Air Mattress Setup in 4Runner

Setting up AirBedz Air Mattress in the 4Runner

Setting up AirBedz Air Mattress in the 4Runner

Air Mattress Setup in 5th Gen 4Runner – AirBedz PPI-103 Mattress

If you are looking for a good night sleep in your 4Runner, here it is! While sleeping in the 4Runner with an air pad works just fine, I wanted to get something a little better. The AirBedz PPI-103 has exceeded my expectations.

While camping is always an option, I found over the years it getting increasingly difficult to find camp spots in Colorado and didn’t want to drive all over the place looking for one.

This summer I used the air mattress on multiple trips and it has been great. It’s a nice option to have for under $200 whenever you are out exploring and just want to pull over instead of setting up a tent.

The AirBedz has a built-in rechargeable pump, so you don’t need to have an air pump with you, but if you forget to charge the built-in pump it is always nice to have one with you. Being prepared is the first step to survival… that’s what they say right?

The Essentials

Tools for setting up

  • 14mm socket
  • ½ socket wrench
  • AirBedz PPI-103
  • Possible sleeping bags and some cozy blankets
  • Optional: Air Pump (12v)
  • Optional: Boho Headliner Lighting

Step #1: Remove Rear Seats

Air Mattress Setup - Remove Rear 4Runner Seats

First, start by removing the seat bottoms. The reason for removing the seat bottoms is to give you about 6 extra inches to allow for the air mattress to fit. Also by removing these, it will give you a little extra storage space. In my case, I typically have camping equipment that I don’t always want to leave outside.

Pull the bottom of the seat up by pulling on the tab.

Next, you will need to remove the plastic caps to access the bolts. Just simply pull on the caps and they will come off.

Step #2: Remove 14mm Bolts and Save Brackets

Step #2: Remove 14mm Bolts

Once the caps are off you have access to the 14 mm bolts. There are 2 on both sides. Use a 14mm socket and ½ wrench.

Step #3: Remove your Seats

Step #3: Remove your Seats

After the bolts are out the seat can be removed from the 4runner. Just pick it up and remove it from the 4Runner. Move to the other side and remove the other seat.

Step #4: Drop Seats Back Down

Step #4: Drop Seats Back Down

Next drop your seat backs down. I’m sure you can figure this out but here are a few pics just in case.With the seats down you now see there is a little room to store a few items and the air mattress will still sit flush.

Step #5: Layout Mattress

Step #5: Layout Mattress

Now roll out the bed and fill it up. Mattress fills up in under 3 minutes. Make sure the battery is fully charged prior to your trip. Note the wheel well cutouts in the mattress.

Step #6: Blow up Mattress

Step #6: Blow up Mattress

Because the AirBedz has a built-in rechargeable pump, you do not need an extra portable pump. Just make sure you charge your AirBedz pump before you go on your trip. If you forget to charge the pump in the mattress, you can always use your portable pump or charge the AirBedz pump while you are out. It is recommended to just charge the bed pump before you go anywhere, though.

Step #7: Adjust Mattress if Needed

Step #7: Adjust Mattress if Needed

Step #8: The Cargo Loft

Items needed:

Remove Hatch Hooks

Start by removing the rear hatch hooks and then screw in M6 Ring Eye Bolts.

Attach the carabiners to Cargo Net

Attach the carabiners to the cargo net and hook to the rear hatch rings. The long side of the cargo net will be used here. Wrap the back seat carabiners around the handlebars and hook to the inside of the net. The further into the net the tighter the netting will be. Adjust accordingly.

Attach the cargo loft mounting hardware

Now to fix up the sag. Attach the cargo loft mounting hardware to the ceiling. Center these in the front and rear.This will put a tiny hole in your ceiling. Wrap the elastic of the netting around the mounting hardware and you are all done.

If you want to add some fancy lighting pickup these battery powered lights. Just wrap them through the netting.

Air Mattress in SUV (Setup and HowTo)

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Mojave.Runner
Mojave.Runner
3 months ago

will the mattress still fit if the seat bottoms are not removed? My child goes with me and I need to keep a rear seat for him.
TIA

Donald Kolinski
Donald Kolinski
6 months ago

Hi Kevin, you mention that if the battery is dead in the pump that you can use your own portable pump. I can’t see in the picture where you would attach it. Are you sure you can use a backup pump? Thanks!

Kevin
Kevin
6 months ago

Hi Donald, I think there may have been a modification from my original article as I’ve never used a backup pump nor does the mattress come with one. You could likely hook up a pump to the air plug which isn’t pictured. It’s similar to a blow up raft but larger in diameter.

Menelik
Menelik
8 months ago

Hello, would the PPI-103 Mattress fit in my 2001 Toyota 4Runner?

Kevin
Kevin
7 months ago
Reply to  Menelik

Hey Menelik, I’m not familiar with the dimensions on a 2001 but here are the dimensions for the air bed 75x55x12. Just do a quick measurement and see if it will work, I would think they are pretty close in size.

Patrick
Patrick
8 months ago

Hey there!

I have a 2016 SR5 with the 3rd row. I’ve struggled to figure out how to remove the 2nd row seats. I bought the airbedz air mattress and not being able to remove seats means sleeping at an angle and having very little space between the mattress and ceiling. Any help or suggestions would be amazing!

Thanks guys!

Kevin
Kevin
8 months ago
Reply to  Patrick

Hey Patrick, so you are having issues removing the same row as in the write-up or the 3rd row? The 2nd row should be pretty easy, 4 plastic covers and 4 bolts. As for the 3rd row I’m not familiar with removing those but I would think it’s similar to the 2nd row.

Patrick
Patrick
8 months ago
Reply to  Kevin

So I only mention the 3rd row because the 2nd row sits on a track so it can slide forward to access the 3rd row.

Kevin
Kevin
8 months ago
Reply to  Patrick

Sorry I’m not familiar with that setup and removal. I found a few videos for 3rd row removal but nothing on that 2nd row.

Mike
Mike
8 months ago

I purchased the AirBedz (Model PPI 403) and it fits well (2020 TRD Pro 4R). My only complaint is that the wheel well cut outs are quite a bit larger than the actual wheel well which means if you lay too close to the wheel well the bed sinks quite a lot. I called the manufacturer for any possible solutions. They said to try stuffing some blankets in the wheel well cut outs that aren’t filled by the actual wheel well. Any other ideas out there?

Tanya Zavala
Tanya Zavala
9 months ago

Hello,
What year 4runner do you have? I have a 2006 2WD 4runner. Would this pad fit into my car?

Kevin Aftanas
Kevin Aftanas
9 months ago
Reply to  Tanya Zavala

Hey Tanya, 2016, interiors are probably a bit different but I bet it would work. They don’t advertise that it works for the 4runner but I measured it out before purchasing.

Bri
Bri
11 months ago

Hey Kevin, I love this setup! I’m wondering how you got the back completely flat? Is it flat if you take the seats out? In the 5th gen, there’s still that large bump if the seats are laid down. I looked at building this sleeping platform to fix it, but I’d appreciate any thoughts or other ideas you have! Thanks!

Kevin
Kevin
11 months ago
Reply to  Bri

Hey Bri, with the air mattress the hump isn’t noticeable as this is a pretty thick air mattress. If you went with something like a foam pad you would feel the hump. I also just bought some leveling blocks to level out the 4runner when not on level ground.

Emily
Emily
1 year ago

This looks awesome! Where do you keep your food? Do you usually bring a cooler camping?

Kevin
Kevin
1 year ago
Reply to  Emily

Hey Emily, yes I have a RTIC 45 cooler that I typically bring. The setup works pretty well! I have seen a few other options with sleeping pads on amazon. I have probably 20 nights (2 people) with this setup and it’s nice, especially when campgrounds are booked and dispersed camping is the only option.

Emily
Emily
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin

Do you put the cooler in the front seats when you sleep? Do you leave it outside? Are you worried about bears or raccoons?

Kevin
Kevin
1 year ago
Reply to  Emily

I usually move it away from our camp at night. Bears are a concern for sure. I’d like to get gobi rack and put it on top of the 4runner.

John
John
2 years ago

Did you ever try inflating the mattress in the back without taking the seats out? Someone asked you this last year and at that time you had not tried it without. I am curious to see how that works as I really don’t want to them out if I can avoid it.

Kevin
Kevin
2 years ago
Reply to  John

Hey John,

I pulled the air mattress out and gave it a test with the seats still in. I’m happy to report it does fit and all doors and hatch still close. It’s nice having the little bit of extra space with the seats out, especially with 2 people but we now know it’s not necessary to them out.

Travis
Travis
2 years ago

How is the Airbedz holding up? I want to get one, but like other people, those reviews are scaring me away from it.

Kevin
Kevin
2 years ago
Reply to  Travis

Hey Travis,

I have not had any issues with mine. I ordered mine through Summit Racing a couple years.

Chris
Chris
2 years ago

Can you do the net without the mount in the ceiling ?

Kevin
Kevin
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris

Hey Chris,

Yes you could but it would cause the net to sag a lot if loaded with multiple things.

Chris
Chris
2 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

Do you think getting a smaller net would help?

