Overlanding Comfort: 5 Cozy Sleeping Arrangements to Explore

4Runner With Off-Road Camping Trailer

Comparing Different Sleep Options For Families or Solo Travelers

Dialing in the right camping setup for families with kids can feel like solving a complex puzzle. Budget limits, crew size, and individual preferences all jostle for attention. It’s not just about logistics—it’s about creating an experience that bonds the family, connects them with nature, and leaves everyone with lasting memories.

Luckily, there are plenty of sleep options to fit every family’s needs. Whether you’re into the efficiency of sleep platforms, the convenience of rooftop tents, or the versatility of trailer setups, it’s easier than ever for families to hit the road.

In today’s post, I’ll explore five different sleep options and share practical insights to help you camp with confidence.

1. Sleep Platforms

BamBeds Sleeping + Storage Leveling Platform

Sleep platforms offer a compelling solution for maximizing cargo space within your 5th Gen 4Runner.

Brands like Goose Gear and Bam Beds offer meticulously crafted platforms that fit seamlessly into the cargo area. Constructed from sturdy materials such as aluminum or plywood, these platforms offer a flat sleeping surface while maintaining storage space underneath.

If you’re crafty, you could also go the DIY route to meet your family’s specific needs. Installation typically involves securing the platform to existing mounting points on a gear plate or drilling directly into the frame.


Sleep platforms can vary widely in cost depending on material quality, customization, and brand reputation. Pre-built solutions like Goose Gear or Bam Beds tend to be on the higher end of the price spectrum, ranging from $1500 to $3000. On the other hand, DIY platforms can be more budget-friendly, starting around $500. However, that can go up depending on materials and complexity.


Sleep platforms offer exceptional convenience by providing a permanent sleeping solution that maximizes your interior space. Once installed, they remain in place, eliminating the need for setup and teardown. This allows for quick and easy access to your sleeping quarters.

The only issue with platforms is that most occupy or even delete the rear seats. So, if you are traveling with your family, you may need to drive in two vehicles.

How Many People Can Fit

Most sleep platforms are designed to comfortably accommodate up to two adults and maybe a small child. However, it’s essential to consider the platform’s size and weight capacity for your specific application.

2. Rooftop Tents

4Runner RTT

Rooftop Tents (RTTs) have become incredibly popular among outdoor enthusiasts thanks to their convenient setup and user-friendly features. However, they tend to be a bit more expensive than ground tents. Their cost can also vary significantly Opting for a top-tier RTT that’s feature-packed and has a sturdy construction means a higher initial investment, but is often worth it.

Remember to budget for a roof rack to mount the RTT onto your vehicle. Roof racks come in all shapes and sizes, so costs can vary accordingly. Once you’ve got your RTT set up, regular maintenance is key to keeping it in tip-top shape. This includes regularly checking and tightening bolts to ensure the tent stays securely attached to it.

Also, to prevent mold and mildew buildup, you’ll need to air out the RTT frequently, especially after camping trips in damp or humid conditions. This simple upkeep routine not only extends the lifespan of your RTT but also ensures a cozy camping experience every time you hit the road.


Rooftop Tents are available in a wide range of price points depending on factors such as size, brand, and features. Entry-level models can start at $800, while premium options can cost upwards of $4000+.


RTTs provide great convenience by offering a comfortable sleeping space elevated off the ground. You’re also protected from rocks, bugs, and moisture. Setting up a RTT is usually incredibly straightforward. For some models, it’s as simple as unlatching the latches and opening the tent.

How Many People Can Fit

Depending on the size of your RTT, you can typically comfortably accommodate 2-4 people. If you decide to invest in an annex room, which can cost an additional $500 or more, you’ll have extra space to accommodate sheltered ground camping.

3. Ground Tents

Ground Tent Vs RTT

Ground tents remain a timeless camping staple, offering versatility and affordability for families. However, choosing the right one can be tricky. Consider where you plan on camping; for those looking for dispersed camping, a larger tent may not be feasible due to space constraints. Campgrounds, on the other hand, may be able to accommodate them.

When choosing your tent, consider the size. You may also want one with annex rooms for added comfort and storage. The tent’s material, floor area, peak height, and ventilation also all play into your overall comfort.


Ground tents come in various price points to fit different budgets and preferences. Budget-friendly options can start as low as $100 for a basic two-person tent, while premium models can cost upwards of $1000.


Ground tents provide excellent convenience by offering a portable and versatile sleeping solution that can be set up virtually anywhere. However, setup and takedown can take longer than other options, especially for larger tents with multiple rooms or complex pole configurations.

How Many People Can Fit

Ground tents come in various sizes to accommodate different groups, from small two-person tents to large family-sized tents that can comfortably sleep six or more people.

4. Trailers

5th Gen 4Runner Camping Trailer

Trailers are an attractive solution for families seeking spacious and customizable camping setups. However, they come with a very hefty price tag.

The great thing about a trailer is that it can carry just about all the gear needed for off-grid living. So, if you’ve got a larger family taking up space inside your 4Runner, a trailer can haul everything you need for a comfortable camping experience. This also includes but isn’t limited to, a RTT, and a second one ensures everyone can sleep comfortably.

If you are beginning your search, consider size, weight capacity, your vehicle’s towing capacity, and amenities such as kitchenettes or storage compartments.


Trailers can be a significant investment, with prices varying depending on factors such as size, features, and construction materials. Entry-level utility trailers can start around $2000, while premium off-road trailers with kitchenettes and onboard water tanks can cost upwards of $20,000+.


Trailers offer convenience by providing a spacious and customizable camping setup that can be towed behind your vehicle. However, setup and maintenance can require more effort than other options, as trailers often require leveling, stabilizing, and possibly hooking up to utilities for those who don’t have that on board.

How Many People Can Fit

Trailers range from compact models that sleep two to larger models that comfortably accommodate four or more occupants.

5. Hotel Or Air BnB

5th Gen 4Runner and 3rd Gen Tacoma at AirBnb in Pacific Beach, Washington

For families preferring the comforts of home during their outdoor adventures, opting for a hotel or AirBnB offers a convenient alternative to traditional camping. Whether it’s for medical needs or personal preference, there’s no place like home.

While deviating from camping’s rustic charm, this choice allows families to explore off-road destinations during the day while retreating to the comforts of a real bed at night.


Staying in a hotel or AirBnB can vary widely in cost. Budget-friendly options can start around $50 per night for a basic hotel room or shared accommodation on Airbnb. In contrast, luxury accommodation destinations can exceed $300+ per night.


Staying in a hotel or AirBnB offers excellent convenience and comfort including a real bathroom and climate control. However, it may lack the rustic charm and sense of adventure associated with traditional camping and the flexibility to go off-grid (which is typically the main appeal of camping).

How Many People Can Fit

Hotels and AirBnBs can range from rooms suitable for 2 people up to entire homes that can sleep multiple families.

Final Thoughts

5th Gen 4Runner RTT

Camping with your family promises to create memories that will stay with you for a lifetime. Regardless of the sleeping method that you pick, know that the time spent together in the great outdoors is invaluable.

If you have a bigger family, please share below how you go camping with everyone! Happy camping!

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