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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone.
After being exposed to a few 500s to date, I am pretty sure I want to get one for myself. I do, however, have a few concerns.
My main concern is whether I am mentally unhinged for considering getting a 500 and taking it camping.

A little background on my experiences. I have for the most part only owned Subarus. I've taken and packed my WRX and my standard Impreza sedans to the brim and have taken them camping. They have been fine as far as I'm concerned. Even without fold down rear seats.
If I wasn't sleeping in a tent, I would just lay the seat back and catch a night's rest.

With that, if I get a roof cargo carrier, what are the chances I could do the same in a 500 (2 door)? In my opinion both the pop, and Abarth seats are more comfortable then the WRX or Impreza seats.

Has anyone slept with the seats reclined?
Has anyone folded down the rear seats and slept in the trunk area?
Is it possible to fold down the rear seats and fold forward the front seats to lie down inside the car?
Am I out of my mind thinking I can strap a roof cargo unit on the top of the car and do a 1k mile road trip every once in a while?

Thanks!
 

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My wife and I have taken my Abarth camping many times now even without a cargo carrier. Never tried sleeping in the car though. You can recline the seats if theres nothing behind you but they wont lay totally flat. There's no room in the back for anyone to sleep even with the rear seats removed. I recommend just a cheap air mattress from Amazon. You'll sleep much better in a tent. As for the 1Kmile road trip. That should be no problem. I drove a 4300 mile trip last year out to Montana and back and we camped for 5 nights out of the Fiat. And a 2400 mile trip in a single weekend this past Summer. Dont get me wrong, there are softer and more comfortable cars. But it can certainly be done.

If you're riding solo, this is the most room you can realistically hope to have in the interior. Might be enough room to sleep but the shapes are kind of awkward and lumpy. Not great for sleeping.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks ABM. Above and beyond.
Smark, I have the air mattress and tent but during times of bad weather and when you cannot find a place to camp.
Abm, did you just plan ahead and scout out camping areas?
 

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Did it. Got into Rocky Mountain National Park very late and it was raining. I actually slept in the back seat. Comfy, not a chance, but if your tired enough, doable. btw, rear seats up.
 

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I've tried it. It's truly dreadful and you will be in for some serious aches and pains the next day. I'm curious about the idea of removing the passenger and rear seat. Maybe if you're handy, you can build some sort of a flat surface to put an air mattress on that stretches the length of the cabin.
 

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Just so you know, the front seats recline the least of any car I have seen. It goes back only to a 45 degree angle or so. It is definitely not conducive to sleeping as I've tried napping in the car before but the angle is too upright. I don't get why they can't go further as its not touching the back seat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you Tweak. I can already see the FIAT community is as friendly as the Subaru community used to be.
I test drove a POP and sport earlier today. The most incredible car experience I have ever had, by far. The turn radius. No car I've ever driven compares and the maunal transmission is incredibly precise. Would be even better with a short throw shifter.

Car freak, I've seen the lack of seat recline too. Dunno why. Rear seat delete? Just taking them out?
 

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Thank you Tweak. I can already see the FIAT community is as friendly as the Subaru community used to be.
I test drove a POP and sport earlier today. The most incredible car experience I have ever had, by far. The turn radius. No car I've ever driven compares and the maunal transmission is incredibly precise. Would be even better with a short throw shifter.

Car freak, I've seen the lack of seat recline too. Dunno why. Rear seat delete? Just taking them out?
You're very welcome.
Most of the time we are nice to one another...lol. Rear seat delete is a GREAT option. If you like the small turning radius then it is good you are not considering an Abarth...it is MASSIVE compared to the Pop you're looking into. :)
 

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Ya think it's OK to put a cargo bag on top with a non-slip barrier to protect the paint and to keep the cargo bag in place? Roof should handle it with medium light stuff up there, right? Roof looks pretty sturdy. Don't know. Need to know soon. Leaving in less than two weeks for Christmas
 

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Chris our 500 is the last car, I'd feel comfortable sleep in. We on our 2nd Honda Fit now. Both cars have a Honda feature called magic seats. With its several different seat configurations. The seats fold completely flat. We use to go camping, in Estates Park. Serval times there were, extreme heavy rain and winds. We had to resort to the inside of the car. Sleeps 2 individuals comfortably. Our new Fit, has HDM connects. Able to watch movies on the info screen. Highway fuel mileage is 40. A second slower, then a Abarth 0-60. Fantastic resale value.

Good Luck with you decision.
 

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My wife sleeps just fine in both our Abarth and Pop on long trips (think the heated seats help in the Abarth). Put the seat back and racks out with a pillow. A club member who stands like 6' 8" took his to Washington State last year and he said when he got tired he would just pull over and crash and he said he was very comfortable. As far as hauling gear, depending on how much you take...most people that do go camping with 500's never seem to have problems fitting their gear in there. From personal camping experience...our style anymore is hotels, or when in the Rockies.."camping" at my parents' house in Boulder. Think after growing up back packing in the Adirondacks with my dad, and "camping" when I was in the military, I prefer a bed now. Also..if you use your 500 to go camping, at least you're taking a vehicle with some style..and not an appliance. And people can be surprised how much you fit in it ("you got all that in that thing? impressive")
 

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There's no way you could sleep in there comfortably. It's just too short a car... and I'm assuming you are talking about folding the rear seats and laying down vs sleeping while seated in the front seats.

That being said - it's a box on wheels and my wife's packed it full of stuff most people wouldn't believe would fit... however if you're used to rugged utilitarian vehicles like subarus then this is not the right car for you. These are city cars.
 

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Car camping in my old Tiburon with a sleeping bag in the trunk with the seats folded down was absolutely doable in the college days, but that car was much larger. Though honestly, car camping in the 500 would really require the front seats; the back is just too small if you have legs or a torso or whatever.

The front seats in the sport are comfier than a train or plane, so why not?
 

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If you want to go camping with your Fiat, you could always get a small tear drop camper. They say you're not suppose to tow with these cars, but at Fiats on the Dragon, someone had brought a small hard sided camper. The inside is a full size bed with shelves and a small tv/entertainment center, and the back opens up for a kitchen area. When I was looking for a picture of these, they had images of Mini's, Smart's, and even a couple of motorcycles pulling them, so I'm sure ours would also.
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For $3-6K for a small tear drop trailer. You can spend that money on a lot of hotel rooms. A lot of stupid people out there pulling them. When the manufacture doesn't recommend it. Why take the chance of burning up a transmission.
For the price of one of those trailers, you might as well buy a larger car, to sleep in. I'd build my own trailer.

 
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