The Official Prius Camping and Road tripping Thread

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

  1. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    The only negative mentioned was they had the wheel bearings packed at 5000 miles.

    (I hiked 7,000 miles on the west coast in soft tents, no problems)
     
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  2. mrstop

    mrstop PWR Mode

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    I'm not camping in the car, but I'm driving the Prius to Red River Gorge this weekend loaded with 4 guys and our backpacks. We'll see how the car does loaded up!
     
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  3. CharliePrius

    CharliePrius New Member

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    mrstop - snap some pics of the Prius all packed up if you wouldn't mind. :)

    We're in Cincinnati also. A buddy of mine went down to RRG last weekend ... he wasn't in a Prius though.
     
  4. mrstop

    mrstop PWR Mode

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    I'll try and do that. It's a fantastic place and not too far from Cincy. I have gone there once with the family and this will be my third backpacking trip. I recommend staying in the National Forest campground if you are car camping as it is very clean with nice flat tent pads. It's generally quiet except for the highway.
     
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  5. mrstop

    mrstop PWR Mode

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    We got back from our trip to Red River Gorge on Sunday. Drove approximately 300 miles round trip with a computer average of about 49 MPG @ 65 MPH. It was a fairly hilly drive and we were loaded down with 4 adults and our backpacking gear. Everyone was fairly comfortable and impressed with the room and the starship enterprise look (MPG's a given).

    My only complaint is that, for the first time, I could feel the weakness of the rear struts/springs with the added weight. The rear would get a little bouncy and nearly bottom out as we rolled over dips in the highway at speed. I'm guessing I had about 600 lbs in the rear with the two passengers and gear (not including driver and front passenger). Really makes me want to push up my coilover/spring upgrade.

    Here's a pic I took after the trip with us loaded up for the ride home:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. retired4999

    retired4999 Prius driver since 2005

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    Wow! Filled to the gills! Glad to hear you had a great time.
     
  7. CharliePrius

    CharliePrius New Member

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    Thanks much for the pic! If a full boot is the sign of a good time then it looks like you had a blast.

    In about a month we'll be taking our first camping trip in the Prius to either Hocking Hills or Cumberland, haven't decided which, yet.
     
  8. CharliePrius

    CharliePrius New Member

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    Anyone in this thread ever use a roof rack? If so, what brand/model?
     
  9. PA Prius

    PA Prius Active Member

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    We like our Saris that we got used. I don't think they are made anymore. We also tried a Thule box on it, but that was a disaster mileage-wise, so we went with the aero set-up I devised as can be [sort of] seen on my avatar and is described in the link to my report above. If you want to go with a box I'd suggest the longer ski-type boxes than the more square ones.

    brkandd
     
  10. CharliePrius

    CharliePrius New Member

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    Bump for camping weather!
    Anyone car camping or packing their Prius full of stuff for a big road trip?
     
  11. Feri

    Feri Active Member

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    We bought one and have used it several times. Very happy with it. About a minute to set up. Have the same privacy issues as anyone camping in their car. We just put towels in the windows. A sun screen in the font window is also useful.
     
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  12. FBS67

    FBS67 Junior Member

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    My wife and I have used the Habitent video front seat adjustment suggestions minus the tent to see how we would fare for a single night in early April. We purchased a pair of self-inflating backpacking matresses from Costco ($25/ea) and used two 18" standard height Rubbermaid storage bins plus two 6" deep bins as floor fillers to give more sleeping room. Keeping our feet at the hatch, we had plenty of room. 48" wooden dowels (Lowes) with a dozen medium size office binder clips (Staples) served to hang towels at the side door windows using Velcro wire ties to fasten the dowels to the roof handles. Two sunscreens were used for each half of the front window and fill in on either side at front that towels did not cover. The small rear side windows have cardboard cereal box cutouts with duct tape tabs for easy removal. A paper grocery bag covered the lower rear hatch window. No cover was used for the main rear hatch window. A double sleeping bag served fine in 35 degree overnight temps. The bins pack food, utensils and camp stove along with clothing when traveling from home. A flying trip west is planned and we are taking a reduced camping set up with us to use in a rented Prius.

    A tarp and old dining tent pole serves to give an area to sit or stand out of the rain at the back of the car, if needed. A large trash bag will hold the wet tarp, if needed.

    A $123 Draw-tite hitch has been installed for when bikes need to come along. Get the bar to convert bikes not having an upper bar. Found big mileage drop with 1 bike hanging in the wind too much. Careful of steep drive/parking lot entrances due to bike tires are not very far from pavement. A $20 adaptor for the hitch to bike rack was needed, also.

    Will try to post some photos later of the western trip and camping set up.
     

