The Official Prius Camping and Road tripping Thread

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

  1. solrunner

    solrunner Member

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    You're in Gen III right? My 2013 Two has Hill Assist. Did you not know about this function? When stopped uphill, push the brake down hard, all the way, for a few seconds and you will see a light come on on the dashboard. Then, let your foot all the way off the brake and it will stay engaged. Then when you are ready to go, hit the accelerator and it will disengage the brake at the same time so you don't go backward.
     
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  2. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    thanks for tip, I didn't know!

    But this wouldn't help. The issue was electric motors could not generate enough torque to prevent loaded car going backwards and car would slide down until ICE would start. If you hit accelerator too hard wheels would spin
     
  3. Redpoint5

    Redpoint5 Senior Member

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    The major issue is that SF is not an area ideally suited to hold as many people as have flocked to that location. As a result, crazy steep hills have been inhabited.
     
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  4. Zalrymijnx

    Zalrymijnx New Member

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    Prius v sounds perfect for car camping. Are there any model years I should watch out for or for any trim package? I'm really on a budget but looking forward to this adventure.
     
  5. Oldwolf

    Oldwolf Prius Enthusiast

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    Yeah, the V would be outstanding for camping. I, though, will have to get by with my C and figure out how I can make it work for me.
     
  6. Zalrymijnx

    Zalrymijnx New Member

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    Pinterest has a hack for eliminating condensation . It involves silicon crystal cat litter... Put into a sock and ties and then a second sock over the first one. Worth trying
     
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  7. Ms. Michael

    Ms. Michael New Member

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    Hello,My husband and I own a Prius and an Outback. We have enjoyed the Sportz dome on the outback, but left it in Washington. Could you post a picture of the Sportzdome attached to your Prius? We are interested in the area Inside where the tailgate rises and how that hits the roof of the tent. Also where it attaches to the wheel wells. Do you use the strap that goes across the top to the bumper? We want to buy another sports dome, but can't find any pictures anywhere of this in action. Thanks, Ms. Michael
     
  8. Ms. Michael

    Ms. Michael New Member

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    Could you please show a picture of the Prius attached to the Sportzdome, I can't find a picture of it and want to know how the tailgate hits the top of the tent.An inside shot would be very informative. Is it a good fit? Any photos would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  9. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    I will first try to answer verbally and then post some pics of SportZ dome tent attached to the Prius.
    The tailgate rises in the big, circular "sleeve" that connects the tent to the car. The tent itself is a quite tall, free-standing dome tent with the roof supported by two very long fiberglass poles that go from corner to corner in an "X" configuration. The sleeve is basically one wall of the tent, and there is a huge "window" on the tent side of the sleeve that can be zippered shut when you detach the sleeve from the car and drive off for the day whilst leaving the tent in the campground. (One thing not emphasized in the instructions was that you really want to get the sleeve to run closely underneath the rear of the car to prevent mosquitoes from flying in that gap, BUT you have to keep the sleeve ABOVE the tailpipe to eliminate any chance of the engine starting and putting exhaust gasses into the tent and thus into you!)

    However, I found that the Prius (Gen 3 hatchback) tailgate actually pulled the sleeve up too high, so that it tried to kind of lift that side of the tent off the ground! Solution was to use a nylon cord with carabiners (AKA: snap shackles) tied on both ends that snap onto the chrome "D" rings on either side of the rear cargo area just inside the hatch. You run the nylon cord through the catch on the bottom of the hatch and then snap each carabiner into a D ring so that the cord is an inverted "V" that is holding the hatch down a bit. We liked having the hatch down about 1 foot, or just enough that the hatch did not pull up too hard on the tent when the car was attached to the sleeve.

    We found those wheel well straps did not fit the Prius wheel well very well because of the plastic cladding used on the inside of the Prius wheel well, BUT we found you could hook the large plastic hooks onto the spokes of the wheel itself, if I recall correctly, and that solved the problem.

    We did use the two very long straps that are designed to go to the front of the car, but once again the smooth, continuous form of the Prius bumper made it impossible to hook the hooks onto it. Instead, I just hooked them to the front windshield wipers as close to the pivot as I could--that may not have been my smartest idea, but it did work and the wipers were never damaged.
    I hope this answered your questions and happy to give any other info as I think it is a very workable solution for camping with the Prius. Finding the pics will take a while, so I will post this first and try to find relevant pics and post those next.
    Cheers!
     
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  10. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    OK, here are photos of the tent on our 2012 Prius hatchback from our "test trip" in Shenandoah National Park in Fall of 2013:

    The first pic illustrates how the tent attaches to the car via a big sleeve. (The blue part of tent is the rain fly.)
    IMGP2258_25b.jpg

    The next pic shows the interior of the tent plus our sleeping bags on the folded-down rear seats. The "Hatch Cord" is the very thin but just barely visible cord that runs from the D ring on the lower left up through the hatch latch and back down to the D ring on the right.
    IMGP2201_25b.jpg

    This pic shows the tent main door, which is on the driver's side of the car, with the rain fly rolled up. You can also see the fastening of the straps to the wheel spokes instead of the wheel well , as well as the strap running forward to the windshield wipers. Those ugly creases on the side of the tent resulted from my trying to pitch the tent on top of that curb right in back of the bumper--on a flat surface the tent will NOT have those wrinkles!
    IMGP2264_25b.jpg

    This pic is a view through the tent's main door and shows the really large windows on the other two sides of the tent. Those large windows and the door that can be zipped open make the tent very light and airy.
    IMGP2202_25.jpg

    Let me know if you would like more such pics of the nuts and bolts of using this tent for camping in the Prius. In particular , there are several ways to try to get a good, flat, nicely-cushioned sleeping surface that I have tried, and a good night's sleep is very important!
    Cheers!
     
