Sleeping in my car during my recent hike along the Katy Trail kept me from spending hundreds of dollars on hotel rooms. A Ford Focus hatchback is better than some cars for sleeping, but it is far from ideal. Even with the back seats folded down there isn’t a big enough sleeping area to lay completely stretched out. Maybe you could stretch out if your were five feet tall, but for most people the area is going to be too small. Another problem is that the back seats do not lay down completely flat which creates a big hump in the middle of the sleeping area and also makes the sleeping area slanted rather than level.
My solution to these problems was rather simple. I went to a home improvement store and had them cut me a piece of plywood to fit the sleeping area. I got the wood cut so that extends a few inches past the back seats and thus lengthens my sleeping area. With the piece of wood down in the sleeping area you can no longer feel the hump. To make the sleeping area level I took a couple of the scrap pieces that were cut off my piece of plywood and stacked them under the lower end of the sleeping area. After adding a mattress pad and my camping pad I have a reasonably comfortable bed in the back of my car. The cost was only $9 and change since I already had the camping pad and sleeping pad and they can be used for other purposes. I have to lay diagonally to be able to stretch out which is no big deal.
In order to have some privacy I have static cling limo tint on the back windows and put a sun visor in the windshield. The tint looks terrible, but it works well for my purposes. I also have a piece of plastic that I hang behind the front seats for additional privacy. This system has worked well for me so far and nobody has ever bothered me while I’m sleeping. I’m probably going to sleep in my car again when I go to the Financial Blogger’s Conference. I will drive away from the downtown area though so I’ll be less likely to be noticed and/or bothered.
Have you ever slept in your car to save money? Would you?