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Posted: 4/10/2016 11:05:00 PM EDT
So I'm going on a camping trip next month as a basic test of our 3 day bag. Most guys are bringing tents but I'm thinking just sleep in my truck cab. I've got a crew cab and I'm short so I fit well in the back seat. My question is do I need to keep a window rolled down 1/4 way? Half? None? I'm concerned about CO poisoning.

What are your thoughts?
Link Posted: 4/10/2016 11:11:56 PM EDT
Are you going to run your truck for heat? Other heat source? For safety you want to keep the window open a little.

I have a Coleman catalytic heater I use for this that works great.  I bought a battery powered CO alarm that I also use for safety when using the heater.
Link Posted: 4/10/2016 11:19:07 PM EDT
No. I won't need a heat source in May.

It will just be me that needs to keep breathing
Link Posted: 4/10/2016 11:20:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2016 11:25:55 PM EDT by sandboxmedic]
Are you planning to keep the vehicle running or cook in it?  Animals exhale CO2 and moisture.  Most vehicles aren't sealed well enough to cause a problem for one person for one night but you'll want to crack a window, or better yet two, to allow fresh air in as well as moisture to escape.  Vehicles are not intended to be sleeping quarters and as such the manufacturers rarely treat the interiors well, i.e. paint or other coating.  Moisture build up would be minimal in one night but if it's something you plan to do more often it becomes a consideration, especially in colder months where the vehicle may not get hot enough inside to dry it out.  Sounds fishy I know, but next time you're in a junk yard, look inside old RVs, camper cans and VW buses and notice where the inside rust is, usually behind any stoves and near the sleeping areas.  I've restored a couple of VW campers and stripping and coating the interior behind the panels is always one of the first things I did.  

You can buy or build mosquito screens for your windows but on my old VWs I used to just drape a net over the door openings and use some magnets to hold them in place.  I do the same with the back of my Tacoma when I want to leave the camper shell open at night.


ETA, just as an aside, I also carried a CO/smoke detector in the VWs because I did occasionally cook in them as well as run a Buddy heater if it was really cold.  Do not trust the Buddy Heaters alone, they have a low O2 sensor, not a CO sensor.  I always left the windows cracked to help prevent moisture build up (since it freezes to the inside of the windows and is a pain to clear in the morning or if you need to egress for some reason; I never had the alarm go off.
Link Posted: 4/10/2016 11:32:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2016 11:33:11 PM EDT by DogWizard]
I drive halfway across the country once or twice a year and usually default to sleeping in the truck if possible. For the few hours I sleep (5-6 max) on a trip like that, it beats the hassle (and cost) of tracking down a motel that takes dogs at 1:00 AM. I just hang privacy screens on the windows and crack the rear windows a couple inches just in case.

Not always the most comfortable (and the wife will probably not ever do it again) but with a little ventilation and reasonable temps, you should be fine.

Link Posted: 4/10/2016 11:45:23 PM EDT
I sleep in my SUV when I overnight in the desert.  Never a problem yet.

No CO from respiration as noted above.

Should you run low on oxygen, which you won't, you would wake up first.  Otherwise there would be a bunch of mysterious sleeping deaths while camping, and there are not.

Link Posted: 4/10/2016 11:50:40 PM EDT
You don't produce CO, the truck does when it's running.  You produce CO2.

Just crack a couple of the windows, you'll be fine.

If it feels stuffy just open them a little more.
Link Posted: 4/10/2016 11:52:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2016 11:55:37 PM EDT by williewvr]
Run the AC with the vent open (not on recirc). Half the pickups (probably more than half) in the oilfield have guys sleeping in them every day. If your extra careful get a co2 alarm. I've slept in a duel cab truck for years. I'm 6'9", you just have to want to.

Edit: from what I've read of death by carbon dioxide it's usually in the winter I guess the piled snow etc holds the gas around the truck
Link Posted: 4/10/2016 11:54:27 PM EDT
Spent tons of time sleeping in my explorer when I was living in the Gulf moving around after the hurricanes and running from them and such.



