2011 Ford Focus. Building a better traveling vehicle (Small Budget build).

Travelin _man

HEY HEY HOCKEYTOWN!!
I think you can even get it cheaper than that. have a look on fleabay. I think I have it in my watch list for like 289. am. But yeah...tent camping has come A LONG WAY. I have a pop up, we use it with my 10 year old who has autism and needs his own sleeping space. We are looking at getting a new Ozark 3 pod tent he has his own room in the tent then. very slick.
Yeah i was talking with the wife last night and i think i got her on board. Just got to start collecting parts and supplies.
 

kojackJKU

Autism Family Travellers!
ha ha! awesome. roof rack and trailer hitch basket for extra storage. since she's a trunker! Too bad they never made that focus in wagon! I will never own another vehicle with a "boot" hatch and Wagon/suv only here!
 

shenrie

^^^ hates cars
Check out this bed....awesome comfy....get a cabin tent, you can fully stand it with lots of room and rooms.....Just a thought...

I will pop up a tent to show you in a min. as well...

http://www.coleman.com/supportrest-...d=coleman-sleepingbagsandbeds-airbeds#start=7
weve had a few friends buy those and regret them bigtime. they said they were a huge pita and both couples ended up with beds similar to what we used to use. something like this:



we got ours at sportsmans warehouse on sale for $60. that and a 8 person tent that we could easily stand up in for about $250 and we loved the setup for years. we could put our bed on one end and a 2'x2' table and 2 fold up chairs at the other end. we use our bins as shelves in the middle where we could easily stand up and dress up or down comfortably. we still use the bed as a guest bed when friends and family hit town.

like others have stated, be careful with overloading. a LOT of people overload the roofs of their vehicles with crap. im no exception. just know your vehicle and how it will react in panic situations and drive cautiously when loaded heavily.
 

Travelin _man

HEY HEY HOCKEYTOWN!!
ha ha! awesome. roof rack and trailer hitch basket for extra storage. since she's a trunker! Too bad they never made that focus in wagon! I will never own another vehicle with a "boot" hatch and Wagon/suv only here!
Yeah I agree with you. I really wish ford would bring the focus wagon back to the states.
 

kojackJKU

Autism Family Travellers!
I am a super fan of wagons....My mazda 5 was AWESOME!. WISH I KEPT IT! ha ha....was a great rig ...no overlanding tho...thing was LOW. Plus the JDM body kit I had installed on it, made it LOWER....as well as the mazdaspeed suspension....but it handled better than any minivan could ever want to.
 

unplannedbbq

Adventurer
Something to think on - there are some ultra-lightweight older popups out there. They show up in the classifieds here; you don't need to get an off-road model for what you're doing. I just picked up a '95 Coleman. It is right around 1,000lbs w/ ~150lbs at the hitch. I moved the axle from over- to under-springs and went from 8" to 12" wheels. No AC, no fridge, no tanks. Just really comfortable sleeping for 4, or tight sleeping for 6, plus standing room, 2 burner cooktop & a place to eat if it's raining.

I needed something super light to tow w/ my under-powered westy.

You could probably find something in the 750lb range (like this: http://forum.expeditionportal.com/t...lorado-tent-trailer-Vancouver-Island-1500-CND) that would be comfortable for your family, address your wife's need for a bed, and tow relatively easy w/ the focus.

2x on the air bags to stiffen up your rear; I used them when I towed w/ our Odyssey. Huge help w/ stability and handling + you can deflate when not towing - https://www.etrailer.com/Vehicle-Suspension/Air-Lift/AL60818.html

Good luck!
 
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94toy22re

Observer
Its going to be very hard to bring cots and a large tent along in a Focus. If it was a hatchback it would be easier but still hard, your going have to invest in a roof rack and basket and/or a hitch to carry everything you need. If you have the room why not look for a high mile Ford or chevy work van and do a DIY camper.
 

p nut

butter
Its going to be very hard to bring cots and a large tent along in a Focus. If it was a hatchback it would be easier but still hard, your going have to invest in a roof rack and basket and/or a hitch to carry everything you need. If you have the room why not look for a high mile Ford or chevy work van and do a DIY camper.
Yes, definitely a roof rack. I'd suggest Yakima crossbars with their Loadwarrior rack. Not cheap, but you might be able to find them on craigslist. On my old Civic, I got the crossbars/towers for $100, then the Loadwarrior rack for $150. Or hit up REI when they have a sale, or during the garage sale days. This is the way I'd go.
 

Travelin _man

HEY HEY HOCKEYTOWN!!
Its going to be very hard to bring cots and a large tent along in a Focus. If it was a hatchback it would be easier but still hard, your going have to invest in a roof rack and basket and/or a hitch to carry everything you need. If you have the room why not look for a high mile Ford or chevy work van and do a DIY camper.
That has crossed my mind. Only problem i run into is i live in metro Detroit and a 250,XXX mile van here is 2500 or more and they are rotted out as well. I was thinking of finding a conversion van like an E-150 or Express but we did just buy a new house as well. That's why i was looking at doing the roof rack and a hitch mount. If i could I would love to find a 92-95 Ford Taurus Wagon as the 'Camping/Travel Vehicle". One of the major reasons we are looking to use the wife's car is because its basically a fully loaded focus minus sub woofer, sunroof and heated leather seats. Other than that it sits higher because of the 17's, sirusxm radio, multi-color interior lights (Has floor lights that change colors).
 

p nut

butter
Yeah, don't worry about it, man. Just use what you've got. I have a truck and while a Wrangler can get to places my truck cannot, there are plenty of places my truck CAN go, that I'll never run out of places to go. Use your car (within its safety parameters) and enjoy your outings.
 

moosepower

New member
I have to correct you on the European towing speeds

The maximun speeds are higher in some country's
Netherlands 90 km/h
Belgium 120 km/h
France 130 km/h
Germany 80 or 100(certifited combination) km/h
Austria 100 km/h
All of the former Soviet country's 90 km/h

the towing capacity is correct 1200-1500 kg for the european Ford Focus

Good to see something else build here :)
 

southpier

Expedition Leader
in a general sense, the more restrictions you have (either self imposed, budget, circumstances), the more creative your thinking needs to be. this is a good thing.

carry on.
 

Hobiecat

Observer
I used to tow with a focus and it wasn't terrible and still got decent gas milage yanking my boat around. I can't say for certain that the towing was the root cause, but the rear struts and transmission were toast after 5 years.

Have you considered a small utility trailer to hail a large ground tent and cots? It'd be a lot lighter than a pop up and easier on the Focus. I bet you could get a fully loaded utility trailer under 500lbs if you pack well.
 
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QQQ

Member
if it is in the budget look for a used livin lite 6.0. they weight about 700 pounds and can carry some gear.

i tow a 1000 pound waverunner with my focus and you cant even tell its back there.
 
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