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Showing posts with label EV Adventures. Show all posts
Showing posts with label EV Adventures. Show all posts

As I mentioned in the first post about Christian's IONIQ 5, we will hopefully be doing a lot of road tripping and "car camping" in our new electric car! What I mean by car camping is: sleeping in the car rather than spending a night in a hotel while we're on long drives. We will also take it with us on our annual camping trip to Vermont (undecided if we'll use a tent for that trip since that's tradition, ha ha.)

We did a good amount of research and YouTube video watching and so far have gotten a fair amount of supplies for the car.  Here's what we bought (and DIYed) to make car camping easier!


One of the first, and most important, items on our list was something to sleep on in the car. We ended up going with a 3in memory foam camping mattress that comes with straps attached so we can roll it up for easy storage. We will probably just use normal blankets instead of sleeping bags just because they will pack up nicer. Over the weekend we did a test night in the car and aside from some slight hip pain (side sleepers) it was pretty comfy!

"Garbage" Can

Trash is inevitable on a road trip. Take-out bags, napkins from spilling water, snack bags, you get the idea. Rather than just keeping a bunch of plastic bags in the car we wanted something a little easier on the eyes. We chose one by Lusso Gear that will fit behind the center console. It has hooks if we use an old grocery bag and want to keep it in place and side pockets for any smaller items we may want to store like wet wipes and napkins.

Kitchen Supplies

We will keep paper towels, wet wipes, etc. on hand for cleanup. We already had some of the items we needed for our kitchen/takeout setup but need a few more things that will pack easy. Here is some of what we have bought or will be buying soon:



A pretty important item when camping or road tripping is somewhere to keep snacks and cold items. We thought about using a normal cooler but decided to try a portable fridge instead. We've got a huge battery, why not use it? Christian ended up choosing the Alpicool Portable Refrigerator which will fit nicely in between the front & back seats.  We scored it on a lightening deal so it was under $200.



We were ALMOST going to buy an adorable mini dishwasher, named Bob, that I found recently but the day Christian was going to pull the trigger (after agonizing over the decision because it's super frivolous)  the price went up $50 and the delivery estimate went from July to September - so sad! Guess it's still a little bucket and camping safe soap.



Christian is big into tech and gaming so we definitely needed an entertainment system setup. To get started he bought a 300W power inverter for one of the cigarette lighters in the car. That way we can power normal AC powered devices through the car battery. He also picked up a portable monitor so we could play games together on his Nintendo Switch and watch movies.

Another random item normal drivers may not need is an OBD Check scanner so he can monitor the battery temperature and other driving diagnostics.


Window Covers

Window covers are key for when you want to sleep in your car. They keep out prying eyes as well as light for when you need to rest. If you use reflective covers they will insulate the car from both cold and heat. It would have been very expensive to buy custom window covers that fit the car properly and buying cheaper options would not look that great so we decided to DIY them! You can google how others have made these but we combined a few approaches. I'll put a quick guide below, let me know if you want a full blog post (I may do one anyway.)




  1. Use paper to make a template of your window. Trace the outline of the window onto the paper and cut out. Place back in window to make sure it fits properly.
  2. Cut out your Reflectix insulation using the template. Place in window to make sure it fits. Trim if necessary.
  3. Either cut out your fabric with the same template or cut your fabric a little larger than the insulation
  4. Use spray adhesive to attach the fabric to the insulation (spray both sides and wait until tacky before putting them together.) We left one side without fabric so we could use the reflective properties of the insulation when needed.
    1. If you cut out your fabric larger than the insulation: trim after gluing or use the extra in place of binding.
  5. Using glue or a sewing machine attach your quilt binding around the whole piece. You could also use duct tape for this step.

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I mentioned back in July that Christian would eventually be getting an electric car. Before we get into the new car let's do a little (long) recap. TLDR below if you don't want to read it all.


Christian has been wanting an electric car for many years and has been tirelessly researching for the past few. In late 2020 we decided to let go of his old car (a Dodge Avenger he had for almost 10 years) by handing it down to his niece on a visit to Missouri in May 2021. The original plan was to be a one-car family for a few weeks until he got a used Chevrolet Bolt. Spoiler alert: that didn't happen. Due to chip shortages, prices on used and new cars skyrocketed. Instead of being impulsive/impatient and paying $4K+ more than it was worth we decided to wait and see if prices went down. They didn't. 


