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7 Simple Ways to Add an Extra Sleeping Spot to Your RV

Published on May 14th, 2019 by Camper Report
This post was updated on July 18th, 2019

Vacationing can be exciting and full of new experiences. Making memories with the people we love is something we are passionate about. But after all the adventuring you, every person needs somewhere to catch some Zs.

If after your day in the sun with the family or a bunch of friends you may notice a lack of sleeping spots to put people for the night after returning to camp. Don’t worry! This post will give you seven simple ideas to make a few extra sleeping arrangements for the night.

1. Murphy Beds

Murphy beds are quite the invention. In the day they can function as a comfy couch for games, movie watching, or just hanging out. By night, however, they turn into a comfy bed that can even fit multiple people!

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The nice thing about Murphy beds is that you can basically get any size of bed, like a queen or a twin to add to the “coolness” of your RV. However, the size of your bed would depend on the availability of the space you may have in your trailer in order to fit it.

Pro tip: Check dimensions of your RV and the type of Murphy bed you’re looking at! Even with the other options below, being aware of sizing and making sure that everything will fit will save a lot of time and headache.

Murphy beds can basically go any where in your RV. They don’t just have couch like abilities. Sometimes they are pulled out from the wall or upper cupboards.

Another bonus of having a Murphy bed would be that they stay out of sight pretty well. Because of their ability to also double as a couch and fit in random places it keeps your RV looking neat and tidy.

You may need to install the frame of the bed to put it into your RV, so it wouldn’t be a 5 minute installation in case you were in a bind to fit all your friends for some types of beds, but once installed it’s a great option to stick all those visiting friends for the night.

Murphy beds may be priced for a bit of money, so depending on your budget this may influence this as an option. The average cost for a Murphy bed would approximately come to about $1,990 US dollars. The lowest cost I personally have seen for a Murphy bed, besides free, is about $400 US dollars. They can cost up to $2,500 US dollars on the more expensive end.

2. Hammocks

Camping hammocks.. ah I can smell the pine and feel the sunshine with this option. These are not only super easy to have but would be super fun to have this set up in your RV. People at almost every age love hammock-ing and I hear it’s great for your back when you sleep!

If you have friends like mine, they usually carry a hammock with them whenever and where ever they are. Which brings up a great point that they are compact in size and would hardly take up any space in your adventuring! You could take it out for the day’s excursion if you find a nice spot to relax away from your RV.

Camping hammocks typically range in cost between $10- $40 US dollars. They are pretty affordable and can be used in a lot of different places.

Hammocks can be strung across the living area or kitchen space in an RV. Depending on the set up on the inside of your RV, you may have to make sure to see if you have posts or pegs that will support the weight of a person in it.

Another simple plus of having a hammock as an extra spot is that they are designed to be elevated off the floor. This creates some conveniences so you don’t have to worry about rearranging your entire RV living space area for just a few nights.

3. Cab Bed

Some people get really clever with the space they have to work with, like my mom when we pack for a trip. She can fit two full suitcase worth of clothes into one. If you’re like my mom you’ll see that the front of your RV is a completely unused resource come nightfall. There are a few ways you can go about a cab bed.

Cab bed option one: some RV’s already have a nifty overhead space above the cab seating (may need a boost to get up there though). The next option: making a simple DIY cot to fit over the top of the seats. Or option three: finding a mattress that you can just lay across the two front seats to make a bed.

Cost wise, the cab bed option is a little cheaper than doing a Murphy bed. Typically, I have found that cab bed set ups can also be as cheap or expensive as you make it depending on the route that you may select that was mentioned above.

However, if you don’t have a built in overhead area, you may need to DIY a cot to fit the size of your cab depending on the type of RV you have. You would need to measure the length and width of your cab and get hopping to home depot.

Several RV owners have used PVC pipe and cot like material to hook everything together to create a make shift bed. After it is all made, it’s easy to set up and take down each night. This option doesn’t take up a lot of storage space either.

Luckily, you won’t be the first person to try this out to see if it works, lots of RV adventures have tried it out. If you aren’t sure how to construct your own personal cot, there are quite a few DIY videos that are super helpful you can find online.

Ideally smaller individuals or those who don’t mind small spaces would fit best in this section of the cab. Depending on how big your cab is, you can make the bed bigger or smaller.

For the third option (placing a mattress over the length of the cab seats) is a simple way to accommodate another body. Typically a twin or twin XL would work for this space, but again measure just to make sure!

4. Collapsible Bunks

Collapsible bunks are the buy one get one type of a bargain. Essentially what these are composed of are two cot-like bunks that well collapse!

Depending on the type of set up that you get for them they can double as a couch, fold up on the wall (just remove the mattresses), or be just the classic cot style that can be folded up and put away. Collapsible bunks can be pretty similar to Murphy beds for some models.

