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Discussion Starter #1
Allow me to introduce Toothless.

This will be my daily driver and weekend camping getaway vehicle. I plan to do some light Overlanding but nothing crazy.

I just picked up this 2011 3.6R with 170k on the clock. Some dings around the body but nothing too terrible. Mechanically it seems to be pretty sound so far.

I've always been a wagon guy. I traded in my 2011 TSX wagon since I wanted something a little larger and AWD for snowboarding trips and light offroad duty.

Build Plan
  • Roof Top tent (probably torro-offroad 2-person)
  • DIY roof rail and rack system (replace the OEM rails)
  • Trunk Kitchen (DIY drifta style kitchen)
  • 12V fridge and solar generator
  • new wheels and AT tires (stock size to fit a full-size spare in the trunk
  • 2" lift (maybe??)
  • more TBD

497382


My old wagon. This was a great little car

497383
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
The first order of business is to 3D scan the trunk area so I can begin the design and fit all the kitchen and storage items using Solidworks.

I haven't done CAD in a while and this was my first time using the 3D scanner but **** that technology is cool. The perks of working at an automotive shop :)

I scanned it with the trunk open, trunk closed, and rear seat folded down so I can make sure I have enough clearance to everything and give myself options.


Toothless has chicken-pox...
497385


Scanning time

497386


497397


2 hours of processing later is a Parasolid file ready for solidworks with reference planes

497388
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Definitely higher tech than the typical "wood and screw" style kitchen builds.

Looking forward to see where this goes!
It will still be just "wood and screws". But hopefully a little less "measure once cut 4 times" that I usually end up doing when I eyeball things.
 

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2013 3.6R Limited
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Very impressive. Where is your shop?
 

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I just bought the same vehicle three weeks ago. Looking forward to watching your build. Also, if you have the moonroof check to see all four drain tubes are clear unless you want an indoor pool.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Here is the first draft of the kitchen layout. This trunk is much smaller than I was expecting. That glass really slopes back quickly and the opening area is more narrow than the wheel well to wheel well distance.

I have some ideas on an updated version but wanted to share this for now.

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All Stowed away. Green is 12v fridge, blue 5 gallon water container, red is EcoFlow Delta battery generator
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Section View
497488
 

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2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i 2003 Legacy L special edition (retired to backup)
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I thought about getting a RDX but man they are way over priced int he used market and the slip and grip was a turn off... but the 273HP with 6spd auto was not... i drove one for a few weeks when they were doing the trans in my 2002 Acura CL-S and i got about 27mpg mixed, not bad...

The outback really could have used an extra cog so to say in the auto...
 

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The first order of business is to 3D scan the trunk area so I can begin the design and fit all the kitchen and storage items using Solidworks.

I haven't done CAD in a while and this was my first time using the 3D scanner but **** that technology is cool. The perks of working at an automotive shop :)

I scanned it with the trunk open, trunk closed, and rear seat folded down so I can make sure I have enough clearance to everything and give myself options.


Toothless has chicken-pox...
View attachment 497385

Scanning time

View attachment 497386

View attachment 497397

2 hours of processing later is a Parasolid file ready for solidworks with reference planes

View attachment 497388
What kind of scan tool is that? I’m familiar with faro arm, they’re too pricey for my intend.
 

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Looks cool. I built out and roamed all summer in my outback. Here are some things I learned:
1. The stock circuit for the 12V is very low amperage. You blow the fuses if you plug in more than one thing, even phone charger. So be sure to run the fridge off of the Ecoflow. Next year I will set up a separate charging system (like a yeti goalzero) and get some portable 'briefcase' solar panels. Only put on roof when parked.
2. That looks very heavy not only for the stock suspension, but will just drive terribly. Try to keep it light as possible. Consider 8020 aluminum track, super cool modular but $$. 8020.net I stuck with wood. Try loading your car with something heavy and drive around to test.
3. The stock roof bars are junk which shocked me on the Subaru. I used Yakima Landing pads that are car specific and their aero bars, a super wide set. Super strong.
4. Try a rooftop tent before you buy one. I really didnt like it. You have to pack up camp if you want to drive anywhere. You have to climb down a ladder to get in and out. No stealth camping. Lots of places where you park is not the best place to camp, but walk a few yards and you have a view or no wind or whatever. I use a roof box to store stuff and slept in a tent with a nice xped megamet duo medium mattress. They are also not aero, make a ton of road noise, and are a bear to get on and off. Go roof box. Lots of people get a roof basket because it looks cool, but your stuff gets wet and dirty and has to be lashed down. For me almost always roofbasket = poser.
5. If you are just 2 people, remove the back row. It takes like 20 minutes if you get the hang of it. Gives more space and removes some weight.
6. If you are just doing weekends or long weeks, save yourself some time and money and skip the fridge, it's not an RV. Make a spot for a quality cooler and use ice. Next year I might use 2 coolers and fill one with just ice when I am getting gas and not open it until I need it for the food cooler.
7. To be honest, I would not make a kitchen built into the back. Just buy a camp kitchen at REI. Easier, cheaper (I think) and you can modify to suit your needs or particular trip, and much better for cooking. Move it so you can see the view while cooking. Then put it in the roofbox. Then make the trunk area for sleeping.

