This Skoda Yeti DIY Camping conversion makes the most of the Yeti’s boot. I’d say it does require some DIY woodwork skills, although Matt, the author has built it with no woodwork DIY skills, as he admits himself: “having not made anything from wood since being at school 30-odd years ago“.
The idea is to build an entire platform out of 3 plywood sheets, complete with side walls and one storage box, all connected together. Basically, a DIY camping box for a fraction of the price, that you can fold into the boot during everyday car use (5 seats + boot) and unfold for camping (2 seats + bed for two + kitchen + storage).
More about Skoda Yeti for camping
Boot length and other dimensions for camping, consumption, camping conversion images…
What I like about this camping conversion:
- sleeps two
- makes the most of Yeti’s boot – creating a good size bed for two – 100cm wide, ~178cm long and 17cm high (it’s possible to get 180cm sleeping area length according to this conversion)
- a pop-up kitchen counter/cooking station
- simple materials + hinges from Amazon
- the bed can be transformed into a sofa – to read a book or gaze out of your boot into nature 🙂
- folds away nicely for daily car use
- This DIY Camping box is easily adjustable to fit any other car – just adjust the measurements to match your car’s boot width and length.
- plywood pieces (adjust their measurements to fit your car’s boot)
- 2x 100cm x 60cm (the two main sheets that go above the folded seats)
- 1x 100cm x 16.2cm (back of the box)
- 1x 100cm x 58.8cm (top of the box)
- 1x 100cm x 15cm (front of the box)
- 2x 576cm x 15cm (sides of the box)
- more narrow pieces of plywood for joining (you can use the leftovers)
- screws for wood
- glue for wood
- piano hinges
- foldable leg hinges (brackets)
- coffee table spring hinge (lift up mechanism)
DIY camping conversion instructions
Step 1 – Cut the plywood pieces to size
They should fit together as you see in the last image.
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Step 2.1 – Build the box and folding bed platform
Matt solved this skillfully by glueing additional narrow pieces of plywood at the edges of the bigger plywood sheets so that you can put longer screws through them.
Then, at the joings, he glued a wider plywood piece to one of the plywood sheets so that it covers both edges of the adjanced plywood sheets (see first image). This makes the build more solid and stops the joints from bending too much in the opposite direction. Join the two main plywood sheets that go over the car seats using the piano hinges.
Continue to fix two legs onto the last plywood sheet by using foldable leg hinges (brackets).
Alternatively, you could just put storage boxes into the foot wells (height about 23cm) to have storage and head support in one.
There are 3 top panels, one is attached to the box (it could just be a standard box lid with standard hinges, or it doesn’t have to be attached at all to the box – just lying on top of it).
The way to get the front pane with legs facing upwards is not to attach the last (rear – tailgate) panel to the remaining panels and just slide the middle panel on top of the rear one, with the front panel folded on top. Basically, you close the front & middle panels like a book and put them on top of the box in the boot. Without folding them again on top of the box.
Step 2.2 – Add support for the middle of the bed platform
The bed platform has a fold-down piece (effectively the same width as the back of the box & height of the sides) that sits just behind the box. Its position is pretty much where the boot floor ends and there’s a gap to the back seats, this acts as a basic support to fit in the gap which stops the bed from dropping.
Step 3 – Add the box lid/lift-up platform for a pop-up kitchen counter
This is achieved by using two coffee table spring hinges (lift up mechanisms) you fix to the box. the last piece of plywood sheet goes on top of these hinges and serves as both – the bed platform and a pop-up kitchen counter.
It’s up to you what you use it for – a kitchen counter, a cooking top, a chopping board, a bar, a stand-up office desk :).
Step 4 – Throw a good mattress or camping mat on top and you’re good to go!
I wouldn’t recommend using a thick and heavy mattress – use a foam sheet with a self inflatable camping mat instead. I have written a longer post about benefits of a foam sheet or self inflatable camping mats and why I don’t recommend other type of mattresses. Matt has now switched to the Inofia 3-fold mattress.
You can either use a good sleeping bag for colder days (or if you like to be really warm and snug) or a standard duvet/blanket.
Step 5 – Add more living room with a good car tent
Matt uses a Vango Hub Hogan and is planning to replace it with an Arpenaz Base M for a better fit – see why the Arpenaz Base M is a very good car tent in my review (including a video of 3 ways you can fit it on any car). Or you could try the newer Vango Tailgate Hub.
Looking for something more? Check out this detailed Skoda Yeti camping conversion manual:
Founder of NimbleCamper.com, avid traveler and outdoor enthusiast. Car camping and microcamping allows me to keep traveling and exploring with a much greater level of freedom & privacy – to go anywhere and sleep anywhere. I didn’t have 30K to buy a VW Multivan, so found my way to the world of everyday car camping conversions. Here I share my experiences and what I learn.