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5 Hacks for Minivan Camping

5 Hacks for Minivan Camping

Who knew minivan camping was an option?

Gone are the days where the sole reason you own a minivan is that you have a large family. These days, camping and living tiny comes in all shapes and sizes.

Over time, people figured out creative ways to utilize minivans’ design and layout for camping. We’re sharing five great hacks for people to make the most of minivan camping.

Let’s dive in!

What is Minivan Camping?

Minivan camping is an affordable, compact, and economical way to enjoy the outdoors. If you loathe the idea of living large, and a travel trailer or gigantic RV is too much hassle, then this form of camping might be for you.

Having your living space and means of transportation in one unique setup is ideal for anyone looking to revel in this lifestyle as efficiently as possible.

Benefits of Camping and Traveling in a Minivan

The benefits of minivan camping have favorable impacts on both your budget and your traveling experience.

One obvious benefit to this form of camping is because you’re using less fuel, you save money for other necessities such as food and unexpected vehicle repairs. Minivans are incomparably more fuel-efficient than a fifth wheel or Class C motorhome, for example. As you can imagine, with a fifth wheel, you’re paying for double the fuel in the towing vehicle and the trailer itself.

A second advantage to camping this way is the absence of stress in finding a location to camp. Many times when you’re towing a travel trailer or driving a Class A motorhome, finding a place that can accommodate the size of your RV can be a challenge.

Thirdly, the friendships you make along your journey are priceless. The people you meet will know the RV lingo, celebrate your victories, and pick you up when you’re struggling.

Happy sporty family, mother, father and two boys, sitting on the luggage boot ready for the summer vacation

5 Hacks for Camping in a Minivan

Let’s get this list started and find out what the five hacks are for minivan camping. By applying these clever ideas, you’ll be camping in style on a budget before you know it.

#1 – Create a Multi-Functional Layout

If you think 300 square feet in a travel trailer is small, think again. Space is at an absolute premium when you’re minivan camping.

Depending on the minivan’s brand and style, you may be working with less than 100 square feet. In that case, tap into your creativity and envision your minivan as though it were a Rubik’s cube.

A valuable rule of thumb when you need to find ways to maximize your space creatively is to push yourself to think outside the ordinary. An example of doing this would be to build a modest collapsible table alongside the end of your kitchen counter. It could serve as both a quaint eating area for one and a functional cutting board while cooking.

#2 – Store Items in Clear Totes

Clear storage totes are fantastic for storing miscellaneous items. Purchasing multiple totes of the same size is beneficial for several reasons. By now, we all know that having a practical way of organizing is a necessity when you’re minivan camping.

These totes come in a variety of styles and sizes. You may prefer clear totes that are long but have a shorter width to store in your compartments underneath the camper for sewage supplies and repair tools.

Another available option for storing your items in clear totes is finding ones that are deep and stackable.

#3 – Get A Portable Solar Generator 

If you’re familiar with the brand Yeti, you may have heard of their Goal Zero line of products. These portable power stations can store power and emit energy in a multitude of ways.

The effects from noise and fumes are kept to a minimum without sacrificing the performance.

Five models are available to choose from so that no matter how much you anticipate using your Goal Zero generator, you’re sure to find the right size for you.

Pro Tip: Here are our favorite Portable Solar Generators (with some budget-friendly options).

#4 – Make Privacy Curtains

A slight change in the type of curtains you have can make a tiny space feel cozy and comfortable. When you’re minivan camping, it’s understandable to feel like your space is confined. Consider adding appropriate curtains for a touch of style and character while ensuring maximizing your privacy.

#5 – Bring Along an Outside Setup

There are numerous accessories you can bring on your travels that can add value to your camping experience.

Try adding a reversible oversized ground mat to your campsite. These are great at collecting dirt, sand, and debris and preventing it from being tracked into your RV.

A second option to help accentuate your space outside is adding an overhead canopy. These are fantastic for rough weather days where it may be slightly windy and drizzling but open enough that you can still enjoy the outdoors.

And finally, a third option that’s a requirement for any avid camper is proper seating. The RV lifestyle emphasizes relaxation as one of the top priorities. Therefore, make sure you have ample chairs available to unwind every chance you get.

Minivan Camping – The Simple Life

Minivan camping is a way of life that is simplistic and meaningful. It forces you to live in such a way that you have to step outside your comfort zone and familiarize yourself with an unconventional lifestyle.

It’s not an easy path to choose, but it is without a doubt a fulfilling way to live.

Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers who love to score the best site! 

We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below:

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  1. My son and his girlfriend are doing that! And he is building other vans out like his too!

  2. Bob says:

    I camped for three months in winter in my 2006 KIA minivan for 5 years until 2011. Here are mistakes in this article.
    May have under 100 sq ft. My 2001C200P Roadtrek class b has only 98 sq ft! The average minivan has less than 60 If counting all the way to the dash which is stretching the truth as those front seats do swivel around to face the back. Most are 8 feet from behind the front seats to the rear door. The widest inside width is 5.5 feet. So we are talking about 44 sq ft of usable floor space.
    Second mistake. There are no storage compartments underneath the camper as this is a minivan, not a camper. My class b has these storage compartments. My minivan had none.
    So with a max of 5.5 ft width inside you can’t sleep across the width. Have to sleep fore and aft. Is you gave the typical 75″ long mattress that now leaves on 21 inches to the back of the front seats. Not exactly room for what I would call a kitchen counter lol!
    So the best set-up in a minivan is the way Volkswagen camping vans are set up. This takes a bit of work to make the folding bed, and narrow cabinets and other furniture made to fit the curves of the inside, but it’s the only way to make such a small space usable. Go look at VW camping vans for ideas.
    Outdoor space. Most minivans rear door is one that opens up. This creates a place to help support a room attached to the back . There are many such sold now days. Also works great as a shower room.
    Lastly. These are really only good for two people, not a family!!