The Official Prius Camping and Road tripping Thread

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

  1. wasage

    wasage Junior Member

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    I've been using those window deflectors for about 7 years on my '04 Prius. They work great. If the wind is blowing in a heavy rain, I will get a little moisture through the back-side of the passenger windows, but not bad.

    I've been camping out of my Prius since 2009. If interested, here's my blog -- Suanne Online. It's a combination of a travel blog and a how-to blog for camping out of a Prius. It's been the perfect "RV" for me.

    Suanne ... ready to hit the road again!
     
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  2. Myself248

    Myself248 Junior Member

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    [/QUOTE]

    You know the old redneck joke "Hold my beer and watch this!"? I've decided my equivalent is "Alright I got the GoPro mounted on the Prius, let's go."



    The funniest thing was (on another section of trail, not in this video) we kept meeting Jeeps and stuff, and since the trail was narrow, we'd pull off to the side to let them pass. Of course the engine wasn't running so they'd ask "You alright?", and I'd just give a thumbs-up and proceed electrically. Windows up, air conditioning purring along, while the locals were swatting mosquitoes and drenched in sweat...
     
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  3. JSBr

    JSBr New Member

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    This was my last minute grab at Lowes; two ‘Rubbermaid TightMesh 6-ft L x 16-in D White Wire Shelf’ units and a little package of zip ties. This worked well for one by putting an air mattress then a foam mattress topper.. With the seat out there is plenty of storage. I propped the shelf units up with items just behind the front passenger seat. Have fun!
    Prius v 2014 w 72 inch shelves.jpg
     
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  4. William Trepp

    William Trepp Junior Member

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    Thanks to all.
    I employed a lot of suggestions from this chat on a 22 day road trip across the US and western Canada. My one real find was Wal-Mart's 140watt Schmacher 12 volt cigarette lighter inverter for $20 which solved camera battery and an electric razor recharging on the road. I found AAA regional paper maps very essential for programing my next stop on my GPS and getting a bigger picture than state by state maps provided. See Prius setup after 22 days on the road and itinerary followed attached.

    Bill
     

    Attached Files:

  5. MorganAdcock

    MorganAdcock New Member

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    This summer we took a one month, 8600 mile road trip around the US, with a brief foray into Canada, on which we did some camping in the Prius, a Gen 4, 3 Touring. Our only real goal as far as camping was concerned was to save money on lodging and to get off the highways and back to nature. There were places to go, and people to see, among them our son and his family, and we needed to get from the right coast to the left soon enough to have some time with them before they needed us out of their hair so they could get organized and packed to go on a long-planned vacation.

    We found a single height full size (Coleman) air mattress at Target, where they also had sheets which have sewn in elastic so that, although they would fit deep mattresses, they would stay put on ones which weren't. We took our regular pillows, and a lightweight comforter. We had cut window privacy screens out of reflective bubblewrap. We also obtained a pocket surface level to use to determine when we'd parked the Prius as level as possible. In addition, we got a 12v electric "kettle" to boil water for early morning coffee and tea. (If we'd been able to find small eggs, we could also have boiled eggs in it.) We had things packed so that they could easily be relegated to: non-essential, and can go in the front footwells; probably non-essential for camping, but it's possible we might want them, so probably best on a front seat; and those which were essential for camping. My luggage could be stacked behind the driver's seat in a way which brought it to the right level to support the head of the air mattress well. The arrangement on the passenger side was more iffy, but while we were in California, we finally found a plastic bin which would solidly bring that side to the right height when stacked on top of our skinny ice chest, which leaves open space in front of the air vent below the passenger side rear seat, and has the added benefits of having a very tight seal and being a great size to hold our food items. We had intended to do a sort of dry run, on which we went out somewhere nearby and spent the night, but that never came to pass, which was definitely a mistake.

    Our first night was a debacle. As it was getting late enough in the day to have a sense of when and where we would want to stop, we made a reservation at a private campground which looked, from the written description in a state publication on camping in PA, like it would be nice – on the beach on Lake Erie, with restrooms and showers. There was plenty of light when we got there, at least there was near the office, and what we could see of the campgrounds from there. Our campsite, however, was way up on a hill, in a forest, and the light was so dim there by the time we found it that we had to use a flashlight to read the site number. Before we could even start to get setup, it started to sprinkle, then rain, then it settled into a major downpour, complete with lightening. By the time we were both thoroughly soaked, it seemed like we had barely made a dent in getting set up (that dry run really would have helped), we decided it was better to abandon the $35 campsite, and find a motel., since we'd just have been miserably wet and uncomfortable. It was a wise move.

    Unfortunately, after that, on the first leg of the trip, my husband kept not wanting to stop until it was starting to get dark, and would have been difficult (again) to get organized for the first night of camping. We had a few days layover at his brother's however, and did a dry run of setting up the car. So, by the time we left there, we had a clue what each of us needed to do; where things needed to be packed, then stowed for the night or setup to use.

    Our first night of actual camping was again at a private campground. They had okay restrooms. Supposedly there was wifi, but it had been down for an indeterminate amount of time, and they didn't seem to be in any hurry to get it back up. I put the pocket leveler on the console between the front seats, and was able to get the car situated so there was no noticeable list without a whole lot of difficulty. We were able to get the car set up for sleeping reasonably easily, though there was still a little confusion about what to put where. The hardest part was getting the doors to lock, since I'd forgotten my Altoid tin/Faraday cage to put my keyfob in, and they're too big to put more than one in a tin. One of our trekking poles became a handy stick for activating the lock in the front. Once we were in the car, with the windows up climate control on, I didn't notice the sounds of little kids calling to each other as they ran around, or people talking around their campfires. Although the full sized air mattress sort of curved up around the wheel wells, that turned out to be a non-issue. The mattress was at least as comfortable as any we slept on in motels, and better than some. We slept like rocks.

    We also camped in some National Forests, and those experiences were varied. Having the pocket leveler was a huge help getting the car positioned well. Our first night in a National Forest was in a lovely little glade just off the side of the road, which was very private feeling: if anybody went by while we were there, we never noticed. Another was at a not dreadfully large pullover site alongside a road up a mountain, and there were plenty of other people camping at other, similar sites: it was very scenic, but there was a bit of traffic during daylight hours, all very friendly (everybody waved as they went by). Again, we slept like rocks. There were, of course, no restrooms or other facilities.

    We also stayed at a KOA campground. It was very clean, very organized, and had great facilities. We had a picnic table of our own, and there was wifi. We got caught up on our laundry. Their showers were nicer than most campgrounds have. They even had a pool. Although there were loads of RVs there, the owner seemed quite bemused by the idea of anybody's sleeping in their car. They were no more expensive than the private campgrounds, and I'd choose to go to a KOA again over other private sites, partially because they're predictable. We found that campground by stopping at one we'd seen a sign for along the highway midday, where we got a directory to their campgrounds in NA. It appeared to be even nicer than the one at which we stayed.

    Since getting home, we looked for a sale on a smallish dome tent to take on future trips, as we will definitely do this again. Once you get the car set up to sleep in, there's nowhere to sit, unless you open up the hatch and sit on the lip of the cargo hold, which is not a good arrangement if someone wants to stay up late, or get up early. It will also serve as a private area for the porta-potty we have from our tent camping days. Although it can be a little difficult to get into the sleeping area once the car is set up as Hotel Prius, it gets easier with practice, and it's definitely easier to get out of bed than it is when sleeping on an air mattress in a tent. Sleeping in the car feels a lot more secure, not to mention that having climate control makes it more restful (in addition to not having hot/cold air around you, as you would in a tent, there's no cold seeping up from a mattress on the ground, which makes a big difference in comfort). Temperature-wise, it was actually more comfortable than motel rooms, where the heat/ac are noisier, and have wider ranges between cutting off and coming on. Using climate control did knock our mileage down out of the 50s range into the high 40s, but I can live with that.
     
