How to Sleep in a RAV4 (5 Tips)

Camping and road trips are always fun, especially when it involves sleeping in your car. Some prefer the usual way with a tent and sleeping bag. Others make use of their vehicles. Sleeping in your car is ideal, but it’s more enjoyable if it’s properly ventilated. For added comfort, it’s better if you go for SUVs like the RAV4 that has enough interior space to sleep.

How to Sleep in a RAV4

Purple RAV4

1. Make Space

First, you have to make space. The best way is to push the front seats forward and fold the rear seats down. You can also remove the rear seats. The more recent RAV4 models provide more ideas for keeping the seats intact. This is to make sure you get enough room at the back to fit yourself in.

2. Create a Flat Surface

Next, make sure there’s a flat surface for sleeping essentials such as beds and pillows. Make use of wood or paddings to make sure that the foundation is laid flat without any obstructions.

3. Open a Window for Fresh Air

If it’s a warm summer night, keep a window open to allow fresh air to come in. However, you should also anticipate insects and other things. With this, you could use a magnetic vehicle window screen or anything similar to keep pests at bay.

4. Find a Good Sleeping Position

No matter how much space you make, everything will go downhill if you’re 6 feet tall, and you don’t know how to position yourself properly. 

5. Remove Clutter

Make sure you declutter and get rid of all the unwanted items in your car. Make enough free space to fit your entire body and more. 

Take note of these tips to convert your RAV4 into a sleeping platform.

How Can I Sleep Comfortably in My Car?

Toyota RAV4

As mentioned, the first thing to care about is the space for your conversion. The good news is the space inside a RAV4 spells comfort and a good night’s sleep. In fact, the 2019 Toyota RAV4 has up to 69.8 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down. Next, you have to take note of the things you pack for your trip. Be conscious about the weather and bring extra blankets and protective gear, especially if you’re planning to spend the night in places with extremely hot or cold weather conditions. You should also pack your usual bedroom favorites such as a book or a music player to make your converted car feel like home.

To help you better, here are top recommendations you can try and buy when sleeping in your RAV4 during a camp or a long journey elsewhere.

A Bed for Your Car

A good night’s sleep is never complete without a soft and comfortable bed. You can make a customized one that will perfectly fit into your car set-up. Some even go as far as building a wooden platform to support the bed mattress and make sure that it lays out evenly. Watch this video by Explinimal, where he explains how he builds a platform bed for his RAV4 while keeping the rear seats intact. In this video, he also demonstrates how you can maximize your car’s space for a great sleep experience.

Bed choices will, of course, vary from one person to another, but a great idea would be to purchase an inflatable bed that can fit right into your vehicle. Others also go for sleeping pads or the more compact type of bed. The sizes will vary on how much space you were able to make and which RAV4 model you are currently using. For a more comfortable experience, don’t forget to bring blankets and pillows plus extra padding in case there are still uneven sides to your makeshift bed.

What Is the Best Inflatable Bed for RAV4?

Air Bed for Cars
Image Credit

There are lots of SUV mattresses in the market, but be sure to check out RikkiTikki SUV Inflatable Air Mattress (view on Amazon). It can fit into the back of your car into the backseat of different car cargo areas such as SUV, hatchback, or minivan. The air bed size is 69″ x 51″ x 4″ (LxWxH) when fully inflated. The mattress is made with high-quality materials and features a two-way electric pump for fast inflation and deflation. It’s comfortable, easy to use, and perfect for your RAV4 sleeping experience.

Will a Sleeping Pad Fit into the RAV4?

As mentioned, sleeping pads are smaller and more compact. You can choose between foam pads or inflatable mattresses. Again, it depends on the model and the layout of your vehicle. Nevertheless, always go for comfort, durability, and affordability when it comes to choosing your bed. It’s also best to go for the less bulky ones such as foam pads.

Check out Certipur-US Memory Foam Camping Mattress (view on Amazon). This portable sleeping pad is ultra-soft and easy to carry. The twin size is at 75″x30″x2.75, but it can be rolled up for a more compact size. It uses high-density foam, and it also has a removable waterproof sheet that is machine-washable. This is an excellent choice for your car conversion.

Car Tent

All your outdoor plans will go down the drain once bad weather enters the scene. You can take your camping experience to another level by installing a car tent for your RAV4. Tents are mostly water-resistant, durable, and easy to set up.

What Is the Best Tent for a Toyota RAV4?

Check out this universal tent: Rightline Gear 110907 SUV Tent (view on Amazon). It can connect to the back of any minivan, SUV, and more. It can also attach to those with or without a roof rack. This tent works on vehicles with a rear hatch or barn doors.

It’s also great to find other inflatable essentials for your car sleeping escapade. Check out Nemo Fillo Inflatable Travel Pillow (view on Amazon). This product has a fabric cover and is made from 100% Polyester. It is light, compact, and machine washable, and has a multi-purpose design perfect for car trips and lumbar support. Since you need as much space as you can, it’s always best to bring compact things such as inflatable pillows for a light pack at the end of your trip.

Now that we know what we need to convert our car, let’s talk about other important things you should remember every time you sleep in your RAV4.

Can I Sleep in My Car at Walmart?

In general, you need to know the legal aspects if you plan to set up your car and spend the night in places other than an actual camping site. What about establishments such as Walmart? Some Walmart branches do allow people to park their cars overnight while some branches prohibit this act. This is also the same as any other establishments in your vicinity. The best thing to do is ask and find out if it’s allowed or not to avoid any problems. Another rule of thumb is always to research beforehand and figure out safe and legal parking options for city parks, casinos, and other areas you wish to stay in.

Can I Live in a RAV4?

This question is probably tops the list of preceding questions connected to sleeping in a RAV4. Aside from RVs, are there people who live in SUVs like RAV4? The answer is yes, and you can find their stories online, as well. Whether you choose to stay overnight in your converted RAV4 or live for days or months in your vehicle, what’s essential is you park in safe, secure, and legal places in your area.

Road trips and camping adventures are a great way to unplug from the bustling city and reconnect with yourself and with nature. It is most convenient to have a converted car ready for a good night’s rest once you’ve reached your destination. It’s never wrong to take time customizing and making space for your car bed and other sleeping essentials. Being able to convert your RAV4 accurately will guarantee a good night’s sleep for you. It is also great to research first before doing your DIY bed essentials or before buying anything for your car conversion. Remember that the options are limitless when it comes to this topic. You can even set up your car for sleeping without having to push the front seats forward and have a fixed sleeping area where you can comfortably rest after a tiring drive. You can also make more space for another person to fit right into your car’s bed. It’s all about safety and comfort, so be sure to make the right choices when setting up your vehicle as your sleeping area.

Kris Peter

I am a lifelong advocate of sleep, continually learning, and striving to be better than I was yesterday.

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