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My Adorable Honda Accord Car Camper Set Up

Updated: May 24


After a year of being obsessed with van life and traveling in a camper van I borrowed, I had to go back to using my little Honda Accord.


It's a great car, sturdy and reliable, but I was sad to let go of the van.



I loved the adventurous lifestyle of traveling in a camper van, so I decided to convert my little car into a tiny home on wheels! I don't live in this vehicle, but I love having it set up so that I could go on a road trip without having to stay at hotels.


In this article, I will share with you all the car camping essentials you need to get started on this lifestyle, along with tips and inspo.


If you love travel, but can't afford expensive plane tickets and hotels, this may be the solution for you.


You can pack up any car with all daily life essentials and hit the road on an epic adventure, in which you camp out in your car, mostly.


I find this to be an adequate replacement of van life. Sure, a small car camper is less spacious, but there are many benefits of car camping vs van life:


  • Stealthier

  • More fuel efficient

  • Easier to park and reverse

  • Less expensive parts for repairs


Part of converting a car into a camper is bringing just the right vibes! I've done my best to make my Honda Accord camper adorable and cozy. I decorated it with fairy lights, fake plants, and decorations. I'm going for a dreamy boho mermaid look.


Here's a little glimpse.


In my cozy car camper with the fairy lights on


diy car camper window covers decorated with beachy aesthetic. Motivational messages on the door. cute  car camper.

Check out my full no build car camper tour video!




Now I will share about the different elements of my car camper.

Table of contents:




Kitchen


One thing in life that is certain is that we need food to survive. Having a kitchen setup is an important part of packing for a car camping trip.


propane stove camping

















Here's what I bring for kitchen:


car camping kitchen set up

I found the little table on the sidewalk, where people in Philly place things they are throwing out. One man's trash is another man's treasure! It's just the right size, and folds up perfectly to lay flat in my trunk.


The chair was a Christmas gift from my mom. Thanks mom! It's perfect that it's a blue chair, because it's the color of the ocean!



Check out this handy dandy camping cooking set that comes in a nice little case with over 15 pieces. Got it at Walmart.


Walmart is a great store to shop at for beginner campers on a budget. They have a decent camping section with a plethora of camping basics! You can also overnight park in some Walmart parking lots. Just be careful. Even if you don't see a no overnight parking sign, it's always a good idea to go in and double check with customer service, to avoid getting "the knock."



Sleep


Now, my sleep system isn't ideal, but I'm still working on the conversion. For now, when I sleep in here:


  1. I move both front seats forward.

  2. I put cushions on the floor in the back.

  3. I put down some foam pieces, a comforter, a sleeping bag, a normal sized pillow and a tiny one, and a throw blanket.

  4. I can lay mostly flat if I lay at an angle, or I can lay on my side with my legs bent

car camping sleep system

Of course I added this mermaid pillow that I was gifted.



Here's something I'd love to try out:


car camping bed amazon

If anyone has used something like this before, let me know how it works!


Watch me set up my bed in this video:




Office


I have a remote digital marketing job that I love to do outside in my car! If I were traveling I could stop at cafes and bars to work, but I could also just get the work done in my car.


Having an office set up is important, because there's only so much time you can spend working at a cafe before the owners get annoyed. Let me tell you about how I get my work done.


My lap desk is perfect for getting work done on my laptop, and my car seat storage organizers have all the space for office supplies such as pens, tape, paper, scissors, and clips.


 For internet, I can use my mobile hot spot. There are also devices you can get that will give you internet from anywhere, such as a Starlink.


working in car camper
car seat storage organizers


If it's too warm to work in the car, or I just feel like being more immersed in nature, I can set up my table and do work from out there.




Bathroom


When you gotta go, you gotta go. There are many methods for going to the bathroom while car camping. Depending on the size of your car you may be able to fit a travel potty, or basic bucket potty inside.


I, on the other hand, have made up a simple little system for going to the bathroom in a pinch. This cost me $3 to make and is great for emergencies. I've only used it when I really needed to.


You take a large tupperware container, place a bag inside, fill it with kitty litter, and do your business while squatting over it. Then you just close it up until it's time to empty. It does need to be cleaned very often though.


I've only used it for going number 1. It works just fine for that. I also have a stand to pee device that I use so I don't have to pull my pants all the way down. It comes in handy for going to the bathroom in your car and for if you are out in the woods.


I made this tupperware toilet using supplies from the Dollar Tree, then I made a cute little sign to put on top.


To stay clean I have a camping shower that is easy to use and easy to store! This is a great option for staying at a camp ground or wild camping.


Fill this bag with water and leave it in the sun. Then you can hang it from a tree and give yourself a warm shower. You'll need to be in a swimsuit, unless you have a camping privacy pop up tent.

camping shower amazon













Another tip for maintaining cleanliness is to use a wash cloth or baby wipes to clean yourself. It works great for getting rid of sweat and grime. It's a good option to have in case you are in an area with people everywhere. You can wipe yourself off from your car, or in a public bathroom stall.



Here is a list of all the toiletries I keep in my car:


  • Wet wipes

  • First aid kit

  • Travel toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Dental floss

  • Deodorant

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Chapstick

  • Camp soap

  • Wash cloth

  • Hand mirror

  • Tweezers

  • Nail clippers

  • Cotton swabs





Privacy


When sleeping in your car, you'll definitely want something to cover the windows. No one wants people looking in at them while they sleep. Yikes! Find out how I made these DIY window covers with an adorable coastal touch.



I made these window covers out of Reflectix material and contact paper from Amazon. Then I added some starfish stickers and this porthole drawing I made to make it feel like I'm looking out from a ship.


I had to duct tape some pieces together since the Reflectix I got was too small.

how i made my diy car camping window covers

I plan to cover the backside in black material. This way it will just look like super tinted windows, rather than being obvious that there are window covers. You don't want people to know you're in there. Better to be as stealthy as possible. If it looks as though someone is living in a car, someone might try to break in, assuming a lot of valuables are inside.


In this video I show you how I made my DIY car camping window covers.


Another useful product is this car curtain that I use if I am sitting in the back. Instead of covering all the windows, I just slide my curtains closed and cover the back windows only. I bought this from Amazon.

car camping window curtain

In the back window of my car I use a piece of teal fabric as a curtain. I pin the fabric on the ceiling and let it drape down, tucked behind the head rests. Looks cute and provides coverage.



Trunk



The trunk is crucial in this car camper. It is where I store my food and clothes (both in an enclosed container), my large water dispenser, collapsible sink, camping shower, table, chair, extra cushions, a towel, camping stove, and a storage bin full of random things (my junk drawer).


Also in the trunk are my spare tire and some tools. It's important to have a spare tire when on the road a lot. I've gotten caught without one before after getting a flat tire. It adds a lot of extra steps to have to go find the right tire.


The trunk is also the perfect spot to keep other emergency supplies, such as jumper cables, a tire patching kit, and extra oil.




Heat control


Things can get toasty in a vehicle, so it's important to be prepared. You'll likely want to leave your windows open for fresh air, but then bugs can get inside. It's no fun trying to sleep in a warm car full of mosquitos, trust me.


Bug screens are a great thing to buy to let fresh air in and keep out bugs. I highly recommend them! They also give you extra privacy.


my car camping bug screens

I have this nice little device that is a fan, a light, and a usb port all at once! Grab one from here.


my camping fan from amazon


Window covers, as mentioned above, not only provide privacy, but also shade. They keep the sunlight out, helping your car to stay slightly cooler.


Sometimes you have to let the AC run for a bit to cool down the car. A Prius is a good car for camping in the heat. The Prius uses an electric AC compressor, which means the AC can function without the gasoline engine running. This allows you to cool the cabin even when the car is stationary.



Electricity


In today's age, it's nearly impossible to go without electricity. When you're car camping, you don't have easy access to electricity. But there are some solutions.


You can get a portable power station, such as a Jackery. Sadly, I don't have one, but I have some devices that I can use to charge my phone and laptop.


Here is a 12 volt converter than can be plugged into your car's cigarette lighter. It is useful for a long drive, but the problem is that you need to run your car to use this, or else you can kill the car's battery.














Please ignore how dirty the passengers seat is...



I also have several fans that double as lights, and usb ports. In this video I share more about those.




Trash


Another great item that I found on the street is this nice little trash can with a lid. It's the perfect size for my car, fitting a standard shopping bag, to make disposal easier.


The thing about this size is that it means you'll have to take out the trash more often. The good thing about that is it is better for the community that you are only throwing small bags of garbage into public trash cans. Car dwellers who throw out large bags of trash in public trash cans are frowned upon and even make other car dwellers have a bad reputation.


I also keep lots of trash bags and shopping bags in my car. These are useful for when I'm cleaning all the junk out of the front seats, or if I decide to do some trash picking outside. I have bags tucked into all the nooks and crannies of my car, unintentionally.



Self defense


When living in your car, it's extremely important to prioritize safety. It's a wild world out there, and we have to be prepared for the worst. In this case, the worst is having someone break into your car.

















It's important to have some kind of weapon, whether it's a knife, or pepper spray. I keep this knife in my car in case I have to defend myself. I would have pepper spray, but I have a fear of accidentally spraying myself with it.



Tools


I have my fair share of multi tools. I can't get enough of them! Here are two that I always have in my car. One is a little pocket knife key chain, and the other is a tool that is a ruler, pliers, knife, saw, and screw driver. One thing I love about the blue pocket knife is that it comes with a reusable toothpick and some tweezers. Things you may not think to bring camping.



Backpacking

backpack for backpacking hike


















You didn't think I'd have a car camper without backpacking stuff did you? I bring this backpack with me on all my adventures.


Inside the backpack I have some survival stuff. It is wise to have a go bag like this in case of emergency situations, like being stranded.




Everything I keep in my backpack:


  • First aid kit

  • Thermal layers

  • extra socks and underwear

  • Rain poncho

  • Headlamp

  • Torch and lighter

  • Duct tape

  • Pen and paper

  • Sewing kit

  • Umbrella

  • Twine

  • Multi tool

  • Scissors

  • Water bottle

  • Snacks

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Wipes



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Well, that brings us to the end. I hope you like my car camper! I've worked really hard to turn it into something I could live out of, if I ever needed to. I also just have fun going on adventures in it, even when I don't sleep in there.


Each car is full of endless potential. I love having my own space, that I decorated and made into a little living space. I can go anywhere I want in it. Anywhere I can drive to, at least. It brings me such a sense of freedom. It seems weird to some people, but that's okay.


I'm here to encourage you to live out your wildest dreams, no matter how wacky they may seem to others!



Note: This article includes affiliate links. When you shop from them I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.



About the author


Shello! My name is Mermaid Liv, a professional mermaid and content creator. I share my love of mermaiding through this blog, along with my Youtube channel.


If you've never heard of it before, mermaiding is a hobby, profession, and sport that involves wearing mermaid tails made for swimming.


I began making tails in 2013 and have continued my mermaid journey, starting my Youtube channel, working at a mermaid festival, performing at gigs, and being featured in the Netflix Docu Series MerPeople.



Follow me on Instagram for mermaid photos and videos: @the_real_mermaid_liv and be *shore* to check out my Youtube channel.



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