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Sleeping In A Toyota Rav4: Can You Fit?

Do you have weekend adventures on your mind? Somewhere by the beach or in the wilderness? You could spend the extra money and find a hotel to stay in, or, if you like the idea of a more rugged and affordable adventure, why not sleep in the back of your car?

You can sleep in the back of a Toyota Rav4 when the rear seats are folded over. The rear seats don’t fold completely flat, but they do fold flat enough to provide sufficient space and a suitable “flat” surface for laying and sleeping on.

Toyota didn’t make the all-wheel drive (AWD) trim of the Rav4 with almost 4-wheel drive (4WD) capabilities. As well as being designed to handle wet and icy roads, the AWD Rav4 is also designed for some off-roading journeys and that’s why the Rav4 is one of the perfect cars for everyday driving and for getting slightly off the grid.

Find out more below!

Can You Sleep in a Toyota Rav4?

Sure, you could sleep in any car if you really wanted to. But if you want to have a comfortable sleep, where you can essentially lay flat and even have room to sit up and make yourself some food, the Rav4 provides more than enough space for this.

When the rear seats in a Toyota Rav4 are folded down they fold nearly completely flat and allow for over 70 cubic feet of cargo space. This allows for a person to be able to lay in the back of the Rav4 and, yes, you can certainly sleep in this amount of space.

Although the Rav4 is a compact SUV, the cabin and cargo space have been conveniently manufactured with ample space for drivers who need that kind of feature. The Rav4 is targeted towards people who want a spacious SUV-style vehicle but who can’t or won’t pay the full price of a larger SUV. Yes, it’s smaller than a full-size SUV, but the Rav4 is affordable and has similar features.

Can people over 6ft sleep in the back of a Toyota Rav4?

You can, but it might not be the most comfortable sleep. If you’re over 6ft tall and want to sleep in the back of your Rav4 you will just have to sleep at a slight angle. If you’re sleeping alone, it’s not so bad, but if there’s a second person in the space it could get somewhat cozy. Though I’m sure not everyone would complain that!

Watch this YouTube video by Vehicles with the Chris Turner Experience to see how you can fold the rear seats of your Rav4 and sleep in the back. Chris Turner is 6ft tall and says it’s comfortable enough for him to sleep in the back of a Rav4.

Which Toyota Rav4 Has the Most Cargo Space?

The Toyota Rav4 wasn’t necessarily intended for being used as a car to sleep in. That trend started somewhere along the line when people realized the cargo space was large enough for the accessibility of sleeping. Was it while camping or was it while on a big night out? We’ll never know.

What we do know, is that not all Rav4s are good for sleeping in. The earlier three-door models for example which are almost 17 inches shorter than the five-door models. These are not ideal for sleeping in.

Second-Generation Toyota Rav4

From 2000 – 2005 the second generation of the Rav4 was only offered as a five-door vehicle. Having realized that people wanted the extra space, and the five-door was more admirable than the earlier three-door, Toyota continued their compact crossover SUV range with the more attractive five-door series.

The rear seats can be split folded and can move forwards to create more space in the cargo area.

  • The second-generation Toyota Rav4 offers 29.2ft of cargo space
  • When the seats are folded and pushed forwards the 2000 – 2005 Toyota Rav4 offers 68.3 square feet of space

Third-Generation Toyota Rav4

The third generation of the Toyota Rav4 is what some might know as the V6 era of the Rav4. The third-gen made the Rav4 the best-selling SUV in America and the additional horsepower might have something to do with that.

For a brief period, the Rav4 offered three rows of seating, which meant the Rav4 was lengthened slightly to compensate for the extra room needed to fit the additional people in the back and still have enough cargo space to fit everyone’s luggage.

  • The cargo space of the third generation Rav4 still provides for 29.2 cubic feet of space
  • When the third-row seats are removed, and the second-row seats are folded the third-generation Rav4 can provide up to 73 cubic feet of space

Fourth-Generation Toyota Rav4

The three rows introduced to the Rav4 in its third generation are no longer available as this wasn’t a popular option. Toyota brought the fourth generation into the world in 2013 and again the compact SUV was lengthened by another 9 inches. Although the Rav4 is a compact SUV, it’s starting to look more like a full-size SUV with every generation release.

  • The cargo area of the fourth generation Rav4 now provides a reasonable 38.4 cubic feet
  • When the rear seats are folded flat you will have up to 73.4 cubic feet of spacious sleeping room.

Fifth-Generation Toyota Rav4

Enter 2019, the fifth generation of the Rav4 went off the charts in sales and the 2019 Rav4 is popular for its interior comfort, space, its fuel efficiency, and its low carbon emissions.

  • The 2019 Rav4 cargo space is smaller than its earlier years and now offers 37.6 cubic feet
  • The 2019 Rav4, when the rear seats are folded, offers drivers 69.8 cubic feet
  • The 2021 Rav4 also offers 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space and 69.8 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded
  • The rear seats have a 60/40 split design

Can I Transform my Rav4 into a Camper?

A Toyota Rav4 is the perfect compact SUV for converting into a mini camper for sleeping. To convert your Rav4 into a car for sleeping in, you’ll want to include a few comforts to make sleeping in your Rav4 a more pleasant experience.

  • Dehumidifiers to help prevent condensation and wetness building up on the windows
  • A sleeping pad or a thick yoga mat
  • A sleeping bag and some blankets, depending on your season and where you’re camping
  • Camping equipment like torches and a first aid kit (you never know!)
  • Consider building a platform for the back of the van so that you can fit your luggage underneath where you sleep
  • A bug screen so you can sleep with the windows slightly open

Check out this example of a platform for the back of your Rav4 by Felicia Fullwood (5min 30 secs). Felicia and her partner built the platform for the rear of the Rav4 and use the platform as a luggage storage area. They have covered the flatform with some foam and sleep on top of it in the back of the Rav4.

We mentioned earlier that the first generation of the Rav4 isn’t ideal for sleeping in, but Three (that’s what she calls herself) proves us wrong in this 1997 Toyota Rav4 that she lives in full-time. We wouldn’t recommend this for people 6ft and taller.


Take advantage of everything the Toyota Rav4 has to offer and turn it into a type of compact sleeper camper for the convenience of sleeping in the back. The affordable recreation active vehicle (RAV) offers drivers plenty of space in the rear of the SUV for sleeping.

Earlier models of the Rav4, such as the third and fourth generation offer the most room with over 73 cubic feet of space for sleeping and camping while the second and fifth-generation offers less than 70 Cubic Feet, which is still okay for sleeping.