General Fit Talk General Discussion on the Honda Fit/Jazz.

Turning my Fit into a mobile camper!

  #1  
Old 09-02-2015, 01:58 PM
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Turning my Fit into a mobile camper!

Howdy forum!
So I mentioned this in my introduction post (which Iím sure very few of you saw), but I am turning my 07í Honda Fit into a mobile camper.

This is a project Iíve thought about for a while, and I finally got around to designing plans and executing them about a month ago. The idea was to install a removable bed in the back/trunk area so that I could drive around, explore the country, and sleep in the car.

Here was my design process:
1. First I spent a good deal of time measuring the space with the back seats folded down flat. I made notes of the dimensions, both with the driver/passenger seats up and pushed forward. Iím only 5í8Ē but I knew that Iíd need to design the bed with the max length from trunk to seats.
2. I designed the blueprints and mapped the cuts I would need to make at Home Depot to maximize the wood scrap. I got all all the supplies and got to work.
3. I built the base. I knew I wanted to have storage underneath the bed, so I built it out of 2x12s. I forget the total length of the board, but I only used one. I used brackets and installed a piece through the middle for stability. This thing is solid:



4. Next came the bed. It is 3 pieces of plywood that sit on top of the frame. I designed it with 2 hinges in strategic spots. The one closet to the trunk allows me lift up and access storage even with the mattress, blankets, etc. It was extremely handy at the campsite. The second hinge is located near the head area. When the driver/passenger seats are pushed forward, that piece lifts forward and adds an additional 14Ē of space. So when the entire piece is flat, I have 69Ē of space from head to toe, and 39Ē from side to sideĖmore than enough more me. Here is a photo:



And here is how the storage is easily accessed:



5. With my scrap wood, I knew I wanted to install a table that slides out from the trunk. Itís about 31Ēx17Ē and is a very useful bonus addition that Iím happy I installed:



6. Lastly, I designed the plywood bed portion to fold up into a convenient-to-move piece. The entire thing folds up into a roughly 35Ēx39Ē shape that locks into itself:



So I am extremely proud of how everything turned out. To test out the functionality, I drove 9 hours to Yellowstone National Park and camped out for 3 days with my girlfriend. It worked perfectly!
I purchased some special shades to block out the windows and provide some privacy, and they worked great as well.




My first successful car-camping trip was incredibly liberating. I felt free on the road and connected with my car. I purchased a National Park pass and already have more trips planned for this year. My main purpose for joining this forum is to share my design with anyone that's interested, possibly answer some questions, and research my next steps. I want to add a roof rack and a cargo carrier to multiply my storage space, and I'm not sure where to start. But I'm gonna start digging!

Thanks for your checking out my project! In you have any interest in following my car-camping adventures, I started an Instagram account: car_trek

Cheers y'all!
 
  #2  
Old 09-02-2015, 11:05 PM
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Feel free to send me the blueprints!
 
  #3  
Old 09-02-2015, 11:12 PM
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Need to cut the roof off and add a pop up camper top.
 
  #4  
Old 09-03-2015, 08:13 AM
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Looks GREAT! Nothing like having a good DIY project turn out so well! I am curious, though, as to how much it weighs. I am also envious of your trip to Yellowstone...it's on my bucket list, but I fear that I shall NEVER drive all the way there! LOL!!
 
  #5  
Old 09-04-2015, 08:28 AM
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Very impressive, and some great ideas! I was hoping to see a picture of how the 14" piece plywood folds down once the front seats are moved forward.
 
  #6  
Old 09-04-2015, 07:46 PM
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I agree with everyone elseónice job, and it seems to serve your needs just fine.

For someone else contemplating this, I might suggest using 1x12's and 1/4" or 3/8" plywood rather than the heftier wood used here. The difference in strength is immaterial for the usage it's getting, and it'll save a noticeable amount of weight. (Many RVs use even lighter construction for the beds and cabinets, and it holds up acceptably. Often they do glue the joints; a well-made glued joint with a good wood glue is very strong indeed.)
 
  #7  
Old 09-08-2015, 01:09 AM
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I like your design

I like you design. I have done a few trips in my fit. I also have a microwave in my so I can have hot coffee before I ever get out of bed.


I am thinking of removing the larger of the back seats to give more rooms.
 
  #8  
Old 09-08-2015, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by aznsupaman408 View Post
Feel free to send me the blueprints!
I have the blueprints for the plywood part but can't find the the blueprint for the base yet. Hopefully this makes sense but let me know if you have questions. This is also based on my '07 so other models may have different measurements. The rectangle on the right is for the table, and the dotted lines represent cuts in the plywood.


Originally Posted by geopat View Post
Need to cut the roof off and add a pop up camper top.
That would be amazing but certainly down the road haha. For now the future mods are additional window tints, a roof rack, and a cargo carrier.

