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View Full Version : Best cars to sleep in?



onlyapassenger
04-10-2009, 09:37 AM
Looking into buying myself a new car. Any ideas?

AZBuck
04-10-2009, 11:46 AM
Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

Seriously, no car is comfortable to sleep in. That's not what they're made for. There are so many other things that you should be taking into consideration, even if this car is intended to serve mostly as a RoadTrip vehicle, that sleeping comfort should be about 23rd on the list after mileage, driving comfort, visibility, safety, range, reliability, cost, passenger and cargo capacity, etc., etc., etc.

AZBuck

Midwest Michael
04-10-2009, 12:14 PM
If there was a consensous for the best car to do anything, you wouldn't have as many companies and models as there are out there.

For types, I'd say you'd need to be looking at a van/suv/wagon/pickup type vehicle where you can fully lay out in the cargo area. But saying anything beyond that purely gets into personal preferences.

However, the question itself is kind of like asking what bed makes the best trampoline. It can get make it work to get the job done, but you're really asking a car to be something that its not.

glc
04-10-2009, 08:17 PM
That question is easy - a full size conversion van.

shirohniichan
04-11-2009, 09:56 AM
If you're looking for a car and not a van, a station wagon (currently called "sport wagon" because "station wagon" is so passe) is the best option. There aren't many left to choose from, especially if you're looking for a new car. The Subaru Outback/Legacy wagons are nice cars, but I've never tried to sleep in one. My wife's '04 Mazda MPV has a second row seat that combines with the front passenger's seat to make a bed, but I haven't tried sleeping on it, either.

UKCraig
04-11-2009, 10:22 AM
Over the past summer I slept in half a dozen different cars. Out of all of them I can (surprisingly) recommend the Sebring. The front seats recline almost flat and, with a bag on the footwell to support your legs, it was seriously comfortable to sleep in. Much more so than my tent.

MrsPete
04-11-2009, 06:30 PM
Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

Seriously, no car is comfortable to sleep in. That's not what they're made for. There are so many other things that you should be taking into consideration, even if this car is intended to serve mostly as a RoadTrip vehicle, that sleeping comfort should be about 23rd on the list after mileage, driving comfort, visibility, safety, range, reliability, cost, passenger and cargo capacity, etc., etc., etc.

AZBuckBuck knows what he's talking about. We've all slept in cars a couple times, most likely when we were young, stupid and/or broke. A car doesn't let you stretch out properly, you'll have no bathroom facilities and no shower, and you'll have no climate control -- a tent allows for venting, so it is infinitely more comfortable than a car. Car-sleeping is often attempted at less-than-safe spots, so that's an issue too.

MA Driver
04-12-2009, 10:03 PM
A car doesn't let you stretch out properly, you'll have no bathroom facilities and no shower, and you'll have no climate control -- a tent allows for venting, so it is infinitely more comfortable than a car. Car-sleeping is often attempted at less-than-safe spots, so that's an issue too.

can't disagree on not being able to stretch

Flying J can take care of the rest

PNW Judy
04-13-2009, 09:10 PM
I would never plan to sleep in my car every night of a trip. Stretching out in the tent is far better. But, in a pinch, I've slept in my New Beetle. With the seat back, and a pillow under my knees, the passenger seat is great and lets me elevate my legs on the dash. For shorter naps, leaning back in the driver's seat is fine.

But I also agree AZBuck and the other factors are most important.

Truck stops lying Flying J seem to be quite safe. A young woman who used to post here a lot has used her car for sleeping at these truck stops regularly and has always been safe. Just like anywhere, you must use some common-sense.

shirohniichan
04-16-2009, 10:47 AM
Over the past summer I slept in half a dozen different cars. Out of all of them I can (surprisingly) recommend the Sebring. The front seats recline almost flat and, with a bag on the footwell to support your legs, it was seriously comfortable to sleep in. Much more so than my tent.

That's a great piece of info for those who rent cars (as the Sebrings fill many rental fleets). I'd never have guessed they were so comfortable, and I rented one last year to drive over a thousand miles through Washington and BC.

