How to Camp in a Honda Element

How to Camp in a Honda Element
The sporty, versatile and rugged Honda Element is an excellent vehicle for car camping. Although the Honda Element is designed with a thoughtful, configurable interior, adding a tailgate tent or an ECAMPER pop-up conversion can enhance an Element camping trip. Comfortable for quick weekend getaways or weeklong adventures, car camping has never been easier.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Honda Element SUV
  • Ursa Minor ECAMPER pop-up addition
  • Tent or cabana (optional)
  • Entertainment (playing cards, books)
  • Sleeping gear (blankets, pillows)?
Step 1
Purchase a Honda Element that has a removable skylight. To add the after-market pop-up camper feature, your Honda must have a sunroof/moonroof. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you'll want to add on the special features that are sure to boost your car-camping experience (like GPS navigation, map lights, four-wheel drive and extra storage).
Step 2
Upgrade to an Element Pop-Up ECAMPER by Ursa Minor. Although it comes with a hefty price tag, this SUV conversion transforms a daily commuting vehicle into a car camper's dream. After the upgrade, you'll have six-feet-plus headroom, "loft" that sleeps two adults and increased cargo volume. Added bonus? The Ursa Minor ECAMPER is durable, as it is built on the initial construction of the Element.
Step 3
Maximize your campsite space with Honda Element car accessories. If you can't afford the luxury of the ECAMPER, purchase a tailgate tent or cabana. Each design easily attaches to the tailgate of the vehicle and provides additional storage and sleeping room. Added bonus? Mesh windows keep the bugs out and durable, opaque materials boost privacy.
Step 4
Store your camping gear. Each Honda Element has 74.6 cubic feet of cargo space. With the added ECAMPER feature, hikers can sleep up in the pop-up loft and conveniently store their things down below. Bringing a mountain bike or snow-skis? Hitch up a trailer for added storage, as the Honda Element can pull up to 1,500 pounds. Don't have an ECAMPER? Attach a roof box to the top of the SUV to store camping packs, hiking boots and more.
Step 5
Make yourself comfortable. According to the automobile manufacturer, the Honda Element's interior seats can be configured 64 different ways. Lay the seats flat to stretch out your legs, or fold them to the sides to make room for the dogs (see References for photographs). Added bonus? Rear seats can even be removed entirely, creating a more spacious SUV interior. With wipeable seat fabric and a scratch-resistant SUV floor, it's easy to keep the interior clean while camping.

Tips & Warnings

Give yourself some time (10 to 20 minutes) to configure the interior seats of the Honda Element.
Do not drive the Honda Element when the ECAMPER is popped up.
Adding camping accessories to a Honda Element can cost from $200 to several thousand dollars.

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