Anyone camp in a Minivan?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Anyone camp in a Minivan?

    So I had to retire my old Buick Regal and managed to score a Grand Caravan to replace it.

    I'd like to sleep in it when traveling to races or while on any get-away trips to go ride somewhere so I want to be efficient with space. Right now I've been putting the bike frame in on the side with no wheels in it and wrapping the belts around it to keep it upright. That's been out working great and leaves a lot of floor space open. I think the only thing with that is figuring out a good way of storing the wheels, maybe right next to the frame if i can get a blanket to protect it.

    Storage: I've noticed that not having a trunk kinda sucks. I need to figure out some kinda of storage bin to keep all the bike stuff and other stuff in. Looking for ideas on that one.

    Sleeping: The floor seems kinda comfy as is if I stay between the bench seat mounts. Thought I might try it with a pillow. I thought about getting a roll up matt to add so additional cush but if I can get away with one less object that would be nice.

    Ventilation: That's probably going to be the challenge. I've seen the tent things u can put on the back with the hatch open, that's and maybe some day but don't want to buy one right now. I've been thinking about just cracking open the rear hatch a little to allow some air flow, maybe even have rope or something to hold it. However I'm not sure if bugs won't find their way in. Maybe I can find some screens to that hang from magnets or something.

    Sure I could buy a tent, but I have a tent on wheels! I like being off the ground, especially if it rains. Having a metal cage around me is nice too if a tree decides to lose a branch.

    I've seen people build up a 2nd level a couple of feet to have a bed surface with storage underneath, I don't think i wanna go that route though.

    Just lookn for some cheap tips if anyone has done this before.

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  2. #2
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    I have friends that use a Ford Transit Connect. They made a set of bug net covers for the rear hatch and side windows, so they can leave them open for ventilation. They use an inflatable mattress for comfort, and pack everything in large rubber bins for easy loading/unloading.

  3. #3
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    I've thought about it for short trips, but realized I would need some sort of mosquito netting for at least a couple of windows - or bake. I suppose I could make some with netting, sewn in metal strips and magnets..... Or perhaps netting, duct tape and goo remover

    Glen

  4. #4
    jrm
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    Why not add a screened cranking vent in the roof ala 70s van conversion..

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpeden View Post
    I've thought about it for short trips, but realized I would need some sort of mosquito netting for at least a couple of windows - or bake. I suppose I could make some with netting, sewn in metal strips and magnets..... Or perhaps netting, duct tape and goo remover

    Glen
    Roll down front windows (or side windows, if they roll down), attach no-see-um netting with magnets to the outside. Done.

  6. #6
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    Anything specific to search for on amazon? (name etc.)
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by stremf View Post
    Roll down front windows (or side windows, if they roll down), attach no-see-um netting with magnets to the outside. Done.

    yeah, what I had in mind but with the addition of metalic frame plates top and bottom. Stretch it mostly free of wrinkles top to bottom (magnets attached) and peg the sides with loose ones.

    I will get that idea or your simpler one together soon and leave in the van.

    Glen

  8. #8
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    I kinda camp out of my blazer but I sleep in a hammock. If I can't find 2 trees close enough to suit me I'll back it up to a tree and attach one end to the truck.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by neo71665 View Post
    I kinda camp out of my blazer but I sleep in a hammock. If I can't find 2 trees close enough to suit me I'll back it up to a tree and attach one end to the truck.
    Do you use anything for bug abatement?

  10. #10
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    I've slept in my Honda Element on numerous occasions and never use a bug net. I usually just pop open the sun roof and that lets in enough of a breeze. If it's still too hot, I pop open the side back windows, haven't had many bug issues and I'm in MN the land of mosquitoes.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by zephxiii View Post
    Anything specific to search for on amazon? (name etc.)
    The Skeeter Beater
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 43st View Post
    Do you use anything for bug abatement?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQRoEpK-7SY

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Westy View Post
    This ^^^

    I have a Hyundai Entourage (Kia Sedona) and I bought a pair of Skeeter Beaters and they work great. I combine that with a set of sliding door window vents so I can even crack the windows and get some air flow even if it is raining outside.

    I use a cot for sleeping because it allows for storage under it, and it can fold up and out of the way easily. Also it is nice to have something to sit on inside the van for reading or getting dressed.

    Even though putting my bike in the van is pretty simple, I still use a hitch rack to free up more space inside the van. I do have the seats in for day to day driving (car seats too for the kids) and the hitch rack makes things more simple.

    The last thing that I do is take small blankets and towels and use them as shades by closing windows on them. For the rear hatch I have few suction cups to keep the shade up. This keeps the sun out during the day and allows for a bit of privacy.

  14. #14
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    Cool, i've bought some screen and magnets to make some window covers with...because I am cheap.

    I've also bought a toolbox to hold some smaller bike stuff in, and a storage bin. Might need another storage bin but don't know yet.
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  15. #15
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    I picked up a 2010 grand caravan last year for exactly this purpose. its been an awesome weekend camping van. heres the custom bed i built for it. sleep on top, tons of storage underneath, and the middle seats are still functional.
    the rear also has a slide out wood tabletop that is pretty useful

    Anyone camp in a Minivan?-10340150_736625694565_2279524723755846837_n-1-.jpgAnyone camp in a Minivan?-10509608_736625944065_596963749604419584_n.jpgAnyone camp in a Minivan?-10600531_736625894165_859726742569460341_n.jpgAnyone camp in a Minivan?-10606494_736625919115_5917861348314104539_n.jpgAnyone camp in a Minivan?-10629723_736625729495_2123675239585184397_n.jpg

  16. #16
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    Nice

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  17. #17
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    Success!

    I camped my first night in it and it worked out pretty well. I easily packed my bike + 2nd wheelset, other stuff, and had plenty of room to sleep.

    I just need to shop a foam sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and a pillow. I've seen the pads that you can blow up but not sure about those. I guess their not exactly the air mattress I'm used to that I don't care for so maybe it'l be good. Planning another camping trip soon.

    Anyone camp in a Minivan?-camping-voyager.jpg
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  18. #18
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    I sleep in the back of my pick up often. I have an old double thermarest I toss in the bed and good to go. My new truck I just picked up will soon have a Leer cap with storage net and a bed rug. Even more comfy. It's pretty good sleep even with a 5.6ft bed and being 5'10". It wouldnt work for 6ft an over.

  19. #19
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    Rooftop tent!
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