Introduction: Honda Fit Camper

Picture of Honda Fit Camper

The goal was pretty simple, make a Honda Fit into a stealth camper, objectives were clear as much storage as possible all while making it comfortable. We didn't want to mark any permanent changes to the car, due to a desire to not affect resell value and have the ability to remove it in a moments notice if passengers wanted to ride in the back seat.

Step 1: Step 1: Design

Picture of Step 1: Design

I searched around the internet looking for some plans with little to no help, most projects had lots major non-moving pieces and so we started trying to think of ideas on our own and so the designing begin.

A rased platform was the idea we wanted to go with so we would have storage underneath.

It started pretty simply moving everything out of the back and started moving seats around. The original vision was to fold the front seats froward and build the platform as close to them as possible giving us ruffly 6.5 feet from the back of the car to the folded seats, but as we started moving seats around we found that the front seats actually folded flat backwards only sticking up about 8 inches, this was a huge discovery as that meant we could actually build over the top of them giving us a extra 2 feet of platform space covering over 8 feet of space from back of the car to the dash.

to maximize storage we choose to use 2 by 10s on end as the base frame allowing us to have 10 inches of storage underneath the entire platform excluding the area that the front seats would be folded down backwards.

A 2x10 frame would be built with a option to be folded flat and then a cross piece would be used through the center all the way up though the center console.

that was the plan!!!

like all projects it did change a little during the build with the biggest change being the adding of 2 legs on either side near the seats for added support and then, we also went with the original idea of folding up the the driver seat to protect the steering wheel and to allow for more storage underneath.

Step 2: Step 2: Tools and Materials

Picture of Step 2: Tools and Materials

Tools used:

  • Drill
  • Circular saw
  • table saw
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • square

Materials used:

  • 4x8 sheet of 3/4 inch plywood
  • 2-2x10x8
  • 4 - 3in hinges here
  • 6 - 4in strip hingest here
  • 2 inch wood screws
  • 1-1/4 inch wood screws

Step 3: Step 3: Building the Folding Frame

Picture of Step 3: Building the Folding Frame

we measured the with of the car and used that as the middle piece and then based the length of the foldouts on that with.

as you can see in the pictured we shortened one side and used a block on the other so to that it would be able to fold flat as much as 3 2x10s can be folded.

the spine that runs down the center was quite easy however we did make one adjustment that wasn't originally planned for, we off set the spine to by pass the emergency break and it would have a more solid place to rest when weighted with a person laying on the platform.

we used 5 inch piece of plywood on top of the spine to be able to catch the two folding plywood pieces without using any screws of fasteners.

Step 4: Step 4: Building the Platform

Picture of Step 4: Building the Platform

the platform was one of the easier parts of the entire build but we did make a couple of changes to the original design.

as noted in the above photo instead of folding the drivers seat all the way back we decided to fold it forward because due to the steering wheel we weren't going to game much space and our fear was that the wood could possibly damage the steering wheel if always pushed up against it.

we hinged it right on top of the frame to make sure the hinges would give us the support that would be need to have someone sleep on top of the platform.

Step 5: Step 5: Final Supports

after fitting the plywood platform in we realized the front corners were not going to have the support needed only from the spine so we added 2 legs one on each side.

on the passenger side we put the leg down right on the corner hitting the floor dead center of the floorboard.

the driver side leg we had to be a little more creative we set it back a little bit so that the leg would sit on the floorboard of the backseat.

we used a hinges to allow them to fold up onto the platform.

Step 6: Step 6: Finalizing Things and Things I Would Change.

Picture of Step 6: Finalizing Things and Things I Would Change.

its a pretty simple afternoon build. as you can see from the photo above the entire platform is small enough that it can fit in the car with seating for 3 and can sleep 2 when laid out inside the car.

Its simple to store this in a small apartment closet when not in use and doesn't effect the car at all.

we slept in this fit for a week while camping in wisconsin a day after we finished things.

The only things we changed was adding a screen over the windows so that we could air out the car a little during the hot summer nights. and added some velcro on the legs to keep them from falling down during the installing and removing process.

Comments

Patk2713 (author)2017-08-07

Well done, ideas that can be used other vehicles as well.

User1 (author)2017-08-06

"but as we started moving seats around we found that the front seats actually folded flat backwards only sticking up about 8 inches, this was a huge discovery as that meant we could actually build over the top of them giving us a extra 2 feet of platform space covering over 8 feet of space from back of the car to the dash."

This is actually pointed out in the User Manual.

JMYilla (author)2017-08-05

Nice work! I like the idea of folding the front seats down during "sleep mode" and the hinged frame. The Fit is such a great car for this kind of thing (and everything except offroading)

Very similar to the project we did in 2015: https://www.instructables.com/id/Ultimate-Road-Trip-Car-Conversion-Honda-Fit/

sylviahamilton (author)2017-08-02

nice! i love that determined people can make what they need, when they need, using simple, affordable materials. Good job!

Swansong (author)2017-08-01

That's a neat setup :) I miss my Fit we had in Japan, they can store a lot!