June 12, 2024 3 min read

Introducing HEST Quest! This year, we want to take a deeper dive into what is the ideal set up for sleeping outdoors. Is it a van? A rooftop tent? The back of your truck? A truckbed camper? A tow behind trailer camper? A ground tent?

With so many options out there, HEST has set out to answer the big question: What is the BEST car camping set up? 

Whether you are new to camping or a veteran overlander; everyone wants to know what is the BEST setup. What’s the most efficient, cost effective, easy, comfortable set up for sleeping outdoors?  HEST Quest will explore all the different setups; sharing the benefits and setbacks of each, plus “how to” tips when it comes to building or shopping for your next mobile basecamp.

HESTQUEST: Mercedes sprinter 170

What Type of Setup is do you have?
Mercedes Sprinter 170

How Many Does it Comfortably Sleep? 
Two with a very comfortable HEST mattress!

Is it Family Friendly?
It's comfortable for a small family.

Tell me more about the 4wd/ Off Road Capability of your Set up?
We've got 4x4, but wouldn’t want to get too aggressive. A big "yes" to forest service road and off grid overland.

What’s the kitchen/cooking set up like? Is it inside or outside?
Inside we've got an induction cooktop, and outside it's propane.

How easy is it to set up, move around, leave the vehicle/go to town?
It's incredibly easy!

Benefits/Pros: What you LOVE about this set up?

We love that we can easily pick up and go biking, skiing, fishing, or do whatever.

Challenges/Cons: What has been a hurdle/setback of the set up? 

Just figuring out all that is needed as permanently stored stuff in order to make loading and taking off or returning as easy as possible.


What are the budget considerations for investing in your set up?

We really wanted an economical, functional setup, so seeing what it would cost in total was really important to us.

What’s the swag level of your set up? While function is definitely the most important consideration when looking for a rig, we can’t deny that some set ups just LOOK GOOD! How does this set up rank in terms of coolness?

I think it is cool and functional, but some family members are less impressed as they don’t see themselves living in such a small space. Overall, it's unique as a personal design and build with both indo0r and outdoor shower options and cooking pending weather and season.

Which HEST mattress works best in this setup?

A Custom S60 Dually.   

What are some tips or hacks that your experience using the set up has taught you?

You definitely want more battery capacity.  The more the 12v appliances the better.

What are some upgrades you’ve made or want to make? Are there some key upgrades that you recommend to make your setup even better?

I just added a battery charger (previously just had solar and alternator charging, which was not enough in winter and in Seattle). I added battery capacity for winter travel. 

We also have a set up for propane that helps with outside cooking and fire pit.

If you had a chance to do it over again would you choose the same set up exactly? 


Would you recommend your setup to a friend?


What were your main considerations in choosing your set up/why did you choose it?

4wd (or all wheel) plus inside shower/toilet for winter (with option for outdoor for summer).

How’s the sleep quality you get in your set up? Do you wake up rested? Are there any pain points in the sleep situation in your adventure set up (e.g. pesky light, temperature issues, etc.)?


Follow along @hestoutdoors as we meet the people behind these different setups and build outs.