HI, I am looking to do some mountain biking and trying to save some money while doing. So I decided to try car camping.I am an avid hiker/backpacker/tent sleeper. I am just looking for good economy gear for car camping in a Toyota Matrix. Specificlly, what's a reasonable coffee maker? solar power for a lap top?Water availability/shower? Bed mattress? kitchen utensils? Toiletry? Anyone out there been on the road and can recommend any equipment to a newbie? any info. would be awesome!
KEEP ON TREKKING!
@Snoborder73 I'll give this a shot, although there are many options...
A lot of your backpacking gear will work quite well when in the car, so start there.
"Reasonable coffee"depends on the tastes of the consumer. Many are happy with instant brands. Stanley makes a French press coffee maker which will do cups quite well. That is how i get my morning joe when at home - all you need are the coffee grounds and hot water.
Stoves? There are a lot of two burner (typically 10,000 BTU) stoves, now running on propane cylinders. Coleman is a brand that has been around for years. I can't believe the prices on some of their competition, but there are lots of choices.
Enough solar panels and battery storage for a laptop will become very expensive. i would think your car battery would be much better and a whole lot cheaper. Or use your phone or a tablet which can be charged by a smaller,much cheaper panel.
For showers in those situations where your campground does not have a shower, I like solar heater shower bags (many brands available). Something about 2 1/2 liters capacity has worked well for me for weeks at a time and is reasonably priced. Again, ridiculously priced models are available. If the sun isn't out, just heat water on your stove.
Use your existing gear for the other items you mention until you run across something you really like. Take your time and buy carefully. At least when car camping, you are not so concerned with weight and-bulk so perfectly satisfactory cheaper items are available.,
I dont have much to add to what hikemor wrote except about coffee and showers. I use an Aeropress https://aeropress.com/. for single serves of coffee and Nanopresso https://www.wacaco.com/pages/nanopresso (think REI sells or did sell them) for espresso. You can buy pods for Nanopresso which are great but you will have to buy that attachment.
The REI sell a great solar shower, the NEMO Helios.