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Your Go-To Guide to EV & Tesla Car Camping
September 18, 2022

How to Camp in an EV

Due to the recent surge in electric vehicle charging station installations, it is easier than ever to bring your electric vehicle wherever you go, including on your next camping trip. Camping inside your car is a great way to cut costs, simplify the camping experience and try something new. Before you set out on your next electric vehicle camping adventure, however, there are some factors to consider, such as where you plan to camp inside your car and the capabilities of your vehicle.

Three Areas of Your EV You Can Use for Camping

After deciding to camp in your electric vehicle, your next question may be where you plan on sleeping. The three standard setups for electric vehicle camping are:

1. Camping Inside Your Vehicle

One of the most common sleeping options for electric vehicle camping is to set up your camping space inside the vehicle. Since many electric cars have a large interior, camping inside is the best option for many campers. When camping in a Tesla or other electric cars, you may also be able to fold down your seats completely to create a level area for sleeping. By using the right sleeping pad, you may not even realize you are sleeping in your car.

2. Camping on the Roof

Another EV camping option is using your roof as a camping space. Depending on your specific vehicle model, you may be able to use a rooftop tent. Before installing your rooftop tent, ensure your roof and rack are correct. It is also a good idea to check your rooftop tent’s weight limits and overall compatibility before deciding on a tent option.

 3. Pulling a Trailer

Depending on your needs, you can also pull a trailer behind your electric vehicle. Using a trailer will provide the most room for yourself, your gear and any guests you bring with you. Most camping trailers also have all the essentials on the inside and offer a high level of comfort.

Another benefit of pulling a trailer is that you can park your trailer and use your car to drive to a local attraction. Before investing in a camping trailer, ensure your electric vehicle has the tools and equipment to pull your trailer.

Key Areas to Consider When EV Camping

To determine whether to utilize your EV for camping, you may wish to consider factors such as:

Vehicle Range

Depending on your camping location, you may need to consider the range of your electric vehicle. Placing a roof tent on top or pulling a trailer can lower your battery range, making it essential to have an extended vehicle range.

Charging Options

Like a gas-powered vehicle, you need to ensure your electric car has enough power to get you to and from your camping destination. If possible, choose a campsite that provides electric vehicle charging stations. You may also consider purchasing an adapter, so you can utilize standard electricity to refuel your car. Do keep in mind, however, that just because there is a pedestal or electricity at your site does not mean it is rated for electric vehicle charging; always check with the campground for the best place to charge to avoid damage to your vehicle or the on-site electrical.

Vehicle Capabilities

After establishing that your campsite offers the correct electrical charging capabilities, you must examine the capabilities of your vehicle. Some key factors to keep in mind so you can be confident that you have the best EV for camping include:

  • All-wheel drive: You may need to drive over rugged terrain as you travel to or from your campsite. A vehicle with all-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive will allow you to move over a variety of terrains with ease.
  • Towing capacity: If you plan on towing a camping trailer or a trailer to hold bikes or other equipment, you should consider whether your vehicle can carry your gear without strain.
  • Power output: Understanding your vehicle’s limitations will help you determine factors such as your route and any stops you may make on your camping trip.
  • Tires: If your campsite features off-road driving, you may want to consider purchasing all-terrain tires.
  • Suspension: If you plan on driving on rugged terrain, you will also want to consider your vehicle’s suspension. A flexible suspension can prevent damage to your car and protect your tires.

Camp in Your EV at Kampgrounds of America

Camping in an electric vehicle is a unique and cost-effective way to experience the outdoors. As you consider potential campsites, it is essential to consider factors such as electric vehicle charging stations and amenities.

With over 500 locations across North America, KOA is your solution for an unforgettable car camping experience. Park at a Tent Site or an RV Site and charge your car as you enjoy many unique amenities. To find a campground with EV charging capabilities or book a site for electric vehicle camping, explore a campground near your destination today!


About the Author: Kampgrounds of America

Kampgrounds of America is the largest system of open-to-the-public campgrounds in the world, with over 500 locations across the United States and Canada. Founded in Billings, MT in 1962, KOA’s family of campground brands – KOA Journey, KOA Holiday and KOA Resort – today serve more than a million camping families each year. KOA is dedicated to “connecting people to the outdoors and each other” by providing people with a variety of camping experiences and the information they need to make the most of their camping trip. Read more of their camping and travel resources by visiting KOA.com/blog.


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