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The Back-Pack CRX?

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The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby ClanArmstrong » Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:18 pm

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? :rofl:

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 :mrgreen:

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? Image

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.
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby Myriad » Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:18 am

That is entirely possible. You should talk to Bone; he does road trips in his Crx and has a cool, minimalist sleeping pad set up over his passenger seat area. I'm kinda jelly.

Make sure you get your title changed over to a Rebuilt one, you do not want to be pulled over by a State Highway Patrol officer with a Salvaged title; that would end your trip pretty quickly. It's especially important with doing interstate travel, because you have to conform to laws of all of the states you'll go through. You could chance it, but the price of being pulled over would not be worth it.

If you want, you could play with your A/C refrigerant lines to make a travel fridge out of a cooler in the back. It would certainly help with food cost. It's an idea I'm certainly going to eventually try.
I got a new shell, just need to stop driving the DX so I can work on it.

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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby jpciii » Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:10 pm

A state cannot enforce its own licensing, registration, insurance, safety-standard, etc laws onto tourists and out-of-state drivers. You have to stop at red lights and observe the speed limits, of course, but as long as you and your car are legal to drive in your own state, then you are legal everywhere else in the US.

It falls under this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_Fait ... dit_Clause


A bit of advice from someone who traveled this country for 10 years as a broke-ass musician: If you are going to do this in an old POS, be prepared to perform roadside repairs.
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby Mista Bone » Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:30 pm

89 CRX HF Sleeper.....My only issues with sleeping in it have been me getting comfortable. 5'10" and 260 lbs, used to sleeping on my stomach....

Image

I did remove about 12" from the front, able to fit a D series transmission in the floorboard as well as store a tarp and containers with alcohol stove and such under it.

Image

It can also be removed and stock seat bolted back it. Remove two front seat bolts and 6 wood screws. Wide and long air pad.

Image

Image

Even built a bike rack....or it could carry a storage tote or Small Honda generator :)

Image
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby Mista Bone » Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:32 pm

You can get a BLM permit for $80 a year, able to camp on public lands, esp. out west, also known as boondocking.

Tread lightly, leave no trace.
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby 4drSpankR » Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:19 pm

Damn. I don't even want to drive my CRX to Canada.
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby Myriad » Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:38 pm

jpciii wrote:A state cannot enforce its own licensing, registration, insurance, safety-standard, etc laws onto tourists and out-of-state drivers. You have to stop at red lights and observe the speed limits, of course, but as long as you and your car are legal to drive in your own state, then you are legal everywhere else in the US.


I did not know that. If I took a couple minutes to think, I might have come up to that. I like to play safe, but it's good info to know now. It actually makes me feel better when I'm out of state.
I got a new shell, just need to stop driving the DX so I can work on it.

I've got a filter for my mouth, it just isn't a good one.
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby Cementups » Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:09 pm

4drSpankR wrote:Damn. I don't even want to drive my CRX to Canada.


Get your passport and drive up with us next year. Stop putting it off. You can drive mine up next year if you don't want to take yours, then I can drive my Integra up.
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby Mista Bone » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:47 pm

4drSpankR wrote:Damn. I don't even want to drive my CRX to Canada.


What a short commute for you. Last weekend I drove from Cincy, OH to east of Harrisburg, PA, then down through Baltimore and DC into NC, then back to Cincy.

1575 miles @ 40+ mpg....because CRX :)
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby 4drSpankR » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:47 pm

Cementups wrote:
4drSpankR wrote:Damn. I don't even want to drive my CRX to Canada.


Get your passport and drive up with us next year. Stop putting it off. You can drive mine up next year if you don't want to take yours, then I can drive my Integra up.



