Every hundred feet the world changes – Roberto Bolaño
My most cherished family memories were the trips my parents and I took. Sometimes it was a luxurious Mediterranean cruise (oh how long ago that feels) or a road trip to the sunny, seaside city of San Diego. But more often, we’d pack up our car with a few essentials and pitch a tent at one of the many scenic campgrounds we just happen to be adjacent to. There is nothing quite like the memories forged around a campfire and s’mores, and camping is a tradition I continued with my own kids.
As I mentioned last month, we’ve partnered with Toyota to document our #SiennaDiaries and our latest adventure in the 2014 Toyota Sienna brought us to O’neill Regional Park for an impromptu camping trip. To say the kids were excited was an understatement.
If you’re new to the site, you can look back on several of my camping posts where I provide some Tips On Camping With Small Children, What It’s Like to Go Glamping, How to Have a Backyard Campout, Tips To Keep You Safe While Camping, and a Beginner’s Guide to Camping. As you can imagine, in order to be comfortable camping as a family with young children, the right gear is essential. While fitting everything into a sedan like our Toyota Camry is doable, it often means we’re having to pick and choose what we can and can’t bring. Going camping with the Toyota Sienna was like a dream!
We’ve been trekking all over Southern California in our 2014 Toyota Sienna, and apart from the fact that this mini van is intuitive, comfortable, and oozing with swagger, it’s also incredibly roomy! I love being able to walk inside of the minivan to grab items, help my daughter buckle her seatbelt, or simply make my way to the back row (which isn’t often since I’m usually in the driver’s seat). We are a family of four, so the fact that I can fold down the seats means that there is ample room for storing strollers, groceries, and camping gear!
Since our last camping trip was so last-minute, gathering the essentials had to be completed quickly. We store all of our camping gear in a plastic bin and we literally brought the entire bin with us rather than picking and choosing the necessary items. Unique to the Sienna, the Split & Stow 3rd Row seat makes storing extra items like camping gear seamless. Simply fold either one or both of the third row seats down in one motion AND the second row seats, and you’ll increase your cargo space to 150 cubic feet. We really only needed to fold down the third row seats which was sufficient for our camping gear, outdoor chairs, ice chest, and duffle bags.
In a vehicle like a minivan, my concern has always been opening and closing the liftgate due to my height. With the push of a button (either from the liftgate itself or my Smart Key System) I can open and close the liftgate effortlessly to access everything from groceries and strollers to camping gear.
Once we’d packed up our Toyota Sienna, we headed out to our local Orange County Park for our camping trip. We’re pro-campers so setting up camp isn’t necessarily difficult (mostly just time-consuming) and the ability to easily identify and pull those things we needed to set up camp made the entire process quick and seamless.
Whether you’re a modest family of four or have a large family, a minivan offers much in the way of passenger and cargo space without the vehicle feeling large or bulky to drive.
I hope you’ll continue following our journey as we document our experience with the 2014 Toyota Sienna. For more information, visit Toyota.com/Sienna.
Images: Rockin’ Mama