Can you sleep under a tonneau cover?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Can you sleep under a tonneau cover? We will discuss the idea of camping with your pick-up truck and give you advice on how to sleep comfortably even under a tonneau cover. 

Can you sleep under a tonneau cover?

Yes, you can sleep under a tonneau cover. In fact, there are many people who go camping with their pick-ups without a truck camper! 

A tonneau cover is either a sof soft or a hard cover placed over the bed of a truck to improve aerodynamics and protect cargo.  It comes in different styles: some can be retracted or raised, while some can be folded back. There are also different materials used to make tonneau covers, such as vinyl, leather, canvas and polyester for soft covers, and fibreglass and aluminum for hardcovers.

If you’re adventurous, camping in a pick-up is a great alternative to buying an RV. Camping under a tonneau cover offers several key advantages over traditional tent camping, for example. It is more comfortable, safe, convenient and cheap. With a few thousand dollars, you can optimize your pickup truck to make it one of the most comfortable camping spaces.

You don’t have to worry about having an XL size pickup. A well-prepared midsize pickup works well. Larger trucks can even be problematic as they provide less mobility, consume a lot of gasoline, and may be out of place on smaller roads due to their weight and size.

Here are five essential camping items that you should always carry with you if you plan on sleeping under a tonneau cover:

  1. An air mattress
  2. A tent or tarp
  3. A portable grill
  4. A light source
  5. A comfortable chair and an awning.

Below we explain why we have chosen these five items and why they are important for a good night’ sleep under a tonneau cover.

Items you need to sleep under a tonneau cover

  • An air mattress: Now that you are spending time in the back of your truck you don’t need to have a bad night, you should have a mattress that has good air and is thick. The intention here is to have a good time and not wake up the next day with back pain and aching bones.

A good night’s rest is essential if you want to wake up refreshed and ready to hit the trails before everyone else. For all of this to work the right way you must have a good quality mattress that lasts all night long that can withstand a lot of abuse and is easy to inflate and deflate.

Make sure it is large enough to fit in the back, but not so large that you have room to store items such as water and other important items.

  • A tent or canvas: It would be ideal and I understand that you might want to sleep while looking at the stars and listening to the calming sounds of nature. But you know that at any moment the weather can change and instead of having a good night it can turn into a bad night where you end up wet.

A rooftop tent would be ideal for protection from the elements. A 100% waterproof tent or tarp that can be easily set up in minutes is what you should be looking for. That would be the ideal and comfortable way to spend the whole night, warm and protected with an option to uncover the roof to enjoy the stars, if you wish.

  • A portable grill: What would it be like to go camping without having to prepare your own hot dinner in the open air? The first thing you should do is investigate in advance if the place where you will be camping is allowed to make bonfires or have grills.

Whether it is allowed or not, there is nothing wrong with bringing your own portable grill to prepare your meals. Just make sure you don’t use it too close to the air mattress. It is an excellent idea to bring a small table that is specifically to put the grill, as well as your kitchen equipment. You should find one that is large enough and can be easily stowed away after your trip.

  • A light source: Remember one hour when the sun sets you will need a fountain to illuminate the area where you will be camping. In addition to a light source to aid you in your camp, you will also need some other portable light sources that you can easily grab when you are moving around the camp.

There is nothing uglier than going to the bathroom in the dark.

  • A comfortable chair and an awning: Well after a long day having fun on difficult terrain where you had to walk too much and when you return to the base you want to put your feet up, rest and relax. It is very exhausting and tiring to be getting in and out of your truck. A great option is to turn your campsite into a comfortable area by putting up an awning and some chairs to relax.

The tonneau cover will provide you with enough much-needed shade after the sun during the day and will give you some shelter at night while you relax and enjoy your dinner. Both the chairs and tonneau cover you choose should be easy to install and also fold up and store in your truck without taking up too much space.

You see that there is no need to have a large modified truck to go camping, your modest truck without being modified can serve you to enjoy nature, after all the most time you will spend in nature walking and driving and only a few hours will you spend sleeping!

Where and how can you camp in a pick-up truck?

There are designated camping areas throughout the USA for trucks, cars, and tents. These grounds are usually well prepared, with a fire pit, a picnic table, electricity, and a nearby water source. It is advisable to visit the local police station or call them to inform them of your stay.

Your truck pickup is going to be your home away from home. Living there can be a disaster while you are in nature. Before leaving, do a thorough cleaning of the truck. Uninstall accessories like cargo bars and toolboxes to reach the smallest spots. This will also ensure that you have enough space for the base of the bed.

Consider travelling with bags that help keep everything organized. Avoid throwing objects and forgetting about them. Stack your boots and all dirty items in a garbage bag. You can broom or vacuum the pickup each night before you go to sleep. To maintain a clean camping environment, consider using a biodegradable dishwasher to wash dishes and toss leftovers in a trash can. This way you will avoid attracting animals and dirtying the environment.

You want to keep animals and critters away as much as possible. Hang your food high up in a tree if you can. This will keep most animals away and give you a safe distance from your truck. Food, like chocolate bars and other leftovers, attracts a lot of bugs. Store your food, toiletries, and leftovers in steel boxes and use a bug-proof container to dispose of leftovers and unwanted toiletries.

If you’re interested in fishing, it means you’ll be spending time in mosquito-infested environments. Consider bringing biodegradable mosquito repellent to keep mosquitoes and other critters away. Avoid leaving standing water in containers and containers around your truck. This will prevent you from giving the insects a home.

Final thoughts

When you go camping with your pick-up truck, make sure you have packed everything you need. Have a checklist that you can go through before you go out. Also, take note of the weather. Bring plenty of clothing and blankets even if it’s hot because nighttime temperatures can be shockingly low in these environments.

Also, if the clothes turn out to be too much, you can always store them in the cab or under the base of the pickup. Weather conditions can also change during long trips, so plan ahead. As for the other items, take as much as you can. It’s better to have items you don’t need than to need items you don’t have!

Please feel free to share your thoughts, comments or questions about camping with a pick-up or sleeping under a tonneau cover!

FAQ on Can you sleep under a tonneau cover?

Can you sleep in a parked car?

The quick answer is yes, it is totally possible to sleep in a stationary car, as long as it has been parked correctly and in compliance with the Highway rules. Sleeping in your car is, in fact, highly recommended after driving for many hours. It is advisable to stop for a nap if fatigue takes over.

Where can I sleep in my truck?

There are many authorised and free camping areas if you need to sleep in your truck. If you are travelling with your vehicle:

  1. In the middle of nature 
  2. At camping sites 
  3. With local people 
  4. At a farm 
  5. In the street or in a parking lot
  6. At Walmart.

Where to stop with a motorhome?

A motorhome can stop in town in a parking space and spend the night there. It does not matter whether the motorhome operators are on board or not, as long as they comply with the regulations.

Other FAQs about Truck campers that you may be interested in.

Where is the best state to buy a truck?

Why are truck campers so expensive?

Why are trucks with high mileage so expensive?