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.