Car Life Nation

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A green 2022 Ford Explorer Timberline is shown from the front at an angle while towing a trailer off-road.

Just Explore: Camping in the Explore Timberline

We often tend to limit our perception of a vehicle to one or two specific roles, narrowing our appreciation for how versatile any given vehicle can be. Even as somebody who writes about cars, it can be tempting to think of three-row SUVs as family vehicles that live in the suburbs and never see much action. Not that family life isn’t exciting––it may just be one of the most exciting things in the world! But, SUVs actually have the opportunity to increase the adventure in your life if they are properly equipped. The 2022 Ford Explorer Timberline, believe it or not, makes for an ideal camping vehicle. We often don’t think of three-row SUVs as outdoorsy camping vehicles; we usually leave that for the F-150 and the Bronco. But the Explorer may actually be the best fit for camping out of all three. Why, you ask? I’ll tell you why.


It’s important to understand that trims and special editions can make a huge difference in a vehicle’s ability to perform a given task. Just because an SUV can take you camping doesn’t mean you should hop over to the dealership and hit the camping site with the first SUV (even the first Explorer) you see. Different trims are focused on different things; some really lean into luxury, some into towing, and some into off-roading. That last one is what you want, and that’s what the Explorer Timberline offers.


The presence of a 3.58 Torsen limited-slip rear differential makes a big difference in the vehicle’s ability to maneuver its way through off-road environments, maximizing the torque sent to the wheels. Off-road driving requires special capability, and without this capability, an SUV will be ill-suited to handle such environments. Skid plates on the front, rear, and und

erbelly of the vehicle help prevent damage, and that is another significant factor. Whether you’re truly pushing the Explorer to its off-roading limits or you’re just trudging out to your favorite campsite, you want to make sure that the vehicle isn’t damaged. This is about more than just a dent or some chipped paint; if the underbody of the vehicle takes a bad hit on a rock or another obstacle, you could find yourself stranded on the trail.

Another important off-roading component that the Timberline tackles are the wheels. It is an absolute necessity to have the right wheels and tires while off-roading; otherwise, you could end up getting stuck. The Explorer Timberline provides 18-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires to help tackle the trails. Just for fashion’s sake, the wheels are high-gloss, painted black, and laser-etched with the Timberline logo. None of that affects your off-roading performance; that just makes them really cool wheels.

But, the big point here is that a vehicle is not fit to go off-road unless it is properly equipped. So, don’t take just any SUV on your off-roading adventure! The good news is that the Explorer Timberline is the right SUV to take you out to the most remote campsite.

The interior of a 2022 Ford Explorer Timberline is shown from the passenger seat.

Shelter from the Storm

Even when you have all of the perfect camping plans set up, sometimes Mother Nature has other plans. If you’re an experienced camper, you may be all-in on sleeping outside, rain or shine. But if you have an indoorsy lifestyle and are trying to branch out, having a three-row SUV like the Explorer as your camping vehicle can provide a solution to rainy nights.

Where an off-roading truck would only offer the cargo bed, and a traditional off-roading vehicle like the Bronco simply provides less interior space, the Explorer Timberline offers 87.8 cu.ft. of cargo volume behind the first row of seats. So, fold down those rear seats, and you’ve got yourself a snug cabin for those rainy nights.

Now, even you hardcore campers may have gotten excited by the cargo capacity I just mentioned. Even if you intend to sleep outside in the worst of storms, having a cargo capacity of 87.8 cu.ft. allows you to pack up for the long haul. If you’re looking to get out on an extended camping trip, you’ll have plenty of space to pack a little extra and make sure you’re prepared for whatever may come. Even if you don’t take advantage of all the cargo space, seating for seven means that more friends can come along, increasing the fun. Regardless of how you use it––sleeping, storing, or seating––having the interior space of a three-row SUV is a huge asset for campers of all levels.

And it’s not just the storage space of an SUV that makes the Explorer Timberline an ideal camping vehicle!


It is no mystery that SUVs are more powerful than most vehicles. With that strength comes the ability to tow heavy loads––namely trailers––which is a huge advantage on a camping trip. The 2022 Explorer Timberline can tow up to 5,300 lbs. Admittedly, that is not as much as many pickup trucks, but consider the Explorer’s other advantages: a pickup truck has more towing capacity but far less interior space. So, you can tow your load and have extra shelter, seating, and dry storage space, providing for a variety of circumstances.

So, what does a towing capacity of 5,300 lbs look like on a camping trip? Well, seeing as the average camper weighs around 5,000 lbs, that puts you in a pretty good position to haul your camper along with you if that’s the way you roll. If you’re not one for campers, there are all kinds of other things you can tow with that capacity. Fishing boats usually weigh less than 5,000 lbs (including equipment, motor, and trailer!), so if you’re looking to spend some time on the lake, you can haul your boat along and hit the water. Even if neither camping or boating is your thing, having the towing capability of an SUV allows you to hook up a trailer with extra cargo if you want to fill up all seven seats for a family or group camping trip. There are all kinds of possibilities; if it comes in trailer form, it can be towed.

Don’t be tempted to compare the Explorer’s (or any SUV’s) towing capacity to a truck; trucks have a different purpose and are meant for work. The Ford Explorer is intentionally designed to perform its function, and the Timberline’s function is off-roading. And we haven’t even discussed the rooftop crossbars! These allow for extra rooftop storage, whether you want to pack up kayaks, bikes, or even more cargo. Between the trailering capacity and the crossbars, the Explorer Timberline allows you to maximize in-vehicle space by hauling cargo outside the vehicle.

A green 2022 Ford Explorer Timberline is shown from the front at an angle while parked in a forest.

Just Explore

There are all kinds of ways to camp. If you’re an experienced camper, you’ve probably found what does and does not work for you by trial and error. But I think most campers would agree that flexibility is always better because flexibility allows you to let go of worry and just have fun. That is what the 2022 Ford Explorer provides in its Timberline trim. The off-roading hardware, generous interior space, and exterior cargo-hauling capabilities make it a perfect fit for those seeking an outdoor adventure. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a month-long overlanding trip, the Explorer provides all the go-to features you need to take on such a journey. So, why get caught up in the stress when you could just have fun and Explore?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *