What Kind of Roadtripmobile is Right for You?

My friend Rick told me he planned to get a Sportsmobile, a converted van with features like four-wheel drive, sleeping accommodations for four, a heating system with thermostat, even a water tank complete with outdoor shower attachment. It’s basically a pint-sized RV with serious off-road capabilities. Even used, Sportsmobiles aren’t cheap, but it’s worth it to Rick because that’s the way he spends his free time. For me, a Sportsmobile would be overkill. I love to get out, but my wife and I are more day-trippers, only camping occasionally. We drive a Honda Element, which allows plenty of room for gear and crashpads, and allows us a place to sleep in relative comfort without setting up a tent and inflating our sleeping pads.

The longer I spend in the climbing world, the more roadtripmobile options I see, each suited to a particular need or lifestyle. Popped tops, raised sleeping platforms, tailgate cabana tent attachments, etc. On the modest end of the spectrum, you’ll find people who sleep in pretty much any vehicle. (I spent several seasons crashing in the parking lot of Miguel’s Pizza in my Honda Accord, rear seats folded forward and feet shoved into the trunk.) On the extreme other end lies the 52-foot long all-terrain mobile command truck called the KiraVan, brainchild of Bran Ferren, former R&D head for Disney’s Imageneering Department. Most of us fall in the middle.

To help you find the roadtripmobile that suits your needs, dear reader, I’ve put together this handy decision tree. May it help lead you to the right-sized vehicle of your road-tripping dreams… sort of.

Roadtripmobile decision tree

Published by

Justin Roth

A busy mind that aspires to be still.

13 thoughts on “What Kind of Roadtripmobile is Right for You?”

  1. Man, this is so good. I tried to find something to disagree with and I just can’t find a thing except that I live like a monk and love my Jetta Wagon TDI (but that’s because I can sleep in it comfortably WITH all my necessary gear).

    Nice work!

  2. I just got an 03 Tahoe for 9k which is totally bomber. Makes the mileage question irrelevant from a cost and enviro impact perspective (the greenest vehicles are used vehicles). Anyway, it sleeps 2 and Im 6’4″ but my tent only takes 5 minutes to setup so…

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