Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner

1 - 20 of 68 Posts

·
Registered
Subaru Forester limited trim, 2019 dark grey
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I love my ‘19 Forester (first new car I ever bought). I’m a travel nurse who has driven from Boston to California to help with the pandemic and am hoping to car camping (especially along the beach so I can fall asleep to the waves and catch those incredible sunsets!)

I’m excited to figure out gear (I’m open to those tips as well, already found a great hatch- open tent for more space.) I tried car camping one night last year in my driveway and there were multiple lights staying on/ battery killing issues. Please help me learn how to camp with my rear hatch open without killing the battery! I’ve researched this extensively. For this being the most “outdoorsy” car I don’t know why the info is so tricky to get a straight answer on- even other owners on here seem confused or offer conflicting advice in other posts! ‘Solutions’ like just covering the lights still kill the battery, and unplugging bulbs is not a long term or realistic solution to do every night, only to have to plug them in each morning again. I’m certain there must be an easier way I’m missing!

1.) interior lights- easy enough to flip off

2.) hatch open- I know to stick a caribeener in the door latch mechanism to ‘trick’ the car into thinking the door is closed

3.) approach and puddle lights- this is what killed my battery when I tried once before- the fob always talks to your car when you’re sleeping/ inside. I read about putting your key fob to sleep (hold down the lock button and press the unlock/ Subaru icon button twice at the same time.) Now fob is off and shouldn’t activate these lights.

What else do I need to know to prevent battery dying or lights coming on?

Questions (please don’t laugh at me/ make snarky comments like I’ve seen in some other posts on this site, I’m genuinely interested in learning and hoping to benefit from the community.)
1.) if the fob is off, I can still lock the other doors from inside. Maybe I’m being neurotic but I’d like to lock the other doors while keeping the hatch open into my car tent (with caribeener to think it’s locked). I’m a girl traveling alone and don’t want someone uninvited trying to slip into the side doors of the car. Maybe it sounds silly because the hatch is still open into the tent, I understand the tent is just a sense of security and an aggressor could still force his way in that way. Am I just not able to lock at all if I want to keep the hatch open for a screened in but amazing view and ventilation at night?


2.) would I manage to trigger the alarm if I locked doors and then forgot, went outside to pee tried to open the side doors from the outside?

thanks in advance for any insight! My main goals are that I don’t want to bug any camping neighbors or kill my battery.

I’m also open/ grateful for beach camping spots and advice for the Santa Cruz area. (I liked the look of New Brighton and Manresa state parks). I’d love links to other camping tips too!
B12A9197-D209-4254-B233-738E7F329644.jpeg 031D5F6C-EDA1-4E80-AE04-C87CF41DD5F6.jpeg DF6A584D-932A-47D1-8592-A7662C06BB2C.jpeg 04CF45BF-CAA0-43D7-8015-BE534BA596A8.jpeg E5B5C757-FFF8-4565-9933-0E02C64C3882.jpeg
Please note, I no longer use this looser, tarp tent, I’m getting a larger, nicer 2 room hatch back opening tent. This was my first attempt while experimenting with car camping and I ran into trouble before. The blue tarp on top was to allow ventilation out the open moon roof (as heat rises) without letting rain in, the roof rack offers a few inches of ventilation room. any other hacks for this?
 

·
Registered
2019 Forester Sport
Joined
·
71 Posts
Definitely following for any tips myself, my '19 is also my first new car as well, and I got it as a commuter/ light overlanding vehicle. Haven't gone camping in it yet, but I didn't even think of those issues you highlighted.
 

·
Registered
2008 XT Sport 5-speed
Joined
·
439 Posts
I've got a much older model, so I don't know how the new ones work as much, but I am into overlanding...My first question is why the tent at all....Looking at your pictures, it looks like you have a decent bed setup inside the car. Is the tent mostly for storage? If so, it seems easier to me to just use a quick setup free standing tent. Then you can lock yourself, and any needed valuables (purse, cell phone, etc.) safely inside the car, and then have the free standing tent for other gear, cooking, chilling...I'm not looking to be snarky, just trying to understand the whole picture.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,603 Posts
G'day & Welcome @‘19 forester girl

You should carry a jump-start booster unit just in case of a flat battery (there's a recent thread here somewhere) Something like this: Jump Starter - recommendation for a jump starter?

