Subaru camping conversions for ballies!





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  1. #1
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    Default Subaru camping conversions for ballies!

    My wife and I want to do some longer trips - sometimes staying just overnight, or a couple of days- camping all the way in our "sedate" Subaru Forester. . We used to have a Hilux which had masses of space and could carry everything plus even stuff we would never use!

    We are both 65yrs old and so conversions have to facilitate that, i.e no strenuous lifting of jerry cans, spare wheels etc and stuff on to roof rack etc (my superman days are over now!)

    Has anyone done any innovative camping conversions? Nothing permanent so that vehicle reverts to normal when we get back home.

    I am talking about easily accessible packing/storage space and methods, fridge, LED and solar charging/batteries. Roof top tent or not? Awning ideas etc. Also where to put spare wheel so it is accessible because once you have packed u the vehicle, the wheel is inaccessible without unpacking and repacking (can one get a two hitch attachment?). Jerry can, water container etc.

    We will be wanting to go to Namibia/Botswana/Zimbabwe/Mozambique - clearly not harder off roading like we used to do in our Hilux!

    Any ideas out there?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Subaru camping conversions for ballies!

    Sounds like you need a camping trailer like a Jurgens XT75
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Subaru camping conversions for ballies!

    Some has done just that via a google search.

    https://www.twodustytravelers.com/su...rester-camper/
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  5. #4
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    Default Re: Subaru camping conversions for ballies!

    Search Youtube for SUV camper conversions. Lots of very useful ideas.
    I would say the first thing would be some sort of drawer system custom made to fit your equipment. One of the drawers should contain your kitchen.
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  6. #5
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    Default Re: Subaru camping conversions for ballies!

    Quote Originally Posted by ziggy View Post
    Also where to put spare wheel so it is accessible because once you have packed u the vehicle, the wheel is inaccessible without unpacking and repacking (can one get a two hitch attachment?).
    Our daughter can attest to that problem...

    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #6
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    Default Re: Subaru camping conversions for ballies!

    You have an interesting project ahead of you, and I trust you will share the outcome thereof with us.

    I am the proud owner of a 2008 Forester 2.5XS, that has taken us to many off-the-map destinations in South Africa. I have previously written about this vehicle on this Forum, trying to make the point that, with the capabilities of the Forester, it became difficult for us to decide whether to use this vehicle or our 110 Defender 2.5Tdi County whenever we planned a trip.

    The main issue with the Forester was its 60-litre fuel tank, which provides you with a 600km range. Tienie Bester of Subaru did a overland trip to Angola in around 2007, where they fitted an auxiliary fuelvtank in the spare wheel well, and elected to strap the spare wheel on the lightweight roof rack. My thinking has been to fit a carrier arm to the rear of the vehicle, because I have an inherent dislike of roof racks.

    What I would suggest is to be very careful in adding unnecessary weight to the car, i.e. skid plates or protectors. Maybe the self-levelling shocks could be replaced with better (e.g. off-road racing) shocks. The only other modification required would be a Hella plug for a small Engel fridge, and a couple of USB ports to charge your cell phones and electronic equipment.

    Concerning your packing list, keep to what you cannot do without, instead of packing what you would like to have. A medical kit, spade, tyre compressor and tow-rope are non-negotiable.

    If you could get in touch with Tienie Bester of Subaru, he could be in a good position to advise you on converting your Forester into a good overlander

  9. #7
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    Default Re: Subaru camping conversions for ballies!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wave View Post
    Sounds like you need a camping trailer like a Jurgens XT75
    No trailer! cuz I will trail my little boat sometimes - but not always. Also, prefer to be without trailer

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    Default Re: Subaru camping conversions for ballies!

    Quote Originally Posted by Prof View Post
    Some has done just that via a google search.

    https://www.twodustytravelers.com/su...rester-camper/
    I saw this - earlier - some great ideas - but I am looking sof stuff that one can easily get in SA

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    Default Re: Subaru camping conversions for ballies!

    Quote Originally Posted by prof View Post
    our daughter can attest to that problem...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    exactly!!!!!

  12. #10
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    Default Re: Subaru camping conversions for ballies!

    Quote Originally Posted by HW Short View Post
    You have an interesting project ahead of you, and I trust you will share the outcome thereof with us.

    I am the proud owner of a 2008 Forester 2.5XS, that has taken us to many off-the-map destinations in South Africa. I have previously written about this vehicle on this Forum, trying to make the point that, with the capabilities of the Forester, it became difficult for us to decide whether to use this vehicle or our 110 Defender 2.5Tdi County whenever we planned a trip.

    The main issue with the Forester was its 60-litre fuel tank, which provides you with a 600km range. Tienie Bester of Subaru did a overland trip to Angola in around 2007, where they fitted an auxiliary fuelvtank in the spare wheel well, and elected to strap the spare wheel on the lightweight roof rack. My thinking has been to fit a carrier arm to the rear of the vehicle, because I have an inherent dislike of roof racks.

    What I would suggest is to be very careful in adding unnecessary weight to the car, i.e. skid plates or protectors. Maybe the self-levelling shocks could be replaced with better (e.g. off-road racing) shocks. The only other modification required would be a Hella plug for a small Engel fridge, and a couple of USB ports to charge your cell phones and electronic equipment.

    Concerning your packing list, keep to what you cannot do without, instead of packing what you would like to have. A medical kit, spade, tyre compressor and tow-rope are non-negotiable.
    hing heavey
    If you could get in touch with Tienie Bester of Subaru, he could be in a good position to advise you on converting your Forester into a good overlander
    I have to trim down my Hilux camping list for sure. Yes, trim down weight as much as possible and not add extra stuff - roof rack is ok provided there is nothing heavy placed there - and I dont like a roof top tent. I am looking for a carrier arm for the spare wheel - on the roof rack it will be way too much for me to deal with being in the upper 60's and recently had a heart bypass!

