Two Interesting New Products for SUV RVers, Vandwellers, and More

I occasionally check Kickstarter to see if there are any products that I think would be interesting or useful to those of us who spend time traveling and sleeping in our vehicles. For those unfamiliar with the site, Kickstarter is basically a way for people with ideas for products to raise money so that they can put those products into production. They do this by pre-selling the product before it’s been produced. If you back a project on Kickstarter, you pay the money and then can expect to get the product in 3 or 6 months or whenever it’s ready after being produced. (See the note at the end of this article.)

One of the products currently raising money on Kickstarter is called the Moki Doorstep. It’s a piece of metal that attaches to your car’s door frame to give you an extra step to make putting things on or taking things off of the roof of your car much easier. Here are some pics:

The Moki Doorstep
The Moki Doorstep
The Moki Doorstep
The Moki Doorstep

It costs $30. This product could be great for those of us who put cargo boxes, kayaks, skis, or solar panels on the roof of our vehicles. Check the Moki Doorstep out here on Kickstarter. There’s also a great video showing how it works, which I’m embedding below (though you may not be able to see it if you’re an email subscriber to the blog).

The second Kickstarter product I wanted to share is a bit silly but still, er… interesting. It’s called The Car Pool. It bills itself as “The world’s most portable toilet for men.” It’s basically a long tube. One end gets hooked up to an empty plastic bottle, and then the man pees into the other end. Here’s a pic:

The Car Pool
The Car Pool

To me, this product seems completely unnecessary for most people. If you’re a guy, it’s already not that hard to just pee into a wide-mouthed bottle. The one instance in which I could see it being useful is if you have limited mobility. Then maybe something like this could make a difference for you. But hey, if you think you’d like it, by all means get one and let me know how it goes. One Car Pool costs $19 to $25, depending on which tier you back the project at. There’s a dumb video that shows off the product, but I don’t want to embed it here. If you’re interested, go to the product’s page and watch it there.

What do you guys think of these products?


Note: Backing a product on Kickstarter does not 100% guarantee that you’ll get it. You can learn more about risk and accountability on Kickstarter here.

Free Campsites Don’t Get Much Better Than This!

In this video I wash my hair with a little spray bottle, check out some very easily accessible Native American rock art, and head into the La Sal Mountains and find one of the most beautiful campsites ever! (Click here if you can’t see the video below.)

* Golf Course Rock Art Site: 38.537785, -109.479424
* Campsite: 38.413940, -109.223498

A Storage Shelf Built Into a 1998 Toyota 4Runner

Last week I got an email from SUV RVing reader/viewer Galvain (Chasin’ Simplicity on YouTube) saying that he’d built a shelf in the back of his 1998 Toyota 4Runner. He then sent over some pictures and a video of his build and gave me permission to share them here. The shelf is based off of the one that I made in this video. Great job, Galvain! You can also check out his blog here.

Here are the pics:

Storage shelf build in the back of a 1998 Toyota 4Runner
Fitting the shelf in the back of the 1998 Toyota 4Runner
Storage shelf build in the back of a 1998 Toyota 4Runner
Adding bins and legs to the shelf
Storage shelf build in the back of a 1998 Toyota 4Runner
Adding a top to the shelf
Storage shelf build in the back of a 1998 Toyota 4Runner
Attaching the top of the shelf to the rest of the shelf with an adjustable cable tie
Storage shelf build in the back of a 1998 Toyota 4Runner
The shelf from inside the 4Runner
Storage shelf build in the back of a 1998 Toyota 4Runner
The plywood sleeping platform that goes over the gap where the head goes when laying down to sleep.

You can see Galvain talk about his builds (the plywood head platform and the shelf build) in his video here (click here if you can’t see it below). The shelf portion starts at 6 minutes 27 seconds.

Wild Success & Epic Failure (and Tacos)

In this video I head into southern Utah’s Arches National Park to look for some obscure and difficult-to-find natural and man-made features. I experience both success and failure and see some incredible scenery along the way. Oh, and then I make tacos. (Click here if you can’t see the video below.)

* First (small) arch: 38.8325, -109.7017
* Sibling Arch (approximate location): 38.8424, -109.7056
* Far Out Arch: 38.8242, -109.6505
* Campsite: 38.861979, -109.744811

* My Arches hiking book
* Julien inscription photo source
* Hanging table kit
* Little camping grill

The Start of a Brand New Adventure

In this video I start off on a brand new adventure to the southern Utah desert. This was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on, so you’re not going to want to miss out on any of the updates! (Click here if you can’t see the video below.)

* Colorado Backcountry Adventures
* Trash grabber

* Ford Creek Falls: 39.7983, -110.9323
* Camp: 38.864589, -109.749391

An Amazing Sleeping and Camping Setup in a Chevy Suburban

I’m fairly active on Instagram (@suvrving). I go in every day and browse the hashtags for new photos relating to things I’m interested in: #vanlife, #overlanding, #homeonwheels, etc. The other day, while browsing new photos the #overland hashtag, I found the @SubOverland account. A family of 4 was traveling around the US in their 24-foot RV but then downsized to a Chevy Suburban to continue their adventures. This is not your typical soccer mom Suburban (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Here are some features and modifications of their adventure rig:

  • ​3-inch lift
  • Oversize tires
  • Complete solar setup
  • Off-road LED light bar
  • LED interior lights
  • Roof rack
  • Refrigerator/Freezer
  • Power inverter
  • Kitchen sink
  • Outdoor shower
  • Sleeps up to 4
  • Interior storage
  • Auto 4X4, 4X4, hi and lo transfer case
  • Limited slip differential

I was impressed with the pics I saw on Instagram and sent a private message to the account to see if I could repost the pictures here to the blog. Grady, owner of the account and the Suburban, messaged me back and gave me the go-ahead. So here are pics of a 4WD 2000 Chevrolet Suburban that’s been kitted out to comfortably sleep and house a mom, a dad, and two young kids. I can definitely see me getting a rig like this once I have kids. Add a roof top tent once the kids get a bit older and you’ve got separate “rooms” for the parents and kids. If you want a similar rig for yourself, Grady and the gang do beefed up Suburban and Subaru builds. Head on over to to learn more and get in touch with Grady if you’re interested.

The modified 2000 Chevy Suburban from the outside
Another look at the exterior
Another look at the exterior
The sleeping area with storage on the sides.
The sleeping area with storage cubbies on the sides
Grady demoing the sleeping area
Grady demoing the sleeping area
Look at all of that under-bed storage!
Look at all of that under-bed storage!
Wood ceiling and lights
Wood ceiling and lights
The desk/table surface
The kitchen/desk/table surface
The solar charge controller and 12v outlets
The solar charge controller and a couple of  12-volt outlets
Sexy outside shot at night
Sexy outside shot at night

Thanks for sharing your Suburban build, Grady!

Making a Storage Shelf in the Back of an SUV or Van

I’ve long said that having a shelf in the back of an SUV is probably the single biggest improvement or modification you can make to your car camping setup. I’ve had and used one for a couple of years, but it was specifically made for my RAV4 (meaning that I couldn’t be of much help when other people asked me how to make a shelf in the back of their SUV), and I felt that I could make an improved version that worked better for my needs. The result is the shelf shown in this video. (Click here if you can’t see the video below.)

And if you haven’t seen it already, be sure to check out this video where I make “drawers” for the top of the shelf.

Here are a couple more pics:

SUV shelf components and tools
SUV shelf components and tools
The shelf in action. Works great!
The shelf in action on a trip. Works great!