If you can "somehow" defeat the alarm and leave the hood ajar you could fit a battery isolator which will disconnect all power from the battery
548876


Could you please complete your profile; vehicle details at least, thanks:

For the best forum experience, we recommend completing your "Account Details". The optional information you enter there will display when members click "About" in your forum profile. You can also create a custom "Signature" that will display every time you make a forum post. The optional additional information you provide could mean getting forum member replies, or not.

Note that any thread your create, including this one, could be closed if your "Public Profile" is not completed!
 

·
Registered
2019 Forester Touring CVT
Joined
·
88 Posts
The biggest drain I can think of is the powered rear lift gate (if you have one), it will use power for a time after it's been opened; it's also part of the reason there's a minor manufacturer recall service program for it. The dome light for the rear lift gate can be shut off, too.

Turning off the fob may be more trouble than it is worth, especially if you find yourself opening/closing the doors regularly. According to the manual, the outside lighting should only come on if the fob is outside the vehicle anyway.

Lastly, thank you for everything you do, especially these days. 😊
 

·
Registered
2019 Forester Limited
Joined
·
1,024 Posts
@JuanGuapo mentioned the rear gate module recall. If the gate is powered, you should have received a recall notice in January. Can’t hurt to check with your dealer. On the downside, while the new module greatly reduces the power draw to a manageable number, it does so only after a 20 time delay. In your situation, the carabiner trick might still make sense if you’ll often be resetting the 20 minute counter.

puddle lights... I doubt the module recall fixed that issue, but I’ve not checked.
 

·
Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
Joined
·
14,630 Posts


Go to Jackery.com. They have three (sizes) of these things. They are ideal for camping. You can use solar to charge them but its best to have them charge off of your vehicle while driving (cigarette plug). Then you can use it in your tent for ac/dc. You can use a 100 (equivalent ) led bulb that only takes 11 watts. It keeps your tent like daylight. So the model 240 might be good. The nice thing is once charged the dc can go back in your car and keep the battery charged. Its great stuff. I have the 240 and the 1000.

Thanks for doing what you do .!!~ My daughter is a nurse practitioner.
 

·
Registered
Subaru Forester limited trim, 2019 dark grey
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've got a much older model, so I don't know how the new ones work as much, but I am into overlanding...My first question is why the tent at all....Looking at your pictures, it looks like you have a decent bed setup inside the car. Is the tent mostly for storage?
Yes, the tent is largely for storage, and to provide a screened in shelter from bug or bad weather so I’m not stuck if it starts to rain/ I can still cook etc. Not feeling cramped and being prepared for all different ondtions are both big goals. It’s also the dream to leave the hatch open to a beautiful vista with only the screen closed to take in the view at night and in the morning, and star gaze at night if possible.
I’d close and lock all the doors if I’m worried about safety, but the logistics of not killing the battery seem tricky at every turn- even running the radio during the day. For example, if I start my car once in a while to recharge the battery, I’d have to pull it away from the tent due to the exhaust, then back it up and reattach after.
 

·
Registered
2015 XT-P
Joined
·
626 Posts
I'd consider a roof top tent, a hard shell model, easy open and close. The access ladder will give you a sense of security and time to use some wasp spray an any intruder. Pretty sure wasp spray is not a "weapon" in CA. Pick up a battery pack to jump start the car in case you do run the battery down. I got one from Harbor Freight for less than $70. You can charge you phone from it, some have lamps. You can recharge it at work. A pee bottle or a bucket toilet seat can serve as needed. Coleman stove for coffee and easy meals, and a small propane grill too.
 

·
Registered
Subaru Forester limited trim, 2019 dark grey
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@Kevin
Oh thanks for the tip! I just filled in more of my profile, thanks for the reminder. I’m not familiar with this but it sounds like a great idea! Is it easy to take on and off (form once I’m ready to pick up car camping?)
 

·
Registered
Subaru Forester limited trim, 2019 dark grey
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@JuanGuapo

Aw first, thank you! I love being a nurse and feel lucky to get to help! And true, I just had the rear power lift gate serviced for the recall a couple of weeks ago, good tip. Now that it’s fixed, will it still continue to draw power for a time after being opened?
 

