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Car Camping: How comfortable can you make it?
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Oct 26, 2011
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
Nathan Stokes wrote:
Queen Sized Aerobed just fits inside a 4 person Eureka tent, you can't get any better sleep than that, even for 2. The new Aerobeds have a battery in the inflation system and can charge / run off 12V. The only drawback on an Air mattress is they get cold when the temps drop.


I had the best bed ever one week long ago, by filling up a 7 by 9 ft. waterbed inside a 4 man Eureka tent. I took 100 ft. of hose and reserved a tent site nearest the bathroom/shower building. It just ended up looking like a flood scene on that campsite after I emptied it and left at end of stay.
Woodchuck ATC
Joined Nov 29, 2007
3,091 points
Oct 26, 2011
Go-Kot with a ThermaRest. These things are awesome. They're compact, heavy but not obscenely heavy, comfortable. Through college I just kept one in my car for whenever I needed to crash somewhere. Rolls up to about 6"x3"xa couple feet...

campingcot.com/?section=origin...

Looks like prices have gone up since 2001, but I'd get another if something happened to mine.
Siberia
From Birmingham, AL
Joined Sep 14, 2011
45 points
Oct 26, 2011
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
I always found cots to be only slightly more comfortable than being right on the ground. Thermarest was more comfy to me, until I got old and brittle, needing like 4 inches of mats now to sleep well. Woodchuck ATC
Joined Nov 29, 2007
3,091 points
Oct 26, 2011
uintas
+1 for the Nemo Cosmo with the pillowtop!! It fits perfectly in the back of my subaru and is 3 inches thick and also has a built in foot pump so you can inflate it super fast. Also packs down super small so I take it backpacking too. can't beat that Mattberr
From utah
Joined May 1, 2010
47 points
Oct 26, 2011
Tour Ronde North Face
For car camping comfort, it's hard to beat a good roof top tent:

Kai Larson
From Sandy, Utah
Joined Jan 6, 2006
260 points
Oct 26, 2011
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
I'd love to see a couple 220 lb campers up on top in that roof tent.! Woodchuck ATC
Joined Nov 29, 2007
3,091 points
Oct 26, 2011
i turned my dudevan (toyota previa awd) into a camper with a few 2x4s, some milk crates, and bed slats from IKEA. The bed is full size (72"x51").We make it cozy with a down comforter and thermarests but i think I am going to upgrade to some of the pads you guys have mentioned. . . probably not the water bed idea though.

You could create this same set up in a truckbed , cargo van, or on the ground with a few more crates or bins. It is nice because you can make it single or double wide and the whole thing will collapse down if you need the space during the day.

Cost of materials for the bed platform is about $50. Cost for the van was 1400. Its no synchro westfalia but I still have some coin for gas and gear.

Here's a link to the set up

toyotanation.com/forum/showthr...

i have covered the
daytime setup
daytime setup


bed platform
bed platform


night time
night time
bus driver
Joined Aug 16, 2009
416 points
Oct 26, 2011
Try some cardboards. They are free and works well as an extra insulation in 30s Marius
Joined Apr 1, 2011
13 points
Oct 26, 2011
rockerwaves
Photo: Olaf Mitchell
Photo: Olaf Mitchell
Olaf Mitchell
From Paia, Maui, Hi,
Joined Mar 16, 2007
4,261 points
Oct 26, 2011
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
+1 Olaf. Gotta love a beach bungalow rat trap van. Woodchuck ATC
Joined Nov 29, 2007
3,091 points
Administrator
Oct 28, 2011
A Very Not Snowy Christmas...
Misty Crash pad + therma rest...

Flip it upside down so the softer foam is facing up (with the shoulder straps and buckles facing up). The foam is softer then the hard cell foam you stand/land on... next fold up a semi inflated therma rest at your feet to add length and level area for your feet. Air matresses are nice - coleman's don't deflate (as much).
Morgan Patterson
Joined Oct 13, 2009
8,419 points
Oct 28, 2011
pffft, i've got a tempurpedic mattress in the back of my truck. seriously. its friggin awesome. John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Joined Feb 1, 2004
2,393 points
Oct 28, 2011
This is my king of car camping, bivi, winter backcountry vehicle. I have a two inch memory foam on top of the regular foam mattress in the penthouse top. The propane heater means I sleep in t shirt and underwear with blankets. It's the shizzitt!!
Car Camping King
Car Camping King
rj-n-foco
From Ft Collins, CO
Joined Apr 23, 2010
20 points
Oct 28, 2011
mike
rj-n-foco wrote:
This is my king of car camping, bivi, winter backcountry vehicle. I have a two inch memory foam on top of the regular foam mattress in the penthouse top. The propane heater means I sleep in t shirt and underwear with blankets. It's the shizzitt!!

Thanks, I just started to hate my brand new tent...
thecornyman
From Oakland, CA
Joined May 18, 2010
150 points
Oct 29, 2011
Pinnacle Gully, Mt. Washington
I built a sleeping platform into my honda element - here are the cool things about it.

>Choose the Element because it is 4wd, good on gas, and has a high capacity.
>Sleeping platform is 72'' long x 48'' wide - plenty big. Use reg sleeping pads and bags but could easily use the cabelas or whoever mattress - I am very weight conscience to keep fuel mileage good.
>Splits easily almost in half for "driving mode" - simply unbolt and slide back - takes little time and effort.
>Built the platform high enough to allow for ample storage under it and plenty of room on top - this makes for awesome / easy to get at storage and no need to shuffle gear and stuff when your dead tired - security too.
>Platform IS very solid - the pvc pipe is on the airbag on the seat which have a reinforced frame - weights less than that of 1 seat (both seats removed).




