Top 10 Reasons a 2001 Pontiac Aztec is a Perfect Camping Vehicle

Behold! TFL’s car camping chariot of the gods. [photo: TFL]
This past weekend, I took our Pontiac Aztek on its maiden TFL camping voyage with a few of my best friends and one of their wonderful dogs. We were camping along the banks of Slater Creek, near Almont, located in the high plains of Colorado and west of the Continental Divide. Here are the top 10 reasons why the Aztek proved to be a fantastic camping vehicle.

#10 – Tailgate Chairs and Cupholders

Sweet seats for two. [photo: TFL]
The chairs might not be the most comfortable place to sit and yes, you can do this with any tailgate, but sitting on the back of this thing and dipping our toes in the creek with an ice cold beer (courtesy of the center console cooler) in each cupholder couldn’t be beat.

#9) – Keeps You Dry in a Rainstorm

[photo: TFL]
The only misfortune to befall us on our trip was that the usual Colorado mountain afternoon thunderstorm turned into an all-evening affair. We spent a good few hours cracking up over a game of Cards Against Humanity nice and dry in the back of this thing.

#8 – Sleeping Room

Beats erecting a tent in the rain. More headroom too.[photo: TFL]
One of our tents has seen one too many music festivals and so two of us were left without a place to sleep. The options were: sleep in a hammock in the middle of bear country, or take out the removable back seats and sleep in the steel-clad safety of an early 2000’s GM product. We chose the latter.

#7 – Soft Suspension for Unpaved Roads

In order to get to the campground, we had to drive about 2 miles down a rutted and pot-holed dirt road. The Aztek’s air suspension took it like a champ.

#6 – Creek Crossing Capability

Thanks to the Aztek we got away from every body. [photo: TFL]
When we got to the campground, all of the sited along the banks of the river were reserved or occupied. However on the opposite bank, there was plenty of space. A creek crossing stood between us and those sites, but with the Aztek we were able to easily make it across the creek. The water was decently high too! At its deepest point it was slightly above the wheel wells.

#5 – Built-In Air Compressor

One of my favorite features of this car is of course the on-board air-compressor. Had we actually remembered to pack the air mattress, we would have used it to its fullest capabilities.

#4 – Super Seats

Having spent a solid 5 hours in the driver’s seat, I can say it was genuinely supportive and comfortable. [photo: TFL]
Gunnison is not a short drive from the front range. Dropping people off in Colorado Springs and Denver then heading all the way back to Boulder certainly does not shorten the length of that return trip.

#3 – Spacious Interior

We were able to fit tents, packs, food, 5 people and a medium-sized dog comfortably in the Aztek. Not bad. [photo: TFL]

#2 – Dog Friendly

Luna the dog loves this car. What more needs to be said? [photo: TFL]

#1 – Campsite Access

The Aztek can take you places like this. [photo: TFL]