chevy bolt camping.resized - Chevy Bolt Camper: Can you sleep in a Chevy Bolt? Yes - here's how!

Chevy Bolt Camper: Can you sleep in a Chevy Bolt? Yes – here’s how!

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You’d think that sleeping in a Chevy Bolt isn’t possible – you’d be surprised how many people do it. Let’s look at various ways anyone can sleep in the Chevy Bolt and what gear people use to get comfortable.

  • Chevy Bolt + EV + EUV dimensions
  • The best ways to sleep in a Chevy Bolt
  • Conversion ideas and a photo gallery (examples)
  • Gear suggestions (what mattress is best, car tents, bed platform solutions)

Chevy Bolt boot dimensions for sleeping

You are right that the Chevy Bolt is quite small for sleeping – it’s 164 inches (4.17m) long and 62 inches (1.58m) tall (the Chevy Bolt EUV is only a bit longer 169.5 in (4.3m), same height) – there’s not much to work with.

Chevy Bolt’s boot length is about 58 in (1.47m) long from the front seats towards the tailgate. You can gain an additional 7.8 in (20cm) by pushing the front seats forward all the way and leaning them forward too, giving you a maximum of 65.7 in (1.67m) long sleeping area to work with.

It might not be your typical bed for two either as the boot width at wheel arches is only 38 in (96cm) – doable, but not as comfortable as some bigger MPVs/Minivans or SUVs.

You will have to think sparingly in terms of what mattress you put in – as the overall boot height of 28.7 in (73cm) doesn’t allow for a thick mattress (although I never recommend a thick mattress anyway).

This is a no-no: (for any camper setup actually – here’s why)

DrfPKeE - Chevy Bolt Camper: Can you sleep in a Chevy Bolt? Yes - here's how!

This is better:

folding mattress - Chevy Bolt Camper: Can you sleep in a Chevy Bolt? Yes - here's how!

This is probably the best for a small boot:

SELF-INFLATING CAMPING MATTRESS – BASIC 60 CM – 1 PERSON

very lightweight and compact • durable (not as easy to puncture as a conventional air mattress) • comfortable much better insulation than thick conventional air mattresses (less air to heat up) better stability (too much air makes a mattress bounce all over the place)
I have been using it for several years now – it is enough on its own, but it can be easily coupled with a thinner foam sheet in the car for a longer camping trip and additional comfort.

4.0/5 from 800+ reviews

How to convert a Chevy Bolt for sleeping?

There are more options you can choose from:

1. Sleep inside the car – on the reclined front seat

Yep, that’s possible too, not as comfortable, but we have slept like this for 7 days in Greece and we enjoyed it.

The more flat the seat and backrest, the better, as ergonomic seats are fine for sitting in, but limit your sleeping room when lying down (well, they weren’t meant for sleeping in after all!). We did that for a week in Greece in a Fiat Punto and later in a Fiat 500. 🙂 But a flat surface will give you much more comfort, your back will thank you!

2. Sleep inside the car – in the boot

  • sleep inside the boot as-is – just fold the seats down and put a mattress in
  • sleep on the front seats
  • sleep inside the boot and the reclined front seat using a bed platform
  • sleep inside the boot as-is, but with the boot open – leave the mattress sticking out from the boot door (tailgate) for more room. Might need a tailgate tent with that.
  • sleep inside the boot by removing the rear seats completely

Not suitable for anyone taller than 66 in (1.67m) – if you do have the double boot floor, then all you need to do is throw a mattress on top of the folded seats and you are good to go. Make sure it’s not a tall mattress – max 4 in (10cm), to leave enough headroom to move around and feel less claustrophobic.

There used to be a product called BoltMattress, but it’s no longer manufactured – perhaps you can get one second-hand. It does seem a bit too tall anyway. You can use this image to get an idea and perhaps DIY cut your own mattress or have one made for you.

Here’s what it could look like, but I would recommend using a thinner inflatable mattress, one like this.

You will also need to set up some support for your head (between the folded rear seats and front seats).

Here are some examples of how people have approached this problem:

Need more length? Sleep over the front seats

Anyone can sleep in the Chevy Bolt or any similar size car by sleeping over the front passenger seat. Buy a garden (outdoor) lounger and remove its front legs. The part with removed legs can rest on the reclined front seat. (Recline the seat backwards, not forward). Just make sure it is quite narrow, so it will fit in between the front seats. Or, if you have a wider one, you can recline both front seats and put it in the middle.

