The Birth of a Mountain Rig - 2004 Honda CR-V
When living out of my car for two weeks, after I converted my Subaru wagon into a camper, I realized that having a vehicle that was built to suit my adventurous lifestyle was absolutely ideal. I also realized that converting a vehicle that spent the majority of its life as a racecar left a lot to be desired as far as amenities go.
This left me on the lookout for a vehicle that was stock, had a full interior, functional cruise control, and preferably air conditioning – simple enough.
One brisk morning in Missoula, Montana I came across an ad for a 2004 Honda CR-V EX 5-Speed 4WD for sale. Long story short, it was in my driveway by early afternoon.Priority number one was maintenance: spark plugs, oil, upstream oxygen sensor, and replacing the knock sensor were all taken care of.
The tires were also shot, so I opted for Mastercraft Wildcat A/T3 tires in a 215/70/16 to aid in traction and durability while taking on mountain passes. They were mounted on DRIFZ 308GG SPEC-R 16x8 +25 wheels that previously lived on my Subaru wagon camper. The wheels and tires completely transformed the look of the Honda CR-V, and that's when the modding bug bit me. Along with everything mentioned above, these also found their way onto the vehicle within the first week:
LED Light Bar / Mount
Rally Armor Mudflaps
Spare Tire Cover
Roof Cargo Carrier
Buffed / Cleared Headlights
While this is where the list ends as of now, it will be growing over the next few months. The ultimate plan for this vehicle is to purchase a rooftop tent and then create functional storage in the rear.This CR-V even has a folding table made by Honda that secures under the floor in the rear. *Bonus*
After a week of driving, I am hooked on the Honda CR-V – even after I considered picking up a Subaru Outback.
So far this has provided me everything that I have desired in a mountain rig – capable enough with 4WD/AWD, spacious, decent fuel efficiency.The real test will start in a couple months when my aggressive spring travels start up!
Updated April 10,2019
We ended up selling the CR-V in the summer of 2018 for a 2004 Nissan Frontier Supercharged 4x4 that I built up into a mild overland rig.
In February 2019 we picked up a 1997 Chevrolet Conversion Van that we turned into a camper van, and the truck will most likely be sold in the coming months.
With that said, the CR-V is still one of my favorite vehicles that I’ve owned, which is in the ballpark of 20+, and I miss having it around as a daily driver.