Sleeping in a Jeep Cherokee: Tips to Make it Comfortable

sleeping in a jeep cherokee

Camping out of your Jeep Cherokee can be an adventurous and cost-effective way to travel. But the question invariably comes up: How do you comfortably sleep in a Jeep Cherokee? The short answer is: With some planning and simple gear, you can create a cozy sleep setup in your midsize SUV.

In this detailed guide, we’ll cover how to choose the optimal location to sleep in your Jeep, bedding and sleep solutions, storage and organization tips, temperature and ventilation recommendations, and key features that enhance comfort. Follow these Jeep Cherokee sleeping tips, and you’ll be resting easy on your next road trip!

Finding the Best Spot to Sleep in Your Jeep

One of the first decisions when sleeping in a Jeep Cherokee is choosing the right location in the vehicle. The main options are the backseat or the cargo area. Here are some pros and cons of each:


  • More protected and secure, especially in bad weather
  • Seats may recline for comfort
  • Limited legroom without removing front seats
  • May lack privacy depending on your setup

Cargo Area

  • Allows stretching out with more room for legs and bedding
  • Rear seats fold flat to create large bed platform
  • More exposed to elements unless rear hatch is closed
  • Carbon monoxide risk if enclosed without ventilation

If going with the cargo area, take measurements first so you can get bedding and pads that fit. The Jeep Cherokee’s cargo space ranges from over 34 cubic feet behind the rear seats to over 67 cubic feet with the 60/40 split seats folded down.

You’ll also want to consider carbon monoxide risks, especially in enclosed cargo areas. Always keep the rear hatch cracked open or windows lowered a few inches for ventilation, even when it’s cold. A CO detector is highly recommended. Avoid idling your Jeep at night.

Overall the cargo area offers the most comfort, space and flexibility for a DIY Jeep camper setup. But the backseat can also work well with some adjustments.

Outfitting Your Jeep Cherokee for Maximum Sleep Comfort

Once you’ve determined the optimal sleeping location, it’s time to outfit your Jeep. Quality bedding and gear makes all the difference when it comes to getting a good night’s rest in your vehicle. Here are some recommended additions for comfort:

1. Mattress or Sleep Surface

An inflatable mattress, folding camp cot, or foam pads create cushioning and get you up off the hard floor. Inflatables compact small but premium versions can be costly. Simple foam pads are budget-friendly. For the cargo area, measure first and trim pads to fit if needed.

2. Bedding

Warmth-rated sleeping bags or blankets allow you to sleep comfortably in a variety of conditions. If it’s hot, sheets and a light blanket may suffice. A pillow for neck support can also enhance comfort.

3. Insulation

In cold weather, hazard reflector window shades help insulate your Jeep’s interior. A removable insulator for the rear hatch is also useful when sleeping in the cargo area. Wear warm layers like wool socks and a winter hat to bed.

4. Lighting

Small battery or rechargeable lanterns as well as headlamps provide hands-free lighting at night. Use glow sticks or tape to mark exit points if needed.

5. Storage

Stay organized on the road with plastic bins and organizers that fit in the cargo area or behind seats. Collapsible hampers hold clothing. Pocket organizers and molle panels attached to seatbacks offer handy storage.

6. Privacy

For privacy from passersby, use removable sun shades or reflector film on the side and rear windows. For mild weather, removable mesh screens allow airflow while blocking views in.

Following the Jeep Cherokee sleeping system tips above will help you create a space that’s much homier for resting up at night during your travels.

Clever Storage Solutions for a Jeep Cherokee Camper

One challenge when living out of an SUV is finding places to stow all your camping gear and personal belongings in an organized way. Without sufficient storage, your Jeep can quickly turn into a messy free-for-all. Here are some handy tips for keeping your Jeep Cherokee sleep setup tidy:

  • Use plastic storage bins that slide neatly under the folded rear seats. Sturdy bins with handles make it easy to access your stuff.
  • Soft-sided storage bags and organizers fit nicely into the side cargo pockets in the cargo area. Use them for items you access frequently like flashlights.
  • Netting or molle paneling attached to the back of the front seats adds handy pockets to hold small items and keep them in reach.
  • Collapsible fabric cubes, packing cells and compression sacks keep clothing neatly contained.
  • Door pocket organizers are great for smaller everyday items you need at your fingertips.
  • Only keep essentials you’ll need at night inside the vehicle. Valuables should be locked in the outside trunk storage.

