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Comfort on Wheels: If You Want the Ultimate Festival-Mobile, Buy a Used Pickup or SUV

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If you and your friends are festival-lovers who never miss a big music gathering, you need a reliable shelter for camping and resting between bands. Used pickups and SUVs are ideal economical solutions to the festival-housing dilemma for several reasons.

Your car was never meant to be a moving van.

You've seen those cars pulling up to the check-in booths at music festivals with their cars bulging to the gills. You may have been driving one of these cars yourself. Your poor vehicle was telling you it was suffocating under the weight of the tents, coolers, cases of beer and muck boots you shoved into it.

A cop might tell you he's handing you a costly ticket for having your rear view mirror or your rear license plate obscured by all of the junk you're hauling. You also scream "festival- goer" when the tie dye bathing suits and blow-up aliens you've packed end up mangled together in the rear window of your car.

It's better to be a little more low-key in areas where law enforcement may have reason to target "out-of-towners." The solution is an SUV or pickup that you and your partner or friends designate as the festie truck. One of these vehicles can be found in used but suitable condition at your local auto dealership. They're engineered to carry all of your camping and party supplies without making a scene or breaking a sweat.

Universal pickup and SUV tents turn your vehicle into an oasis.

There are many vehicle accessory manufacturers who make tents designed to slip over the rear beds or rear cargo doors of trucks and SUVs. Some models come with several rooms or an extra shade area for meals and visiting with neighbors. There are even truck-top models complete with ladders. These innovative tents make your truck seem like a home away from home and give you plenty of space for your gear, too.

Your pickup bed or SUV cargo area will easily hold a comfy mattress with or without a tent. There are foam pads and inflatable bedding products available that are perfectly sized just for this purpose. You'll never sleep on buggy, rocky festival grounds again.

If the festival happens to be tent-only camping, you're still covered with a truck, since you have the capacity to bring more creature comforts. You'll also have room for a hand truck or wagon to help haul all that extra stuff to the campgrounds.

Taller vehicles mean extra party perks.

A vehicle with some height to it, like a pickup or SUV, is a great place to hang a flag or other decoration so your friends can find you. With the creative use of tarps, you can create private dressing areas using the high truck doors, and trucks look great decorated in solar-powered garden lights placed high where they illuminate your camping area but won't get smashed by passing foot travelers.

You can dance in the bed of your pickup, and some hot festival goers have been known to place kiddy pools in their truck beds which are then filled with ice or cold water. The possibilities are endless. There is also the towing factor to remember since you may be able to tow a pop-up or even a full-sized travel trailer with your truck or SUV.

Don't force your good car to work so hard. Find a good used truck or SUV that's made to handle the tough work of a festie-mobile. Your local used car dealership has suitable late models available. The dealership will also help you source universal truck tents, pickup-bed mattresses and towing hitches made to fit whichever model of used Nissan truck you choose to take along on your future musical adventures.