It’s been a year since I first started “living” in my car. I traveled the country and slept in my 2016 Honda CRV alongside of my little Morkie puppy. It started off as a very ghetto set up and has morphed into a slightly less ghetto set up. If I were to make this a more permanent thing, I would change things and add things, but for my casual traveling of the country it works like a charm. I was going to go through every inch of the car but it got very hot out quick and the mosquitoes started to feast on me so this is it for now. Enjoy!
Murphy’s Fortress is the entire bed. He allows me to sleep in it, but all other times it is his domain.
A great friend of mine made me a platform frame to put my Ikea mattress on when I was a month into my trip. I told him I needed it to last me a few weeks so he made a rough frame for me out of pallet wood and a piece of plywood. The few weeks that I needed it for turned into a year and it’s been a total trooper. I have old towels laid on top of the plywood so I don’t get splinters in the mattress,
Support slats built in the middle of the frame and then again at the front. The space under the bed was PERFECT. It fit a small suitcase perfectly plus everything else I could possibly need. At one point I fit a camping chair, clothing, camping supplies, all the shoes a person could possibly need, books and paints, and a food cooler under it. The yellow foam in the picture is used if I want to make the entire back a bed. If not, it stores nicely under the bed frame.
The front part of the bed frame. It butted all the way up to the back of the front seats. The frame divider made for a good shelf. I put my toiletry bag and Murphy’s food bag under the front part. I am 5’8 so the bed is just about the perfect size for me to fit, but usually I will move the front passenger seat up at night and put some blankets or a bag in between to keep my pillow on for some extra leg room. If I were to do this bed frame again I would definitely add an extension so I wouldn’t have to shove things in the crack for my pillow.
The frame did not extend through the entire back. I actual like it like this when it is just me traveling. When I had others join me on my excursions I had to essentially stuff that part of the car with blankets and foam pieces to try to make it flush. If i were to do this again I would make a piece that could be added to make the entire frame flush. PS, if you are ever staying somewhere with access to electricity, get an extension cord and a fan. I got through the summer nights in Alabama with this $13 target fan and an extension cord.
Now let’s actually talk sleeping in the car. There is nothing more awkward then trying to sleep and having people be able to see you. I didn’t go for fancy, but it is practical enough to work. For the trunk window I took a standard window shade and cut it to fit the window. I put velcro command strips on the window and the solar shade so I can easily snap it on at night.
I could easily put it in place when the trunk is open or closed. I really wanted to find ways to get the car ready to sleep in with minimal time spent outside of the car. I didn’t want to let bugs in and I didn’t want people seeing me set up my car to sleep in in case they were creepers.
Back side windows get the scrap pieces of the trunk cut out sun shade. I put 1 command strip on the window and it does the trick. If you don’t have a nosy dog trying to look out the window you may not even need a command strip if you cut it to fit really well.
Summer Window covering. It is very obvious that you are kicking it in the car but if you are looking for airflow minus bugs this is a great solution. I got a handful of sheer curtains and magnets and Waaaa- La. I just open the door and drape the curtain over it making sure that it covers the window on both the inside and outside. The magnets on the outside help keep it from flapping open. If it’s really windy you could use more magnets or at one time i ran a piece of string through the curtain rod spot and shut the ends of the string into the door to help keep the tension.
I usually hold the bottom of the curtain in place by putting a pillow or something on the door. I tries to use a netting curtain but the tiny annoying nats can squeeze through those. Obviously this does not secure your vehicle from any person or animal since the window is open but it works like a charm to get a good cross breeze going on.
When i’m done using it I fold it up and stick it in the door cup holder on each door. Makes it easy to know where all the supplies are when you get somewhere at 10 pm and want to set up camp in the dark to not attract bugs and unwanted creepers attention.
Black towels are what I put on my windows when I don’t want them down at all. Each main side window gets a towel. I have rain shields (YAY – Do it, they are the best) so i just stick a few inches of the towel through the outside of the window and roll the window up on them to get them to stick. Then I tuck any piece that you can see under the rain shield. It makes the windows completely black and you can’t tell that it is a towel hanging in it. you can use any color towel but black is the best for trying to not stick out like a sore homeless thumb. Towels are also thick so in the winter it does great at insulating. The purple towel plus the 5 other towels not pictured are for protecting the bed from a dirt little dog. Also travel with extra everything when you are a dirty human traveling with a dirty dog lol. baby wipes came in clutch DAILY.
G A M E C H A N G E R. Except in humidity, then it doesn’t help much lol But airflow really makes such a wonderful difference. Rechargeable batteries are great if you ever plan to stop somewhere with power for a day to recharge. Otherwise you will need lots of batteries. This lasts about 6 hours on low setting. I’m sure there are other better fans out there, but for my budget and poor planning this amazon fan did the trick.
This is how I mount my air conditioning. It’s really high tech, but man does it do the trick.