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How to Turn a Subaru Forester into a Camper?

How to Turn a Subaru Forester into a Camper?

Here are the 17 easy steps for turning your Subaru Forester into a camper. We have added the required tools in this guide.

How to Turn a Subaru Forester into a Camper?  You can convert a Subaru forester into a road trip vehicle by modifying its structure. A little creativity in the backseat area generates extravagant results. Modify the cargo spacing by adding accessories like bed frames, plastic and wood drawers, and a sleeping platform. Adjust everything according to the size and model of your Subaru forester. The average cost to convert a Subaru forester into a camper is up to $350-$2000.

How to turn a Subaru forester into a camper? 

Converting your Subaru forester into a Camper is an excellent choice. The whole procedure of conversion requires professional expertise.

The fresh and brand new foresters cannot handle the conversion and offloading. Old vehicles provide maximum space for modifications and installations.

The Subaru models of 2009 to 2019 are among the best choices for converting into a camper. 

Purchase an old Subaru forester 

Patience and excessive searching is the only tool to get an excellent old Subaru. The average cost of the vintage vehicle leads up to $5000- $6000. 

Which Subaru Forester models are best to convert to campers?

  • A 2012 Subaru forester, 2.5X limited, and the transmission of 4 doors. It is automatic, sage green, and metallic. 
  • 2009 Subaru forester limited edition.
  • 2000 Subaru outback equip, 5-doors, automatic. It has a transmission with wine stone. Titanium pearl
  • A 2002 Subaru forester with S premium package, four doors, and has an automatic transmission, a black diamond pearl.

Install Subaru forester rooftop tent 

The conversion of a Subaru forester into a camper involves the installation of a rooftop tent. It is one of the essential components when you are building a Camper.

A rooftop tent occupies less space, and it is appealing in appearance. It does not require any area inside the vehicle. It has some tremendous advantages over the traditional tent. 

There are multiple parameters when you are choosing a rooftop tent for your vehicle. 

Weight of the rooftop tent

It is about the weight of the rails over the top of a vehicle. These rails bear the mass of the tent and its sheets. Generally, most of the foresters have a bearing capacity of 600-700 pounds.

This weight carrying capacity is directly proportional to the stability of the vehicle. The tent rails and other supplies cannot tolerate weighing more than 690-700 pounds. 

Also, understand the weight carrying capacity of the rails when the vehicle is moving. The weight rails have a range of approximately 175-176 pounds. 

Ease regarding setup

One of the most significant benefits of a rooftop tent is that it is easy to setup. You can pull a nylon ribbon, and the tent starts opening immediately. It turns into its structure without any manual effort. Attach a ladder to the vehicle and open the floor area. Subaru Forester is a reliable SUV that everyone loves to drive.

Types of the rooftop tent for Subaru

They are rough and soft rooftop tents, and the soft tents are lighter in weight and are less expensive. 

The hard tents occupy all the possible weight limits of the Subaru foresters and their models. The hard tents are more aerodynamic as compared to the soft tents. They are expensive but the feature worth the cost. The sheet works as a cover for the top of the vehicle. 

Method of installation

The method provides you all the essential tips and guidelines to install a rooftop tent on your vehicle. Adjust the metal rails on the top surface.

These rails are available in readymade forms. Buy them according to the size of the vehicle’s top. Adjust the rails right in the middle of the SUV. These rails are usually foldable, and it makes use easy. Adjust a folding ladder with the moveable part of the rails.

Settle the tent by inserting the hooks of the sheets in the holes of the metallic rods. Tighten all the nuts and screws of the metal rods by using a screwdriver. You can pull the ladder manually, and the whole tent starts opening. It helps in occupying two to three people. 

The average cost of the rooftop tent

You can choose a tent according to your choice. The soft tents are economical, but they start to spoil. You cannot trust them for long-distance travel and camping. The fancy tents are expensive with high-quality material. The average cost of a rooftop tent for a Subaru forester reaches up to $1780-$1800.

All-terrain tires of Subaru forester

All the campers comprise all-terrain tires because they need to carry weights. If you are turning a Subaru forester into a Camper, then you require all-terrain tires.

These are some of the best wheels for camper vehicles because of their structure and shape. They are best for off-road and hiking places. The rubber of the terrain wheels hit the roads, and the friction offers stability. 

It is an essential step during this conversion because the whole vehicle depends on the wheels. In the circumstances when you have a limited budget for making a single modification in the forester, then purchase the all-terrain wheels. 

Number of tires

The Subaru Forester can adjust four tiers initial structure. There is no other model that has more than four wheels carrying capacity. You should buy five tires for the camper because one wheel plays the role of the spare tire. 

Method of installation

  • The process requires professional expertise, and it is a time-consuming process.
  • It is up to you that from which side you want to start.
  • Use a liver jack and roll it high, add the jack stand under the vehicle’s body.
  • Start the procedure of unscrewing one by one. 
  • Remove all the wheels of the old Subaru.
  • Start installing the new all-terrain tires.
  • Check the air carrying capacity inside them.
  • Tighten all the nuts and screws with a screwdriver.
  • You can take the help of a friend for carrying weight and application of force.
  • Remove the jack stand and make the camper stable.
  • Check the vehicle by driving and giving the race to the wheels. 


All-terrain wheels are expensive than casual tires due to their exceptional features. They are also available online; you can pick tires according to your Subaru’s model. The average cost of five all-terrain wheels reaches up to $1000-$1500.

Install the cargo 

The lifting of the vehicle is essential for installing any additional part. The auto shops help to lift it to an approximate limit, but if you can do it on your own, then it is significant.

The springs and lifting kits make the camper for the off-road. The ground clearance increases when you turn the Subaru forester into a Camper.

The camper drives over the rocks and other substances without any difficulty. Install the magnificent springs of high quality to increase the flexibility on jumps. The average cost of the lift kit is up to $400-$500. 

The high stage performance of the recreational vehicle helps in the installation of the cargo area. The cargo is the surface to accommodate the essentials that you carry during traveling.

The conversion of a Subaru’s cargo into a camping supply area is easy. Organizing all the things in this area is one of the tricky steps. You can buy hardwood drawers online. They work as a place of accommodation and as a table for other things. 

The drawers are heavy, so there is no need to fit them. If you are an organizing freak, then adjust a carpet in this area. Place the essential over the floor carpet.

The stackable containers are available in all sizes and dimensions. There is no need to buy expensive stuff, and you can keep it casual because it is just a place to settle luggage.

It is an economical process, and the cost does not exceed $100. It revolves around $60-$70. 

Maintain the bed frame of the Subaru Forester

The bed frame of a camper is a place for sleeping and resting. The travelers move to distant places, and it is essential to have a sleeping place in the vehicle.

The bed frame of the Subaru Forester is the area of the cargo. You have to maintain the location so that it allows people and luggage at the same time. A modification and some professional expertise lead to a proper bed structure inside the cargo. 

Build a Subaru forester sleeping platform

  • The sleeping platform of a forester requires multiple things. All of the equipment is of diverting features. 
  • The proper accommodation of the material is the key to safe and stable traveling. People choose the sleeping platforms when they do not have enough budgets for the rooftop tent. 

Install air mattress

  • These mattresses are significant in their design and qualities. They help in turning the forester cargo into a sleeping platform for more than one person. Two to three adjusted people can easily sleep on the mattress. The stuff contains air inside it, and you can settle it anywhere in the camper. 
  • Insert air in the mattress whenever you need it. It has one of the most amazing fitting capacities, and you can adjust the air mattress behind the front side seats. 
  • The seat should have a folding capacity. You do not need screws and metal nails inside the mattress and floor. 

