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2020 Forester Sport CVT
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We finally took our first dispersed camping trip with our 2020 Forester Sport. We constructed a sleep platform, devised a DIY tarp set up and are working on our camping gear arrangement. We have car camped, canoe camped, backpacked, etc...for decades and this is our next evolution. We purchased a full size, 4" folding foam mattress, 2.5" firm foam with 1.5" memory foam. This fit great on the rear sleeping platform. the mattress is 73" x 53" when laid out. We had to squeeze a little between the wheel wells, but that wasn't a problem. this thing slept GREAT! we didn't bottom out and it was very supportive and comfy. We have pull over window screens for the rear windows and a battery powered fan that runs off our 18v tool batteries. We also purchased window shades for the windshield, front side windows and rear door windows that totally block out light and provide privacy. We haven't been able to find any for the rear quarter windows or the back hatch window so we made some from odds and ends we had around the house. they're not the prettiest, but they work. although we need to find a better way to hold them in place. These back windows do not have channels like the door windows to hold the shades. We're thinking about some small magnets or something. ideas are welcome. Our tarp set up is very light weight, packs small and versatile. We'll likely use this for hammock camping as well. we attached one end to the front cross bar of the roof rack with those bungee ball thingys and some tarp clips where we didn't have anchor points. this worked well. We wanted the tarp up over the vehicle to provide side awnings for getting in and out of the back doors in the rain. (and it did rain our first night out) This also allows us to keep the windows open or cracked a bit with the window screens in the rain. we had great ventilation with the side screens and fan. We took notes on our set up and will continue to refine this as we go. all in all things worked quite well as planned.
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2015 Forester 2.5i CVT
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Wow, looks great, I need to camp this year too! What brand of window covers did you buy? THey look like black screen mesh so that gets the airflow you mentioned, would you do differently next time with these? The foil covered bubble wrap insulation you used for the other windows is probably the best you'll find, I've used it as headliner insulation/sound damping in other vehicles and it works very well. Little magnets might work to secure these, but I'd go velcro (buy the industrial 3M brand) and use it to retain these.

Did you sew the foam cushion covers? Looks good.
 

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2020 Forester Sport CVT
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow, looks great, I need to camp this year too! What brand of window covers did you buy? THey look like black screen mesh so that gets the airflow you mentioned, would you do differently next time with these? The foil covered bubble wrap insulation you used for the other windows is probably the best you'll find, I've used it as headliner insulation/sound damping in other vehicles and it works very well. Little magnets might work to secure these, but I'd go velcro (buy the industrial 3M brand) and use it to retain these.

Did you sew the foam cushion covers? Looks good.
These are the window screen covers we used. we ordered a set of Large for the back door windows. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F3NN8YP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
We like the way these work. no problems so far.
this is what we got for the back rear windows (when not using the black mesh) Amazon.com: Set of 2 Custom Fit Automotive Reflective Rear Seat Side Window Sunshade for 2019 2020 Subaru Forester: Automotive
And these for the front door windows. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TSFG52D/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
The foam cushion cover came as part of the mattress. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0844QZ24D/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
We purchased the full size mattress and it worked out great. takes up a lot of space when folded, not leaving a lot of room for the rest of our gear. But its sleeps so much better than any air mattress we've ever owned. We weren't lacking for anything so we had room for what we needed. And much better than sleeping in a tent. Especially when we had our middle of the night bear encounter. LOL. that was fun. thanks for the comments. We'll look into the velcro option for our home made back window covers.
 

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Excellent set up!! I love it. I have the same exact car. Can I ask, where did you get your emblem overlays? I also wanted to match the Sport Trim's orange. I also want to get overlays for the center cap on rims as well with an orange color scheme. If they make such a thing.
 

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1999 A/T - 235,000 mi. WA state
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Wow, thanks for the inspiration! Super thread.

Couple questions - why the foil covers on the back windows? and can you post a photo of the mattress with sleeping bags or 'covers' on it in the car ready to sleep in? Thanks
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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As a side note - if you want to go car camping and may not want to build up the platform and get the foam core mattress pads, a company called LUNO LIFE makes inflatable units that re custom designed for many vehicles - including the Forester. They run a few hundred bucks and even come with inflatable "blocks" that fill the rear foot-well space behind the front seats... As they're inflatable, you can make as firm or soft as you want (like a sleep# bed) and it's 2 sides so you can even have one side softer or firmer... And they're tough enough materials that they resist possible punctures by little dog feet (or even big dog feet).

But this is a cool build all the same!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Excellent set up!! I love it. I have the same exact car. Can I ask, where did you get your emblem overlays? I also wanted to match the Sport Trim's orange. I also want to get overlays for the center cap on rims as well with an orange color scheme. If they make such a thing.
I purchased our overlays from this site. Emblem Overlays I believe I chose burnt orange for the stars. However, i think the Red Orange would be an even better match. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow, thanks for the inspiration! Super thread.

