Buying Guides

5 Best Minivans for Camping

Load up the crew and go off-grid

Jane Ulitskaya, Digital Content Specialist

We'll admit that a minivan wouldn't be the first vehicle we'd associate with camping adventures. However, when you think about it, the bulbous family hauler has all the makings for going off the grid for a weekend (or longer). A minivan can shuttle the entire clan and all their outdoor gear to your favorite camping destination with its generous seating and cargo area. Unlike larger camper vans or RVs, a minivan will easily fit into any campsite or parking spot. Several minivan options also offer AWD, so you can navigate tougher trails and arrive at the most scenic views. Finally, if you truly want to embrace 'van life', you can even work some magic to convert a standard minivan into a camper.

2020 Toyota Sienna

Best

for the road less traveled

  • PROS: Huge amounts of space, potent V6, AWD.
  • CONS: Dated design, mediocre fuel efficiency.

The Toyota Sienna gets redesigned for 2021, but the outgoing 2020 model still offers a laundry list of benefits for adventurous families. The Sienna is available as a 7 or 8-passenger seating configuration with a capacious interior for the family and camping gear like tents, coolers, and outdoor sports equipment. If you have more gear than passengers, the second-row seats are removable and the third row easily folds down for a maximum 150 cubic feet of cargo room. Getting to and from the campsite is a no-brainer in the Sienna thanks to its potent 3.5-liter V6 engine good for 296 horsepower and 263 lb-ft of torque. Available AWD lets you conquer those dirt and gravel roads to get to your campsite with ease.

2020 Chrysler Pacifica

 
  • PROS: Excellent cargo management system, good steering and handling, great infotainement system, exceptional comfort, available all-wheel drive.
  • CONS: AWD only available in one trim level.

The 2020 Chrysler Pacifica is one of the best all-around minivans you can buy, and it also holds its own as an adventure-mobile. In addition to generous passenger space and convenience features like Stow 'n Go seats, the Pacifica stands out in its performance, capability, and fuel efficiency. For the first time, the 2020 Pacifica offers AWD in the new Launch Edition package to take on dirt trails or unpredictable weather conditions. The Pacifica's 3.6-Liter V6 engine makes 287 horsepower and offers a class-leading highway fuel economy of 28 mpg. When you need to haul large toys like a boat or trailer to the campsite, the Pacifica's best-in-class towing capacity of 3,600 pounds will come in handy.

2020 Honda Odyssey

Best

for Longer stays

  • PROS: Loads of passenger and cargo space, powerful engine, great adjustable seating configuration.
  • CONS: No AWD option, no fold-flat rear seats.

A minivan that offers good driving dynamics, an attractive and comfortable cabin, and good reliability is hard to beat for daily driving or weekend adventure. The 2020 Honda Odyssey comes with all these features. The popular minivan's 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 is powerful enough to lug the family and the camping essentials while offering confident acceleration and a smooth ride. Inside, you'll find an upscale cabin with seating for 7 or 8 with a second row that can slide forward, back, and sideways for easy accessibility. Ample cargo space of 92-cubic feet with the third row folded and a maximum 158-cubic feet with all rear seats down means you can pack enough supplies for a longer getaway.

2021 Kia Sedona

 
  • PROS: Great tech, confidence inducing safety scores, powerful V6 engine.
  • CONS: No AWD, less passenger and cargo space than the competition.

The Kia Sedona will be just as capable to take on busy city streets as the wide-open spaces of nature. Despite having a tighter 3rd row than other minivans on this list, the 2021 Sedona makes up for it with its user-friendly tech, solid safety scores, and a powerful engine that can tow up to 3,500 pounds. Under the hood, the 2021 Sedona sports a 276-horsepower 3.3-liter V6 with good acceleration to hit the highway with confidence on the way to your escape. The cabin is stylish, comfortable, and convenient with Slide-n-Stow second-row seats. The cargo space is generous, measuring 78.4 cubic feet behind the second row, and a maximum 142 cubic feet with all rear seats down.

2020 Ford Transit Connect Wagon

Best

for Budget campers

  • PROS: Flexible cabin configurations, affordable price, easy to drive.
  • CONS: Bare-bones interior, unrefined ride.

Most people associate the Ford Transit line with cargo or commercial vans, but the Ford Transit Connect Wagon is actually a compact passenger van that will fit perfectly into your family's adventurous lifestyle. The 2020 Transit Connect Wagon seats up to 7 passengers and gives you the option to fold the second and third rows for additional cargo space of 106 cubic feet max. The sole engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder which makes 150 horsepower and 144 lb-ft of torque that can tow up to 2,000 pounds. This van's small size and maneuverability make it easy to navigate around the city or the campground, and the starting price of $27,020 makes it easy on the budget.

What to Look for in a Minivan for Camping

  • Spacious Interior.
  • Versatile Cargo Space.
  • Solid driving dynamics on roads and trails.
  • All-wheel drive, if possible.

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