California startup Pacific Adventure Works is about to make it much easier to sleep in your vehicle, without the expense and bulk of an all-out RV build. The company puts a unique spin on the “bedroll” with a portable sleeper platform that rolls up slim for travel and quickly builds into a fully adjustable bed that turns your beat-up Toyota 4Runner or Subaru Outback into the ultimate oceanfront or mountaintop abode. It’s designed to work with all kinds of different hatchback vehicles and set up in minutes, giving adventurers the full freedom and flexibility the wide-open road and wilderness demand.
While a ground tent gets you closer to nature than any camper van or motorhome, all it takes is one night of foul, windy weather to get you questioning why you’re spending the night in a light aluminum-boned hunk of sail fabric and not in the fully enclosed multi-ton car or SUV parked just steps away. While many SUVs and station wagon offer the space to do exactly that, a trunk filled with camping gear, sports equipment and luggage you can’t simply toss out into exposed weather can make the idea a nonstarter. And rear seats don’t always fold perfectly flat, leaving something to be desired in terms of lying comfort.
We’ve seen no shortage of camper-in-a-box kits meant to create a more comfortable, level vehicle camping experience inside factory cars and SUVs, but these tend to be heavy and inflexible, requiring precise mounting locations in the vehicle and quite possibly eating up valuable space you’d rather use to transport something else. Each one also tends to be designed for a specific model or subset of vehicles and won’t work with just any ol’ wagon.
Pacific Adventure Works has made it a mission to offer a lighter, simpler, more flexible solution for turning a basic station wagon, SUV or crossover into a cozy overnight shelter. Borrowing a little inspiration from the folding roll-top camping table, it’s designed a two-part raised sleeper platform to work with a large vehicle set.
Called the Hideaway Sleeping Platform (HSP), Pacific’s design rides as a roundish 40- or 48-in-long (102- or 122-cm) package, depending on bed size, with a diameter of just 8 inches (20 cm). All the individual frame members and connectors store inside the ribbed nylon topper, rolling into a package that you can slide into the cargo area.
When it’s time to camp, the HSP’s aluminum beams build up into a full frame with help from polypropylene hubs, no tools required, supporting the fabric-covered platform that rolls out on top. From there, you can drop on a foam or inflatable mattress and enjoy a homestyle bed inside four solid automotive walls. The Hideaway platform supports up to 400 lb (181 kg).
At 30 to 35 lb (13.6 to 15.9 kg) for the full kit, the HSP is plenty manageable for one person. Its legs adjust in height to even out uneven vehicle floors and offer between 9.5 and 15.5 inches (24 to 39 cm) of under-bed storage space – so you don’t have to dump all your cargo outside. It won’t clear a larger cooler or fridge/freezer, but it can top Dometic Go Pac H50 storage boxes, Front Runner Wolf Pack Pro boxes, an Oyster vacuum-insulated hard cooler, soft coolers, loose stoves and gear, etc. Users can adjust the height for the best combination of headroom and under-bed storage space.
Just as importantly, the Hideaway’s telescoping frame slide-adjusts in total length, up to 72 in (183 cm), to fit the vehicle snugly. It even shortens to roughly half-length to create a platform that fits over the load area behind the rear seats, where it can work as a shelf for storing a second level of gear or just a privacy cover to hide any valuables in the trunk.
Pacific Adventure Works plans to launch preorders this month, with deliveries to begin in December. It will offer the kit as a 30-in-wide (76-cm) Solo platform for $599, a 40-in-wide (102-cm) Double for $699 and a 48-in-wide (122-cm) XL for $799. It plans to build the kits in the US and prides itself on “buy-it-for-life” construction. The modular nature of the design also means that it will be easy enough to replace any parts that do break along the journey.
Source: Pacific Adventure Works