10 Best Cars to Sleep In For Camping: A Detailed Guide

best cars to sleep in

Traveling by car offers the freedom to explore new places at your own pace, and for some, it even means having a place to sleep. Whether you’re embarking on a road trip, camping, or simply need a rest on a long journey, sleeping in your car can be a practical and economical option. 

However, not all cars are created equal when it comes to providing comfort for a good night’s sleep. This guide will help you understand what makes a car suitable for sleeping and highlight some of the best options available.

Key Factors for a Sleep-Friendly Car

Before diving into specific models, it’s important to know what features make a car good for sleeping:

  1. Space: Ample interior space is crucial. A car with fold-flat seats or a roomy cargo area allows for a more comfortable sleeping arrangement.
  2. Comfort: Comfortable seats and good ventilation are essential. Consider cars with seats that recline fully or have an ergonomic design.
  3. Privacy: Tinted windows, built-in sunshades, or the ability to hang curtains can provide much-needed privacy.
  4. Climate Control: Good climate control is important for staying warm in cold weather or cool in the heat.
  5. Safety: Ensure the car has safety features like reliable locks and, ideally, some form of alarm system.
  6. Fuel Efficiency: A car that doesn’t consume too much fuel while idling (if you need to use climate control) can save money and be more environmentally friendly.

10 Top Picks For Sleeping In 2024

1. Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V is a popular choice for many reasons. Its spacious interior, combined with fold-flat rear seats, creates a comfortable sleeping area. The CR-V also offers excellent fuel efficiency, making it a cost-effective option for long trips. Additionally, it has a reliable climate control system and ample storage for luggage and camping gear.

  • Space: Fold-flat seats provide a large sleeping area.
  • Comfort: Ergonomic seats and good suspension for a smooth ride.
  • Privacy: Tinted windows and available sunshades.
  • Safety: Known for its high safety ratings and reliable locking mechanisms.
  • Truck Capacity: Up to 75.8 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats down.

2. Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback is well-known for its ruggedness and reliability, making it an excellent choice for those who love outdoor adventures. Its all-wheel drive system is perfect for off-road camping spots, and the interior space is ample with seats that fold down flat.

  • Space: Large cargo area with fold-flat seats.
  • Comfort: Comfortable seating and a smooth ride.
  • Privacy: Tinted windows available and easy to install privacy curtains.
  • Safety: High safety ratings and robust build quality.
  • Truck Capacity: Up to 75.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats down.

3. Toyota Sienna

For those who need even more space, the Toyota Sienna is a fantastic option. This minivan offers an incredibly spacious interior that can comfortably accommodate a sleeping arrangement. The Sienna’s seats can be removed or folded flat, providing a large, flat sleeping surface.

  • Space: Extremely spacious with foldable or removable seats.
  • Comfort: Plush seats and excellent climate control.
  • Privacy: Tinted windows and ample room for curtains.
  • Safety: High safety ratings and comprehensive safety features.
  • Cargo Capacity: Up to 101 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

4. Ford Flex

The Ford Flex is another great option for those seeking a car with plenty of space and comfort. Its boxy shape provides a roomy interior, and the flat-folding seats make it easy to create a sleeping area. The Flex also has a smooth ride and good climate control.

  • Space: Generous interior space with flat-folding seats.
  • Comfort: Comfortable seating and a smooth ride.
  • Privacy: Tinted windows and straightforward privacy solutions.
  • Safety: Reliable safety features and good crash test ratings.
  • Truck Capacity: Offers 88 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down.

5. Jeep Grand Cherokee

For those who enjoy off-road adventures, the Jeep Grand Cherokee combines comfort with rugged capability. Its spacious interior and fold-flat seats provide a comfortable sleeping area, and its off-road prowess means you can camp just about anywhere.

  • Space: Ample cargo area with fold-flat seats.
  • Comfort: Supportive seats and advanced climate control.
  • Privacy: Tinted windows and easy privacy options.
  • Safety: Advanced safety features and high ratings.
  • Truck Capacity: Up to 68.3 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats down.

6. Chevrolet Suburban

The Chevrolet Suburban is an ideal choice for large families or groups who need a lot of space. This SUV offers one of the largest interiors on the market, and its seats can be configured to create a huge sleeping area. Despite its size, the Suburban provides a comfortable ride.