  11. lisaglerman

    lisaglerman New Member

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    I am doing lots of camping these days, and am thinking about using my Prius for car camping during cold weather. Is it safe to run the heat in the car while one is sleeping? If so, does it use a lot of fuel? Are there other ways of warming the car at night? Also, can I use the cigarette lighter for electricity, for example, to plug in a heating pad? I'm not sure what sort of gizmo I would need. Thanks!
     
  12. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    You might get some ideas from my measurements here.

    -Chap
     
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  13. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    When camping I much prefer to have foam pads below and good sleeping bag above than to use fuel to heat cabin. I used a catalytic heater in a tent once and almost died from CO poisoning, so am now very adverse to having the ICE run at all during the night. Thus cannot answer the fuel consumption of keeping it on.
    Heating pads use resistance heat, which consumes a LOT of electricity compared to having a small LED light plugged in. The high drain of resistance heat would drain the 12-volt and HV batteries if the car was in the "accessory " mode where the engine could not come on.
    Please consider just carefully preserving body heat with good quality camping materials--> we found that the tight air sealing and fairly small volume of the cabin kept the interior surprisingly warm during our trip to Alaska despite outside temps in the 40s. We always cracked windows open for better ventilation and to prevent interior condensation when it gets very cold, but you can adjust that airflow to the minimum that serves those purposes, which keeps the interior temp higher.
    Have fun with the Winter camping!
    (We're planning a camping trip in January or February also.)
     
  14. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    The little 40 watt blanket I used in my test (and still have) draws about 40 / 12, or 3.3 amps, from the 12 volt battery. The 28800-31290 battery in my Gen 1 is labeled 51 amp hours, so (ignoring anything else that could be on in the car) it could warm my blanket for 51 / 3.3, or about 15 hours without recharge, if I wanted to deep-cycle it. (There's a limiting factor in the blanket itself: it turns itself off every 20 minutes or so, and you have to push the button again.)

    I probably wouldn't choose to cycle it that deeply very often (even though a Prius aux battery is built in a way more tolerant of deep cycling than conventional cars' high-CCA batteries). But that's ok because I hardly ever sleep for 15 hours anyway.

    I don't think I would be very concerned about CO levels inside a Prius, in open outdoors, with the exhaust piped outside, and the engine off 82% of the time, but I understand your caution after your experience. Adding a cheap CO alarm inside the car would probably settle any anxiety I might feel.

    If you want to be able to run stuff off the aux battery while the car isn't on, and be confident of not over-draining the relatively small battery, something like the VCM-06 is just what the doc ordered....

    -Chap
     
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  15. Nate Prentice

    Nate Prentice Junior Member

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    Been on a few camping trips related to astronomy. Here is my current setup.



    and



    Anybody try hammock car camping?

    Nate
     
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  16. Cirrus

    Cirrus Junior Member

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    Hey all,
    Going to pick up my new Prius v tomorrow and heading out camping for the weekend (Yeehaw!). Anybody have pics of their v setup for sleeping inside? I have been all through the web and only found images for the "classic" setup as an RV. May or may not pull the back seats depending on whether or not I can get them to lay down flat enough.
    Thanks
     
  17. SwamppThingg

    SwamppThingg Active Member

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    Haven't really had time to read the whole thread yet but this might be happening in the next few weeks and I was wondering if there were any tips for long distance driving you could share.

    Screenshot_2016-01-24-22-44-06.png

    The Prius is my first car so don't think you should be leaving out the obvious ones.
     
  18. solrunner

    solrunner Member

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    I find the arm rest is too low for me. I'm 6'0". Next time I will bring a small pillow to support my right arm while driving.
    Also bring plenty of water. Have a great trip!
     
  19. SwamppThingg

    SwamppThingg Active Member

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    I'm 6'3'' so this might be a real life saver.
     
  20. Terrell

    Terrell Old-Timer

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    Thanks for this thread! It's got a lot of interesting information about Prius camping. I turned my Prius into a camper, and made a video about it, as well as a video about adding a 1 KW inverter, which can be used to power a rice cooker, or even a small microwave. With the microwave, dinner can be cooked in seconds. I have a great down sleeping bag which keeps me nice and warm. I suppose in extreme cold, one could run a small electric blanket off it as well - they draw about 150w - the downside would be the engine would cycle and wake me up. Since making the video, I've made a few small changes. The table slides out and connects more easily, and I use small magnets to place the window netting before attaching the long magnets. I'm wondering what others' experience is with window deflectors for cracking open the windows in a heavy rain? I've not tried them.

     
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