Back pack across North America; in my car... Huh? No, not really; bear with me.
Okay so here's the shake down. I have a stock 89' si CRX that's in okay condition with 230k, it's been in a minor front end collision that has been repaired albeit not so great, it's got plenty of parking lot dents and dings, the paint is faded bad and it's also got a salvage title. So not the prettiest car or worth much, but overall it's mechanically sound with very little rust, one quarter size spot starting in the drivers side rear wheel well. It might would be worth turning into a nice street car again but I don't have the time, money, nor desire to do so. All points aside it drives well and I love it!
I want to travel the US and maybe other parts of North America in the near future (I'm young, I know life will catch up to me quick so I want to take this opportunity sooner than later). I enjoy minimalist travel, I had planned to do this on a dual-sport motorcycle but recent engine problems as well as the financial burdens that come along with it have put a damper on those plans. So back to the drawing board... The CRX is the only vehicle I currently have that I would deem reliable enough for such venture, however I'm on a serious budget and can't afford to get a hotel every night nor do I wanna pay for overnight camping. Sooo the most viable alternative would be sleeping in my car... (Yes I am aware of the legalities) Sleeping in a CRX comfortably??? Without the passenger seat and with some minor carpentry work I CAN in fact lay down flat in it! Hmm... Recreational Vehicle CRX? Project Back Pack Car?
So there's about 7ft of clearance from the back hatch to the glove box. Plenty for sleeping. I could build starting from the floor of the rear hatch a removable platform that effectively gives me a level place to sleep. With realistically about enough luggage space left over for a large backpack. (Hence the name). In comparison to a dual-sport I should have lots of space for stuff, truly it would be a luxury for me to travel in this car. The biggest issue I can foresee would be ventilation in the car at night, but I could potentially slap a 100w solar panel on-top that charges a battery for running fans at night. This is all still on the drawing board and just an idea I'm seriously considering, but the more I think about it the more I like the idea. It would probably be a cheaper way to travel than on a dualsport; tires, maintenance, repairs etc. it all adds up very quickly on a bike. Not to mention a car is safer and more comfortable. But the drawback being MUCH more limited to the places I could freely go. Which brings me to what I would like to ask you guys about, what kind of shocks and tires and maybe other modifications would you guys recommend to help improve my off-pavement capability? I'm not looking to go rock crawling or rally racing I just want to be able to get down a rough gravel road without bottoming out a lot and shaking my 30 year-old dashboard to pieces. Can I easily get an inch or 2 more ground clearance from stock ride height? I know this is not something most civic owners look into, but I'm hoping someone can get me started in the right direction.
I understand this is not the most practical vehicle for this and there are many other cars out there much better built for the job, but it's what I got and I think it would be kinda fun in its ridiculousness. Although I am always open to trades on a reliable 5 speed CRV or an RT awd wagon
A stance about like this would be amazing, but I'm aware this could be well out of my realm of simpler modifications. Maybe not, does anyone know?
PS. I'm not entirely sure where this belongs in regards to the forum, I figured the lounge was the most appropriate at the moment considering I haven't even begun the project at all.