13 Best SUV to Sleep in & How to Sleep in Car Safely (Legal Guide)

There are many reasons to sleep in an SUV. Sleeping in a car is necessary during a long trip if you cannot find a motel or prefer to skip one. The most bizarre reason people sleep in their vehicles is homelessness, which is now rampant due to the recession and pandemics.

If sleeping in a car is an important affair, be sure to get a cozy SUV to drive and sleep in. You can buy an RV that provides you with the comfort of a home and the mobility of a vehicle, but an SUV is always cheaper than an RV, or you can also make modifications to your car to become a camper. Check our article about camper conversion ideas with a low budget. Regardless, if there is a need to sleep in a car, an SUV is often the best and most cost-effective choice.

Best SUV for Sleeping Inside

These SUVs can provide you with cozy accommodation if you have to take a break and sleep during your trip.

Honda Element

Honda Element Interior Pictures

Honda Element is a perfect SUV if you want a mobile bedroom and a mobile home. Its power is significant for exploration, its spacious interior is excellent for sleeping, and its height allows you to carry essential home appliances like grills and coolers. 

Honda CR-V

Honda CR-V Interior Pictures

This fuel-efficient car is excellent for sleeping due to its spacious interior. If you worry about privacy, you will love this car because it is manufactured with generic tinted rear windows, which keep strangers’ eyes away while you enjoy your slumber.

Volvo XC-70

This SUV will love mainly due to its premium interior and spacious cargo and passenger compartment. And if a car has excellent spacious interior comfort and space, you know that such a vehicle is perfect for sleeping. 

Subaru Outback

Subaru Outback is a perfect choice if you need a powerful car on and off the road, economical to buy and maintain, and cozy for sleeping.

Its space is more significant than the compact Volkswagen Golf, and when you put the rear seats flat, you get a cozy surface to spend a night in the wilderness.

Ford Escape

Ford Escape is a powerful 4WD SUV to ride on city roads and outback terrains, making it a perfect car for camping. And if you cannot find a place for camping, the spacious and cozy interior of this SUV is significant enough to accommodate your sleep.

Range Rover

Range Rover is a reliable car to reach even the most challenging camping sites. It provides more than enough space for cargo and passengers as a full-size SUV. And if you decide to use it for sleeping, you will love its cozy and spacious interior.

Ford Flex

Ford Flex is an SUV with a spacious interior that offers a cozy place for multiple people to sleep in. The second and third rows of the seats are already spacious, even when the seats are not folded. When you are ready to go to bed, you can put them flat and have a real bed inside your car.

Chevrolet Equinox

Chevrolet Equinox’s biggest features are its excellent fuel efficiency (rated at 24 MPG on the highway) and its spacious interior. If you want to save your money by skipping a hotel room, you can now also save your money more by spending less on fuel. 

Mazda CX-5

This crossover SUV might look small and compact with interior space sufficient only for five adults; however, its excellent handling and fuel economy make it a reliable car for camping. Fold the rear seats, and you can have a cozy bedroom while on the trip.

Jeep Cherokee

This car is not your best choice if you are looking for an SUV with excellent fuel economy; however, if you need a powerful car with a spacious interior for sleeping, Jeep Cherokee is a decent choice. You can sleep in it cozily whether you put the seats flat or leave it unfolded.

Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester is another compact SUV that accommodates your slumber cozily and excellently with its spacious interior. It also offers an excellent fuel economy rated at 27 MPG on the highway. However, you may need to find a way to cover its large windows to protect your privacy while sleeping.

Chevrolet Blazer

Chevy Balzer’s most exceptional features are found in its sporty power and space. If you need an SUV to explore outback countrysides and then to spend your night there, this SUV will not disappoint you. You will have ample space to stretch your legs straight while sleeping in it.

Volkswagen Golf

An SUV doesn’t have to be large and expensive to be a cozy place to sleep. A Volkswagen Golf known for its compact design can provide you with extra comfort with its reclining rear seats.

What about ventilation? Slide its panoramic roof, and you can enjoy the fresh air and beautiful stars while you lie on the soft and cozy cushion.

How to Sleep in Your SUV Comfortably and Safely?

Is it dangerous to sleep in a car

You sleep in your car because you are sleepy or exhausted from a long drive. Your vehicle must be comfortable to regain your energy by taking a break.

Sleeping in an uncomfortable car is useless because you will remain tired and sick when you wake up. Although you sleep in an SUV that offers a better comfort level for sleepers, you still need to prepare it to make it a comfortable place to take a break. 

