car camping trends - How to capitalise on the rising car camping trend

How to capitalise on the rising car camping trend

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DIY Car camping conversions, Camping box sales and car camping on the rise – a look from a business perspective.

The idea of a staycation has never been more prevalent than in recent years. One way of enjoying a good staycation and freedom is to take your car, drive to wherever you want and sleep in it comfortably. No, not in the front or rear seat – it’s never been easier to convert your car into a very comfortable camper with a double bed, storage and a kitchen.

car camping trends - How to capitalise on the rising car camping trend


People are always looking for the next cool thing – and car camping in everyday cars could be it. (As opposed to the well-known but bulky and not-so-affordable caravans, RVs, and camping vans). As you can tell from the Google Trends chart above – the interest is rising, especially in the last two years. More people are looking for ideas on how to convert their cars into campers. This is easily proven by the number of new companies manufacturing bespoke conversions for various car models or camping boxes that fit almost any good size everyday car. 

Even big car manufacturers like Volkswagen started producing their own custom-made small campers like the VW Caddy California (they previously manufactured bigger vans like the Multivan).

Another indicator of the rising trend is the increasing price of camping boxes – f.e. The Campal camping boxes were priced at a range between £1000 and £1650 in 2020 which has changed to £1150 – £1850 by the end of 2021 – that’s a 12-15% price increase in a year. 

How does the car camping landscape look like from a business perspective?

The demand is there – people want to do car camping more than ever before. What does the famous phrase say? “Sell shovels during a gold rush”. Except, in this case, you should sell ways that allow people to sleep in their cars. And those are:

1. Bespoke camping conversions of everyday cars

The best cars for camping tend to have a longer and taller boot area – big enough for an average-height person to sleep in comfortably. These tend to be in the MPV / Minivan category and according to, include:

Although the first two are bigger, Citroën Berlingo seems to be the most popular choice amongst car camping enthusiasts, albeit it’s mostly DIY hobby conversions and bespoke conversions, as this car is cheaper and used offers are abundant.

Many companies offer bespoke conversions of such cars with prices starting at £6,000 through £13,000 and more. And they are pretty busy all summer – we’ve contacted a bunch of them asking about lead times – most were fully booked for months. 

Examples include,,, and more outside the UK.

According to, the countries with the most searches are UK and Germany. Car camping in the US is popular too, although they tend to have very different car models.

- How to capitalise on the rising car camping trend


2. Semi-universal camping boxes – boot jumps

These address the mid-range shopper. Someone who doesn’t have the budget to buy a second car just for camping, but doesn’t want to build one themselves either. A typical camping box will combine a bed, a kitchen and storage into a removable box that you just insert into the boot of your car and are ready for camping. 

They are mostly manufactured for the aforementioned MPVs and Minivans – Caddy, Berlingo etc.

They start at around £400, but the most popular ones cost around £1,500 – £3,000. You can also add many accessories as an upsell option – kitchen sets, camping fridges, and more storage solutions.

The most popular ones include:,,, or

QUQUQ Box offen big - How to capitalise on the rising car camping trend


3. Car roof tents

Instead of sleeping in your car – you can sleep on top of it. Roof tents offer a lot of sleeping room without having to change anything inside of your car. You can also combine a rooftop tent with a camping box (that includes better kitchen and storage options because it doesn’t need to double up as a bed). 

Examples include,,

Source: Photo by Taryn Elliott from Pexels

4. DIY camping conversions – parts, accessories

The fourth group of shoppers you could base your business around are DIY enthusiasts – they rather do it themselves, whether it’s monetary reasons or they like a challenge. 

Instead of offering ready-made solutions, you could offer parts and accessories, for example:

  • Car curtains
  • Car bed (solid surface to sleep on)
  • Car mattress solutions
  • Storage modules
  • LED lights & decoration
  • Kitchen & Utensil solutions
honda odyssey camping conversion bertha 6 - How to capitalise on the rising car camping trend
A DIY kitchen top & drawer

Whether it’s because of the travel restrictions in recent years, or because it’s becoming more “in” to have your own camper (+ tiny house movement and minimalist movement plays a big role too) – the demand is here to stay and it’s growing. This is a good opportunity to capitalise on the growing wave of car camping enthusiasts in various ways – which one will you choose?

To explore more about this market segment, head over to our homepage.

Post author:


Founder of, avid traveler and outdoor enthusiast. Car camping and microcamping allows me to keep traveling and exploring with a much greater level of freedom & privacy – to go anywhere and sleep anywhere. I didn’t have 30K to buy a VW Multivan, so found my way to the world of everyday car camping conversions. Here I share my experiences and what I learn.

Check out my thoughts on a balanced life:

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