Camping in small cars has become an increasingly popular way to travel and see the outdoors on a budget. According to statistics from Statista, over 40 million households in North America go camping every year. With gas prices rising, camping close to home in a small, fuel efficient car like the Honda Fit is an affordable option.
This guide will cover everything you need to know to turn your Honda Fit into a cozy home on wheels. We’ll discuss how to prepare your car, the best setups for sleeping and storage, choosing campsites, power and pet travel tips, and provide packing checklists. With some creativity and planning, the Honda Fit can take you on exciting camping adventures while saving money.
Choosing a Honda Fit
When choosing a Honda Fit for camping, it’s best to stick with newer model years from 2015 onward. According to Roadtrippers, “The Honda Fit has seen just two complete redesigns in its lifetime: in 2007 when it was introduced to North America, and then again in 2015” (https://roadtrippers.com/magazine/when-size-doesnt-matter-how-i-car-camp-in-my-honda-fit/).
The 2015+ models have more interior space and seating configurations that are better optimized for converting into a sleeping area. The Magic Seat system allows the rear seats to fold completely flat in different arrangements. The Fit also added more cabin amenities in 2015 like a larger touchscreen display, rearview camera, and more USB ports.
As for trims, the higher EX and EX-L models are preferable since they come with more upscale features that improve comfort and convenience for camping. This includes amenities like dual-zone climate control, push button start, moonroof, and heated leather seats. However, the lower LX trim can still work well for budget camping builds.
Overall, the Honda Fit’s blend of fuel efficiency (up to 36 mpg highway), small footprint for maneuverability, and boxy interior make it one of the best subcompact cars for converting into a mini camper van.
Preparing Your Honda Fit
The Honda Fit is a great compact car for camping due to its roomy interior and ability to fold down the rear seats. To make the most out of your Fit for camping trips, make some modifications to outfit the interior.
One of the most important things to do is remove or fold down the rear seats. According to My Travel BF, “For camping in your Honda Fit, you should fold down the backseats, push the driver’s seat forward, [and] lay the passenger’s seat all the way back.” This will maximize the interior space and give you room to set up a sleeping area.
It’s also a good idea to add some storage solutions. Attach hooks to the walls and roof to hang camping gear like flashlights and lanterns. You can also add storage bins and tie-down straps to secure your belongings while driving. Some people install wooden platforms with integrated storage underneath to fully utilize the cargo space.
Outfit the interior with camping-friendly accessories. Bring along window shades for privacy and blackout curtains for darkness. A small battery-powered fan can help with ventilation on hot nights. Memory foam mattress toppers make the Fit’s floor more comfortable to sleep on. And don’t forget the basics like sheets, pillows, and blankets to turn your Honda Fit into a cozy shelter.
Sleeping in a Honda Fit
One of the key considerations when camping in a Honda Fit is how to set up comfortable sleeping arrangements in the compact interior space. While the folding rear seats provide a flat platform for sleeping, additional padding and accessories can help make your nights more restful.
Many people find that an inflatable sleeping pad or mattress is essential for cushioning from the hard surfaces of the car. Products like the Therm-A-Rest Z Lite SOL Sleeping Pad are lightweight, packable options made especially for car camping. For more comfort, try an inflatable mattress like the Luno Air Mattress, which conforms to the Fit’s cargo space.
You can also build a simple sleeping platform using plywood or storage bins, allowing you to utilize the full height of the Fit’s interior. Top it with a mattress or pad for cushioning. Some people even install hammocks stretching widthwise across the back.
Make sure to crack the windows for ventilation while sleeping. And consider battery-operated fans for airflow and privacy curtains or reflectix to block out light. With a few modifications, the Honda Fit can provide cozy accommodations after a long day of adventure.
When camping in a small car like the Honda Fit, utilizing every bit of available space for gear storage is key. Here are some tips for maximizing your storage capacity:
Roof storage options like roof racks and cargo boxes are great for increasing capacity without sacrificing interior space 1. Soft-sided cargo bags that conform to the roof profile are a budget-friendly option. UpRight and Thule make good roof racks for the Fit.
Get creative about using all interior nooks and crannies. The under-floor storage area is perfect for items like camp chairs. Door pockets can hold flashlights and water bottles. Use hanging organizers on the back of the front seats to store small items like chargers and sunscreen.
Use packing cubes, bags, and containers to optimize organization. Label everything so you can quickly find what you need. Try to group items by type – kitchen supplies together, clothing together, etc. Utilizing vertical space with stacking bins is useful.
Camp Kitchen Setup
Having the right gear for cooking and preparing meals is essential for an enjoyable camping experience. Since space is limited in the Honda Fit, you’ll want portable, compact cooking equipment. One great option is a single burner propane camping stove, which folds up into a compact size yet provides the heating power needed for cooking meals.
