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

Mrklaw

Active Member
Mar 5, 2020
1,800
1,175
Berkshire
what is the difference between camp/keep/dog modes?

I’ve used dog mode when I needed to leave people in the car because I thought ‘keep’ would lock the car and arm the alarm which I didn’t want to do. Does it do that?

Is Camp mode effectively dog mode but for humans? I want to be able to lock the car from either the app or from the touch screen with the passengers, let passengers still listen to music etc, maintain AC, and not set off any alarms
 
I tried it for the first time, in my model 3 the other night. The idea of actually sleeping in a cool place appealed more than a room that was only slightly cooler than the sun. I was also keen to try it out

I couldn't say how well the light was blocked out as I kept the car in the garage, but from an attempt to set it up a week or so ago I'd describe the black out as not bad. The only thing that was pesky was that the blackout on the windows would sometimes ping off when the door was opened. So once you are in.. you are in. So either make sure you aren't likely to need to go out in the night or have a sealable, waterproof bottle to hand if you don't want to put blackouts back in the middle of night.

I put camp mode on until I was ready to sleep, and then turned it off. The aircon noise was noticeable and I can see how it might keep light sleepers awake. However after about an hour of ipad browsing I turned it off as the car was quite cool enough. I suspect camp mode would be of more use if the car needed heating which atm and in the UK is not a problem

I was pretty comfy, I'd put my boot mat behind my head to act as a headboard and had I brought a mattress from tessories for £130 quid which worked out well(I could even get it back in the bag again which is a feat) and used a single bedsheet to cover myself. So again, keeping it lightweight, stop myself from frazzling and making it easy to pack back up

It wasnt the best nights sleep I have ever had, but it was a heck of lot better than trying to sleep in a baking hot house, having the faff of putting up and taking down a tent and leagues better than simply reclining the seats

Would I camp in the car for a week? Nope. But for the odd day, a hotel isnt really an option or camping needs too much space in the car I'd give it two thumbs up.
 
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.

View attachment 825199
(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:-

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 really don’t think the noise is that bad inside the car if you have the fan speed at 1 or 2 (you need to turn ‘auto’ off). I guess if you’re used to absolute silence maybe it takes getting used to, but I’d say it’s quieter than the white noise machines that a lot of people buy to help them sleep.

It’s louder outside the car and I’d be more worried about whether I’m disturbing others around me. But I guess a lot of motorhomes have air conditioners and things that they run from the electricity hookup of the campsite, so people staying on campsites probably can’t expect every other camper to be totally quiet all night anyway.

But for those considering trying this, I wouldn’t let reports of climate system noise put you off too much. Certainly worth a try I think!
 

Mr H

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
2,726
3,048
Manchester
I tried it for the first time, in my model 3 the other night. The idea of actually sleeping in a cool place appealed more than a room that was only slightly cooler than the sun. I was also keen to try it out

I couldn't say how well the light was blocked out as I kept the car in the garage, but from an attempt to set it up a week or so ago I'd describe the black out as not bad. The only thing that was pesky was that the blackout on the windows would sometimes ping off when the door was opened. So once you are in.. you are in. So either make sure you aren't likely to need to go out in the night or have a sealable, waterproof bottle to hand if you don't want to put blackouts back in the middle of night.

I put camp mode on until I was ready to sleep, and then turned it off. The aircon noise was noticeable and I can see how it might keep light sleepers awake. However after about an hour of ipad browsing I turned it off as the car was quite cool enough. I suspect camp mode would be of more use if the car needed heating which atm and in the UK is not a problem

I was pretty comfy, I'd put my boot mat behind my head to act as a headboard and had I brought a mattress from tessories for £130 quid which worked out well(I could even get it back in the bag again which is a feat) and used a single bedsheet to cover myself. So again, keeping it lightweight, stop myself from frazzling and making it easy to pack back up

It wasnt the best nights sleep I have ever had, but it was a heck of lot better than trying to sleep in a baking hot house, having the faff of putting up and taking down a tent and leagues better than simply reclining the seats

Would I camp in the car for a week? Nope. But for the odd day, a hotel isnt really an option or camping needs too much space in the car I'd give it two thumbs up.
You need a Tesmat Privacy screen which doesn't attach to the side windows at all, opening doors can be done as much as needed
 
Update

So another kayak/camping trip this time to Ross on Wye for 3 nights where we took tents. The location was in the valley and it was very cold during the night, so the lad wanted to sleep in the car which I obliged him.

I put the car in manual camp mode at fan speed 1 and temp at 17 degrees (so not too warm, but comfortable in a sleeping bag). With the car about 15 feet away I can happily confirm that I did not notice any significant car noise from my tent (although the campsite did have ambient road noise).

As a nice surprise after turning off blue tooth (thus losing the 'Key') I could still control many of the cars functions like adjusting the climate from the phone - most of you are probably going 'duh' at this moment :)

Set at 17c for approx 9.5hrs was about 7% battery

On a side note on the Journey back with no preconditioning and 2 kayaks on the roof, the efficiency for the first 45mins was pretty horrid :( @ 380w/mi so it did necessitate a splash and dash at membury services, where I had to queue for the first time (only 5 mins) so another first :)

Again hope this of use
 

Adopado

Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2019
6,501
5,008
Scotland
On a side note on the Journey back with no preconditioning and 2 kayaks on the roof, the efficiency for the first 45mins was pretty horrid :( @ 380w/mi so it did necessitate a splash and dash at membury services, where I had to queue for the first time (only 5 mins) so another first :)

Which model of Tesla (and approx. purchase date - heat pump or not)? What sort of speeds for that 380Wh/mile? I'm just curious .. no other reason! I don't think I've ever spotted another Tesla carrying anything on the roof ... certainly not 2 kayaks ... though I've seen cars with the roof bars on.
 

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