I can attest to the fact that an overloaded 1979 Honda Civic is NOT a comfortable car to sleep in. My brother and I found this out as we were caught in a torrential downpour near Astoria, Oregon on our way back from BC years ago.

shirohniichan
04-19-2009, 08:39 PM
In researching whether my next car should be a Subaru Forester or Outback, I saw a few posts in a Subaru owner's forum listing one of the benefits of the Outback being that one can sleep in it. If I get one I may try it out.

CitanXV
04-28-2009, 03:17 PM
Slept in a couple of Full Size cars and they were not to bad....plus you can get one for a reasonable price. But from now on I am using my tent or getting a hotel room! I say that 6 hours of car sleep is equal to about 2 hours of bed/tent sleep.

Alexa
04-30-2009, 12:38 AM
I have a Mercury Grand Marquis and on a road trip in December, I went to a drive-in movie theatre in Texas after five hours of driving, and decided to stretch out in the back seat during intermission. It was comfortable! Granted I couldn't really s-t-r-e-t-c-h, (I'm 5'5") but I reached from door to door without much bending my knees, it would certainly do in a pinch, providing I didn't store my junk in the back seat.

The front seat is also comfortable, but I'm not sure how far the seats go back. I don't think they go back as far as our Ford Escort which goes to almost flat.

Like the others, I wouldn't suggest sleeping in your car every night. I recommend bringing a tent, just in case. I like dome tents because they are easy to set up without assistance.

heatherfair
09-28-2010, 11:19 AM
In researching whether my next car should be a Subaru Forester or Outback, I saw a few posts in a Subaru owner's forum listing one of the benefits of the Outback being that one can sleep in it. If I get one I may try it out.

I have the outback impreza and can contest that it isthe Worst thing to sleep in. The front seats do not recline far enough. The back seat folds completely flat with the bottom bench folding up. because the bench fold up, you can;t take advantage of the space between the front seats for your feet. It is too short in the back for adults to lay flat (would have been great if could put feet between seats). I tried to use luggage and other things to elevate legs, but that was miserable. I am not even mentioning that if you are claustrophobic, the rear window will be inches above your face due to the angle of the trunk.

The legacy is grand. You can recline just half the second row of seats for a single bed. I have a friend who purchased foam and lays it down in this space. He is 6ft and sleeps well.

heatherfair
09-28-2010, 11:21 AM
Does anyone know about the Maxda CX9? does it go flat for a full bed?

Southwest Dave
09-29-2010, 05:20 AM
Hello heather and welcome to the RTA forums !

I have no experience with the CX9 but this link from Mazda (http://www.mazdausa.com/MusaWeb/displayPage.action?pageParameter=modelsMain&vehicleCode=CX9#/interior) would suggest the cargo area does fold flat, on the new model at least.

[Use the "click drag rotate" to turn the picture in the link and see rear seats folded.]

Enjoy RTA !

heatherfair
10-03-2010, 05:58 AM
I have the outback impreza and can contest that it isthe Worst thing to sleep in. The front seats do not recline far enough. The back seat folds completely flat with the bottom bench folding up. because the bench fold up, you can;t take advantage of the space between the front seats for your feet. It is too short in the back for adults to lay flat (would have been great if could put feet between seats). I tried to use luggage and other things to elevate legs, but that was miserable. I am not even mentioning that if you are claustrophobic, the rear window will be inches above your face due to the angle of the trunk.

The legacy is grand. You can recline just half the second row of seats for a single bed. I have a friend who purchased foam and lays it down in this space. He is 6ft and sleeps well.

---the forester is built on the same frame as the outback impreza. the outback legacy is the station wagon and longer.

chilegirl
10-05-2010, 11:55 AM
I've been driving a right drive Japanese Mitsubishi RVR for about 5 years. It's a 1995 and gets about 18 mpg (ugh). I love this car more than any other vehicle I've ever owned.