We ended up getting my new car before his, which was an unexpected treat for me! I was assuming I'd be driving my Chevrolet Cobalt until it died. It started having a few old age issues in June and we didn't want to be left car-less if something else happened. We were lucky enough to find my perfect car - a bright blue 2018 Mini Cooper! The Cobalt would still be around for Christian to occasionally drive to the office (he's still working mostly remote,) but the Mini became our main car.

Christian's reasoning for wanting a Bolt was because they were relatively inexpensive and then he could trade up to a newer electric car in a few years when the technology advanced. Because of the Bolt price hikes, it pushed us to decide on a more expensive car that we plan on keeping for many years. Christian originally pre-ordered a Volkswagen ID4 that was supposed to be delivered in November 2021. We got an email in mid-December that it wouldn't be ready until JUNE 2022...WHAT?! 

I think the universe was telling us to wait. At the beginning of December, Hyundai finally released the pricing for their new electric car - the IONIQ 5. Christian had been watching the news on this car for quite a while but never thought it would be in our price range. When the pricing was released he decided it was the better option when taking into account all the features.  There were MANY pro/con lists and spreadsheets involved in the decision.  The IONIQ 5 started arriving at dealerships in the USA the week before New Years and we happened to find the exact version and color he wanted at a local dealership.

They were marking up the price quite a bit but, after calling around to other dealerships and finding that they weren't marking up, we decided to test drive the car and see if we could talk down the markup. We were able to get them to remove most of it (by trading in my Cobalt) and Christian decided it was worth the slightly higher cost so....we bought the car and picked it up on New Year's Eve!  That means we'll be able to claim it on our 2021 taxes. It qualifies for a $7500 federal tax credit which makes the price tag a liiiittle easier to digest.


TLDR: Christian has wanted an electric car for a while. He originally wanted a Chevrolet Bolt but prices skyrocketed right as he was ready to buy. He then ordered a Volkswagen ID4 in July 2021 but delivery was delayed until mid-2022 instead of December 2021. We ended up buying a better car, a 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5, on New Years Eve!


This is probably the coolest car I've ever ridden in (including my cousin's Tesla.) I love the exterior design and the interior feels so big, especially compared to Merlin, my Mini Cooper.  We're planning on doing lots of road tripping in it and I can't wait for all the adventures. I'll definitely be sharing them on the blog (with better pictures, I mostly did videos this trip because I wasn't planning on doing a post.)


Another cool thing about buying the car is we get 2 years of free charging at Electrify America charging stations. We'll basically be paying nothing to drive it for the first 2 years (you know, apart from the car payment, haha!) We can charge for an unlimited number of 30 minute sessions, but those sessions need to be an hour apart. Super easy to do, especially when road tripping. You also don't want to constantly charge to 100%, the max we'll be charging to is 80. The IONIQ 5 charges from 5%-80% in 18 minutes - although when it's cold out it takes longer.


We went on a mini adventure this past weekend. Originally we were going to drive up to Vermont but the weather was looking REALLY cold so we settled on driving up to Mystic and maybe heading to Newport and staying there for the night. We ended up just going to Mystic and watching the sunset in Watch Hill, Rhode Island.  We charged once on the way up and again right before we got home. We could've gone straight home but there's a fast charger near our house so we topped up before heading home. Then we wouldn't need to charge at home.

Have any electric car questions? Leave a comment and I'll have Christian answer them in a future post!

Charging the Hyundai IONIQ 5

Tried The Shipwright's Daughter for a late brunch

Brioche French Toast, Little Sis' Burger and Chicken Fat Home Fries

Our masks keeping us warm outside!

Always need to pick up a treat from Sift Bake Shop - Macaron Framboise & Lemon Bergamot Tart

Still a bit of the holidays on a boat | Hello, pretty car!

Enjoying the (cloudy) sunset & testing out the "entertainment system"

Since we plan to use the car for road trips/car camping Christian bought a small portable monitor so we can play his Nintendo Switch, watch movies, etc. Obviously these will not be in use while driving.

Seeing how much power we're drawing. The car is in Utility Mode which is what we would use when sleeping in the car overnight. To put it simply - it let's us use the climate system as well as power/charge electronics through the various plug in ports without the car being on.

Cloudy, but pretty!

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