|Tinted windows (at Nevada's Great Basin National Park).|
So, for example, when I was at South Carolina's Congaree National Park last September it was very hot and muggy at night. I started the car and turned the air conditioner on when I got ready for bed. This helped get both me and the bed cooler for sleep. Then, I turned the air conditioner down a bit and went to sleep.
The Prius' engine runs for about 4 minutes every 30 minutes in order to keep its batteries charged. That is, the engine acts like a generator while the air conditioner runs off the batteries. But, this generator only comes on when its batteries need to be charged.
I've yet to need to run the heater overnight. But, I expect it would work similar to running the air conditioner overnight.
Although the Prius is not air tight, I still crack the windows while sleeping to insure sufficient oxygen. The only times I don't crack my windows is if I'm in bear territory where they've learned to break into cars, like Yosemite. I also carry a CO2 alarm (and bear spray).
|No-See-UM Mosquito Netting over left passenger window.|
|No-See-UM Mosquito Netting over right passenger window.|
The rear passenger windows are covered with No-See-UM Mosquito Netting. Velcro is glued to the base of the window sills and to the bottom of the netting. When installed, bugs can not get underneath. The top and sides of the netting are tacked to the door frame, making the interior bug-tight when the doors are closed.
|Visors are attached with double-stick tape above the windows.|
|A dusting of snow demonstrates how the visors keep snow and rain |
from coming inside.
You are truely an inspiration to me.ReplyDelete
I used the planters Dry roasted nut bottle, until you suggested the laundry detergent bottle for my night time relief.
I'm reading about the visors. Where did you get them? Are they made specifically for the Prius? Or? They work really well!
Hi Maggie. I got the visors on ebay and they were made specifically for an 04-09 Prius. But there are visors to fit most makes and models of vehicles. If you don't find visors for your car on ebay, do a google search. Best of luck. SuanneReplyDelete
Can you plug the car into an electrical outlet to keep the batteries charged instead of having the engine start and run as you described?ReplyDelete
My 2004 Prius is 2nd generation and has no option to plug in. However, one of the newer 3rd generations does have a plug-in option. Thanks for reading my blog!Delete
Do you still have the same flexibility to boondock away from electricity for indefinite periods of time?Delete
Bob, I believe the plug-in version of the Prius is also a hybrid. That is, it has a gas engine in addition to the electric motor. So, the answer to your question is "yes."Delete
Hi Suanne, have you read up on or noticed any long term effects of using your Prius as a generator and its effects on battery longevity? I'd like to full time in something as simple as a Prius, as it gets great gas mileage and the purchase price is relatively low. But I am worried about wearing out the battery pack prematurely and having to replace it as it might be costly. Then the economics go out the window. Many thanks for your documentation here, it's the best source for Prius camping / living!Delete
Hi Bryce, I'm so glad you've found my blog useful. My original high-voltage batteries show no signs of giving out. I've owned this Prius for exactly 12 years this month. I've put 210K miles on it and still trust it to be dependable. I'm currently camping out of it in the desert back country of SW Arizona. And, I expect to put another 4500 more miles on it by the first week of January. The economics of it has certainly worked out for me.Delete
Yes, I saw you! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLEb5AoFLikDelete
Enjoy, and thanks for the feedback. I guess you exchange less living space for climate control and better MPG. :)
Hello suanne!! Love the blog! I have a question about charging items such as cell phones , etc .. plus I also have a question about using the ac/heater all night. First, do u actually turn the car completely on (as u would in order to drive it) or do u use the other "on" options? I have used my prius to heat the car at night during 30 degree weather by turning it completely on but a warning signal came on saying my battery was dying? Hmmm... plus my avg mpg went into the 30's. I am confused about how to use the prius as I have read in order to stay comfortable during the night. And I use the dc outlets installed to try to charge my electronics but it doesn't charge fast enough unless the car is moving on the road for long periods of time. I think I'm not doing something right...Delete
Hi! While your transmission is in "P" (park), you can use the AC, heater, and/or charge your electronics while your Prius is in "Ready" mode. If your dash doesn't say "READY," then it's in accessory mode and you will drain your battery. Your MPG will go down because you are using fuel and not moving; mid 30's is reasonable. You will notice less of a decrease on MPG when you just charge your electronics and leave your climate controls in off. AC is more efficient than a heater as long as you don't try to make your car really cold (I turn my AC to 76 to sleep in humid conditions). The heater uses to most fuel because it gets its heat from the running engine. I hope this information is useful to you.Delete
