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Old 08-19-2015, 01:34 PM   #1
rcvmini
 
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YARIS weekend camper conversion

So I have a dirty little secret... the wife and I have been doing a fair amount of camping in the YARIS. We have done a 9 day trip from Vancouver down to Monterrey Bay, several weekend trips down to Washington state and Oregon and even the overnight-er across the boarder to pick up amazon.com deliveries.

No we don't just sleep in the front seats... we do it luxury style. With this set up we can lie down flat (i'm only 5'3 and she is about the same) but we are perfectly comfortable. My wife loves sleeping in the car over a tent. we have stealth-camped when needed.

The set up is basic. but with 1 mod. To get a flat bed area the only extra thing that was needed was an old metal shelf from the scrap yard at work. The self is just a little smaller in size then the back trunk area with seats folded up.

In sleep mode the front seats are leaned forward and pulled 1/2 way forward.

The bottom cushion of the back seat has to be removed (unless you have the model that pulls forward) and the back seats folded down.

*** now the key is the pull the headrest out 2 inches or so so that the metal shelf can be laid on the poles of the headrest on one side and the front folded back of the FRONT seats. This creates a flat sleeping area that a thin Ikea foam mattress topper goes on.

Only other thing I did was make black out curtains with cardboard and black cloth for the back side windows, a screen shield for the back window and a curtain that goes around the front seats creating a total private sleep pod.

In this mode we put our extra stuff in the front seats or in a roof bag on top of the car. We can sleep laying flat, sit up part way leaning against the back of the front seats and its like being in a first class pod on an airplane.

BOUNS is that my wife's cell plan as unlimited Data both in Canada and the US so I take my tablet, put it in a mount and hook it to the handle on the back seat door.... BAM! like my own inflight entertainment system.










Last edited by rcvmini; 08-21-2015 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 08-19-2015, 02:15 PM   #2
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That is so cool.
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Old 08-19-2015, 02:38 PM   #3
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That is so cool.
+1
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Old 08-20-2015, 06:31 PM   #4
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Very innovative! What did toy use for a mattress?
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Old 08-20-2015, 07:31 PM   #5
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Very innovative! What did toy use for a mattress?
"...that a thin Ikea foam matress topper goes on."
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Old 08-20-2015, 07:31 PM   #6
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Love it.
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Old 08-20-2015, 07:57 PM   #7
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Love it.
I agree.

I often wished that doing something similar with my 2nd Gen would have been practical. However, I'm a smidge over a foot taller than the OP, so that wouldn't have worked .

P.S. - I just noticed () that the OP has a 5-door rather than a 3-door. Although, IIRC, the inside dimensions are the same....I'd think that this set up would be much more workable with a 5-door 2nd Gen rather than a 3-door.

Last edited by nookandcrannycar; 08-22-2015 at 11:50 PM. Reason: Added P.S.
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Old 08-21-2015, 12:29 AM   #8
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Some other things we have done to make YARIS CAMPER very usable. In sleeper mode there is a fair amount of storage under the gap of the rear seat foot well. A lot of our storage goes there but I always bring a booster pack so I can plug/charge phones in it. Day time we fold he mattress (3 sections) and fold the rear seat back up. The cushion takes the place of my missing rear lower seat. rest of our gear goes in the trunk so its out of sight. From outside it looks like a normal car.

IF we go far and take a lot of gear I put stuff in bags/suitcase and keep it IN the car (keep our fuel efficiency during long trips) and then at night put it on the roof in a roof bag.

I also keep a butane stove under the front passenger seat (use up all the space) and I keep an empty laundry bottle with a bit of soap in it for "emergency use".... for um... number 1

Other things that make it do able - LED flashlight/lamp

we have done a few nights at WALMART when passing through and didn't want to stop off and camp. Most WALMARTS in the US are open 24 hours, have washrooms that are clean and water fountains. Plus if it has a McDonalds then your good for some free wifi.
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Old 08-22-2015, 12:00 AM   #9
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Easier in a Honda Fit with the magic seats, but I had a Fit, and they aren't built nearly as well as a Yaris. Prettier dash though. And the current design of the Fit is horrendous.
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Old 08-22-2015, 07:12 AM   #10
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GREAT!

I removed the front passenger seat from my ECHO and built a removable platform level with the rear seat when folded down so I could drive to AK from NJ and sleep in the car. Unfortunately the trip didn't become feasible until I sold the ECHO and bought a Yaris.

I think if you remove the front seat of a Yaris it wont run?
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Old 08-22-2015, 10:52 AM   #11
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Easier in a Honda Fit with the magic seats, but I had a Fit, and they aren't built nearly as well as a Yaris. Prettier dash though. And the current design of the Fit is horrendous.
Yeah it would be easier. I've also seen yaris HB that have seats that fold flat (buttom slides forward allowing the back to fold flat) but I think those are only options on the RS models.

I didn't buy the YARIS thinking I'd do that it was just more of an inspiration out of necessity.

The metal shelf that made this all possible was something I picked up at work in the scrap pile out of a whim. Thought I'd use it at home for something but then I saw it in the garage and had a "light bulb over my head" moment.

One thing I've seen compared to other "camper vans" are that my black out panels for the windows fit more snug where as people who just hang curtains on a string lose some interior space.
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Old 08-22-2015, 03:27 PM   #12
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That's pretty cool. What is the height limit on your Yaris-Camper setup, before you cannot stretch out straight any longer?

-
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Old 08-22-2015, 10:58 PM   #13
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Nice . Making me groggy . Good night .
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Old 08-22-2015, 11:44 PM   #14
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I think if you remove the front seat of a Yaris it wont run?
My understanding is that you'd only then need the bypass module that CTScott designed (provided the DIY 'install' of same is done correctly ) and then everything would be fine .
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Old 08-22-2015, 11:56 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by BLKHILLSGUY View Post
Easier in a Honda Fit with the magic seats, but I had a Fit, and they aren't built nearly as well as a Yaris. Prettier dash though. And the current design of the Fit is horrendous.
I'd also imagine that a person taller than 5' 3" could stretch out flat (or almost flat) in a Fit.....especially a '15 Fit.
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Old 08-23-2015, 12:01 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by rcvmini View Post
S










I could have used a setup like this back in the day at the drive in movie theatre. Instead, I had something very similar with my 75 hatchback mustang using seat cusions from outdoor furnature....not as nice but served its purpose...
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Old 08-23-2015, 12:13 AM   #17
rcvmini
 
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That's pretty cool. What is the height limit on your Yaris-Camper setup, before you cannot stretch out straight any longer?

-
well in our setup we don't have the front seats pushed up all the way because the shelf isn't that wide. I you were to make a shelf with wood you could push the front seats all the way up and I'd say maybe someone 5'7 at a guess?

we also use thin small/narrow pillows from ikea to give as much head room as possible
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Old 08-23-2015, 12:28 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by bairjo View Post
I could have used a setup like this back in the day at the drive in movie theatre. Instead, I had something very similar with my 75 hatchback mustang using seat cusions from outdoor furnature....not as nice but served its purpose...


Also, your car type and year for some reason takes me back to a night at Malibu Grand Prix....I was driving a 77 (IIRC...re the year) Pinto that my dad had as a dealer car for a few days....and I locked the keys in the car and had to pry and pop open the rear seat side window hinge . I remember that car was orange and white .
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