Many travellers buy a camper van, RV, mini-van or just a van. That might be the right solution because you have a lot of space. Well, we didn´t – so we have a kind of challenge. The challenge to deal with little space.
So we decided to buy a Pick UP with a hardcover on the load area. The length is round about 1.8 meters and the width like 1 meter and 20 centimetres — enough space for two people to sleep.
Make it ready!
After we bought our car, we drove to a hardware store and rent a cordless screwdriver and bought screws and wood. Entirely: We could cut the wood in the hardware store. So we just had to know how big each piece of wood must be. Then we build our bedstead, bought a wood plate, fix the bed in the load area – and we were done. After that, we bought a mattress, pillows and sleeping bags and the car was ready.
For more comfort, we also build a drawer we placed under the bed. The drawer makes it easier to use the whole place under our bed. Beside the drawer, we have space for other things or smaller boxes.
In the load area, we place camping stuff, food, water, shoes, things we don’t use every single day and clothes for the next day. In the driver cabin, we have our clothes, my lovely guitar and our daily backpacks.
In the first weeks, we had a lot of problems with our space, chaos and we always had to search for things, and it looks like a dump. But day by day we learn better to use the space we have, and we have more space than items. That is pretty awesome. But, maybe you have already seen it, sometimes we have to climb under our bed to get some stuff. Because we only have one drawer and cannot build a drawer for the left and right side because of the wheel well. Furthermore, we find an excellent concept for space in the driver cabin. Our two back seats transformed into a kind of shelves for our big backpacks, where our clothes are.
So you see, you can learn to live without much space. And looking at our car is incredible – always. Its a vehicle for our eyes. Despite blemishes.
But we understand people who are buying a camper van. The most significant negative point of a pick up is that you have to leave the sleeping area to come to the driver cabin for a drive. So you have always to leave the car – and if the air is fresh – well, you have fun. Furthermore, you can´t heat the area, so you have to find a way. We decided on the most cheapie way: We bought a bottle for water, cooking water and then we put the bottle into our sleeping bags. And that works pretty well. But the summer goes hot – so you need it on cold days.
Another point is that we cannot sit in the back, so we say:
“we sleep in the car, but we live in coffee shops.”
That´s pretty true. On rainy days or if we have nothing to do we are going to Starbucks, Tim Hortons or whatever. Most pros: Wifi, Plugs, and it is warm. Because our driver cabin is not that comfortable for just sitting there for the “whole” day. But when the day is beautiful:
“we sleep in the car, but we live in the world.”
But it is dangerous?
Living on the street
Well, I wouldn’t say it is really dangerous. So we always close everything at night, we have a window we can lock, but our “door” to our sleeping area is mostly open when we sleep. We cannot lock our door from the inside, so we had to found a way to make it safe, that nobody wants to trie to tickle our feet. However, there are more hazards like bears or other wildlife. Until now I would say we are safe there, but we never tested it out, and we would prefer we never have to. But one thing is clear, we cannot leave the place, because if we want to drive, we have to exit the load area first. And I don´t think, that you want to go outside when there is a bear. But for this, you have bear spray, a loud music box or whatever. Usually, wildlife does not care about you, so normally animals avoid you. But sure, if you leave the place beside your car with food, or you have strong smelling food in your vehicle, you became visitors :).
As a conclusion I would say, a road trip in a pick up is a lovely adventure. We are looking forward to our big road trip, and we still love our car. But we met other travellers with an RV, and yes, it is comfortable. But we can park anywhere, and people typically do not think, that somebody is sleeping inside the car. So you are more undercover, and it is easier to find the right spot to nap.
However, if you plan to sleep in a car while your road trip: it is your road trip, your style and your dream. And nobody can take it.
your travelers Alex and Janik