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Discussion Starter #1
I've owned my beautiful HR-V EX for a month now and I love it. I'm an ultra-runner and long, sometimes multi-day events are becoming common. Where I would use the car as a homebase. I've never been much of a camper but now that I have this car i've been thinking about the possibilities.

I've been thinking about taking a few weeks to a month off and travel the country (starting from my home in Central NJ). Possibly becoming an Uber drive and pick up fares here and there along the way. I've also looked into couchsurfing.com.

I know this has been discussed before but I'm thinking of spending nights sleeping in the HR-V. I'm 6' and have no trouble sleeping in tight quarters. couchsurfing.com a couple to a few nights a week.

I'd really like to keep it as light and minimal as possible.

I guess, the reason I'm posting is that I'm curious as to what I would need. A sleeping bag for sure. Some light camping gear I guess. What else would I need? I saw there are some car tents that are made for the CR-V. I see there are 12v coffee makers for the power supply in the car, but I guess a camping stove and kettle would be just as good. Do people really just park in WalMart lots?

It's just an idea now. Anyone familiar with this?
 

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I have heard of people staying in their cars this way. It seems dangerous to me to just sleep in a Wal-Mart or mall parking lot, as well as a possible loitering / trespassing issue.
My problem when sleeping in a car, when I was much younger, was the lack of ventilation. If you leave a window down you invite bugs. When all of the windows are up it gets hot and humid very quickly.
I do a number of motorcycle rally's each year as well as traveling to locations for mountain biking. For me, it is tent camping in a campground. The cost is fairly low per night, you have a secure environment and access to real bathrooms and showers. Since you are traveling by car, you can carry enough equipment for comfortable camping.
Personally, some of the best traveling memories and stories I have are based on people that I have met at campgrounds. This is particularly true with tent camping. The RV campers tend to remain a bit more secluded. The tent campers end up in a social group that makes the evenings a good time.
 

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Modern camping gear packs up really small. Here is a pic of my motorcycle loaded up for three days of riding in Arkansas over Labor Day and a shot of our camp site beside the White River in Flippin, AR. It is a little better scenery than a Wal-Mart parking lot.
 

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Walmart I think, let's rvs park- and there is video security, so I think you'd be fairly safe. But tent camping in campgrounds would be a lot more fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks gang, yes, I'm not opposed to tent camping. Safety (although obviously important) isn't as big of a concern for me but I'm also someone who would rather not loiter or break any laws so I'd try to be as discreet as possible if I DO end up sleeping in the car on a side street or in a parking lot.

But I am not opposed to tent camping, I'd really like to cut costs down. $25 a night for a campsite is a lot cheaper than a hotel room but if I did campsites every night it would cost a minimum of $700 for that month traveling. I'd much rather spend that money on fuel and/or tolls. But like I said, not opposed to camping. couchingsurfing.com or even airbnb MAY be cheaper. I'd really just need a place to sleep (and clean up).

I'm open to anything and looking for any feedback. I'd rather conceptualize it all now before I begin planning for the big trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Modern camping gear packs up really small. Here is a pic of my motorcycle loaded up for three days of riding in Arkansas over Labor Day and a shot of our camp site beside the White River in Flippin, AR. It is a little better scenery than a Wal-Mart parking lot.
Definitely! How does one even find campsites or do you have to plan for it? My plan is to go for destination to destination and while there I find a place to sleep. Are campsites to setup a tent easy to find?
 

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Campsites are fairly plentiful. I start with an internet search of the areas I am going and start reviewing and selecting from there. When on our motorcycle tours, we often just look for camping as we go. It is sometimes hard to predict how many miles we will ride each day so our destinations are a bit fluid. Worse case, we set up our tents in a clearing or field off a rural road. That is probably not our best decisions but we have never had any issues. There is camping in many state parks as well, and they are very inexpensive. The amenities vary by state though. Here in Missouri, they are very basic. Camp sites and out house type facilities, no showers. You get what you pay for. We have knocked on doors for permission to pitch tents on peoples property in small towns and rural areas. For the majority of the time, people are very friendly and welcoming. More opportunities to meet interesting people.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Campsites are fairly plentiful. I start with an internet search of the areas I am going and start reviewing and selecting from there. When on our motorcycle tours, we often just look for camping as we go. It is sometimes hard to predict how many miles we will ride each day so our destinations are a bit fluid. Worse case, we set up our tents in a clearing or field off a rural road. That is probably not our best decisions but we have never had any issues. There is camping in many state parks as well, and they are very inexpensive. The amenities vary by state though. Here in Missouri, they are very basic. Camp sites and out house type facilities, no showers. You get what you pay for. We have knocked on doors for permission to pitch tents on peoples property in small towns and rural areas. For the majority of the time, people are very friendly and welcoming. More opportunities to meet interesting people.
That sounds like an awesome adventure! Thank you!
 