The back bench seat completely folds forward for storage or reclines and with the addition of the front seats turns into a single or double bed. The bed is very comfortable! With the sliding side door and sleeping options available, I can extend my camping season from early spring through late autumn.

My 2008 Kia Rio sucks to sleep in.

BDaniPhotography
10-20-2010, 09:51 AM
Has anyone attempted to sleep in a Nissan Versa Hatchback? I have been considering getting one for a while now to lug gear around in and because I like the quality of Nissan.

Midwest Michael
10-20-2010, 11:02 AM
I don't have any first hand experience, but I do know that the Versa is Nissan's smallest subcompact and as such, even with the hatchback and the seats folded down, I'd think you'd have to be pretty small to be comfortable laying down in that kind of car.

BDaniPhotography
10-22-2010, 09:05 AM
I don't have any first hand experience, but I do know that the Versa is Nissan's smallest subcompact and as such, even with the hatchback and the seats folded down, I'd think you'd have to be pretty small to be comfortable laying down in that kind of car.

Thank you for your reply, Michael. I would be traveling alone with little gear on my actual trip, but even from the pictures on Nissan's website I think you may be right.

glc
10-22-2010, 10:48 AM
If you are purchasing a Nissan for taking roadtrips and want the option to sleep in the vehicle, you may want to look at a crossover or SUV instead of a subcompact hatchback.

BDaniPhotography
10-22-2010, 01:09 PM
If you are purchasing a Nissan for taking roadtrips and want the option to sleep in the vehicle, you may want to look at a crossover or SUV instead of a subcompact hatchback.

Thank you for that suggestion. I do really like the Rogue, but it is simply out of my price range at nearly double the price I could get the Versa for. If sleeping in the Versa isn't an option, then I will just have to camp, couch surf, or as a last resort get a hotel for the night.

PYSCHOWard
10-25-2010, 12:53 PM
I can't say ENOUGH about how much i love to sleep in my Dodge coversion van, its a short wheel base model thats perfect for me. I camp in it and its my Daily driver in Good weather.I also work 60 + miles from home and take 100-200 mile mile trips often. I have a Queen size remote controlled mattress, a 22" flatscreen tv/ Blu ray player, microwave, coffee pot and toaster along with a Coleman Convertible icebox. Its ready to GO, all the time. I slept in many car over the years, I don't ever remember a Full nite of Restful sleep.

umakeme
11-03-2010, 01:42 PM
I am a woman 30 yrs old who roadtrips alone often and sometimes with my boyfriend im my Montana van, I always sleep in truckstops. The truckers are great and very friendly and helpful. I was alone and caught in an exceptional cold snap once and aa guy knocked on the window and offered me his upper bunk in his sleeper he was worried I might freeze, it was warm and cozy with a heater running. My van sleeps really well I remove the seats and have a foamy comfy. love It umakeme

umakeme
11-03-2010, 01:46 PM
where do you usually sleep with it?

puff5655
11-29-2010, 11:08 PM
I know someone who bought an old Chevy truck with a topper on it, and installed a platform about 1.5 feet up from the bottom of the truck bed. He then put in a thin mattress and a foam sleep pad. Wall-ah! The ultimate road trip vehicle- tons of storage underneath and a comfy bed on top. He's talking about putting curtains on the topper's windows- not sure if he's joking or not!

I thought about getting a Ford Ranger and doing this myself (love those little trucks), but I'm torn between that and an Escape (for easier access to luggage and more passenger space).

MrPedalsworth
02-19-2011, 12:35 AM
I posted this on another thread. Keep in mind ALL the cars you folks are suggesting are $20,000 MINIMUM! for that price you can TOTALLY restore a 67-69 Barracuda! Please read the following;

