Me and My CRV – 2021 Updates

Some years I spend more nights sleeping in my car than my home. I’ve had plenty of experience living in this 17 square foot space since 2014 (link). I continue to make improvements.

Vehicle Leveling

I often forego flat parking spots for view locations. I’ve been using an app on my phone to determine level and sometimes use rocks as risers. Rocks crumble, shift and are generally a PIA so when I learned about these plastic blocks RV’s use, I decided to give them a try. I’m carrying four with me now and although they take up a little of my valuable space I like the convenience and performance. (Amazon link)


Over the past few years I’ve relied on showers at campgrounds, RV parks, and truck stops primarily. With COVID I wasn’t comfortable spending time at inside locations. I was motivated to find a solution to become more self reliant. I started out with gallon bag baths, but decided to trial a solar shower. I’m loving being able to clean up more frequently and economically. I’ve filled from creeks and spigots. I let it warm on my dashboard and have found the gravity system works from my car roof or hanging from a tree. To conserve water, I fill a gallon bag or collapsible pail with warm water from the shower and add a little Dr. Bronners soap. Then I can lather up and rinse using the solar shower. I’ve even successfully washed and rinsed my hair plus showered using around a gallon of water. The pail also works for a laundry bin, or at least a place to soak my filthy socks. (Amazon links: solar shower & pail)


I don’t know why I didn’t think of this previously. I already owned a MSR Pocket Rocket, so I just needed to buy a tiny pot so I could improve meal prep beyond either boiled water or no cook options. Making my own hard boiled eggs was a huge win as I’d been buying them and the flavor and odor was always suspicious not to mention expensive. I picked up this Stansport Black Granite Solo II cook pot at a local store and it’s been the perfect size at 30 ounce capacity (5.75″ x 2.5″).

Air Purifier

With my asthma and the ongoing problems of wildfire smoke, I was motivated to find a solution for my vehicle. I decided to give this unit a try and it was perfect for my tiny space. It’s USB rechargeable and has become part of my permanent travel kit. (Amazon link)

Personal Fan

I added this $5 USB rechargeable fan a couple years ago. It makes sleeping in hot temperatures more tolerable. The battery holds a charge for a surprisingly long time.

Window Screens

One of the challenges of sleeping in your car is managing condensation in cold temperatures and reducing heat in hot temperatures. I made these screens out of fabric store mesh in a pillow case fashion. This style makes it easy to open the doors as well as keep bugs away. My first prototype was too tight of mesh and it didn’t allow in enough air flow. I also cut away one side of the mesh to improve air flow. I’ll probably go back to black on my next version for privacy. You can find them commercially available as well. (Amazon link)

Window Rain Deflectors

These have been one of my favorite additions as I can leave window opened a crack for sleeping and reducing condensation even when it’s raining. I got the WeatherTech brand and have been 100% satisfied. They were easy to install and have stayed in place for a few years. There are lots of other brands available. (Amazon link)

Future Additions

The next item I’m researching is a small compressor so I can refill tires if needed. I have canned flat tire air but don’t feel very confident about that option. Speaking of tires, I’ll also be adding locking lug nuts after seeing a few cars recently with their tires stolen at trailheads.

Want to learn more about living out of a vehicle?

Disclosure: if you click on and purchase through the Amazon links I get a tiny affiliate commission. It doesn’t affect your price but it helps me fund this blog.

8 thoughts on “Me and My CRV – 2021 Updates

  1. Thanks for the ideas, Jan. I have the compressor and locking lug nuts, but be sure to always carry them in your car. My repairman said he couldn’t take of the wheels until I pointed out the lug nuts. Glad they were in the car!

  2. Viair compressors are popular with overlanders. I’d avoid cig lighter plug versions as the cig lighter doesn’t carry enough current. A compressor is only part of the solution. You need a tire plug kit and knowledge to use it.

  3. Nice to see you’re still charging ahead with life. In 2019 was going to spend a year on sort of a grand tour of the Southwest during the winter, followed by more time up north in the summer of 2020, while I was still able to get out and do things, but unluckily/luckily for me, I felt like bailing after only four months.

    Got back to Ecuador just before the Corroded Virus came along, followed by the Big Lockdown. Sort of been stuck here since, but it’s cheap, more peaceful than the U.S., and the weather is good.

    Last time around I got the WeatherTech window deflector thingies, which are great, and also sprang for a pair of the “FloorLiners” for the front. Sized exactly for each make/model/year of vehicle. Really super. Amazing how big a difference that good floor mats can make. “Lines the interior carpet up the front, back and even up the sides of the vehicle’s footwell.” With your older vehicle, I don’t know if there’s a match there, but these might be worth a look since you’re out so much.

    I don’t know if I’ll ever even drive again, let alone own a vehicle, but I can keep reading your blog, so keep going then, eh?

    • Ecuador sounds like a perfect place to weather the big fat C storm. Nice to hear from you! You might have just motivated me to upgrade my floor mats. I hate the generic cut-to-fit ones I got a few years ago.

      I’m super hopeful I can get back to my traveling routine this year. I’m so so sick of the big C and it’s negative affect on my freedom.

      Take care and keep in touch.

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