Author Topic: Innovative camping conversions/ideas  (Read 412 times)

June 17, 2019, 01:56:30 PM
Read 412 times

Ziggy

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My wife and I want to do some longer trips   - sometimes staying just overnight, or a couple of days- camping all the way in our "sedate" Forester. . We used to have a Hilux which had masses of space and could carry everything plus even stuff we would never use!

We are both 65yrs old and so conversions have to facilitate that, i.e no strenuous lifting of jerry cans, spare wheels etc and stuff on to roof rack etc (my superman days are over now!)

Has anyone done any innovative camping conversions? Nothing permanent so that vehicle reverts to normal when we get back home.

I am talking about easily accessible packing/storage space and methods, fridge, LED and solar charging/batteries. Roof top tent or not? Awning ideas etc. Also where to put spare wheel so it is accessible because once you have packed u the vehicle, the wheel is inaccessible without unpacking and repacking (can one get a two hitch attachment?). Jerry can, water container etc.

We will be wanting to go to Namibia/Botswana/Zimbabwe/Mozambique  - clearly not harder off roading like we used to do in our Hilux!

Any ideas out there?

June 17, 2019, 10:17:27 PM
Reply #1

berndp

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Hi Ziggy,
We are a few years your junior, but have similar challenges (strength/flexibility/.......)
So, we went to Nam last year, for 3 weeks.

I had previously made a mounting for the Jerry can and additional sparewheel.



Rooftop tent is very lekker, as you don't need to go "down" to sleep, and you don't have to stand up from ground level. My wife has various physical "challenges" as far as motion/movement/strength are concerned, and the rooftop tent is far better than a groundlevel tent.

The drawback of a rooftop tent is that it is connected to your car, so if you want to drive somewhere, the tent has to come along. For our Nam trip, we took a dome tent along, as storage place for when we stayed more than 1 day in a place.

If you remove the rear seats in the Fozzie, you gain a lot of packing space.

Keep the petrol outside of the car.

I have a few more photos to share, but must first upload them from my phone.

The Foz is very capable(espcially the SG and prob SH models).
The Foz is not a rock crawler.

You may want to invest in a lift kit (+ longer swaybar links), and possibly HD rear springs, and more importantly, protection for the sump.
If not done already, consider fitting an Alu radiator.......
Subaru Forester 2005 2.5 Xsel
Always looking for a tar free "road"
Brackenfell, W'Cape

June 18, 2019, 04:59:42 PM
Reply #2

Ziggy

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Thanks for the very informative response!
1.   Your pics are not too clear on the spare wheel and jerry can mountings. Does the Spare wheel swing out so that you can open the back door? Can you send a pic if you have please. You mentioned that you were going to post more pics?
2.   The problem for me with a roof top tent is that I can only enter and exit my yard through the garage door – which means I would have to put the tent on and off in the road. Ground level will be fine
3.   I was thinking of removing the back seats – even if it’s just the one side, so that I can still take a passenger if needed
4.   Where would one keep the petrol outside of the car – roof rack?  You mentioned that you made a mounting?
5.   I have not tested the capabilities of the Foz - I have the 2018 XS CVT. What do you mean that the Foz is not a rock crawler?
6.   Is it absolutely necessary to invest in longer sway bar links and HD rear springs?
7.   I was thinking of sump protection – the plastic one does not look like it would survive to well in rough conditions.
8.   Why would one fit an Alu radiator? Would these alterations not affect the warranty?
9.   What about the tyres
I am also looking at making a fixed kitchen type unit that fits in the back – Like I used to have in my hilux.,,,,,as simple as possible with a flip open door that also serves as a cooking platform (because there is no tailgate) a small fridge and a small cooker


June 20, 2019, 09:32:21 PM
Reply #4

berndp

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Hi Ziggy

0: Where are you based?

Thanks for the very informative response!
1.   Your pics are not too clear on the spare wheel and jerry can mountings. Does the Spare wheel swing out so that you can open the back door? The gadget is mounted to a flip-down "Holdfast" bicycle carrier, mounted at the towbar. The whole contraption(jerrycan and sparewheel) swings down (approx 45') to allow rear door to open.
Can you send a pic if you have please. You mentioned that you were going to post more pics? Pics will be slow in coming,as I get home late, and don't have time/energy to do this now. Work :(
2.   The problem for me with a roof top tent is that I can only enter and exit my yard through the garage door – which means I would have to put the tent on and off in the road. Ground level will be fine My RTT(RoofTopTent) clears my garage door by a few millimeters. Your car (+ tent might be higher ???) Ground level sucks, except for the fact that it is not attached to the car
3.   I was thinking of removing the back seats – even if it’s just the one side, so that I can still take a passenger if needed. There is a lot of packing space in those rear seats.
4.   Where would one keep the petrol outside of the car – roof rack?  You mentioned that you made a mounting? Roof mounting has 2 problems: Loading/offloading and weight high up is to be kept to minimum, to keep centre-of-gravity low
5.   I have not tested the capabilities of the Foz - I have the 2018 XS CVT. What do you mean that the Foz is not a rock crawler? It is not a Land Rover(or Hilux :D) type vehicle. Sand is lekker, gravel is lekker, gravel passes are lekker, dongas - take care, river beds  full of builders and raw mountain sides, NO
6.   Is it absolutely necessary to invest in longer sway bar links and HD rear springs? If you want extra clearance, yes. The longer links are only required if you install lift kits.., not for HD springs. HD springs only help with carrying extra load without too much sag (at back)
7.   I was thinking of sump protection – the plastic one does not look like it would survive to well in rough conditions. Plastic does nothing for protection. One trip in sand, and it's gone. Get a proper sump guard, if you want to venture into offroad passes/rocky places/... The sump(s) is/are vulnerable.
8.   Why would one fit an Alu radiator? Would these alterations not affect the warranty? I had (over)heat problems on my car, when tackling difficult roads. The (SG type) Forester radiators were prone to failure(+/- 200k km), more so on the XT's. We planned/did a trip to Nam, so I decided to fit the Alu radiator, just for peace-of-mind.
I'm sure SSA would object.
My opinion: the stock radiator on the SG is undersized. I can't say about later modules

9.   What about the tyres Your rim size determines the price. 16" tyres are more expensive than 15", but I think better priced than 17". It's all about "popularity" The Fozzies have limited options for other rims, due to the stud spacing... and rim offset..... If you want to travel off-tar, go for AT tyres.
Then again, I had many more punctures on tar than on garvel. But, noramlly a puncture on gavel (if caused by stone) generally destroys the tyre, where as on tar it is mostly a nail/screw/.., which can be plugged


I am also looking at making a fixed kitchen type unit that fits in the back – Like I used to have in my hilux.,,,,,as simple as possible with a flip open door that also serves as a cooking platform (because there is no tailgate) a small fridge and a small cooker Take a look at "Hectic Leisure" https://www.hecticleisure.co.za/home We have one of these, and it's much more good than not.

Subaru Forester 2005 2.5 Xsel
Always looking for a tar free "road"
Brackenfell, W'Cape

June 22, 2019, 06:59:33 PM
Reply #5

stefmau

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Agree with all that Bernd has said.
These cars are tough as nails, comfortable on tar and gravel and off the beaten track, but get horribly abused in places where other vehicles have low range to get through or over.

Best investments for me so far were:
1. Alu sump guard (Loopsoosstroop / Pieter on forum)
2. Downgrade to 16” rims to fit AT tyres with a higher profile
3. Front runner roof rack for extra space

Next would be Alu radiator conversion for piece of mind and a 1” spaced lift kit

These cars are super capable and will take you many places in luxury that others can’t, but bear in mind they are an SUV and not a bakkie ito space and over landing capabilities.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

June 23, 2019, 09:47:51 PM
Reply #6

berndp

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Some pics of the carrier:





Subaru Forester 2005 2.5 Xsel
Always looking for a tar free "road"
Brackenfell, W'Cape

June 27, 2019, 05:52:27 PM
Reply #7

Ziggy

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 Default Re: Subaru camping conversions for ballies!

    I have been doing some thinking and have come up with this.....
    Go small and light on EVERYTHING! Take nothing unnecessary. The less we take the less there is to clean pack etc – the less work to be done


    Should be able to have set up camp in 30 minutes max – and pack up in more or less the same time


    Fridge freezer must be as small as possible (thinking of a Dometic CFX 28 AC/DC Fridge/Freezer which weighs 17.5kg and is 62 x 34,2 x 42,5 (h) cm – with a 26l capacity. More than enough for two of us for a few days. Fridge placed behind the driver set – and dual battery unit on the floor behind the centre console if it fits, otherwise behind passenger seat)


    Small 3-4 person quick erect tent where you can at least almost stand up


    Light weight but efficient stove and pots and pans and utensils, crockery, cutlery etc. Kind of like a few steps above mountaineering style (I used to be a mountaineer)


    No piles of clothes and things - 2 small bags each. Enough for 5 or 6 days without having to wash clothes


    Try and “box” everything that is packed into the car, that way you can stay organised.


    Everything to be easily accessible. Arrive at a campsite, remove tent and bedding from roof rack and erect. Kitchen area in back of vehicle with everything ready at hand – no unpacking


    Pull out awning on roof rack. Place table and chairs


    LED lighting installed in kitchen area with extension to tent (must have two battery system for lights and fridge)


    Try and be self-sufficient in terms of food or 5-6 days


    Try and go places where extra fuel is not required – but make provision for carrying 2x10l containers n the roof rack


    Carry no more than 20 l of drinking water if possible


    For the back packing area (kitchen and spare-wheel) the idea is as in the diagram below – obviously still have to measure and proportion correctly. I will first assemble everything that we will be taking and see how it fits (food excluded) – then draw up a final plan. I thought of using plywood (as light as possible) but sturdy enough. Instead of drawers, find appropriately sized plastic containers to slot into shelves. The only slide out drawer will be the stove drawer.

    Once the spare wheel has been relocated, then there will be ample space to use the spare wheel area for additional packing (but careful not to put too much weight at the back)
    I need to investigate how to ensure that everything is tied down and safe inside the car.

    The challenge is now to convince the wife that this is necessary. She still has the idea that we will be staying in B&B’s mainly!!!!

    I will still have to do a costing as well. I want this to be ready for our first trip by early next year – there are other things planned this year


June 27, 2019, 05:57:32 PM
Reply #8

Ziggy

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Hi Ziggy

0: Where are you based?

Thanks for the very informative response!
1.   Your pics are not too clear on the spare wheel and jerry can mountings. Does the Spare wheel swing out so that you can open the back door? The gadget is mounted to a flip-down "Holdfast" bicycle carrier, mounted at the towbar. The whole contraption(jerrycan and sparewheel) swings down (approx 45') to allow rear door to open.
Can you send a pic if you have please. You mentioned that you were going to post more pics? Pics will be slow in coming,as I get home late, and don't have time/energy to do this now. Work :(
2.   The problem for me with a roof top tent is that I can only enter and exit my yard through the garage door – which means I would have to put the tent on and off in the road. Ground level will be fine My RTT(RoofTopTent) clears my garage door by a few millimeters. Your car (+ tent might be higher ???) Ground level sucks, except for the fact that it is not attached to the car
3.   I was thinking of removing the back seats – even if it’s just the one side, so that I can still take a passenger if needed. There is a lot of packing space in those rear seats.
4.   Where would one keep the petrol outside of the car – roof rack?  You mentioned that you made a mounting? Roof mounting has 2 problems: Loading/offloading and weight high up is to be kept to minimum, to keep centre-of-gravity low
5.   I have not tested the capabilities of the Foz - I have the 2018 XS CVT. What do you mean that the Foz is not a rock crawler? It is not a Land Rover(or Hilux :D) type vehicle. Sand is lekker, gravel is lekker, gravel passes are lekker, dongas - take care, river beds  full of builders and raw mountain sides, NO
6.   Is it absolutely necessary to invest in longer sway bar links and HD rear springs? If you want extra clearance, yes. The longer links are only required if you install lift kits.., not for HD springs. HD springs only help with carrying extra load without too much sag (at back)
7.   I was thinking of sump protection – the plastic one does not look like it would survive to well in rough conditions. Plastic does nothing for protection. One trip in sand, and it's gone. Get a proper sump guard, if you want to venture into offroad passes/rocky places/... The sump(s) is/are vulnerable.
8.   Why would one fit an Alu radiator? Would these alterations not affect the warranty? I had (over)heat problems on my car, when tackling difficult roads. The (SG type) Forester radiators were prone to failure(+/- 200k km), more so on the XT's. We planned/did a trip to Nam, so I decided to fit the Alu radiator, just for peace-of-mind.
I'm sure SSA would object.
My opinion: the stock radiator on the SG is undersized. I can't say about later modules

9.   What about the tyres Your rim size determines the price. 16" tyres are more expensive than 15", but I think better priced than 17". It's all about "popularity" The Fozzies have limited options for other rims, due to the stud spacing... and rim offset..... If you want to travel off-tar, go for AT tyres.
Then again, I had many more punctures on tar than on garvel. But, noramlly a puncture on gavel (if caused by stone) generally destroys the tyre, where as on tar it is mostly a nail/screw/.., which can be plugged


I am also looking at making a fixed kitchen type unit that fits in the back – Like I used to have in my hilux.,,,,,as simple as possible with a flip open door that also serves as a cooking platform (because there is no tailgate) a small fridge and a small cooker Take a look at "Hectic Leisure" https://www.hecticleisure.co.za/home We have one of these, and it's much more good than not.


thanks for the detailed responses!!! I have decided (after speaking to Subaru when I went for my service yesterday) to try and keep the vehicle unmodified - mainly because of warranty reasons - and that I don't really intend doing any serious off road stuff like I used to in my Hilux. If I cant get there in my Subaru, then I dont go there! At the most I will do some sump protection

I am based in Durban

June 27, 2019, 06:00:29 PM
Reply #9

Ziggy

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Agree with all that Bernd has said.
These cars are tough as nails, comfortable on tar and gravel and off the beaten track, but get horribly abused in places where other vehicles have low range to get through or over.

Best investments for me so far were:
1. Alu sump guard (Loopsoosstroop / Pieter on forum)
2. Downgrade to 16” rims to fit AT tyres with a higher profile
3. Front runner roof rack for extra space

Next would be Alu radiator conversion for piece of mind and a 1” spaced lift kit

These cars are super capable and will take you many places in luxury that others can’t, but bear in mind they are an SUV and not a bakkie ito space and over landing capabilities.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Yes - will get a roof rack - and sump protection.  Subaru says radiators are much improved on the 2018 model and dont really need an alu radiator