Originally Posted by fittmann View Post
Looks GREAT! Nothing like having a good DIY project turn out so well! I am curious, though, as to how much it weighs. I am also envious of your trip to Yellowstone...it's on my bucket list, but I fear that I shall NEVER drive all the way there! LOL!!
Yea it was a far drive. Even once you're in the park, it's A LOT of driving from destination to destination. But holy cow it was beautiful!
 
  #9  
Old 09-08-2015, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by GoBucky View Post
Very impressive, and some great ideas! I was hoping to see a picture of how the 14" piece plywood folds down once the front seats are moved forward.
Next time I throw it in the car (hopefully in the next two weeks) I'll snap a photo. That hinge really does make a huge difference. It allows me to drive around with the bed already installed, and allows 14 inches of extra sleeping space.


Originally Posted by DrewE View Post
I agree with everyone elseónice job, and it seems to serve your needs just fine.

For someone else contemplating this, I might suggest using 1x12's and 1/4" or 3/8" plywood rather than the heftier wood used here. The difference in strength is immaterial for the usage it's getting, and it'll save a noticeable amount of weight. (Many RVs use even lighter construction for the beds and cabinets, and it holds up acceptably. Often they do glue the joints; a well-made glued joint with a good wood glue is very strong indeed.)
Yea I agree, there are definitely lighter ways to do this. I was actually just talking to a friend this weekend who is a welder. I showed him my plans and he immediately said he could help me make it out of cheap, light-weight metal. I think that's what the future holds.


Originally Posted by Fit Fun PNW View Post
I like you design. I have done a few trips in my fit. I also have a microwave in my so I can have hot coffee before I ever get out of bed.


I am thinking of removing the larger of the back seats to give more rooms.
Yea for SURE need to add some way to drink coffee. I have a propane stove-top, so really I just need to acquire a slow drip coffee pot to pour boiling water in. I was kind of inspired by the people that live out of their Vanagons.... those guys have like full kitchens and stove tops haha!
 
  #10  
Old 09-08-2015, 08:34 PM
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LOVE LOVE LOVE!

I have been doing a lot of camping lately and building mine up also.. not for camping inside but for carrying everything.. great build!
 
  #11  
Old 09-12-2015, 03:38 PM
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Very functional! In the Fit camping has to be a challenge since there is serious limits on what you can carry. Both in weight and size. It's a real challenge to prioritize your needs. I would have to set up a dual battery/converter to be able to run a Cpap unit as I have sleep apnea. But the Fits electrical system is very minimal both weak battery and alternator.
 
  #12  
Old 09-14-2015, 10:36 PM
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Poopsicle: Awesome, and thanks for including the plans. Might give this a go.

Fit Fun PNW: How in the world do you run a microwave off the Fit? Can't be off the car battery, right? Power cord to micro hanging out a window and hooked up to camping electrical outlet?

I blow the fuses in my GD3 just from running a tiny emergency compressor when I have a flat, and I'll bet the tiny compressor sucks a lot less wattage than a microwave.
 
  #13  
Old 09-16-2015, 08:28 AM
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This makes me giddy. I love it.
 
  #14  
Old 09-21-2015, 01:50 PM
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I love it!
 
  #15  
Old 09-22-2015, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by bargainguy View Post
Poopsicle: Awesome, and thanks for including the plans. Might give this a go.

Fit Fun PNW: How in the world do you run a microwave off the Fit? Can't be off the car battery, right? Power cord to micro hanging out a window and hooked up to camping electrical outlet?

I blow the fuses in my GD3 just from running a tiny emergency compressor when I have a flat, and I'll bet the tiny compressor sucks a lot less wattage than a microwave.
My pleasure! I just sent them off to a friend who bought a Fit. Still waiting to meet up with my buddy to see about building a lighter metal version.

I have not looked much into any electric adaptors. For food I have relied on my girlfriend's portable propane stovetop.

My current project is researching roof racks and cargo carriers to significantly increase my storage space. I think I actually found a great cargo carrier but I'm stuck on the roof rack. Does anyone have any suggestions? Or are you aware of a good roof rack related thread? Thanks in advance!

I took it out again this past weekend and I'm still in love with it. Heading to Aspen (I know, fancy right?) in a couple weeks to check out the changing trees. Very much looking forward to it!
 
  #16  
Old 05-22-2016, 04:59 PM
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That's amazing!!


Camping to Cape Cod the first week of July I would love to build the same thing you have can you sell me the plans for that?

I think you have a new business venture in the making
 
  #17  
Old 05-22-2016, 08:57 PM
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Nice! I'm 5'6" and manage to sleep comfortably sideways on the rear seats in my GK.
 
  #18  
Old 05-31-2016, 07:57 PM
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Wow, Poopsicle! This is amazing. What kind/size of mattress was put into this setup?
 
  #19  
Old 06-07-2016, 05:02 AM
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Pretty good design and looks very comfy!
 
  #20  
Old 06-07-2016, 07:54 PM
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Wonder if the pop up part of a VW westfalia would fit on a Fit?
 

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