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2015 Forester 2.0XT H-CVT
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

I searched the thread for a place to post car camping/overlanding trips, but I did not find anything under the offroad fozzies forum. I hope this is the right place, I figured you'll have to "offroad" to get to a remote campsite. Ever since I traded in my 2010 WRX for a 2015 Forester XT, I've been thoroughly enjoying the outdoors much more. I pretty much take lots of photo's and video of my trips and make youtube video's to "capture" the moment. I enjoy watching other peoples youtube video's and find them very useful for giving me ideas for my next trip.

I wanted to start this thread so that we can share the trips we've been on, share the gear we use, and share solutions to common car-camping/overlanding issues we might run into, in our Subaru Foresters.
 

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2015 Forester 2.0XT H-CVT
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Discussion Starter #2
So, one issue we might run into while adventuring in our Fozzies is getting a flat or blown tire. I purchased this combo bottle jack/jack stand and wanted to share. what do you guys think? I know it's not a good idea to use a high jack on our Subaru's, so what other jacks do you guys use when offroad?

 

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2015 Forester 2.0XT H-CVT
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Discussion Starter #3
This post is regarding Gear and Solutions. I went on an remote camping trip with my Girlfriend over the weekend. We came across a beautiful yellow post camping site but when we got there the concrete picnic table did not have any shade. I took the moment to go over my DIY 10ft x 10ft side awning I came up with. I built it for $70 in materials, the most expensive thing being a $30 rip stop tarp kit.

 

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2004 SG Forester 2.5X 5 Speed Dual Range 1.447:1 Rear E-locker, DCCD, Torsen front LSD
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I use a domed awning when camping. It compensates for the low roof height compared to the big 4WD's. Unfortunately, the forum won't let me post a photo
 

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2015 Forester 2.0XT H-CVT
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Discussion Starter #7
That’s a great idea! I never seen this before. I’ve seen the ones that hang on the back rear hatch. Is this something you bought or made?


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2018 Forester XT Touring CVT
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Good idea for a thread, I'm totally into it and will try to contribute here and there. To start I'll share my solution to camping at primitive sites where there isn't a table. Below is my pull out table with hiking trekking poles as legs. Slides into the rear cargo area above my full size spare and between my raised sleeping platform, which levels out the sleeping area.:
DSC07809 by Dustin Boone, on Flickr

DSC07828 by Dustin Boone, on Flickr
 

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2018 Forester XT Touring CVT
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I use a domed awning when camping. It compensates for the low roof height compared to the big 4WD's. Unfortunately, the forum won't let me post a photo
That sounds like what my friend uses for his Honda Element. Pretty neat setup and works well for inclement weather:




Not as easy to setup as some awnings or the roll out, but it was windy and stormy on this trip and with his tiedown methods the thing was solid. You can collapse the legs to make it more of a wind break too if needed. I forget the brand, but it's something designed for VW vans.
 

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2018 Forester XT Touring CVT
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So, one issue we might run into while adventuring in our Fozzies is getting a flat or blown tire. I purchased this combo bottle jack/jack stand and wanted to share. what do you guys think? I know it's not a good idea to use a high jack on our Subaru's, so what other jacks do you guys use when offroad?
I've been looking for a better solution than the OEM jack, but the one time I got a flat it worked fine and I was even on snow, on not quite level ground. I will be lifting my vehicle a couple inches at some point though and then the OEM jack on it's own might not be enough. I'm thinking that a little section of 2" x 4" under it might do the trick though.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
That sounds like what my friend uses for his Honda Element. Pretty neat setup and works well for inclement weather:


***edits in red***
Not as easy to setup as some awnings or the roll out, but it was windy and stormy on this trip and with his tiedown methods the thing was solid. You can collapse the legs to make it more of a wind break too if needed. I forget the brand, but it's something designed for VW vans.

I really like this idea. Looks like you can place this domed awning either on the side or rear hatch.

I searched on amazon and only found the rhino rack version and it goes for $341 . Maybe I can find a way to incorporate a dome on my DIY setup by using a flexible tent pole, since my nylon tarp has a center tab stitched into it.

Regarding the off-road jack. When I busted my tire, my Forester had a tall gap between the ground and jack point. We tried using his bottle jack, but upon lifting, the suspension articulated too much that we couldn’t get the tire off. We were both new to offroading, so we never thought to back the Forester up on leveled ground. So the great thing about the uni-jack is that you can adjust it 1 foot before you start jacking. But the bad thing is that it’s minimum height is 8-5/8, a stock Forester side skirt jacking point sits at 10 to 11 Inches and there might be situations where there won't be enough clearance to slide the bottle jack under. . I have a jack from my old Acura that reduces down to 4 inches or so, it’s so tiny that I can fit it with my recovery gear with no problem.



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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
So I have an idea, but not sure if it will work, since I’m not familiar with solar panels. I don’t know if they need to be vented to the atmosphere or if they are a fire hazard when in a confined space.

