Transform your Dodge Caravan into a comfortable and safe retreat with our ultimate guide to sleeping in a Dodge Caravan, offering practical tips and tricks for comfortable, restful nights on the road. This guide is your go-to resource for making the most of your Caravan’s space for sleep and relaxation.
You plan to take your minivan on vacation this year, but the budget is tight. Can you convert the back rows into a place to sleep in a Dodge Caravan?
If you are a road warrior, who lives for the open highway, what is the best way to make your minivan into a rolling hotel bed? With the price of gasoline going up, and the rising costs of hotel rates, the concept of converting your caravan into a camper can save you a bundle of money.
But before you go out and purchase a mattress, you need to be sure it will fit. What is the best way to use the van you have? Short of reclining uncomfortably in the front seats, is there enough room behind the seats to lay out an air mattress, or even better, a 6-inch full-sized foam mattress? Just how big a mattress will a Dodge Caravan accommodate?
Sleeping in a Dodge Caravan is possible. The Dodge Grand Caravan has room behind the seats to accommodate a twin or full-sized mattress. Let’s find out more about how to make this experience more comfortable.
Sleeping In A Dodge Caravan? Here’s What You Need To Know
The Dodge Grand Caravan has room behind the seats to accommodate a twin or full-sized mattress. Many Caravan owners either remove the back two rows or utilize stow-n-go for both second and third rows seats will lay flat.
While the fit is a bit tight, there is enough room to accommodate a mattress. So, sleeping in a Dodge Caravan might no be the most comfortable experience, but it’s possible.
It can be a hassle trying to find a camping site every night. It is easier to pull into a rest area, turn off the keys, lock your doors and crawl onto a mattress in the back.
It eliminates the hassle of making a hotel reservation before all the cheaper rooms have been bought. The last thing you want to do is to stop somewhere, pitch a tent, and pull everything up the next day.
So, are you sleeping in a Dodge Caravan? Let’s explore some ways you could take your ride and make it a free hotel.
Can You Sleep in a Dodge Caravan?
The simple answer is yes. The 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan, with both second and third rows stowed, has 5.3 feet of width (63 inches) and 7.5 feet (78 inches) in length.
The typical full-sized mattress has dimensions of 54 inches x 75 inches. (the dimensions of a twin mattress are 38 inches by 75 inches).
So, there is room to convert your minivan into a hotel with inches to spare. The back cargo dimensions of the Grand Caravan have been relatively unchanged over the past five years. For another look at this issue, see this article.
What Mattress will Fit in the Back of a Caravan?
There are several options for the person who wants to convert the back of their Caravan into a hotel.
A Flat Mattress Will Do the Trick
If you decide to use a flat mattress (either twin or full-sized), you must determine how much gear you bring along. A twin mattress has less width, leaving more room for things like a camp stove, chairs, or suitcases.
A full-size mattress will leave you a few inches above the head of the sleeping area, but it isn’t much room. So, do an inventory of what you want to bring, and decide accordingly.
An Airbag Can Solve A lot of Problems
If you don’t mind waiting before you drift off to sleep, an air mattress can be blown up when needed. The trouble with an air mattress is that they often do not give the same support, so if you have back issues or have trouble sleeping on a cushion of air, this is not the option to consider.
The Cargo Floor will work, but it Won’t be Soft.
For the hardcore adventurer, a cargo floor is an option. We wouldn’t recommend it unless you just have to. Our backs were not designed to sleep on the ground or on a hard cargo floor.
A Foam Mattress Might be Just the Ticket
Many companies sell their mattresses as roll-outs. While you should never try to reroll up a mattress with springs in them, a mattress made entirely of foam can be shrunken.
Our recommendation is to roll the memory foam mattress in a roll, like you would a sleeping back, and stuff the foam into a mattress bag. That way, sleeping in a Dodge Caravan becomes easier, since there’s more room.
This way, you can carry additional equipment. You might have to put an ice chest on one of the front seats, but this seems like a small price to pay for the ability to park and sleep almost anywhere.
How Can I Make Sleeping In A Dodge Caravan Easier?
Before you head onto the open road, you will need to make other adjustments to your Caravan. For a more personal experience about the daily experiences of living out of a vehicle, see this article.
Hang Solid Curtains for Privacy
The last thing you want to do is wake up in the middle of the night just to see some stranger peering through your van’s windows. There are many websites that can teach you how to make side curtains to cover the back windows and a simple shade to hang just behind the front seats to ensure your privacy.
An example of this kind of curtain can be found on Amazon.
If you make your own, dark curtain material is a must here. The dark cloth will hold the heat in the vehicle during cold nights and keep the heat out of the sleeping quarters during the summer.
Be sure to secure the bottom of the curtain to the base of the window so that the curtain doesn’t just hang straight down and get into the living area.
The local RV store, like Camping World, can order you shades that are designed to fit on the side windows should you wish not to make and hang your own. Napa makes a quick-fit sunshade that could work as well. For more information concerning this product, click on the link at Napa.
Make a DYI Shower Stall
Most Dodge Grand Caravans have a rear door that opens like a hatch on an SUV. Shower curtains can be hung from the open rear door toward the ground with a couple of simple modifications and a little bit of engineering ingenuity.
(Stores like BassPro sell portable shower stalls in many different configurations that can be modified for the van or used next to the car depending on where you set up for the night).
You should be conscious of your surroundings before installing this kind of device. Van Lifers prefer to use the showers at campgrounds or local truck stops where security cameras are in place, and this is probably a safer alternative.
Consider Building a Frame with Pull-Out or Foot Locker Storage
One of the best conversion ideas we noticed was to build a frame with either drawer that slides from the open rear, slides from the side, or opens like footlockers under the mattress. (This works very well if you have a twin mattress). The additional storage is invaluable if you plan to be on the road for any length of time.
Is Sleeping in A Dodge Caravan Safe?
For the most part, the practice of sleeping in the back of your caravan is pretty safe. There are a couple of things to be aware of when you do.
Be sure to pick an area that will not draw attention to the van. Rest areas that have security provided are the best places. Truck stops, and even many WalMarts or churches will allow you to park overnight. (It is always best to ask first, just to be sure).
Closing Thoughts On Sleeping In A Dodge Caravan
In summarizing our guide on transforming a Dodge Caravan into a cozy sleeping space, it’s clear that with some creativity and practical adjustments, road trips can become more affordable and adventurous. The Dodge Grand Caravan’s space is sufficiently versatile to accommodate a twin or full-sized mattress, making it a viable option for those seeking to avoid the high costs of hotels and campsites.
By thoughtfully utilizing the Caravan’s interior, travelers can enjoy the convenience and freedom of a mobile sleeping area.
Our recommendations for using mattresses, be it air, foam, or flat, highlight the importance of comfort and space management in the Caravan.
The choice between different mattress types should be informed by the amount of gear being carried and personal comfort preferences. Additionally, custom modifications like DIY shower stalls and privacy curtains not only enhance the experience but also provide practical solutions for life on the road.
Safety and discretion are paramount when sleeping in a Dodge Caravan. Choosing well-lit, secure locations like rest areas with security or truck stops can ensure a safe overnight stay.
This guide serves as an invaluable resource for the adventurous and budget-conscious traveler, proving that with the right setup, a Dodge Caravan can indeed be transformed into a convenient and comfortable retreat on wheels.