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Car for camping? What do you recommend?

(25 Posts)
Odmedod Fri 27-May-16 00:42:57

Yes, only campers will understand me!

We need to change our car very soon, as the one we have is starting to get very elderly and have lots going wrong.
One of the niggles we have is that our tent won't fit into the current one, so we're looking for something that will accommodate it.
It's a quechua 4-man pop-up, one of the big vis-a-vis style, two bedrooms, living area on the middle. Anyway, folded up in its bag, the tent is about 110cm in diameter, it will fit in our hatchback boot... but then nothing else does!

Can anyone recommend a smallish car- definitely not as big as a Touran or anything, that would take the tent flat in the boot, perhaps?

We're 2 adults, 2 children, occasionally take another, but definitely don't want 7 seater. Budget between £8-10k, for something with petrol engine (95% of driving is in a city), 3-5 years old, economical to run, not horrific to tax.

Wondered about a Berlingo, but have read such negative things about French cars!

Odmedod Fri 27-May-16 08:29:29

Sorry, should also have said I need a high-ish driving position as I'm very short!

Blu Fri 27-May-16 08:48:13

Have a look at a Skoda Roomster. The rear seats have 3 positions and create a vast boot for such an average sized car. It's also possible that your tent would fit upright against the back seats as it has a tall hatchback style boot. With 2 kids you would probably need one with roof rails and a top box.

They were discontinued last year, so there should be newer second hand available.

They are notoriously ugly.

Odmedod Fri 27-May-16 09:09:05

grin Ugly not a problem!
I used to have a Fabia and that was great, so will definitely look at a roomster, thank you. Do you know if it's possible to get three in the back, if two have car seats? I did vaguely look at the yeti six months ago, but it seemed very big to me. Roomsters are a little smaller, aren't they?

Blu Fri 27-May-16 09:12:16

Not sure about how many fit in the back. There are 3 separate seats though.
The Roomster actually has more boot capacity than the Yeti, and has cheaper insurance, etc.

RaisingSteam Fri 27-May-16 10:47:32

PILs have a Skoda Roomster - they love it and the DC think it's a great adventure going in it especially with the sunroof. They do look like nothing on earth but really practical and comfortable. You might get car seats in if you choose them carefully for width -there are some quite slimline booster cushions for the occasional extra child.

Odmedod Fri 27-May-16 10:48:11

Ooh, well that's very helpful to know, thank you!flowers

samlovesdilys Fri 27-May-16 20:38:32

Totally recommending the Ford S Max, incredibly versatile and huge boot!! We love them!!

Odmedod Fri 27-May-16 21:10:03

Thanks, sam, but isn't the SMax a 7 seater? They look huge from the outside!

yetanotherdeskmove Fri 27-May-16 22:29:15

We have a mondeo estate the boot is huuuuge!

Odmedod Fri 27-May-16 22:58:45

A mondeo is waaaay to big for us, no way could I park that anywhere in our city!

RaisingSteam Sat 28-May-16 08:47:12

Actually it's surprising how quickly you DO get used to parking an estate car. But they may not be as cheap to tax and run as some of the others mentioned.

Take your tent to a car supermarket and you will soon find out what fits! Remember if a car has split fold rear seats you can get a bit of extra length.

Odmedod Sat 28-May-16 14:11:43

Thanks. The main difficulty is that the packed tent isn't cylindrical in the way our other tents were. It's circular and a bit of a nightmare, despite it being a fabulous tent!

RaisingSteam Sat 28-May-16 21:50:13

Is it the "dinosaur" one?

Can't you put it in as the last thing in the car, so it's on top of the heavier things and jammed against the roof? Then it just might stick out a bit over the DC's heads?

Odmedod Sat 28-May-16 22:31:24

Not sure about dinosaur! It's this one:

Odmedod Sat 28-May-16 22:32:33

It's quite heavy, so I'd be worried about what would happen in the event of a crash if it was on top of the gear.
Though that's completely moot, as it just wouldn't fit on top of anything in our current car!

BurnTheBlackSuit Sat 28-May-16 22:35:30

No helpful advice, but I totally get this thread. We bought a new car (Zafira) and when we bought it, the guy in the dealership said- so why do you want a bigger car... Is it for camping?" And, yup, that was the reason!!

Odmedod Sat 28-May-16 23:14:06


poocatcherchampion Tue 31-May-16 16:58:41

Cmax has a decent boot if smax is too big.

Although roomster is a fab choice.

FatimaLovesBread Tue 31-May-16 17:05:51

Was coming on to say cmax. We've just come home from a weekend camping in ours.

samlovesdilys Thu 02-Jun-16 21:41:09

Sorry for delay, was camping! But home now and washing on so can catch up on mumsnet!! Yes, it is 7 seater but only if boot seats are up, they pack completely flat so just a big boot...until I need to transport 1/2 a rugby team!!

PopGoesTheWeaz Sun 05-Jun-16 19:21:31

I have a few friends with berlingos and really like them. We have a skoda fabia estate - the boot is surprisingly big considering it is not a big car we manage with that plus a roof box but tend to bring a LOT of stuff. DH would like to upgrade to a superb one day.

OnlyHereForTheCamping Mon 06-Jun-16 18:58:59

We have a berlingo, no complaints and it is hard to beat for sheer space for shit.

AlmaMartyr Mon 06-Jun-16 19:06:38

We have a Renault Grand Scenic and the boot is massive - easily big enough for all our (considerable) camping gear. It is a 7 seater but the the two extra seats fold down so they don't matter. Useful to have them when we want though,although that is pretty rare.

JemimaMuddledUp Mon 06-Jun-16 19:09:16

We've got a Zafira, with a roof rack and a trailer. But we are a family of 5 who go camping with a 6 man tent and bikes.

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