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Best Cars for Camping in BC

Car camping couple with tent and campfireJuly/August are some of the busiest months in BC for getting outdoors and enjoying the natural beauty of mother nature.

Purchasing the Ultimate Camping Car

Just as there’s some really good/bad days to be out camping, there’s some really good/bad vehicles to go out camping in.

Pack in the Passengers

Want to take the extended family? A large vehicle can safely transport a large crew of campers in comfort which can save big on parking spot rentals, ferry tickets, and other expenses. Often times sharing a single vehicle can save the environment, plus you can spend the savings on deluxe smokies, marshmallows, and chocolate!

Chevy LogoSuburban/Yukon XL – Chevrolet

When it comes to head counts it’s hard to argue with the 9 passenger seating of the Suburban (LS models) & Yukon XL unless you own a bus or a van. Going camping in a bus/van is fine when you have ‘backpack camping’ gear, but when it comes to ‘car camping’ each passenger needs some cargo space and the Suburban delivers.

Recent models of these large SUVs, starting in 2010, add loads of bells & whistles like bluetooth/USB that really don’t assist with cutting your cords and ‘roughing it’ at all but do cost more to purchase. To help you find a deal, here’s a link to search for all used Chevrolet vehicles in all dealerships, sorted by price.

Ford Motor Company LogoExpedition – Ford

Similar to the Suburban, with the front bench seat installed (an option until 2007), the massive Ford Expedition seats 9 passengers, and just like it’s Chevy counterpart, it has four-wheel drive for those ‘hard to reach’ camping spots.

Third generation (‘T’ platform) Expeditions from 2007 and onward are considered safer and they feature a more modern look that fetches a higher price than the older ‘U’ platform so shopping for an 05-06 model could save you some money. Avoiding these perks is a massive price difference and a great way to get the perfect crew carrier for camping on a budget. These vehicles don’t tend to stay in stock long, and we often have hundreds of used Ford vehicles in stock to look through, so if you want a heads up on something special why not try out our free auto-finder service?

Toyota logoSequoia – Toyota

Speaking of capacity, we really have to give the Sequoia a mention thanks to room for eight passengers and a class leading towing capacity of 3,357 kg (7,400 lb!) for the second generation models(2008 & up).

If you have a trailer, boat, motorbikes, and a family, this would be the vehicle to drag it all around without worry. The 2008 model was a big hit with Motor Trend who loved the 381 HP engine and four wheel drive acceleration. Getting one at a bargain could be tricky though, these usually fetch $10k or more, and we’re looking for value, not headed to the opera house. Here’s a link to search all our BC locations for used Toyotas sorted by price.

Jeep wordmarkGrand Cherokee – Honorable Mention/In Stock

With front bucket seats you won’t be taking the boy scout troop camping in one car, but the Jeep Cherokee does seat 5 in comfort and goes off road with confidence. Starting in 2005, the 3rd generation Cherokees were upgraded to the Quadra-Drive II four wheel drive system and an independent double-wishbone suspension setup.

What it lacks in seats it makes up for in towing capacity: The base V6 model Grand Cherokee has a 1587 kg (3,500 lb) towing capacity and the V8 Hemi model can pull 3,266 kg (7,200 lb)! The rear fold-flat seating also makes a great place to sleep for those ‘spontaneous’ camping moments where you don’t have a tent.

Best of all is the price! We just sold a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee for $8,888, which is a bargain for almost any role! Here’s a link to search our entire BC wide inventory for used Jeep vehicles sorted by price.

Value Vehicles

Want room for passengers and dry/clean cargo? Four wheel drive, sturdy factory roof racks, and decent towing capacity for a small trailer? To get all this for a good price we are forced to consider something a little less domestic.

Subaru logoOutback/Forester – Subaru

Subarus are a common sight in BC for many good reasons. These extra-safe cars pack all wheel drive and cargo capacity into a cheap package with decent ground clearance that is fun to drive.

Older models don’t come with factory hitch options and while users report no problems towing light loads under 550 kg (1,200 lb), I would only use it for pulling really light trailers for camping fun. The XT (turbo) models can be a lot of fun to drive but they must be well cared for/maintained carefully to get the sort of longevity that makes these cars a great value. As popular as these cars are, we don’t have one in stock right now but you can click here to search all 5 BC dealers for used Subarus sorted by price.

Toyota logoCRV/RAV4 – Toyota

This little SUV really is popular for combining all wheel traction control with a small fuel efficient four-door frame. A wide range of both gas and diesel engines makes it a very versatile platform for worldwide sales.

