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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Can You Sleep Inside Your 4WD? The Pros and Cons

photo by Eloi_Omella via iStock

If you find that rooftop tents are crazy expensive and don’t enjoy the venerability you feel inside a normal tent you might want to try sleeping inside your vehicle. 

Granted, the vehicle you are using must be big enough; so, if you drive a Suzuki this might not be for you. 

For owners of larger vehicles though, to sleep inside your 4WD can even be more comfortable than in a rooftop tent as the vehicle provides more space for a proper bed setup. 

Can I Sleep Inside My Car?

Man Sleeping in 4x4

photo by Ladanifer via iStock

The short answer is yes, your sleeping setup will vary though depending on the vehicle you own. In some 4WDs, when removing the rear seats you are left with a completely flat floor – that’s perfect because you can put a mattress on the floor without having to build a platform to level it out. This makes it ideal to sleep inside your 4WD. 

But, putting the mattress on the floor though leaves you with no space inside the vehicle to store everything you want to take with you. Therefore, this may only work for people who will only be spending a night camping.

The best setup that provides some storage space and bedding inside the car is the one where a platform is used. A raised platform built out of wood provides space underneath for all your gear to be stored while keeping the space and comfort of your 4WDs cabin in tact so you can sleep inside your 4WD. 

If you are the only one who is going to be sleeping inside the vehicle you can build a platform that only takes half of your 4WDs cargo space – this provides ample amounts of storage space and a cost-effective sleeping setup. 

Sleep Inside Your 4WD Pros

It’s Safer 

bear eating a shoe in near tents

photo by ralphradford via iStock

In your vehicle, you can close all windows and lock yourself inside. That is a huge benefit in areas where other humans can be a danger. If something happens and you must leave you just get in the driver’s seat and go.

If you are camping in bear or crocodile country a locked vehicle will keep you completely safe from predators and insects too. 

It Can Be More Comfortable

couple sleeping in their 4x4

photo by Georgijevic via iStock

A large vehicle provides plenty of space for a bedding setup, something such as a Land Cruiser can easily accommodate a double bed.

It’s Quieter 

woman watching sunrise in her 4x4

photo by Anastasiia Shavshyna via iStock

Vehicles have sound deadening; therefore, when sleeping inside them you will hear far less of the outside world. Some people freak out when hearing the noises of nature as their minds link the noise with an approaching human or animal. So, having some insulation from the outside sounds is a good thing!

Waterproof and Windproof

People sleeping in SUV at the beach

photo by piola666 via iStock

Tents are waterproof but on windy nights can get noisy. A vehicle will provide protection no matter what the weather is like outside. Granted, the rain falling on the metal roof might make some noise; however, many people find that relaxing.

Condensation is Less of an Issue 

If you get condensation inside the car you can crack a window open or run the engine on defrost to get rid of it. The windows can be easily wiped off too as opposed to the tent walls which sometimes absorb the moisture and stay wet even if you wipe them. 

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Sleep Inside Your 4WD Cons 

It Can Get Too Hot or Too Cold

SUV in the snow

photo by shaunl via iStock

When it’s too hot outside and you are sleeping in a tent you can unzip the tent while keeping the mosquito nets closed to prevent insects from getting in. A vehicle does not offer this luxury; therefore, you’re either getting bit by mosquitos with the windows open or sweating to death with them closed. 

Warming up a 4WD on the inside is also harder as there is a larger area to heat up and all the windows trap the cold from outside. When sleeping inside a vehicle it is better to use a sleeping bag and a heated blanket to ensure you keep warm. 

It Takes Up Cargo Space

People packing an SUV

photo by hobo_018 via iStock

You will be giving up some cargo space no matter how well you design your sleeping platform. For some, this may not be an issue. For people who tend to take a lot of stuff with them though, it can be a deal-breaker.

There Isn’t Enough Space for Families

kids in the back seat of an SUV

photo by AleksandarNakic via iStock

In most cases, it is impossible for more than two people to sleep in a car due to space. Therefore, if you are planning to go out camping with the kids, sleeping in the car is not the ideal solution. 

It Doesn’t Feel as Outdoorsy and Adventurous

Person standing by a tent

photo by AscentXmedia via iStock

When sleeping in a tent you feel as you are part of nature, the fresh air constantly manages to get in through the thin fabric walls and you become aware of all the calm noises of nature. 

Sleeping in your vehicle defends that purpose but at the same time, it offers more safety. 

I would sleep inside the truck if I wanted to feel safer in an area in which camping in a tent may be dangerous. However, for normal camping, I would use a tent to ensure I have more space inside my vehicle while getting used to sleeping in nature. 

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