Susanne I love what you're doing! I own a Prius and I often sleep in there when visiting friends or if it's too hot and humid to sleep comfortably in a tent. I've probably slept 50-75 nights total in the 8 years I've owned it. Zero noticeable effects on the battery or gas mileage. The first dozen times I used a portable carbon monoxide detector but never heard a single buzz from it so I don't bother anymore. I always run the AC on "recycle" mode with the windows fully up. I like it cold so I set it to 70-72 and close the 2 side vents so the middle vents blow more strongly to reach all the way to the back of the car. It's a rare treat when it's cold enough in Texas to sleep without the AC. Another thing I use is custom shaped reflective/insulated covers for every window (even the tiny triangles near the back!) I bought them from https://www.heatshieldstore.com/. A bit pricy but huge difference if you ever want to sleep in the hot sun, like it dark so you can sleep in, or want 100% privacy. I'm not sure they're as stealthy as black curtains though.Delete
Also I'm 95% sure the plug-in Prius doesn't let you turn on the car while it's charging. So you couldn't run the AC "directly" off campsite power. Too bad...Delete
Thanks for the info Marcel. Although my carbon monoxide alarm has never gone off, I still carry one. In fact, I just replaced my 10-year-old alarm with a new one last week. Thanks also for following my blog.Delete
From 20 degrees to 90 plus, and induction cooking twice a day, I find using AC or heat takes about 10 gal of gas every two weeks with the Prius auto starting to recharge the battery as needed. If I dont drive. The plug in Prius only drives 11 miles on a charge so it would probably be more cost efficent to add solar panels for more extended boonedocking.ReplyDelete
I don't hear much about induction cooking and wonder why..... that's all I use in my home. Clean, safe.....no fumes, accurate, no wasted energy.Delete
I've opted to not use the 12v battery for cooking with any 110v electrical appliances. I'm using a butane canister 2x's per day and it lasts me a week at a cost of $3/canister/week (vs. $2/gal * 10 gal = $20/week for 110v cooking). Plus I haven't needed to purchase and connect an expensive inverter to the 12v battery in order to run the 110v appliances. In comparison, I paid $25 for my dual-fuel stove at REI. Induction cooking is cool, but not cheap unless you have lots of solar and a sufficiently large bank of batteries.Delete
I love it, I road trip in my prius and love sleeping in the back. It's great to wake up make some coffee and be on the road, full of adventure. Thanks for sharing. peace -s PS where are you now?ReplyDelete
Yes, the Prius is a great car for road trips. Many find it hard to believe that you can easily sleep in it. I'm currently in Pahrump, heading east tomorrow. Next stop: Death Valley for the super bloom and the new moon.Delete
Very cool Suanne. It looks like you are enjoying life. That's what it is all about!ReplyDelete
Thanks for checking out my blog Marty.Delete
You say that the bug netting is tacked to the doorframe. How did you do that? In the picture it looks like tape.
Hi Joseph, In the photos it's velcro. I attached the velcro to the door frame with Gorilla Glue. Unfortunately, after about 4 years, the Gorilla Glue failed. Currently I've attached the netting with Gorilla Tape all of the way around. It's held up well for over a year now.Delete
Hi Suanne, Thanks for sharing your experience and inventiveness. Your blog is so helpful! In 6 days I'll embark on my second cross-country jaunt in Prius 2006. My trips are to assuage my music / dance 'addiction': I drive East from CA to play in dance bands, to dance, and to visit east coast family. Question about Gorilla tape and netting: is the tape secured to velcro, which is then attached to the netting, or do you just directly tape the Gorilla tape to the netting?ReplyDelete
I've directly tape to the netting and no longer use the Velcro. Thanks for checking out my blog, and happy trails to you!Delete
Hi Suanne! Just wondering 1)how u hooked the bungee to the rear window. 2)how to run a/c thru the night, ie do u "turn the car on" any differently? 3)any other "good" public overnight parking on transition nights & what to know. (Thx so much for ur blog & sorry if ive missed prior answers)ReplyDelete
Hi SoulStretch, 1) I tie a small loop around each strut and hang an "S" hooks on those loops to hold the bungee. 2) The Prius has a push power button that works similar to turning the key. Since it's a true Toyota hybrid, the engine only comes on when the high-voltage batteries need to be recharged. It's different than a non-hybrid car. 3) When I'm on my way someplace and need to stop to sleep I typically choose rest areas or Walmarts. When those aren't available, I've slept at truck stops, hotel parking lots, or 24-hour stores. I usually go to sleep right after I park, leaving at first light. I hope that was helpful.Delete
Hi Suanne. I've read your post over at cheaprvliving and I've been browsing your blog here a bit. A couple of times you mention using an inverter to charge your laptop, but I can't seem to see anywhere your mentioning more specifics about it, how it works, do you need to be an electrician to install it, etc. I'd love more information on that if you don't mind. Thanks a bunch!ReplyDelete
Hi Lumi, Currently, I use a 12v charger (plugged into the cigarette lighter) to power my laptop instead of using an inverter. By using a 12v charger I don't lose any power in the converstion from 12v to 110v back to 12v. I hope that makes sense. I still do carry an inverter to charge other things that don't have a 12v charger available (e.g., toothbrush). Here is a link to the type of inverter I use http://amzn.to/2baksYY. I hope that's helpful. SuanneDelete
If you come to Pahrump in 2017 please send me a note, I would love to meet you. I'm in Vegas. Also please let me know of any other u tubers or bloggers who travel and live out of a Prius ThankReplyDelete
You. I have a Honda fit.
