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15 Different Types of SUV Camping Accessories – Ultimate List

Red SUV on camp site with tent.

What’s the point in having an SUV if you don’t take it off the beaten trail once in a while? Adding some of these accessories to your SUV will make it harder to resist the call of the wild.

Storage

Some people can go camping with a half-full backpack and make it out fine, but there’s no need to let all that cargo volume in your SUV go to waste. These storage accessories will enhance your ability to stuff your SUV to the brim with camping gear.

1. Cargo Space Organizers

Car Trunk Organizer with Lid, Premium Collapsible Vehicle Cargo Storage Bin with 10 Side Pockets, 1680D Reinforced Oxford Fabric Container Box for SUV, Truck, Automotive (Black) (70L)

A cargo box organizer stores all of the essentials in one secure location. On the cheap end, fabric boxes are affordable and get the job done, but they’re not incredibly sturdy. Some models, like this one, have a lid that makes them more box-like and easier to use as a surface for further cargo stacking.

For passengers, seatback cargo organizers can keep the essentials on hand for the trip and cut down on the amount of stuff loaded in the back. Since these organizers are handy on everyday trips with passengers, the value goes beyond the vacation.

2. Cargo Nets

Upgrade Car Ceiling Cargo Net Pocket,31.5"x21.6" Strengthen Load-Bearing and Droop Less Double-Layer Mesh Car Roof Storage Organizer,Truck SUV Travel Long Road Trip Camping Interior Accessories

Hanging storage makes use of vertical space without making the items below them inaccessible. Tight-fitting ceiling nets work well with very light items that are nice to have accessible without digging around.

Basket-style cargo nets have more space, but they can sag if overloaded. Both options add a little bit more space without costing much, so it’s an easy choice to grab a set if you need more room.

Modern Convenience

Going without power used to not be that big of a deal. Having the ability to rough it is admirable, but so is being prepared for anything. There are a couple ways you can bring civilization to the wild with the help of your SUV.

3. Small Solar Panels

Renogy Flexible Solar Panel 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Semi-Flexible Bendable Mono Off-Grid Charger for Marine RV Cabin Van Car Uneven Surfaces

Space and weight are still luxuries on a camping trip, even with an SUV. The Renogy portable solar panel is lightweight and flexible, adding a rechargeable power source to your kit at just 4 pounds of weight that’s easily tucked away.

It’s perfect for recharging small tech like GPS devices, radios, and more. Smaller solar power chargers can hold a decent amount of charge, and they are a fraction of the price and weight of the more advanced panel from Renogy.

The built-in charging cables for this particular model are both a blessing and a curse. They keep you from being stranded without the right cord, but it’s harder to replace the cables if they get damaged.

Because of the much lower cost, purchasing several replacements would still cost less than the Renogy flexible panel.

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4. Solar Panel Systems

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 160, 167Wh Lithium Battery Solar Generator (Solar Panel Optional) Backup Power Supply with 110V/100W(Peak 150W) AC Outlet for Outdoors Camping Fishing Emergency

To really get a heap of power for various creature comforts, pack a Jackery Solar Generator 1000 system. It’s a bit too big to haul in a backpack, but the amount of literal power you get is well worth the small amount of space in the back of an SUV.

The addition of the Jackery Portable Power Station is the key addition here. Jackery’s solar panels are great on their own, but the power station can convert the power of multiple panels into a single power supply that can both store and deliver power.

The system comes with one or two panels by default, but it can support several more to really get the party started.

Jackery’s solar power combo is more expensive than a single panel or small recharger, but the capability will be sure to amaze anyone lucky enough to come along for the camping trip.

5. Campstove Generator

BioLite Campstove 2 Wood Burning Electricity Generating & USB Charging Camp Stove Campstove 2+ Wood Burning & USB Charging Camp Stove

Waste not, want not. The BioLite Campstove 2 creates energy from the excess heat put off by a campfire built right inside the convenient container. The amount of power generated isn’t very much, but it can help recharge smaller USB devices like smartphones or a GPS.