Definitely going to want to crack a window, especially in a truck cab as the amount of moisture you exhale while sleeping is mind boggling.




If you're worried about bugs and crap, pick up some cheap mesh and cut so you can close it in the door and drape on the outside so it rests over the open window. If you want to be tricky I suppose you could glue magnets to the it and just slap it on. That would allow keeping it open more than just a crack.
Link Posted: 4/11/2016 12:37:59 AM EDT
Leave the two front windows open about an inch.  It is best to let farts out.  It also keeps the cooler air off of your neck so you dont get a stiff neck.  The rear bench seat needs to be flat.  Some have a hump in the middle so the kids sit higher.  Those suck to sleep on with your hip higher than your head by a few inches.
Link Posted: 4/11/2016 2:44:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/11/2016 2:46:32 AM EDT by Skibane]
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Originally Posted By williewvr:
If your extra careful get a co2 alarm.
View Quote


You're confusing carbon dioxide (CO2) with carbon monoxide (CO).

When you exhale, you produce CO2. It's not poisonous, and only causes health problems when present in very high concentrations.

For this reason, nobody makes a CO2 alarm.

When fuel is burned, CO can be produced - which is very poisonous.

For this reason, plenty of companies make CO alarms.
Link Posted: 4/11/2016 3:00:53 AM EDT

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Originally Posted By Skibane:
You're confusing carbon dioxide (CO2) with carbon monoxide (CO).



When you exhale, you produce CO2. It's not poisonous, and only causes health problems when present in very high concentrations.



For this reason, nobody makes a CO2 alarm.



When fuel is burned, CO can be produced - which is very poisonous.



For this reason, plenty of companies make CO alarms.
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Originally Posted By Skibane:



Originally Posted By williewvr:

If your extra careful get a co2 alarm.




You're confusing carbon dioxide (CO2) with carbon monoxide (CO).



When you exhale, you produce CO2. It's not poisonous, and only causes health problems when present in very high concentrations.



For this reason, nobody makes a CO2 alarm.



When fuel is burned, CO can be produced - which is very poisonous.



For this reason, plenty of companies make CO alarms.
Read what the OP is doing, truck won't be running, he's not worried about CO, he's worried about Co2 which displaces O2 in confined environments (like a truck cab potentially could be) which is what the guy you quoted to responded to.



They do in fact make all sorts of c02 alarms. Though in this particular case a low O2 alarm would be better.








 





Link Posted: 4/11/2016 5:26:35 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/11/2016 9:57:03 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Madcap72:
(snip)...
Definitely going to want to crack a window, especially in a truck cab as the amount of moisture you exhale while sleeping is mind boggling.
....(snip)

View Quote

I agree with this, try opening two for cross ventilation. Also if you are testing your 3 Day bag is your truck part of the 3 Day kit? Might want to try sleeping sans truck.
Link Posted: 4/11/2016 12:17:48 PM EDT
Its not a big deal just do it.
Link Posted: 4/11/2016 12:56:48 PM EDT
Seriously not a big deal.
Link Posted: 4/11/2016 2:31:45 PM EDT
It will get gamey as hell in there if you don't crack a window.
Link Posted: 4/11/2016 5:16:11 PM EDT

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By two4spooky:





I agree with this, try opening two for cross ventilation. Also if you are testing your 3 Day bag is your truck part of the 3 Day kit? Might want to try sleeping sans truck.
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Originally Posted By two4spooky:



Originally Posted By Madcap72:

(snip)...

Definitely going to want to crack a window, especially in a truck cab as the amount of moisture you exhale while sleeping is mind boggling.

....(snip)





I agree with this, try opening two for cross ventilation. Also if you are testing your 3 Day bag is your truck part of the 3 Day kit? Might want to try sleeping sans truck.
Kind of what I'm thinking as well.