I'm not sure when I'll be getting back to the Pahrump area. One Prius blogger who I enjoy following is Brent. He's prolific! His blog is at http://macaloney.blogspot.com/ ... enjoy!Delete
Suanne - I would love to have a Prius but currently I have a Honda accord, which I think I could arrange for camping. However, since I don't have the generator options that the Prius provides, is there a way that I can have heat and cooling options in the night? Solar panels? I have watched a lot of the videos but am not seeing anything specifically about this. Any suggestions?ReplyDelete
My friends use a Little Buddy Heater for warming up, and install a roof fan (Van-tastic) for cooling. Sorry I'm not more help.Delete
Suanne, Hello there. I find your writing to be informative and really do enjoy reading your stuff. I came across you on Cheap RV Living in an interview with Bob. Great stuff. I too am a Prius owner/camper. Wondering if you have ever heard of the "Habitent". A description is available at Habitent.com. Looks fascinating but I would worry about losing the ability to use the air conditioning while it is attached.ReplyDelete
Thank you for watching the video and coming over to my blog. I have Prius-dweller friends who have had, or have a Habitent. It has mixed reviews. For me, I like the security of being able to lock my car up while sleeping. Also, having the hatch open overnight will run down a Prius' accessory battery (unless you spring the latch). Finally, as you mentioned, heating or cooling would be compromised with a tent on the back. Hope that helps.ReplyDelete
Thank you for inspiring me ! I found Brent's blog and FB site. Lots more folks have posted utube videos on camping in Prius's lately.ReplyDelete
Also, videos on inexpensive home repairs on Prius batteries are helping me feel more comfortable to purchase a used Prius. I've allowed the weather to limit my Honda fit camping for way too long. Happy trails !
Spirit4joy, I'm glad you are finding the blogs and videos helpful. There's really a lot of good information out there as you sift and sort through it all. Happy trails to you! (I apologize for my late response. I just found your comment and others waiting for approval that I didn't know I had.)Delete
Hi Suanne! I stumbled upon your interview with Bob and I couldn't contain my excitement about the possibility of travelling on my limited income when I fully retire!! I can't stop watching everything I can find about being a nomad to see the country. A Prius, I think, would kill many birds with one stone! Great gas mileage, heating and cooling capability, and the Toyota dependability! When I look to buy one, should I go for newer, less mileage or are they known for lasting well past 200,00 miles? I am on a budget. Thank you so much for giving me hope!!!ReplyDelete
Hi Jules, I would say buy the newest Prius that you can afford. Be sure to have a mechanic check it out before purchase, and select a mechanic that knows Toyota hybrids. The best to you in your preparations. Exciting times! (I apologize for my late response. I just found your comment and others waiting for approval that I didn't know I had.)Delete
I love the sensible, practical, heart felt, and well thought out recommendations.ReplyDelete
That you Paul. You are are very kind.Delete
Suanne, just found your blog and am blown away. You are a rockstar! Very interesting reading. Going to head out this summer to Quebec for a Canadian look-see, and may spend a few nights in my Prius V. Can you tell me where you get your No-See-Em window screens? Appreciate it much. And continue writing to us all.ReplyDelete
I believe the store is called Seattle Fabrics. I got it in person, but I believe they have an online store as well. Thanks for reading my blog. And safe travels.Delete
I am going to experiment with my Prius this summer ,I will stay in state parks first . My question do you turn on the car so it will say ready and you can drive it away? but you lock the doors and go to bed?ReplyDelete
I don't leave my Prius in READY mode so that I can just drive away at night. For just a couple of times since 2009, I've left the Prius in ready mode to run the AC because it was too hot and humid to sleep otherwise. I would wake up in the wee hours and turn it off once it go cool enough. But, I've never had the need to get out of bed unexpectedly to drive away, if that is what you are asking. I do try to remember to lock my doors at night whether my Prius is on or off. Thank you for reading my blog. And I hope your Prius experiment goes well this summer.Delete