Inflatable SUV beds

Anyone tried inflatable beds to sleep in the cargo hold with rear seat folded down?

Yes. We're van campers and I blog about it and I've tried just about everything.

Our preferred setup is a full-size metal bedframe with a plywood base and a 10" full-size memory foam mattress. We use under-bed storage totes to hold our stuff.

I've experimented with inflatable beds for people who can't leave a bed set up in their van or SUV.

I found the Simmons Beauty Rest Skyrise mattress to be the most comfortable and durable. It comes with an inflator that uses 120V ac but will easily run off of a 140 watt inverter plugged into a cigarette lighter. It fully and firmly inflates in 2 minutes.

The only negative to an air mattress is that the air gets cold and siphons heat away from your body. We used several sleeping bags under the sheets to insulate us.

If you don't want to fold down your seats you can create an "add a room" tailgate tent by using a 9x12 tarp.

Use spring clamps to attach to the liftgate, bungee cords to attach to the wheel wells, and stakes to attach to the ground.

The Simmons Beauty Rest Skyrise mattress will fit inside and it's 21" tall, so you'll be well off the ground.

Here's what it looks like with our minivan:

Another option is a "Tail Veil". It includes a floor, so it's bug-free.

I think we paid under $200, including the rain fly.

We normally sleep in the van but we use the Tail Veil as a guest room when others camp with us.

Here are pics with and without the optional rain fly:

When we sleep in the van (which is almost always) we usually use a DAC Explorer 2 tailgate tent, for improved air flow. We also put a screen over the passenger window and open it.

We paid about $140 for this tent. It folds up incredibly small.

We even use redneck air conditioning when we judge BBQ competitions during the hot months.

We just sit a window unit on a cooler that's sitting on a Hitch-Haul shelf and zip the DAC Explorer 2 door around the air conditioner.

It was 104°F when this pic was taken and we slept with blankets on us.

Here's what it looks like, inside.

We can fit 6 storage totes under the bed. We each get 2 to hold our clothes and personal items and can access those from our respective sides of the van.

The last two go under the foot of the bed and hold our camping gear (plates, forks, tablecloth, bug spray, extension cord, collapsible jug, collapsible sink, etc.).

We store jugs of water under the head of the bed, behind the driver's and passenger's seats.

We've become very efficient, over the years, and have streamlined our camping kit to the max.

We can go anywhere at any time and be completely self sufficient.

We no longer use a cooler because we got tired of feeding ice to the beast. We only carry shelf stable items, root vegetables, and unwashed farm fresh eggs that don't have to be refrigerated.

Wait? What you use for cooling? Ice?


I am interested in exactly what you did
I made a styrofoam cooler with large cola bottles filled with water then froze. Used a small Dan and pcc pipe hose for direction. Not great cooling in a guest bedroom

We also gave up on camping stoves, propane, and Coleman fuel. We're all electric, now.

A 1500 watt inverter takes care of all our power needs. Our kitchen consists of an electric coffee maker and an Instant Pot. That's it.

It doesn't matter if it's really cold or very windy. We can cook and make coffee, no matter what.

We don't cool.

We carry canned meats and tomatoes and boxed broth and other goods, packages of pepperoni and salami, root vegetables, rice, beans, lentils, fresh eggs, tea bags, coffee, wine, etc.

I've even made fresh spaetzle at campsites.

We always eat great food and I give away the leftovers to any campers who come sniffing around.

As for sleeping temperature, we only carry the air conditioner to weekend events where we have access to electricity. Otherwise it stays at home.

We're normally off-the-grid campers.

We camp in the mountains, high desert, and Canada, during the hot months; and the Keys and other warm places, in the cold months.

Here's another way we use that tarp-- to make an awning, by attaching it to the roof rack with bungee cords and the ground, with stakes and bungee cords.

It allows us to leave the sliding door open on rainy days.

BuzzFeed actually used this pic, with my permission, in one of their "camping hacks" articles.

What do you use for air conditioner? How do you power it?

"We just sit a window unit on a cooler that's sitting on a Hitch-Haul shelf and zip the DAC Explorer 2 door around the air conditioner."

When we judge BBQ competitions there's usually electricity available-- so we just plug in.

The rest of the times we seek out comfortable temperatures for our camping trips so that we won't need air conditioning. High elevations, in the summer, and beaches, in the winter.

Oh ok I was under the impression you had some sort of small outside air conditioner that you somehow powered during the night. Hamster wheel lol

When we're off grid that would require a generator, which is more trouble than we care to deal with.

We'd rather change elevation.

Chelle writes: "We'd rather change elevation. "

We have to drive 500 miles to appreciably change elevation....:frowning:

Does that include a hotel?

Oh, there are 10 story hotels close by, and even the short hotels have AC here.

Everyone used to say it was as flat as a pancake around here, until someone thought to do a study. Now we get to say we're flatter than a pancake, with the data to back it up.

Ok I will conced that your area is flatter than a pancake.

But is is flatter then a crepe? :slight_smile: