Why the 2000 Honda CRV is the perfect roadtrip & camping vehicle

As summer turns into fall, my husband and I are headed out on a 17 day roadtrip to the Grand Canyon. Going on a road trip requires a vehicle, and, in our case, something that will hold up over many miles and enable us to camp in the desert. The original plan involved our Subaru Forester, but an accident on the highway left the Subie unfit for travel. The car did its job and no one was injured, but we suddenly found ourselves in the market for a new set of wheels. We were also on a time crunch. After a week of intense searching, we finally found a 2000 Honda CRV on Craigslist. It didn’t meet any of my wants (it’s green and has cloth seats), but meets all of our roadtrip and camping needs.

Here are our requirements for a roadtrip vehicle to haul 2 people 4500 miles across the US:

  • AWD or 4WD. For the days when we want to get off the beaten path.
  • Roof rack with cross bars. For the car top carrier I swore I’d never have.
  • Tinted windows. To keep the car cooler.
  • Low(ish) miles. Less wear and tear (in theory).
  • No rust. Mostly this is to preserve the resale value should we decide this car isn’t the best long term option for us.

2000 CRVs were the last of the first generation of CRVs and come with a few awesome features that make them perfect roadtrip and camping vehicles.

These are the features we got but never knew we needed:

  • Built in picnic table. Seriously.
  • 6 cup holders. Yes, 6. That’s more than the # of people who can ride in a CRV.
  • Front seats that fold down into a bed.A 5th tire instead of a spare. This is great if you’ll be driving in rural areas where tire shops are few and far between but the potholes are plentiful.

We’re making a few modifications and having some (significant) routine maintenance done before we head West. If you’re not a mechanically inclined person, or don’t have the good fortune to be married to such a person, I recommend taking any car you buy on Craigslist to a reliable mechanic before or immediately after you buy. Better to tune it up than to fix it up after something breaks…

Here is a quick photo of the new old CRV:

More to come as we prepare to head West!

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