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  6. Jamdemos

    Jamdemos Junior Member

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    Done plenty of road tripping/ camping in my 2010 prius, just got back from a 14,000 mile road trip across the west. Car performed wonderfully, obviously had to work harder on the mountain roads but never had any issues, averaged around 50MPG some tanks better some worst, drove on plenty of dirt roads, even went down a 40 mile road meant for higher clearance vehicles in order to start a hike to a 14er in CO, bottomed out quite a bit and even did 2 small river crossings but the car never complained.
     
  7. tgpii

    tgpii Member

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    Location:
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    I seen videos on youtube, and pictures on Prius Chat of people who converted a Prius Lift back to/for camping. Does anyone have any information and or videos, etc for converting a Prius C for camping/living/sleeping. Currently I have a 2012 Prius C two. The windows have 35 % tint. Usually when I go road trip I just lock the door, tilt the seat back, grab a blanket and go to sleep. I was thinking of just getting a portable/camping toilet and a power invert-er Any ideas/suggestions?



    This is a little off topic but does anyone know if a non trucker can shower at a truck stop? I seen some state run rest stops in some state with showers.



    If there are already threats on any of the above PLEASE post me the links. Thank you. :)
     
  8. tgpii

    tgpii Member

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    I seen videos on youtube, and pictures on Prius Chat of people who converted a Prius Lift back to/for camping. Does anyone have any information and or videos, etc for converting a Prius C for camping/living/sleeping. Currently I have a 2012 Prius C two. The windows have 35 % tint. Usually when I go road trip I just lock the door, tilt the seat back, grab a blanket and go to sleep. I was thinking of just getting a portable/camping toilet and a power invert-er Any ideas/suggestions?



    This is a little off topic but does anyone know if a non trucker can shower at a truck stop? I seen some state run rest stops in some state with showers.



    If there are already threats on any of the above PLEASE post me the links. Thank you.
     
  9. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    I have showered at Loves.
    $10

    Location and Fuel Search
    you can search for private showers
     
  10. tgpii

    tgpii Member

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    Thanks, can anyone use them? I heard some truck stops only let trucks use them.
     
  11. vegan

    vegan Junior Member

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    I wonder if campgrounds would let you just pay for a shower?
     
  12. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    At Loves, they are free with 50 gallons of fuel, but anyone can use them for $10.
     
  13. MorganAdcock

    MorganAdcock New Member

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    I really doubt that they would. Truck stops would be a better option. I don't know if nationwide fitness clubs would allow you to use their facilities (you don't need to tell them if you're not planning on exercising, if that's the case) when traveling, but that might be another possibility.

    One option, if you're camping in the Prius is to use disposable wipes. Some are larger and more tear resistant than others, and they make some specifically for adult bathing, usually nicknamed "a bath in a bag" in the hospitals and nursing homes where they're widely used to replace bed baths utilizing basins of water. They wouldn't be great if you were particularly grimy, but I never had a patient who needed more than one pouch of those wipes for general bathing, and many washed up well with just half a pack. You can get them at drugstores, Wally's world, many surgical/home health supply stores, and Amazon; and I'm sure there are plenty of other places. In comparison to showering at home, they're not cheap, but they're certainly cheaper than a motel room on alternating nights, or even the $10 shower at Love's which was mentioned upthread.
     
  14. Obernelson

    Obernelson Junior Member

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    I use truck stops about once a week but the rest of the time I fully wash in the Prius, including washing my hair.

    My post on how I do this:
    Brent's Travels: Bathing In A Prius
     
  15. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    In 1981, I walked from Mexico to Canada on the PCT. I had not trouble buying 'just a shower' at campgrounds and motels. Everyone who saw me wanted me cleaner.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    In 1981, I walked from Mexico to Canada on the PCT. I had not trouble buying 'just a shower' at campgrounds and motels. Everyone who saw me wanted me cleaner.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Terrystorzieri

    Terrystorzieri New Member

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    My dog and I go camping and use the habitent alot. Love it. Got a question. The owner of Skreenz says that he would make bug screens for the prius, but no one has ever asked him in 20 years. He makes really nice screens for the Rav 4 (and lots of other vehicles) wouldnt any of my fellow campers want these to keep the bus out? If so, call Blethen over at Skreenz at 828-606-3130 and let him know!

