Is It Safe to Sleep inside My Car
Back then, having a car where you can transform the car seats into flat mini-beds is a great thing, especially if you have a family of your own who loves to travel across the country. But because of the growing reports of civilians found dead inside their cars due to carbon monoxide poisoning, most are not sure if the car-turned-bedroom is still something worthy of investment. After all, most of these models come in SUV or sedan form, and prices don’t exactly come in cheap.
Now the public asks: is it safe to sleep inside their cars? If you Google your way out of this question, you will find conflicting answers. Car experts say that No, you shouldn’t, especially if diesel powers your vehicle model. Known travelers and bloggers who have done it for years, however, say otherwise, and would even give you ways how to do it.
Now, no one should ever judge you for your actions, because everyone has reasons why people do things. Yes, even sleeping inside cars. You might be on a long road trip to visit your grandmother who is dying, and you cannot waste any second to wait in a lobby of a hotel to book a room. Or you might be broke—you cannot afford to rent even a decent motel accommodation.
Whatever the reason may be, there are lots of certain situations where you have no choice but to sleep in your car. But how to avoid falling victim to carbon monoxide poisoning while you are at it? Below are five tips to ensure you can still wake up to face the day (or at least snap out of that power nap):
Have a blanket or sleeping bag packed in your trunk.
In car sleeping, you don’t have to pack a king-sized bed, especially if you don’t have enough room for it inside the vehicle. Only pack the bare essentials, specifically a blanket. For pillows, you can have your backpack full of clothes or a folded thick jacket or sweater.
You can also use the blanket as a makeshift hammock or tent if you prefer sleeping outside for the night or take a nap during the afternoons. Only this time, you need to have a sturdy rope or sticks. If you are near a forest, you can scavenge all these stuff and channel your inner survival skills.
The good thing about having a blanket stashed anytime you need it is for unexpected situations you might encounter on the road, like a car accident (you can use it as an emergency blanket) or a picturesque view that you want to stare at for a while.
The bottom line is that keeping a blanket handy can help you in a variety of ways. Your imagination is your only limit.
If possible, sleep outside.
The next problem you have is where to sleep. Obviously, sleeping inside your vehicle is the best thing, especially if you want to wake up with your car still around. But because we also want to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, you ought to consider the option of sleeping outside.
The benefits? Aside from the privilege of sleeping under the stars, you can avoid muscle pain from trying to sleep in fetal position—something you are forced to endure if you have limited space.
But if your primary concern is car theft, here is one way to solve it: sleep on the roof. Not only would it give you the chance to stretch as you sleep; it also addresses the problem. Once you feel a light shake brought by an engine start, you might immediately wake up, and stop the culprit from running away with your car.
In case of rain or snow, park in an open area.
Unfortunately, the tip mentioned above cannot be done if the weather is bad. In this case, you have no choice but to sleep in the car.
The concern now is where to park so that both you and the vehicle can rest. To lower the chances of CO accumulation, do NOT park in an enclosed space, specifically a parking garage. Instead, find a spot where a shade or roof is available so you cannot be disturbed by the loud pitter-patters hitting your car roof as you sleep.
Then, park your car in such a way that one side of your driver’s side door is only inches away (or at least at a distance wherein no human can slip through the tight space) from the wall surface. This way, your vehicle can only be entered on one side, and it would take a while for thieves to reach the driver’s seat. By the time they do, you are already awake and ready to fight.
Roll your windows down.
According to some news reports, carbon monoxide poisoning happens to individuals who have 1) a leak in their exhaust system, and 2) sleeps or spends time inside their cars with tightly-shut windows for a long time.
With this, the obvious way to avoid suffering the same fate is to roll your windows down. Again, this is impractical if you do not want car theft. But, when combined with the previous tip, it just might work. Just roll the windows down on the side where the car door is close to the wall surface. Again, if the distance between the wall and the car door is so small that no human being can slip through, then you are safe.
If you plan to do this frequently, invest in a CO detector.
Finally, if you plan to do car-sleeping frequently, spending on a CO detector is probably the best. Not only would it be helpful whenever you doze off; it can also help you in detecting any signs of car trouble in your exhaust pipe which must be fixed immediately.
There are a lot of CO detector products available in the market today with prices ranging from $8 to $150 depending on the built and usage. By attaching or putting the sensor somewhere where you can see it, you can immediately check for any contamination without suffering from the early effects of inhaling the gas.
But nothing beats the preventive route. To lessen the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning in your car, have frequent and thorough car checks with your resident car inspector. This is essential not only in preventing any CO accumulation problems but also other car troubles, like busted tires or malfunctioning brake, which just might be an accident waiting to happen.