Safety is another thing to be concerned with when you want to sleep in your car. Without proper preparation, sleeping in a vehicle can be dangerous or fatal. You will become exhausted or dehydrated due to the glasshouse effect inside your car or due to the shorter sleeping time.

There is also a risk of suffocation or carbon monoxide poisoning if you don’t prepare your car properly before you sleep. There are already many cases of sudden death among people who sleep in their vehicles.

So, how to sleep in your cars comfortably and safely? Here are some essential factors to mind if you want to skip a hotel room and make your car a comfortable and safe place to sleep.

Park Your Car at the Right Spot

Picking the right place to park your vehicle is among the most important things to do if you plan to sleep in your car. Choose the wrong spot to park your vehicle, and your nice sleep will not only be dangerous. You will also violate the traffic law. 

There are several places where overnight parking is legal. Firstly, any areas where you can park your car for free without worrying about getting a ticket are appropriate parking spots. If you are a driver with experience, you should think about such places. 

Secondly, a public parking lot, such as the ones near Walmart or casinos, can be the right place if overnight parking is allowed. The well-lit parking lot gives you safety, but you have to know how to block the light if it potentially disturbs your sleep. Sleeping in the Walmart parking lot is also great because supplies are nearby if your situation necessitates you to collect ones.

Thirdly, if you see a spot where RVs or trailers are parked, you may have found a perfect place to stop your car and sleep. Most RV and trailer parks can also provide you with easy access to toilets and groceries, which is good.

Rest areas are the best places to park your car. These places are initially reserved for sleepy drivers like you, so you can consider yourself lucky whenever you find one.

Block any Distractions

To enjoy a sound and deep sleep, you want to make sure that nothing in your environment disturbs you. Noises and light are often the most annoying distractions. You have to think of a way to keep them away.

To deal with noises, you can either pick a quiet place to park your car or block the sounds using earplugs that give total silence or earpieces that kill the disturbing noises with soft and soothing melodies. Because a quiet place is often not safe, the latter option of using earplugs is often more preferable.

You can cut cardboard pieces or newspaper and fix them on your windows to deal with light. A better and more comfortable solution would be to wear an eye mask while sleeping, though covering your windows is still necessary if you want to protect your privacy.

Like noises, the disturbing light ironically indicates safety, so blocking the sun while keeping your car parked in a well-lit place is often a better choice.

Mind the Temperature and Ventilation

You certainly want to switch off the engine when you sleep in your car. Because you cannot rely on your car’s heating or air conditioning system, you have to make sure that the vehicle’s interior temperature is just at the right degree.

There are several ways to do this. Firstly, if you sleep when the sun shines brightly, park your car in a shaded spot because the hot air inside the vehicle can cause extreme discomfort, heatstroke, and even death. If you are in a cold region, warm yourself with a sleeping bag or blanket.

You also have to make sure to ventilate properly. You can crack your window a little bit to allow fresh air to enter the car and prevent condensation.

If you are afraid of the extreme elements outside, you can buy a window ventilator attached to your window. Having a weak ventilation system can shorten the life of your car and you.

Give Yourself as Much as Possible Comfort

There are many ways to make your car a comfortable place to sleep. Sleeping on a flat cushion is much more comfortable than a chair, even if it is reclined. If you are used to sleeping on the driver’s seat, you may want to move to the rear and put the rear seats flat.

Having a sleeping bag or blanket will make your car even more home-like. Having a tent and sleeping outside your vehicle can give you a better sleeping experience if you are claustrophobic or prefer to feel the fresh air while sleeping. Knowing what to carry in your journey, especially the one that provides you with coziness while sleeping, is an important part of trip planning.

Resist Your Thirst

Of course, you can and should drink your mineral water when you are getting ready to sleep in your car; however, if your thirst and exhaustion tempt you to crack open your beer can, kindly resist such temptation.

In individual states, police officers have a right to knock on your window while sleeping and wake you up to do a breathalyzer test. If there is a trace of booze in your blood and breath, you will mostly be ticketed for driving under the influence. 

Is it dangerous to sleep in a car?

Safe or not, it depends on how you understand the situation. You have to be right in choosing the location, taking into account the temperature outside the car, and of course, the car engine must be turned off when you sleep in the car.

Is it good to sleep in your car?

Is it good to sleep in your car? The answer is no. You should only do that if it’s an emergency unless the car you mean is an RV or a van that you have modified. Of course, sleeping in it won’t have any harmful effects.

13 Best SUV to Sleep in & How to Sleep in Car Safely (Legal Guide) Pictures

Honda CR-V Interior PicturesHonda Element Interior PicturesIs it dangerous to sleep in a carBest SUV to Sleep in