Camping in a vehicle – or just having a different place to stay, is a great option. Got a Dodge Caravan? We’ll help you know if you can fit a full mattress in. Putting a mattress in a vehicle besides an RV sounds odd – but it really works. You just have to know a little about the mattress measurements, as well as how to make it as comfortable as possible.
Table of Contents
- Will a full-size mattress fit in the back of a Dodge Caravan?
- How big is a full-size mattress?
- How do I arrange a Dodge Caravan for a mattress?
- What kind of mattress do you recommend?
- Can I do anything else to make a mattress comfy in my Dodge Caravan?
- How do I stay cool or warm in my Dodge Caravan while sleeping?
- Can I get a tent to go over the rear hatch?
- Aside from camping, why would you sleep in a Dodge Caravan?
Will a full-size mattress fit in the back of a Dodge Caravan?
You could fit a full mattress in a Dodge Caravan. A Dodge Caravan owner should consider air mattresses, and be ready to fold the seats down as far as they go to make the mattress fit – and fit comfortable. There are a few more things you can do to make the best of the experience.
We’ll first go over an understanding of how big a full mattress is. We can also talk about what you need to do to your Dodge Caravan to get it ready for a mattress. Finally, we’ll discuss some of the advantages of having a mattress in your Dodge Caravan.
We’ve camped out and squeezed things into minivans. Thankfully, a full-size mattress might not be much of a squeeze, especially when done right.
How big is a full-size mattress?
To clarify one part of this idea: A full-size mattress is one size larger than a twin mattress, which is most often used for kids. You can add 16 inches to a twin mattress and get a full size, which comes out to about 53 inches wide by 75 inches long. The full-size mattress is most often slept on by older kids and people who like to sleep with their pets – they are also popular in guest rooms.
So we aren’t quite talking about the queen or king-size mattresses often used by couples in master bedrooms.
How do I arrange a Dodge Caravan for a mattress?
Your Dodge Caravan should have the ability to fold seats down at least halfway. Some Caravans have the ability to fold seats down completely into the floor, which is a great feature for keeping the mattress flat and level on the floor.
Seats in the second or third row (in the backseat) are most often folded by flipping a lever or pulling a rope or hook – the seat itself should make the process of folding down pretty obvious.
You will probably want to move the front seats at least forward. In most cases, you can’t quite fold minivan seats in half, so your best option would be to manually move the seat forward and lean it as much as possible.
This is especially true for taller people who will want every extra inch of headroom they can get!
What kind of mattress do you recommend?
There are a few types of mattresses out there, we’ll go over what makes the most sense to put in your Dodge Caravan:
We absolutely recommend using an air mattress first. Air mattresses are very convenient because they are highly flexible. You can fold an air mattress into a large square and they often come with carrying cases.
An air mattress is much more cargo friendly too, and can be stashed to the side while you bring the rest of your stuff. The little amount of space used to put an uninflated air mattress into your Dodge Caravan might actually free you up to bring sleeping bags and other people – if you want to!
How do I fill an air mattress while camping?
The only downside, and it might not be a downside, is that unless you want to perform the impossible task of inflating the mattress with your lungs – you’ll need an air compressor inflator. Some air mattresses come with an inflator that is powered either by batteries or by plugging into a cigarette lighter. While they don’t tend to fill up an air mattress especially fast, they get the job done.
A foam mattress is usually pretty comfortable and more commonly used in homes than in previous decades. They are fairly light, too. If you don’t like air mattresses and want some amount of flexibility, foam is a good option for your Dodge Caravan too. They are somewhat flexible, and the edges can curve into necessary areas.
The negative here is that they do take lots of space. You will unlikely be able to bring more than another person with you if you take a foam mattress.
Between foam mattresses and box spring mattresses, these are the most commonly found in homes. A spring mattress can work in a Dodge Caravan, but they aren’t the most flexible and they can be heavy. While some might consider a spring mattress to be the most comfortable, that comes at the cost of also taking the most space.
We don’t recommend bringing a spring mattress unless it’s just you or a couple traveling.
Can I do anything else to make a mattress comfy in my Dodge Caravan?
In some cases, the Dodge Caravan’s seats might have you sleeping at an incline. Not everyone likes this idea – but it is possible to build a simple frame that lifts the end of the bed and makes you nice and even.
We would suggest measuring how high your mattress needs to be lifted to create a flat surface. You can then make a frame of that height to put the end of the bed on.
Another option is to bring a solid mat, or even plywood, to lay the mattress on to get really flat.
How do I stay cool or warm in my Dodge Caravan while sleeping?
The best ways are to either leave a window open a crack in good weather, or get a fan or heater you can plug into the vehicle’s outlets or cigarette lighter. These are better options than leaving the engine running because having the engine and AC on is not great on gas or the engine itself.
Can I get a tent to go over the rear hatch?
We are sure those are made. These are nice for sleeping in comfortable weather. You can just open the hatch and throw a tent over the back door. The tent can help keep bugs and morning sunlight out while you stay dry, but get the fresh air you want.
Aside from camping, why would you sleep in a Dodge Caravan?
Sleeping in a mattress in your car is way cheaper than finding a hotel room. Even purchasing an air mattress will probably cost less than half of one night’s stay, even at a cheap hotel. You also get fresh air and a mattress that only you and the people you now have slept in.
Sleeping in your car is great for a spring or summer road trip when you have the option to pull over into a rest area and rest!