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A lot of people love visiting national parks and simply being outdoors, but they aren’t big fans of actually camping in a tent. If this is you, you’re in luck! You can easily convert your car for camping.
Not sold on car camping? Here are 7 Reasons To Go Car Camping!
While you can convert almost any car for camping, we converted our small Honda Fit for camping.
Don’t have a Honda Fit? Learn How to Do a Car to Camper Conversion for Any Car!
A Honda Fit conversion for car camping is fairly easy. It’s cheap, easy to do yourself, and durable. There are a few different methods out there to convert your Honda Fit for car camping if you search around. We used bits and pieces from what we found on the internet to create our own little camper inside our Honda Fit.
It’s worked out really well and this post will cover the the materials needed, the building process, and things we would change, so you can learn from our mistakes!
Now, let’s get started on how to convert your Honda Fit for camping!
Honda Fit Camping Seat Configuration
Honda Fits are pretty small, compact cars, but they have excellent seat configuration possibilities.
For camping in your Honda Fit, you should fold down the backseats, push the driver’s seat forward, lay the passenger’s seat all the way back, and remove the headrest.
This is the best seat configuration for starting your Honda Fit camper conversion because it will allow for your to lay out all the way with your head near the back of the car and your feet by the front.
If you are camping in your car as a couple, one person can lay on an angle and the other straight so both people’s feet are on the passenger side where the seat is laid down flat.
Materials for Converting Your Honda Fit for Camping
We decided on this build for our Honda Fit camping conversion because we wanted our bed to be sturdy enough for two people and have storage underneath, but not be too expensive or complicated to construct.
We also got an extra cushion for our bed so it was super comfy. With the memory foam mattress topper and the upholstery cushion, it felt like a normal bed, and you couldn’t feel the wood at all.
6 – 1” x 7” Lumber (5’ long)
1 – 38” x 54” Plywood
1- 19” x 38” Plywood
Again, there are multiple ways you can do this, so search around the internet for the one that best suits you.
Honda Fit Camping Conversion Layout
Now that you have all the materials, you can start building. Take a look at the Honda Fit camping conversion layout and follow the blueprint below to start making the bed frame for your car.
How to Build the Camping Bed Frame in Your Honda Fit
First, you will need to cut the 1” x 7” pieces of wood to the dimensions and then drill in the wood screws to connect them together.
Once the frame is all connected and in one piece, you will cut the plywood to fit the bed frame.
Start with the small storage compartment right behind the driver’s seat. It’s 16” x 19”. Then continue with the big piece that will cover the rest of the storage and make up most of the bed frame for camping in your car at 38” x 38”.
Now that you have the plywood cut, it’s time to attach the piano hinges. One piano hinge goes on the small storage area towards the middle of the car, so it can be opened from the rear driver’s side door.
The second piano hinge is attached to the frame and large piece of plywood, so it can be opened from the trunk. This piano hinge needs to be larger as it’s responsible for more weight with the bigger piece of plywood and your bed on top.
The last piece of plywood will not be attached to anything. It will be about 19” x 54”, but it can be a little shorter if you want too. You will slide this piece under the mattress when driving and out of the folded down passenger seat when camping.
There will be a gap between the board and bottom of the passenger seat, but if you put a cooler, water jug, or backpack under it, it will support it and make your bed flat.
Building The Bed in Your Honda Fit
First mark the upholstery cushion with chalk or a marker in the middle to cut it in half. When cut, each half laid side-by-side should create the part of the mattress where your head and torso goes. You can cut it in half with a bread knife. It’s not the cleanest, but it works well.
Now it’s time to cut the memory foam mattress topper. This one is a little trickier because it will take up the majority of the car, and you are essentially cutting out where the driver’s seat is. Again, mark it with chalk or a marker and make your cut.
Once you have cut the memory foam mattress topper, take the excess piece and put it behind the driver’s seat. If you fold it, it will match up evenly with the upholstery making for an even, cushioned bed.
Finishing Your Honda Fit Camper
Your bed frame and bed are all set, so now it’s just the finishing touches and you’re ready to roll!
Take a bed sheet and wrap your new mattress up, so it doesn’t get dirty. Throw some sheets and blankets on it to make it comfy and cozy, so it’ll be just like sleeping at home, except with less headspace. Put a few pillows in your trunk, and you’re good to go! Onto the next adventure!
Make sure to get the window screens listed in the materials too! These are lifesavers and provide great airflow when camping in your Honda Fit, while also keeping out the bugs.
Benefits of the Honda Fit Camper Conversion
After converting our Honda Fit for camping, we found out that there were many benefits to it!
Not having to set up a tent every night is a huge benefit to converting your car into a camper. It was nice rolling into a campsite late and being ready for bed fairly quickly. It also stayed warmer than a tent on cold nights.
Aside from setting up a tent, it’s easy to “take down” in the mornings too. If you are trying to get up early for a hike, sunrise photos, or just trying to get back on the road to your next destination, not having to take down a tent is really nice, especially in inclement weather.
These benefits of our Honda Fit camper conversion are also some of the reasons you need to go car camping!
After figuring out how you want to store everything and getting the hang of moving some gear from on top of your bed to a different area for sleeping—we mostly put stuff under the bed in the storage areas or in the front seats or dashboard—you can set up your Honda Fit camping bed in only a few minutes.
Converting our Honda Fit into a camper also saved us some money because we didn’t have to rent an RV or campervan. While they look really nice and have obvious amenities our car camper didn’t…bathrooms…a car gets way better gas mileage and was able to go to certain areas RVs or even some high roofed camper vans cannot!
Making our car into a camper was definitely a wise decision, especially since we’ll be using it again and again on future trips!
However, there were some things we would change too…
Things We Would Change on our Honda Fit Camper
One thing we would change would be adding a little pullout table to the back of the bed frame. It would have been nice to have a little table for dinner or to play cards on when there wasn’t a picnic table available at the campsite.
This will be something we’ll look to add, or invest in a small, lightweight, portable table for camping that can be stored in the car without invading our sleeping space.
We’d also like to make the 2 middle storage compartments more accessible. It was hard to store too much in there because you had to lift up the entire back panel with the bed on top to access them. This was heavy with the bed on top and became mostly a 2 person job. Maybe if we have gone with only one layer of cushioning for the bed it would have been more doable.
Luckily though, we put some snacks and toiletries in packing cubes, so this made them easier to grab out the back storage areas.
We would also buy a windshield sun protector for our Honda Fit camper conversion to keep the sun out in the mornings and add a little more privacy. Plus, it would keep the car camper from getting hot in places like the Badlands.
Overall, we love our little Honda Fit camping conversion. Hopefully, you will love your’s too if you decide you’d like to travel this way!
Please contact us if you have any questions on converting your car for camping!