  • Space: Extremely spacious with configurable seating.
  • Comfort: Plush seats and advanced climate control.
  • Privacy: Tinted windows and ample room for privacy solutions.
  • Safety: Comprehensive safety features and good safety ratings.
  • Truck Capacity: Up to 144.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the second and third rows down.

7. Volkswagen Atlas

The Volkswagen Atlas is a midsize SUV that offers a spacious interior and a comfortable ride. Its rear seats fold flat, creating a decent sleeping area, and it has good climate control to keep you comfortable throughout the night.

  • Space: Roomy interior with fold-flat seats.
  • Comfort: Comfortable seating and smooth ride.
  • Privacy: Tinted windows available and easy to add privacy curtains.
  • Safety: High safety ratings and modern safety features.
  • Truck Capacity: Up to 96.8 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats down.

8. Honda Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey is another excellent minivan for sleeping. Its versatile seating arrangements and spacious interior make it easy to set up a comfortable sleeping area. The Odyssey also features good climate control and plenty of storage space.

  • Space: Very spacious with versatile seating.
  • Comfort: Plush seats and smooth ride.
  • Privacy: Tinted windows and built-in sunshades.
  • Safety: High safety ratings and numerous safety features.
  • Cargo Capacity: Up to 158 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded.

9. Tesla Model X

For those who prefer electric vehicles, the Tesla Model X is a fantastic option. It offers a spacious interior, and the seats fold flat to create a comfortable sleeping area. Additionally, the Model X provides advanced climate control and energy-efficient features.

  • Space: Spacious with fold-flat seats.
  • Comfort: Comfortable seating and advanced climate control.
  • Privacy: Tinted windows and easy-to-install privacy options.
  • Safety: Excellent safety features and ratings.
  • Cargo Capacity: Offers up to 83.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down.

10. Chrysler Pacifica

The Chrysler Pacifica is a versatile minivan with a lot of space and comfort. Its Stow ‘n Go seating allows the seats to fold completely into the floor, creating a flat and spacious sleeping area. The Pacifica also has excellent climate control and plenty of storage.

  • Space: Very spacious with foldable seats.
  • Comfort: Comfortable seating and smooth ride.
  • Privacy: Tinted windows and built-in sunshades.
  • Safety: High safety ratings and comprehensive safety features.
  • Cargo Capacity: Up to 140.5 cubic feet with seats stowed.

Additional Tips For Relax & Comfortable Sleeping

While having the right car is essential, there are also some tips and tricks to ensure a comfortable and safe night’s sleep in your vehicle:

  1. Plan Your Sleeping Arrangement: Before you start your journey, figure out how you will arrange your sleeping space. Lay down the seats and make sure you have enough room to lie down comfortably.
  2. Bring Comfortable Bedding: A good sleeping bag or air mattress can make a huge difference in comfort. Also, bring pillows and blankets to ensure you stay warm and cozy.
  3. Ensure Ventilation: Proper ventilation is crucial to avoid condensation and ensure you have fresh air. Crack a window slightly or use a window vent to maintain airflow.
  4. Use Window Covers: For privacy and to block out light, use window covers or sunshades. You can buy these specifically for your car model or make DIY versions with reflective material.
  5. Stay Safe: Park in safe, well-lit areas. Lock your doors and be aware of your surroundings. It’s also a good idea to keep a phone and charger nearby in case of emergencies.
  6. Stay Organized: Keep your car organized to make the most of your space. Use storage bins or organizers to keep your belongings tidy and accessible.
  7. Manage Temperature: Depending on the weather, you may need to take steps to stay warm or cool. In cold weather, use extra blankets or a sleeping bag rated for low temperatures. In hot weather, use sunshades and consider a portable fan.
  8. Stay Hydrated and Nourished: Keep water and snacks in your car. It’s important to stay hydrated and have something to eat, especially if you’re in a remote area.
  9. Follow Local Laws: Be aware of local regulations regarding sleeping in your car. Some areas have restrictions, so it’s important to research and ensure you’re in compliance.
  10. Maintain Personal Hygiene: Pack personal hygiene items like wet wipes, hand sanitizer, and a toothbrush to stay clean and fresh on your journey.

Conclusion

Sleeping in your car can be a practical and enjoyable experience if you choose the right vehicle and prepare adequately. Whether you prefer a spacious minivan like the Toyota Sienna or a rugged SUV like the Jeep Grand Cherokee, there are many excellent options available to suit your needs. 

By considering the key factors that make a car sleep-friendly and following the tips provided, you can ensure a comfortable and safe night’s sleep on the road.

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