The Toyota RAV4 is one of the most popular small SUVs on the market today. Its versatility, reliability, and spacious interior make it a great choice for car camping and sleeping in your vehicle. While the RAV4 may not be quite as roomy as a minivan or full-sized SUV, with some simple modifications, you will be able to SLEEPING IN A TOYOTA RAV4.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to sleep comfortably in the back of your Toyota RAV4, from folding down the seats to building a sleeping platform, adding privacy curtains, and more. If you are music lover you must want to know about USING RADIO STATION PRESETS IN A TOYOTA RAV4 (ALL MODEL YEARS).
HOW TO SLEEPING IN A TOYOTA RAV4 IN THE BACK?
The first step to sleeping in your RAV4 is to fold down the rear seats to open up space in the cargo area.
IF YOU’RE SHORTER THAN 5′ 8′′ (173 CM)
If you are on the shorter side, you may be able to sleep directly in the cargo area behind the front seats, without folding down the rear seats. This can be a quick and easy way to car camp in your RAV4. Simply pile in some blankets and a small pillow to create a nest. You can also use a sleeping pad or inflatable mattress for padding and insulation underneath you.
With the rear seats upright, the cargo floor length is approximately 5 feet, so as long as you are shorter than 5’8”, you should have enough room to lie down fully flat. Having the rear seats upright also provides privacy and you can use the fold-down center armrest up front as a pillow.
IF YOU’RE TALLER THAN 5′ 8′′ (173 CM)
If you are over 5’8”, you’ll need to fold down the 60/40 split rear seats to extend the cargo space. This will provide enough room for someone up to around 6’ to sleep comfortably.
To fold down the seats, locate the levers on the tops of each rear seat cushion. Pull up on the levers and fold the seat cushions forward. Then, pull up on the levers located at the top of the seat backs to fold them forward and flat.
You now have access to the extended cargo area to sleep in the back of the RAV4. Make sure all seats are locked in place once folded down.
DO THE SEATS FOLD DOWN FLAT?
When folding down the rear seats in the RAV4, there will still be a slight incline where the seat cushions meet the cargo floor. This is not completely flat and level.
If you want to create a fully flat and level sleeping surface, you will need to add a sleeping pad or inflatable mattress on top of the cargo area floor. Another option is to build a simple sleeping platform (see next section).
While not perfectly flat, the incline is fairly minor. Most people can still sleep comfortably with just some padding and blankets on top of the folded down seats.
BUILDING A SLEEPING PLATFORM
To make the cargo area of the RAV4 fully flat and comfortable for sleeping, consider installing a custom sleeping platform. This involves building a simple wooden platform that lays over the folded down rear seats to create a level surface.
Here is an overview of how to build a sleeping platform:
- Measure the dimensions of your RAV4’s cargo area. Platform should be slightly narrower than the width between the wheel wells to fit snugly in place.
- Construct a frame using 2×2 or 2×4 wooden boards. Cut boards to match your measurements.
- Attach a plywood top to the frame. 3/4” plywood is recommended for strength and stability.
- Cut a piece of foam cushioning like upholstery foam to place on top of the plywood base. This adds comfort and padding.
- Cover the foam with a rug, memory foam mattress topper, or other bedding material.
- Install your custom sleeping platform in the cargo area over the folded down seats.
This simple setup turns the back of the RAV4 into a comfortable, flat sleeping surface ready for car camping adventures. And it provides useful under-bed storage when not sleeping inside your vehicle.
USING A MATTRESS FOR ULTIMATE COMFORT
For the most comfortable experience sleeping in your Toyota RAV4, consider getting a mattress designed specifically for car camping. There are a few options:
Inflatable car mattresses: These air mattresses are made to inflate and fit perfectly in the back of SUVs and other vehicles. They are lightweight, portable, and provide cushioning when inflated. Many also have a non-slip bottom to stay in place as you sleep.
Folding foam mattresses: Companies like Luno and Milliard make folding mattresses out of dense, supportive foam. They fold up for easy storage and transportation, then unfold in your RAV4’s cargo area to create a soft, flat surface for sleeping.
Futon mattresses: You can cut a futon mattress to size to create a makeshift car camping mattress. Futons provide great support and comfort. Get one with multiple folds so you can adjust the thickness as needed.
Having a proper mattress that fits your RAV4 will help insulate you from the hard cargo floor, cushion pressure points for side sleeping, and give you a good night’s rest when car camping in your Toyota.
