Honda CRV Camper Conversion

Honda CRV Camper Conversion

Here are the things we did for our Honda CRV Camper Conversion.  The first thing we had to do is remove the back seats.  Although the back seats fold down flat, we opted to remove them because we wanted to have more room for storage.  It’s a little tricky to remove them, and even trickier to re-install them.  Take notes and pictures to remember what you did.

The next thing to do is to build a platform for sleeping.  It’s important to know what you will be storing underneath as this would determine the height.  Don’t plan to store anything too tall, as you need space on top for sleeping on your side.  The hooks on the car floor that are used to hold the seats down can also be used to hold down the platform.  

Here you can see the second half of the platform.  In our case, the tallest item we needed to store was the cooler.  We cut a section out so that we could lift the lid without having to take it out of the car.

Both of the back windows have a screen taped on the inside, so that we could leave the windows open without bugs getting in.  For privacy, we cut out a black vinyl piece for each window and attach it with velcro.  The front window gets a sunshade if there are more campers closeby.  If not, we leave it uncovered for the gorgeous views.

Honda CRV Camper Conversion

The final thing to do is simply hop in and enjoy the view!  No hotel (in our price range, anyway) can compete with the views that we found on our travels.

How do we find places to camp?

There are many resources on the internet to help find safe and beautiful places for boondocking.  We use apps such as iOverlander, Campendium and freecampsites.net.  We also explore back roads on our own, and stop in areas where overnight parking is not prohibited.  As a last resort, if we can’t find anywhere to park for a few hours sleep, we head to the closest Walmart store.  Most Walmarts allow for overnight parking.  On any night, a few RV’s can be found at the back of the lot for a quick sleep.

 

Why do we love to camp?

Something pretty magical happens to us when we’re out in nature.  We feel happier, healthier, calmer.  We take a break from everyday life and concentrate on each other.  We spend much less time looking at all the various types of screens.  Our bodies and souls recharge.  And it’s not just us – research has shown this all to be true.  Take a look at this article at sport-fitness-advisor.com:  35 Amazing Benefits of Camping, According To Science.  Get out there, it will do you good!

 

Watch the video!

Feel free to  Contact Us if you have any questions or comments about this Honda CRV camper conversion, or anything else about our travels.  We’d be happy to hear from you! 🙂

Yours Truly …. Yula

 

The Last Days of our Florida Road Trip

The Last Days of our Florida Road Trip

After Charleston, our original plan was to head up the east coast to Myrtle Beach and Virginia Beach. But it was quite cool in Charleston, and even colder overnight. We were both thinking the same thing, “Let’s just go home, and come back when it’s a little warmer”. And so that’s exactly what we did, and this turned out to be the last days of our Florida road trip!

We change our plan, and figured out the most direct route back home. We zipped right through North Carolina, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York in 2 days. It was cold! We only stopped driving for rests and stretches.

Pilot Mountain in North Carolina was an interesting sight:

One of the nicest rest areas we’ve ever stopped at was Rocky Gap Rest Area. We had to cook very quickly though as it was cold and windy.

A fun thing happened somewhere in West Virginia – our odometer hit 111,111 km! (Check out the temperature… brrrrr!)

This little video shows us passing through the East River Mountain Tunnel. We entered the tunnel in Virginia, and exited in West Virginia!

The Last Days of Our Florida Road Trip

Travel Distances and Boondock stops

 

Days 15 & 16

Distance Travelled:  1500 km

The first night we had a quick stop in a Cracker Barrel parking lot, and the second night we were home!

 

And just like that, our Florida road trip is over.  We are already talking about going back in a couple of months when it will be warmer and we can SWIM.  In the meantime, we can reflect on all the places we discovered on this trip, including:

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Yours Truly …. Yula

 

The Spanish Moss in Savannah and Charleston

The Spanish Moss in Savannah and Charleston

The next two stops on our Florida road trip are Savannah and Charleston.  It has been a lot cooler than expected but we have been making the best of it.  Cool weather is perfect for exploring towns.  So off we go to expore The Spanish Moss in Savannah and Charleston.

First stop – Savannah, Georgia.  I have wanted to visit Savannah for a very long time, and finally I made it!  Walking around in the Historical District feels like you’re in a storybook land.  It’s haunting in a beautiful sort of way.  There is a square (or park) at almost every intersection with spanish moss hanging from the trees, walkways, benches, fountains.  There are free trolleys that you can hop on and off all around the downtown core.  There is a free ferry! – Savannah Belles Ferry –  with 3 stops, in which you can hop on and off and view Savannah from the water.  There is a beautiful walkway along the river – Rousakis Riverfront Plaza.  Here are a few pictures taken as we explored:

 

The Spanish Moss in Savannah and Charleston

The next day we explored Charleston, South Carolina.  Visiting Charleston was not actually on our list of places to visit, but as we drove along the coast, we decided to stop and take a look.  I am so glad we did!  It’s a very beautiful city, with a gorgeous walk along the water, a bustling market in town and beautiful architechture to admire.  Some picture of the time we spent exploring Charleston:

 

Watch our video!

As we were leaving Charleston, we passed by Georgetown, South Carolina, right at sunset.  It was so easy to capture the most beautiful photos!

Travel Distances and Boondock stops

 

Days 14 & 15

Distance Travelled:  560 km

There was less driving these 2 days, because we spent time exploring Savannah & Charleston.  We spent both night sleeping in Walmart parking lots, as it got dark quickly and we couldn’t find any other suitable places.

 

Our plan for tomorrow is to visit Myrtle Beach and continue exploring the coast of North and South Carolina.  But do we actually get there?  Stay tuned!