I’ve seen solar panels mounted on the top of vehicles before, but living in an apartment in Long Beach,Ca (the place where snoop doggy Dogg is from) theft is a concern. I bet my panels would be ripped off my roof in less than a week.

An idea popped up while looking through Instagram. This guy put reflectives on top of his moonroof cover to keep his Forester cool. I thought, this might be a great place for solar panels !!!!





Obviously I wouldn’t try a heavy duty solar panel, but I see many compact units on Amazon. It would be nice to recharge electronics and possibly run a fridge. Anyone experienced enough with solar to know if this would work?




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2011 Forester X Premium AT
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I picked up an 80Watt folding solar panel from Amazon and having been thinking about trying the same spot for when I leave the car parked somewhere (Ex. out fishing while camping). I haven't tested it out yet but my assumption is that the panels will generate much less charge when behind the moonroof compared to getting direct sunlight. A lot of the light will be reflected away off the glass, and any tint on the glass may impact it as well. It should still generate some charge though, and solar panels don't need to be vented as far as I know..there is no gas exchange happening. I'll probably leave the windows cracked though since I'll have the solar panel battery (old car battery) sitting in the backseat footwell.

Just make sure the panel clears all mechanical things so you don't accidentally shred it by opening the sunroof!
 

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2014 Forester 2.0XT
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Hey I've been following your videos for a little while now and I love them! Thanks for sharing your build and idea with us all. I'm from the bay area so if you're ever up here let me know and we can hit some trails!

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey I've been following your videos for a little while now and I love them! Thanks for sharing your build and idea with us all. I'm from the bay area so if you're ever up here let me know and we can hit some trails!

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Hi there aliveoutofhabit, I’m not 100% sure if you were referring to me, but if you are thank you!!!! Many of us on this forum share our ideas. It’s an awesome feeling to contribute to the knowledge base.

You may have been referring to Mr. Subooneru and his videos of all those split boarding trips in Northern Cali. He’s been a huge contributor to Forester.org. I took a lot of inspiration from his build.




I just got back from a MtnRoo trip in Big Bear, CA. (We had 41 Subaru’s on dirt for 10 hours yesterday.). Someone is planning a trip to the lost coast in June. We should def meet up.




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I was referring to you haha! I do love the Subaru community in general though. I've been a member of the forums for about a year but I rarely post.

I was supposed to go to the Big Bear meet but things came up and I had to cancel my trip down. I love Lake Arrowhead and that area. I'm a member of mtnroo and mtnroo bay area you'll see me on there! In fact I'm about to post some pics from my trip down the coast to Big Sur this morning.


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Discussion Starter #18
Aww, bummer you couldn’t make it. That was a well planned out trip. Nicole and her Husband Nate did a great job of trail choice and scheduling things out. At the end of the day, swag was given out. Can’t wait to add this to my other badges, but Forester is too muddy right now.



I’ve been going to big bear since I was a child for snow sports, but I’ve never been south of the lake. It was like a different eco system there, reminded me of a set of Jurassic Park. The trip ended with a climb to the top of a mountain where we were surrounded by other mountains, it was quite nice .




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In case anyone is still interested, the domed awning made for VW's is, I believe, a "Bus Depot" awning. I haven't used one, but have been interested in them.

On the solar panel over the sunroof. I don't have a sunroof on my car (cause, you know, in 2014 it was a known fact that you couldn't shift a manual transmission if you had a sunroof ;), but I do have some solar panel setups. I'm presuming you'd be using one of the so-called flexible panels. Just know that they are prone to heat damage and of course they get really hot on the top side (cause it's black and faces the sun) and then there'd be no ventilation on the back. OTOH, they get kind of floppy when hot, so that's a challenge if you plan to raise them up. (I have been using these as "ground panels" with my RV is my background with them.) I find I can get 1-2 years out of them if I take good care of them, but they they malfunction.

I do have a rigid solar panel on the roof of my Forester. No theft problems yet (has been up there two years), but I don't live in the city either. Reason I have one is that I have a cooler-style compressor refrigerator in the car. So I have solar panel, solar controller, Group 24 "house" battery. I have the refrigerator cord hard wired (because I prefer that to cig outlet in that case), and then a cig outlet on the side of the battery box where I have a phone charging cord (cause I like to charge the phone when the ignition is off).

I have a second plug that can go in the Forester cig outlet, cause sometimes I want to run it off that instead.

I got a set of hand-me-down Thule square bars, so that's what the panel lives on. Thule sell square brackets that go on the bars that take a carriage bolt that points upward, so those simply go through the bottom of the solar panel, and then a nylock. If anyone is more interested, I could go into details of how I wired it, etc.

I do camp in the back of the Forester. I removed the rear seat completely and built a platform. Since I tend to use my car like a mini truck (from the seats on back), it works out great for me. The back of the rear platform often gets light workbench duty. I think I have room for a full sized spare under the rear part, but actually why I'm here on the forum today is doing tire research (so I don't have five full sized tires yet). There is also a pretty good amount of storage under the front of the platform, where the rear seat cushion used to be.

Okay, off to read more on tires...
 
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