Poll- Do you actually sleep inside?

Sleeping inside- Do you/

  • Yes

    Votes: 132 82.0%
  • No

    Votes: 29 18.0%

  • Total voters


Rendezvous Conspirator
We sleep inside 100%, but that's why I built a van.

With upper and lower bunks, it's very comfy for the three of us. If we're stealth camping or need to leave the top down due to extreme weather (hasn't been an issue yet), we can technically fit the three of us on the lower bunk, but it's cozy.

Advantages? It's basically a steel and glass tent. Makes the wife and kiddo feel good about going to remote places, and the comfort of a nice thick mattress would be hard to replicate in a ground tent. Setup and teardown of the sleeping arrangements is pretty fast, especially now that I don't have to reinstall a car-seat every time. Pop-top on the van is 3-latches and push up. Pulling down requires a bit of tent tucking, but is still quick. The only slow part is squeezing the air out of the Exped MegaMat I use to supplement the mattress if I'm in the upper bunk. We have full standing height when the top is up. Can still stand at a stoop if the top is down. Room for the family to sit and play cards, etc..

Disadvantages? While we easily sleep inside, we don't live inside for long stretches. Cooking, eating, etc. generally happens outside. Technically we could cook (or at least boil water, etc.) inside the van, but we don't. Food smells would be bad, and I would never do anything that would throw grease, since there'd be no containing it. I'd probably make soup, coffee, and cocoa if we had more than a half day of weather. (SoCal, not much of an issue).
One other disadvantage is mostly down to having a less-than-full-size van: there isn't a lot of room inside for more than one person to be up moving around. I tend to mill about in camp outside the van (playing with fire or finishing the dishes) while the wife gets the kid into PJ's etc, then climb in once they're more or less starting to get into bed. I imagine the procedure is similar for people who have a sleeping platform in a truck/suv or roof-top-tent. Two adults trying to get changed and into sleeping bags probably throw a lot of elbows...


Just here...
Let's see... We start with a completely enclosed, insulated, waterproof, windproof and reasonably soundproof enclosure. Now tell me again why when I want to sleep I should create new and different enclosure that is subject to animals nosing around, that gets wet and dirty, and has almost no insulation properties at all? :ylsmoke:
Ease to wheel, cost, and flexibility for other use are marks against a van. I would have $6k into a 4wd conversion alone with a van.

Lucky for sure. Beagles are usually quite vocal. Love their voice.
She will bark if you howl at her repeatedly or if she trees a squirrel. If not, she stays very quiet. Could be something to do with her early life. She was in a puppy mill/ breeder when young. Had a litter and then dropped off at a kill shelter which is how we got a hold of her. She was under weight and afraid of everything. She is much happier and healthier now. I am glad that dog cannot speak. If she could and told me her story, I guarantee I would go and beat on her "breeder".


Overlanding Nurse
After using a ground tent for years, SabreWife finally announced earlier this year that she's earned the right to sleep somewhere that is NOT the ground. Being a smart husband (if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy), I took this as a clue to finally build a sleeping platform in the Montero. I've drooled over the Maggiolina rooftop tents, but they're simply too expensive. Further, I find that roof rack mighty handy for carrying other things, such as kayaks. Yes, even in the desert!

We really like the sleeping platform. Here's the bottom line:

1) Setting up and breaking camp is a lot less hassle.
2) We don't need to find a smooth spot for the tent.
3) The tent is getting old and losing its waterproofing; building the platform was a lot cheaper than replacing the tent.
4) Mama gets to sleep on a nice foam mattress a lot more easily than she would if we were still in the tent.
5) We feel more secure in areas of high bear activity (otherwise the rear door stays open).

Downside? We took out the second row of seats, so we're not picking up many hitchhikers. No, really...there isn't much downside. SabreWife is VERY happy about the new configuration. If she's happy, I'm happy!

