Hooniverse Asks- What's The Best Car to Sleep in?

Earthquakes, hurricanes, in-laws, there’s lots of reasons you might become displaced from your home sweet home and become forced to bed down in your car, but with bucket seats and all that hard plastic they make interiors out of these days, who knows if you’ll get some decent shut eye. Of course you could plan ahead—Boy Scout like—and make sure you have a car than can accommodate 40 winks, but which one would that be?

It used to be that sleeping in a car was easy; hell, it was expected after the war as housing tract construction lagged behind military discharges and the expansion of the great American suburbs. Hell, Nash even advertised the log-sleeping comfort (among other things) of their lay-down seats. But that was back in the ’50s, and was one feature that didn’t make the jump to American motors.
Today, cars aren’t intended to be campers, needing to keep you positioned instead for the potential airbag deployment, so laying down on the job is less easy an option. That’s not to say it can’t be down, just that it’s not so convenient or comfortable as it was in past when cars had wide, flat benches for seats and Nash even let you spread out in queen-sized luxury.
That being said, there are a few cars today that provide some seating adjustments allowing for the odd night away from home after a fight with your significant other, as well as for the make-up sex that inevitably follows your contrition—anyone ever do a night in a Honda Fit? Aside from that Japanese mini—which is really ‘fit’ for only one pajama patron—there must be others that would make a good place to bed down when there’s no more room at the inn. What’s your vote on which those are?
Image sources: [examiner.com,  AutoReviews.com]

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  1. tonyola Avatar

    Simple – pre-downsized fullsize American wagons with folding second seat.

    1. rovingardener Avatar

      Preferably parked.

  2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    My dad and I regularly camped in our '69 Vista Cruiser. But the exposed hinges on the load floor required a couple of a couple of cheap swimming pool air mattresses for a good nights sleep.
    For modern cars, I would have to vote for the Ford Flex. Although there are enough gaps and hard edges that air mattresses would be good here too.
    <img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_MybxAcUwkFI/SFafJaM17iI/AAAAAAAABp4/tPJ7t1M8B2w/s400/09+Ford+Flex+(5)_1_1.jpg"&gt;
    But of course the best of all time was Kaiser Vagabond, of course.
    Nevermind the mosquitos. Or rain.
    <img src="http://www.tanshanomi.com/temp/kaiser-vagabond.jpg"&gt;

  3. Josh Avatar

    Easy my buddy does it all the time with his little girls camping in the van. They have a Dodge with the stow n go seats then blows up an air mattress.

  4. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    Conversion vans (preferably), or any van / minivan with a seat-bed in the back.

    1. omg_grip Avatar

      is there really any better answer than conversion van? no modification needed

      1. Feds_II Avatar

        Other than the conversion, that is…

      2. bzr Avatar

        Somebody's gotta throw the dead hobos out the back.

  5. John Avatar

    I am not all that old but we used to sleep in the car when traveling all of the time. Cars were certainly bigger, and I was a heck of a lot smaller, but it was nothing we ever concerned ourselves with. We had a 1963 Ford wagon that slept our entire family of six!

  6. P161911 Avatar

    I camped several times in my K-5 Blazer. Just removed the rear seat and set it up as a couch around the campfire, added some foam blocks to make the rear foot well even with the bed, installed the air mattress put a sun shade and some cardboard around the windows and slept high and dry.

  7. engineerd Avatar

    I spent a night in my 2002 Explorer on a trip down to Florida a few years ago. It was OK, but not great.
    According to my wife, the Edge with the fold flat passenger seat is pretty good for sleeping in. She and her parents drove down to Florida several years ago to move her sister down there, and the Edge became the preferred nap vehicle.
    Why do all my sleeping-in-car stories involve trips to Florida?

  8. Teargas Avatar

    When I was a kid, we used to go from Northern Michigan to South Florida in an OG Dodge Minivan. 4 kids and 2 parents. We used to take all but the front two and rearmost seats out and the kids would just sit on the floor playing Nintendo. We layed a piece of plywood over the gap between the rear seat and the rear hatch and slept up there. I still can't believe my parents trusted our lives to a mid-eighties Chrysler door latch.

  9. Jake Avatar

    Camping at the race track is the primary reason I bought it! 65.3 cubic feet with the seats down, enough for me (6'1") to sleep fully erect. Only 138HP, but the short throw 5 speed makes up for it a little.

      1. Jake Avatar

        I give up…

        1. Beatnikid Avatar

          use < > instead of [ ]

  10. Alff Avatar

    I am a Boy Scout – an old one. I likes my sleep. When I accompany my son's troop on campouts, I take my pickup with the canopy. It's just large enough to hold a thick airbed, is sturdier and easier to set up than a tent and comes equipped with a light and screened windows.

  11. dculberson Avatar

    A 60's (car-based) ambulance or hearse! Throw a futon mattress in the back and you can sleep more comfortably than at home. They even come with curtains unless someone has tossed them. The front seat can sleep another person in a pinch, while three or so can sleep in incredible comfort in the back. Roll the mattress up, flip up the jump seat, and the four of you are back on the road in no time.
    Just don't forget to close the curtains if you're sleeping in the day time or you may end up with a sunburn. The 90's were a hell of a fun time.

  12. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    I forgot the obvious answer. Bentz B60 Sprinter sleeper conversion.
    <img src="http://www.bentzusa.com/assets/B60-03.jpg"&gt;

    1. chrystlubitshi Avatar

      I *need* that
      i've wanted to do the same thing with a sprinter for quite a while… and then, for the shorter trips (or eventual kids), do the same thing with a transit-connect

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        Unfortunately, Bentz is outta bidnit.

        1. chrystlubitshi Avatar

          it can't be that hard to do myself…. right..?? i've got an flat head screwdriver and a bottle of elmer's glue-all… i'm all set.

  13. Froggmann_ Avatar

    Bronco, with the rear seat removed it's the perfect size for an air mattress. Plus with a heater core the size of an import's radiator and remote start it'll keep you nice and toasty warm while you slumber.

  14. Alff Avatar

    A parked one.

    1. dr zero Avatar

      But it's alright to sleep in a moving car if you aren't driving.

  15. SSurfer321 Avatar

    My Scab F150 works quite well. Front buckets are as comfortable as my Lay-Z-Boy and recline almost as far. Rear bench is large enough to curl up on and if that doesn't work, there's always the bed, provided no rain in the forecast.

  16. KAH Avatar

    Toyota Solara
    its so boring it will put you to sleep quicker than a Van Diesel Keanu Reeves movie marathon
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ef/2002-2003_Toyota_Solara_SLE_coupe.jpg/800px-2002-2003_Toyota_Solara_SLE_coupe.jpg"&gt;

  17. BGW Avatar

    Your older brother's '72 Super Beetle with rear seats replaced by a carpeted wooden platform.
    And by sleep I mean pass out.
    And by best I mean worst.
    Details, details.

  18. rovingardener Avatar


  19. AlexG55 Avatar

    A friend of mine has a Land Rover Defender which can have bunk-beds installed in the back…

  20. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    Nowadays? Pshaw, I dunno. Won't drive them fancy new-fangled cars let alone try to sleep in one. Too many danged com-pu-ters! Can't trust em. One minute you're grabbing a couple winks and the next John Conner is saving your ass from a disgruntled Prius. Don't say I didn't warn you. Contact points are your friend my son.
    You'll see….

  21. Hopman Avatar

    Easy. Freightliner Century!
    For those without a CDL, a pick-up with a bench seat. I've used the seat of my Ranger for quick snoozes a time or three.

  22. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

    I slept in the parking lot at Stafford this past Saturday night. The driver's seat of a Volvo 240 can recline almost fully, and with a blanket to block the light, I slept just fine. Could have used a pillow, though…

  23. AteUpWithMotor Avatar

    An early-fifties Nash Ambassador. Cavernous, and standard fold-down front seats (rather plush in Custom trim, like this one). There were countless jokes about not letting your daughter date a boy who drove a Nash, and at one point, Nash actually did a survey to figure out how many babies were conceived in Nashes, as some kind of publicity stunt.

  24. Mad_Hungarian Avatar

    VW Westfalia van, of course. I suppose we are bumping up on the line between "car" and "RV," but you could buy a Westy off the lot at any VW dealer.

  25. Tomsk Avatar

    <img src="http://technabob.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/worlds_wackiest_racers_bed.jpg&quot; width="600" height="604">
    Why we need to do a post on Edd China, reason #381.

    1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      I remember, when I was growing up, seeing his creations on the telly. I'm convinced they've shaped me – hopefully for the better.
      Anyway, I'd be content with a nap on the sofa.
      <img src="http://rtmulcahy.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/racing-sofa.jpg"&gt;

  26. Dorkus Malorkus Avatar
    Dorkus Malorkus

    Easy, my 1962 AMC Rambler Classic 400 with the factory airliner seating that turns the seats into a big bed.
    As a matter of fact my son and I are 500 miles from home and enjoying this feature right now 😉

  27. tom sheepandgoats Avatar
    tom sheepandgoats

    But that was back in the ’50s, and was one feature that didn’t make the jump to American motors.____It did make the jump, in certain models. I owned an 67 Ambassador. Front seats could recline to the make a bed with the rear seats. The feature saved me hotel fare more than once.

  28. sed Avatar

    Honda Element you can sleep perfect I'm 6'1 go to the dealer they will show you how exactly no modifications needed

  29. Jack Avatar

    Cars nowadays seem a lot narrower. I had a 72' Dodge Coronet with bench seats and could easily lay down and stretch out in either the front or back seat. Can't do that with cars any new of the newer cars.

  30. Larry Avatar

    I don't know. But I know what you definitely DO NOT want to try sleeping in. A 1995 Geo Metro.