Sunset in the Coconino National Forest, looking northeast toward Sedona, AZ, 4/17/15

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Part 3: Packed Prius
for Sleeping and Lounging

In the following photos, I show how the Prius is both fully packed with all of my gear, as well as used for sleeping and lounging.

If I plan to stay someplace for less than a week, then it doesn't seem worth it to set up and break down my full snowbird camp.  So, I just keep everything loaded and live out of my car as though I'm in travel mode.

Driver's seat is moved all of the way forward.  Almost everything
that was in the passenger seat (Part 2), is now in the driver's seat.
Also, the Dromedary Bags for water that were at the foot of the bed
are now in the front passenger seat.  4/16/15

Passenger seat is now available for lounging (and office,
changing room, video watching, bathroom, etc.).    4/16/15  

Hatch area with nothing over the foot of the bed except heavy coat
for warmth and storage.  (Sorry for sun glare.)  4/16/15 

Back seat area on passenger side:  You can see the head of my bed,
with pillow, that I use as a side table while lounging.  4/16/15  

Front passenger seat holds everything as described in Part 2, as well as
a chair, small insulated bag, and my hat.  4/16/15  

All packed up and ready to leave the next morning from our
Prescott National Forest camp where I stayed with friends for
about a month.  4/16/15  

Arrived at a Coconino National Forest camp to stay with other friends.  I
planned to be here for about 5 days; so, I didn't set up camp; but brought
out my chair to admire the view and visit with my camp mates.  4/18/15  
James, who runs the CheapRVLiving YouTube channel, made a video of how I live out of my Prius at our Coconino NF camp.  You can view it here.

Packing so much gear in the Prius, while living out of it, is rather like putting a jig saw puzzle together.  You've got to get everything in there, make sure it's not too heavy on either side, while making sure that you can get to everything you might need for the duration.


  1. I like the sunset at Prescott and your view at Coconino. Thank you for sharing your photos and configuration with us.

  2. thank you for this series of posts showing how you do your packing! Your solutions are ingenious and there is lots to learn here. You are so right, everything needs its place!

    I also saw the youtube video of you and your Prius. It really helps to see you sitting in it, gives a sense of how it all works.

    I'm now trying to work out a way to get an awning on to the vehicle without drilling into it. It was easy in the past as I had a roof rack to work with. I may give in and just get one installed on the truck canopy, but I hope that it won't make it harder to sell later on.


  3. I'm glad you found the posts useful. I hope your awning solution works well for you. I'd like to find a different solution other than the umbrella myself. The desert winds make it a challenge.

  4. Thanks for the great info...really envy your mobility and off the grid living compared with our bulky gas guzzler with fifth wheel in tow. I shared the terrific video on facebook too.

    1. Seems like about everything is a compromise -- conveniences vs. mobility, comforts vs. basic needs, costs vs. frugality. All the same, nothing beats this mobile lifestyle regardless of where one lands on the spectrum. Miss you guys. And thanks for sharing the video.

  5. That was a great video. I love all the technical how tos. Once you get back home, I hope you do a wrap up post about how the gear worked out and if you'd do anything different.��

    1. Thanks Bethers. I do plan to do a debriefing post(s) on both the experience of being a snowbird for the first time, as well as the products that I found most useful.


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