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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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Hitting the Road
Hi! So possibly a few people have come across my previous thread regarding my sleeping platform build and other camping related changes I have made to my '99 CR-V. Well, after planning the trip since this past spring it is finally time to hit the road!

Having spent about 2 weeks worth of time camping in the CR-V (broken up over a number of weekends), I know it can be plenty functional and pretty cozy in there. And yeah, that use of "cozy" does include a bit of the euphemistic sense of the word, too. It is damn tight living out of a Honda CR-V. But it also is cozy in the sense that I feel comfortable and provided just enough space to feel relaxed. I decided to go the car-camping route instead of just using a tent for a few reasons. I saw others had done it (Rock Climber Girl and cdlenfert, among others) and thought it looked more fun this way. I knew I would be traveling for a while and leaving in winter, so having a warmer and more secure place to lay my head definitely had its appeal. I picked this CR-V up off of Craigslist with 190,000 miles for $700. In the last year and a half I have put another 23,000 miles on it and invested in the needed repairs. I figured that if a 15 year old Honda with over 200k miles isn't a perfect candidate to be turned into a rolling bed, what is?

If there are any places that people can recommend checking out, please share! The route is very rough, basically down the east coast ----> over the south through Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona ----> North through Utah to Idaho ----> West and then south through the interior of California ----> and lastly North, up the California coast from the southern end of the state and eventually ending in Portland, OR. This is both a road trip and a move for me, just finished graduate school and ready for a new place to live.

So over the coming months I will be posting here and on a Facebook page (for the non-Honda centric family and friends, etc) as I travel along. The first few weeks will be pretty dull travel-wise as it largely will be just seeing family and friends as I make my way down the east coast. But check back in later as once I reach the Southeastern U.S. the pictures and video will start to pop up. I bought a year-long National Park pass and plan to put it to good use, with the Everglades likely being my first NP. Loading the CR-V up in the 19F garage yesterday definitely have left me excited to hit Florida...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Stay off the interstate.
Hah! Is that advice or part of a premonition?

Yeah, I am hoping to minimize the time on the interstate. With roof rack and AT/S tires, the CR-V doesn't like to cruise much above 60-65mph now anyway (not without noticeably lower gas mileage at least...). I have the time, plan to take the scenic route as often as possible. The east cost will largely be the exception to this, my time will be at its most scheduled for this stretch when it comes to seeing family and friends.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
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Bought a tire-mounted bike rack from a friend, perfect for a gen1 CR-V

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The bedding was removed for the photos. The mattress roll and other sleeping stuff is likely going to remain piled up in back for a few weeks, won't really do any camping until Florida or so.

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Relocated my lobstah to the roof rack as the bicycle bumped it from its former spot on the spare tire. The water jugs and gas can are empty for now, likely won't really need them until I am further west in different national parks. Once the water jugs are filled they will actually sit inside the vehicle when driving, probably on the passenger seat or passenger foot well. Don't want too much weight that high up, prefer to avoid the chances of a rollover.

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The underside is definitely packed fairly tight! The bucket might be relocated to the roof rack later on if need be.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
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My wardrobe. Shirts, socks, etc. are all in different bags on the ceiling. The wooden slats help keep the cargo bungees from sagging too much.

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I chose to keep the cooler inside the vehicle rather than the rack, wanted to minimize raising the center of gravity too much. Had to remove the center table between the front seats to make a better fit.
 

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Hah! Is that advice or part of a premonition?
You'll be fine. I did several west coast trips in the early 70's, long before the interstates were completed in the western states. I loved those old two lane roads, especially the old US routes. Even now, I do my best to stay off the highways in New England, especially when I'm on the motorcycle, but plenty of times in the car too.
 

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You're probably well on your way by now, but I'd recommend you reverse the orientation of your bike on the rack to get the wheel out of the exhaust stream. Don't ask how I know this will help.
Good luck and I look forward to the pics and updates.
 

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Best of luck in your travels. Never seen a CR-V put to such good use like that. Very cool. Well thought out and packed.
 

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I agree with turning the bike around as another stated so the low tire isn't near the exhaust tip. I've personally melted plastic tubs on a rack on the back of my Sol and also fatigued a spot on the front wheel of my bike from the heat out it.

If your not gonna be sleeping in the back for now, throw most of the stuff inside off the roof for better mpg.

Please run it through a car wash once out of crap weather.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You'll be fine. I did several west coast trips in the early 70's, long before the interstates were completed in the western states. I loved those old two lane roads, especially the old US routes. Even now, I do my best to stay off the highways in New England, especially when I'm on the motorcycle, but plenty of times in the car too.
Yeah, looking forward to when I largely skip the highways! Currently in Manchester, NH and think I will take the backways to get to Providence, RI, have the time and definitely prefer cruising along at 55mph and actually having scenery to look at. Some stretches are just gonna be tough to avoid the super slab though, I have a friend in Long Island to see and family in New Jersey. Be a lot happier once I get to about Virginia, can start taking more back roads!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If your not gonna be sleeping in the back for now, throw most of the stuff inside off the roof for better mpg.
That isn't a terrible idea! Once I hit Rhode Island I will be hanging out for a few days, think I will move at least the foot locker inside the CR-V. Want to maintain decent rearward visibility, that should be low enough to not entirely block my view...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Please run it through a car wash once out of crap weather.
Hah! Have been looking forward to that! I chiseled some extra ice out of the wheel well with a pocket knife this morning, the Honda is truly pretty haggard looking at the moment, can't lie. Be happy to see the road grime and salt wash away.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Best of luck in your travels. Never seen a CR-V put to such good use like that. Very cool. Well thought out and packed.
Thanks for saying so! I have done what I could with my fairly limited funds and skills, been a fun project up to this point so should be interesting to see how everything works over a longer trip. ;)
I think some first gen CR-Vs might be reaching a condition/mileage and thus price that will justify some less typical uses. It is hard to find a more well-rounded vehicle as far as possible uses and they hold up really well.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
You're probably well on your way by now, but I'd recommend you reverse the orientation of your bike on the rack to get the wheel out of the exhaust stream. Don't ask how I know this will help.
Good luck and I look forward to the pics and updates.
This is a fair point, just took a look at it a few minutes ago and made some adjustments. The bicycle tire looked fine so far, would like to keep it that way. I shifted the bike further back on the rack and straightened the front wheel. The wheel was turned before in order for the rear hatch glass to clear the handlebars but that isn't necessary now that the entire bike has been shifted. I tried to flip the bike 180 degrees and re-mount it but the issue then is that the bike is less centered on the CR-V, the back wheel sticks out more than a foot off the side of the vehicle, made me nervous it might get clipped.


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Wondering if you could make that roof rack more aerodynamic somehow to improve on your mileage? Maybe one of the material bags, also making it somewhat water/wind proof while your at it. On the cheap, I'd say a tarp, but they just fall apart and are noisy as crap.

Eiher way, as wolf mentioned, great use of the CRV. Makes a great Bug-Out vehicle!

Reminds me once 4 of us in 2 pickup trucks hid in an "closed for the season" camp ground and camouflaged the vehicles and tarped a wall to hide the little fire we had going.

Road trips are great, here's to your great road trip G.M., enjoy! :cool:
 

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Anything on the roof including bare crossbars will give you a gas mileage hit at highway speeds.
 

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Correct, and any aerodynamic methods help! Those Thule ski racks are a great idea, but they ain't cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Hah! I have heard people refer to car camping on neighborhood streets as "stealth camping", but no clue what to call camping secretly in an off season campground. That is pretty funny! How long were you guys there?

I had been thinking about maybe using a tarp to cover everything on top, probably could get it pretty taut if I use some bungees or "stitch" the tarp closed with rope. Any boost to gas mileage would be appreciated, worth a try! And an extra layer of defense against the elements can't hurt. I have two tarps with me, a cheapo tarp that is still in the packaging and the heavy duty tarp from the PVC canopy side project. The heavy duty tarp might be good choice, it is roughly 6' x 8' if I remember correctly, pretty perfect size to wrap the roof rack without having too much extra. Plus the grommets are 18" apart, probably could take the slack out of it pretty well.

Staying in New Hampshire currently and then onwards to my native Rhode Island, hangout for a few days, will have some free time to tinker with the set up. I already wanted to grab a few things that I locked away in the roof rack anyway, as good a time as any to try and refine the formula.
 
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