Recommendations for comfortable car/RV to sleep in
June 21, 2012 5:27 AM   Subscribe

What is the most comfortable car/SUV to rent to sleep in?

I'm going to my third star watching party, and after having a few converstions, it seems like renting a car would be just as cheap as renting a hotel was in the past (I'm going for 2-3 nights). There's no problem with finding a space to park-- the star field, where people tent and RV camp, is like a small affable town as long as I stay out of the no-light zone (a vehicle with no dings or lights when I open the door would be ideal too). Another advantage is being right there (the star field is 20+ miles from town). Ideas for comfortable cars or RVs? It's just me.
posted by Prairie to Travel & Transportation (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm thinking Honda Element.
posted by spilon at 5:35 AM on June 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Dodge Grand Caravans are surprisingly roomy and are quite cheap to rent. No facilities at all, but if you drop some of the chairs out of it and have an airbed it will be fine to sleep in. Plenty of storage for daytime and camping kit (stove etc).

Being as it will likely be $350-500 for a week it may be cheap. Not sure you'll get an RV for that.
posted by Brockles at 5:38 AM on June 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Honda Element was literally designed with this in mind.

Unless you have access to a Pontiac Aztek. Even moreso designed for this. I love that car, it's beautiful. *sniff*
posted by InsanePenguin at 5:39 AM on June 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

My friend figured out that you can fit a full-sized ikea mattress pad in the back of a Toyota 4runner, if that helps . . .
posted by MeiraV at 5:40 AM on June 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

We have a Honda Element and what makes it good for this purpose is that you can configure the seats to have a van-like flat surface in the back. However, not too many rental car companies rent these vehicles out.

You can however, get a Chrysler Town and Country Mini Van quite easily and inexpensively. It has "Stow and Go" seats, which fold down into the floor, also providing a flat surface for sleeping.

Get a nice mattress (air or otherwise) and you're in business.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:00 AM on June 21, 2012

A friend of mine has a newer Chrysler T&C, and it would be perfect for this, with one caveat: when the seats are stowed, the floor is flat, but it's not smooth. You'll want an air mattress or a sleeping mat that is somewhat compliant.
posted by gjc at 6:10 AM on June 21, 2012

A large (6'5", >300lb) friend of mine rented a Toyota RAV-4 and slept in it for a week at Burning Man. I have to admit that I did not look inside to see how he configured it. I think he had an air mattress in there with the back seats folded down.

Another tall friend used to own an Honda Element and said that it was never quite right for sleeping, for him at least.
posted by cabingirl at 6:10 AM on June 21, 2012

Minivans for sure. Though IIRC they lock the seats in on you!
posted by Blake at 7:00 AM on June 21, 2012

We used to do a lot of sleeping in vehicles on long road trips; by far the vehicle of choice was either a Crysler town and country or a dodge grand caravan.
posted by craven_morhead at 7:16 AM on June 21, 2012

You can fit a double bed into a Grand Caravan with 16" to spare at one end for your suitcases and cooler. However you need to either get the stow 'n' go version or verify the seats haven't been cabled to the floor so they can be removed. Many rental companies secure non stow 'n' go seats so that people don't pull them out and then forget to return them.

You can pull a couple fuses to defeat the overhead compartment lights and as long as you turn the headlights off before you turn off the key the headlights won't illuminate when you open the door (at least one mine though I only have a middle level model)
posted by Mitheral at 7:28 AM on June 21, 2012

Also consider a Subaru Wagon.
posted by slidell at 8:57 AM on June 21, 2012

Wouldn't just any old cargo van work ok? Throw a mattress down in back, and you're good to go. I once rented a Ford Econoline with no seats (except for driver and front passenger), and there was lots of room. It did eat a lot of gas though.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 9:53 AM on June 21, 2012

The VW campervan was designed with this kind of activity in mind. I love to star gaze out the window when I'm in the top bunk. Depending on where you are, you might be able to find on to rent. A large community of VW enthusiasts might be able to help arrange for you to borrow one.
posted by pappy at 12:30 PM on June 21, 2012

I once got a random rental upgrade to a Tahoe. It slept well for one person, albeit with important caveats. It had the bonus feature of depth, meaning, while in the back I was well below the windows & had above average privacy. Unfortunately, making the space required physically removing seat sections. This was a major hassle. They could be stowed in the front so all could be arranged without risk of leaving them outside the car to get rained on, etc., but... ugh. It's also not fuel efficient. Conclusion: it can work, but the hassle factor means I wouldn't choose the Tahoe again.
posted by artemis_calyx at 12:33 PM on June 21, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks all. I appreciate it.
posted by Prairie at 4:44 AM on June 26, 2012

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