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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know I am asking a lot of questions here. :lol:

When you lay the front and back seats down to make a bed, it looks a bit ... uncomfortable to me. Kinda on the lumpy side. Has anyone done any car camping in their Element and slept on the seat like this yet?

I'm thinking of doing it and ... it looks painful.

Perhaps whipping the seats up to the wall and using an air mattress on the floor would be better, yes?

Anyone wanna share their thoughts and experiences...
 

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There are several posts about air beds and sleeping in the E.

Use the Search function above and you will turn up many posts!
 

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Wife and I went out last night laid down the seats inflated a Full size air mattress. It was comfortable but it took up too much room. Also, it put us at the same levels of the window w/o the privacy cover we seen every car the went by I'm on my out today to buy a 2 small packpacking selfinflating pads so we can flip the seats up to the side and sleep on the floor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
[quote:a89af3c653="Spanky526"]Wife and I went out last night laid down the seats inflated a Full size air mattress. It was comfortable but it took up too much room. Also, it put us at the same levels of the window w/o the privacy cover we seen every car the went by.[/quote:a89af3c653]

Oh, that's not good.(G) Le'me know how sleeping on the floor works out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
[quote:2a54733bc2="StLouisPenguin"]There are several posts about air beds and sleeping in the E.
Use the search function on and you will turn up many posts![/quote:2a54733bc2]

Thanks Diane
 

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I slept on the seats with my boyfriend on fourth of july up in big bear. It wasn't that confortable for my boyfriend but for me it was fine. =)
 

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I wonder if an AeroBed would work in the E. They inflate with little motor and come in a bag. Don't our outlets in the back (on the EX) accomodate an electrical device? Haven't tried that yet.

I'd make do with something like a sleeping bag or egg crate foam, but it's not only that I'm a big girl, I am known for being very active in bed. :shock: :p :wink:

AHEM! I move around a lot, sprawl, flop, pull the covers away from the mattress, untuck the blanket, all kinds of rubbish. I only sleep with relatively little thrash at home, and that's probably only because catz and the dawg have joined me in bed and decided to take up ALL the room. Darned beasts!
 

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Grant and I bought a Full Size Aero Bed and an adaptor to use in the 12v jack. We have not tried it out yet, we are going camping next weekend.

But there is another post with pictures, they used a twin size, but then there are gaps all around....I figured this way with the full size I can inflate it to fill in the whole bottom of the E.

Someone also posted about throwing their old full size futon in the back of the E and it being totally comfy.

Good Luck!
 

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When I go camping, I sleep in the tent, on a thin foam mattress pad, which is totally good for me. I use the E for a support vehicle, boat shuttle and storage unit.
My question is this: When you sleep in the car, where do you put your stuff? I have never been at a camping site where there wasn't a critter issue, be it racoons, bears, possums, alligators or what have you I like the capability of shutting up my perishables and eatables in the car. That can't happen if you're sleeping in it. Also if I have to drive the car to the lake/river/swamp to put the boats in, I don't want to take my bed and leave all my stuff behind or have to repack my bed everyday. Is it me, or do you guys just camp in parking lots where you don't have to worry about these things?
This is what my E replaced for camping purposes.

http://community.webshots.com/photo/64734327/64742702ePzWgO
 

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In the past, or like I like to refer to it as B.E. (Before Element)....we used to take our normal sleeping tent for our sleeping only (just big enough for our sleeping bags and ourselves) and a second Gazebo style tent with misquito netting. In the second larger tent we hold all of our supplies, chairs, table, coolers, etc.

Now with the E we are going to try to sleep in the E and just set up the larger tent as our "all purpose" tent. This is of course only for weekend camping trips, if we go for a longer period of time we would not sleep in the E due to needing the car to go places, but on our short weekend trips we like to just go to a spot and stay.

This is another reason for picking a great campsite with trails and water and all the needs of a camping penguin!
 

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Diane: Can't wait to hear how it goes camping with the aero bed. Please let us get full details when you return from your camping trip.
 

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We went with a twin-sized Target brand air mattress - didya know that each standard mattress size varies several inches depending on the manufacturer? Coleman's twin, for example states on the box to be 37" wide. Target's mattress is 40", which is only an inch or so on each side narrower than the floor of the E. Once you lay on it, the mattress poufs out a little and fills the width very nicely.

