At first, we thought that a VW camper van would be the way to travel to South America, after finding the VW Vagabonds site. That plan did not seem like a very good idea after finding out the prices! How does a hippy afford paying 20-30k for a 9 year old camper van? I started looking around for alternatives, and came across the Honda Element ECamper. This is what led us to looking at a Honda Element. SparkleGirl found that the ECamper guys were not the only ones that saw a correlation between the Honda Element and a VW Camper. Look what the Car Talk Gurus said about the Element:
…it reminds us a bit of a modern day VW Microbus. That, too, was cheap, funky, and very practical. But unlike the Microbus, the Element is safe, plenty powerful, heated and cooled inside, and it’ll start every day. -Click and Clack
We started thinking seriously about the Element, but before deciding on the ECamper, we went through the alternatives:
- Lay the seats down to sleep: You can lay all the seats down to an almost flat position, but then where would we put all of our stuff?
- Buy the Honda tailgate cabana: You can spend more on accessories for the Element than the price of the car. Works for small trips, but once again, do we move everything up to the front seats each night. Call me Mr. Safety Patrol, but I did not get a warm fuzzy feeling thinking about a small piece of fabric between myself and a Guatemalan jungle. Knifes and mosquitoes would not be deterred.
- Use a regular tent: Great in the outdoors, not so fun setting up camp every night for a year.
It was decided this weekend- we are going to put down the $500 deposit for the ECamper and travel in style. We can worry about who to get the car from later.