--- Invalid image id: 107349982 ---

side
side


inside w/ curtain
inside w/ curtain
Jeremy Stoshick
From Helena, MT
Joined Feb 24, 2010
30 points
Oct 29, 2011
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
How 'good on gas' is the Element anyway? My lifetime gas mileage average for all vehicles owned is over 40mpg, so anything in low 30's seems like a fuel waster to me. Space looks great for sure, but just wonder about the gas consumption. Woodchuck ATC
Joined Nov 29, 2007
3,091 points
Oct 29, 2011
Andrew B. wrote:
Nothing beats a Paco Pad.


hahaha. Lots of shit beats a Paco pad. I like 5" 6'x6' memory foam.
BScallout
Joined Jul 16, 2009
18 points
Oct 30, 2011
Indy pass
Woodchuck ATC wrote:
How 'good on gas' is the Element anyway? My lifetime gas mileage average for all vehicles owned is over 40mpg, so anything in low 30's seems like a fuel waster to me. Space looks great for sure, but just wonder about the gas consumption.


Woah, what vehicles have you owned?
Jason N.
From Grand Junction
Joined Mar 18, 2011
23 points
Oct 30, 2011
Pinnacle Gully, Mt. Washington
Highway I average 25 and 21 in town. It would be hard to compare a small economy car with the Element (Any cars that would get 40mpg don't offer what the Element offers unfortunately) because it is obviously a totally different type of car - or for that matter a Diesel (Maybe a custom build Diesel? - the VW line all has ground clearance that bottoms out over gum wrappers and a terrible mechanical reliability record)

When I decided to buy, I had to buy something 4wd (I truly have a need) and I wanted something for utility use, camping, climbing, mtn biking etc. that was a good all around vehicle.

MY previous vehicle was a Jeep Commander 11/13 fuel economy there - so this was the ultimate compromise - while not as good off road as a 4wd truck it certainly beats the pants off of it fuel economy wise and offers a significantly stronger value proposition over the long term (resale, expected maintenance, fuel, insurance cost, etc.).

So, after having it for a few months, Feb '11, I can say it definitively meets all of the needs I outlined and is a very handy little wagon - albeit; not very fun to drive and it could use more ground clearance.
Jeremy Stoshick
From Helena, MT
Joined Feb 24, 2010
30 points
Oct 30, 2011
Buenos Dias!
Element set up looks cool. Two questions: how hard is it to get the rear seats out and what did you bolt the platform to? -sp
From East-Coast
Joined May 25, 2007
80 points
Oct 30, 2011
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
Jason N. wrote:
Woah, what vehicles have you owned?

1970 Opel GT, got 48 once on highway, usually mid 30's in the city.
1977 Datsun B210, got 55 on highway all the time,, 44 in city. 1980 Datsun 310 GX coupe, also over 50 highway and 44 city. 1986 Nissan Stanza wagon, got 50 a few times, averaged about 40 city. '98'Chevy.Geo Metro, 3 cylinder and it got 56 once, 42 in city. My current Honda Fit is the 'worst' yet with only 36 city and 49 once on the open road. All were stick shifts, with 5 speed or better. Small cars, yes, with the Stanza and Fit being the largest of them. I pay so little for a fill up, I love it.
Woodchuck ATC
Joined Nov 29, 2007
3,091 points
Oct 30, 2011
It does get annoying when all my friends with their tiny cars can never drive on road trips because their cars cant hold more than two people. Great for them, sucks for me. dorseyec
Joined May 31, 2009
16 points
Oct 30, 2011
-sp wrote:
Element set up looks cool. Two questions: how hard is it to get the rear seats out and what did you bolt the platform to?


Rear seats come out very easy. one lever, lift, pull. weigh about 20-30lb each.

for tent camping. Thermarests + memory foam topper = kickass

for Element camping

Spare gym floor foam from my gym's re-flooring (new stuff.. not the old junk)


thermarest on top of that and it's pretty good. or if it's me and the GF then the Memory foam topper on the floor foam would work.
Jake D.
From Northeast
Joined Nov 23, 2006
477 points
Oct 31, 2011
For our base set up we use a North Face VE 25 tent, 2 Paco Pads side by side with a pillow top queen fitted sheet to go over the Paco Pads, fitted flannel sheets to go over the pillow top, down pillows, and a down blanket. When it gets really cold, a thinsulate blanket over the down. That's the car basecamp setup. BD lantern hanging from the center of the tent, iPod with speakers and booster (facing down) in the mesh pockets on the top of the tent, and laptop with spare battery for 3 movies while camping. Ridiculous comfort out of a tent. Indian Creek, Black Canyon, Cochise...it's all good with this baby DaveF
From Durango, CO
Joined Sep 20, 2010
35 points
Oct 31, 2011
Sign near the Third Flatiron
Lots of talk about thermarests, north face products, REI, etc.

My first piece of advice for car camping is to just go cheap. Cheap is heavy, but who cares when it's just car camping?

I used to use my backpacking gear when car camping, and was uncomfortable and cramped. I was also putting needless wear and tear on my lightweight gear.

Then I realized that for the cost of only my backpacking tent (or sleeping bag) I could get a big-ass tent (REI Camp Hut 6 on sale for $99), a queen-sized Coleman air mattress (Walmart, $21), a rechargeable air mattress pump ($18), and a big fat fluffy Coleman 20-degree sleeping bag ($30). Add a blanket to throw over the air mattress and some pillows and you're all set. This ~$200 setup has served me for many years and has saved a lot of wear and tear on my good gear.


It's like having a mansion wherever you go. I have since transitioned to the only thing better than this...sleeping in the bed of my truck, but the cheapo tent setup is clutch when I go out with others who don't have their own camping gear.


Chris D
From the couch
Joined Apr 14, 2009
2,185 points


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