Camping in a Honda Element

I realize I have written quite a bit about our road trip out west, but I think this topic definitely deserves its own post.  For 8 nights, our Honda Element (who we lovingly call Elsafie or “Ellie” for short) was our shelter and our bed.  Elements are pretty versatile vehicles.  They are great for everyday use and they do a great job hauling stuff as well.  During the almost 4,000 miles that we covered, we comfortably fit everything we needed and there was still room for us to sleep.  

Setting up a Bed in an Element

Setting up the bed is really quite simple.  To start, open both doors, move the front seat forward, and remove the headrest.  Put the back seat down and leave a slight incline.


Next, recline the front seat and move it back so it is touching the back seat.  In our experience, we lined up the front seat so it was just a little higher than the front of the back seat.  If it is lower and  you are a side sleeper, you will really notice a gap.


Now your bed is set up.  For a little extra comfort, place a camping mat down.  Add your sleeping bag and pillow and you are all set.


During our trip

The beds worked great during our road trip.  Sleeping was no 5 star hotel, but it was comfortable enough that we could rest well.  Having the slight incline on the back seat helps make it a little more comfortable.  You may have to try a couple different angles before you find the one you like.  One thing to keep in mind is that you need to find a place to store all of  your gear.  Because the seats are elevated a little from the floor there is space underneath the bed.  For larger items, you will need to move those towards the front or leave them outside if you are comfortable with that.  We kept this in mind as we packed for our road trip.  We bought a flatter cooler, and kept things in medium-size containers rather than one large container.  In the rear of the vehicle, we were able to fit a large duffle bag underneath the seats, so there is some room for one or two larger items.  For privacy and to block out the light, we put in our Reflectix window inserts.  They worked great.  Even after the sun came up, it was nice and dark in the car.  Below are a couple of pics from our actual set up on the trip.




7 Responses to “Camping in a Honda Element”

  1. t says:

    hey, thanks for blogging about nicolette forest camping & posting campsite pics. plan to head up there soon for the 1st time, was researching, you gave me good stuff here. and just had to say, i car camp in my rav4 (similar to your element) & have curtains i made w/ velcro tabs to stick up, but they’re kinda fussy to put up/take down/put up… your window covering idea is great- something directly on the window is a neater look & saves space- won’t roll over & pull my velcro down. i don’t need dark as much as just privacy so you got me thinking maybe window-cling stuff… gonna prowl the hardware store for my final product! thanks, great webpage.

  2. spdrflyr says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Max and I are heading out soon for extended road trip across US and Canada. Max is my second Element and hope camping in Max is successful. Great ideas for Windows will do same. Cheers.

  3. […] Camping in a honda element | get out and go camping […]

  4. Mahmoud says:

    I want to say Honda XR250, as the cam cover and rocker caps, clucth arm and clucth casing would match, but not sure about the shaped trim cover over the oil filter.

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