The stove itself cuts down the amount of time to build temporary campfires, though it’s a bit on the small side. A proper campfire pit will be better in a permanent spot, but the portable version quickly provides heat and power from nearby biomatter.

Campsite Enhancers

These accessories make your campsite more enjoyable, whether by enhancing the ambience or adding to your comfort.

6. SUV Tents

Rightline Gear SUV Tent, Sleeps Up to (6), Universal Fit

Not every SUV is rated for towing, and quality tow-behind campers aren’t cheap or lightweight. Avoid the cost and improve camping comfort with an SUV tent. It has all the same functionality as a normal tent, but the addition of an opening for the rear of an SUV or a hatchback expands its available space.

Expanding upward instead of outward is also an option. A rooftop tent sits on your SUV, giving you an elevated view of the campsite.  There are a few varieties, but I like Lost Canyon’s take on the cross-roof design.

It’s easy to set up, has a convenient ladder, and has a healthy interior space. It’s still not as big as a ground tent, but two people can comfortably sleep inside of it.

Be mindful of physical limitations when deciding between a more typical tent and one of the roof variety. Some considerations are obvious, but it may be inconvenient for those with slight disabilities, which can make climbing up the ladder difficult, if not fully impossible.

7. Dividing Curtains and Sunshades

Car Divider Curtains, Privacy Shades for Car Camping, Car Window Shades Partition for SUV Cars Trucks

An SUV can be a sleeping space without any extra equipment, but it does feel weird to have open windows all around, even in an isolated campsite.

Putting up a set of privacy shades will block the view and turn the interior of the SUV into a more suitable makeshift tent. There are a ton of affordable options that get the job done, like these privacy curtains.

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8. Portable Tables

COLIBYOU 6' Folding Table Portable Plastic Indoor Outdoor Picnic Party Dining Camp Tables (White) (1, White) (1, White) (6 Inches)

Not having surface space can make tasks like cooking much harder than they need to be. This 6′ folding table easily fits between other bags in the cargo area when folded, and it can handle a family meal when set.

There’s not much more to a table than that, but it’s a feature of home living that will really enhance the usability of the campsite.

9. Solar-Powered Speakers

Friengood Solar Bluetooth Speaker 12W,IPX6 Waterproof Portable Wireless Speaker,50+ Hours Playtime Subwoofer,Bluetooth 4.2 Speaker Built-in 5000mAh Power Bank for Indoor & Outdoor Activities-Black

These solar-powered speakers won’t rattle the neighborhood, but they provide plenty of entertainment without the need for a wall outlet or standard batteries.

Bluetooth connectivity, solar charging, and IPX6 water resistance combine for the perfect outdoor speaker accessory. On top of that, the solar speakers double as a power supply for USB devices.

Coolers

Forgetting just how much our modern food habits rely on cold storage is easy – until the power goes out or it’s time to go camping.

Modern refrigerators are fairly efficient, but they’re still too big and power-hungry to come along on a camping trip. That’s why every SUV should be outfitted with at least one cooler for chilled items.

10. High Quality Ice Boxes

RTIC Ultra-Light 52 qt, White& Grey, 30% Lighter Than Rotomolded, Ice Chest with Heavy Duty Rubber Latches, Insulated Walls Keeping Ice Cold for Days, Great for The Beach, Fishing & Camping

Given proper use, an ice box like the RTIC 52 quart ultra-light cooler will keep ice frozen and items cold for days or weeks. It’s still a good idea to pack dry and shelf-stable foods, but I love having the option for special meals in the middle of a long camping trip after reaching a special destination.

The number of sizes and styles of coolers is extensive, but the RTIC coolers have the same high quality of design and insulation that has made YETI a popular brand – without the same price. YETI does still have some competitive pieces, but I stand by the larger RTIC coolers.

