Sleeping in a Toyota 4Runner: What You Need to Know

Sleeping in a Toyota 4Runner: What You Need to Know

Car camping is all the rage. With the growth in popularity of “van life”, people are looking for a way to travel and live out of their vehicles. If you have a Toyota 4Runner, you’re in luck.

Toyota 4Runners have an interior length of over 6 feet with the rear seats folded down. The dimensions of the entire cargo area are 74 x 41 inches. This makes them large enough for anyone 6 feet and under to be able to sleep fairly comfortably.

Sleeping in your Toyota 4Runner could save you time and money when camping or traveling. So if you’re considering crashing in the back of your trusty SUV, take a minute to look over the following tips before you do.

Table of Contents

Why Sleep In A Toyota 4Runner?

If you are someone who is interested in camping but does not own a tent or other form of shelter, then sleeping in your car can be a fantastic option. Tents can be very expensive, and foraging the forest to create a shelter is no measly task. Technically you can sleep in any car, it just might not always be comfortable. Luckily Toyota 4Runner owners benefit from the space.

4Runners are one of the most reliable SUVs and can traverse multiple types of terrain thanks to their build quality. Driving a 4Runner, you can access more remote locations that would be inaccessible to owners of non-SUVs. Since most state parks in the US offer free camping areas, you’ll be able to drive anywhere and stay the night without having to set up and breakdown camp.

Whether you are looking to make short camping trips, a country-wide road trip, or a straight-up lifestyle change, you’ll find fairly adequate space to do so in your Toyota 4Runner. People have managed to build entire mobile homes in vehicles smaller than a 4Runner, so if you were so inclined, that is an option. Twin beds generally measure 74 x 38 inches, so one could fit.

Best Ways To Sleep In A Toyota 4Runner

There are many options for ways to sleep in your Toyota 4Runner, but if you’re looking for some ideas for the most comfortable methods look no further.

Traditional Mattress

As I mentioned before, a twin-size mattress should fit right into your Toyota 4Runner rather nicely. You may have to maneuver it in a bit, but once it is in it shouldn’t move around too much. You could also always stuff up any excess space on either side with bags or blankets to ensure it doesn’t slide when the vehicle is in motion.

Air Mattress

This option is very similar to the first except that you will now be able to save space when the mattress is not inflated. This will make traveling with it much easier overall. If you choose an air mattress you could potentially save room for other essentials.

Sleeping Bag / Pad

These are always very lightweight and packable, making them even easier to travel with than the air mattress. Also, unlike the air mattress, you generally will not be required to inflate these (unless your pad must be filled). This way you won’t need to worry about having an adapter to use in your car’s outlet to power the air compressor or work to do it manually.

Memory Foam Topper

This is similar to a sleeping bag or bed roll in that they will generally be relatively thin and lightweight. This makes them great for packing up and traveling, but also lighter on the side of padding. If you don’t need too thick of a surface to sleep on, this comfortable material may be a good option to consider.

Where To Sleep

National Parks

If you are based in the United States you are legally allowed to camp for free in specified areas of most major National and state parks. It would be advisable to double-check with the official website of the state park you are interested in visiting first to avoid any issues.

Wal-Mart Parking Lots

The classic overnight car camping location. You are allowed to park for an extended period of time in any Wal-Mart parking lot completely free of charge. Just be safe and conscious of those around.


Of course, you are also able to drive your Toyota 4Runner into officially monitored campsites and stay the night there as well. Every campsite has different rules and prices for their sites and where they allow car camping if at all will vary from one to the next. It is recommended to ask the owners or operators of the campsite for confirmation before staying there.

Key Things To Consider

No matter where you decide to park your Toyota 4Runner for the night, there are some key things to keep in mind. Find a spot that is somewhat sheltered from the elements. Wind, rain, snow, or hail could cause damage to your vehicle.

Always park on solid, level ground. You want to avoid rocky, uneven, or overly moist terrain. These could potentially cause problems for your vehicle and depending on weather conditions, could be dangerous.

Consider other people. Make sure your doors are locked when you are sleeping, and that your belongings are securely locked away. It would be best to sleep with your car alarm on just in case an animal or another person tries to get into your vehicle.

Make sure you leave a window cracked open to ensure airflow. Since a Toyota 4Runner is an enclosed space, you’ll want to have access to fresh air while you sleep. However, it would be best not to do this if the car is running so that you don’t get fumes from the exhaust in your cabin.

Final Thoughts

Sleeping in your Toyota 4Runner can be a fun, cost-effective way to camp on the go. If you take the time to adequately prepare, sleeping in the back of your car can be an enjoyable experience. Just remember to always be safe, prepared, and aware of your surroundings so that you may be able to fully enjoy the comfortable sleeping space you have created.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *