The Official Prius Camping and Road tripping Thread

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by CharliePrius, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. CharliePrius

    CharliePrius New Member

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    Hello! My wife and I (Caniece here on the forum) purchased a Certified 2010 Prius (SBM) last week and plan on road tripping and camping in it this year.

    I've done some searching and haven't found a ton in the way of Camping and Road tripping discussion. Most of what I have found seems to be more about whether the Prius can off-road or if it can comfortably transport 4-5 people and their gear, but i'm more interested in hearing about everything from the actual road tripping and camping nerd info to what tripping/camping trips you have planned for this Spring/Summer/Fall (2013) and what you've learned from your trips/camping adventures. What gear is a must? Gear packing tips? Any mpg tips/tricks? Pics of your setup? Great roads? Campsite tips? Etc etc etc ...

    Our goal for this thread is to map out our trips on the interactive Google Maps, catalog our gear (and hopefully weight it), track our mpg and fuel consumption costs, journal (with pics) our various trips and what we learn from them & post up any little hacks or tools we perform/create in an attempt to improve our tripping/camping experiences.

    We're hoping to take our first tester road trip with 1-2 night camping adventure within the next month. Where we're going is ytbd ... there are a couple of great springtime options within a half dozen hours of us. :)

    Hopefully we get some good discussion and share some handy tips. :)
     
  2. matt b.

    matt b. Member

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    Sounds like a good time.
     
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  3. Jeff N

    Jeff N The answer is 0042

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    This is a good idea for a thread.

    My own car camping has been limited and has mostly involved me driving to meet up with family and friends at state and federal parks for a weekend. With only my own limited gear, I haven't had to pay much attention to carefully weighing and packing my supplies.

    I can say, however, that it is awesome to stretch out in a sleeping bag in a gen 2 Prius with all the seats folded flat and fall asleep looking up at the stars through the hatchback window.

    I assume this works well for the 3rd Prius Liftback as well.

    I also brought along a 1000 Watt inverter one time and used the Prius as a generator for a rice cooker and a hot plate while cooking dinner.
     
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  4. CharliePrius

    CharliePrius New Member

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    Jeff - we're in a similar situation as it's just my wife, myself and our little dog, so we don't have many concerns about amount/weight of gear, but i'm going to try to weigh it just to keep a log of the weights and mpgs of our various trips.

    Anybody out there used the Habitent or one of the other products like it? It caught my eye at first but i've become steadily less interested in it so hearing from someone who's used one would be nice.
     
  5. hb06

    hb06 Member

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    Where and how did you hook up the 1000 watt inverter? Any photos of the inverter hookup would be helpful.
     
  6. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Lots of threads on the subject. Try doing a Google search then focusing the search on Priuschat.com. Or copy and past this into the Google search bar: site:priuschat.com camping in a prius

    I used to use an inflatable Coleman twin-sized mattress for my camping trips. The mattress is stiff enough to bridge the gap between the folded-down rear rears and the front seats after they have been pushed forward. Alternatively, you can build a small foldable platform out of wood and place that across the gap. This gives you an extra 1.5ft. to almost 2ft. of room. It makes a big difference for people over 6' tall.

    Until I get around to building a bridge I simply roll out my hiking sleeping pad and throw my sleeping bag on top.

    This is a nice alternative to setting up a tent in the rain or in the event you cannot set up a tent. lol
     
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  7. michael.ormsby

    michael.ormsby Junior Member

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    I've been using the Habitent for awhile and have been quite pleased with it. It's very compact so I just leave it stowed in the rear tray. In addition to the habitent a couple of things that make sleeping in the Prius more comfy are [1] a board positioned on top of some containers behind the front seats to extend the flat sleeping area and [2] 6" urethane foam slabs. I cut mine so they fit around the wheel wells.

    Please realize that your headroom will be limited, but otherwise it's a practical solution for one or two people. If I'm camping for a long period of time I'll take the trouble to setup a tent but if I'm just stopping for one night or if the weather is bad the habitent is perfect. Even when I don't use it it's nice to know it's there as a backup.
     
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  8. Wht Prius

    Wht Prius Junior Member

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    I'm digging it, I thought of the same trip. Keep us updated.
     
  9. car compulsive

    car compulsive Active Member

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    We took my Prius on a couple road trips last summer and found the lower storage area under the rear floor to be very handy:

    - Two folding camp chairs fit under there when headed up north.
    - The grandkids' presents fit under there on the way out and dirty laundry filled the area on the way back.
     
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  10. rekniht01

    rekniht01 Junior Member

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    Do you have an photos of your setup? The Habitent interest me, but I would like to see how others use it.
     
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  11. CharliePrius

    CharliePrius New Member

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    I'd also really like to see pics of the Habitent (and any/all other camping or rt'ing setups).
     
  12. michael.ormsby

    michael.ormsby Junior Member

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    This isn't a great photo but hopefully will give you the idea. Both front seats are pulled forward, back seats down. Foam slabs cover the back. Sleeps one or two.
     

    Attached Files:

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  13. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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  14. rekniht01

    rekniht01 Junior Member

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  15. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Ir is my sister's v. They seemed happy but had no MPG numbers to share from their 9000 miles trip. (Osoyoos, BC to Cape Coral, FL and back to Tonasket, WA)
     
  16. PA Prius

    PA Prius Active Member

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    "First day of 670 miles completed. Here is our goal– PA to San Jose and back, 7000+ miles, four weeks, camping half the nights- mostly in national parks, family of four including two teenagers." You can read more on our '07 trip at--
    BarryInPA-Across the Divide (and back) @

    PA P
     
  17. OceanEyes

    OceanEyes Active Member

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    Unfortunately, the place where I am going camping in a few weeks is not Prius friendly... :( you need a four wheel drive, lifted and outfitted with "swamp" tires to get there....

    Love the photos!
     
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  18. dbcassidy

    dbcassidy Toyota Hybrid Nation, 8 Million Strong

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  19. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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  20. CharliePrius

    CharliePrius New Member

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    The response to this thread has been fantastic!

    The tow-behind pictured above is interesting. It seems like general wisdom is not to tow ANYTHING with a Prius, but the weight specs on those tow-behinds are really low. The biggest concern i'd have with a soft side pull-behind (aside from towing it) would be where/when it could be used. Glenn posted in his trip blog that he actually felt more secure in Yellowstone because he was in a metal body Prius rather than camper because bears wander into campgrounds at night. For a reason like this i'd be really hesitant to use a soft sided camper in more wild areas that have larger, more prolific wildlife.
    Jim - did your sister mention anything about how the camper performed in bad weather or about if safety was ever a question when camping out west?

    Barry - great reference and awesome technical log of mileage and consumption.

    Great links Barry, Jim & Glenn.

    Glenn - I also really enjoyed your trip photography. Caniece and I aren't pros by any means but definitely enjoy shooting as a hobby and we plan to take a lot of photos of our trips. Any photography-tips that relate to road tripping and camping would also be appreciated ... just any tips, tricks, lessons, etc you've learned. :)
     
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