Who has slept in their car for quite a few nights?

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  • Who has slept in their car for quite a few nights?
  • jools182
    Member

    wouldn’t fancy it myself, unless you’re ok with 4 hours sleep a night

    When I was in NZ working on one of the ski fields, a workmate slept in his car for about a month in -10 to -15 temps

    Mind you, he was Polish, and hard as nails

    I’d think hostels would be a much better bet

    samuri
    Member

    I’ve done it a few times on holiday. Never with anyone else though. Probably 4 days on the run once because one of my tent poles snapped. Wasn’t a real problem as long as there are toilet/shower facilities within walking distance. Keep the car tidy inside is my advice. Once you’ve got up, pack away all your sleeping things into the boot and stuff and let the car air, it starts to get a bit stuffy.

    trail_rat
    Member

    i used to live in the back of a peugeot partner van on my own during the week to save the drive back and forth every day – drive into the hills and hit the trails – come back cook dinner sleep – drive to office and shower.

    fack doing that with a mate in anything smaller. And most certainly id want something bigger.

    fine for the odd night here and there but reality youll always find accomodation.

    Mintman
    Member

    I spent a week sleeping in a converted people carrier (bed, fridge &storage in back rather than seats).

    It was doable for a week or 2 – we met some people who’d spent 4 weeks in theirs and they were just about ready to kill each other.

    andrewh
    Member

    Same as Mintman, I had a converted MPV. Bed on one side, 3 bikes would squeeze in next to it, fridge and general storage underneath. Longest I spent in it in one go was three weeks and it was fine, no issues at all. Well, not in tat respect, there was the radiator problem and the ABS problem. And the ants nest. But the concept was sound.
    Pic of it here, down at the bottom (best one I have I’m afraid) http://andrewhowett.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/transvesubienne-race.html
    Now upgraded to a Transit due to the aforemention radiator and brake issues…
    .
    Best advice? Fit curtains. Just a bungy cord from rearmost seatbelts to front sunvisor with a dustsheet drapped over them, nothing fancy, but made it much warmer.

    IanW
    Member

    Lived out of a van for a while, it was very unpleasant.

    I spent 5 nights in the back of one of these:

    On a road trip, cycling round the north of England by day and sleeping in the back of it at night. In the middle of December 😯

    It was okay really, warm enough and snug. I even took 2 bikes with me. Cycling kit could be dried on the engine block while driving along 😉 And the bikes could be stashed on the front seats at night.

    But by the end of 5 days the warm damp fug of muddy wet cycling kit and general me-ness was really quite special.

    I probably wouldn’t want to use a small hatchback like this for more than a few nights. But a big estate car, on the other hand, would probably be quite palatial. 8)

    I’d go for it. What’s the worst that could happen?

    TooTall
    Member

    If you include European insurance (I take it you are quite young, therefore quite expensive) for an extended trip, european recovery, fuel and a contingency fund for what insurance doesn’t cover, how much over your purchase price and running costs is it?
    Tent in the back means less chance of being hassled as vagrants sleeping in a car and offers options of proper campsites. You haven’t really got ‘freedom’ to stop anywhere – it will always need to be out of the way and move on each day or so.

    dabble
    Member

    I’ve slept in the back of my berlingo a few times, on my own and no more than 3 nights in a row though. it was a bit cold the first night but alright if I slept in some sort of clothing. If there is the opportunity to camp I think this would be the preferred option for me now. Though I did camp in a two man tent with a friend who has horrendous feet, the front flap was open more than it was closed. Personal hygiene is tantamount in these situations.

    madjak
    Member

    I regularly head off in my VW Transporter, bike/s in one side camp bed in the other and a gas powered fridge for beer and meat.

    Wouldn’t like to do it with 2 though. Recon you’d need something quite a bit bigger for that, though mine is just a panel van with a bulk head in. Would be more space with the bulk head out and swivel seats would make it much more livable.

    Here’s my set up, suits me for mtb/camping trips, most I have done is 10 days straight, I was fine.

    Home From Home!

    Who has slept in their car for quite a few nights?

    Molgrips’ wife and children on the way home from doing the shopping?

