Often when on a road trip it can be beneficial to be able to sleep in your car. This will save you time and money that can be spent on other things. If sleeping in a 4Runner is something that you are interested in, there are a few things to consider before making the leap.
So can you sleep in a 4Runner? Yes, you can sleep in a 4Runner. Most average-sized men under 6 feet tall can comfortably sleep in the back of a 4Runner with the rear seats folded down.
How Wide Is The Cargo Area Of The 4Runner With The Rear Seats Folded?
The cargo area of the 4Runner with folded rear seats is approximately 74 inches long by 41 inches wide.
This is generally enough room for one average-sized adult to sleep comfortably and in a pinch, a second smaller adult or child would be able to sleep in the vehicle and be moderately comfortable.
Can You Put a Twin Mattress In a 4Runner to Sleep On?
Yes, the standard twin mattress is around 74 inches long by 38 inches wide. This makes it a perfect fit for sleeping in the back of your 4Runner.
However, you will need to measure your 4Runner (and the mattress) to make sure that it will fit before purchasing a mattress.
What Other Options Are Available To Sleep In The 4Runner?
Sleeping on a twin mattress may be one option, but may not be the best option for everyone. Having someplace to store the mattress when not in use can be a pain so many people search for other more favorable options.
Another negative of a twin mattress is it is hard to make it more compact for when you aren’t sleeping and need to store gear. Often sleeping in the 4Runner involves doing what many call overlanding (or car camping), which requires you to have a decent amount of gear and supplies with you.
They make twin air mattresses that fit near perfectly in the 4Runner. I recommend the ones that aren’t double height so you have some room to move around and/or sit up. Again, just measure your air mattress and the 4Runner to make sure it will fit before you buy.
One other popular sleeping option is to utilize a sleeping pad (similar to what you would take backpacking). You can use the cheap blue foam ones that you can find at Walmart or more traditional inflatable pads that are a little more costly but likewise more comfortable.
Personally, I combine both sleeping pad options by having a foam sleeping pad on the bottom and then an inflatable sleeping pad on top for added comfort. This has worked quite well for me, but everybody is different so experiment to find what sleeping arrangement works best for you.
Memory Foam Mattress
I haven’t personally tried this, but you see people online who have used a memory foam mattress in the back of the 4Runner. Looking at this approach, it seems like you would need to cut the foam mattress in half, but this should be possible.
What About a Roof Top Tent?
Another option if you don’t want to sleep in your 4Runner, but on your 4Runner is purchasing a roof top tent and sleeping on top of your 4Runner. This option is viable and a lot of people prefer this to sleeping inside the 4Runner. The benefits of a roof top tent are you can set it up and take it down quickly, you don’t have to worry about sleeping on the ground, and often it is convenient in the fact that you have more room in your 4Runner to store gear since you don’t need to account for sleeping room.
Another benefit is you could have two people sleep in the 4Runner and two on top of the 4Runner so the addition of a roof top tent would essentially double your sleeping space if that is of concern.
Safety Considerations When Sleeping In A 4Runner
Where you park is an important consideration. You should park on level ground and if you can, in an area that is sheltered from the wind.
Avoid sleeping in your 4Runner in areas that don’t seem overly safe. This can vary depending on where you are. For example, if you are in a densely populated area certain areas of the city likely are safer than others. While if you are in a remote area you may not want to park near a road and keep yourself and your 4Runner concealed.
When sleeping in your 4Runner, it is important to keep the windows rolled mostly up, but leave a small opening for airflow. Personally, I like to leave the rear window down slightly, because the rear spoiler keeps the opening sheltered from the rain and makes it hard for someone to tell the window is open.
You should also keep your doors locked. This will ensure that if someone does try to break in, it will be much harder for them and make more noise, which will likely wake you up.
Additionally, I like to sleep with a headlamp or flashlight within reach. I always wake up while it is dark and searching around a dark vehicle is a pain. Having a light within reach just makes things easier.
Full Time Sleeping In a 4Runner?
Yes, you can sleep full time in a 4Runner if you so choose. Personally, I would not, while the space is great for a night or two, long term I don’t think it would be enough space and it would grow old rather fast.
I would likely get a small trailer or overland trailer that would give me a little more room and additional storage space for extra gear to make life that much easier.
If I am traveling a lot, sleeping in the 4Runner can save a lot of money on hotels, which can be significant if you are traveling for an extended period of time or to multiple places. This option is great to rotate between a hotel room and sleeping in the 4Runner so you save money but also can use the hotel to relax a little. Having more space and easy access to the bathroom and shower to freshen up is another benefit when rotating in a hotel stay.
I hope you have found this article helpful. I’ve spent many nights in my 4Runner and have had comfortable sleep most nights and wouldn’t hesitate to do it more often. With the right preparation, you almost won’t be able to tell you aren’t in your bed at home!