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So I tried camping in the car for one night......

and it wasn't a great experience - fair amount of it self inflicted.

My son and I went for to do a bit of kayaking down the Medway, so for one night we thought we'd give sleeping in the car ago rather than a tent.

0x0-Model3_RHD_02.jpg

(Featured Image Courtesy of Tesla, Inc)

As we we were only planning to stay one night we didn't plan on going too crazy with the setup, as the intention was to use camp mode to keep us at a nice temperature.

Our setup was simple a self inflating matress (from Trail Outdoors Double Self-Inflating Mat (5cm Thick)), pillow and sleeping bag as demonstrated by my assistant:-

car.png


In addition we had some blackout blinds for the side windows and windscreen sun shield.

So why wasn't it a great experience?

Firstly for me it was the camp mode itself - in the dead of night on a campsite it actually makes enough noise both inside and out to be irritating, for context I was part of a group:-

car2.png


and so straight away I felt quite anti social for having it on as you could easily hear noises the car was making from 10 feet way. As I was part of a group most of whom are friends, I didn't want to be remembered as that guy with the car that kept the other campers awake - I could have moved the car prior to going to bed, but my son was asleep, it was raining and it would have been a general faff.

The one thing I noticed is that leaving it in Auto, meant the car would periodically pump air into the car, which always started with a rather noisy whoosh before setting down. After a point I turned off Auto and switched it to manual and set the air flow to 1 but I struggled to get to sleep with this constant hum. So in the end I switched camp mode off. BTW the car makes all manor of noises which when you live in suburbia get melded in the surrounding ambient noises - not so in the middle of a farm field.

Even turning the air conditioning off, the car periodically turns it back on which was unexpected.

After a period of time the screen does go off which is great, but if you need to adjust something tapping the screen did nothing, touching the park button nothing - bizarely I had to use the App to wake the car up.

Without camp mode, the car did get pretty cold and muggins here only brought a 2 season sleeping bag which meant I was quite cold during the night.

The mattress I found to be too thin myself so bit unconfortable for me, but if I had 2 I recon that would be of been fine - and I did like how if self inflates and packed up in to a bag.

With the seats down the floor is not flat and I did find I was gradually sliding down during the night.

I don't think there is room for 2 people really, my son liked to go into the foetal position kneeing me in the back.

I'm 5'8 and I found I needed to contort myself a little getting out, getting in was fine.

So in summary whilst i'm glad I gave it ago and learnt from the experience I think next time just bring a tent :)

Hope that was useful for some pople
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Interesting. I have a 2019, pre heat pump model so I suspect my car is a lot quieter.

I agree on the HVAC settings: I always set my fan speed to 1 and temperature to 18 and that seems to keep the car at a reasonable sleeping temperature except for the far end of the boot where my feet are. So now I make sure I have warm granny-style socks on as well. Very sexy.

I always thought two people would be quite a tight fit, thank you for confirming that suspicion :)
 

browellm

Active Member
Oct 4, 2019
1,144
1,202
Notts
I camped in the car solo for 2 nights this weekend. I'm 182cm and found there to be enough room, sleeping diagonally. I used a carry mat and sleeping bag. I wasn't on a communal campsite so can't speak to noises outside the car, but in the car I found the HVAC to be very well behaved on fan speed 1 and 19C*. I'm a light sleeper and had no issues getting off to sleep or being woken up. Unlike the OP, I had no problem with the screen in camp mode.

* The only issue I found was that camp mode changes the air flow direction to push everything through the front vents angled into the middle of the car. This isn't an issue until you exit camp mode at which point even going back to full auto you have to readjust the vent direction as it doesn't revert back to what was previously set.
 

Rooster6655

Active Member
May 3, 2019
1,910
749
UK
Interesting. I have a 2019, pre heat pump model so I suspect my car is a lot quieter.

I agree on the HVAC settings: I always set my fan speed to 1 and temperature to 18 and that seems to keep the car at a reasonable sleeping temperature except for the far end of the boot where my feet are. So now I make sure I have warm granny-style socks on as well. Very sexy.

I always thought two people would be quite a tight fit, thank you for confirming that suspicion :)
Yes the P- pre heat pump is so much quieter, even with the A/C off in my MY it still makes some noise, in the P- it was often silent when A/C was off!
 
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Adopado

Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2019
6,122
4,679
Scotland
also if you need more headroom you can set a ‘campign’ profile that pushes the driver seat far forwards including tilt/wheel if needed. Unfortunately the passenger side doesn’t have memory so a bit more of a faff but doable
Take care doing this on a Model 3… several people reported braking the visor mirror if the headrest presses hard against the visor when fully forward. Make sure the seat back is not too upright.
 
and it wasn't a great experience - fair amount of it self inflicted.

