Final Build Post!

Welcome back! I will be wrapping up the build process in this post. We left off last time with the top layer and spacers between the layers installed. After that I wanted to secure the support to my car but without drilling into the frame. The solution was to install anchors into the cross 2×3 and run metal wire through the metal hooks (part of my car) that the rear seats were attached to.

With the support attached to the car now (and me feeling a tiny bit safer) it was time to cut the plywood to shape!

With the plywood cut and the fit as tight as possible (look at how cleanly it fits into the trim of the car!) it was time to carpet and figure out the rear piece and how it would hinge up to allow access to the spare tire.

Right, left, and the obligatory test fit!

The top two pieces were nailed down with a nail gun along the horizontal supports. It worked out super well because the nails went through the carpet and attached the plywood to the 2×3’s without any nail heads in the carpet! This was a lot easier than nailing the plywood down and then trying to install the carpet to each piece.

I think my favorite feature has got to be the rear piece. We originally were going to have a light duty hinge going across the entire piece like this:

:

But opted to go with 2 heavy duty hinges just at each end (far left and far right.) I will have to add a photo of the hinges later as I do not have them handy. But what I do have handy is a picture of the super handy and easy to access tire and extra storage area!

This horizontal 2×3 as mentioned in my last post is not nailed or glued on, but fits into place via awesome joinery that allows it to lay flat and support the plywood platform (and my weight.) It is great for a little bit of additional storage (maybe 6-8 inches high.) We used the original floor of my Fiesta and cut it to shape to cover the tire without hanging all over the place. That is also very easy to remove to get access to the spare tire.

In the photo above you can also see the additional platform behind the passenger seat that flips up and has a cross type support underneath. This allows me to actually lay down and stretch out flat, as well as when it folds down the passenger seat can slide back and still be used.

I believe that wraps up the build process! It was super fan planning and executing, and again I could not have done it without the help of my woodworking friend David. So infinite thanks to him. Now that the build is completed I will be posting trip reviews, campsite reviews, gear review (such as sleeping bags and sleeping pads), and disc golf course reviews. I will be starting this weekend as I have a tournament and would love to share my experience.

Let me know what questions you might have about the build or anything else! Thanks for reading!

Lowes Trip + Support

With the seats out it was time to build the support for the plywood platform. This was a little tricky because from my trunk to behind the front seats was not flat at all. After a quick trip to Lowes we were ready to get started.

Layer 1:

All wood was 2×3’s as they looked a little cleaner and less bulky than 2×4’s. This photo is before the joints were completed. Once the joints were done the horizontal pieces laid completely flat and flush with the vertical pieces.

Test Spacers between layer 1 and layer 2:

This was just to see how tall I really wanted the platform to sit, and I opted to not have it sit higher than the back bumper. I lost a lot of potential storage this way but made the inside feel as roomy as possible for how small the space really is.

Layer 2 and completed spacers:

Also put down some refletix to help a little with noise and insulation. All horizontal pieces except the one over the spare tire were put in place with joinery to the vertical pieces with wood glue and a nail gun. The piece over the tire for support is removeable so I can still access my spare tire easily when needed. I will show that in greater detail in the next post.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the rest of the build. I am aiming to have it all done by March 19th!

Getting Started – Seats Out!

For those of you who are starting here, welcome! This past year I have gotten absolutely hooked on disc golf. The stay at home orders and closure of nearly all recreational facilities / events was surely a blessing in disguise as I dove head first into this new hobby. I have been playing as often as possible, watching tons of professional coverage, and just generally soaking up everything disc golf related. With this backstory in mind, I have really been wanting to branch out and play new courses (as Vancouver only has a few close by courses and I have played them all 30 times each at this point) and I wanted to make some fun weekend camping trips out of it. With Covid (as well as just to save money) I do not want to have to have to stay in a hotel every time I want to do one of these trips.

The solution: Converting my 2014 Ford Fiesta Hatch into a weekend camper! Luckily I had an amazing woodworking friend who was willing to help and get invested in a fun new project. (Seriously huge thanks David)

It took some time to commit to this idea. I had recently paid off the Fiesta, so I was considering trading it in for a smaller SUV something like a RAV4. While that would have been a lot more practical, spacious, and easy, it would have made this whole project simply laying down the seats flat and throwing a sleeping bag in the back. Plus, I couldn’t justify taking out a vehicle loan when my Fiesta, with some modifications, would do the job. I am very happy with the decision as the project has been an absolute blast so far. Which leads me into the first official build post!

Step one was removing the rear seats in the Fiesta. This was a little more difficult than I thought it would be. There were exactly 3 YouTube videos (terrible quality) of people removing their seats in their older generation Fiestas and one guide that was from a newer generation. With those being my only resources it did take a solid hour or two to get the seats out. I wish I would have documented the exact steps taken to make it easier on the next person who tries it, but I just wanted the seats out ASAP, and was honestly a little too frustrated to stand still and try to look calm and collected for a photo.

Taking the seats out revealed crumbs, pieces of trash, and remnants of 6 years of ownership. It was honestly quite gross and even though I had the majority of the day left, I decided I wanted to deep clean the Fiesta before getting started on building the platform. With the seats out and the bare metal frame exposed it really made me excited, maybe even a little nervous, like “woah I really ripped those seats out and it looks awful so I have to finish it to make it look better now.” I took the rest of the day and cleaned out the car and did my best to get it ready for the next build day. That’s all I got for this post – keep an eye out for new ones as I am doing my best to get the entirety of the build process covered over the next week or so.

Take care out there!
~Andrew