If you want to save on a hotel room, or just take a nap, a Tesla Model 3 could do the trick with the room it has in the back. If you’re more than five and a half feet tall, you’ll have to sleep sideways or bend your knees, but it will work, as reported by Bloomberg.
Recounting his experiences “camping” in a $145,000 Tesla Model S, Tom Randall also referred to the Model 3’s inside dimensions. With the back seats folded flat and a cover over the truck storage well, the full five and half feet of horizontal space will be ready for your nap — or your overnight.
It’s referred to informally by a community of enthusiasts as Tesla “Camper Mode.” Those who take pleasure in sleeping in the wild — or at least in a campground — in the back of their luxury electric sedans do, however, need to make a few adjustments to the car’s systems.
Because an electric car is silent when not moving, noise isn’t a problem and ventilation needn’t be an issue either. Assuming your battery won’t run down too far, you can set the climate control system temperature, fan, and filtration to your preferred levels. In Tom Randall’s test night, he found that the battery charge decreased from 40 percent to 33 percent. That still left him with a 90-mile driving range for the Model S configuration he was sleep testing.
Randall constructed impromptu covers for the Model S’s daytime running lights and the car’s touchscreen. He set the touchscreen to the lowest brightness setting and “threw a towel over it.” He also engaged the parking brake and locked the car doors via the touchscreen controls.
One of the pleasures Randall described was the view of the nighttime sky through the Model S’s panoramic sunroof.
The Model 3’s final specifications have not yet been released to the public — that likely won’t happen until either this fall or sometime in 2017. Randall’s source, who is familiar with the final Model 3 design, told him about the flat-fold seating and the 66-inch interior length behind the front seats.
After the Model 3’s initial introduction, concerns about its small trunk opening were answered with the announcement it would be larger in the final design. Of course, if you were planning to sleep in the back you wouldn’t enter and exit through the trunk — you’d simply use the back seat doors.
Sleeping in your car used to be a trade-off between steamy, closed windows or mosquitos. Prudent concerns about exhaust gases kept most from closing the windows and leaving the motor and AC running. While Elon Musk likely never thought that his cars would enable overnight camping without worrying about bugs and gas poisoning, it looks like that’s what the Model S now and the Model 3 later will both provide. The Tesla Model X SUV won’t work, by the way, because the rear seats don’t fold flat.