The 10 Best Used Cars and SUVs for Camping According to KBB

by Gabrielle DeSantis

Summer is the perfect time to plan your next camping trip. But what if you don’t actually have the right vehicle for spending a weekend at the campground? And what if you’d prefer to buy used rather than new? If that’s the case, Kelley Blue Book recommends checking out the 10 best used cars and SUVs for camping. 

2009-2011 Honda Element

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Price range: $8,400-$10,500

Planning a summer camping trip? Kelley Blue Book reports that the Honda Element is among the best used SUVs for camping. It’s tall, spacious, and can be used as a bed with the rear seat folded down. Remove the back seats and this used SUV becomes even more spacious. Shop for a used Honda Element equipped with all-wheel drive, and Kelley Blue Book reports a used Honda Element “can take you fairly deep into the bush.”

Space and versatility aren’t all that this used SUV has going for it either. In fact, according to Consumer Reports, the 2009-2011 Honda Element earned a five out of five owner satisfaction rating. That rating is pretty hard to argue with.

As for how much you can expect to spend on this used SUV? Kelley Blue Book reports that most used Honda Elements will run you between $8,400 and $10,500. For budget-conscious shoppers, that’s a steal.

2012-2018 Jeep Wrangler

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Price range: $20,000-$30,000

The Jeep Wrangler is one of the best used SUVs for camping? Say what? Really, though, the Wrangler’s presence on this list shouldn’t be all that surprising. The Wrangler is known for its off-road chops.

For the best used Wrangler for your next camping trip, Kelley Blue Book recommends opting for a used Jeep Wrangler JK. These models were sold from the 2007 model year up until 2018. These models offer a ton of off-road prowess and will likely run you between $20,000 and $30,000.

2016-2020 Toyota Land Cruiser

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Price range: $60,000-$84,000

Much like the Jeep Wrangler, the Toyota Land Cruiser has a long history of hitting the trails, making it no surprise that Kelley Blue Book tapped it as one of the best used SUVs for camping. Consider a 2016-2020 Toyota Land Cruiser and you can count on this used SUV to come equipped with a 5.7-liter V8 engine that boasts effortless acceleration and the perfect amount of off-road torque. 

The Toyota Land Cruiser boasts 82.8 cubic feet of space with its third-row removed too. It also offers up a 1,300-pound payload capacity along with a maximum tow capacity of 8,100 pounds. Consider that the Land Cruiser is known for being reliable and there are plenty of reasons to treat yourself to a used Toyota Land Cruiser before your next camping trip.

2017-2019 VW Golf Alltrack

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Price range: $18,300-$26,400

Unlike other vehicles on the list, the VW Golf Alltrack isn’t an SUV. That said, it does offer 6.9 inches, which is a good amount of clearance if you plan on doing any camping this summer. This particular VW offers up 66.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the 60/40 rear seat folded down too. 

Perhaps the only downside to choosing this used VW is that it gets mixed reviews in terms of reliability. According to Consumer Reports, while the 2017 model earned a three out of five reliability rating, the 2018 model only managed a one out of five rating. Fortunately, Consumer Reports gave the 2019 model a four out of five reliability rating.

2014-2018 Subaru Forester

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Price range: $11,800-$20,700

The Subaru Forester has a lot going for it. Shop for a 2014-2018 Subaru Forester and Kelley Blue Book says you can expect to spend between $11,800-$20,700 on this used camping SUV. Regardless of which model year you choose, the Forester comes standard with all-wheel drive, 8.3 inches of ground clearance, and a long list of sought-after safety features.

“Subaru knows its customers like to load up the roof rack, so it’s designed to take almost 200 pounds when driving or 700 when the vehicle is parked, for rooftop tenting,” Kelley Blue Book added.

2018-2020 Buick Regal TourX

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Price range: $18,700-$30,300

Here’s the thing about the Buick Regal TourX, it was recently discontinued, and, according to Kelley Blue Book, finding a used model isn’t all that easy. But if you do? You can expect to spend anywhere from $18,700 to $30,300.

Much like other vehicles on the list, the Buick Regal TourX offers up a ton of interior space, a maximum of 73.5 cubic feet of space to be exact. The one downside to this camping SUV? It has just 5.7 inches of clearance, meaning it’s not quite fit for the trails.

2016-2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

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Price range: $20,400-$25,100

“If the notion of a small, fuel-efficient, and roomy camping machine sounds appealing, the RAV4 Hybrid might be one to check out,” Kelley Blue Book says. They aren’t wrong, either. The RAV4 Hybrid offers up to 71 cubic feet of space when the rear seat is folded and is available with all-wheel drive.

Choosing a used model won’t set you back that much either. In fact, shop for a 2016-2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Kelley Blue Book says you can anticipate spending between $20,400 and $25,100. Considering new models start at $28,800, and that’s not too bad for a used SUV for camping.

2010-2013 Chevrolet Suburban 2500

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Price range: $18,000-$27,500

The Chevy Suburban 2500 is known for its cavernous interior. In fact, this used SUV boasts enough interior space for two or more to get comfortable and sleep with a good amount of space left over. Kelley Blue Book added that the Suburban 2500 is among the best used SUVs for camping because of its maximum towing capacity. With the ability to tow almost 10,000 pounds, it’s hard to beat what this used camping SUV has to offer.

2011-2015 Nissan Xterra

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Price range: $9,800-$15,400

According to Kelley Blue Book, the Nissan Xterra is among the best used SUVs for camping. It’s also one of the coolest. Consider a 2011 Nissan Xterra, which benefitted from an RO-4X package that featured larger tires, a locking rear differential, and Bilstein dampers. 

The Nissan Xterra offers a wealth of interior space too. In fact, it offers about 66 cubic feet of space with its rear seat folded. Even better? This camping SUV comes standard with a roof rack that’s rated up to 150 pounds. What’s not to like about that?

2008-2014 Chevrolet Express 1500 AWD

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Price range: $10,000-$17,400

Last but certainly not least is the Chevrolet Express 1500 AWD. Now, this model is less of an SUV and more of a van. But if you don’t want to drop a hefty amount of cash on a  Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4×4? Kelley Blue Book says this used van definitely fits the bill.

As for what has Kelley Blue Book so enamored with it? The Chevrolet Express 1500 AWD’s maximum cargo capacity of 216.2 cubic feet is certainly one of the reasons. Consider outfitting this used van with some all-terrain tires and Kelley Blue Book reports it becomes even more fun for camping trips.

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