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If you're trying to keep costs down, obviously buying your own food and doing a little cooking will help.

I"ld get a 12 volt cooler to keep the groceries in, and maybe a 12 volt solar charger to help keep the battery up.
Depending on how far off the beaten trail you'll be getting, a water filter may help, so you can fill your jugs from a stream.
A paid campsite every 2-3 days is good to keep up showers and such.

As Arjay3rd suggests, research your route. There are often little gems that are well worth an hour or two drive off the path.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If you're trying to keep costs down, obviously buying your own food and doing a little cooking will help.

I"ld get a 12 volt cooler to keep the groceries in, and maybe a 12 volt solar charger to help keep the battery up.
Depending on how far off the beaten trail you'll be getting, a water filter may help, so you can fill your jugs from a stream.
A paid campsite every 2-3 days is good to keep up showers and such.
Good thinking! I'm going to have to look into that. Maybe a camp stove too. Thanks!
 

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A long time ago I had a Honda Accord LX. Loved that car. It was totaled in a rear-end collision. I took the settlement and bought a Vanagon. It was a money pit. I couldn't afford a Westie, just a plain Vanagon. The back seat folded own to a full size mattress. I took an full size egg crate style mattress pad and put it in a twin size duvet I got at Ikea and threw it on top of the cushioned back seat. Voila! So comfy!

So in the Vanagon, I did a lot of car camping at festivals, campgrounds, and road trips. Even slept in a friend's garage when she was having a huge sleepover and there wasn't enough places to sleep. I've also stayed in Walmart parking lots.

I eventually sold the VW because it was always in the shop and got a reliable Civic instead. Like the Vanagon, I used to go car camping in the Civic as well, however I used a Kamp-rite Tent Cot (you can get them on Amazon) and slept outside the vehicle with it and then used the vehicle itself for storage of camping supplies.

Now that I'm considering an H-RV I probably will do the same sorts of activities as I described above. I'm only 5'4" so when I test drove it, I also checked out the back and determined that I can sleep there comfortably. It's just a matter of figuring what size pad I will need for some cushioning.
 

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The reason I traded in my 2013 Subaru Legacy for my new HR-V is so I can sleep in it! I am 5'7". I have slept in it a couple nights so far. What I do is push the front seats the whole way forward. Fold down the back seats. I had an old gymnastics tumbling mat. It folds in half. Fits perfectly in the cargo area with the seats all up. With the seats folded down and the mat unfolded, it perfectly covers the slight gap between the folded down back seats and the pushed up front seats! It's wide enough for me to sleep on the "60" side of the 60/40 split, so I only have to put down one back seat. I have plenty of room to stretch out. You could find a wider mat to fill in a larger area.

The best part, and the reason I picked the HR-V is that I can sit up in the back with several inches of headroom because the cargo area is dropped so low! Even with the mat, which is maybe 2 inches deep.

In the morning, I just fold up the mat, lift the seat back up, and the mat fits right in the small cargo area, laid flat!

In my Legacy, I slept in the front seat. I once slept in a Walmart parking lot in Kingston NY when the temperature was 17 degrees. I got in my sleeping bag, put a large "hot hands" pack in the foot area, and put a mylar blanket around me. I stayed quite warm. But it was hard on my back sleeping in the front seat! Don't forget a pillow.

By the way, I am a 49 year old woman, and my family thinks I'm crazy! But I enjoy traveling cheaply and quickly. I like knowing I can go anywhere I can drive and not worry about hotels. It's not that I can't afford hotels, but there is something satisfying about sleeping in my car! On my recent non-pleasure trip to Colorado (3000 mile round trip), my 27 year old daughter insisted we stay in hotels every night. Hey, it was her emergency so I let her call the shots, but I was disappointed! lol


I've owned my beautiful HR-V EX for a month now and I love it. I'm an ultra-runner and long, sometimes multi-day events are becoming common. Where I would use the car as a homebase. I've never been much of a camper but now that I have this car i've been thinking about the possibilities.

I've been thinking about taking a few weeks to a month off and travel the country (starting from my home in Central NJ). Possibly becoming an Uber drive and pick up fares here and there along the way. I've also looked into couchsurfing.com.

I know this has been discussed before but I'm thinking of spending nights sleeping in the HR-V. I'm 6' and have no trouble sleeping in tight quarters. couchsurfing.com a couple to a few nights a week.

I'd really like to keep it as light and minimal as possible.

I guess, the reason I'm posting is that I'm curious as to what I would need. A sleeping bag for sure. Some light camping gear I guess. What else would I need? I saw there are some car tents that are made for the CR-V. I see there are 12v coffee makers for the power supply in the car, but I guess a camping stove and kettle would be just as good. Do people really just park in WalMart lots?

It's just an idea now. Anyone familiar with this?
 

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Modern camping gear packs up really small. Here is a pic of my motorcycle loaded up for three days of riding in Arkansas over Labor Day and a shot of our camp site beside the White River in Flippin, AR. It is a little better scenery than a Wal-Mart parking lot.
Somehow, as a woman alone, I feel safer in my car than in a tent. I don't know if that is actually the case!
 

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Sounds like an awesome trip. The HR-V is a great car with a very flexible interior but make sure you do a "trial" with all the thing you think you might want to do. For instance, at 6'0", you *might* be able to sleep in it with the gate closed, but you might have to sleep diagonally, which limits the space you have for gear. And those times you'll want to sleep in the car (like at Walmart or a rest stop) will be those times you can't leave your cooler outside. I'd recommend a small camp stove that runs off cheap Coleman canisters. A French press and instant oatmeal and you're covered for breakfast. I'm not totally sold on 12v cooler, but YMMV. You can find some pretty well-insulated coolers that only need new ice every few days or more. Ice does tend to become water so it's a headache to keep your stuff dry if the ice bag has holes, etc.

On driving Uber, keep in mind a few things here: You'll need a clean car. You may need to store some of your gear, as your passengers might not be keen on sharing the trunk with your cooler and dirty gym bag, and you'll need to be in cities, which might antithetical to the fun of a long road trip (depending on your vision) for that. You'll also need to get quick with the GPS, so you don't annoy your passengers with the fact that you have no idea how to get around their city. :)

Good luck and have a great time.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sounds like an awesome trip. The HR-V is a great car with a very flexible interior but make sure you do a "trial" with all the thing you think you might want to do. For instance, at 6'0", you *might* be able to sleep in it with the gate closed, but you might have to sleep diagonally, which limits the space you have for gear. And those times you'll want to sleep in the car (like at Walmart or a rest stop) will be those times you can't leave your cooler outside. I'd recommend a small camp stove that runs off cheap Coleman canisters. A French press and instant oatmeal and you're covered for breakfast. I'm not totally sold on 12v cooler, but YMMV. You can find some pretty well-insulated coolers that only need new ice every few days or more. Ice does tend to become water so it's a headache to keep your stuff dry if the ice bag has holes, etc.

On driving Uber, keep in mind a few things here: You'll need a clean car. You may need to store some of your gear, as your passengers might not be keen on sharing the trunk with your cooler and dirty gym bag, and you'll need to be in cities, which might antithetical to the fun of a long road trip (depending on your vision) for that. You'll also need to get quick with the GPS, so you don't annoy your passengers with the fact that you have no idea how to get around their city. :)

Good luck and have a great time.

Thanks! I did try to lay down and moving the seats forward gave me plenty of room ( I did sleep diagonally ) and still had room for storage. Might have to move stuff to the front seat depending on what I have. But it is something I thought about. Sounds like a Coleman camp stove is the way to go. They're pretty small too.

As far as the Uber thing goes I was really just thinking about picking up fares that will be sharing a similar route as I am, whether it's in the city or country. I've never done Uber before so I have no idea if that's an option.
 

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car camping

Do I see an HRV towing a trailer!? How does the engine do ?
I traveled the USA and lived in the back of my truck for a total of about 3 months and did a month out of my '82 Celica in the 90's. Things have changed I am sure, but I only got woken by the cops twice. The trick is to not sleep past dawn. The HRV is very stealth. I would think you could park anywhere. Tinted windows could help? I wonder if a little fan would help with condensation? Throw some random 'stuff; over yourself and no one will know you are there. I intend to sleep in my HRV (when they finally MAKE IT in Mexico, waiting...)- but I live in California and we have tons of BLM land which is legal to sleep on so its easy. East coat is harder, but if you go north you should be fine parking wherever, or not- but you should be able to talk your way out of trouble, or ask people if its ok. Have fun!
 

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I once had a tent trailer, the size of a motorcycle trailer. It’s like a roof top carrier that opens up in half and you pop up the canvas tent. Real light, and your off the ground. You can even store a few items in it while travelling.

Haven’t seen many around like it, but I’m sure if your looking for something, you’ll find it.
 

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Do I see an HRV towing a trailer!? How does the engine do ?
I have a 10 foot lightweight aluminum trailer, that weighs 300 lbs.
I towed it with my Civic for over 15 years, till the rust became to bad.

Compared to the 115 hp Civic, the HR-V pulls the trailer easily.

I only tow light loads (under 700 lbs) which is great for picking up appliances, the odd trip to the dump, or going camping.

I think loading 700lbs in the trailer (with maybe 50 lbs tongue weight) is better then loading the HR-V inside with 500lbs of stuff so you can't see, and hard on the shocks. It's only rated 800 lbs total including passengers.
 
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