Prime Stealth Camper

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Prime8, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. Prime8

    Prime8 Member

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    Here is my first foray into making my Prime a Stealth Camper;

    The battery is 4" higher than the rear seats after they are folded down. The front arm rest is at that same height. After pushing both front seats as far forward as I can, the 24" x 44" platform fits perfectly between the passenger seat, and the traction battery. The primary platform rests on the folded read seat, the arm rest, and the single 2x4 corner leg. I added a 20" x 24" platform behind the driver seat to make it a little more comfortable for my arms. I needed a little more width than the 24". I used standard 2x4's and 5/8" MDF. It seems very stable and strong.

    I still need to get the 4" trifold 25" x 75" foam pad on Amazon that was mentioned in multiple Prius Camper builds. For now, 2 sleeping bags will have to do.

    With the added 20x25 platform, 20171022_171940.jpg 20171022_172112.jpg 20171022_172318.jpg 20171022_172332.jpg 20171022_173441.jpg it is a little bit of a challenge to get in. You need to think the process through in order to not hurt yourself. The Prime is a little space challenged by the 4" height loss from the traction battery, but I think I can work with it. I am 6' and had no issues back there for 1.5 hours this afternoon for testing purposes. The traction battery lost about 2 miles of range over 1.5 hours with the fan on low. No heat or AC. Just the fan.

    Unfortunately, the ignition will not stay on when the Prime is plugged in for charging. But I suspect that the traction battery may be strong enough by itself to get me through most nights. This would be a use case for charge mode in order to make sure when you reach a camp site that you have a full traction battery for heat/AC all night. It would be cool to make it through the night camping with heat or AC and never have the engine fire up to charge the battery.

    This is just test phase 1. Blacked out windows with screens will be next. Maybe one of the Dometic refrigerators behind the passenger seat.
    20171022_171751.jpg 20171022_171751.jpg 20171022_171931.jpg 20171022_171751.jpg
     
  2. William Redoubt

    William Redoubt Senior Member

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    Too much wood working and stuff to carry around.

    I use a piece of plywood with carpet on each side to span between the folded down passenger rear seat and the console, which I cover with a towel. The piece is cut so that it fits under my tri-fold cushion. No support leg is needed.

    I also keep extra blankets, a pop up changing booth and a toilet lid for a 5 gallon bucket under the cushion in the hatch portion. When I get up, I fold the cushion up, push the plywood under it and my blanket and pillow fit nicely behind the rear seat, which I fold up. I leave the passenger seat up (even at night), and put the cooler on the seat. Under the hatch I have my gear/food/tools stored in 2 stacked 3.5-gallon buckets with screw off lids, and 1 similar 5-gallon bucket.
     
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  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    great work! too bad you can't utilize the 4" space beneath the battery in some way.
    it seems odd that enough electrons to power the car for 2 miles will only run the fan on low for an hour and a half.
     
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  4. Prime8

    Prime8 Member

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    I don’t think that would work in the Prime. The plywood needs to span 44” front to rear without support. The traction battery in the Prime is 4” taller than the rear seats and front arm rest.

    That having been said, it might be possible to use the front passenger seat under the MDF, or I can prop up the front of the MDF with the Dometic refrigerator propped up on 2x4’s, rather than the corner post. I like how the back of the front seat keeps the pillow from falling into the front seat with this config.
     
  5. Prime8

    Prime8 Member

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    Bisco,
    It could be useable with a 4” cabinet with a drawer. I was going for quick and sturdy. Assuming 5/8 ply/MDF walls, that would leave 2.75” for the drawer and gaps. But a box would have enough strength that 1/2” MDF should work. Figure 1/8” gap above and below the drawer, the drawer would be 2.75” high. With 1/4 ply on the bottom, that would make the drawer internal depth 2.5”. It would also conform to the multi use mantra of many of the Prius campers I saw on YouTube.
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    is it easily accessible?
     
  7. Prime8

    Prime8 Member

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    The outside edge is easily accessible from the outside when you open the rear door. I think if I remove the 2x4 on the outside edge, and add a 2x4 perpendicular to it in the middle, that would leave me with the outside edge open, and accessible. I will give that a try tomorrow and see how sturdy it feels.
     
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  8. huskers

    huskers Senior Member

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    Impressive but my college/camping days are over. Give me a hotel room with a soft bed, shower, and cable TV.
     
    #9 huskers, Oct 23, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
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  9. MarcBenjamin

    MarcBenjamin Member

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    I agree, I too am at an age of either Cabin, RV or stay home. To think I was gunning for Eagle Scout in my youth lol.
     
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  10. DavidA

    DavidA Prius owner since July 2009

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    :ROFLMAO:
     
  11. 1x1

    1x1 Member

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    I appreciate this thread and the efforts others have made already.

    I wonder if this would work in that space in the rear passenger footwell?

    Or if anyone has found specific Rubbermaid-type containers to fill the gap? I know with the 2nd Gen Prius there was a small and larger Sterlite container that filled this space perfectly. Please post if you have found a good solution.

    I'm thinking about trying this sleeping platform out myself. I miss having the option to stretch out/camp out in the back of my vehicle.

    Not sure if I'll make the same kind of platform to fill in the 4" gap in the rear passenger area as Prime8 did, or simply lay a cut section of plywood (approx 74" long x 24" wide) between the hatch door and front passenger seat, with something underneath the gap to keep it sturdy - preferring boxes over legs. I don't really want to rest anything on the front center armrest, either, for fear of damaging it.
     
    #12 1x1, Jan 31, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
  12. 1x1

    1x1 Member

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    Update - seems like the Sterlite 1655 and 1659 bins fit in that space too. The 1655 partially under the front passenger seat, and the 1659 on top of it (at 90 degrees). This might avoid having to put legs on the platform.
     
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  13. Travis64

    Travis64 Member

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    I rather just put the driver seat all the way back that is pretty comfortable
     
  14. 1x1

    1x1 Member

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    OK, I think this would work in a pinch:
    1. Slide front passenger seat forward and adjust backrest to slightly forward
    2. Fold rear passenger seat down. Remove headrest
    3. Use something to fill space in rear passenger footwell. This seems to work pretty well
    4. Inflate Therm-a-rest and insert into the 4" gap between trunk and passenger footwell
    5. Add cushion
    6. Inflate another camping pad on top
    7. Seems to make a reasonably-comfortable, flat surface to sleep on - just over 6' long. Can put head either end
    20180131_145845.jpg
     
  15. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    Sounds like a happy camper to me.
     
  16. kevins007

    kevins007 Active Member

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    Can you please post a pic?

    Thanks
     
  17. William Redoubt

    William Redoubt Senior Member

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    I really like 3.5 and 5 gallon buckets with this type of lid.

    I can stack two of the 3.5 gallon units just behind the rear seat and one 5 gallon unit at the very back of the hatch. That's 12 gallons of storage in sealed containers. In addition, I have one spare of each size under the filled units "just in case." I'll get some pictures and post my set up, including the Keurig hotel style coffee pot. I am working on a Solar Ice Maker that can alternately run off my Inverter so I can have pounds and pounds of ice anywhere I have water.

    I also just got an Insta Pot Duo Mini pressure cooker/steamer, which I am have yet to test in the car. When you are by yourself nothing beats a Prius for camping.
     
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  18. crewdog

    crewdog Acting Ensign Prius Prime

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    I saw a write up of the Road Shower last year; it would ruin your coefficient of drag, but looks neat.
     
  19. I'mJp

    I'mJp Senior Member

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    $300.00 and up. It better look neat.
     
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