/ sleeping in car

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SARS on 14 Mar 2013
I have an suv where the front seats recline completely to flat and meet the back seat in such a way that it's possible to sleep on them like you would a flat bed seat in an airplane's business class.

However, there are some slight bumps where the two seats meet, and in addition the back seat has a small gradient. Both of these things are livable with, but does anyone have any suggestions on how I could make the bedding arrangement even more comfortable by flattening out the deviations?

Also, whilst I am at it - what other things are good to include in (suv) camper conversions? I can't really out in water units, but I do have access to portable electricity through a leisure battery.
Trangia - on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to SARS:

Thermarest?
SARS on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to Trangia:

My first thought of course, but I was wondering if there might be a better solution. Thermorests tend to move around easily.
Little Brew - on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to Trangia:
> (In reply to SARS)
>
> Thermarest?

With added straps to help secure in place!??!
AlisonSmiles - on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to SARS:

I have a rock and roll bed, and yes there are lines where the cushions meet, but frankly I don't notice once I'm curled up and ready to sleep. I tried it with the thermarest once but in honesty realised the small gaps between the cushions are pretty much unnoticeable.

Personally, three cigarette lighter type points and an inverter make my life easier (it seems I am gadget rich), as well as well thought out LED lights (by which I mean one which is in the right place for reading in bed ...).
Trangia - on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to SARS:

It depends on the type. Mine has a "sticky" surface on one side which stops it slipping about.
martinph78 on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to SARS: No need to go to the expense of a thermarest. You can get foam matress topper type things from ikea etc.
SARS on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to Martin1978:

Might try the topper - good idea.

Also like the idea of a reading light. Nice to camp in style if you can!
cuppatea on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to SARS:
> (In reply to Trangia)
>
> Thermorests tend to move around easily.

gaffa tape?

iksander on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to Trangia: or you can squiggle some seam seal on it
willriseley - on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to SARS: curtains as well or people may get other ideas ;)
Ben Sharp - on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to SARS: Sounds substantially more uncomfortable than sleeping in the back of your car! Can you not get in the back? Even if you had to take the back seats out it would be a lot better than sleeping in your seat.

Sleeping mat down one side, boxes for food/stuff and a flat stove on the other. Storage space in the front passenger seat. Head torch around the front head rest (pointing back obviously) will give you good light where you need it. I can't be bothered/never seem to make the time to put curtains up properly so I open the back two doors and hang one curtain across the front seats and then one on each back side door then close the door so it holds them all in place. Good for keeping light rain out as well so you can have the windows a bit open during the night without getting drenched. Cut out cardboard for the very rear side windows and maybe duct tape them in place if necessary. Don't need a curtain for the rear windscreen, just don't use your rear wiper on the drive to wherever you're going and aim the back of your car away from other people when you arrive at camp.

A small heater may be welcome depending on where you are, leisure battery might come in useful for charging phones/laptops but unless you're going for a full convert may not be worth it. If you've got space to raise a big water container with a tap on it you'll save yourself the hassle of pouring bottles (and the inevitably disastrous spills!). And don't forget a washing up bowl if you fancy some civilized luxury.
arch - on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to SARS: Don't have a few to many either. You can get done for being drunk in charge of a vehicle, even if you leave the keys out and do not intend to drive it.
biscuit - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to arch:

You have given the perfect defence to the charge there.

There is no definition of being 'in charge' of a vehicle. If you can show you had no intent to drive the vehicle i.e by leaving the keys out and you have made up a bed/sleeping area in the back you would have a very strong defence.

Each case is looked at on its merits.

What do all those camper van owners do when they have a couple of beers ?
SARS on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Ben Sharp:

I think it will be more comfortable than the back. I used to sleep in the back, but with the fully flat seating I get the added advantage of the leather upholstery. Basically a similar setup to a camper rock and roll bed.

Going to get some sunshades for the front windows - the back are tinted already so nobody can see in as it is.

I already have a leasure battery (well a portable car battery charger - which is almost the same thing). Sceptical about having a heater on when asleep in sucb a confined space - is that healthy?
Rob Stratton on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to SARS:

Hi SARS

You might like to try a company that cuts memory foam (fabulous stuff!) to almost any shape/size, such as http://www.anyfoam.co.uk/?gclid=COOcm7Ol_rUCFUbKtAodux4ASA. I took my mat to a local sari shop, who made a much cheaper cover than the company were offering me!