 






Trucks don't fit well in three day bags.
Link Posted: 4/11/2016 5:21:15 PM EDT
Get a cheap foam pad for a twin bed.  You want to have it double thick next to the backrest where the seat angles down, and a single layer at the edge, and figure out where you work this out based on the seat design.  This will also help with most seats having indentations for 3 people built into it along with the belt buckles and stuff.  Most foam for a twin bed should probably be able to fold 2 to 3 times.  I am iffy on memory foam, I have it and used to like it but lately I don't like it but the one I have is old.  I kind of miss the super basic yellow cheap foam mattress toppers.



As far as fresh air, I would not worry about it.  Old trucks are probably drafty and new trucks have little louvers for when air bags go off.  But leave it cracked if you like, lets you hear noises.



I would crack it a tiny bit.



If you need heat a candle or two will keep a truck cab warm I bet, does depend on temps for where you live.  Note the tn by my name.



I have slept in vehicles over the years and some of my best nights were in the drivers seat with it reclined.  
Link Posted: 4/11/2016 5:41:57 PM EDT
I sleep in my truck all the time, just keep a window or two cracked an inch and you'll have zero issues.  Not a big deal at all.  Dont overthink this at all
Link Posted: 4/11/2016 6:27:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/11/2016 6:28:26 PM EDT by Skibane]
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Originally Posted By Waldo:

Have fun. I've found that truck seats are almost impossible for me to sleep on since they're made to be sat on instead of laid across.  I've never been able to get any sleep when I tried it other than nodding off for a few minutes at a time.  I just can't do it.
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"Contoured" and/or angled seat cushions are not comfortable for sleeping.

If you fold the rear seats down, it makes a flatter, more supportive surface for a plywood sleeping platform. The platform can extend well beyond the front edge of the back seat - particularly if you slide the front seats forward.

Lay a foam pad on top of the platform, and you've got a flat, level, much bigger sleeping area.
Link Posted: 4/11/2016 6:31:15 PM EDT
Lol OP won't you know yourself if you're hot or cold? Open or don't open windows based on that.  It's not rocket appliances.
Link Posted: 4/11/2016 6:42:10 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Click2Boom:
Lol OP won't you know yourself if you're hot or cold? Open or don't open windows based on that. It's not rocket appliances.
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Ricky is that you?  How are Bubbles and Julian?
Link Posted: 4/11/2016 6:45:24 PM EDT
I've slept in the cab of my truck a lot but never overnight.  I never even thought about running out of air
Link Posted: 4/11/2016 6:55:17 PM EDT
I've slept in a van before and then in the back of a station wagon while camping.  I'm fairly sure that neither of them were sealed really well.  Didn't use a heat source inside.

Just hopped in the sleeping back and went to sleep.  It was COLD during one of those nights, and I wish I did have a heat source, but ended up being OK.
Link Posted: 4/11/2016 8:13:16 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/11/2016 10:36:36 PM EDT
methane...
Link Posted: 4/11/2016 10:50:02 PM EDT
Get a set of WeatherTech side window deflectors (link) and crack the side windows about 1 to 1.5 inch.  The deflectors will allow some ventilation and keep rain out.

Link Posted: 4/11/2016 11:15:46 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Waldo:


Not worth the trouble. Sleeping in my truck is a last resort type of thing for me. I've tried it twice. Once when I got to a trailhead in the middle of the night and didn't want to set up my tent, and once when I ended up with a river flowing underneath my tent after a day long rain. (bad campsite, not much room, ect).

99% of the time I'd rather sleep in a little backpacking tent.

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Originally Posted By Waldo:
Originally Posted By Skibane:
Originally Posted By Waldo:

Have fun. I've found that truck seats are almost impossible for me to sleep on since they're made to be sat on instead of laid across.  I've never been able to get any sleep when I tried it other than nodding off for a few minutes at a time.  I just can't do it.