11. Portable Coolers

YETI Hopper Flip 8 Portable Cooler, Charcoal

For something more portable, bring along a cooler like the YETI Hopper Flip 8. Without any ice, the cooler weighs less than 3 pounds.

Bring along a few cold beverages while heading out to the fishing spot. The fish will stay fresh for a walk back to the camp, so don’t stick them in the cooler and pollute all the ice.

Coolers of any size happily work alongside ice makers, if you go the full mile for a portable power setup. Any ice made can replace what’s been lost while leaving plenty left over for cooling down people and drinks.

12. Ice Maker

hOmeLabs Portable Ice Maker Machine for Counter Top - Makes 26 lbs of Ice per 24 Hours - Ice Cubes Ready in 8-10 Minutes - Electric Ice Making Machine with Ice Scoop and 1.5 lb Ice Storage - Silver

With the AC power from an advanced solar system, you can power up various devices. There aren’t too many devices that really change the face of camping, but ice makers top the chart.

Campers in snowy areas won’t need to bother with one, but modern ice makers can put out over 20 pounds of ice per day. Most of the portable countertop models are hard to tell apart from one another. The front opens up for water, and the back half turns it into ice pills. 

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They do take a fair bit of power, but it’s still less than a full fridge and within the power range of a solar panel and a DC-to-AC inverter. Ice makers don’t need to run for long each day to provide enough ice for a cooler and drinks. 

You get more ice overall without taking along multiple coolers, which can really help on hot days away from the air conditioning.

Emergency Supplies

Camping requires a degree of self-sufficiency, so you should be prepared to handle an emergency when the nearest help is not going to reach the site in time for serious problems.

13. Medical Supplies

NAPASA Survival Kit 232 pcs Professional Survival Gear Emergency Tactical First Aid Kit Outdoor Trauma Bag for Men Women Camping Hiking Hunting

Premade emergency kits are frequently overpriced for the quality and quantity of the  items that they contain, and you’ll likely want to add other items to them anyway.

For example, check out the NAPASA 232-piece survival kit. Overall, it’s not a terrible deal, but a quick glance at the contents shows some issues. The first aid kit is barebones with basic scissors instead of proper first aid shears that can quickly cut clothing and bandages without cutting into skin.

There’s no medication, including a lack of antibiotics beyond the alcohol prep pads. Even in more robust first aid kits, you’ll need to add any essential emergency medication like epipens.

14. Roadside Emergency Kits

Thrive Car Emergency Kit with Jumper Cables + First Aid Kit | Auto Emergency Kit & Car Accessories | Roadside Vehicle Assistance | Car Tool Kit Bag | Road Trip Essentials (in Square Bag)

You’ll also want a roadside emergency kit, but there’s some obvious overlap that happens when buying multiple emergency kits. Like first aid supplies, you’ll want to include any key items for your vehicle that aren’t standard, like a backup key or wheel lock remover.

If you have most of the items in the example kit, it’s more than a good idea to build your own. Be sure to treat your SUV emergency supply kit and hiking supply kits separately, or someone may end up without them at a critical moment.

15. Water Filtration

LifeStraw Mission High-Volume Gravity-Fed Water Purifier, 12 L (LSM12)

A lack of potable water might be the most realistic threat when stranded in an unknown wilderness. Lugging all the water needed to survive would weigh too much, and it’s hard to trust random water – even if it looks clean to the eye.

Packing a LifeStraw personal water filter into each person’s hiking bag will make sure that they can access clean water when they need it the most. At the campsite, use a gravity water filter like the LilfeStraw Mission.

The gravity feed allows for large batches of water to resupply the camp and take care of daily chores. Each version is rated for far more water than any single person will go through on a camping trip.

Note that these water filters don’t remove the salt from salt water, although they do remove most of the germs. Physical filters don’t typically remove anything that’s dissolved into the water, including many dangerous heavy metals and toxins.

The list of what’s covered changes with each filter, so always go over a filter’s list and keep the information stored with it in the emergency kit.