    Where is Tineie based - I am in Durban

    I am also interested in innvative ways of packing etc.....will search the forum here as well as general google.

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    Default Re: Subaru camping conversions for ballies!

    @Ziggy

    My take on this.

    • Roofrack specifically for four 10l Steel Jerrycans (easier to handle)
    • Rear bumper bracket for sparewheel, no way getting round that one. You need to find an engineering shop to make that.
    • Double drawer system as per article.
    • All other equipment on platform. Assuming camping on the ground
    • Larger tyres an option, what works for the Subaru


    https://www.makro.co.za/hardware-aut...yABEgL47vD_BwE

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  14. #12
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    Default Re: Subaru camping conversions for ballies!

    If the spare wheel well could be used for the auxiliary fuel tank, complete with its piping and electrics, there is no requirement for additional fuel containers, e.g. jerry cans. With the spare wheel on the carrier arm on the back of the vehicle, perhaps a second tyre only (without rim) could be carried inside the vehicle. The use of Wolfpack containers eliminate the need for a drawer system, which means that, in an emergency, two persons could sleep inside the vehicle with the rear seats folded down. As such there is also no need for a roof rack, which helps with fuel consumption.

    I guess Tienie Bester is still in the South African Subaru dealer fraternity, previously he was with Subaru Centurion, but he could now be based in the Western Cape.

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    Default Re: Subaru camping conversions for ballies!

    Quote Originally Posted by Prof View Post
    @Ziggy

    My take on this.

    • Roofrack specifically for four 10l Steel Jerrycans (easier to handle)
    • Rear bumper bracket for sparewheel, no way getting round that one. You need to find an engineering shop to make that.
    • Double drawer system as per article.
    • All other equipment on platform. Assuming camping on the ground
    • Larger tyres an option, what works for the Subaru


    https://www.makro.co.za/hardware-aut...yABEgL47vD_BwE

    My 2cw
    roof racks a definite - Also thought of a roof basket carrier - or one of those pods
    10l jerry cans - the obvious solution!!!
    rear bumper bracket - yes, I thought the only way is to get one made
    drawers sound good
    yes, camping on the ground
    will investigate the tyres thing - although I dont really intend being overly adventurous in terms of roads!

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    Default Re: Subaru camping conversions for ballies!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMF4eGBLHsA

    Spare wheel thing - too drastic!

  17. #15
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    Default Re: Subaru camping conversions for ballies!

    Yes, very neat, but a massive undertaking (as well as weight).

    What the video does not show is all the finicky measurements and templates which are ultimately scrapped to determine where those two pivot holes in the bumper cover should be drilled.

    Perhaps something more along this line:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Based on a modified Thule 970 cycle rack clamping the tow ball. The modification is to allow the rack to fold down so the boot can open. The standard rack cannot do that.

    So what I often get asked is, yes, but what if I want to tow? Then you put the spare wheel in the trailer, dude.
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  18. #16
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    Default Re: Subaru camping conversions for ballies!

    You can also ask for assistance on http://foresterforum.co.za/

    Quite a few guys have done changes specific to long trips

    One of the international guys changed their loading area so that if you open the boot it raises up and becomes a foot covering with tent piece and the rear then extends to allow a long enough bed

    A few have also put a water storage container with pumps inside the spare wheel well area
    And I believe a few has made it a spare fuel tank to increase range

    If you are planning on doing long trip and you are sure that you will not need to rear seats then you can also clear a very large portion of space by having them removed while you are traveling
    That adds a reasonable decent packing space behind the driver seats as well
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  19. #17
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    Default Re: Subaru camping conversions for ballies!

    Tauro (I believe on this forum), Johannesburg based, make cargo barriers and towbar mounted swing out wheel carriers, a far easier solution for you, mounts to the towbar mount, no need for drilling and modification.

    Tauro . CO . ZA

    Simplicity is key, I love this idea.
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    Default Re: Subaru camping conversions for ballies!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gman_ZA View Post
    Tauro (I believe on this forum), Johannesburg based, make cargo barriers and towbar mounted swing out wheel carriers, a far easier solution for you, mounts to the towbar mount, no need for drilling and modification.

    Tauro . CO . ZA

    Simplicity is key, I love this idea.
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  21. #19
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    Default Re: Subaru camping conversions for ballies!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gman_ZA View Post
    Tauro (I believe on this forum), Johannesburg based, make cargo barriers and towbar mounted swing out wheel carriers, a far easier solution for you, mounts to the towbar mount, no need for drilling and modification.

    Tauro . CO . ZA

    Simplicity is key, I love this idea.
    Exactly what is needed but expensive a R4999! But, nothing is cheap these days.......

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    Default Re: Subaru camping conversions for ballies!

    Quote Originally Posted by ziggy View Post
    Exactly what is needed but expensive a R4999! But, nothing is cheap these days.......
    Hi ziggy

    You could also use a bicycle rack such as this one

    http://theloadingzone.co.za/sa2000

    Then you can customize it to fit a spare wheel.
    The reason I recommend this is
    * You can fit it to the towball frame using a backing plate
    * You will still be able to tow a trailer/boat seeing that you do not clamp it onto the towball
    * If you need to get into the back of the vehicle, just remove the drawpin at the bottom and drop the rack and wheel towards the ground, no need to take the wheel or carrier off.

    Unfortunately I am in Cape Town, because I would have been able to give you a rack like this including the required backing plate.
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