Camperizing our Honda Element

We have loved our Honda Element since we bought it back in 2003. Since we are planning on a camping trip at the end of the month, we wanted to bring our Element with us. Today I decided to bring some new life into it.

I went online to see what people have done to make their Hondas more outdoorsy and versatile than they already are. To my surprise, they all did exactly as I would.

So I got started.

Taking out the back seats opens up a huge cargo area. Approximately 4 feet high by 5 feet wide and 5 feet long. Shaped almost like a box as well. Not a lot of wasted space either.

Putting our camping gear in filled the lower half of our Element. I didn’t really like the idea of stacking our stuff though. So out came the wood, saw and screws.

I already had an 8 foot 2×4 sitting around and a piece of plywood. I measured out the plywood for when the driver and passenger seats are leaning back. Then I folded those seats forward, cut another piece of the plywood at about 1.5 feet long. Screwed this board to the five foot board with an old piano hinge so I could fold it over when driving.

It also just so happened that I had five solid wood slats from an old double bed futon frame. Those fit perfectly across as a brace without any cutting.

We had an old 2 inch cheer mat gathering cobwebs. So I cut it to fit on top of the plywood. It looks as if it was made for the car- with the blue matching our interior. I cut another piece of foam for the fold out part. Once laid out, my 6’8″ body fit from end to end comfortably.

All of it is easy to remove as well. Which makes it a great option to camperize only when we need it.

I’m excited about the future camping trip. Our car is ready! My next couple of goals include getting some solar panels to charge our stuff. I’m also planning on building a slide out shelf to be able to use as a work station/counter.

If you have any tips or ideas for our Element, let me know. I’d love to try them out.

Building Table Number 2

I built a table a couple of years ago because I couldn’t find one large enough that I wanted to purchase.  I needed a table that would fill our sunroom and seat eight to twelve comfortably.  I built the table from 2×10’s and 2×4’s that I torched to give it a rustic look.  Cost me about $100 and a few hours of labor.  Our dining room table turned out pretty good and we are still using it.  (Being a perfectionist, I see the flaws and know what I would do differently if I were to make another table in this style.)


Perfect table for our castle.


Today I am finishing up table number two.  Nowhere near the size or style.  This one is more industrial looking.  It started from a marble slab that was donated to me.  I’ve spent about $70 in piping material and less than thirty minutes to build it.  It will sit outside this summer beside the BBQ as some extra counter space.  Check out the progress:

Heavy marble slab.

Black,oily pipe parts.

Pipes! ASSEMBLE!

It took a bit of fiddling around to get everything squared off.  The weight of the marble helped in making the table sturdy.  The finished side table/counter is the perfect height for me.  It will add that little bit of extra space that I always feel I am missing when cooking outside.  I am happy with the final result.

Marble and metal.

Now to finish the yard and start entertaining guests more often.