Stick with us on our Florida Road Trip from Toronto, and we’ll tell you about the places we find to sleep, the places we find to picnic and rest, the beaches we relax at, and the cities we visit.

Yours Truly …. Yula

 

Affordable Destinations on the Florida East Coast

Affordable Destinations on the Florida East Coast

It’s certainly exciting and fun to retire early.  The main question we kept revisiting was, “Will the money last?”  We decided that we CAN make it last, with careful attention to our spending habits. We sleep in our car more often than airbnb’s, we cook our own food more often than eating in restaurants, and we visit places with low or no admission fees.  Read on to see the Affordable Destinations on the Florida East Coast that we discovered.

After leaving the Florida Keys, our destination was Miami Beach.  As we were crossing the Rickenbacker Causeway we could see big palm trees, blue water, and white sand.  And it was WARM!  We pulled over and ended up at Hobie Island Beach Park.  Parking was free, the view was beautiful, so we stayed for a few hours.  Did I mention it was warm?

 

For the next 3 days we hung around North Miami Beach.  After 10 days on the road with cool temperatures, we finally found what we were looking for!  The beach was gorgeous, walks in the area were very pretty, and the nightlife was exciting and fun.  We really enjoyed our time here.  All the beach parking lots around here are only $1/hour from 8-6, and free after that and overnight.  This also made it quite inviting for us to stay longer.

South Pointe Pier is a busy spot early in the morning!  Joggers, walkers, doggies, bodybuilders, yoga people, young, old, black, white and everyone in between.  A very fun and picturesque place to visit 🙂  Parking in the area is $2/hour after 9:00am.  This was our first stop of the day around 8:00am, so it was free for us.

A place we were interested in seeing was the Hollywood Beach BroadwalkHollywood North Beach Park is closeby so we decided to stay for the day.  Admission to the park is $10 for the day.  There is lots of shade, many picnic tables, access to the beach, and the 3-mile boardwalk ends at the park.  It’s a perfect spot to spend the day.

 

Affordable Destinations on the Florida East Coast

On our final day in Florida, we drove up the coast of Singer Island, Juno Beach and Jupiter Island.  It was all very beautiful – clean, sandy beaches, the bluest waters and skies.  After a while, they started to look the same.  And the weather was getting colder.  So we hopped on the I-95 and took the quick road to Daytona Beach.  It was cold and windy!! 

Watch our video!

Travel Distances and Boondock stops

 

Days 9, 10 & 11

Distance Travelled:  213 km

We didn’t drive very much for the time we spent in Miami Beach.  Just a few kilometres around the area.

Boondock stop: Beach Parking lot in Miami Beach.  As mentioned earlier, parking was free overnight.  The sunrises were beautiful over the ocean!

Days 12

Distance Travelled:  200 km

We couldn’t find anywhere suitable to camp tonight, so we opted to stay in a Cracker Barrel parking lot.  We found this one on the iOverlander app.  Most Cracker Barrels have parking lots for RV’s and busses, and allow overnight parking.

Days 13

Distance Travelled:  412 km

 

Boondock stop:  Alimacani Park, Jacksonville.

This was a very pretty spot.  We walked through the park until sunset, had a quiet night and left at dawn.

 

Tomorrow we head to Savannah, Georgia!

Stick with us on our Florida Road Trip from Toronto, and we’ll tell you about the places we find to sleep, the places we find to picnic and rest, the beaches we relax at, and the cities we visit.

Yours Truly …. Yula

 

Additional Resources we found useful:

Island Hopping in the Florida Keys

Island Hopping in the Florida Keys

Today we begin Island Hopping in the Florida Keys!  We begin by driving to the very end – Key West.  It’s a beautiful drive through bridges, palm trees, more bridges…. you get the point.   It’s beautiful driving so close to the sea.  As we enter the town of Key West, we notice something funny as we’re driving along.  There are chickens and roosters running around free everywhere!  That’s not something we expected at all!  We headed to the Southernmost Point of the Continental US.  We didn’t stay in Key West for very long after that.  Most of the coastline was occupied by resorts, private homes, restaurants, marinas, sports shops, etc.  

Island Hopping in the Florida Keys

Cocoa Plum Beach near the Deer Key.  This public beach is perfect for a day on the beach.  Parking is free, the washrooms are very clean, there’s even an outdoor shower.  We enjoyed our time here.

We stopped to cook our lunch at Oceanfront Park in Marathon, Florida.  We loved this park by the water.  There was a lot of shade, lots of boardwalk paths to explore, and something we always appreciate – clean washrooms!

We went exploring in the Saddlebunch Keys, and found a great hiking trail at the end of Old State Road.  It was quite cool, and a good day for a walk.

A popular spot for fishermen is Sammy Creek Landing in the Sugarloaf Keys.  A great place also to stop for a little rest.

Our adventures in video!

Travel Distances and Boondock stops

 

Day 7

Distance Travelled:  107 km

More exploring than driving today.

Boondock stop: We drove to the end of Dorn Road in the Summerland Key.  It turned out to be a perfect spot to spend the night.   We had a couple of visitors as we were cleaning up our dinner.  It’s pretty magical being so close to deer.  The sunset was gorgeous, and the stars in the middle of the night were incredible.  We loved this spot.

Day 8

Distance Travelled:  170 km

Lots of exploring today.  We decided we have had enough of the Keys, so we drive until dusk.  There was nowhere suitable for boondocking without invading anyone’s privacy, so we had a quick sleep in a supermarket parking lot.

 

Tomorrow we head to Miami Beach!

Stick with us on our Florida Road Trip from Toronto, and we’ll tell you about the places we find to sleep, the places we find to picnic and rest, the beaches we relax at, and the cities we visit.

Yours Truly …. Yula