The New Trip Planner

I’ve used a bunch in my travels. It’s nice and simple: you search for a city or town, and it shows you where there are free campsites nearby. Not too long ago (about 4 months ago), the site added a trip planner tool, and it looks great. I only learned about the tool last week, so I figured I’d share it here in case others haven’t found out about it yet. Continue reading “The New Trip Planner”

A Unique Sleeping Setup in the Back of a Ford Bronco

For a lot of SUVs, a great sleeping setup is the “table,” where you’ve got a sheet of plywood that is held up off of the floor of the SUV by 2×4 supports at the corners. Your bed and bedding material go on top of the plywood, and your gear goes underneath. It looks something like this: Continue reading “A Unique Sleeping Setup in the Back of a Ford Bronco”

How I Made Ice Last Longer in My Cheap Cooler

I just watched this video from Bob at & Enigmatic Nomadics, and it reminded me of my little cooler that I sometimes use. In the video linked to above, the guy uses 1/2-inch rigid foam insulation from Home Depot. He cut sheets of that stuff to size and put the pieces (along with some spray foam) inside of a plastic bin, and that was his cooler.

I did something similar but different. Continue reading “How I Made Ice Last Longer in My Cheap Cooler”

The 3 Things I Use to Get My SUV’s Interior Sparkling Clean After a Trip

About three months ago, I spent two weeks camping in my SUV and hiking around Moab, Utah. I was there doing research for a hiking guidebook for nearby Arches National Park. I love Moab. As far as I’m concerned, it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. One thing that I was less than enamored with on this recent visit, however, was the weather. I experienced several days of incredibly persistent wind. Normally wind isn’t a problem, but in Moab, that wind carries with it fine particles of sand. I had to sleep with the SUV’s windows at least partly down to get some air circulation, and the result was that by the end of the trip, the entire interior of my SUV was coated in a layer of sand. Small piles of it had even accumulated in some spots on the floor. It was not pretty. Continue reading “The 3 Things I Use to Get My SUV’s Interior Sparkling Clean After a Trip”

Seen in the Wild: Spare Tire Bike Rack

I spent a couple of days this week up in the Uinta Mountains of northeastern Utah on a semi-failed SUV RVing adventure (more on that in an upcoming blog post). It’s one of my favorite places in the country, and I had a great time rock climbing and hiking. After pulling into a trailhead parking lot and getting out of my car, I saw that the RAV4 next to mine had a spare tire bike rack on it. Very cool! Continue reading “Seen in the Wild: Spare Tire Bike Rack”

The Rear Kitchen Trash Bag

When I’m on the road and need to cook, I usually do it at the rear of my SUV with the rear door open. The main bag that I put trash in is up on the front passenger seat, and I found that it was annoying to have to move from the back of the SUV around to the front just to throw a paper towel away. So I came up with a better solution. Continue reading “The Rear Kitchen Trash Bag”

Review: d.light S20 Rechargeable Solar Lantern

For a long time I used a headlamp for nighttime visibility inside my SUV. It worked well enough, and I recommend every SUV RVer or vandweller have one. The problem with headlamps is that they focus an intense amount of light in one just one direction, and I found that when I was inside of my vehicle, I wanted a softer light that brightened up the entire space. I realized that what I really wanted was a lantern. Continue reading “Review: d.light S20 Rechargeable Solar Lantern”

19 Tips for Surviving and Thriving in a Roof-Top Tent

In chapter 2 of the SUV RVing book, I talk about how using a roof-top tent is an option for SUV RVing. I have no first-hand experience with these and so there’s only so much I can say about them, but I ran across this great article at Adventure Journal about using them from someone who is currently “traveling the planet” in a Land Rover with a roof-top tent on top. If a roof-top tent is something you’re considering, be sure to give the article a read.

Most roof-top tents don’t really appeal to me because they still have most of the drawbacks of a traditional tent (i.e., they’re a pain to set up and take down) but are way, way more expensive than most traditional tents, but I guess I’m just missing something. The hard-sided tents like this or this look simpler and appeal to me more than the style shown in photos in the link above, but they’re also more expensive.

Photo: Nick and Dana Blizzard/Flickr

Welcome to!

Hi. I’m Tristan. I spend a lot of time traveling in my 2011 Toyota RAV4. When I first became interested in the idea of sleeping in my SUV, I spent a lot of time searching online for good information, but it was hard to come by. My system has evolved over time and through trial and error.

Having spent dozens of nights now in my little SUV, I’ve got a system that works for me, and the purpose of this site and the SUV RVing book (coming soon!) is to share what I’ve learned with others. I hope you find the info here useful.

Stay tuned for lots of great stuff!