One challenge with sleeping in an SUV is that there is limited privacy. Passersby can easily see into the cargo area of your RAV4 through the windows. Here are some simple tips to increase privacy when car camping.
CREATING YOUR OWN PRIVACY CURTAINS
For a DIY approach, use clamps or hooks to hang blankets or tarps over the windows as makeshift curtains. Avoid putting anything over the driver and passenger windows up front so you maintain visibility of mirrors.
For the rear and side cargo windows, hang dark blankets or reflective sun shades to block views into your RAV4. Get creative with the materials – you can use tapestries, bed sheets, or even reflective car window covers. Anything that covers the windows will help block light and create privacy.
PURCHASE UNIVERSAL CAR PRIVACY CURTAINS
There are also car window curtain kits you can buy online that are specifically designed for vehicle privacy. These use suction cups or static cling to adhere to windows, and have blackout fabric to block all incoming light and visibility.
Brands like YESGO and Texsens make universal car curtains with side flaps thatfit most SUVs, minivans, and hatchback models. These curtains provide full privacy and darkness for comfortable sleeping.
IMPROVISE WITH BEDSHEETS OR BLANKETS
In a pinch, you can improvise window coverings using just sheets or blankets. For the side and rear windows, open the windows slightly and place blankets or sheets over the exterior of the windows, tucking the fabric into the car seals to hold them in place.
You can also tape sheets or blankets up from the inside using painter’s tape or command strips, creating simple curtains. Make sure your improvised window covers are secure so they don’t fall down while driving.
IS THE RAV4 A GOOD CHOICE FOR CAR CAMPING?
With some simple modifications and setup, the Toyota RAV4 can be transformed into a cozy place to sleep while traveling or camping on the road. Here are some of the benefits that make the RAV4 a good car camping vehicle:
- Spacious cargo room when rear seats are folded down
- Relatively compact and maneuverable size
- Available all-wheel drive for off-road adventures
- Good gas mileage and range
- Reliable and easily serviced
- Higher ground clearance than cars
- Optional roof rack for storing gear outside
- Large swing out rear door enables easy access
While it doesn’t offer quite as much interior space as a minivan or full-sized SUV, the Toyota RAV4 has enough room for one adult or two small children to sleep comfortably. With some prep work like adding a sleeping pad or platform, curtains, and soft bedding, you can create a cozy sleeping environment perfect for weekend trips or extended travels.
QUICK TIPS FOR RAV4 CAMPING
Here are a few quick tips to make sleeping and camping in your Toyota RAV4 even better:
- Get window shades or curtains to block light and create privacy while you sleep. Avoid anything that would obstruct the driver’s view.
- Use foam blocks, pool noodles, or rolled towels under knees and arms for more comfortable side sleeping.
- Get a portable camping toilet or urinal bottle so you don’t have to leave your RAV4 at night.
- Pack an organized plastic storage bin with your sleep gear to quickly convert the car between driving and sleeping modes.
- Inflate a camping pad or mattress each night for cushioning and insulation from the hard cargo floor.
- For ventilation and cooling, crack windows and get a battery-powered fan.
- Use a sleeping bag rated for the expected weather conditions or bring extra blankets.
- Get window screens to keep insects out when car camping in warm weather with windows open.
With some creativity and the right gear, your Toyota RAV4 can transform into a cozy mobile bedroom for road trips, tailgating, festivals, or weekend camping getaways. Enjoy the adventure!
While it may not offer as much living space as larger SUVs or vans, the Toyota RAV4 can be modified to deliver comfortable sleeping quarters for one or two people. With simple gear like inflatable mattresses, curtains, and a basic storage system, you can transform your RAV4 into a camper ready for adventure. Compact, efficient, and reliable, the Toyota RAV4 is a great option for budget-friendly car camping and road trips. Just be ready to get a little creative with your setup! Where will you SLEEPING IN A TOYOTA RAV4.
What’s the best way to black out the windows for privacy?
The best options are using purpose-made car privacy curtains or improvising with blankets or opaque window shades secured over each window opening. Avoid blocking the driver and front passenger windows.
How can I prevent condensation and fogging inside?
Crack open windows to allow airflow, use absorbent items like silica gel packs, and run the AC or fan occasionally to circulate air and reduce humidity buildup inside the RAV4.
Where is the best place to store gear and supplies?
Under a sleeping platform, in the footwells of the front seats, in storage bags/bins secured in place, and on the optional roof rack if you have one.