Sleeping in your car

Discussion in 'Vehicle & Transportation' started by ceilinghobo, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. ceilinghobo

    ceilinghobo Guest

    Has anyone here considered that in an emergency situation they may have to sleep in their car or live in it, what kind of measures can you take to prepare your car's interior for this?
  2. Fetthunter

    Fetthunter Ready for Doomsday!

    The thought has crossed my mind... We have a mid-sized SUV with the 3rd row seating (7 passenger capability). The 2nd and 3rd rows fold flat, and my wife, 2 young kids (3 and 6 years old), and myself could easily camp out in the back with minimal effort. It would be more comfortable with a blanket/comforter/etc. placed down before sleeping, but we'd manage either way.

    It would be more challenging in a regular car, though. Some have decently large back seats, and some have front seats that virtually recline all the way back.

    I might be afraid of getting carjacked and/or mugged as I slept, though. Other than that, it's a very realistic option.

  3. kc5fm

    kc5fm Emergency Manager


    Do you really want to sleep in the car? Would not a warm Red Cross shelter be better? Alternatively, wouldn't you rather sleep in a motel room?

    Personally, my evacuation plan does NOT include sleeping in a car. My plan involves sleeping in a house with a relative or sleeping in a motel room.
  4. darkling

    darkling Guest

    I think that if you prepare specially sized pieces of cardboard with velcro on the corners then put the other velcro around the windows, you could block out view of the interior of your vehicle with the added usage of a sun blocker on the front window. This way if someone came to mug you cant see them so they can't freak you out into opening the door, on the other hand they could just break a window to come in but would be more afraid to do it with no visibility.
  5. peepers

    peepers Guest

    Some cars have fold down backseats or little doors that open on it, but they leave a large lump of seat that would be annoying to sleep on, could you get a board and shove it into the trunk to have something flat to lay on or would it be better to remove one of the front seats?
  6. Fetthunter

    Fetthunter Ready for Doomsday!


    Under optimal conditions and circumstances, sure, I'd LOVE to stay in a Red Cross shelter or hotel room. In a large scale disaster, I don't know how realistic either of those possibilities might be... During the hours after hurricane Ike's passing, a Red Cross official said on's live webcast that the Red Cross was basically out of funds, and was relying on people in neighboring cities to help them feed and house the people in Houston and Galveston affected by the storm. If the Red Cross is THAT strapped for cash and can barely help during a Cat 2/3 hurricane, imagine a HUGE disaster. They'll probably be unable to do much.

    As for motels/hotels, in the middle of a huge disaster, I'd bet that they'd be deserted/closed. What employees are going to stay and work in them? They have their own families to worry about. Unless seized and operated by the government/military as relocation centers, etc., I don't see them as viable at all but in the most minor of situations.

    If something BIG happens, I'm not relying on anyone saving me but ME. Sure, it'd be NICE if the government helped out, but you can't expect it. :)
  7. Freedom

    Freedom Member

    Yea we all seen how that worked out after Katrina. I have lived in my car already (86 Subaru wagon) I would rather take my chances in my car then be controlled by FEMA. I always slept in out of the way places where not many could see me and had a pistol within my reach in case someone would try anything. Survival means being able to adapt to any situation and motel rooms aren't always available.
  8. FNFAL308

    FNFAL308 Guest

    Sleep in a car? At 6'4" I'll be in a tent rather than car if possible. the Blazer can let a couple sleep in the back but anymore and it won't be that comfortable. I have slep in a car at Mardi Gras in New Orleans cause we couldn't find a room. I won't do it again if I can help it.

    If it is hot out you may want to duct tape some screen material over the windows so you can open the windows. Nothin like sweatin' to the oldies...

    I have seen one family live in a tent by a river rather than ask for help.
  9. kc5fm

    kc5fm Emergency Manager

    No FEMA concentration camps

    OH ... YEAH ... Katrina. The disaster that went wrong because people decided to not follow the plan that was drilled months before. :)

    I was at the Oklahoma answer to Katrina. We received the guests and treated them, I think, respectfully. Your neighbors who chose to come stay in our motels were also treated with respect.

    My friend, if you go FAR enough, motel rooms are available. During Ike, we had a shelter open in Oklahoma City. There were still motel rooms available.

