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Turn your old Toyota Sienta into a camping car: A beginner's guide for young women in their twenties!
Turn your old Toyota Sienta into a camping car: A beginner's guide for young women in their twenties!

Turn your old Toyota Sienta into a camping car: A beginner's guide for young women in their twenties!

27才で車中泊旅を初体験、以降ハマる。Webマーケッター・ライターとして活躍し、"好きなときに、好きな場所で、旅するように暮らす"を目標に「VANガール」としてVANLIFEの魅力を発信中! Twitter: @VANGIRLJAPAN

Hello, ladies! I'm Kaori Sakai, the self-proclaimed "Van Girl" from the previous article where I wrote about my first and defining experience that lead to my van life.


When I go on trips, I really hate having to compromise on sleep because I want to be energized to continue having fun. In retrospect, I'd say I actually slept pretty well last time I camped in the car. Still, I thought it would've been even better if only I could've just brought my whole bedroom there. With that in mind, I decided to create a custom bedroom, complete with a comfy bed inside the car!


One problem at the beginning, though, is that I didn't have the skills or the know-how in assembling wood to create a bedroom. It just felt very intimidating to work with plywood by hand. So, I tried to think of other ways that would be relatively easier for me to do, and I came up with an idea that even the daintiest of women can do without breaking a nail.


Let me tell you my step-by-step guide in creating the comfiest camping car for beginners that's so easy even the ladies can do it gracefully.

STEP 1: Measure the uneven floor inside your car!

If you look at the picture, you'll see that the backseat and the trunk of Toyota Sienta are not level. You'd end up sleeping in a weird diagonal position if you're not careful, which may hurt your waist and your back. So, the first thing to do is to level the back of your car.

It's important to get the accurate measurements of the uneven floor where you'll place your bed. Write down the length, width, and depth carefully because if you forget any of these, you might have to make many trips back and forth from your car to the store when buying supplies. I measured the floor like this, using a measuring tape to be accurate.

(Serious face. I could't afford to make a mistake here so I was really careful.)

STEP 2: Get supplies from any home-improvement store!

I found lots of good supplies in the store, but I think what it really came down to were these three factors: (1) price, (2) size, and (3) hardness. Anyway, I bought storage boxes, mattress, and hug pillows. With these things, you could create your custom bed - with extra storage spaces - without the need for the usual hammer and nails. Those extra storage spaces would later come in handy for your clothes and bulky camping gears, and for keeping your belongings in a safe place without losing them especially at nighttime when it's too dark to see anything outside.

(Voilà! Totally glad to do all this shopping! Aren't these cat pillows adorable? LOL)

STEP 3: Let's put them all together!

I put the three things that I bought plus the blanket and bedding that I originally had one by one. And that's it! It's super easy! LOL Storage boxes go first to create the base and level the ground for your bed. You should leave some space for storage under the bed for items/gears that won't fit inside the storage boxes.

Lay out the mattress on the storage boxes to form your bed. When considering the length of the mattress, it's recommendable to make it so that it covers the view from the windshield for privacy. Also, a foldable one would be very easy to store.

Next are the air mattress (I had beforehand). They're air-type futons so they're very comfortable.

You can really customize and make it look like a real bedroom if you accessorize with your favorite blanket and hug pillows. I think you should make it look as relaxing as possible as you might not get used to sleeping in the car right away. For me, those cat pillows that I found in the store did the trick. Aren't they so cute? LOL

(Meow! Meow!)

STEP 4: Finished!

This is my customized camping car. At first I wondered if it's actually as good as it looked, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was flatter and much more comfortable than what I had imagined. Definitely getting my beauty rest here!


All in all:

30 minutes to assemble & ¥10,000 ($100) for the supplies

Incredibly easy to do! Simple camping car DIY that's a piece of cake even for the ladies. Try it right now!


27才で車中泊旅を初体験、以降ハマる。Webマーケッター・ライターとして活躍し、"好きなときに、好きな場所で、旅するように暮らす"を目標に「VANガール」としてVANLIFEの魅力を発信中! Twitter: @VANGIRLJAPAN


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