Your going to think I'm totally crazy, UNLESS you do some research on this! An you have to compare this to the cost of a newer car. Here goes. Take a deep breath and think outside the box. Find a solid (no rust?) 67-69 Barracuda $3000-$7000? But one with a Slant Six. You can probably get a Slant Six free nowadays? Take it to a GOOD engine re-builder. It's probably still running. The most reliable engine ever built. Don't believe me? Google Slant Six! Have it rebuilt, NOT bored. And the carburetor rebuilt. $2000? Do the Big disk brake swap for the front end using all re-manufactured B-Body parts. $300? Find and put in a clutch pedal assembly. (ebay) Put in the A-833 4spd transmission with the Feather Duster over drive kit. Same tranny they used behind the Hemi! Can you say, reliable? New rims, tires and suspension bushings. If you do most of the mechanicals yourself you could have a car for under $15,000. You can sleep in it FULLY stretched out. Drop down the back seat and open the bulkhead to the trunk. About 7 feet of space perfectly flat. And with the Overdrive transmission and the Slant Six Motor, you have a motor that can easily make 200,000 miles and do 35mpg! You could even convert it to a fuel injected throttle body for easier starts and even BETTER MPGS!! Don't believe me? Research the Plymouth Feather Duster! It's built on the same chassis. So all the parts will swap over. I toured the country in my 68 Barracuda in 1987 when I worked for Ringling. I carried a change of clothes, foam mattress, sleeping bag and my BMX bicycle in the car with me. I still have the car to day. You can always get the $3000-$7000 back out of it if you haven't fallen in love with it when your done with your trip. Well, just an idea.

Midwest Michael
02-19-2011, 08:17 AM
Welcome to the RTA Forum!

Um, First of all, its pretty rediculous to say that all the cars mentioned above will cost a minimum of $20,000. That's simply not true. The only way you'd be close is if you were only taking about brand new cars, and even then, some of the cars would be less than that.

Not to mention, you could take any of the cars that have been talked about and have something almost brand new if you wanted to buy something used and drop another $8,000+ of repairs into it.

If you love classic cars, and love rebuilding them, good for you. However, the average person doesn't have the training to rebuild engines, install a new transmission, etc, not to mention finding a 40 year old car of any specific model that is still in good condition with no rust and no other major problems simply isn't going to be easy (an internet search and willingness to travel to any part of the country to check it out would be a minimum).

And yes, at the end of it, I suppose you could sell it back for what you originally paid for it, but unless you've got it into car show quality, you're never going to get back the thousands of dollars in repairs/upgrades and the hundreds of hours of labor it would take to do all the things you mentioned.

If you're looking for a project or a hobby, it could be fun, but its certainly not a practical idea for the vast majority of people.

rav4
07-13-2011, 02:56 PM
I've been totally happy with my 06 Rav4 and have gone on tons of extended road trips with my girlfriend and dog where all 3 of us sleep in the car. If you're willing to do a bit of handy work, the inside of the Rav4 is plenty big to fit a queen sized futon plus, when I'm not road tripping, I have a great, run around town, reasonably economical little car. I have to take the rear seats out to install the bed but it's only 8 bolts and takes be about 5 minutes.

Here are some pics:

http://www.rav4world.com/forums/98-4-3-interior/77783-has-anyone-built-car-bed-inside-their-rav4-camping.html (4th post down from marley365)

Lifemagician
07-13-2011, 06:12 PM
I am left wondering, where did you guys park while sleeping in the car?

Lifey

DonnaR57
07-14-2011, 05:22 AM
So far on our road trip, I've seen the following:

1) A guy coming out of his car where he has obviously slept in a rest area along I-40, all night.

2) Another guy coming out of his car at a truck stop (Pilot, Flying J or Love's, can't remember) along I-81 - there were towels hanging in the windows (maybe to block out the light), so I'm pretty sure HE had been sleeping in his car all night.

We've done both rest areas and truck stops, but sleeping in our RV. In truck stops, you often listen to trucks running all night (not very restful). Rest areas were busy places, with trucks coming and going all night (also not very restful). Then again, I've been in both motels and RV parks where things were loud and I haven't gotten much rest, but fortunately, those were few and far between.