Kevin
Kevin
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris

The border of the netting is elastic so it stretches a bit. You could probably pull the corners closer to the center of the net and clip the carabiner there. That might make it a little tighter.

Chris
Chris
2 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

Okay cool thanks, also that airbeds mattress has horrible reviews. Even the 5 star ratings has complains about the mattress coming with defects. I think You just got lucky. I’m definitely not testing my luck and I’m going to try to find a similar product as I plan On sleeping in my 4runner. I’ll update when I find A good one!

Sean
Sean
2 years ago

Do you know the length after you take out the seats. I’m 6’ so wanted to know if I could stretch out and sleep straight or would I have to keep my legs bent.

Kevin
Kevin
2 years ago
Reply to  Sean

Hey Sean,
It’s 73 inches long so right at 6 feet. If you moved the front seats up a little you can get a little more space. I’m 5’10” and it works out pretty good

Mike
Mike
2 years ago

When you drill into the ceiling, are you just drilling into headliner or is there a support beam there?

Kevin
Kevin
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Just into the headliner. It’s thick enough to hold the screw and hardware in place for the cargo net. Use a screw driver instead of a drill so you don’t push it through they roof. That would be bad.

Grant Rembert
Grant Rembert
3 years ago

CARGO LOFT MOUNTING HARDWARE where can i get this?

Kevin
Kevin
3 years ago
Reply to  Grant Rembert
Kevin
Kevin
3 years ago
Reply to  Grant Rembert

Grant – the cargo net mounting hardware is included in the cargo net kit.

Chris Theodore
Chris Theodore
3 years ago

Does anyone know if this will work with a 3rd Gen?!

Brenan Greene
Admin
Scout
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Theodore

I am sure there is a similar set-up out there for a 3rd gen. The width of the 3rd is smaller than the 5th so I would just measure your width before buying anything.

Kate
Kate
3 years ago

Love this set up. I ended up with a custom mattress that fit to the dimensions of the bed that included the seats. Wish I had seen this earlier, i would have loved to have had those few extra inches of space by removing the seats.

Question-where did you get that netting on the ceiling?

Kevin
Kevin
3 years ago
Reply to  Kate

Kate – thanks, it works out really well.
The netting is just a cargo net converted to be a “cargo loft” and the fancy lights are all my girls idea. I’m working on a write up for that and will post soon.

Tony
Tony
3 years ago

This is exactly why I want a 4runner, to sleep in the back! I am hoping to use a thinner foam mattress to utilize some sort of small drawer setup. Has anyone tried this?

Kevin
Kevin
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony

1 of many reason I bought mine. If you went with a foam setup it may not be completely flat unless you have the sliding tray. Still not a bad option, with the air mattress it’s thick enough that you don’t notice the hump.
With a drawer setup you would need to run the entire length from the rear seats to the cargo area to make it flat. Good luck and go get yourself a 4RUNNER!

Kevin
Kevin
3 years ago

D – No sliding tray and haven’t noticed the hump since the air mattress is thick compared to a foam or air pad.
It’s not the four seasons. I’ve had zero issues or complaints and over all very happy.

D
D
3 years ago

PS- the reviews for that mattress are pretty horrific. Check the amazon link you included and sort by 1 star ratings.

Kate
Kate
3 years ago
Reply to  D

Its 3.5/5 stars average for 143 reviews. That’s not too shabby imo

Kevin
Kevin
2 years ago
Reply to  Kate

Eric, long overdue update but someone else asked about this same thing and I finally got around to testing it. The mattress will inflate with the seats still in.

D
D
3 years ago

Does this 4runner have the factory sliding tray or does it have the Infamous hump/bump?

Eric
Eric
3 years ago

question!
is removing the seat required? or the air mattress will still fit without removal of the rear seats?

Kevin
Kevin
3 years ago
Reply to  Eric

Eric – You will likely want to remove the bottom seats to give you the extra space to fully inflate the air mattress. I haven’t tried it with them in. It’s pretty easy to pull them out 5 mins or less.

Eric
Eric
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

thanks Kevin for the reply!

Kevin
Kevin
2 years ago
Reply to  Eric

Eric, long overdue update but someone else asked about this same thing and I finally got around to testing it. The mattress will inflate with the seats still in.

Dan
Dan
2 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

Kevin… when you inflated it with the seats still in…how does the height of mattress compare to the height of seat bottoms? I am 6’2…wondering if I would fit well…

Kevin
Kevin
11 months ago
Reply to  Dan

Hey Dan, it’s pretty close to the same height. I think the seats might be a little higher. I’m 5’10 and I’ve got a little bit of room with the seats out. If it’s just 1 person then you can go diagonal and would be fine. The seats are super easy to remove tho and I would recommend going that route for some extra space if you can.

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