Collapsible bunks- if you get the classic cot style it would take up the space of what only one cot would take, but can fit two people. They can also be rearranged to different parts of the RV if someone needs a slight change of scenery. Pretty easy and lightweight and not too uncomfortable either!

Typically the cost for the collapsible bed cot style ranges from $60 US dollars to about $400 US dollars for the higher end retail pricing. Since it does fit two people, it also is a pretty economical option as well. You can also use it outside if you choose to sleep under the stars.

5. Air Mattress

Oh, the classic sleeping spot for the visiting mothers-in-law. Air mattresses are really simple options that also come in a variety of styles and sizes. Since they are filled with air, it makes it really easy to store as well after use or between vacations.

As long as it doesn’t get a hole in it, these are a really great option. A lot of the air mattresses on the market are self-inflating so you can spend all those hours you would have used blowing air to go out and play!

There are slight differences between air mattress styles however, there are regular air mattresses that can be used in your house, or camping specific air mattresses.

Even though you could get away with using both types of mattress categories in your RV, you may find that camping air mattresses could provide some benefits. Briefly, here are a few observations about the differences between the two styles.

Pros and Cons of the Household Air Mattress

It is usually a little larger in size. When the size is mentioned I am referring to not just width (as that is something you can decide on) it also includes mass and height.

Some household air mattresses I have seen are really thick and have a few gadgets like automatic pumps that aren’t very compact. Who knows! Maybe they are a little more comfortable since there is more air cushion there. The average cost range is about $60- $200 US dollars.

Pros and Cons of the Camping Air Mattresses

Typically these are a little bit smaller, more durable and portable to be able to even fit tent spaces. For some having a smaller air mattress might not be the most comfortable thing, but it can be used both inside and outside and usually they are a lot more portable. The average cost range is about $20- $80 US dollars.

6. Table Top/ Booth Dinette

Table tops or sometimes referred to “booth dinette” tables in RVs can actually be turned into spots to sleep. A lot of RVs actually have the ability to have the kitchen table drop down to match the level of the seats to create a flat surface.

If you’ve got some pillows and blankets for this option it works out pretty well. Granted the length or width of the bed will vary depending on your table, but for the most part even adults can sleep here for the night.

If the table doesn’t transform into a bed space, some RVs also have pull out beds from their couches that provide a good spot.

7. Roughing It

If you have thought of everything or you are out of options or space, camping sometimes is a good place to be a little more relaxed about how much you shower or where you sleep. To get more connected to nature, if you will.

So, if you picked the “less showers” option for how you choose to commune with nature, it may affect where you sleep anyway.

The following options I may or may not have done when I was growing up or when we went camping… the point is, someone has done it and it’s worked for them so maybe it will work for you!

  • Grabbing a tent and sticking a few brave souls out in the wild. Even though you may have an RV with all the luxuries modern technology could provide while camping, sometimes it’s fun for the kids or grand-kids to get the vibe of being out in nature and enjoying the fresh air.
  • Sleeping on the floor as well isn’t a terrible option. If you have got the room for it or the back support, sometimes taking a cat nap there can be quite restful.
  • If you grew up with a few siblings, mom and dad may have already done this to you, but a lot of people find that just sharing some space on the bed creates some extra spots! If you need inspiration for how to get you all to fit, think sardines.
  • Having just one cot may be enough for you instead of getting collapsible beds, so sticking a few of these your friends brought either inside the RV or outside isn’t a shabby idea.
  • Sleeping in the cab chairs, when all else fails, sleeping sitting up in a big chair can give you a good nights rest. Grandpa falls asleep in them all the time, must not be that bad.
  • Sleeping in an inner-tube. If you are camping near a lake or were planning on floating the river, blowing up your inner tube for a bed may substitute the lack of an air mattress.
  • Lawn chairs. Again, just a makeshift bed that you could set up. Sometimes there could be an armchair for your body and then one for your feet.

Sleeping Nooks for the Sardines– Whoops, We Mean Kids.

Have a baby or have a few little ones who like to wriggle around? There is a way to accommodate some kid friendly space.

We sometimes just think about the adults in terms of where we can put them, but if a little kid doesn’t get enough sleep–or if you don’t because of it– there may be a way to do something better for both of your sleeping arrangement.

Some RV owners use kiddie gates to enclose a couch space area or even build nurseries. Kids are pretty little, and they can fit in a lot of different places.

One way to build a nursery is to convert a cupboard into a sleeping nook. I would recommend a child gate to secure in front of it so they don’t accidentally roll out, but for the most part, its a great way to use the space.

Hopefully at least one of these ideas will be helpful during your next adventure! Happy sleeping!

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