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  13. CharliePrius

    CharliePrius New Member

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    Took our first camping trip with the Prius. All went well! :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. retired4999

    retired4999 Prius driver since 2005

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    Looks like a really nice spot ! Here's my getaway!
    Last year August 12, 2012. Just a fire pit and 5 acres plus a stack of wood for bratz and such! :) Our weekend get away spot! :D Late spring and cold rainy weather and lots of spring clean-up at home, so have not been out this year yet! Soon I hope!:rolleyes:
    Farm 2012 PRUIS 005.JPG
     
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  15. djsandman

    djsandman Junior Member

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    I don't post here often but I have been interested in camping inside the Prius lately. I have been camping with it before and it seems more feasible to sleep in the Prius when you're solo camping.

    Here is the set-up I have now:
    [​IMG]

    That's a tent cot inside the bug shelter. This was at St. George Island SP in FL during June of last year. I have looked at the Habitent, but is it necessary? It seems like it would prevent the windows from being fogged up, and provide a bit of air flow without the use of the AC, but other than that it doesn't seem to be needed.

    This thread has provided some awesome feedback already on the topic, and I'm encouraged to get a few things and give it a go. How do you keep from tracking mud in the Prius while you're sleeping in the car? Seems like that would be an issue at muddy campgrounds.
     
  16. FBS67

    FBS67 Junior Member

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    Here is the report no one was waiting for: the western trip that encompassed UT, ID, MT & WY. Rented a 2013 Prius II with 4 miles on it from a local SLC, UT dealer...don't take a cab to pick it up if you can help it! Cost a quarter of all the fuel cost for 2750 miles we put on the Prius! It's all broken in and ready for the next renter!! $23/day was cheap in my book. We were fortunate to have a relative once removed living in SLC to borrow the bigger bins, electrical cord, bag chairs, hatchet, square cooler & duffel storage. We bought a power strip, tarp and the cheapest Wal-mart pillows, cases and a flat sheet along with some food. We use the Habitent method of seat set up at night. A couple of future modifications will be the WeatherTech rear window deflectors for rainy nights and some no seeum screening to go over them so the rear windows can be cracked at night about an inch for good ventilation. We had no bug problems in May where we went. Several nights in KOAs (SLC/Moab/Fillmore, UT, West Yellowstone, WY), a couple in State (Missouri R. Headwaters) or National Parks (Signal Mt. Grand Teton NP, it rained), 1 night in an Ennis, MT motel (no campgrounds nearby and raining) and 3 nights with a longtime friend in Pocatello, ID. We did some dirt/mud roading but all were well-maintained, so nothing extreme and Prius did fine. Took a little while for the car to break into the 50 MPG but it was BRAND NEW! The mud and dirt did it's share to help it look well-used. Some photos are posted for those who want to see the details.
    The bed all set up is one photo, the other is the driver's side of the night set up with a backpack on the floor, hard travel case on the seat, overnight clothing bag on top with a smaller black duffel on that. The passenger side fit the square cooler while the floor had some other soft bags such as the camera bag stored in it and the bag chairs which we never used.
    The bins stored food, extra camping stuff like a large tarp, and our clothes for 5-6 days. The other two photos show the paint preservative we applied in MT. Did really well, too! Cleaned off nicely the day before we returned the car. Had plenty of sleeping room for two who really like each other and trip was the least expensive 12-day excursion we have ever taken.
    The main camping gear flown out was the two fleece blankets, two slim air mattresses, hiking poles, window covers and some odds and ends that did not fit elsewhere in the luggage. Costco vacuum storage bags reduced these all down to a solid brick so it would all fit.

    A great trip and we will certainly Prius camp again, especially short overnighters or weekends when we plan to move around alot. After living with a II, we are glad we opted for a III when we bought our 2012. Convenience stuff a plus. Hope you enjoyed the short travel log. Please let me know if you have any questions.
     

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  17. retired4999

    retired4999 Prius driver since 2005

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    Sounds like a great trip, little less rain maybe, but other wise really seems like you had a good time. Thanks for the up date. I have been to many of those parks UT, ID, MT & WY nice drive. Glad you had a good time! :D
     
  18. Nate Prentice

    Nate Prentice Junior Member

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    I'm going camping at the Stellafane Convention in late July in Springfield, VT. I have a Habitent, and it will most likely be the maiden voyage of the Habitent. In doing the initial trying out of the tent and the sleeping arrangement, I found using habitents dot kom's suggestions about using Sterilite storage containers were right on the money. No need for buying and cutting plywood at all.

    Next will be setting it up with a tarp and getting some no-see-um mesh socks for the windows to increase ventilation.

    I don't have link privileges yet, so the way to my blog entry that describes this is to lookup "starpilgrimage stellafane prius" and it should be the top link or close to it. The blog entry has pictures of the habitent. The plan is to update the entry as I get things together for the trip.
     
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  19. Bernie Noonan

    Bernie Noonan Junior Member

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    Thank you for the info. Could you give specific details about setting up the sleeping areas? Did you use bins and span the gap with plywood?
    I took my rear seats out (2014 prius v) and have bins, but I'm unsure how to span the space. Any Ideas out there? Thank you.
     
  20. Eugene Hong

    Eugene Hong Member

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    Prius looking at home in the Great Smokey Mountains.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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