    Premier Icon vinnyeh
    Subscriber

    Don’t know why you’d prefer to sleep in the car rather than a tent, if you can’t afford a van, other than as protection against the insect life. A little bit of thought and common sense in picking the spot and you can get away with wild camping in a wee tent just about anywhere in Europe.
    Not sure if you’re taking bikes or not, but no way would I leave them outside the car if I was sleeping inside it, even on the roof.

    Kenny Senior – Member

    Who has slept in their car for quite a few nights?

    Molgrips’ wife and children on the way home from doing the shopping?

    😆

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    get a van and make separate bunks 🙂

    Recent bike trip with the missus we skipped the camping gear and accepted that we would pay for accommodation as the extra packing would have over filled the car (tent, stove, eating/cooking gear)

    It made us realise how good my van was for that sort of thing, did 16 days in france in it no issues really.

    madjak
    Member

    Personally I love vans for this sort of thing, I haven’t had a car for about 10 years now. Lob your stuff in the back and go. No one can see what you have, always somewhere dry to get changed and make a brew.

    Maybe bigger Merc Sprinter or the like and as said build a couple of bunks with storage. Line and insulate it jobs a goodun!

    Duane…
    Member

    Planning a 4-5 week roadtrip around Europe this summer with my flatmate (and possibly one or two extras – see below)

    Our initial plan (if it was just the two of us) was to buy a cheap (£5-600) estate car or small van, and convert the rear into a sleeping area. Sounds great – don’t have to pay for hostels, can stay pretty much where-ever we want, and can take a tent if we find somewhere real nice to camp.

    However, thinking about it, 35-40 nights in the back of a car may get pretty annoying pretty quickly. We’re now thinking about spending most nights in a hostel, and have sleeping in the car/tent as a back-up, but that of course will cost a lot more, and mean we have less freedom as to where we stop at night. On the flipside, that would also mean we could get a smaller car if we weren’t planning on sleeping in it much. And if we weren’t ripping the back seats out, more people can come.

    I guess a good middle-ground would simply be to stay in hostels where possible, and in the car/tent when necessary (logic would state that on the whole, where there aren’t hostels, ie when not in cities, it shouldn’t be too hard to camp..).

    So my question is, who has spent a reasonable number of nights sleeping in their car (and a bit cramped as with at least one other person)? How did you get on? Recommended or avoid at all costs?

    Ta, Duane.

    Premier Icon neilc1881
    Subscriber

    Nissan Vanette for 2 months here with no modification other than a false floor with storage underneath. Summer in the alps, washed in rivers/streams/solar shower (entertained a bus full of German tourists whilst getting caught out in one remote lay-by!). Food storage was a big problem in places, used a cool box (no ice as we had nowhere to freeze the packs) with loads of down coats/sleeping bags draped over it.
    Also did 2 weeks in winter out there in a Vauxhall Astra hatchback, same deal but without the washing… It was too chuffing cold. The gendarmes did not enjoy searching the boot on the ferry home, we could have smuggled anything back if we’d wanted, “oooof, les pong” I think they said.
    Scumbag climbers.

    soobalias
    Member

    did 10days tour of france, with a mate, both sleeping in the back of a citreon ax.

    take a tent.

    MrNutt
    Member

    a volvo v70 estate can take a full double mattress, but remember to always have the windows very slightly ajar or you’ll get very damp then very cold

    Pug 306 estate. Many nights spent kipping in the back of it. It will take a double air bed but that compromises the head room. I prefer a sleeping mat with a duvet over the top and me in my sleeping bag. The car has many advantages to a tent. Electric, sound proofing and nowt to pack away.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    An economy too far imo. Camping is easy in Europe, plenty of nice places to go. Easy to find in France too, as there are municipals in most towns and they’re signposted all over the place.

    Tent every time!

    shifter
    Member

    Forty-odd years ago spent many a night in an Austin Cambridge estate. Dad diagonally in the back, me and my sister in the corner spaces, elder brother on the front bench seat.

    The most I managed to sleep in my old Nissan Almera saloon was 3. I did end up getting out and sleeping outside though. That was only for one night.

    Me and a mate managed 2 nights in the middle of Blackpool a few years ago when we went to Rebellion fest. It was horrible.

    The car wasn’t ideal though, I think if you had a decent estate it’d be better.

    I’d recommend a tent though. Having to pack/unpack the var all the time would get annoying very quickly.

    boblo
    Member

    soobalias – Member
    did 10days tour of france, with a mate, both sleeping in the back of a citreon ax.

    Well at least one of you must have been Grumpy, what was the other one called? 🙂

    Oh, and tents, separate tents for ~50 nights.

    piemonster
    Member

    Molgrips’ wife and children on the way home from doing the shopping?

    😆

    piemonster
    Member

    Aye,take a tent. Campsite will be a luxury treat.

    You can get yourself comfy enough in the right car. During the summer I regularly kip in the front passenger seat of my car.

    Thick blanket, sleeping bag, long strip of foam from Dunelm Mill. Cosy and comfy.

    Sod sleeping for 4 weeks or so like that though, and there’s no way I could share the space.

    soobalias
    Member

    heh – nope both six footers.

    the back seat folds flat, then slide the front seats right forward and then tilt the seat backs as far forward as they go….. surprisingly comfy

    and having lived like that for 10days the customs guys didnt want to go near the car at the port on the way back. hummin

    Marin
    Member

    Sleep in a VW transporter a lot with the Mrs its fine. Spent 12 weeks in NZ last year car camping it was a bit looong in the last week.
    Spent a few weeks sleeping in a car with a mate in Spain not much fun its easier if you like to cuddle the one you’re with!
    Plus cars get lots of condensation if not well vented. Tent and hostels for you young man.

    Premier Icon PePPeR
    Subscriber

    I and my first wife had to sleep in our car for 3 weeks, shit times being homeless and jobless!

    Rover SD1’s are pretty roomy though!

    bikebouy
    Member

    I went on a windsurfing road(sea) trip back in 08′ . … I spent 9 mths in a Renault Traffic Van (SWB) kitted out with racks and sleeping compartment. Took 3. Boards, 1 kiteboard, 5 sails, 2 kites, 1 roadie, a camping seat, and the normal paraphernalia to make my trip comfortable. It was ace. I was on my own, it was ace’er for that.
    I go riding in the Doli’s with a mate and when we go we use his T5 which is kitted out for 2bikes and a bed, I sleep in the captains chair, he sleeps on the bed. It stinks by morning what with smelly cycling kit, we often book into a hotel just for a shower and bed. You gotta know who you’re going with and expect the opposite to that of your own cleanliness IMO.

    Wouldn’t want to spend a great deal of time in a small car with anyone other than myself mind.

    I know a few folks that have done similar to me, each say “ya need yer own space man”.

    coffeeking
    Member

    neilsonwheels – Member

    Pug 306 estate. Many nights spent kipping in the back of it. It will take a double air bed but that compromises the head room. I prefer a sleeping mat with a duvet over the top and me in my sleeping bag. The car has many advantages to a tent. Electric, sound proofing and nowt to pack away.

    I would always prefer a tent unless the pitching is during rain, but my girlfriend and I have slept nights at a time in the back of both a pug 205 and 306 estate. 306 was comfy and warm and more than enough space for both despite my 6’1 17st bulk! No worries at all.

    If you get two more mates along you’ll probably save enough (each) in petrol costs to pay for the hostels/campsites. Presuming you’re going in summer then big cities – hostels, and anywhere else – campsites. If you havent alteady got tents then just get a big cheap one from Argos or Halfords, it’ll be more comfortable and more fun if you get one that can comfortably fit all of you with space to sit around all day if its raining or something.

    Edukator
    Member

    Three months in Nova cup rally car. A bit of a wriggle to squeeze in past the bars but once in place I slept soundly in the office car park. When the season finished I had cash to pay rent rather than tyres and entry fees.

    I lived in a T2 for a year but that doesn’t count as it had a bed and female company – luxury.

    Premier Icon mountainman
    Subscriber

    like many others have said a cheap van , or van with combo cab /crew cab ,more space stand up etc .

    ianv
    Member

    Hostels will cost minimum 15 Euros each a night and probably much more in big resorts. Buy a tent and camp wild, go south so the weather is nice and 30+ days is easily doable. Stay away from the PdS though as the crap weather will soon have you feeling like s>>t without a shower and somewhere to hide from the rain, Haute Alpes and further south plus the pyranees are ideal though.

