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2005 Forester X
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I bought a 2005 Forester X (NA) about a week or so ago now and apart from it being pretty disgusting inside and out, I love it!

I'm looking to use the car for solo - hopefully with some new equipment and potentially mods - and couples camping. I'm looking to take a tent and things to camp, but also to sleep inside the car itself. I know roof tents are a thing, but they're still prohibitively expensive from what I've researched.

Does anyone have any experience with this? I've measured up the back on the Forester with the back seats down for space and I fit perfectly at an angle; I'd be looking to get a double roll mat to soften the floor, and the obvious camping gear.

I appreciate this is a pretty niche subject and area of interest, just wanted any input if there was any knowledge here or any input from others.

Thank you for your time.
 

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1999 Forester Green beater with AC
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If it was me, (I like camping) I would just sleep in the cab. Buy some mosquito netting and hot glue/super glue some magnets to it to cover the windows so you can have air flow. Stow everything in the cab when driving and setup your campsite and have a good time. A roof rack or a roof top container (yakima or thule) and your in business. Have a good time and see places.
I used to live in North Idaho and I would sleep in the back of my truck and enjoy the outdoors. Now I live in Houston Tx. so I will be hopefully taking some time and go to new places like Western Texas, New Mexico Rockies in my forester.
 

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2005 Forester X
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If it was me, (I like camping) I would just sleep in the cab. Buy some mosquito netting and hot glue/super glue some magnets to it to cover the windows so you can have air flow. Stow everything in the cab when driving and setup your campsite and have a good time. A roof rack or a roof top container (yakima or thule) and your in business. Have a good time and see places.
I used to live in North Idaho and I would sleep in the back of my truck and enjoy the outdoors. Now I live in Houston Tx. so I will be hopefully taking some time and go to new places like Western Texas, New Mexico Rockies in my forester.
A mosquito net is an incredible suggestion I'd never thought of! Hanging that up to help keep the windows down overnight is a genius move. Any other suggestions for things you took with you on camping trips I might not have thought of?

I really appreciate the help, thank you!
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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5,667 Posts
Yep - there are many that have used off-the-shelf solutions (like the Luno mattress set ups) to custom built (like the thread above and others). They cost a bit over 300-bucks (US). They also have a number of accessories that can add to the "metal tent" concept - privacy screen, storage solutions and more.

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There are also off-the-shelf tents and/or canopy set ups that wrap around the rear end with the hatch open to give you more space and that tent-like feel. Some are just a canopy add on to full tents. Like the mattress, these options can be pricey, but in some cases, not too bad...

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With some simple skills, you can make a custom built sleeping platform with add-on features (like extra storage, mounts for refrigerators, storage, etc.).

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There are a ton of paths you can take for solo and couple camping. Honestly, the roof is your only limit...well, and how tall you may be ...
 

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2022 Forester Wilderness
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546 Posts
When I go car camping with two or three people (when I have my son, or when my ex-wife tags along), my Forester is 100% maxed out with gear. I never contemplated sleeping in it, since I hate sleeping in cars, but if I did, all our gear would have to stay outside overnight. I have seen posts here on the forum, where people have decked out the cargo space for sleeping, and it seems to work well for them, but I always wonder where they keep their stuff when they go that route.
 

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2022 Forester Wilderness
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View attachment 569471

There are a ton of paths you can take for solo and couple camping. Honestly, the roof is your only limit...well, and how tall you may be ...
Looking at this beautiful setup, I can't help but wonder what happens in a crash, and whether all that cabinetry turns into a deadly load crushing the passengers...(?). I admit that concern was part of the reason I decided to get a roof basket, so all the hard stuff can go outside of the car and fly off if necessary rather than being catapulted inside the cabin.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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The platforms and all of the cabinetry and such is locked into place - usually either by being bolted to the sidewall or the floors or by some other source of connecting the units to keep them stable. Mind you - in an accident, the laws of physics will do what they will do - but usually this is going to be pretty secure. I have a friend that made a storage drawer set up for the back of his Crosstrek and - while it was removeable as needed - it was secured in place with straps and hooking up to other cargo tie-downs in the rear space.

It really is not any different from the "professional" set ups (like from ARB and others) ...

Personally, I'm not sure I could / would sleep in the back of my Forester, either, but in some cases, it may be just what the doctor (or the owner) ordered.

Yes, you have to consider how you're going to load up your gear - either buy having some type of secure storage on the roof (a locking cargo box) and in the front seat space. Would it be easier to just use a roof-top tent or something? Sure. But then again, there are times when you cannot use a tent - such as some national parks with bears and other wild creatures that can rip through some nylon walls.

Plus having 2 small/medium dogs, lifting them up and down a ladder to a roof-top tent will be troublesome, let alone my own back issues climbing up and down and setting it all up, as well.

Personally? This is my choice -

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.. but behind my Forester, obviously. And then there are the dozens of styles and types of "tear drop" units, too. Then you just need to be sure of the weight and how much you pack and can tow.

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Depending on your preferences, I’d suggest a ground tent and air mattress or pads. The Gazelle t4 is what we use, and it allows us to leave camp setup to explore or run for supplies.

I would only suggest sleeping inside for safety or necessity sake.
 
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