A WOMAN revealed how she spent $1,500 (£1,228.86) converting her car into a holiday home.
Taylor Russ, 26, bought her sport utility vehicle (SUV) in 2021 and spent next-to-no-time converting the car into an ideal holiday home.
The American was no stranger to a holiday on wheels because she already owned a 1995 Ford Econoline high top, which she used as a holiday home.
She said: "I loved my van and I loved the adventures it allowed me to go on."
But when Taylor heard about SUV camping (using your car as a tent/holiday home) on social media, she knew she had to give it a go herself.
She said: "I had a small sedan at the time and hadn’t considered travelling in a car instead of a van, but I did end up taking a three week road trip across the country in my tiny sedan and it was incredible."
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After her road trip across the US, Taylor weighed up the pros and cons of SUV camping compared to her van.
She said: "It really came down to three factors: gas [petrol/diesel] mileage, front wheel drive versus all wheel drive, and the cost of repairs."
Because the 1995 Ford Econoline high top was incredibly expensive to run and repair, Taylor decided to dive head first into the world of SUV camping.
After doing some research, Taylor fell in love with a Honda Element that she found through a local car dealership in North Carolina.
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She said: "I paid around $6,200 (£5075.88) before taxes, which was slightly higher than my budget but the owner had clearly fixed up this car and taken great care of it."
Taylor, who uploads pictures and videos of her life on the road on Instagram, then transformed the car into the perfect getaway by building a slide-out bed frame with the help of her parents.
She said: "In total I spent around $1,500 (£1228.03) for absolutely everything I needed in the van."
While the Honda Element may be smaller than her beloved van, the vehicle switch has allowed Taylor to travel for much less money.
She said: "The first major trip I took in the SUV was up to South Dakota where I visited Badlands National Park and Custer State Park – it was a beautiful trip full of wildlife.
"Since then, I’ve also been on a road trip through Tennessee, and spent time camping in several national forests in North Carolina.
"Most of my adventures I do solo, but my boyfriend loves to join me when he gets the chance!"
Because Taylor has bought an all-wheel drive vehicle, she is able to take her car to places where the van couldn't go, which is one of her favourite parts of SUV camping.
She said:"Most of the time when I’m camping I stay on BLM [Bureau of Land Management] land or in national forests where the roads are often unmaintained and can be difficult to pass.
"I know with my SUV I can get down just about any dirt road and still have the comfort of easily driving through cities and around town."
The only drawback to her holidays on the road is the lack of space.
She said: "I think my Honda Element is very spacious for a compact SUV, but it can still get cramped on rainy days when you don’t really want to be outside."
For anyone thinking about dipping their toe in the SUV camping water, Taylor recommends chucking some sleeping bags and pillows in the car and making a trip working with the bare minimum."
Taylor's reliable Honda has 240,000 miles on the clock, but it still runs fantastically.
While she has no travel plans set in stone, she is looking to build a pull-out kitchen drawer for some extra space while she's on the road.
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