Taking advantage of all the Jeep Cherokee’s built-in nooks and crannies, while also incorporating organizers, lets you maximize cargo capacity. Implementing tips like these can help keep your ride tidy so you aren’t digging around in the dark for what you need.

Controlling Temperature for Comfortable Jeep Cherokee Sleeping

Insufficient climate control can make getting decent shut eye in a Jeep Cherokee challenging. Here are some tips to help regulate interior temperature for more restful sleep:

1. Ventilation

Cracking windows allows airflow, preventing stuffiness and carbon monoxide buildup. But go easy in cold weather to avoid freezing temperatures inside.

2. Reflective Window Shades

Sun shades and reflectors in the windshield and windows deflect heat and sunlight to keep interior cooler in warm conditions. Foil bubble insulation works great.

3. Fans

Rechargeable battery operated fans improve airflow. Clip multiple small fans around interior for full circulation. Ceiling hooks allow positioning.

4. Blankets and Layers

Bundle up with winter-rated sleeping bags, heavy blankets, and warm socks and layers to stay cozy in cold weather. Wear a beanie since you lose heat through your head.

5. Condensation Control

Absorbent microfiber towels collect condensation from vehicle windows. But also keep the Jeep well ventilated with cracked windows to minimize excessive moisture.

Paying attention to temperature control means you’ll sleep without sweltering or shivering. Be prepared with gear for both warm and cold conditions. Maintaining good airflow is also key to reducing windows fogging up.

Convenient Features for Enhancing Jeep Cherokee Comfort

Certain standard and aftermarket Jeep Cherokee features make sleeping in the SUV more convenient:

1. Power Inverter

A DC to AC power inverter allows charging cell phones, running small devices, or powering a CPAP machine overnight off your vehicle battery. Mount out of the way when sleeping.

2. Auto Dimming Mirror

The built-in dimming rear view mirror eliminates glare at night from bright headlights behind you.

3. Flat Folding Rear Seats

Unlike a bench, the 60/40 split flat folding rear seats make it easy to maximize cargo space for sleeping. The foam bottoms remove for access to hidden storage.

4. Rear Climate Controls

Second row climate controls let rear passengers adjust temperature and fan speed. Helpful for comfort while sleeping in back.

5. Tinted Privacy Glass

Keep out prying eyes and sunlight with factory dark tinted rear and side privacy glass. Aftermarket window tint works too.

6. Camping Lantern

Hangable LED lanterns illuminate your Jeep’s interior at night and collapse down small when not in use. Be sure to turn off before bed to preserve battery.

These integrated and additional features help enhance comfort and livability when your Jeep Cherokee becomes your bedroom on wheels.

Practice Runs and Safety Tips for Jeep Camping Comfort

Before embarking on an extended road trip, it’s wise to do an overnight test run sleeping in your Jeep close to home. This lets you identify what works and what needs adjustment in your setup. Safety should also be a priority:

  • Test in your driveway or campground first before remote boondocking. Work out any kinks in your system while help is accessible.
  • Have emergency essentials like a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, tire repair kit, jumper cables, and multipurpose tool. LED flares and reflectors add safety if broke down at roadside.
  • Avoid running your Jeep extensively at night to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Crack windows for ventilation.
  • When parking overnight, choose well-lit areas like campgrounds or truck stops. Lock doors. Close curtains or sun shades for privacy.
  • Research snow camping tips like packing spare winter tires if driving into snowy conditions. Have sub-zero rated sleeping bags and extra blankets.

The key to comfortable Jeep Cherokee camping is being ready for the conditions you’ll face. Test gear beforehand and equip your vehicle with emergency and safety essentials. Taking sensible precautions helps ensure you’ll rest easy wherever the road takes you.


Converting a Jeep Cherokee into a camper takes some preparation, but doesn’t require elaborate build-outs or major modifications. Following the tips in this guide on choosing your sleeping location, outfitting with quality bedding, maximizing storage, controlling climate, and utilizing helpful Jeep features allows you to create a comfortable DIY setup for sleeping.

Practicing at home and camping safely gives you confidence heading out on the open road. With a few simple additions and smart planning, your trusty Jeep Cherokee can deliver nights of peaceful rest at campsites statewide or countrywide. Just pack your sense of adventure, and you’ll be cruising in comfort on your overland journey.

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