I don't know where you live, but I bought a T5 van a couple of years ago, and had it converted by a great guy called Jeff of Caratech Leisure Vehicles - http://www.caratechleisurevehicles.co.uk/Caratech_Leisure_Vehicles/Welcome_.html - in Somerset. He did a bespoke conversion for me, was easy to bounce ideas off, so that between us we came up with a great conversion.(Mine is the grey van on his website.) He also takes on 'part' conversion jobs, like doing the roof etc, so is flexible. I imagine he might build innovative units that you might be able to take in and out of the van, etc if thats useful.

Hope that's helpful. Good luck!
ClayClay - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to SARS: I often enjoy a night in the back of my car (Toyota Avensis, 2001 model). 2 roll mats seem to iron out lumps. The essential thing is to leave a window ajar, otherwise condensation builds up.
NottsRich on 15 Mar 2013
I sleep in my old estate and there's enough room for 2 people with bags in the front, or 1 with bags down the side. One sleeping mat is enough. But definitely leave the window open a fraction, on both sides if possible. It'll get very damp in there! My electrics started playing up after a week of sleeping in it every night, but is an old French car after all.
deepsoup - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to biscuit:
> There is no definition of being 'in charge' of a vehicle. If you can show you had no intent to drive the vehicle i.e by leaving the keys out and you have made up a bed/sleeping area in the back you would have a very strong defence.

Probably not strong enough. A workmate of mine was asleep in the back of his car in the corner of a large pub car park (properly tucked up in a sleeping bag on a mattress in an estate car) a few years ago. He was woken up by a policeman knocking on the window, and when he opened the door was breathalysed and arrested. End result: 12 month ban and 1000 fine.
Moggsy on 15 Mar 2013
why not buy a tent? Sleeping in a car is freezing and you will feel minging
Ben Sharp - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to SARS: Heater is for the morning, you wont need it during the night.

Can people see through the tint when you have lights on inside?

I'd take a nice flat foam mat and space to chill over leather any day but each to their own. Don't you have to clamber in the back to get the stove on/food sorted etc. in the morning?

Moggsy - damp tent to pack away each morning vs dry, warm, cosy van. No brainer. Picture the morning, reclined in the back of the car, wrapped up in a sleeping bag ready to go with the heater on and a nice cup of coffee while having a flick through the guidebook while partners are busy fighting their sopping tents into the back of their cars before heading off to climb.
SARS on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Ben Sharp:

Mmm. I think with both front seats flat there's more room than in the back. I'll just have to see how it goes I guess.

Agreed, much prefer the suv to a tent. Slept in both often enough and car is way more comfortable and convenient. A converted van would probably be even better but I love my suv for everyday use.
SARS on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Rob Stratton:

That is helpful, thanks. Like the memory foam idea a lot.
AlisonSmiles - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to deepsoup: Unless I'm on private land, mine's a dry van. I hate the thought of wanting for whatever reason to get out of somewhere, and being over the limit and not able to simply drive away.
biscuit - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to deepsoup:

The law can sometimes be an ass.

each case is tried on it's individual points but the problem is that there is no definition of being in charge of a vehicle so sometimes mistakes are made.

However it would take a pretty big arsehole of a copper ( and i am speaking as a proud ex copper myself ) to do someone who was obviously asleep in the car. Unless of course there are factors your workmate may not have been straight up about. Was he obviously totally arseholed but said that he was sleeping in the car and then driving to work in the morning and would still likely be over the limit ? Has he got previous convictions for drink driving etc ? Things like that can change decisions people make.

I don't know of course but just saying it's not always obvious to us what hs happened.

Back more on topic what would happen if you were found drunk in charge of a camper van but fast asleep in the bed ? Got to say i don't actually know.
colina - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to SARS:
it sounds like you've got the wrong vehicle,i have a Peugeot 406 estate (300 quid).with the seats down its perfect.i/m 6'6" I just put a full size single mattress in the back,heater on full blast for ten minutes a double duvet to double over if its baltic/pillow etc and warm as toasty.normally ruck up in a campsite,get me head down,then down to c/curig for early breakfast and a wash .so much comfier than a tent and no arsing around ,park up ,jamas on sleepy time.!get a Peugeot sars .you know it makes sense!
jwa - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to SARS:
Just out of interest what type of SUV is it you drive?
deepsoup - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to biscuit:
> However it would take a pretty big arsehole of a copper ( and i am speaking as a proud ex copper myself ) to do someone who was obviously asleep in the car.