    By the way, I use my habitent at campgrounds, goes up in seconds, great for when it is a little too humid, reasonably priced for the quality and it comes in blue, my favorite color
     
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  18. cdltpx

    cdltpx Junior Member

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    I just spent a week at the RTR out in Quartzite Az. Drove there less than 48 hours. Stopped along the way to sleep 4 hours shower at the PLFT albuquerque Nm. I have a trailer hitch platform Hitch haul is the name brand I keep a 45 gallon tote and a 60 quart ice chest back there. I put dirty clothes in the tote the ice chest can rattle all it wants who wants to hear the ice scrape against the sides of the ice chest when driving? My car is set for me and me alone I don't want any passengers I just want it for ME!


    I was at the RTR Quartzite Az saw at least 15 other Prius car campers out there one guy had his compressor fridge run off its own lithium ion battery system it even could use solar power to keep his food cold. Brent's Travels

    Suanne lives full time in her Prius uses tents to support her life. Suanne Online

    Robert Q Prius travels in his Prius too he uses storage units to empty out his car and he will rotate his needs as time goes on. He changes location he just gets another storage unit near all the stuff he wants to do.Robert Q. Prius | Facebook

    For you people that say you don't want to live in your car you will stink well I can shower at any 1,200 Planet fitness locations out there. Cost $306 a year. I can cruise the web watch a movie or get a massage, I also use the gym when I am at my home I go there to walk when the weather says no you can't. Find a Planet Fitness Near You | Planet Fitness
     
    #177 cdltpx, Jan 25, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017
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  19. Loosechangedru

    Loosechangedru Junior Member

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    Thought this might be helpful to see, and this seemed like the right place to post it.

    I've seen a lot of the Prius Car Camping Conversion Kits that used to be sold on eBay. From what I can gather, a limited quantity was manufactured and sold privately through one seller, and that seller's eBay account is deactivated, I think. At any rate, there is no way to buy one. You can see one at Ruslan Osiprov's blog, which is very useful in it's entirety (search for his name and "Prius Camping Conversion Kit, and it should come right up). Since I couldn't buy one, I did my best to make one, and recorded the process and measurements in case any one else wanted to as well, but with a little more ease.

    The kit I've seen comes with straps for the backseats, a fitted liner, and a built-in access lid to get beneath easily: prius-camper-with-the-mat-up.jpg

    Using pictures like the one above, I made a template out of cardboard to fit the space perfectly. The back of the seat is the tricky part. I used a flexible curve (drafting tool that looks like a giant twisty tie) to mold the back seat and trace it onto cardboard. The driver side length is shorter, and the pocket height is lower making it a slightly less than flush fit:
    20170517_201523.jpg

    The kit online looked like 1/2" plywood, and 1" dowels fit snugly in the rails on the floor for legs. I used a 3/8" dowel as the pegs on the top end of the legs, and drilled the same size holes in the plywood. The 3/8" dowel goes down about 2 inches into the larger dowel, and 1/2" out to sit flush in the plywood:
    20170520_123902.jpg 20170520_123927.jpg 20170520_123944.jpg

    The tough part was drilling consistently straight and level holes into the larger dowels. I used a forstner bit so the pegs would fit perfect. If you have no access to a drill press or lathe, here's an idea for a jig:
    20170519_190722.jpg

    I did all the cutting with a jigsaw, except the bevelled lip that rests on the backseat. Chop saw at a 45 angle:
    20170518_190936.jpg

    Handsand the whole thing (barely sand where the two pieces connect so that its seamless) to shape it so that it fits as nice as you like. These measurements might be helpful:
    20170522_163429.jpg

    Hope someone finds this useful!

    LCD
     
  20. PA Prius

    PA Prius Active Member

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    Thanks, Loosechangedru. Getting ready for our biggie this summer— PA to Denali and back.
     
  21. Loosechangedru

    Loosechangedru Junior Member

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    That's amazing! Still working up to a haul that far. I'm gonna take my first several night trip this summer from Florida to North Carolina and hang there a few days, test it out a bit.

    BTW, this forum has been super helpful getting ready. Thanks everyone for posting so much useful information!
     
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