Special considerations:
1) Rain. Rolling up the windows will only lead to a wet, stuffy vehicle. We have an awning that is very flexible in the way it's attached, and can either be deployed from the right side of the vehicle, the rear, the left side, or centered OVER the truck. This allows us to sleep with the windows down even in the rain. A tarp would suffice if thoughtfully rigged.
2) Bugs. The tent is a no-brainer for this, but the truck took some work. I cut screening to fit each window and the big sunroof of the Montero and built frames out of flexible magnet material. It took a bit of fiddling, but they literally slap right into position. Of course, the big back door must be closed, but there's still plenty of ventilation.
3) Privacy. SabreWife is a tad bashful. Our dark tint is private enough for the back of the truck; I sewed up a black fabric screen attached to shock cord that blocks out the view through the windshield. Of course, we've never used it since our dispersed camping never involves campgrounds!
4) Kids. The two girls used to go with us; we had our tent and they had theirs. The back of the rig was packed solid. Now they're older and not so interested in camping with mom and dad, so it works out perfectly. If they change their mind, they'll still just get a tent and the old farts will be comfortable.

The platform:

Magnetic screens:

We sleep REALLY well :D



Active member
I'm currently debating the same thing with my RRC. Right now it is me, the fiancé, and my dog, and I have removed my back seat until we have kids. A 10" tall sleeping platform with drawers would allow ok headroom along with one of those spring pop up tents for changing/bathroom duty.

Most of the camping gear would fit in the drawers except for the cooler and water containers. Part of the appeal to sleeping inside is not having to set up or take down a tent in wet conditions, the security aspect would be nice for her but isn't a real issue where we camp. The downside is having to take everything out that is stored on top of the sleeping platform, which may be more hassle than setting up a tent. :). Also wondering about ventilation/stuffiness, but with rear and hatch window screens and a 12v fan it may not be terrible.

A RTT isn't an option for us with cost, storing it somewhere, taking it on and off the truck, still having to deal with setup/take down in the rain, and still having to haul gear up in to it. Not an advantage over a ground tent IMO.


We purchased an 1997 Airstream B190 van (E350). I had it converted to 4x4 at Advanced in SLC. It is a high-top so there is NO set up. You stop and park. Close the curtains and crawl into bed. Done. When we were at Overland Expo East earlier this month I felt so sorry for all the people in tents as the rain was brutal. We were nice and dry in our van.


Yes, I sleep in my truck.. many nights in my 2009 Ford Ranger w/topper. A bit cramped but very do-able. Now I have a 2015 F 150, lots of space! for me and my kit, spent almost 2 wks. sleeping in it, very comfortable on the DE V trip posted here on EXPO. mjmcdowell


If I don't have too much stuff with me, I've been known to move the spare tire and other stuff into the front seats of the ZJ, drop the rear seats and pop an air mattress in the back to save dealing with a tent. Capacity is increased if I leave the rear seat bottoms at home before the trip, as that leaves a bit more space for stuff and means either more length for sleeping or less stuff to put up front (depending on whether I left them in place or put them in the front seats). I don't even have to pump the air mattress up by hand, as the power inverter is more than happy to run the electric inflator pump :D

If I were on a trip with a lot of stuff with me, it wouldn't be worth the effort to try to empty out the back of the ZJ for sleeping space.


I sleep inside unless my girlfriend goes along, then we usually set up a tent.

I slept in my hammock (hanging inside my FJ) last weekend.

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
I drove Alaska->Argentina with a ground tent, my 2 door Jeep was way to short for me to sleep in (I'm 6'2") and I never did try to sleep in it.

After getting lots of inspiration from people driving around the world, I'm now building my 4 door Jeep so I can choose to sleep in it, or on top.

When the weather is good, and I feel safe, or I'm in a campground, I will pop the top and sleep up top in a spacious tent with air flow, etc. (could be an RTT too)

When the weather is horrible, or I don't feel safe, or I want/need to sleep in a gas station parking lot and don't want the world to know I'm sleeping there, I can crawl in the back and sleep.

I believe this gives the most flexibility and the best of both worlds. I can choose to do either, whenever I want.

The inside of my Jeep can be converted into a big flat sleeping platform, it looks like this in sleeping mode:



Inside all the time (solo) - with some tips and tricks such as those that have been discussed here I can pick just about anywhere and know that I'm dry, secure, and quite comfortable.


I used to sleep in a cab of my truck first before getting a cap,although this was just one trip cross country..
With a cap on it was ok right down to freezing with a heavy duty sleeping bag
eventualy built a TC from plywood and epoxy insulated with two inches of hard board insulation,put in Espar diesel heater and 80 watt solar panel to charge the deep cycle AGM battery..was down to minus 20 C with no problems,when working in AlbertaView attachment 312553


Lost in Space
Sleep inside with ample space and 2 dogs. Still have to fine tune the set up. I'm going to break the cargo area down during my next break to make it more comfortable for the next trip.