Hunting for a low-cost camper conversion that is both simple and comfortable? A Honda Element camper conversion could be ideal for you.
Because it’s a wonderful, large sleeper and readily adaptable, this cult SUV camper has won the hearts of countless campers as well as van lifers over the last decade.
Certain variants include four-wheel drive, allowing you to take the Element on off-road activities. Imagine preparing a hot lunch of the tailgate in the midst of an attractive pine forest or directly on a sandy beach, aided by your 12-volt fridge.
Honda Element camper conversions are so simple that you could purchase a kit and go camping the same day you get it. Alternatively, you may even easily construct a DIY Honda Element conversion if you want!
What is the Honda Element, and why is it so cool?
The Honda Element is a compact car SUV that mixes elements from SUVs, automobiles, and pickup trucks in order to appeal to an active, outdoorsy population. It is a unique vehicle since it is both a tough everyday driver as well as an adventure vehicle capable of carrying all of your gear.
The Element includes several camping and dog-friendly amenities, also including:
- Bi-parting side doors that aid in loading equipment
- A tailgate-style back door, similar to a pickup truck.
- Seating that is easily storable and removable, allows you to quickly convert the automobile from a passenger carrier to an open cargo area.
- Rubberized interior (no carpeting) makes cleaning mud and debris a breeze.
- All-wheel drive is an alternative that helps with bad weather and traveling down uneven woodland roads.
The Element received a dog-friendly package in 2007, that featured a pet restraint system, ventilation fan, load-in ramp, as well as other fun features for dog owners. These factors combine to make the Element an excellent choice for van life with a pet.
Honda Elements were produced from 2002 to 2011, with model years ranging from 2003 to 2011. Honda stopped production owing to poor sales, but the automobile has gained cult status, and there are currently a lot of them on the road because of Honda’s dependability.
Pros and Cons of Honda Element Campers
- Interior space is abundant. With the back seats eliminated, the Element’s load volume of 130 cubic feet approaches that of larger SUVs. That is a lot of room for your campervan conversion!
- An all-wheel drive is an option. If you intend to spend the night in your vehicle in tough and inaccessible regions such as National Forests, an AWD Element can get you there.
- Good fuel efficiency. The Honda Element gets 20 miles per gallon in the city and 24 miles per gallon on the interstate. Not ideal by today’s standards, but better than many cargo vans.
- Conversion kits are available. Several firms sell kits that allow you to convert your Element into a camper. You may skip the DIY build and get on the road sooner with these.
- Private and Stealth. The Honda Element, with a solid set of window shades, is an excellent vehicle for parking overnight in residential neighborhoods without getting “the knock.”
- It is no longer available. The 2011 Honda Element is the most recent model year on the market, so you’ll largely be looking at secondhand vehicles with higher mileage.
- This is a vehicle that is older. Because the Element is an outdated vehicle, it may necessitate more mechanical repairs. Plan to do a full examination before purchasing, and budget for regular maintenance to keep it running.
- Customization is more difficult. The Element isn’t as much of a blank slate as a cargo van. You’ll have to either deal around or eliminate some things.
Honda Element Camper Conversion Kits
Do you want a simple way to convert a Honda Element into a camper? The simplest and fastest way to do it is to get an Element camper conversion kit.
These are ideal for busy folks who do not have the time to dedicate to a DIY conversion or who are hesitant about power equipment.
Is it you? Then don’t think about that as well; simply order and install a kit. It’s less difficult than constructing an Ikea cabinet. Consider taking a look at these fantastic conversion kits.
Freeway Honda Element Camper Kit
The Freeway Honda Element Camper Kit will quickly transform your Element into a camper. It’s a straightforward but ingenious wooden platform that doubles as a bed and storage space. You don’t have to install it completely, so you can still drive the Element.
Panels on the platform either expand for resting or fold away to provide a place for your gear. The bed is 48 by 78 inches when fully extended.
The large storage area may accommodate a water tank, a chill box, and a portable toilet. The storage can be accessed from the tailgate, the sides of the van, or by lowering the bed panels.
This Honda Element camper conversion kit is built of Russian cherry and is available in two finishes: bare wood as well as stained and varnished. To finish the set, add a three-piece mattress.
The best part? It’s like a giant 3D wooden puzzle that doesn’t require any equipment to put together. All of the pieces fit together simply. When you’re finished camping, simply remove the platform and store it at home.
If you’re on a tight budget and intend when using your Honda Element camper for stealth traveling or camping frequently, this modification kit is ideal. The bare wood platform costs $749.99, while the stained and lacquered platform, mattress, plus cover costs $1,299.99.
Fifth Element Camping
Seeking a flexible kit that lets you pick and choose which accessories to add to your Element? There’s a new transformation kit on the market. Fifth Element Camping is responsible for it.
Each piece of furniture is built of light plywood and has a modern, utilitarian, and minimalistic appearance. You can purchase individual components or pick between two packages. Opting for these saves you a lot of money, so it’s worthwhile if you want to do a full-fledged conversion.
The kit consists of four major components: a bed/bench system, storage with a pull-out table, a kitchen with a side table, and a console with compartments for the driver’s seat. You can accommodate a passenger compartment in the back of the van if you do not even build the cabinet. When the chair is installed, you can still utilize the bed.
Among the alternatives are a bike mount and tailored cushions that properly match the couch/bed. The entire system weighs 150 pounds. If you remove the rear seats, which weigh 85 pounds, you only add 65 pounds to the van.
They all operate individually and together, and they are all plug-and-play. The setup takes about 10 minutes and does not require any structural changes. The company’s headquarters are in Asheville, North Carolina, but they ship, so you won’t just had to drive there.
Ursa Minor ECamper Conversion
Do you wish that you were able to stand in your Element? The Ursa Minor Honda Element conversion kit is what you require. Take a look at what this conversion kit can offer you!
Sometimes, you will feel like you lack space in your vehicle and that’s because there really would be limited room in your camper! However, if you would look enough, there are lots of options as well that can indeed provide you the height and space you require for your own comfort. A pop-top sleeper for two adults is included in this package. The lightweight carbon fiber roof has a sleek form and contributes only six inches to the car’s height and 130 pounds to its mass. Windage is reduced, and fuel consumption is decreased.
The pop-top on this Honda Element camper provides 6ft 6in standing headroom and a spacious 7ft by 4ft mattress when opened. The sleeper can be accessed from both the interior and outside of the vehicle. The pop-top walls are constructed of Sunbrella fabric, which is both water-resistant and breathable.
If your Element has a sunroof, no cutting or drilling is required for the pop-top assembly. If it does not, Ursa Minor will merely cut out that area. The interior of the cab will remain untouched, so you can either install a galley and mobile toilet to finish your conversion, keep the chairs in place, or use the cargo compartment to transport your belongings. It’s completely up to you, which is the reason this kit is so adaptable.
LED lighting, 12V outlets, a 60-watt solar charging system, an external ladder, rack mounts, plus mounting points are just a few choices. Ursa Minor’s transformation facilities are in Portland and San Diego, so you’ll have to travel there. On the bright side, you won’t need to do anything!
DIY Honda Element Camper Conversions
These Honda Element campers are good examples of all the fun things you can accomplish with this one-of-a-kind vehicle.
Dog-friendly Honda Element Camper Build: Made by Christina
Christina as well as her fiancé, Quinn, lead a happy time in their 2009 Honda Element camper conversion, along with their two dogs.
They installed their kitchen equipment in the back of the Element camper, which included a Yeti cooler, a 20-liter water tank, as well as a camp stove on a heavy-duty slide-out drawer. The resting platform occupies the majority of the living area, with below storage for bowls, bags, utensils, and other kitchen items.
Christina and Quinn slide the front seats forward at night and extend their bed structure to make a full-size bed. The roof is equipped with an awning and a storage box for additional clothing and dog supplies. When it isn’t in use, they maintain a 100-watt solar panel in their camper conversion.
Honda Element Camper Conversion: By @timetogrowup.travel
Phil and Vanessa modified a 2004 Honda Element into something like a DIY camper for full-time mobile van life.
The DIY Honda Element camper’s kitchen includes a folding table that stores its camp stove. When the pair want the extra area to cook, they lower the tailgate.
When the driver as well as passenger seats are moved forward, the sleeping surface expands via a hinge. When the seats are in driving mode, the framework legs remain against the seat backs providing access to the storage space. Phil even considered cutting a door into the platform to quickly access objects placed beneath the bed in difficult-to-reach spots.
The couple’s excess items are stored in the driver’s side storage cabinets, while one of the doors even functions as a table as well. When Phil and Vanessa are inside their Honda Element camper, they utilize drapes and window coverings for stealth and seclusion.
They have a Goal Zero Yeti transportable power station that recharges via the 12-volt socket while traveling for their van life electrical system.
Honda Element Small Camper plus DIY Furniture: By @sagetraveling
Sage has been living with his dog in his 2006 Honda Element camper conversion for over a year. This is their third DIY Honda Element, and the layout has altered along the way.
Sage built this Element camper’s internal storage and bench/bed platform out of 12 inch plywood, drywall screws, wood glue, and zip ties.
The storage runs along the driver’s side and includes cubbies for clothing, cooking tools, and food. When cruising down rocky roads, bungee cords hold goods secure within the cubbies.
The bench does have a shelf that swings out to access objects, making it a wonderful DIY alternative to adding drawer slides. Sage keeps soiled laundry in a different storage container at the front of the bench.
A Goal Zero power station fuels a 160-watt Renogy solar panel placed on the roof of this Honda Element camper modification.
No-build Honda Element Camper: From Kenji
Kenji transformed a Honda Element into a full-time residence. He chose a no-build concept that makes use of everyday items to transform his Honda Element camper into a home.
The passenger seat swivels, allowing him to look either outside or within. The swivel seat opens up the living area while enabling Kenji to securely transport an additional passenger.
Behind the driver’s seat, a camping table with movable legs provides a platform for cooking and working. On the wall, pegboards store hanging pouches for tools, utensils, and other small goods.
Kenji charges his computer monitor as well as other equipment with a Jackery power station. He does have a cargo net on the ceiling for additional storage without taking up too much headroom.
Honda Element Camper Conversion with a Pop-up Tent: By Charis
Charis converted her Honda Element into a DIY campervan with a pop-up tent that accommodates two people.
Two bespoke wooden boxes run the length of the Element camper. Charis intends to construct a platform bed that is as broad as the storage boxes on either side. She installed a foam pad and carpeting for soft and pleasant flooring.
Reflectix applied to the back windows aids with insulation. To keep her pillow out of the way throughout the day, Charis tied bungee cables in a diagonal direction by the driver’s side rear window.
She took the armrests of the front seats in order to accommodate a cooler between them. Charis converts a 3 12-gallon water jug into a sink using a hand pump connection for her water supply.
Why Choose a Honda Element Camper?
Honda’s Element is a quirky crossover SUV built on a customized CRV basis. This adorable method incorporates the attributes of a pickup truck and an SUV, and it comes in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations.
The Honda Element is easily identified by its “boxy” design and bi-parting side doors that entirely open the cab. The Element was influenced by a lifeguard station, with its curved roof resembling the shape of a surfboard.
Over the last decade, following Honda’s decision to discontinue production of the Element, the car has witnessed a boom in popularity and developed a cult following, with an increasing number of people transforming it into a camper.
Although the Element is no longer in production, there are numerous used examples on the market around the United States. This means it’s inexpensive to buy: a 2003 model can be had for as little as $3,499. Not terrible at all!
You’ll have a lot of fun using it as a Honda Element camper because of its boxy, open form, all-weather rubber floor, and detachable seats. The cab is rather large, and a pop-top may be added to allow standing headroom.
A Honda Element camper can carry a lot of weight, so bring along your favorite adventure gear. It is also cost-effective to operate.
The clamshell tailgate with outward sliding side doors makes it easy to load and unload your belongings, making the Element an excellent camper. You may set up an awning with such a chair and a table and utilize the tailgate as an outdoor kitchen by opening the side doors.
Honda Element Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is the Honda Element considered a van?
The Honda Element’s large cabin is equivalent in size to smaller cargo vans such as the Ford Transit Connect, however, it is not a van but rather a compact crossover SUV.
Why did Honda discontinue production of the Element?
Honda canceled the Element, with model years ranging from 2003 to 2011, because of declining sales. What was the cause of the low sales? The Element, on the other hand, was not an economical alternative for its intended population. Customers chose the identically classified but much more fuel-efficient Honda CR-V due to the vehicle’s low fuel efficiency for a daily driver.
Is the Honda Element making a comeback?
Honda has not formally confirmed the return of the Element. Despite being discontinued more than ten years ago, the vehicle’s cult following remains hopeful that it may be revived one day.
What are a few Honda Element alternative options?
If you enjoy the concept of a micro camper for your van life journey, you have plenty of alternative options.
- Small cargo vans such as the Ford Transit Connect, Ram Promaster City, Mercedes Metris, and the earlier Chevy Astro are excellent choices.
- Minivan campers are an additional intriguing choice. The Toyota Sienna is available with All Wheel Drive, as well as lift kits and other off-road equipment. The Dodge Grand Caravan offers stow-and-go seating in the middle and rear seats, allowing you to rapidly transform it from a kid transporter to a gear hauler. Other alternatives are the Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona, and Chrysler Pacifica.
- SUV campers can be made on almost any vehicle chassis. Toyota 4Runner, Toyota Sequoia, Subaru Outback, Subaru Forester, Honda Pilot, Ford Flex, Chevy Suburban, Chevy Tahoe, and Jeeps are all popular choices.
It is indeed a great thing for campers and RVers to have options like Honda Element camper conversion. A Honda Element camper will not fail you if you’re seeking for a camper modification that will enable you to journey into the woods on weekends or holidays.
You can even choose a temporary modification that slides out, allowing you to utilize the car throughout the week.
Nevertheless, if you intend to be on the road full-time or for extended periods of time, we suggest something larger, such as a Sprinter van or even a Ford Transit.