    Premier Icon dknwhy
    Subscriber

    I’d buy a 4 person pop up tent from decathlon. Minimum fuss and plenty of space. Take up as much room in the car as a dustbin lid.

    Sinse my wife kicked me out, I’ve been sleeping in me jag and I’m on pills for me nerves.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    Our initial plan (if it was just the two of us) was to buy a cheap (£5-600) estate car or small van, and convert the rear into a sleeping area. Sounds great – don’t have to pay for hostels, can stay pretty much where-ever we want, and can take a tent if we find somewhere real nice to camp.

    Some friends of mine had a similar plan when we left school. Plan was to go to an auction, buy a small van (they wanted a suzuki supercarry) do the tour of europe thing , then service and tidy the van and aim to sell it for the same or more than they bough it for.

    That was the plan.

    They went to the auction, got a bit giddy, bough a triumph spitfire. Did two long tours of Europe in it though, sleeping in the front seats. They didn’t take a tent as they didn’t consider themselves to be ‘outdoorsy’.

    mikehow
    Member

    Spent best part of a month touring the south island in NZ running and cycling and dossing in the back of my mates car for a couple of nights at a time in between trips in to the hills.

    Its doable, but comfort levels very much depend on the car/van and whether or not you are sharing the space with someone else.

    If space isn’t a premium, I’d throw a tent in as well. Like others have said campsites are relatively easy to come by and they’re not that expensive and allow you to establish a base in an area rather than having to continually pack the car up again.

    So my question is, who has spent a reasonable number of nights sleeping in their car (and a bit cramped as with at least one other person)? How did you get on? Recommended or avoid at all costs?

    I’ve done it once or twice for an odd night, but unless a) you’re very good friends (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) and b) you can put up with being cramped, I wouldn’t bother.

    Good cheap estate car? Any Volvo 240/740/940/850/early V70 can be had within your price bracket, plus you can sleep in the back full if you’re 6 foot or under (with back seats folded flat). Ultra reliable if not great on fuel unless you can find a diseasel.

    Oh and sleep with the windows open to avoid carbon dioxide/fart poisoning. And be prepared to leave all your kit outside the car where all the theiving Johnny Foreigners can get their dirty mitts on it.

    Duane…
    Member

    Thanks a bunch for all the replies, some very interesting responses!

    For the peopler asking why I would rather sleep in a car than camp, I guess others have answered – simply the ease; not having to find somewhere suitable to camp, but can just park up somewhere and kip.

    Big van or similar would be tempting, but as we plan on scrapping at the end of the trip (in E.Europe, and then fly home), really don’t want to spend too much.

    So after reading the stuff on here and chatting it over a bit with my flatmate, thinking of 3 or 4 of us (instead of 2), to reduce petrol/car costs, and then get one or two pop up tents (I have a decent 2 or 3 man one but pop up would be nice, plus if it’s a cheap one can bin it at end of trip) to sleep in when away from cities/hostels. I guess even in cities we can find campsites, but not sure on practicality if we plan to hang around for a few days.

    Thinking that an estate or similar will still be best even if we don’t plan to sleep in it, as there’ll be more of us so lots more kit, plus vaguely spacious in the back if someone wants to sleep on the road.

    Oh and roadtrip isn’t bike related 🙂

    andyl
    Member

    buy a left hand drive van and flog it over there.

    Duane…
    Member

    That was going to be my next thread 😛

    Driving a RHD car in Europe for 5 weeks vs hassle of finding a LHD car in the UK vs potentially having to pay more for a LHD drive vs potentially being able to sell a LHD car at the end of the trip

    ianv
    Member

    Less hassle to buy and insure in the uk. I have always used a rhd in Europe (often for long periods) and it has not been a problem.

    When your finished with it, leave the door open in a carpark somewher, I sure someone will liberate for you 😉

    andrewh
    Member

    RHD is fine in Europe, I had no issues at all. In fact I would say it’s better as I didn’t fancy trying to get to grips with an unfamiliar car as well as unfamilar roads and signs all written in foreign. Take an RHD and you can just think about the road, not the car.

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