The Best RV Is a Honda Civic Type R With a Slide-Out Kitchen

Where there’s a will, a kitchen, and a bed, there’s a way to camp in your hot hatch.

byRob StumpfJul 15, 2022 2:04 PM
The Best RV Is a Honda Civic Type R With a Slide-Out Kitchen
Andrew Leaberry
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With overlanding and van-dwelling catching on in a big way, living in your car has become kind of the thing to do. Most people probably picture a larger rig, like a full-size Ford Econoline or Toyota 4Runner, but that isn't always the case. For example, this guy has turned his FK8 Honda Civic Type R into a living space, and he's not exactly roughing it.

Andrew Leaberry didn't want to compromise between a fun-on-the-street car and something he could spend the night in. This is the result.

When Leaberry bought his Type R, he fully knew he'd mod it out as he had time and time again with other cars before it; he didn't plan on building something he could live in, though. After being laid off from his job during the pandemic and with the internet at his disposal, his mind began to wonder exactly what type of build he could take on. He was especially drawn to mods that would make the Civic a better road-tripping car. After all, he wanted to move across the country, but without a job lined up, he would have nowhere to stay.

"I'm watching all these like van life videos, and that's pretty cool. You travel around the country cook food out of your car, obviously, I can't do that," Leaberry told The Drive. "Then I'm like, 'Well, I did sleep in my car one time,' but what if I get the measuring tape out and just kind of see what I can do. And the next thing you know, I'm taking the back seats out and putting a whole cabinet in there."

The cabinet he's referring to is mounted on top of heavy-duty rails that enable him to slide the assembly out of the Civic's rear hatch with ease. It's the main focal point of his build, and it houses an area for him to cook on with a portable stovetop, as well as a butcher block surface to prep his food on and act as a table that he can reach comfortably while sitting in the trunk.

Leaberry mounted a bar sink inside of the cabinet with a collapsible faucet. Handily, the sink has a functional water supply with a four-gallon supply tank mounted where the back seat used to be. A grey water tank is also installed to ensure that the used water is contained within the car rather than dumped onto the ground.

Next to the cabinet is a small sleeping area built on a platform and lined with around five inches of foam. He says it's enough to sleep one person comfortably, but there's not a lot of room to move around. As for entertainment on the go, Leaberry has a number of books sitting on the telescoping shelf. He tells me that his favorite of the lot is a title by Anthony Bourdain, who—along with the notorious Grand Tour trio—is really his role model for his Civic build.

Of course, the car has some more common upgrades as well. Leaberry also installed an exhaust and a few other visual mods. He's still debating whether he wants to install a set of lowering springs, or if he wants to abandon the boy-racer path and raise the car with a set of all-terrain tires instead.

Leaberry has already taken a number of trips in his Type R where he has spent the night in his car and even cooked food out of it. The build has been nothing short of unconventional, gaining him more than 10,000 followers on TikTok in the process. But he didn't build it for his five minutes in the spotlight—he built it to retain the fun driving characteristics of the Type R while scraping every last ounce of utility out of the car, a true win-win.

"A lot of people tell me, 'Oh, well, you could have just gotten a Civic or a van,'" Leaberry told me. "They kind of don't get it. It's still just as fun to drive."

Let's get real—whoever says they don't want to show up to a car meet with some food, tailgate in their Type R, then blast down a backroad afterward is lying to themselves.

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