Couple questions - why the foil covers on the back windows? and can you post a photo of the mattress with sleeping bags or 'covers' on it in the car ready to sleep in? Thanks
The window covers provide privacy and block the sun. These made the vehicle very dark inside so not early morning rude awakening by the sun, like when we tent camp. Also, the foil material helps reflect sun and insulates the inside from outside temperature influences. We do have a pic of the bed laid out in the string above, but reposted here in case you missed it. We used full size bed sheets as this is a full size mattress. they worked great. We brought a couple of fleece blankets, but i didn't even use one as the temps stayed in the 60s (F) and i only used the sheet.
These are the mesh covers we used for "window screens". https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F3NN8YP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
And we also purchased these window shades for the front and rear door windows. We couldn't find any for the rear quarter windows or back hatch so we made some out of some reflective bubble wrap like stuff we saved when we buy online produce that comes in insulated cartons with ice packs.
Amazon.com: Set of 2 Custom Fit Automotive Reflective Rear Seat Side Window Sunshade for 2019 2020 Subaru Forester: Automotive
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I love how that mattress platform is raised so you can store stuff underneath. Can you share specs on the mattress platform build?
Thanks! we kept the platform low so we had more head room anticipating the 4" mattress. We've seen some built higher with actual drawers or removable totes under the rear and also accessible compartments near the front seats. I've attached some rough dimensions that fit in our 2020 Forester Sport. We started with the passenger side platform. We used 2 pieces of 3/4" x 2' x 4" plywood and some other 2x4 and 2x2 odds and ends. We put adhesive backed furniture pads on all the places that contact the forester. We also used the back hatch tray to trace the shape of the back onto the plywood to contour the tail end to match the back of the vehicle. You might be able to make some sense out of my scribblings I made during construction. The entire platform was pieced together at the time of the build with an idea in mind, but no specific dimensions until i got out there and started measuring and cutting wood. the front sections rest on the seat back with a piece of plywood laying there I got it level and measured the supports for underneath. all the other pieces are built off that first section getting in place. We made hinged pieces to provide support in the foot wells to avoid movement from the seat backs squishing down when you lay on the platform. Hope this makes some sense. ask any questions we'll be glad to answer what we can. all edges were rounded with a 1/4" rounding bit in a router then all sanded to keep it smooth and splinter free.
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2016 Forester 2.5i Premium
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This is the most recent thread I saw showing a sleeping platform for the 2019+. It looks great! If OP is still here, do you have any more experience with the platform or with camping in the Forester to pass on?

I'm thinking of building a platform close to full width (as wide as possible while still allowing it to slide in and out) and with a hinged trapdoor at the rear. Then I don't have to worry about the old spare compartment lid closing over a full sized (or even upsized!) spare. Has anyone built one like that - or have any thoughts to share on sleeping platforms for the 2019+? What's the bare minimum by which you need to raise the floor at the tailgate, to get a level sleeping surface?

Matt
 

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2020 Forester Sport CVT
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This is the most recent thread I saw showing a sleeping platform for the 2019+. It looks great! If OP is still here, do you have any more experience with the platform or with camping in the Forester to pass on?

I'm thinking of building a platform close to full width (as wide as possible while still allowing it to slide in and out) and with a hinged trapdoor at the rear. Then I don't have to worry about the old spare compartment lid closing over a full sized (or even upsized!) spare. Has anyone built one like that - or have any thoughts to share on sleeping platforms for the 2019+? What's the bare minimum by which you need to raise the floor at the tailgate, to get a level sleeping surface?

Matt
Our platform is built with the minimum amount of rise at the tailgate to make it level. The front parts rest on the seatbacks as they're laid down. (furniture pads stuck to the bottom where the plywood contacts the seat back. 5-3/8" is the height of the 2x4 support pieces beneath the plywood. We've camped several times with this set up and have a solo set up for when I go without my wife. The multiple sections allow us to use one half for solo trips, leave the back cargo sections in all the time, use what we need depending on the situation. We've added an overhead mesh gear loft that connects between the four ceiling grab handles which is working out great. I've seen a build like you describe that incorporates the spare tire compartment into the back half. I know I saw it on this forum. Can't remember where. We've also installed a roof basket which has helped with hauling "dirty gear" you don't want inside. We sleep great with the memory foam mattress we have. We have the full size that fits very well and a single for solo camping. Both are very comfortable and sleep great. Window screens to keep a window cracked and avoid excess condensation in cooler weather and keep bugs out in warm weather are great. We keep tweaking every time we go out. Are you curious about anything specific when it comes to camping in the Forester?
 
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