This post is on my Honda Element Camper Design. It is pretty simple. This configuration allows for three passengers and flexibility to sleep one or two. I also wanted to be able to hold 10 gallon storage bins underneath the bed.
Here is a photo of me at Crater Lake National Park. I have added a few things since this picture.
What you will need:
- Bed legs: (4) 2×4’s length 14”
- Frame: (2) 2×4’s length 46.5”
- Frame: (2) 2×4’s length 18”
- 22” wide plywood, cut to 46.5” and 24”
- Set of small hinges
- High torque deck screws
To make the bed: Use the the clamps to make the use the screws to fasten them together. I like to drill pilot holes and use bits that are designed not to strip. I attached the legs to the short part of the frame first and then the long areas.
First part of the construction
Picture of the whole thing
Dimensions of the bed frame
Is folds out into a 6′ long bed and has storage room underneath.
Ready to add a mattress
The Underside of the bed
From here we can add a 3″ thick foam pad or 2″ thick foam pad. A second one can be used on the other side if you want a full sized bed.
Sleeping setup for one person
The Element in double person sleeping capacity
I also made some custom window blockers out of a 25′ roll of 24-inch wide Reflectix and suction cup hooks. This keeps some heat in, allows for urban/stealth camping, and affords some privacy. The other great addition was a rain fly that I made out of a tarp, (2) high strength magnets, tarp poles, paracord, and stakes.
Stealth and privacy can be had with these window shades.
Out of the rain; out of the sun with this easy mod
A few other great additions:
A little extra storage space with a cargo net
A string of red lights make the Element Camper feel homey
Thanks for reading!
Items to increase safety in your car and to keep for emergencies
This is a list of items I have found that can help you save money long term on your car and help you be ready for an emergency. The Boy Scout Motto is “Be Prepared;” this has not left me. The first ten items are those that I believe that most people could benefit from. The latter set of ten, I believe most people could also benefit from, but these items are geared for those that enjoy the outdoors.
Ten things you should always keep in your car:
- Spare tire, jack, tire iron, PB Blaster
It turns out that when my parents got a slow tire leak, we realized the manufacturer has decided to save fuel economy and money by not including a spare tire and jack in the car. Instead there was a small tire repair kit. Take a look in your car and you could save yourself a major headache! A repair kit will not cover you in the event of a blowout. We picked up a spare tire (donut) from the local junk yard. If you live somewhere where they salts the roads, I recommend picking up can of PB blaster as well. Give the lug nuts a spray and let it set for a while before you turn them.
- Battery jumper
Now a days, you don’t need to find another car to jump your car. Instead you can use a compact batter jumper which also functions as a backup battery for your cell phone or electronics. Don’t forget to charge it every six months. I usually do this when I renew my insurance.
- Tire inflator and pressure gauge
I have been in a few situations where the tire just had a slow leak. A tire inflator would have been enough to get to the tire shop for a fix.
- Extra Security – Anti-theft stickers and alarm (Vibration alarm and/or Wi-Fi-based motion sensor alarm)
Keeping your car safe should be a priority. To slightly lessen the likelihood of it getting broken into, try putting anti-theft stickers on the windows. Also, I put a vibration alarm which goes off even with my car being unlocked without being disarmed. I just heard on a podcast about someone’s car getting stolen from the work parking lot with a master key. A loud beeping when unlocking the car would have probably been enough to ward them off. A Wi-Fi-based alarm may be helpful too if you have Wi-Fi where you normally park your car.
An easy alarm for your car
- Emergency supply kit with Zip ties, paracord, and Pocket knife
Zip Ties come in handy for a variety of needs such as a piece of trim that has fallen off or a muffler. Who knows what 550-lb test cord could be use for. And the pocket knife has few small tools on it that can come in handy.
- First aid kit – You never know when it could come in handy. Have pain relief medicine in there and inventory it at least once per year.
- Hand sanitizer – I keep a bottle in my driver’s side door.
- High visibility vest – If you do have do work on your car on the side of the road, at least you will able to be seen from afar.
- Blind Spot Mirrors – Makes it little easier to see what is around you.
- Dash Cam – This is a recent addition to my car. After hearing a horror story about someone being in an accident that wasn’t their fault and the other person going after them, I figure it is cheap insurance for a defensive driver.
Ten additional things for outdoors lovers:
- Emergency food and water/water filter
It can be good to have some extra food in the car for emergencies, especially if you or a love one gets hangry. Depending on the climate, extra water or a water filter might come in handy too.
- Toilet Paper, wag bag, and Shovel
Nice to be able to use the bathroom in a sanitary fashion if needed. The wag bag has a chemical powder in it that stops decomposition. It can be placed in the trash. Not only can you bury human waste with the shovel, but you can dig snow and even may be able to dig yourself out if you get stuck in the mud.
- – Emergency Poncho, umbrella, or tarp
- Work gloves – If you have to do some work on the car or if you live in a colder climate, these can really come in handy.
- Recovery Strap – If you get stuck, it is the safest way to get pulled out.
- Travel blanket – If you want to have an impromptu picnic or in case of an emergency, this blanket will suit you very well. Also nice if you want to have a picnic.
- Windshield crack repair kit – I have heard that one chip can span into a large one during the drive home. Save yourself the headache and fix your windshield on the fly.
- Fire supplies: Lighter, saw/hatchet and fire starters – I like to go camping, so having an ability to get a fire going in a flash is helpful.
- Pepper spray – For self-defense purpose, I would opt for this.
- Headlamp and batteries – It can be good have light while being hands free. I would recommend placing the headlamp and batteries in a plastic bag as batteries that are left in devices tend to leak. I use rechargeable batteries.
Let me know if you have comments or if there is something I am missing.
“Welp, I’m doing it.” I decided to make the trip I’d been dreaming about for a good while. I wanted to see more of Utah, Colorado, and Arizona. It was going to be 23 days of waking up at the crack of dawn and seeing some of America’s best National Parks, Monuments, and other treasures.
Here is my final itinerary:
- Zion National Park
- Cedar Breaks National Monument
- Red Canyon
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Kodachrome Basin
- Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
- Capitol Reef National Park
- Canyonlands National Park
- Mesa Verde National Park
- Valley of the Gods National Monument
- Monument Valley
- Grand Canyon National Park
Continue reading “Visit National Parks and Monuments on the Cheap”