Donna

Lifemagician
07-14-2011, 05:32 AM
Donna, I have heard people complain about the noise in various places, be it truck stops or campgrounds, etc. Never bothered me. Once I go to bed, I sleep, and they'd have to let off a bomb under my car... and maybe that wouldn't wake me. But rest areas are very much a last resort. On the two or three ocassions I have done that, I have not been able to sleep much, not because of the noise, but the worry. I just have not felt safe.

Take care and keep safe.

Lifey

PNW Judy
07-14-2011, 07:38 AM
Love your Rav4 set-up. Very clever. Especially love your dog. :)

PNW Judy
07-14-2011, 07:41 AM
I am left wondering, where did you guys park while sleeping in the car?

Lifey

When I've slept in my car, it's normally been at places that are open 24-hours, be it a truck stop or just a 7-11, AM/PM, etc. Although, to be honest, if you are near a casino, I think that's the best. Especially ones with hotels attached. They are quieter but still tend to have good security.

Versa
11-20-2011, 08:09 PM
Hello,
I just wanted to respond about the Nissan Versa which was mentioned earlier. Stock Versa will not allow you to sleep well in the back because when you lay the rear seats down it is not flat with the trunk. I removed the rear seats, cut foam board for supports, and then put carpeted plywood on top. If you take the head rest off of the seat it will lay flat with the rear section and you can easily sleep. See attached pictures. Let me know if anyone needs more info. This was cheap and really easy to do. Also, the Versa gets great gas mileage!

MNSwede
11-28-2011, 05:02 PM
---the forester is built on the same frame as the outback impreza. the outback legacy is the station wagon and longer.

I have a 2010 Subaru Forester with a 5spd stick. I'm 5' 7" tall. I have tried out .sleeping in the back, with the rear seats down. Plenty of room to stretch out. The pre 2009 Foresters were your typical wagon, albeit boxy. The newer versions are a roomier crossover type. I get 32 mpg hwy, so I'm happy. :)

liza714
11-28-2011, 06:06 PM
Might be a little late but my Saturn Vue back seats fold down. I had the car for two years before I realized you can make them fold flat by pulling the rear seat cushion forward. It is comfortable for two people about 6ft or less to sleep but its annoying to climb out.

I have slept there more than a few times at truck stops and once I move my gear to the front seats it isn't too bad. I also saw on here how to make velcro "black out" curtains which are a necessity IMO at the truck stops.

elldog00
02-16-2012, 11:40 AM
Hello,
I just wanted to respond about the Nissan Versa which was mentioned earlier. Stock Versa will not allow you to sleep well in the back because when you lay the rear seats down it is not flat with the trunk. I removed the rear seats, cut foam board for supports, and then put carpeted plywood on top. If you take the head rest off of the seat it will lay flat with the rear section and you can easily sleep. See attached pictures. Let me know if anyone needs more info. This was cheap and really easy to do. Also, the Versa gets great gas mileage!

Hey, this is great, I'll be using it this weekend. This changes everything!
Thanks!

Lifemagician
02-16-2012, 02:11 PM
Hi, and Welcome to the The Great American RoadTrip Forum.

Glad you enjoyed the information in this thread, and that it is helpful.

Enjoy your trip and stay safe.

Lifey

MNSwede
03-15-2012, 06:54 PM
I slept in my Subaru Forester in a lot of places. I usually slept soundly, except for the time a cattle truck pulled in and spent part of the night, close by. That was like a nightmare. But, hey, one bad night out of 30 ain't bad. :)

Maureen Howard
03-28-2012, 06:59 AM
I took all of the rear seats out of my SUV before the start of trips and used cargo boxes of similar height for gear storage, topped with an air mattress. The space this opens up fits a queen sized air mattress in my Land Cruiser. In my last car (Honda Element) I slept on a 'full' size mattress with the same strategy. I have done similar to everything from a Volkswagon beetle to a Honda Civic CRX. A hatch-back tent really helps open up space, but mesh tacked in place over windows with felt-covered magnets will work to keep the bugs and stuffiness out on the more 'questionable' napping-spots on the road. This strategy doesn't work for families, but for one or two travelers it is fabulous.