Minivan “camper”for 3- the morning after

The minivan worked pretty well for a “camper”last night. We laid on yoga mats, blankets and thermarests, which provided limited comfort. We weren’t  sure how we would feel about sleeping in the van, so we didn’t want to invest in a mattress until we knew if we would like it.  We were warm enough while sleeping and breaking down camp was VERY simple! We told our kiddo to buckle up, the parents climbed in the front seats and we drove off.

We will need to make some changes to be comfortable for more than one night in a row.

  1. Organization/storage: We would like to add some kind of system to the van to store our belongings in an organized manner that does not take up too much floor space. I am considering modifying an over the door shoe organizer and hanging it from the “oh shit” handles. We also need a dirty clothes bag that seals in the smell.
  2. Sleeping pad- We needed something more substantial than our variety of sleeping pads that we used last night. We have gone through a number of air mattresses in our marriage and were not interested in using one in our van. Today we purchased two extra large orthopedic dog beds that fit almost perfectly in the back of the van. I am going to sew a couple of big pillow cases out of old sheets to fit them in to make them easier to keep clean and hold them together.  We tried it out this afternoon and it was much more comfortable than last nights “bed” but continues to be light, affordable and versatile.  Our youngest is sleeping on one tonight inside the house because it is so cozy. We are still trying to figure if there is any way to comfortably sleep 4 people in our van that does not have stow and go seating so we don’t want to take up extra room by building anything at this point.
  3. Because it was cold out the windows in the van were all closed. It became very humid in the van overnight. I saw someone mention filling tube socks with kitty litter to absorb moisture in the air. Has anyone tried this or have another solution? If so, please post your suggestions in the comments.
  4. An outside rug- it would be great to have a rug we can lay down by the door to wipe our shoes off before climbing in the van.  This would not be practical in parking lots, but very necessary in a campground.
  5. Screens- I plan to cut and sew some magnet strips into screen fabric so we can open up the van a bit when needed.

We will be using the van for about a week later this month- we will post a pic once we get it set up.
We have spent $80 so far on this project for the dog beds.

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