the big adventure you plan to make.
VW has had a rough year with the entire Dieselgate scandal, but the company has launched its biggest SUV ever. It is called Atlas, and it is built in the USA. While the MQB platform is not the best solution for off-roading, it does come with a few advantages. First of all, it has all the amenities one can ask for in a new Volkswagen.
Secondly, it comes with efficient direct injected gasoline engines. After the entire emissions scandal, Volkswagen does not seem willing to try to sell any more diesel engines in the USA. With 280 HP on tap, the 3.6-liter V6 engine offered on the Volkswagen Atlas looks like it can carry its weight around with style.
Even with tires that are suitable for off-road, this will not be the ultimate machine for conquering mountains. Most camping trips do not go that far, so why bother with something that can drive when you just want some mild off-roading in your life? The Atlas can seat seven passengers, so this is an alternative to the Nissan Atlas.