Restoring a VW Bus takes time and patience – considerably more than a Beetle for example.
The view from the drivers door – bench seating for up to three people although the poor person in the middle has to also deal with the gear lever getting in the way.
Earlier this year, I was awarded a National Geographic Young Explorers Grant to spend four months driving around the United States documenting nocturnal culture with my partner and collaborator, Kevin Weidner (who helped me write this piece), and our two dogs (check out my piece on late-night Vegas). Because the grant mostly covered fuel and food, and because we needed to cover a lot of ground in a relatively short amount of time, one of our first tasks was to figure out a reliable sleeping situation that would be both efficient and cost-effective. Finding a place to camp, for free, or nearly free, every day seemed a daunting task that was bound to set us off course.
We researched our options. Staying with friends would work in some cases, but would require advance planning.
Then we found a solution that seemed perfect: we would turn our 2008 Honda CR-V into a camper. We could park the car — at once bedroom, office, tripod, living room, and kitchen — set up the bed, and be asleep within 10 minutes. After removing the seats, we cleaned the inside of the car and cut a tarp to spread under where the sleeping platform would sit. Unholy heat! This usually only applies if you’re trying to sleep in the day, as we were.
Wal-mart parking lots: These big-box stores (at least the ones we encountered) welcome overnighters and even have security cameras and patrols.
We have finally upgraded our car-camper from a WRX to a Forester XT – love the space, and the ground clearance. We’ve car camped in our Subaru and found that would have made it much easier would be a door latch for the rear door. I am excited to follow in your footsteps, I will be doing all 50 states in 1 year before I turn 30.
Excellent I have Anissa’s pathfinder 2002 will your idea fit in my suv also I have the same looking dog .?

Spent a few nights sleeping in my VW Jetta Diesel Wagon, but spent a few years roaming about the country in a 22′ Fleetwood Tioga. About Intelligent TravelNational Geographic believes that to know the world is to change it. The drinks tray is actually a trim cover over the bulge for the spare wheel which is accessed from behind the passenger seat. And since we’d be driving and working at night and sleeping mostly during daylight hours, campground and hotel checkout times wouldn’t work for us.
We woke in parking lots and trailheads and tiny rest areas, atop a mountain in New Mexico, beside a blue lake in California, and about 100 meters from a Dunkin’ Donuts in Maine. Traveling with two big dogs, we knew the ability to remove the tarp and shake it out without having to move the whole platform would be a big plus.
Surprisingly, we were only disturbed twice while sleeping in our car, both times by friendly police officers checking to make sure we didn’t need help.
Finding a place to sleep that is legal, safe, relatively private, flat, etc., can be challenging.
I have a Subaru Outback and I think that would be the perfect car to do this type of setup in. We're on the front lines of travel that illuminates, celebrates, and preserves irreplaceable places—and we're taking you along for the ride.
Towing a trailer would be ideal, but what if we needed to go on a rough road or up a steep mountain? A table under which we could store all our stuff, and on top of which we could sleep, for free, almost anywhere.
We began by looking around online (search “SUV + sleeping platform” and see what you find) and cobbled together a design based on our particular needs and wants. Our final design required sheets of ?-inch plywood, two-by-fours, hinges, screws, cabinet-lid stays, carpet, staples, D rings — all of which cost us about $150 at the hardware store. We attached D-rings to the underside of the platform and used a ratcheted tie-down to secure it to the cargo area of the CR-V.

If it’s a longer storm, keep the windows cracked slightly and drape a tarp over the windows.
However, they have little tree cover and can heat up fast, making it difficult to sleep for very long after the sun comes up. Usually need some stiff plastic sheet (ring binder divider) , pegged to window glass, to fill gap at side of window. For our car, we removed a total of eight bolts and the seats were free, but you may consider having a professional help you out. Because we wanted to maximize our gas mileage (and because our carpentry skills are pretty basic), we were looking for a simple, lightweight design that would be easy to set up, and outfitted with compartments to help us stay organized on the road. We had some tools and borrowed the rest from kind friends: a drill, table and miter saws, and a staple gun. It was thick enough to be comfortable, yet thin enough to fold in half so we could access the hatch compartment. That, and having a couple good friends who happen to be woodworking geniuses there to help guide you through the process (okay, we were really lucky that way). Other options include inflatable or foam camping pads, or a foam mattress from a military surplus store. Further refinement is fridge magnets (or fridge door seal magnet) to seal outside bottom edge of netting to door.
Am 62 now, retired and getting ready to load up my dog and head out to warmer climate….no more midwest winters for us!

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    Are on the lookout for an important challenge to do together.


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