Indeed, but there are a few of them out there so personally I don't chance it. If I'm sleeping in my van, I'm fit to drive it unless there's absolutely no prospect of interacting with any kind of a copper (even one of the good 'uns.)

> Unless of course there are factors your workmate may not have been straight up about. Was he obviously totally arseholed but said that he was sleeping in the car and then driving to work in the morning and would still likely be over the limit ? Has he got previous convictions for drink driving etc ?

I wasn't there, but none of the above as far as I'm aware.

> Back more on topic what would happen if you were found drunk in charge of a camper van but fast asleep in the bed ? Got to say i don't actually know.

Nor I. I suspect that in most cases it would never come to that, but I also have a feeling that merely being tucked up in bed asleep wouldn't provide enough of a defence against a determined prosecution.

http://www.drinkdrivinglaw.co.uk/offences/in_charge_of_a_vehicle_with_excess_alcohol.htm
"There is no need for the prosecution to prove that a person was likely to drive whilst unfit or over the limit. It is for the Defendant to prove that there is no prospect of using the vehicle."
SARS on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to jwa:

It's a Lexus RX.

Colina, no idea what you're talking about mate. The car is comfy - don't think I'll trade it for a peogeot just yet ;)

Here's what the seats do:

http://m.clublexus.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=69480&d=1121830692
colina - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to SARS:
fair one ,it does look the business ,are you interested in a swap ? (can throw in the mattress)
ads.ukclimbing.com
Busby - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to SARS:
I've kipped in the car for a few years now and have picked up a few simple tricks along the way that have made the whole experience a lot more bearable.

1: Park uphill where ever possible, that way when the front seats go down they are pretty much horizontal.

2: Carry a couple of small pillows, one goes at the lumber region (where the seat and the back meet thus smoothing out that bump) and the other for you to put under your head.

3: Stick a semi-inflated thermarest under your feet/behind your calves, supports your feet for a more comfortable sleep.

4: Wear a dark (but thin) beanie, saves all the hassle of trying to black out your car windows, plus it stops your car looking like a wannabe drug dealer... ;)
(Or you could get one of those eye-masks you get on planes but at least the beanie could come in handy if you suddenly feel the need to go bouldering when you wake up!)

5: Sleep with the windows open a bit but be aware of wind direction/possible rainfall through the night, where possible you want a decent flow of air to help prevent too much condensation, however its also considered a bit silly to wake up to a new water feature in the foot well.

6: If your going to car-kip in summer, in Scotland, take a flame thrower, you'll wake up in the morning to a car full of vampiric, winged b*****d beasties!

7: Normally I'd advocate a few beers/nippy sweeties just to help you nod off, never had any hassles with it personally but do appreciate what's been said above, however usually when I'm kippin in the car I'm in the arse end of nowhere.

8: Never mind all the fancy electric stuff, though an inverter might be useful, personally I've got by fine on the CIG lighter port with a USB charger adapter, a wee head torch and a decent book. After all the reason you go away is to get away from the rat race no?

9: If your feeling pretty sleepy either turn off the radio or out a soft countdown timer on your phone, getting woken at half 4 in the morning as the last morsel's of charge in your battery bleed out is not the nicest experience, especially when you're in the aforementioned, "arose end of nowhere". Though if it is gubbed you should be parked on a hill already and it'll be a matter of rolling downhill backwards and it's supposedly easier to bump start a car in reverse. :)

As a point of note I'm 5,4" and have car kipped in type B corsa's, old Astra's and Ford Fusion's with no hassles, though 5 door models are a lot easier to move about in than 3 door options....

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Iain.
biscuit - on 16 Mar 2013
In reply to deepsoup:
>
> http://www.drinkdrivinglaw.co.uk/offences/in_charge_of_a_vehicle_with_excess_alcohol.htm
> "There is no need for the prosecution to prove that a person was likely to drive whilst unfit or over the limit. It is for the Defendant to prove that there is no prospect of using the vehicle."


My point about arsehole coppers was that i am well aware there are some, unfortunately.

I would look at the last sentence of that and add....'whilst still over the limit.' If you are asleep in the back in a sleeping bag there is no real prospect of using the vehicle. If you're paralytic after a big night out there is a real prospect of the vehicle being used the morning after whilst still drunk.

Anyway i'll leave the thread there as the OP never said they were going to get trolleyed and we could go round in circles. I guess 'be sensible' would be the best advice. Have a couple but not a skinful.
In reply to SARS: Expanding foam

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