When I tell people that I packed up my toddler and baby and trekked 2800 miles in 10 days making numerous one-night camping stops along the way, the usual response is, “Wow, that sounds…awful.”
That is, until I explain that the vehicle we were in was like a living room on wheels. The 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite was the perfect car for our van camping expedition. It comes complete with a widescreen LCD TV and DVD player and a spacious interior with eight-person seating. Think you can’t pull off van camping? Think again.
This thing has a vacuum. Enough said. Adios, stray Cheerios.
Almost as cool as THAT is the
mini-fridge cool box. It doesn’t refrigerate things per se, but it concentrates cooling power from the air conditioner to keep snacks and drinks cold. It helped me provide fresh, cool milk for Some Boy and formula for Sidekick all day long…
…all while charging my electronics in the included AC plug. There were also jacks for connecting gaming systems and headphones in case kids just CAN’T part with their Mario Kart for a couple hours.
For those feeling a little nervous at the thought of taking this top-of-the-line $45K vehicle for a spin, this thing practically drives itself. A rear-view backup camera warns you if you get too close in a tight parking spot, while other cameras around the car trigger the Lane Departure Warning system to beep when the car exits its lane. It has a collision alert system that warns when you’re approaching cars too quickly (a function that came in handy a couple of times when people in front of me slammed on their brakes) and checks your blind spots when changing lanes.
Extra super-bonus: voice commands are simple and straightforward, with the car guiding you straight to your destination. No more fumbling with the cell phone GPS while operating the vehicle.
To make space for all our camping gear, we folded the third row into the floor and removed the middle seat from the second row. Both were quick and easy processes – perfect for busy families needing to make fast configuration switches. Both back doors and the tailgate are automatic, meaning I can have my van open and waiting for me the second I walk up. No need to mess with diaper bags and the baby carrier while wishing I had a spare arm to operate the trunk lever.
I am SO buying this van someday.
What a Van Camping Trip Looks Like
Take a sneak peak at one of our pit stops above for some of my favorite van camping tips!
Have you ever gone van camping with your family?