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Living out of Subie to climb?


Original Post
Edek Falkowski · · Buffalo, NY · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 110

Hey so I will be living out of my Subie this summer to climb and hike.  I built a bed platform with gear storage underneath and I invested in a Thule roof box, but the last piece of the puzzle is curtains for the inside. I have a reflector/sun shade for the front windshield, but how can I cover up all the other windows to block light and keep the inside shady? Since it's going to be summer I don't know if reflectix is the best idea, but what do you guys think? Thank you!

Mike Womack · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 1,545

I had a buddy who made Velcro curtains that could easily be taken down and put up.  Velcro strips were sewed onto the top and bottom ends of the curtain as well as glued in the right places by the window.  Best made out of thick dark fabric. 

jdereks · · Minnesota · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 70

To blackout the windows in mine I cut to fit reflectix and stitched black fabric to one side. They press into place easily, completely block out light, and look inconspicuous from the outside.

Jon Frisby · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 100

I always find curtains to induce claustrophobia and my car (Honda Element) has a head space advantage. I would try to park such that the eastern horizon is somewhat blocked instead

Derek DeBruin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 585

Velcro curtains can work well, but you'll want to spring for a more expensive variety or just use your own adhesive as the cheap ones fail to adhere after enough really warm days. If you want to go really cheap/easy, you can also get some of those "baby on board" style sun shades and just pop them up. Not full coverage, but easy and better than nothing.

Tristan Higbee · · Ogden, UT · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 2,970

So I wrote a book and have a YouTube channel about traveling and camping in an SUV. Here's my video on curtains and window coverings:


Let me know if you have any other questions.

Firestone · · California · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 449

I have reflectix cut to my windows, no Velcro or anything just press them in. I'm going to put some black fabric on one side like an earlier poster, sounds like a good idea!

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348

Cut Reflectix and press them into the window from the inside. They will stay by themselves and you cut them correctly. I cut them on the outside of the window using a utility knife (which wont scratch the glass).

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456

Just get up earlier, whenever the sun wakes you up ;)

caesar.salad · · earth · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 85
jdereks wrote:

To blackout the windows in mine I cut to fit reflectix and stitched black fabric to one side. They press into place easily, completely block out light, and look inconspicuous from the outside.

This this this. A roll of Reflectix is $40 at Lowe's and you can cut it to fit all your windows.

Carey De Luca · · Yucca Valley, Ca · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 10

I'm also gonna be spending 7 weeks this summer in my Outback.  I'd love a pic of what you did to yours.

La Momoface · · Arvada, CO · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 60

I couldn't get Velcro to stick. I bought slider style rails from an RV website that screw into above the door frame (my car, paid off- holes are ok!) and sewed the runners to a cut-to-fit blackout curtain from target. For the rear window I did do Velcro as it did stick to the glass for me.

Tristan Higbee · · Ogden, UT · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 2,970

Reflectix isn't a great option if you want to roll your windows down and have some ventilation. Curtains allow some privacy and also some breeze. 

Edek Falkowski · · Buffalo, NY · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 110

Here's my bed build. It's three separate pieces of wood (two supports in the trunk, one platform for the back seats). Didn't take a photo of it but you can take the front platform and stack it on top of the back supports in the trunk for storage. After this summer I'll cut the actual sleeping platform (a sheet of OSB that I painted, hence the yellow color) so that it can be stored in the trunk too, but I'll use U bolts to keep it in place when it's in use. The trunk is raised 8.5 inches and the back seats are 6.5". This effectively gives me 8 inches of storage in the trunk and 6 inches on the backseats. Pardon the photo quality, it was sweltering and sunny today.

 View from back

I can fit at least two storage bins under the platform. The platform doesn't look flush because the OSB is a bit bowed, but once there's weight on it, it flattens out.

Storage space from side door

Construction of the supports

For the curtains, I bought emergency blankets ($8.50 for a 10-pack) and I'll figure out a way to rig them to the windows, whether it be turning them into curtains or doing a similar thing to reflectix cutouts. Anyone have any other thoughts on this? Thanks!

Carey De Luca · · Yucca Valley, Ca · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 10

Thanks for the pic!

Firestone · · California · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 449
Tristan Higbee wrote:

Reflectix isn't a great option if you want to roll your windows down and have some ventilation.

This is totally true, and ventilation is a big problem to overcome. Has anyone ever used one of those car covers for urban camping?

I imagine it would allow you to roll the Windows down, block bugs, and be somewhat water repellent.

La Momoface · · Arvada, CO · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 60

Here is the curtain kit I got: The rail screws to the ceiling of my car, and the tape gets sewed to whatever cloth material you want. I used black out curtains because the blackout coating means you don't really need to hem it, plus - it stays cozy!

Link to the kit which is one rail and one tape (enough for drivers seat back to trunk): http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/glide-tape-drapery-system-wall-kit/14754

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348

I would remove the back seat all together. It will add a ton of cargo room and reduce weight.

Jon Frisby · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 100

If you go the platform route, using 1" conduit pipe for legs is a significant weight/space savings over wood. Later I will post pics of my Honda element setup that could probably be altered to a subie, though headroom wouldn't be as much.

La Momoface · · Arvada, CO · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 60
Jon Frisby wrote:

If you go the platform route, using 1" conduit pipe for legs is a significant weight/space savings over wood. Later I will post pics of my Honda element setup that could probably be altered to a subie, though headroom wouldn't be as much.

Please do post pics! I haven't seen a pipe set up.

june m · · elmore ,vt · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 43

Any one have  any ideas for screens?

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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