How to Elevate Your Road Trip Game With Car Camping – Thrillist

Rent a van and try it out before going all in

For those who want to take this whole car camping thing for a test drive, without investing in a ton of gear, there are plenty of outfitters for rentals. One option is Los Angeles-based Texino, which builds, sells, and rents vans on the Mercedes platform. They come fully equipped with kitchens, camping gear, chairs, linens, towels, and more. 

“What we really think about is how do we make [van camping] an incredibly easy, seamless experience—where you can jump in this thing and go, and you don’t need to worry,” says founder Nick Devane.

One advantage to having a bigger van is that there’s a bathroom (but Devane says most people actually prefer to stop at restaurants, gas stations, or campgrounds anyways). There’s no shame in renting a nicer rig—at the end of the day, it’s all about experiencing Mother Nature, which can be straight up life-changing, Devane says. 

“I think one of the advantages of car camping over a hotel, [is that] hotels are so similar no matter where you are, right? Whereas if you’re camping in the Olympic Peninsula, or Mount Hood, or Banff, you’re having a very differentiated engagement with the world around you. I think that’s really powerful.”