Design of a sleeping platform

The design of the sleeping platform in a Subaru forester contains wood pieces. These are three in number, and the size varies according to the model of the vehicle.

The wood pieces fit in the backside of the forester, and they do not allow the folding of seats. The holding legs of the platform are of equal size, and they provide enough stability.

Make sure that the headpiece of wood must be moveable. It helps in the proper adjustment of the sleeping bed behind the seats. Put the platform on the carpet area and check its stability by shaking it.

You can put the entire luggage on the equipment without any hesitation. Remove the supplies of the camper and then use the sleeping platform. Spread the air mattress over the equipment, and in this way, you can sleep during traveling. 

Install batteries in the vehicle

A simple Subaru forester does not require multiple batteries, but when you convert a forester into a camper, then the step is a perk.

The additional batteries provide excessive power, and you can travel and stay outside for a period. The batteries help in the camp site’s lighting: the electric current is necessary for the water cooler and other cooling devices. 

Installing additional batteries

Learn the manual or take professional guidelines about the automatic wiring system. The mechanics perform this method so accurately that people prefer them to save their money. An expert friend also helps in reducing the cost of the procedure.

One battery of the Subaru Forester is already present in the structure. Add another in the hidden compartment of the vehicle.

The bottom area is behind the back of the front seat in the grounding space. Make sure that the engine of the recreational vehicle is not in ignition mode. 

The extra battery gets its charging power when the vehicle moves. The built-in battery also provides electric current to the second battery, especially when it has to charge.

Connect all the wires in the right places, and it should contain a direct circuit towards the engine. The addition of an inventor also makes the vehicle versatile. It helps in the proper functioning of electronic devices like laptops inside a converted car. 

The average cost of an additional battery is cost-effective. The facilities are enormous in number and the price worth the cost. The battery is approximate $40-$50. Invertors of the campers are costly as compared to the extra batteries. They reach up to $60-$70. 

Upgrade by adding Subaru forester camper trailer 

The conversion of a Subaru forester into a camper includes the addition of a trailer behind its back. Campers require a trailer for carrying the heavy or light luggage inside the cargo area. You should make sure the equipment is moveable, and you must support it.

The step is optional, but it makes the camper unique and demanding. Adjust chains on both sides of the trailer. You can move the metallic trailer by electric current. Push the button, and it flows down but stops at a certain distance from earth. You can shut it down like a door on the end of the forester. 

Add accessories in Subaru Forester camper


These lights are different from the casual lights of a Subaru. They help to get the right passage in the darkest areas. The beams of these lights travel across the places within seconds. 

Adding a plate of skid

It helps in the protection of the engine and makes the vehicle stable. A skid’s plate keeps the carriage safe when the camper moves over the rocks and other hard materials.

These plates are of aluminum material that matches the aluminum signs across the roads. 

A holder for extra tire 

A holder not only protects the spare tire but also makes space in the cargo area. The hitches inside the cargo area are part of many Subaru models. You can buy holds for the garbage and trash bags. 

Adjust the modes of camping in Subaru Forester

People spend three to four weeks on a road trip with their family and friends. The campers are usually one of the best vehicles for these adventures.

The conversion of the Subaru forester into a Camper makes the whole theme so fascinating. The setup must contain all the essentials for the camping modes. 

The essential parameters are as follow, 

  • Add the light-emitting diode lights inside the camper for search and protection.
  • An awning must attach to the roof of the vehicle. Adjust it with the rack, and it provides maximum protection from rain and other seasonal effects.
  • The camping chairs must include in the accessories. Carry the chairs that are foldable naturally, as you can place them in cargo without hesitation.
  • A table and a camp stove is a must, and adjust the cutlery in the drawer area.
  • A water container, food baskets, and backup batteries are necessary. 
  • Add some solar panels in the cargo area for emergencies. 
  • A water container for the disposal of wastewater is essential. You cannot dispose of all the trash anywhere.

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