Lots of people associate the 4Runner with the idea of a Toyota ‘off-road SUV’ but those vehicles tend to be cheap due to blown head gaskets from high mileage or overheats. This can be interesting for someone seeking a cheap fixer-upper, but everyone else should avoid the hassle.

The 05-06 model year is the last year they stuck the spare tire on the door and it’s also the year that the all wheel drive was improved after lots of owner feedback and concerns that the system didn’t work as well as it did in competing vehicles. On top of ditching the spare tire on the door, the 07 and newer models are a lift-up rear gate vs. the sideways swinging style. If you click this search for used Toyota RAV4s sorted by price, you should see something listed. Right now we have 3 used Toyota RAV4 SUVs in stock ranging from an 08 with 129k of mileage to a 2014 with 32k on the odometer.

Nissan logoPathfinder/Xterra – Nissan

The 2nd biggest SUV that Nissan makes, the Pathfinder is a nice big four wheel drive import with enough popularity to keep the prices super low. Built on a pickup truck frame this rugged vehicle has survived and won many off road events, including the Paris to Dakar rally.

Even 2014 Xterra models are very affordable, we get these in regularly and they always sell quickly at very reasonable prices. This vehicle was also sold as the Infiniti QX4 with a few small upgrades, like intelligent cruise control, that put the QX4 in a different price class. We don’t have the QX4 in stock, but you can click this link to search for used Nissan Xterras sorted by price.

Great Automotive Deals to Get Everyone Camping

Family-enjoying-camping-holiday-on-campsite

It can cost a lot to take the whole family camping! Do you need more than some advice on handy camping vehicles at good prices? No problem!

Just get in touch with Galaxy Motors! With 16 lenders to choose from you always get the best automotive financing deals from Galaxy Motors! Our customers can even trade in their old clunkers for some extra cash knowing that Galaxy Motors takes pride in giving the best deals on trade-ins! Heck we’ll even buy cars that are still on lease and not yet paid off!

Fresh Deals on Great Cars

With 4 dealers in BC our inventory is huge and growing every day. Many of our used cars are priced so low that they don’t even stay on the lot long enough to become a vehicle on this website! Before we take a vehicle on we perform a 155 point mechanical inspection and purchase a CarProof vehicle history report to make sure that we are only selling the best used cars and trucks!

Some Free Advice for Camping in BC

Now you’ve got the right vehicle for camping, and you’ve saved a ton of cash, but which campsite are you going to? We’ve listed some car friendly sites, but with the Perseid meteor showers going on until ~Aug 14th (new moon on the 14th too!), stargazers will want to get as far from the city lights to get the best view of the streaking comet debris.

Camping in Vancouver

There’s a few spots close enough to town that even the busiest work-a-holic should be able to slip away for some camping adventure.

Campfires are banned

Dogwood Campground

This year-round park is only a 25 minute drive from downtown Vancouver. Tent sites are really nicely set in a canopy of tree cover and include access to the washrooms, heated pool, free WiFi, and laundry machines. Due to the current heat wave and city bylaws the location does not permit open fires but you’re welcome to pull out a stove/BBQ to cook with.

$32/day or $192/week for 2 people and your tent. Children 6 and under are free, 7 and older are $6/each per night. Campsites aren’t tracked online, but do fill quickly each weekend so you’ll want to book ahead. You can click here for more contact info.

Campfires may be banned

Whistler RV Park & Campground

If you can get out of the work week you could get a reservation here, but this campground is very popular on the weekends and getting a space to camp usually takes a little planning ahead of time or great luck!

There’s a free shuttle to Whistler Village for cyclists/hikers/RV owners, showers, bathrooms, and a picnic table with a fire ring. No word is posted on current campfire bans but I’d bring a gas grill to be safe!

$29.50/day will get you a tent site for 2 adults and 2 children. Additional kids are $5 each and each extra adult is $10 each. For all the details visit the official website.

Campfires may be banned

Chal-Cheak Recreational Campsite

This is a really nice location with ~55 campsites in 3 large clusters situated between the Cheakamus and Callaghan rivers. Picnic tables, washrooms, and firewood are all available from the site operator, Ron Renville. Currently the area is listed as ‘moderate’ fire risk but that could change at any time.

$13/night will cover your site costs but there are no reservations and spots are provided on a first-come-first-served basis. Check BC Sites and Trails for further contact details and directions.

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