"Contoured" and/or angled seat cushions are not comfortable for sleeping.

If you fold the rear seats down, it makes a flatter, more supportive surface for a plywood sleeping platform. The platform can extend well beyond the front edge of the back seat - particularly if you slide the front seats forward.

Lay a foam pad on top of the platform, and you've got a flat, level, much bigger sleeping area.


Not worth the trouble. Sleeping in my truck is a last resort type of thing for me. I've tried it twice. Once when I got to a trailhead in the middle of the night and didn't want to set up my tent, and once when I ended up with a river flowing underneath my tent after a day long rain. (bad campsite, not much room, ect).

99% of the time I'd rather sleep in a little backpacking tent.



This x 1000

Did it for exactly this reason...miserable..never again.  I'd rather sleep on open ground with no cover than try it again.
Link Posted: 4/12/2016 7:04:46 PM EDT
Toss a tarp over the back and sleep in the bed.  Its called a bed for a reason!!!
Link Posted: 4/13/2016 10:53:01 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Waldo:
Have fun. I've found that truck seats are almost impossible for me to sleep on since they're made to be sat on instead of laid across.  I've never been able to get any sleep when I tried it other than nodding off for a few minutes at a time.  I just can't do it.
View Quote


this.  I don't think I'd try anymore unless it was a situation where I had to.  
I've never gotten any quality rest sleeping in a truck cab (and quality sleep is important during a real shtf stress situation).
I'd go with sleeping pads in the bed or a cot in the bed, maybe hang a tarp or mosquito bar over the bed; hence why I like sleeping in a hammock.
Not trying to discourage you; just something to consider as an option.  
Link Posted: 4/14/2016 8:45:53 AM EDT
Quit worrying about what other people think.  Go sleep in your truck tonight in the driveway.
Link Posted: 4/14/2016 9:23:49 PM EDT
Do it a lot in suv back seat is fine.   I also have big sleeping pad I put down as well.    I have blanket and am very comfortable.
Link Posted: 4/15/2016 7:48:54 AM EDT
When I was much younger, I used to like to work double or even triple shifts at work. I "lived" 50 miles away so I would often sleep in my p'up. I kept a kit with everything I needed to make myself as comfortable as possible. It was in a huge secured parking lot so no worries about goblins. This was Florida, so I often slept in the bed of the truck with a mosquito net stretched over the rails. The only problem with that was by morning the heavy dew would soak the outer cover of my sleeping bag. Still, the cab was just to damn stifling so unless it was raining I usually slept in the back. I always kept a MAG-Lite and a wide mouth bottle handy. We had a locker room at work so I could shower and shave before each shift. Sometimes my p'up wouldn't move for more than a week so I saved on gasoline as well. It was not much more than a minimum wage job but the way I worked it, I was making a lot of money. When I did take a day or two off, I would spend most of it on girls and beer and just wasted the rest. I probably should have invested in a camper top.

Link Posted: 4/18/2016 EDT
Surprised no one has mentioned sleeping in the front seats. I have done this dozens of times for work and play. I slide the seat as far back as possible and then recline it. Much better than laying across a bench seat. Passenger side has more room for your feet, too.
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 12:59:57 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Scorpion40:
Surprised no one has mentioned sleeping in the front seats. I have done this dozens of times for work and play. I slide the seat as far back as possible and then recline it. Much better than laying across a bench seat. Passenger side has more room for your feet, too.
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This. Bring a blanket and/or something to use as a pillow, kick your shoes off and pass out. Also, an otc sleep aid will help you give extra help to stay asleep if you can't get comfortable.
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 1:09:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/18/2016 1:17:58 PM EDT by Ranchhand365]
OP - 100% Non-Issue.

As many have said you need to crack the windows to keep the condensation from your breath fogging up the windows. If your truck is new, I would be more concerned about the smell from the urethane out-gassing.