·
Registered
2019 Forester Sport
Joined
·
71 Posts
I wouldn't mind getting an RTT, just can't justify the price at the moment. Also, as for security, aside from maybe an overly curious black bear, I'm not worried about intruders. Also already got all that other stuff you mentioned as well. I'd just find it irritating if I end up killing my battery while camping and I have to jumpstart it.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,603 Posts
^ I've had a hard shell roof top tent for 14 years and it's fantastic! But, yes, they are a bit expensive

Is it easy to take on and off
No need to remove it at all. The green knob rotates and connects / disconnects the power.

Found this
 

·
Registered
2016 Forester 2.5i
Joined
·
62 Posts
@'19 forester girl,

I've found the following things pretty helpful with car camping over the years,

1. Valet Mode - This turns your alarm off! It still allows you to use the fob to lock and unlock the doors, but the big benefit is that the alarm will not go off when you use the actual key to lock and unlock the car. I've found this really helpful late at night so the car doesn't beep when you lock it with the fob or key. And you can still lock the doors from the inside with either the lock button or flipping the actual lock. Your owners manual will have directions for how to activate and deactivate Valet mode. It takes only a few minutes to do so.

2. Using a battery bank for accessories instead of using the car's battery power for accessories is a must. I have a small off brand bank for charging my phone and other electronics. I am currently looking at the Jackery power banks for future trips. Avoid the Goal Zero products as they have had lots of issues recently with holding a charge and recharging once they're dead, and their customer service has not been helpful with wanting to resolve the issues / replace defective units.

3. Building a sleeping platform if the backseat will not be used for passengers. I currently do not have one in my forester, but did have one in my outback before it died. The sleeping platform I built had storage underneath for my gear with flip up doors and an open end at the trunk, I put an aero bed on top for sleeping. Eventually I modified the platform so it could be folded up so the backseat could be put back up for passengers. I built the platform so I had about 1ft of storage height that ran the length of the interior up to the back of the front seats. I used plastic under bed storage bins to hold gear. In the backseat foot wells I had open space for larger items that would not fit in the under bed storage bins.

4. Privacy curtains for windows. I've tried many different methods for curtains and found my favorite to be using either the pink foam board insulation and cutting it to shape for the windows and shoving it into place, or using flexible insulation cut to the window size and held in by pressure or velcro strips. Ive also made curtains from fabric and hung them over the windows as well. The only downside to using the pink foam board insulation is that it takes up a lot of space in the car when not in use. A few of my friends have also used the windshield sun shades and cut them to size for their side and trunk windows.

5. Over-sized crossbars and a roof box. If you plan on using roof space for storage or carrying boats, bikes, skis, or gear, get a set of crossbars that are bigger than your needs, I cant stress this enough. I had the shorter "recommended" sized bars when I first purchased a pair and I was always frustrated that I couldn't get everything on the roof. I'm currently running a set of 70" thule square bars, which allow me to keep a very large Thule roof box, and two bike racks on the roof with enough room to put a a retractable awning on one side of the bars. If I have the space I'll connect the awning to my eazy-up tent for extra covered space if the weather is bad.
 

·
Registered
2017 Forester Premium 2.5i, 6-speed manual, moon-roof, fog lights, skid-plates, winch, 2nd bedroom
Joined
·
78 Posts
For the fob, get a small metal cookie tin. When you put the fob in the can and close the lid, the car can't hear it anymore. But when you need it, open the lid to grab the fob and go.

Weather tech offers a window cover kit for all the Forester windows, silver on one-side and black on the other to heat or cool the car. Not cheap, but they seem to be well thought out.
2019 window covers Click on the full kit, if it defaults to the windshield.

I have the Skycamper mini on top my 2017, the smaller size lets me use half of the moon-roof.
 
  • Like
Reactions: A_Tang and Natedog

·
Registered
2020 Subaru Forester premium
Joined
·
176 Posts
that battery off/on thing and or ive also seen solar battery chargers that lay on the hood..dont know if they work or are reliable hadnt really looked into it but I may...I had been thinking of doing some camping also..retired now and I was thinking drive to fishing spot and camp there get up early to fish..especially if i went somewhere I could get a mile or 2 off the main road...

 
1 - 20 of 68 Posts
Top