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  1. #1

    Default Sleep in a Van or S.U.V in campgrounds

    Hi, i'm planning to go to California this summer with my girlfriend.
    We'd like to sleep in the car instead of a tent.
    May you give me some tips, if you did it.
    Regards
    Flo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,319

    Default People do this all the time

    You won't have any problems finding places to do this. We used to have a Suburban when my kids were babies and we would just all pile in the back (cargo area) and sleep in campgrounds.

    I'm not clear what type of tips you're looking for. The only thing off the top of my head would be privacy/cutting the light issues. If there are a lot of windows in the area you want to sleep, you might want to rig up curtains or some other type of window covering to have more privacy from prying eyes and to cut the light from early morning sunrises. I would think the easiest way to do this would be to simply put self-sticking velcro strips above the windows, then put the matching strips on some fabric, and then simply putting them up every night. Although I wouldn't be surprised if someone here has a more creative solution.

    So...what kinds of things are you concerned about so we can give you better tips?

  3. #3

    Default

    That's exactly the kind of tips i'm looking for. Many thanks. Regards
    Flo

  4. #4

    Default

    And what about the bed, matress install?
    I plan to rent a Trailblazer or a S.U.V like that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,845

    Default SUV Issues

    The Trailblazer is GM's small/medium sized SUV, right?

    You can certainly have two people sleep in the back comfortably, with the rear seats folded down flat. You could go and get a small air mattress with a pump to plug into your cigarette lighter and you'd be set.

    The one potential problem is that if you are sleeping in the cargo area, what are you going to do with your cargo? If you've only got a couple pieces of luggage, you can throw them in the front seat while you are sleeping without a problem, but if you plan on taking more things, you should at least think about where you'll be putting things while you sleep.

    Good Luck!

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael
    The Trailblazer is GM's small/medium sized SUV, right?

    You can certainly have two people sleep in the back comfortably, with the rear seats folded down flat. You could go and get a small air mattress with a pump to plug into your cigarette lighter and you'd be set.

    The one potential problem is that if you are sleeping in the cargo area, what are you going to do with your cargo? If you've only got a couple pieces of luggage, you can throw them in the front seat while you are sleeping without a problem, but if you plan on taking more things, you should at least think about where you'll be putting things while you sleep.

    Good Luck!
    The Trailblazer is almost the same size of my Range Rover, it will work for 2 people and small amount of luggage.
    Can i find self-sticking velcro strips and cheap fabrics easily in USA?
    Regards
    Flo

  7. #7

    Default Sleeping in a SUV or Van?

    A couple of comments..

    Padding! If you're not doing it a lot, a thin closed cell foam pad from a camping supply store will do OK, if the car has a flat back area. The less flat it is, the more padding you'll need. I found in my Toyota Sequoia that I can get approximately 6' by 4' of clear space to sleep in, which almost perfectly matches a nice firm futon matress.

    As some one else mentioned..

    Where do you put your stuff? I've found that its quicker and easier to pull out a tent and sleeping bags and pads and pitch a tent in a campground than empty out the back of the vehicle, then repack it in the morning. But yes, I've slept in the back of SUV too..

    Ventiliation. Most cars get really stuffy when the windows are sealed up at night. And particularly if its a cool night you'll get condensation over all the windows and etc... You'll want to sleep with the windows cracked at least...

    Privacy: Windows all around? Enough said...
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-05-2006 at 04:32 PM. Reason: Added title for clarity

  8. #8

    Default

    We are only 2 with 2 X-travel bags + 2 backpacks. All that stuff goes on front seats.

    The choice of sleeping into the car is because we'll fly from France, so we can't bring tent...

    Regards
    Flo
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-05-2006 at 04:33 PM. Reason: format --

  9. #9

    Default

    Hmm.. I've got a 4 person tent that fits pretty small. If you want to reconsider once you're in the US, an OK tent (not super light weight nor super heavy duty) will run you around $50. Big5 Sporting Goods is a big chain on the west coast, and you can check out prices for other things you might need as well).

    Sticky velcro is available at just about any major hardware store (Home Depot, Lowe's, ACE Hardware, and OSH are all big chain stores in California). Just be careful if its a rental car.. sometimes the car company will object if you modify the interior and don't clean it back up.

    But if you keep it to 2 backpacks and 2 travel bags everything will fit in the front seats. My one concern is the layout of the back of vehicle -- I had a friend who's car had about 1 cm him hinges that went acrorss the middle of back when the seats were pushed forwards. Make sure you have sleeping pads of good quality. Backpacking pads should work pretty well, and a cheap airmattress would probably work too.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-07-2006 at 07:33 AM. Reason: Fixed link as reported by "996TURBO"

  10. #10
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Craft stores/walmart

    Quote Originally Posted by 996TURBO
    Can i find self-sticking velcro strips and cheap fabrics easily in USA?
    Regards
    Flo
    You can find various types of these at viturally any craft store in the US, or your local Walmart (although, I prefer the craftstores). Jo Ann's Fabrics and Crafts carry a wide arrangement of cloth, including fairly inexpensive cotton fabrics that can be hemmed quite easy (even by someone not great at sewing). You can also find lots of types of self-sticking velcro, including Industrial Strength. I would personally use the stronger ones, I keep having velcro fall off because the glue melts!

    -Brad

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