I have been a mountain bum for 40 some yrs and probably have a year of sleeping the back of my truck / van. Just got back from a 1800 mile loop trip to see the desert flowers. Down to Death Valley and then pissed on the Mexican border. My son and I slept in the van. Far easier and more convenient than fooling with a tent. When it is time to move, take the boxes off the roof and go.... (BTW - The desert was damn cool - everything was in bloom.)

Sleeping in the truck:
If the back seat is not flat get some plywood for your truck bed. I had plywood in the bed of my truck when I live in the packing lot - Camp 4, Yosemite. Much better than the bed ribbing.

Link Posted: 4/18/2016 11:32:03 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By wheelchairman:
No. I won't need a heat source in May.

It will just be me that needs to keep breathing
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I don't see why you'd have to, unless you want some fresh air coming into the cab
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 1:00:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/19/2016 1:02:30 AM EDT by hkmp5s]
I would look in the owners manual and see what they say. Some vehicles weren't designed to be slept in and it might effect your warranty.
 
I would also make sure your parked and not try sleeping while driving down the road.
Link Posted: 4/19/2016 9:56:52 PM EDT
About a year ago my mom ended up in a Nashville ER with a brain tumor.  She was unconscious and my wife and aunt were by her side so I opted to go to the truck to try and sleep.  I'd been working all day, drove 2 hrs to Nashville at midnight, and it was about 3am.  

It was AWFUL.  I did fall asleep, but only because I was so exhausted.  It was cold out and I would turn the truck on for a few and warm it up then shut it off.  It would get cold again almost immediately.  It was a 4-door Ford F150 and I was sleeping in the back seat laid across it with some coats for a pillow.  

I don't recommend it if there is any other option.

BTW, mom's actually doing good in spite of being diagnosed with Grade 4 brain cancer.
Link Posted: 4/20/2016 12:09:02 PM EDT
I lived in a vehicle for 14 months. Lowest temps were 6f and with a sleeping bag I didn't need to keep it running. Roll Windows down 2 inches. Condensation builds on the inside and will freeze, which sucks, lol.
Link Posted: 4/20/2016 11:14:41 PM EDT



I've driven across the country a couple dozen times and lived in a 4x4 Astro van on and off for a couple years as well.  The colder it is, the more important it is to vent due to your breath fogging/freezing the windows up.  Just a crack is all that's needed.


That being said, unless it's the back of a van or pick up, I absolutely refuse to sleep in a vehicle.  I just can't sleep for shit in either the front or back seats.  I always go to ground, on a foam pad, in a sleeping bag and bivy sac if precip is likely.  


Before my vans, on roadtrips or moving between jobs, I slept in some pretty crazy places.  "Sleeping" as opposed to "camping." Obviously, urban areas are the sketchiest.  The tops of buildings or shipping containers work well.  As long as no one sees you, you're golden.  Good times...

Link Posted: 4/21/2016 8:30:45 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By plinker8:

Ricky is that you?  How are Bubbles and Julian?
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Originally Posted By plinker8:
Originally Posted By Click2Boom:
Lol OP won't you know yourself if you're hot or cold? Open or don't open windows based on that. It's not rocket appliances.

Ricky is that you?  How are Bubbles and Julian?


Yeah i don't think he's very smart.

I didn't realize this thread had grown so much. Let me address questions and concerns

First... As stated I won't be using a heat source or cooking inside my truck. It's simply for sleeping purposes. In Missouri on May 14-16 it shouldn't be below 55 degrees.
Second... It's more of a trip where this would be the BOL. At this point there are no buildings on it. So yes, a truck does fit in a 3 day pack because I've gotta get there. I use a wheelchair to get around so tents don't work all that great. It's hard to get into and maneuver without destroying the floor. Leaving the chair outside the tent isn't an option in rain. Keeping it and myself dry in the truck solves both problems.

Third... Thank you for all your input. I truly feel better knowing that it's not a big concern. I'd napped in the truck before on cross country trips to visit family but never more than a couple hours.
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