How do I camp with a tiny car?

(32 Posts)
WhatKindofFool Mon 25-Mar-13 11:26:10

I love camping with the kids and hope to go again in the summer. The problem is that I bought a Fiat 500 as I liked it and it is cheap to run. The down size is that there is no way on earth to fit the kids in plus camping gear. I have a bell tent which takes up loads of room.

What do I do? It has a glass roof so I don't think I can put roof bars on. I was thinking about a trailer.

Suggestions please?

lljkk Mon 25-Mar-13 11:27:25

My 500 wouldn't easily tow a trailer.
How many kids, how big the kids and what dimensions is the tent when packed down?

WhatKindofFool Mon 25-Mar-13 11:33:22

3 kids and the tent would fill the entire boot so no space left for luggage. Have no idea about the dimensions - it is just a big bundle!

WhatKindofFool Mon 25-Mar-13 11:33:57

Kids a 7, 10 and 12 - bit enough to weigh the car down.

lljkk Mon 25-Mar-13 11:52:09

Could you hire a bigger car?
Procure a smaller tent?
Go with a friend who has bigger car & can carry some of your stuff?

lljkk Mon 25-Mar-13 11:53:37
WhatKindofFool Mon 25-Mar-13 12:03:13

Thanks lljkk I could prob tow the stuff. Alternatively, I might have to do a pre-pitched tent or go with a friend with a big car.

fossil971 Mon 25-Mar-13 23:44:28

Get a tiny tent. Or hire/borrow a bigger car.

The times we have been camping using DH's van have been bliss - no wedging things into the car under people's feet and lashed onto the roof. Open doors, throw it in (sort of!) and go grin.

Or go somewhere not too far from home and do two runs, one for the tent and one for the stuff.

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 26-Mar-13 11:45:46

What about something like this? www.bak-rak.com/box-rak.htm. I have no idea if it would work on a Fiat 500 but presumably the sellers would know?

Blu Tue 26-Mar-13 12:34:15

Get all your gear freighted / couriered to the site?

Sell your Fiat 500 and get something compact but with a big boot and which can take a roof box, before the kids get too big to sit in the back of a Fiat 500?

Blu Tue 26-Mar-13 12:34:39

Leave the kids behind?

Blu Tue 26-Mar-13 12:35:16

Send the kids on the train! The 2 older ones, anyway.

Machadaynu Tue 26-Mar-13 12:39:41

The bak-rak mentioned above will fit on any car with a tow ball. The Fiat 500 can have one fitted, and the towing capacity is easily enough for a trailer if you have room to store one. The advantage of the bak-rak is that it folds flat for storage.

victoriasmith Tue 26-Mar-13 12:54:55

A friend of mine in similar situation used to send her husband with the children on the train to the nearest station whilst she went on to the site in the car with all the stuff and then went to collect them from the station afterwards.

WhatKindofFool Tue 26-Mar-13 13:26:27

Thanks for all your suggestions. I think the best one is from Blu - "leave the kids behind." ;)

The bak rackis worth investigating too. However, it is quite expensive to get a tow bar fitted ....

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 26-Mar-13 13:32:40

There was some sort of soft sided rear storage carrier reviewed on here a year or so back and I don't think it needed a tow bar. Can't for the life of me think what it was called though. Can anyone remember?

Machadaynu Tue 26-Mar-13 13:36:16

Was it an autorucksack?

www.autorucksack.de/

It's not that big - 120 litres. I had a person-rucksack that was 85 litres smile

Machadaynu Tue 26-Mar-13 13:38:31

Also, it has a maximum load of only 20kg I've just noticed - our tent weighs 60-odd. Might be ok for sleeping bags and things, but it's a lot of money for not much space.

hettie Tue 26-Mar-13 13:53:51

i think the plain bac-rac with bungees and tarp will get the most load on....
the crate thing was the tailcrate thread here and website here
but they went under?

MummyPigsFatTummy Tue 26-Mar-13 14:00:39

Brilliant hettie. 'Twas driving me mad. Disappointed they have gone bust as it was a great idea.

fossil971 Tue 26-Mar-13 22:21:27

There are some quite small lightweight trailers here but you might want to check the overall weight of the car, passengers and kit in case it is overloaded. (or you find you can't go up hills).

Blu Wed 27-Mar-13 10:36:55

That BakRac looks great - but I think in all truth that tent, cooker, gas bottle, sleeping bags, SIMs or airbeds, clothes, cooking gear, chairs, table, cooler, food, waterproofs, wellies, lanterns, and assorted child paraphanalia will not all fit in a Fiat500 plus 4 passengers, even with a BacRac.
Especially a bell tent. And the Decathlon pack-very-flat pop-up tents pack down to a v big diameter disc that wouldn't fit - and if you have a lovely bell tent, you need to use it.

fossil971 Wed 27-Mar-13 11:22:22

I think Fiat are missing a trick to be honest with a sassy little trailer to match the cars a bit like those ones you can get for motorbikes Just think how cute it would look parked up beside your bell tent! All your other camping stuff would need to be a miracle of compactness though which doesn't really fit in with the kilim-and-cushion look - could be a challenge grin

Blu Wed 27-Mar-13 11:28:12

OMG, look at the way that trailer lid transforms into a table!

Fab.

I want one NOW.

They should look more as if they were made by Vespa, or even a F500, as you say -or like those teeny mini Belgian caravan pod things.Or Like a 1950s toaster.

MummyPigsFatTummy Wed 27-Mar-13 12:09:09

Forget the bell tent - you need one of these (if they ever become a reality) - yum!

www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/2679680/Caravan-pods-aim-to-make-caravanning-fashionable.html

Or these, which are here now:

podcaravans.co.uk/product/

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