Keep the updates coming!
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
What kind of scan tool is that? I’m familiar with faro arm, they’re too pricey for my intend.
It's a Creaform handyscan

Looks cool. I built out and roamed all summer in my outback. Here are some things I learned:
1. The stock circuit for the 12V is very low amperage. You blow the fuses if you plug in more than one thing, even phone charger. So be sure to run the fridge off of the Ecoflow. Next year I will set up a separate charging system (like a yeti goalzero) and get some portable 'briefcase' solar panels. Only put on roof when parked.
2. That looks very heavy not only for the stock suspension, but will just drive terribly. Try to keep it light as possible. Consider 8020 aluminum track, super cool modular but $$. 8020.net I stuck with wood. Try loading your car with something heavy and drive around to test.
3. The stock roof bars are junk which shocked me on the Subaru. I used Yakima Landing pads that are car specific and their aero bars, a super wide set. Super strong.
4. Try a rooftop tent before you buy one. I really didnt like it. You have to pack up camp if you want to drive anywhere. You have to climb down a ladder to get in and out. No stealth camping. Lots of places where you park is not the best place to camp, but walk a few yards and you have a view or no wind or whatever. I use a roof box to store stuff and slept in a tent with a nice xped megamet duo medium mattress. They are also not aero, make a ton of road noise, and are a bear to get on and off. Go roof box. Lots of people get a roof basket because it looks cool, but your stuff gets wet and dirty and has to be lashed down. For me almost always roofbasket = poser.
5. If you are just 2 people, remove the back row. It takes like 20 minutes if you get the hang of it. Gives more space and removes some weight.
6. If you are just doing weekends or long weeks, save yourself some time and money and skip the fridge, it's not an RV. Make a spot for a quality cooler and use ice. Next year I might use 2 coolers and fill one with just ice when I am getting gas and not open it until I need it for the food cooler.
7. To be honest, I would not make a kitchen built into the back. Just buy a camp kitchen at REI. Easier, cheaper (I think) and you can modify to suit your needs or particular trip, and much better for cooking. Move it so you can see the view while cooking. Then put it in the roofbox. Then make the trunk area for sleeping.

Keep the updates coming!
Thanks for the input! That was the reason for creating this build thread was to bounce ideas around with the community.

1. Yup, Everything will be powered by the power station. I will just be drawing 10A off the car's battery while the engine is running to help charge the power station

2. Good point. I got the 3.6 to overcome a little extra weight but I could find a lighter way to build this system. I've used 8020 on other projects in the past and actually found a really reasonably priced supplier on the stuff near LA. I'll do an iteration of the kitchen in 8020 to see what the weight difference will be.

3. Can you send a link to what you used? I'm planning to do a prinsu roof rack replica and completely ditch the stock system for strength and to get everything as low as possible.

4. good points on the roof top tent. I've been doing research on it and people seem to be pretty split on if it's worth it or not. I'm looking at the ikamper skykamp style design that sets up in about a minute so moving camp hopefully isn't too much of a chore. I'm transitioning from a Sprinter Camper van so I accidentally set my wife's camping expectation a little too high; "glamping". So I the roof top tent is a little closer to the RV experience. I'll continue to do more research. I haven't pulled the trigger on any of those parts yet. PS: I'm not going to lie, the cool factor is definitely part of the appeal.

6. I've moved from cooler to 12V fridge in my van and there is no going back for me. The biggest selling feature is no pool of melted ice at the bottom to get your items all soggy. I can pack it the night before in my house hooked up to 110V to get everything cold and it drains very little energy maintaining temp. 12V fridges are very reasonably priced now with some of the newer china brands flooding the market. The one I'm looking at is under $300 and has a freezer for ice cream (once again, "glamping" experience)

7. Half of the fun for me is building stuff so I'll probably stick with the DIY solution. I'm planning to make it easily removable so I can set it up anywhere in camp. Drifta makes some really cool ones that I'm stealing some ideas from for mine.

Youtube: Drifta Kitchen


Here's some 8020 work I've done in the sprinter conversion I finished earlier this year.

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497657
 

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Going from sprinter to outback? Consider towing a teardrop trailer. That sprinter looks so sweet. I really want one, but the prices are crazy with COVID. My plan is once there is a vaccine (fingers crossed) hopefully some vans will come on the market used and the demand will go down and I can get something.

Landing pads
Custom for each car, they stay on the car. Then you get control towers and bars (I found used) and the go on and off toolfree. It works very well.

I looked up the ecoflow battery thing and I want one. You will wire directly to battery to charge? Not use the accessory outlet, right? Please share details how you do that once done, running wires up front, etc or is there a 10A in the back?. But that is exactly what I have in mind. Probably S-RIVER 600 and then get the extra battery if I run out all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Going from sprinter to outback? Consider towing a teardrop trailer. That sprinter looks so sweet. I really want one, but the prices are crazy with COVID. My plan is once there is a vaccine (fingers crossed) hopefully some vans will come on the market used and the demand will go down and I can get something.

Landing pads
Custom for each car, they stay on the car. Then you get control towers and bars (I found used) and the go on and off toolfree. It works very well.

I looked up the ecoflow battery thing and I want one. You will wire directly to battery to charge? Not use the accessory outlet, right? Please share details how you do that once done, running wires up front, etc or is there a 10A in the back?. But that is exactly what I have in mind. Probably S-RIVER 600 and then get the extra battery if I run out all the time.
Teardrop or pop up trailer will probably be the next stage when we have kids. For now,I think the outback can support 2 people nicely. Our trips are mostly 3-4 days long at most.

The prices may drop when all the amazon delivery vans get sold off in a couple of years. I got a great deal on mine but it had 330k on the clock and needed 120+ hours of maintenance and repairs to get it usable shape.

I haven't looked into it yet but I assumed the rear "cigarette" port should support 10A. If not I can bring a wire from the front. It would need to be ignition switched or have a relay so I don't drain the battery when the engine is off. I'll post those details here when I get to that part.
 
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