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Over the past 25 years, Kellie and I have done our fair share of camping. We have camped in everything from cabins, tents, campers, and a few Jeeps. Sleeping in a Jeep can be challenging at times especially when you are limited for space. We have slept in everything from a Jeep Liberty to a Jeep Wrangler, and all the way up to the Jeep Gladiator. One thing we have learned is sleeping in a vehicle doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. In fact, with a little bit of imagination and determination, a Jeep can be a great place to catch a few ZZZ’s. In this post we are going to cover how to sleep comfortably in a Jeep Gladiator, so you wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day. Let’s jump in.
Sleeping In A Jeep Gladiator
Sleeping in your vehicle, or car-camping, is one of the most popular types of camping in the country. Car camping allows you the freedom to camp anywhere you can drive. Imagine the freedom that comes with driving to your favorite remote spot, parking, and using your vehicle as your sleeping quarters.
That’s what makes sleeping in a Jeep Gladiator so unique. Jeeps are well known for being rugged and capable of going where most vehicles can’t. In fact, some campers claim that a Jeep is the ultimate camping vehicle. When you consider that your Jeep can also double as a “base camp”, of sorts, you will find that your options for camping are limitless.
Kellie and I have camped in almost every model of Jeep available. We have car-camped in a two-door Jeep Wrangler, the Jeep Liberty, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the Jeep Gladiator. In addition, we learned early that you only need the bare minimum camping gear to enjoy a weekend in the woods.
Sleeping In The Front Of A Jeep Gladiator
The front of a Jeep Gladiator is the same as a 4-door Jeep Wrangler. The main difference is the removal of the back seats. In the Wrangler, the rear seats un-latch and are easily removed from the rear of the vehicle. In the Jeep Gladiator, the best you are going to get is folding the bottom part of the seat up to create extra space in the cabin.
If the bed of your Gladiator is full of gear, the best option for sleeping is the front seats. Because the rear seats of the Gladiator don’t pop out like the Wrangler, you will have to stretch out for the night up front.
To sleep comfortably in the front seats, lift the bottom of the back seats up. This will give you plenty of room to recline the front seats. I’m not very tall so I typically adjust the front seat to a position that gives me plenty of leg room. From there I simply lay the seat back as far as it will go, close my eyes, and it’s next stop “Dreamland”.
The drawback to sleeping in the front seats of any Jeep is how restricted your movements are. There just isn’t enough space to roll over or adjust your body in any way. As I get older, the longer I stay in one position, the stiffer my joints become. Movement for me is important. This brings us to my next suggestion for sleeping in a Jeep Gladiator, utilizing the back of the truck.
Sleeping In The Back Of A Jeep Gladiator
Sleeping in the back of a Jeep Gladiator is far more comfortable than the cabin area. Keep in mind that the bed of a Gladiator is not as big as a full-sized truck, but there is plenty of room to sleep comfortably. With the tailgate closed, the length of the bed is just over 5’.
I know what you’re thinking. “How can 5’ be enough room to stretch out comfortably?”. I’m glad you asked. Typically, when you sleep in the back of a Jeep Gladiator, the tailgate will be down. By dropping the tailgate, you add an extra 21 inches for legroom. Besides, you’re car-camping. If you were wanting a king-sized bed, maybe the hotel in town would be a better fit.
Jeep Gladiator Sleeping Gear
Having the right gear is key to a comfortable night’s sleep in a Jeep Gladiator. Without it you will be sleeping on a cold, hard truck bed that will leave you a “not-so-happy-camper” the next morning.
Sleeping bags are a great way to sleep in the back of a Gladiator. They can also be used in a ground tent beside your Jeep. If you go this route, make sure you get a sleeping bag that is rated for the weather you will be camping in and is a good fit for you.
Sleeping bags are available in three basic shapes.
- Rectangle – Allows you to stretch your arms and legs. You can even completely unzip some, which separates the top from the bottom. By doing so you can use the top half like a blanket.
- Mummy – As the name implies, you are tucked in like a “mummy”. These are for colder climates and when you roll over, you roll with your bag, not inside it.
- Double – These sleeping bags are made for two and are the best bet for a couple sleeping in the back of a Jeep Gladiator.
In addition to a quality sleeping bag, sleeping on an air mattress in the back of a Gladiator can elevate your sleep quality. When choosing the right air mattress for your Jeep Gladiator, make sure you have one that will fit in the bed. Not all air mattresses are alike. And the bed of the Jeep Gladiator is not the same size as a standard short-bed truck. The RightLine Gear Truck Bed Air Mattress has a size to fit the Jeep Gladiator and the pump is powered with the 12V accessory outlet located in the dash.
You can also go with a traditional air mattress as well. Just keep it slightly under-inflated for a nice fit.
Jeep Gladiator Truck Tent
A truck tent over the bed of the Jeep Gladiator will help protect you from the elements. These are made just like a traditional ground tent, only they fit inside the bed of the truck and strap around the wheel wells and tail gate. These things take car-camping to the next level.
The best benefit of a truck camper is being off the ground. No need to worry about varmints or snakes slithering into your tent in the middle of the night. In addition, by being off the ground, there is no need to find a flat, level spot to set up your tent.
On the downside, however, you will have to climb up on the tailgate to access one.
One of the great things about Jeeps, and especially the Gladiator, is the freedom to go anywhere you want. They are the perfect car-camping vehicle. Although you can sleep inside any Jeep, the Gladiator provides several sleeping possibilities that other Jeep models don’t. With a bit of planning and imagination, sleeping in a Jeep Gladiator can be one of the most comfortable places to sleep outdoors.
What are your thoughts on the Jeep Gladiator? Do you own a Gladiator or other type of Jeep? If so, let us know how you sleep in yours.
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