My son and I went for to do a bit of kayaking down the Medway, so for one night we thought we'd give sleeping in the car ago rather than a tent.

As we we were only planning to stay one night we didn't plan on going too crazy with the setup, as the intention was to use camp mode to keep us at a nice temperature.

Our setup was simple a self inflating matress (from Trail Outdoors Double Self-Inflating Mat (5cm Thick)), pillow and sleeping bag as demonstrated by my assistant:-

View attachment 821663

In addition we had some blackout blinds for the side windows and windscreen sun shield.

So why wasn't it a great experience?

Firstly for me it was the camp mode itself - in the dead of night on a campsite it actually makes enough noise both inside and out to be irritating, for context I was part of a group:-

View attachment 821664

and so straight away I felt quite anti social for having it on as you could easily hear noises the car was making from 10 feet way. As I was part of a group most of whom are friends, I didn't want to be remembered as that guy with the car that kept the other campers awake - I could have moved the car prior to going to bed, but my son was asleep, it was raining and it would have been a general faff.

The one thing I noticed is that leaving it in Auto, meant the car would periodically pump air into the car, which always started with a rather noisy whoosh before setting down. After a point I turned off Auto and switched it to manual and set the air flow to 1 but I struggled to get to sleep with this constant hum. So in the end I switched camp mode off. BTW the car makes all manor of noises which when you live in suburbia get melded in the surrounding ambient noises - not so in the middle of a farm field.

Even turning the air conditioning off, the car periodically turns it back on which was unexpected.

After a period of time the screen does go off which is great, but if you need to adjust something tapping the screen did nothing, touching the park button nothing - bizarely I had to use the App to wake the car up.

Without camp mode, the car did get pretty cold and muggins here only brought a 2 season sleeping bag which meant I was quite cold during the night.

The mattress I found to be too thin myself so bit unconfortable for me, but if I had 2 I recon that would be of been fine - and I did like how if self inflates and packed up in to a bag.

With the seats down the floor is not flat and I did find I was gradually sliding down during the night.

I don't think there is room for 2 people really, my son liked to go into the foetal position kneeing me in the back.

I'm 5'8 and I found I needed to contort myself a little getting out, getting in was fine.

So in summary whilst i'm glad I gave it ago and learnt from the experience I think next time just bring a tent :)

Hope that was useful for some pople
I totally get what you mean. Personally for me I won't use Camp Mode unless I need to.

What do I mean by that?

Well example like I'm driving somewhere in the middle of no where there is a standstill traffic jam and they say we will be sitting ducks for the next 3 hours. Then I will make do with Camp Mode. Or when I drove somewhere and mother nature slaps me in the face and stops me from getting home then I will use Camp Mode.

I would not go Camping and decide ah I'm going to sleep in the car and turn on Camp Mode.
Hey but that's just me. each person likes Camp Mode for whatever their reason is.
 
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I totally get what you mean. Personally for me I won't use Camp Mode unless I need to.

What do I mean by that?

Well example like I'm driving somewhere in the middle of no where there is a standstill traffic jam and they say we will be sitting ducks for the next 3 hours. Then I will make do with Camp Mode. Or when I drove somewhere and mother nature slaps me in the face and stops me from getting home then I will use Camp Mode.

I would not go Camping and decide ah I'm going to sleep in the car and turn on Camp Mode.
Hey but that's just me. each person likes Camp Mode for whatever their reason is.
What is it about camp mode that you don’t like?
Seems pretty decent for what it’s meant to do. :)
 

Adopado

Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2019
6,122
4,679
Scotland
What is it about camp mode that you don’t like?
Seems pretty decent for what it’s meant to do. :)
I think he’s conflating Camp Mode with the idea of camping in the car. It’s not the mode itself so much as the whole “camping in the car” experience. If you don’t fancy camping in a car then it doesn’t much matter how clever Camp Mode is!
 
So in summary whilst i'm glad I gave it ago and learnt from the experience I think next time just bring a tent :)
Interesting! Would you say the actual 'experience' of camp mode itself inside the car a decent one? and that it was more the anxiety of making noise in the middle of the campsite that was the problem?

I do a lot of solo travel / camping in remote places so wouldn't really need to worry about others around me.

Also - and I'm sure this is well-documented elsewhere - but how much charge did your short burst of camp mode use?
 

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