3. An advanced DIY camping conversion

The Chevy Bolt is about the same size as a Renault Twingo – you can get inspired by this camping conversion.

Read next: Renault Twingo camper DIY conversion

  • recline the front seats backwards
  • build a platform that rests on top of them all the way from the boot
  • the platform should cover the entire car basically, giving you a lot of sleeping room
  • don’t expect much headroom though!

4. Sleep in the boot by removing the rear seats or the front passenger seat

This solution requires a bit more work and dedication to camping as you will not be able to carry more than two people when driving. And it might be tricky to sleep two people inside as the longest sleeping area is diagonal:

You could also build a false double floor to extend it towards the front seats a bit more. The one below is for a dog, you might want to make it longer and foldable so that the front can be folded away to allow for the front seats to be in a driving position:

5. Sleep in a tailgate tent or a roof tent

This is perhaps the simplest solution, but not suitable for stealth camping. There are two types of car tents:

  • tailgate tents
  • roof tents

Not all roof tents will fit as Chevy Bolt’s roof is smaller and has lower square footage, but there is enough of Chevy Bolt suitable roof tents. Especially smaller and lighter solutions like the Decathlon Soft-shell roof tent.

As for a tailgate tent, there are many options to choose from. In the EU, there’s a clear favourite, owned and praised by many campers:

MY TOP BUDGET CAR TENT – Decathlon Arpenaz Base M

Lukas Cech – Nimblecamper.com

arpenaz base m berlingo2 - Chevy Bolt Camper: Can you sleep in a Chevy Bolt? Yes - here's how!
If you don’t mind it’s not meant to be used as a car tent – but it actually can do the job pretty well, you’re in for a treat – at only 129.99 GBP / 139.99 EUR, you will get a pretty good tailgate tent – or a side door tent, you can make it fit both. Better for cars like Caddy, Berlingo, Sharan etc – with lower height compared to a Multivan (as most car awnings are made for those). Confirmed to fit most MPVs, barn doors as well. (see images below)
– Very cheap!!
– Height : 2.15 m | Floor area: 6.25 m2 | Comfortable for 6 people
– Openings on 3 sides | 3 mosquito nets
– Waterproof (200L per hour per m2)
– Packed size – rectangular cover | 57 x 18 cm | 18 litres
– Weight 8kg
– Easy set-up with a free-standing structure | Fibreglass poles
– The fabric filters UV radiation with a UPF of 30
– Withstands force 6 winds – around 50 km/h | Wind tunnel test
– doesn’t need a rail to be attached
– will not fit exactly as it’s not meant to be used with a car, but should do the trick – the opening is high enough for the tailgate or most barn doors + the sheet will protect from rain.

129.99 GBP / 139.99 EUR

I haven’t seen a tailgate tent in this price range that works better. Easy to carry, easy to erect and does the job perfectly – you gain a lot of storage space / living room with mosquito nets and window covers for privacy / cover during the rain. Add a tarp to cover the tailgate for extra rain protection and there’s not much missing from this (unintentional) car tent. If you are considering trying car camping with a car tent, this is the one to try. And you may never need another one, unless your family starts to grow 🙂

Available at any Decathlon website for your country.
I recommend buying this foldable table + 4 chairs too – good ratings, price and takes up almost no space.

4.9

There are three ways how you can fit it over your tailgate or side door:

But there are many similar tents worldwide.

Here’s how it could look on your Chevy Bolt:

More useful Chevy Bolt images:

Read next: How to sleep in any car comfortably – a collection of easy camping conversions

Sources:

https://www.chevybolt.org/threads/bolt-car-camping-glamping.29543/
https://www.chevybolt.org/threads/sleeping-in-the-bolt.45840/
https://www.chevybolt.org/threads/car-camping-in-the-bolt.36668/
https://www.chevybolt.org/threads/false-cargo-floor.6794/page-3
https://pauldankers.com/ev-adventures-with-our-chevy-bolt/
https://www.chevybolt.org/threads/bolt-car-camping-glamping.29543/

Post author:

Lukas

Founder of NimbleCamper.com, avid traveler and outdoor enthusiast. Car camping and microcamping allows me to keep traveling and exploring with a much greater level of freedom & privacy – to go anywhere and sleep anywhere. I didn’t have 30K to buy a VW Multivan, so found my way to the world of everyday car camping conversions. Here I share my experiences and what I learn.

Check out my thoughts on a balanced life: sensimism.com

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