A week ago, I was contacted by a company called TESCAMP. They wondered if I would like to try out their mattress for the Model Y for free. In exchange, I agreed to write an honest review on this site. Since I had slept in my electric cars a bunch of times over the last 12 years, I jumped at the chance to review their product. I had looked at the Dreamcase a few years ago, but at over $800 with sheets, shipping, and tax, I didn’t think I would get enough use out of it to justify the purchase. TESCAMP makes a similar quality product available for less than $250, including sheets and shipping (prices subject to change). Note: If you use this link, I get a small commission that I will be donating a portion of to CleanTechnica.com to further its mission. You can also use the discount code “Paul” for 5% off.
But Y Would I Sleep In My Car?
Before I got my first electric car in 2011 (a 2012 Nissan Leaf), I never slept in my car (except in the passenger seat while my wife was driving). It was either too cold or too hot if you didn’t leave the car running, and I was always afraid of the exhaust fumes (although, it should be okay if you don’t have a leak). That changed when I got electric vehicles. Here are some of the situations that I have at least considered sleeping in my car:
- If you take a long trip, you might want to sleep a couple hours at a rest stop (it’s legal to stay overnight in some areas, but not others). I found the iOverlander.com site to be a handy resource when looking for a place to sleep. This article from The Road Trip Expert gave me some more ideas at places you can stay.
- If you want to camp at a campsite but you are afraid of the cold or heat or rain, or snow or bugs, putting a mattress in a Model Y is a lot cheaper than renting an RV. If the campsite has bathrooms and showers, great, otherwise, it isn’t so great, but you can stop at a truck stop to clean up as you want.
- I visited my son in Orlando a few years ago and didn’t want to sleep on his couch because I didn’t want his cat to bother me, so I slept in the back of my Tesla Model 3 in his parking garage. It was pretty good because I had two foam mattress toppers to make it comfortable. A Model 3 has a lot less space than a Model Y, but it’s fine for one person.
- I went to a conference in Orlando in the summer and I had a meeting at 2pm and then a dinner at 7pm, but nothing to do in between. I brought a small camping pad so that I could nap for two hours in the back of my Tesla Model Y in the parking lot of the hotel. The air conditioning was great, but the camping pad was only a half-inch thick, so it wasn’t very comfortable.
- My son-in-law goes walking on a busy trail in Colorado. People start lining up to enter this trail at 4am. It would be handy to get there and just sleep in the back until the trail opened.
- If you are staying for a bit in a place that has high housing and hotel prices, you might stay in your car for quite some time. You would need to be very organized and do some research to have a plan if you are asked to leave in the middle of the night. I would probably just find a less expensive Airbnb in another neighborhood, but this might work for some people.
- I used to have to drop off my son at school at 7:30am, but my work nearby didn’t start till 9am. I would sleep for an hour in the back seat of my Leaf. Issues were that it wasn’t that large a back seat and I didn’t have window shades and it would be awkward if someone saw me sleeping.
- When I dropped by kids off at a party an hour from my home and needed to pick them up in 3 hours, it wasn’t worth it to drive back home, so I would usually go shopping. If I had a bed in my car, I might take a nap.
- If you have a child or pet in your house that is making too much noise and you can’t sleep, go out to your Tesla and sleep there to get some peace and quiet.
- If you have more guests than your house or apartment can fit, put some of them in your Tesla.
- If your significant other kicks you out of bed, your Tesla may be more comfortable than your couch.
Setup Is A Snap
The quality of of the materials is very good. I loved that it only took me 90 seconds to set up my mattress and put the sheet on! Plus a minute to take out the baby seat I had installed in the back seat. Packing it up was equally fast at 90 seconds.
It took me a little more time to get the privacy curtains installed. I had to watch the video a couple of times since I got confused, so it took about 10 minutes. Taking them off was 2 minutes, but I had to leave them out to dry in the garage for bit since it had rained while I was camping and some of the curtains are outside and get wet.
The Overnight Test
I didn’t have the time to do a full camping trip this week, so I set up outside my daughter’s house in Colorado. At about 8pm, I headed out with my pillows and water. I watched a movie on Netflix, enjoying it on my iPhone but connected to the great Tesla amplifier and speaker system through Bluetooth. Then I slept for a little over 6 hours (that is a normal amount for me). I slept well, but did run into two minor issues.
I’m 230 pounds (just over a 100 kilos) and 6 feet 2 inches tall. I sleep on my side and back. When trying to sleep on my back, the bed is a little short. I can make it work by sleeping diagonally, but that wouldn’t work if my wife was in the car with me. The other thing I could have done is move the two front seats 6 inches forward and put something in the gap. I just slept on my side instead — in that position, my legs are bent and length isn’t an issue. If I was a couple inches shorter, this would be no issue.
The second issue is while sleeping on my side, I could slightly feel the car with my hip. This is because I am so heavy that I almost compress the foam completely. It didn’t bother me enough to upset my sleep or make me sore in the morning, but I did notice it.
I appreciated the privacy curtains, which give you a sense of security. If you already have heavily tinted windows, they’re unnecessary, since you can just buy a sunshade for the windshield and be covered for less money and time.
I will definitely be using this again in the situations mentioned in the beginning of the article. For some locations, I will put up the privacy curtains, but in many places and for just a short nap, I will just roll out the mattress. If you would like to try a mattress or the privacy curtains for 30 days, they have a generous return policy that even includes return shipping.
If you want to take advantage of my Tesla referral link to get Reward Credits, here’s the code: https://ts.la/paul92237 — but as I have said before, if another owner helped you more, please use their link instead of mine. If you want to learn more about Tesla’s new referral program, Chris Boylan has written an excellent article on it.
Disclosure: I am a shareholder in Tesla [TSLA], BYD [BYDDY], Nio [NIO], XPeng [XPEV], Hertz [HTZ], and several ARK ETFs. But I offer no investment advice of any sort here.
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