We have seen vans converted into campers, but did you know SUVs can also be converted as well? This conversion leaves you with less room than a van, but it still gives you the freedom of the open road and shelter all in one. You could travel to Canada or Idaho, or whatever other landbound destination you have in mind.
The possibilities are endless with this transport vehicle and you won't be disappointed by the results as you experience everything the world has to offer. Keep reading to learn about ten hacks to turn your SUV into the camper of your dreams!
10 TAKE OUT THE MIDDLE SEATS
The first tip is to remove or fold down your middle seats, as this allows you to maximize the amount of sleeping room you will have.
If you can't remove the seats from your vehicle you should fold the top down and pull them as far to the front as you can, to increase the storage space you can make available in the back. If your seats can be removed you should check your car manual to see exactly how it is done, but most involve pulling a few levers or the use of a special tool.
9 BUILD A BED PLATFORM
Bed platforms are placed in the rear of your vehicle and provide a place to set your mattress. The way you make it can be as creative as you want it to be, with multiple templates and designs online for you to choose from.
The one pictured above is specifically for taller people whose legs won't fit in the back of a car, but other designs come in twin and single platform sizes. Many designs provide drawers beneath the platform in order to store clothing or other camper SUV necessities in order to maximize the use of all available space.
8 BUY A MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS
You can try to put your regular mattress in the back of your SUV, but it probably won't work for two reasons. The first is the height of the mattress will take away any precious room you had left to sleep in and the second is the width of your mattress probably won't allow it to fit within the car.
The best option is to buy a memory foam mattress topper and cut it to size to fit your vehicle and your bed platform. Other people use multiple foam mattress toppers to increase their comfort, but it is entirely dependent upon the amount of room you have between your bed and the roof of your SUV.
7 PURCHASE A HOUSE BATTERY
A house battery is better known as a 12 vdc battery and can be bought at your local Walmart. These are a must-have for any SUV conversion as it allows you to have power even after shutting off your vehicle, and lends you the ability to add outlets, so you can charge your phone or other devices while you sleep.
You may want to have a friend versed in the art of electrical wiring to help you do this, just to ensure everything is wired correctly to prevent any accidents.
6 INSTALL A SOLAR SHOWER
When you are on the open road you might not always end up somewhere that offers you a shower, which is why it is important you bring your own.
You can mount a PVC pipe to the roof of your car and attach a spigot to the end of it. You fill up the pipe and as you drive the sun heats up the cold water, so when it does come time to shower the water is warmed to your liking.
5 A CEILING FAN IS PERFECT FOR THE HEAT
When you stop for an evening it is nice to have some sort of cooling system for the hot nights you spend in your camper SUV. You have a few different options when it comes to this, but the most popular one is to put a fan system in the moonroof of your vehicle.
The one pictured above was homemade, but you can also buy premade versions, but they might require a little bit of tweaking. Companies also make fans which fit into your side windows, which involve no further assembly.
4 A MINI FRIDGE CAN HOLD ALL OF YOUR FOOD
Another necessity you need to have is a fridge so you can store your perishable food items. People use these in a variety of ways in terms of placement. There are people who incorporate it into their platform design, having it face the trunk and sit snugly beneath their bed.
Other people install it towards the front of the vehicle, so they have access to their food for the entire journey. You can use a portable or a plug-in mini fridge, either one achieving the same outcome you were hoping for.
3 MAKE A TENT COVER
This is primarily for the people whose legs don't quite fit without popping the trunk. When the trunk is left open all night it leaves you vulnerable to bugs and numerous scavengers, like raccoons. Companies make tents which fit over the back end of you SUV, snugly locking out any unwanted critters.
You also have the option to make your own, by combining multiple old tent covers together to create a sheet to cover the back end of your vehicle. There are others who prefer to use a mosquito net over either one of these options, usually because privacy is not an issue for them.
2 A BATTERY ISOLATOR RELAY CHARGES YOUR BATTERY
A battery isolator relay is a phenomenal tool that charges the house battery you bought by using the energy your vehicle produces as it drives down the road. When you are traveling, you don't have time to stop and charge the battery you depleted as it would waste hours of your precious time.
This tool prevents any delays, but it is recommended you have a professional help you install it to ensure by the time it's done everything still works as it is supposed to.
1 A TABLE CAN MAKE MEALS EASY
The final hack and a luxury you will miss having is a fold-out table. You never realize how useful a table would be until you are stuck in the middle of the woods with nothing but a few moss-covered logs.
Many people install these tables as a part of their bed platform, allowing them to fold out for easy storage. You can even use these to hold a portable grill or other cooking devices to keep them close enough to an outlet while allowing them to remain outside of your vehicle.