How to Sleep Comfortably in a Pickup Truck Bed

Written by emily smit
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How to Sleep Comfortably in a Pickup Truck Bed
Pump the air bed full with the air pump. (green footpum image by bluefern from Fotolia.com)

Truck camping is useful for travellers who don't want to spend money on hotel or motel accommodations while on a road trip. Basically, with a little extra time, planning, and a few props, your transportation becomes your accommodation as well. Plus, in addition to saving you money, truck bed bunking is time efficient and can be incredibly comfortable when done correctly.

How to Sleep Comfortably in a Pickup Truck Bed
Pump the air bed full with the air pump. (green footpum image by bluefern from Fotolia.com)

Insert the air pump nozzle into the air hole in the air bed and pump air into the mattress until it is the desired firmness.

How to Sleep Comfortably in a Pickup Truck Bed
Cover your air bed. (floorbed image by Adrian Hillman from Fotolia.com)

Place the air bed in the pickup truck bed and cover it with an unzipped sleeping bag or thick blanket or quilt, tucking corners underneath the mattress.

How to Sleep Comfortably in a Pickup Truck Bed
Hook your tarp with bungee cords. (bungee cord with hooks on a white background image by photooiasson from Fotolia.com)

Hook bungee cords into all four corners of the tarp, attaching two of the cords to the cab of the truck (at least a foot from where the cab ends and the truck bed begins).

How to Sleep Comfortably in a Pickup Truck Bed
Secure the tarp to tent poles. (toile plastique image by Jacques PALUT from Fotolia.com)

Pull the other end of the tarp over the bed of the truck, and out behind it, stretching it out like an awning. Keep these two end corners in place by hoisting them up with a tent pole on each corner. Push the other end of the poles into the ground behind your truck. This part of the tarp should be slightly lower to the ground, so that rain water can drain off.

How to Sleep Comfortably in a Pickup Truck Bed
Position your truck to face the rising sun. (Crooked Tree, Straight Tree at Sunset image by loongirl from Fotolia.com)

Add your blanket and your pillow to the truck bed and you're ready to go. Also, if you don't want to be woken up by the sun, aim your truck facing directly where the sun will rise. This will buy you a little more time, and prevent the bed from overheating.

Tip

If you decide to make truck camping a regular practice, you may choose to line your truck bed with carpet or raise your mattress by using a makeshift wooden bed frame. These steps could make your nights more comfortable and leave room underneath the mattress for storing supplies. If you are stopping somewhere with lots of insects, you may also want to invest in a mesh lining to cover the truck bed and protect you from being bitten by insects overnight.

Warning

Do not run a space heater in an enclosed space. Doing so in your truck bed could result in fire or put your health at risk.

Tips and warnings

  • If you decide to make truck camping a regular practice, you may choose to line your truck bed with carpet or raise your mattress by using a makeshift wooden bed frame. These steps could make your nights more comfortable and leave room underneath the mattress for storing supplies. If you are stopping somewhere with lots of insects, you may also want to invest in a mesh lining to cover the truck bed and protect you from being bitten by insects overnight.
  • Do not run a space heater in an enclosed space. Doing so in your truck bed could result in fire or put your health at risk.

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