    Since you want to use Katrina, I'll use the shelters, hundreds of them, that were operated in disasters, including the June 5 wind storm, the Oklahoma flood, and a host of other events. Seems people forget the good things done for them and want to remember Katrina.

    Shelters are short term solutions. If the County is declared for Individual Assistance, then FEMA may pay the cost of your motel room. If your Federal government does not, your insurance company may. See your insurance agent to be sure.

    It should be no surprise to anyone, if the President declares a jurisdiction a disaster. All FEMA declarations are published.

    Again, my family plan is to evacuate to family or motel. I'll be keeping receipts along the way.
  10. wildman800

    wildman800 Well-Known Member

  11. outlander

    outlander Member

    I have my 89 jeep cherokee setup for a pretty good nights sleep.A heat source is in the works to keep me warm in the winter(engine off to preserve fuel).
    I'll get pics of the inside soon.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
  12. Rob55

    Rob55 Member

    I think I'd rather stay in my vehicle with all my emergency gear overnight rather than try to get my gear (guns included) into a public shelter...and not really interested in leaving my gear in an unaccompanied vehicle while I am inside a shelter. So with that in mind, I have made sure I can stay with my vehicle during an emergency. I can easlly sleep in the back of my vehicle with all my gear. The windows are all tinted so somone will find it hard to "glance" in to break in. In a critical weather situation having a handheld GPS helps to evaluate staying or leaving the vehicle.
  13. coopma

    coopma New Member

    Sleep in car

    I take the two rear bench seats out of our 2002 Ford Windstar minivan.
    Large flat area.
    I put a mattress from a fold out sofa on it.
    Have camped a few times with our scout troop that way.
    Mattress and enclosed minivan makes it a lot better than a tent...
    Quieter, warmer, faster and easier to set up than a tent.
  14. pfy

    pfy Guest

    There is also a huge yahoo group for vehicle living
  15. Floatsum

    Floatsum Guest

    I do a lot of Surf Fishing.
    Have a Cherokee that's being modded for that very purpose.
    Strickly for me and the dog.
    Pass seat, rear seat, carpet, all coming out.
    Front pass side will be level all the way back and used for plug, tackle, food, safety, type storage areas.
    Cat heater, cook stove, bedding. i could be gone for a week. Wouldn't mind a bit.
    Rear lift door makes a great porch. :p
  16. SimpleMan

    SimpleMan Guest

    What happens if no motels have any vacancy and you cant drive to a relatives house??
  17. dunappy

    dunappy Well-Known Member

    Nope no sleeping the car for me, That is what the front of the horse trailer is for. But I've slept in the car before and I'd still rather sleep in the horse trailer.
  18. kc5fm

    kc5fm Emergency Manager

    American Red Cross

    I'd say this is when you call 211, if available in your area, to arrange transportation to an American Red Cross shelter in your area staffed by volunteers, probably not from your area.

    Seriously, though, I have discussed preplanning evacuations, including the mention of Kayak to help with finding pet-friendly motels.

    Why can't you drive to a relative's house? If you lack a vehicle, preplan now how you can obtain one. Will the used car lot let you test drive one? What are the schools doing with their busses? Either one is going to have a major loss during a disaster. Insurance will be happy to NOT pay the cost. If you don't return the car, then shelter is available at the County Jail. ;)

    How about renting a car?

    As a reminder from another post, home owners' and renters' insurance may cover the cost of your evacuation, ex. motel room, etc. Check with your insurance agent to get the facts.

    IMO, the only reason to sleep in a car is because one wants to sleep in a car. There are too many alternatives, including the Red Cross shelter.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2008
  19. GPER

    GPER Active Member

    I have spent one night at work last year in my 94 XJ with a small propane heater, the xj was not comfortable. This year with the price of gas and still driving 157 miles a day I worked late and spent the night in my 98 Camry. The The Camry was a lot more comfortable than the xj and I'm 6'2". The CJ years ago when I was young is just it will never happen again. I have a tent cot that is nice to sleep in for the one nighters when I'm out in the CJ.
  20. poolboy

    poolboy Guest

    Is it possible to hang a hammock from the rear view mirror to the back of the car somehow in a smaller car to avoid sleeping in the seat?