Sleeping in your car has a bit of a reputation as being the type of situation you don’t want to find yourself in. It certainly conjures up images of trips gone wrong, being caught out far from home in inclement weather, trying your best to retain heat, and possibly get some sleep until help can come along.
For sure, cars are usually not designed with sleeping in mind, and you could often find yourself doing some “car camping” as a last resort when the unexpected truly disrupts your plans.
But then again, the very fact that the term car camping exists proves that some people do it for fun. Perhaps you are going on a long road trip and there just aren’t any motels within range; maybe you’re overlanding, and this is simply another of your stops for the night? For sure, car camping can sometimes be just part of the trip.
For many campers, the car is the portable base camp for all their expeditions. You might camp at the foot of a mountain trail and set off from there; you might have all your camping gear affixed to the roof with cam straps and ready to set up for the night wherever you might end up.
So, if you ever find yourself wanting – or having – to sleep in your car, you are definitely not the first to find yourself in this situation. The overlanding tie down strap makers Rollercam recommend that any serious camper should, at least, be prepared for the possibility of sleeping in their car. And there certainly are many tips and a wealth of advice that can make the experience easier and more successful.
Car Camping Tips
So, if you want to successfully sleep in your vehicle, there are a few tips you should certainly follow. Some of these tips even involve staying the right side of the law as car sleeping is something which can be pretty strictly regulated in certain states.
Park Out of the Way
With precisely that in mind, you should be careful where you park for the night. The trick is to find somewhere you can legally park and a place that you will not be disturbed – or where you won’t disturb other people. Sleeping in your car right outside someone’s home on a residential street, for example, is hardly the best move.
U.S. forest service roads nearly always offer the opportunity for overnight parking and camping. However, you could well need a permit, so this is certainly something to check first. The most solid and general advice is simply to park out of the way – away from other people and away from busy areas.
Sleep at the Front of the Car
The advantage of sleeping with your head towards the front of the car is simply that this will offer you the most elbow room and will be the most comfortable if the car is parked at an angle.
Invest in Sleeping Materials
You will not have the most comfortable sleep in your car, but you can certainly make it a lot more comfortable by investing in a few pillows and a warm blanket.
And this means safety for yourself as well as your equipment and possessions. You should lock the car as you sleep – of course – but also be sure to keep as many things inside the car as you can. Also ensure that anything external is securely tied down.
Sleeping in your car could end up being an unpleasant experience – or it could well end up making your trip that much more adventurous. Either way, there is a proper way to go about it.