Camping and Outdoor Adventure with Cars

SUV Camping Conversion Guide & Tips | Outdoorsy

Converting an SUV into a camper is a popular and cost-effective alternative to buying a new or used camper from a retailer. Many people are opting for DIY cargo trailer conversions to customize their camping rigs according to their specific needs and preferences. Through careful planning and budgeting, it is possible to create a personalized and functional camper that suits your camping style. This section will provide tips and ideas on how to start your SUV camping conversion journey.

Key Takeaways:

  • Converting an SUV into a camper offers a cost-effective and customizable alternative for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • DIY cargo trailer conversions allow for customization tailored to individual preferences and needs.
  • Careful planning and budgeting are essential for a successful SUV camping conversion.
  • Consider factors such as camping style, number of people, cooking preferences, workspace requirements, and storage needs when designing your camper.
  • Test your camper on short trips before embarking on longer adventures to ensure everything is functioning properly.

Steps to Convert Your SUV into a Camper

Converting your SUV into a camper involves several important steps. By following these guidelines, you can create a personalized camping setup that suits your needs and preferences:

  1. Establish a Budget: Before you begin your DIY SUV camping project, it’s essential to determine your budget. This will help you avoid unexpected expenses and ensure that you stay within your financial limitations.
  2. Consider Your Camping Style: Think about how you like to camp and the specific features and systems you want in your camper. Do you prefer camping with full hookups or going off-grid? Understanding your camping style will help you customize your SUV camper conversion accordingly.
  3. Create a Plan: Draw up a detailed plan that includes factors such as the number of people you’ll be camping with, your cooking preferences, workspace requirements, and storage needs. This plan will serve as your roadmap throughout the conversion process.
  4. Gather Necessary Materials: Once you have a plan in place, it’s time to gather the materials required for your SUV camping setup. This may include insulation, flooring, electrical components, furniture, and other essentials.
  5. Start Building: With your materials ready, begin building your camper according to your plan. Follow proper safety precautions and consider seeking help or hiring experts for specific aspects of the conversion if needed.
  6. Test Your Camper: Before embarking on longer adventures, it’s important to test your SUV camper by going on short trips. This will give you the opportunity to identify any issues or areas that need improvement.

Remember, converting your SUV into a camper is a rewarding and exciting project. With careful planning, attention to detail, and the right tools and materials, you can create a comfortable and functional camping setup that allows you to enjoy the great outdoors.

SUV Camping Essentials SUV Camping Gear SUV Camping Accessories
Sleeping bags Camp stove Rooftop cargo carrier
Tent or rooftop tent Camping chairs Awning or shade canopy
Sleeping pads or air mattresses Cooler or fridge Portable toilet
Campfire cooking equipment Hiking gear Camp shower
First aid kit Lantern or headlamp Portable power station

SUV Camper Conversion Ideas

Converting your SUV into a camper opens up a world of possibilities for outdoor adventures. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or an extended road trip, here are some creative and innovative ideas to inspire your SUV camping conversion:

Toyota 4Runner SUV Camper:

suv camping conversion

Create the ultimate camping experience with a Toyota 4Runner SUV camper. This conversion includes an extended shaded space for outdoor lounging, a pressurized solar shower system for refreshing showers on the go, and clever storage solutions to keep your kitchen supplies organized.

No-Build Weekender SUV Camping Rig:

If you’re looking for a simple yet functional SUV camper setup, consider a no-build weekender rig. This conversion features a comfortable bed for a restful sleep, out-of-sight storage compartments to keep your gear organized, and window coverings for stealth camping in urban areas.

Honda CRV SUV Camper Conversion:

The Honda CRV SUV camper conversion offers a cozy and functional space for your camping adventures. With a single mattress for a comfortable sleep, a 4-drawer plastic dresser for convenient kitchen storage, and custom features like window screens and a small cutting board, you’ll have everything you need for a memorable trip.

DIY SUV Camper Builds:

If you’re up for a DIY challenge, consider building your own custom SUV camper. A GMC Yukon conversion can include a full bed, toilet, kitchen, and an off-grid electrical system, providing all the comforts of home on the road. Alternatively, a Jeep Wrangler with a rooftop tent offers additional sleeping space and the freedom to camp in remote locations.

These examples showcase the versatility and flexibility of SUV camper conversions. Whether you prefer a ready-made solution or a personalized build, there’s an option to suit your camping style and preferences. Let your imagination run wild and create the perfect SUV camper for your next outdoor adventure.


Converting your SUV into a camper provides outdoor enthusiasts with a cost-effective and customizable option to enjoy the great outdoors. By carefully planning your SUV camping conversion, considering your specific camping style, and incorporating creative ideas, you can create a cozy and functional retreat that meets your needs. Whether you choose a DIY build or pre-built conversion kits, the possibilities are endless.

It is crucial to establish a budget for your SUV camping conversion project to avoid unexpected expenses. Take into account your camping essentials and personal preferences to create a camper that suits your needs. Considering factors such as the number of people, cooking requirements, workspace, and storage needs will help optimize your camper’s layout.

Before embarking on longer trips, it is recommended to test your camper on shorter trips to ensure its functionality and make any necessary adjustments. With the right tools, materials, and inspiration, you can transform your SUV into the ultimate camping companion. So, get started on your SUV camping conversion journey and prepare for an unforgettable outdoor experience in your own personalized camper.


What is an SUV camper conversion?

An SUV camper conversion involves transforming an SUV into a camper, allowing you to have a personalized and functional camping rig.

How do I start an SUV camping conversion?

To start an SUV camping conversion, establish a budget, plan the layout and systems, gather the necessary materials, and begin building your camper.

What are some creative SUV camper conversion ideas?

Some creative SUV camper conversion ideas include extending the shaded space, installing a pressurized solar shower system, and incorporating storage solutions for kitchen supplies.

Can I convert my SUV into a camper myself?

Yes, you can convert your SUV into a camper yourself. However, you can also seek help or hire experts for specific aspects of the conversion.

How can I test my SUV camper conversion?

You can test your SUV camper conversion by going on short trips before embarking on longer adventures, ensuring that everything is working properly and meeting your needs.

Is converting an SUV into a camper cost-effective?

Yes, converting an SUV into a camper is a cost-effective alternative to buying a new or used camper. It allows you to customize your camping rig according to your preferences and saves you money in the long run.

What should I consider when planning an SUV camper conversion?

When planning an SUV camper conversion, consider factors such as your camping style, the number of people, cooking preferences, workspace requirements, and storage needs.

Can you give me some examples of DIY SUV camper builds?

Some examples of DIY SUV camper builds include a GMC Yukon with a full bed, toilet, kitchen, and off-grid electrical system, or a Jeep Wrangler with a rooftop tent for additional sleeping space.

Are there pre-built conversion kits available for SUV camping conversions?

Yes, there are pre-built conversion kits available for SUV camping conversions. These kits provide a convenient option for those who prefer a ready-made solution.

What is the advantage of converting an SUV into a camper?

The advantage of converting an SUV into a camper is the ability to have a customized and personalized camping rig that suits your specific needs and preferences.

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