Poll: why do you tent camp?

Would you prefer to camp in an RV but can’t afford it yet, or is tent camping your absolute favorite way to camp?

We have a 5th wheel camper and love it, but we still love to take our tent out as well. There are certain sites we love like Smith’s Falls in Nebraska along the Niobrara River that you cannot bring an rv into, so we will take our tent there. It’s an amazing place. We just like getting out any way we can really!

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Hey!! We have a teardrop, and just bought it about a year ago. Living in a colder climate, waaaayyy up north, it helps us extend our camping season a little earlier in spring and a little later in fall when temps are great for hiking, but gross for camping (ie: freezing temps at night). Tenting and hammocking are still our favorites, but there is a warm spot in our hearts for a great camping trip with our teardrop!

I prefer tent camping for affordability. I find it allows me to stretch my adventures longer when not having to worry about additional costs which incur with an RV. I like to promote how travel can be fun and affordable but also challenge you to do and try new things so tent camping is perfect for that…


I hammock camp or airborne tent camp,(Tentsile Stingray), for a few reasons.

The comfort
The ability to camp virtually anyplace,(trees providing).
The at home footprint
The out on adventure footprint
The freedom.


Interesting question! Having an RV is just… not something that is part of my identity? The only thing about RVing that has ever appealed to me is having sturdy walls during inclement weather. Someday when my body aches more than it does now I would like to get a teardrop trailer. I like that all of my camping gear can fit into a corner of my basement- no need to pay to keep anything offsite or take up valuable driveway real estate!


We have a Freespirit Recreation rooftop tent and that’s my favorite camping. It’s so quick and easy to set up, and you can camp anywhere. Very versatile. So I’d say it’s the convenience factor and being able to be away from people! We had a pop up tent that we sold back in March, and nearly purchased a pull behind, but then the quarantine happened :woman_facepalming:t3: So we are hoping to get back to work, and get a new camper!

I primarily prefer to tent/hammock camp for the versatility. I can get to a lot more remote areas where there is little crowds and tons of views.

We tent camp because we can get into places we otherwise wouldn’t. We are looking to buy a travel trailer but we are maybe going to live in it. But for camping, for now, I’ll stick to my tent. The set up and take down is so much quicker and if we roll in late, a place can almost always find a spot for a tent. We are looking to get into backpacking and bikepacking so a tent or something similar is the only way to go.

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It is a bit of a financial and convinence decision for me. I could easily afford just about any RV I might want but choose not to spend my money there. I think this is partly because of all the additional costs that come with it. Storage, upkeep, often higher camp site costs, insurance, high cost of fuel or a larger vehicle to pull/haul it. The original purchase price is acutally only a portion of the real cost.

I can not store a larger camper or RV at home so I would have to pay for offsite storage. I would likely need something bigger than our currnet minivan or my 1/2 ton F-150 pickup truck.

I found it was much more economical to rent a small to medium size bumper pull trailer from a local comapny the one or two times a year I really want tthe RV life. At $75 to $150 a night it is still far less than I would pay each year for storage, maintenance, and insurance on a similar unit if I owned it.

The rest of the time I keep it old school, fast, and flexible. I have enough gear to go from a quick lightweight backpacking kit to a full on semi luxurious car glamping setup complete with stoves, lights, canopies, rocking chairs, and pillow top air matresses.

This year I added a topper to my pickup bed and have outfitted it with a cot, gear storage, 12v electrics (lights, fan, charging station), and even a small window air conditioning unit I can use with I am at a site with AC power. I use it as my base camp for my fishing and hiking weekends. I can daily drive it for work monday through friday, throw my weekend gear in it in about 30 mintues, and hit the road for a couple days at the lake or river. It also alows me to move daily with minimal effort so I could stay at two or three camp spots in as many days or pull off a boondock road trip without setting a tent other gear.

In a tent on the ground the old fashioned way. Quick, cheap, and super easy. Plus it’s part of the camping experience and adventure.

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Definitely tent camping! Small imprint; minimal cost (initial outlay and upkeep); minimal storage and transport space; can take it most places in the world in a trunk, suitcase or backpack; can camp effectively in any climate, condition or elevation; no flat tires or expensive replacement, no burned out wheel bearings, no winterizing or flushing pipes, no broken lift mechanisms, no difficulty backing or fitting into a campsite, no extra insurance costs, no delaminating veneers or swelling pressboard, to name a few.:thinking:

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For peace, to get closer to nature, experience the temperature changes, the feel of the sun, the sparkle of the stars and moon, to hear the crickets, to feel alive…

We’ve had RVs for a quarter century but still enjoy tent camping now and then.

Until they make a RV with a removable, screened-in roof then nothing is going to beat a tent with the stars overhead. :relaxed: :stars: :camping:

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Our primary method of camping is “Class B” motorhome. However, there are places it won’t go, requiring our 4WD, and that’s when the tent gets used. On rare occasions, we’ve hiked into camps, but as we age, that’s generally not our objective (we’re retired); we try to keep the hiking to “day” trips.

Because it’s so much more simpler? We can throw everything in our car (a wagon), and roof top cargo box and go wherever. We move our job every few years and having an RV or travel trailer just isn’t an option. We always say that one day when we’re more creaky and gray than we currently are we will upgrade to something with a legit bed, and hard sides, but that won’t be any time soon. We didn’t camp for a while when the kids are younger, but we’ve been back at it again and it’s a great way to adventure with them.

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History of Boy Scouts, canoe trips in the Canadien Boundry Waters, backpacking in Colorado, pop up camper with the kids, backyard tenting with the grand kids. Wife and I now 65 years old and nostalgic for the outdoor experience so recently bought a tent and planning a winter camping trip south. It’s been 20 years but due to covid decided it’s now or never. Wish us luck:)

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We car Glamp with a Prius. We have no interest in the cost and maintenance of a dedicated vehicle that gets used 5-7 times a year and incurs insurance, storage, and taxes.
Never mind the depreciation factor.
We have a 4 person tent and EZ up with a bug screen. We can load up bikes and paddle boards and hit some water.
Currently, we are planning a 2 week trip to the Keys. Cost for the trip will be under 1000 for 2 weeks minus food and fuel. All sites will be water front with everything we need and want.


I like the ability to be able to set up anywhere. I prefer being in remote locations with no-one around it’s easier to do that when tent camping especially if you do dispersed camping. Love the challenge of exploring and not knowing what we’ll find. My favorite thing is canoe camping trips. You set out on the river/lake and explore until you find the perfect spot. The thrill of the chase is great, you never know what oasis is waiting just around the corner. I realize some might not like this uncertainty but I love exploring the unknown. We’ve camped on islands, cliffs over looking lakes, beaches surrounded by forests etc. All beautiful with no one around. I’m not sure if it would be possible do things like this in an RV.
Also others have mentioned the maintenance and upkeep of an RV. I agree, for me personally the annoyance of up-keeping an RV is not worth the joy of a mobile shelter.