Attach the propane tank to the burner, and you’ll have a fully functioning stovetop for frying up eggs and bacon or boiling water for coffee. For added prep space, pack along a small collapsible table that can be set up outside the car. You can find lightweight, aluminum camping tables that fold up into a carrying case.
Be sure to bring a cooler stocked with food storage containers, utensils, paper plates, and anything else you’ll need for food prep and cooking. It helps to freeze some water bottles to act as ice packs in the cooler. Meal ingredients that hold up well include hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, and breakfast foods like oatmeal packets.
With the right compact cooking gear, you’ll be able to whip up delicious camp meals from the trunk of your Honda Fit!
Staying Powered Up
When camping in your Honda Fit, power for electronics can be a challenge. The standard 12-volt outlet may not provide enough juice to keep phones, laptops, and other devices charged. Installing extra batteries is a great solution.
Many Fit campers add a second battery tied into the electrical system to run accessories without draining the starting battery. Popular options are AGM or lithium batteries mounted in a vented marine box. With 200-300 amp hours, you can run lights, fans, and charge electronics without worrying about running out of power (Honda Fit 4 Adventure).
For on-the-go charging, products like portable power stations offer outlets and USB charging. Jackery, GoalZero, and Bluetti make popular models with 500+ watt hours to keep devices topped up. Using solar panels or the alternator lets you recharge them while driving or parked at a campsite (Milk Crate Solar Battery System).
With some electrical upgrades, you can enjoy off-grid power for lights, fans, phones and laptops when camping or living in your Honda Fit.
Camping with Pets
Camping with dogs or cats in a Honda Fit can be done but does require some planning for pet comfort and safety. The hatch area in the Fit does not provide a large amount of room, so medium to larger dogs may not fit very comfortably especially if the back seats are upright (1). Smaller pets like cats, small dogs, or puppies can be accommodated more easily.
To maximize space, fold down the rear seats to open up the cargo area. You can then create a padded bed or nest for your pet to lay on. Bring their favorite blankets or sleeping pad to make it cozy. If your pet is prone to motion sickness, situate their bed in the most stable location, avoiding anywhere their head may hang off an edge.
Be sure to take regular breaks for your pet to stretch their legs, get water, and relieve themselves. Keep your pet leashed when outside the vehicle for their safety. Bring enough food, medication, waste bags, and other essential pet care items. Open windows periodically for ventilation. Avoid leaving pets alone in the vehicle.
With some creativity, pets can happily join you on a Honda Fit camping adventure. Focus on your pet’s needs and comfort to make the close quarters enjoyable for all (2).
When camping in a Honda Fit, you have the flexibility to camp at designated campgrounds or at dispersed camping sites. Both have their advantages.
Campgrounds offer amenities like restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and fire pits. However, they often require reservations and charge a fee. Dispersed camping is free and usually doesn’t require reservations, but you won’t have access to facilities. You’ll need to be fully self-sufficient.
When looking for a dispersed camping site in your Honda Fit, focus on finding a flat, level spot that will accommodate your tent. Make sure there is ample room to set up your camp kitchen and store your gear. Avoid areas with potential flooding or falling trees and rocks. Most national forests and BLM land allow dispersed camping.
Some key things to look for in a site:
- Flat ground free of bumps and dips
- Wide enough to fit your tent and setup
- Clear of fallen trees, branches, and other debris
- No sign of flooding or rain runoff
- Shade from trees (but not under dead trees or branches)
- Away from cliff edges and loose rocky areas
Scout the area during daylight to find an optimal spot to spend the night. Follow all rules and regulations for the land you are camping on.
Final Tips & Packing Lists
Before setting out on your Honda Fit camping adventure, keep these common mistakes in mind so you can avoid them:
- Forgetting to pack extra blankets or warm layers – Evenings can get chilly, so make sure to pack enough insulation to stay warm overnight.
- Not testing gear ahead of time – Set up your tent, camping stove, etc. at home first to identify any issues.
- Overpacking food that requires refrigeration – Stick to non-perishables and food that can be kept cool in a cooler.
- Not having enough water – Bring along extra water for drinking, cooking, washing up.
- Forgetting first aid supplies – Pack bandages, medications, insect repellent.
- Not preparing for rain – Bring a tarp or rain fly to create a dry cooking/lounging area.
Use these packing checklists as a starting point to ensure you don’t forget any camping essentials:
Bedding and Clothing
- Sleeping bag
- Extra blankets
- Changes of clothes
- Rain gear
- Hiking shoes
Food and Water
- Non-perishable snacks
- Camp stove and fuel
- Cooking utensils
- Cooler and ice
- Water bottles
Safety and Health
- Map of campground
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Hand sanitizer
- Toilet paper