Whether camping, driving cross-country, or just visiting a friend, one cost-saving measure is to sleep in your car. And if that vehicle is a smaller SUV, is that even possible? And if so, is it safe to do so?
You can sleep in a Jeep Renegade, and by following some basic steps, you can do so comfortably and safely. A person under six feet tall will fit and be a lot more comfortable, but there are ways to sleep comfortably for larger and taller people as well.
This article covers whether it’s safe to sleep in your Jeep Renegade and if so, what’s the best way to do it. We’ll cover suggestions on how to help ensure you sleep safely as well as steps you can take to be comfortable – from the basics to Renegade camping add-ons. Read on to start planning your Jeep Renegade adventure.
About Your Jeep Renegade
Before covering options on how to sleep safely in your Jeep Renegade, here’s a quick overview of this Jeep model.
The Jeep Renegade is a subcompact crossover sports utility vehicle (SUV) with a good selection of off-road features (here’s the official Jeep description.) Car and Driver does a deeper dive on the Renegade, noting its “legitimate off-road capability.”
Adding that despite some drawbacks (fuel efficiency, ride comfort), the Jeep Renegade is “the pack mule” in its class of smaller SUVs. Across reviews, the Trailhawk model is touted as the best option for off-road adventures and camping. (Here’s one example of a dealer description for Jeep Renegade off-road and snow capabilities.)
From here, we’ll talk about options for sleeping and sleeping safely in a Jeep Renegade.
Sleeping in a Jeep Renegade
In this section, we’ll cover three options for sleeping in your Jeep Renegade. With rear seats folded flat, there are 50.8 cubic feet of cargo space. You’re doing the math – so what if you’re close to six feet tall? Guess what, you can still comfortably sleep, read on to find out how.
Here’s another article we put together with testimony from individuals who’ve Slept In A Jeep Renegade.
A Basic Renegade Sleep Option
For a basic sleep option, first, fold down the rear seats and push the front seats forward. Unroll the “egg crate” foam that you stowed in the back to cover the folded-down seats. (Note, if you’ve ever wrestled with egg crate-type foam, you’ll know to secure it with bungee straps and then carefully release it.)
Now that you have your “mattress” in place, add bedding as needed, depending on the season. To block light, put up a front window sunshade and cover the other windows (home-made or custom fit options for sun shades – front and side windows.) For ventilation, crack a window or open the sunroof just a bit.
Ok, you’re almost set! Here’s the big question – your answer will determine how well you sleep. Do you climb in and sleep with your head to the front? (Suitable fanfare before the answer…) No, you don’t.
For this option, you place your legs and feet between the front seats with your head towards the back of the Renegade. This way you’re comfortable even if you’re tall.
The DIY Sleep Platform Option
If you’re moderately comfortable with a tape measure, saw, and drill, there are several “Do-it-yourself” DIY options online for building bed platforms with room for storage underneath (here’s a great example of a platform that folds up when not in use.)
Once you’ve built a platform, you can go the egg crate foam mattress route or spend a bit more on comfort with options like Jeep Mattress for the Jeep Renegade. There are several other air mattress options for Renegades as well.
The “Almost Sleeping in the Renegade” Option
Just a quick note here that there’s a whole range of tents, text extensions, tent platforms, and awnings made specifically for the Jeep Renegade. Here’s one link to give you an idea of what types of Tent Products are out there. – but since the focus of this article is actually sleeping in the Renegade we’ll move on to the next topic which is about sleeping safely in your Renegade.
Can You Safely Sleep in a Jeep Renegade?
Context is everything in answering this question. But the consensus is yes! Car camping (i.e., sleeping in your Renegade) is safe. Especially if you can find a campground or public land rather than choosing a crowded truck stop or a dark parking lot. (Nothing against sleeping at either, it’s just that a campground is generally full of people camping like you.)
General Car Camping Safety Tips
Here are some great tips on car camping safety:
- If you’re car camping in a State or National Park, register at the ranger station (they’ll also have good advice on the best spots to park for the night.)
- Use apps such as iOverlander or the dyrt to find free campgrounds and similar resources.
- Consider reserving a campsite ahead of time – especially in National Parks, National Forests, and private campgrounds.
- Always back into your camping spot. Leave yourself plenty of room for a quick exit.
- Keep your keys where you can easily and quickly find them. (Locking your doors and hiding valuables is an obvious precaution of course.)
- Don’t share too much information with other campers – especially if you’re alone.
- Find a good spot to park before it’s dark.
- Always let a friend know where you are.
- Carry essentials like water and food – enough for two days at a minimum.
- Safety also means light and a charged phone when you need them
Here’s another great resource with safety tips that you can easily apply to sleep in your Jeep Renegade. This one’s courtesy of a husband and wife team (the Mandagies) who are professional photographers and writers. Basically, they share everything with you that they wish they had known before they set out on car camping adventures.
Safely Car Camping in Bear Country
A quick note on this one – the bottom line is that where bears are common, National Parks will have metal bear-proof lockers where you can store your food. Here’s a YouTube video that covers what else you need to know to ensure safety while sleeping in your Jeep Renegade in bear country.
Safely Sleeping in Your Jeep Renegade – Closing Thoughts
This article has provided you with information and resources to help ensure that you can safely (and comfortably!) sleep in your Jeep Renegade.
Remember, if for any reason you don’t feel safe, a huge advantage of car camping (especially in an SUV like the Jeep Renegade) is that you can just leave and drive to a safer spot.
Here’s to getting “out there” and enjoying your Jeep Renegade travel adventures!