This is a smidge embarrassing, but, well... I'm a big guy and my wife is... um, voluptuous. In the secrecy of our test lab (aka inside the garage at home) we had tried folding the seats down and laying atop them and that seemed quite comfy enough. At floor level, however, we found that we felt like we had much less shoulder room and were really cramped. We made it through the night, but not exactly in the most restful comfort ever. :oops:

Now, we we sleeping with our heads down at the tailgate but I think that we're agreed that it might've been better sleeping with our heads up by the front of the E because it seems like the floor widens a bit forward of the stash pockets in the back. And that would make the gear stowed in the front seats much more accessable too.

The other option we've discussed is slightly under-inflating the mattress on top of the folded-down seats, but I know that the privacy issue could likely be a show-stopper for Dede. Anybody tried this option?

The last option that I can think of - still trying to make use of the new Cabana and sleep inside the vehicle - is to sleep in the head-to-feet configuration that ya used to do when you spent the night over at a friend's house when you were a kid. Not exactly intimate, but would allow for more shoulder room. :?

Bearing in mind that we're bonafide city-slickers to begin with and that our first outing - and the previously described less-than-restful night - has dulled Dede's enthusiasm a bit for the whole camping thang, I'm looking for anything to make the next trial run more successful. We're a couple of high-maintenance people desperately trying to become more low maintenance. :wink:

Last thing that I was totally unprepared for... how loud that little air pump would be. I had tested it back at home, but when you fire up one of those li'l puppies at midnight in a silent-as-can-be campground... Whoa! :shock:

 

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I find it pretty confortable I'm six foot I sleep in mine all the time. I surf and wakeboard sometime both in the same day. This is usually when I need sleep. It takes alittle fiddling with, to find out how to get comfortable. but once you figure it out it's great. However these pesky 2 legged animals keep looking in my vehicle while I am sleeping (daytime).
 

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One thought to consider...

Since the seats are adjustable, you can move them to compensate for any slope that you may be parked on. I had to park on a moderate slope while car camping in Vermont, and by adjusting the seats, I could still star-gaze out the sunroof without all the blood rushing to my head.

Also, being a backpacker, I usually store all my gear in a large backpack, which isn't all that obtrusive when pushed towards the front of the truck. Also, there is room beneath the back seats to stow two duffle bags for clothes (even with the Cabana in place).
 

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I found the Double size Coleman mattress was the perfect fit for the E at window height. The two of us were more than comfortable sleeping in this thing for the better part of a week. I gota say this was the most pleasureable camping trip we have ever taken. Heavy rains made it uncomfortable for the tent people.
The only hardship we suffered was we could not hear Terminator 3 movie playing in the back while we were waiting for the loud pounding rain to stop :)

http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3526
mattress shown in this thread
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just in case anyone is wondering, just laying the seat back and putting a jacket under your head is still pretty comfy. I just did some adlib car camping and it worked just peachy. :)
 

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On my first camping trip, I slept on the seats fully reclined -- there is a hump where the two meet and even a Therm-A-Rest mattress didn't help. My head kept sliding toward the steering wheel and it made storage and access difficult. Next, I bought a Serta inflatable twin mattress at Target. It comes with a cordless pump that really does work in 5 minutes. Fits perfectly in the back and was MUCh more comfortable than the folded seats.
 

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I tried it and just folded down the seats, and put the airmattress on top... you get more shoulder room and more room to store stuff in the E. :) You can even fit some small stuff under the chairs.

I have the privacy curtain, so that helped.

As far as blowing it up - I bought an inverter and used a standard home electric pump. You can buy a car electric pump too. Target, the "store of choice" for E drivers, had both the mattress and the pumps.

Happy Camping! :)
 

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My wife and I recently took a trip to the Boundary Water Canoe Area (BWCA) on the Minnesota - Canada Boarder.

Camping in the E worked out perfect as our put in was at the end of a long dirt road and about an hour from any sanctioned camping sites. All of the gear and packs were stuffed on and under the dash with our heads toward the rear.

We slid into our bags, adjusted the seats to our personal preference (a little sliding around required), put the screen in the sunroof and slept like babies! At a height of 6'3'' I did manage to kick the horn once. . WOW is that loud at 3 am . . . but we just switched sides and all was good :D

In the morning all we had to do was load the Canoe and off we went! Easy as pie!
 
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