EV Camping

Discussion in 'General' started by Domenick, Dec 14, 2017.

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  1. Camping with an EV opens up some unique challenges and opportunities, and now that longer range vehicles are starting to be sold at more affordable prices, more people are going to be exploring the great outdoors in their electric cars.

    To many, that means sleeping in your car. This is a lot safer in an EV, since you can engage the climate controls without the risk of producing deadly carbon monoxide gas. Nothing puts a damper on camping like waking up dead -- probably. Though I haven't seen the film The Revenant yet, but I understand being dead might not actually be the absolutely worst thing. I digress.

    To kick things off, just want to share a photo a Twitter user shared with us. (not sure if he's a Forum member, but if he is, hopefully he'll share a bit more about this.)

    Voila! The Chevy Bolt Nissan LEAF turns into a snug place to spend the night.

    Chevy Bolt camping.jpg
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
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  3. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I had a relative that liked to sleep in her car on road trips. On warm night she wanted to sleep with the rear hatch open, so she got some screen fabric (like the screen on a screen door, but a flexible fabric) and a bunch of small magnets. She placed the magnets around the edge of the hatch and the opening below, to hold it in place and keep the bugs out. That worked surprisingly well.

    She bought a foam pad to use for a mattress, and cut it to fit the inside of the cargo area using a kitchen electric knife. That was surprisingly easy.

    Of course you could spend a lot of money paying for a pre-made kit or paying for a custom job, but she was able to do it pretty cheaply that way, plus just bringing bedclothes from home instead of buying something special for camping in the car.

    I dunno, wouldn't running the cabin heater or the A/C all night risk running the battery down, especially if the night is really cold? The first time or three I tried that, until I had some experience with how much of the battery pack's charge that would drain, I'd want to make sure I parked the car where it could be recharged without moving it, in case you wake up with a fully depleted battery pack. Or stop in a camp ground where you can leave the car plugged in all night, altho of course that means you'd have to pay for a hookup.
  4. I've used utility mode at Drive-ins quite a few times in the past year, usually running the A/C and radio for about 5 hours. The most I've seen my battery drop is 4%, so I definitely think it would be ok to use it overnight while sleeping. Even if it's really cold and you use the heater I bet you could make it through the night and not use more than about 20-25% of the battery.

    Of course, if you get a campsite with an electrical hookup.... just plug in your trickle charger and you'll likely gain more than you use/lose. I picked a random state park near me and the costs were: tent site non-electric $21 a night, same thing with 50 amp electric hookup: only $24 a night. To me the extra $3 bucks is definitely worth it.
  5. This is something that I've thought of recently, and also have considered the possibility of someday towing a small (very small) camper trailer, one of those teardrops. Obviously if sleeping in the car would work, that would be a much cheaper option. It's an interesting idea to ponder. No tent to set up, who cares if it rains, bit safer than a tent if a bear shows up lol.
  6. That screen-with-magnets is a great idea!
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  8. Right? I think I saw someone do a similar thing on YouTube a few weeks ago.
  9. Well, this is not a answer, but I am planning something as this...
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  10. This Canadian company manufactures a host of EV Tents, worth looking into:

    https://www.napieroutdoors.com/shop/suv-minivan-tents/backroadz-suv-tent-19-series/ :)
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  11. I really like this Roof Nest that Brian from I1Tesla uses. I imagine it impacts range, but he still manages to put on thousands of miles with it this summer, so it can't be that bad.
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  13. Nice set-up however I'm more of a "ground dweller". I could see myself stumbling out in the middle of the night for relief forgetting that first rung:eek:
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  14. Same here, plus I have a dog that I take camping with me and obviously he's not getting up there lol.
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  15. miatadan

    miatadan Active Member Subscriber

    For those of us in apartments ( higher floors ) during hot summer sleeping in EV with air conditioning on may be good option but requires good tinted windows for privacy.


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