Or, we can tow yours with my CRX and you can still drive your Integra up!
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby tommy » Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:45 am

If I can make it next year, you can too. :stick:

Though having two of Ryan's cars there to mess with does sound interesting.... :bounce:
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby Cementups » Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:57 pm

Too bad you're afraid of camping and will be in your cush hotel, Tommy. :P
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby tommy » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:26 am

Oh no - if I'm in next year, I'm all in. I'll be doing the camping and all of the wonderfulness involved. I'm already looking forward to the mosquito bites and underage schmoes getting drunk for the first time.
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby Cementups » Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:21 am

I don't even know that any underage people are there. We are a responsible bunch.
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby Mista Bone » Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:05 am

21 in the US, 19 in Canada, so they yungins get their first taste of beer and a lap dance. Then the go back to campgrounds and do tray slides almost hitting several people and cars.

N8
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby tommy » Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:28 am

Yeah, for those who have gone to more than the last couple, there are some "Project X"-type memories out there.
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby Myriad » Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:01 pm

Mista Bone wrote:21 in the US, 19 in Canada, so they yungins get their first taste of beer and a lap dance. Then the go back to campgrounds and do tray slides almost hitting several people and cars.

N8

Good times. :lol:
I got a new shell, just need to stop driving the DX so I can work on it.

I've got a filter for my mouth, it just isn't a good one.
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby Cementups » Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:57 pm

I've only been to the last 3 and none of that kind of frugality had occurred.
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby Mista Bone » Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:16 am

I haven't been in a while, just saying :)

New LED lights for the falls, might have to come see them.
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby ClanArmstrong » Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:19 pm

I like it MIsta Bone, very similar design from what I had in mind. (Not many design options exist...) I would love to hear how you built the bike rack. Particularly how you mounted it. I want to put a roof rack on mine for a mountain bike someday, but more places to store things is always a plus. I've kicked around with the idea of throwing a Honda Grom behind it :mrgreen: I would probably need to upgrade the springs for that one... I'm not entirely sure when I'm going to get around to building it, hopefully sometime this winter I'll keep you guys up to date when I do.

Huh, using the A/C as a fridge never thought of that... I suppose the only down fall would be that it only cools while the car is running. I was planning on getting a super efficient cooler like a yeti, if I can find one that will fit I'd like to stick it underneath the "bed" in the passenger side floor board.
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby Mista Bone » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:51 am

CRX had a hitch on it when I bought the car. Piece of tubing from Home Depot, piece of UniStrut from Menards, make one cut, then nuts and bolts and brackets. Heavy yes, but only $60 and....I make it myself.

Image

Image

I also worked on my CRV to be a sleeper, but it gets 1/2 the gas mileage of the CRX, but more room.

Image

Before I figured that out, I slept at a TN welcome center (free Wifi) and this area in North Carolina. It was then I knew I could car camp once I figured out perfect sleeping position.

Image
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby Mista Bone » Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:00 am

Road Atlanta, March 2016....

Reflectix on the side windows and rear glass, towel covering the rear of the hatch but also helped vent the cabin ever so slightly. Temps were 35 degrees, I never crawled in my sleeping bag.

Image

I spent the night before at Newfound Gap Road overlook, woke up with a dusting of snow on the CRX. Upon my return from Road Atlanta I was gonna sleep a night in the Smokies but a snow storm closed access to the GSMNP.....

I'm working on easier ideas as blowing up sleeping pads for one night SUCKS!
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby 4drSpankR » Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:47 am

ClanArmstrong wrote: I've kicked around with the idea of throwing a Honda Grom behind it :mrgreen:




I've debated a few times putting a hitch on my CRX just so I could two a small trailer with my Grom on it. I just think it'd look awesome. Or maybe even just a big bike rack like Bone.
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby Myriad » Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:08 pm

Trailer hitches for our crx's? THEY EXIST?! :woot:

viewtopic.php?t=6983 Just searched it up. I want one now. How would you mount a bike rack to it though?
I got a new shell, just need to stop driving the DX so I can work on it.

I've got a filter for my mouth, it just isn't a good one.
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Re: The Back-Pack CRX?

Postby Mista Bone » Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:41 am

Insert tube into Class one hitch, tighten the 17mm mm nut and bolt.

The main tube is 1.25" x 1.25" from Lowes. I bought a 4' length although 3' would be plenty.
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