can you sleep in a cargo box or roof box?

Can You Sleep In A Rooftop Cargo Box? A Comprehensive Analysis

If you often travel in a car, comfortable sleeping becomes a challenging job during trips because of the environment, limited living supplies, and unpredictable weather conditions. More and more people equip their vehicles with a hardshell rooftop cargo box, and most people use the rooftop cargo box as an alternative sleeping option in outdoor adventures.

Sleeping in a car roof box seems convenient for most of us, but you should consider its benefits and drawbacks before doing that on your camping holidays. We gather some information about the advantages and disadvantages of sleeping in a hardshell cargo box to help people understand why or why not sleep in a hardshell rooftop cargo box.

The Benefits of Sleeping in a Rooftop Cargo Box

When do you want to sleep in a car roof box? After arriving at the destination of a camping trip, you decide to sleep for a while and be ready for tomorrow’s adventures; consequently, you want to have a comfortable sleep without any distributions. You can take out the luggage in the cargo box and put your belongings in the car or trunk to free up enough space in the roof box to sleep on. It is not like sleeping in a ground tent or a hotel, so you can put yourself under the stars and enjoy the views of the sky.

is your cargo box long enough for sleeping?

Most big rooftop cargo boxes can provide enough inner space for adults to sleep in, but you should always check your height and the length of your cargo box to ensure you can sleep well and relax without stooped back and legs. Otherwise, if you can find bumpy parts (mounting hardware) in your rooftop luggage carrier, you should know these components can limit your movement while sleeping in the roof box and create sort shoulders or backs after waking up. 

However, big hardshell cargo boxes like Thule Motion XT XXL can give you ample space to lie down and enjoy a comfortable sleep. You can use the lid on your cargo box to protect you from wind, moisture, sunshine, and other natural elements. You better prepare a soft Yoga mat and put it in the cargo box to sleep on.

Sleeping in a cargo box can give you freedom on a road trip or camping adventures because you can park almost anywhere to prepare food and enjoy a relaxing and safe sleep after meals. However, if you travel with friends or families, a rooftop cargo box is only for one person to sleep in; therefore, you better bring a ground tent for the rest of your companions or consider using a roof-mounted tent.

Some Drawbacks of Sleeping in a Rooftop Cargo Box

Although you can put a soft Yoga mat in a cargo box to make it comfortable to lie on, the bumpy bottom can make your back sour and hurt after waking up. Sleeping in a cargo box brings many conveniences but sacrifices some comfort than napping in a sleeping bag or grand tent. If you want a great experience on future road trips or camping adventures, you better prepare other sleeping options like ground tents or sleeping bags when you have a car roof box on your car roof. These camping equipment won’t occupy much space in your vehicle or the roof box.

If you park beside a highway, the traffic noise can annoy you while sleeping, especially if you are a light sleeper. You better not close the lid while sleeping in a cargo box because you need the airflow to bring enough fresh air during your sleep.

When waking up in a rooftop cargo box, you should be careful and get ready to climb out of the box and jump down to the ground while your brain probably is not well-prepared for these movements. As a result, you better stay for a while before performing these actions.

Every vehicle has its specific roof loading limit: VOLVO, Volkswagen, and Ford, so you have to find your vehicle’s roof loading rate in the car manual to understand the dynamic roof loading rate and static roof loading limit.

When sleeping on the car roof, you need to consider the static roof loading limit and understand how to calculate the exact rate with a dynamic roof loading rate. We recommend an article that tells you how to use the active roof loading limit to know how much weight your car roof can hold while parked.

Factors to Consider

Sleeping in a cargo box may not be the most comfortable option for campers, and you must consider these factors before using your rooftop cargo box as a sleeping bed.

How many companions do you have on a road trip? If you travel alone, you can decide to sleep in a cargo box without any further concerns about limited space; however, if you often travel with families or friends, you better prepare other equipment to build a temporary sleeping room. Most people mount a rooftop tent on the crossbars for sleeping during the trip and put their luggage in a hitch-mounted cargo carrier to free up the trunk and passenger room. You can check the information behind the links to learn more about these car accessories.

ground tents and rooftop tents
ground tents or rooftop tents

If you drive for hours and want to find a place to prepare for a rest, you should avoid choosing a camping location too close to the traffic and noise-making factories. Noise is always a sleep killer that wakes you up from sweet dreams. However, you better be alert while sleeping in the wild because wild animals are around. Sleeping in a rooftop cargo box can protect you from wild animals, which is better than other ground sleeping solutions.

Before deciding to sleep in a rooftop cargo carrier, you should assess your physical condition to minimize the risks when camping in the wild, especially without enough medical supplies. You have to climb up and down before and after sleeping in a cargo box, and is your body okay for that movement? You don’t want any injuries after a camping trip, do you? You can use ground tents without climbing up and down.

Safety Precautions and Tips

We have some advice for people who want to sleep in a car roof box.

You must check the cargo box and ensure it is properly installed and locked on roof racks. When testing its stability, you can check on four mounting pieces of hardware and confirm their tightness by shaking them to find loose ones. It prevents you from falling while rolling over in the cargo box while sleeping. You can use extra straps to enhance the tightness of the cargo box.

You better check the weather conditions before driving out for a camping holiday because the weather affects the enjoyment and comfortability of your camping adventure. If you encounter extreme weather conditions like storms, the rooftop cargo box is not a place to sleep during storms.

It is all you need to know about sleeping in a cargo box.

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