Travel Experiences Travels with Boomer USA Northwest Travels Washington

Why I Will Never “Car Camp” Again

car camping mishap
Looks like a nice enough car, right?

Have you ever come up with a plan to solve a problem and only after you have partially implemented the plan you think to yourself what the hell was I thinking?

As you can probably tell from the title of this post my plan to car camp did not go well. I had not planned on sleeping in the car but I was running about 2 hours late. It was no surprise that I was running late but 2 hours late added to an already long day was a problem. I had an almost 6 hour drive ahead of me before I got home and had already been awake for 14 hours. I was 2 hours in to the drive when I started to think my long-haul drive was not a good idea.

I was be-bopping along to Tom Petty when I came to the conclusion that maybe I should pull over at a rest stop. I was not super tired but I did not want to get to the point that I was. I was not prepared to sleep in the car but it would be better than dozing off and driving off the road or trying to find a hotel in the middle of the night that would take a dog. I was also strapped for cash as well, hence why I was trying to avoid a hotel.

I decided car camping would be sufficient and pulled into a rest stop.  We parked near a row of cars that had also turned in for the night and I quietly organized the car as to not disturb my neighbors. Boomer was unclear as to what I was doing and stared at me perplexed.  I had pulled everything out of the car and placed it all in the front seats, including him.

My first problem started with the backseats. I knew that my backseats laid down flat but I had never actually preformed this task. Don’t judge, at the time I had only owned the car for 9 months. I knew that the seats did lay flat as I watched the salesman show me that the seats were able to do this before I bought the car.

I could only get the seats somewhat flat. It was annoying but I was too tired to pull the manual out. The manual was also in the glove box buried behind all of our luggage which I did not want to deal with digging around in all of our belongings. I decided Boomer could lay on top of the seats and I could lay in the cargo spot of the car.

Everything was planned out. I cracked the windows for air and locked us inside the car. I got myself into the spot I had identified as my space and called Boomer from the front seat to his spot for sleeping. Boomer, like the princess he is, did not like where he was sleeping and decided that he would share my spot. It was not like I was going to get good sleep anyway, so I let him squish me against the back of the hatchback and I closed my eyes for a few seconds.

I suddenly became hot. I realized that the windows were not cracked enough. I crawled over Boomer to get to the car ignition to use the power windows. I turned the key one click and pushed the window button. The window did not move. I thought that was strange so I turned the key to the next switch and pushed the button again. The window still did not move. I became frustrated and pushed the button again. I can only assume that the car had had enough of my shenanigans and dealt with me accordingly.  The lights began to flash, the horn began to honk and the next irrational events played out as so:

“Wait this car has a car alarm?”

“Shit how do I turn the car alarm off?”

“I’ll just start the car, that should shut it off”


“Push the key fob buttons, that’ll work”


“OMG the people next to me are going to kill me”

“OMG I’d kill myself if I wasn’t me”

“I’ve gotta get the manual out. Maybe that will tell me how to shut the alarm off”

“Of course I’m the idiot that has to read a manual on how to turn off a car alarm”

“Remember that guy who lives in your neighborhood who’s car alarm goes off every few months in the middle of the night? You don’t have any right to get mad at this guy anymore, you’ve become this guy”

“I need to get out of the car.”

“Great the doors are locked. Why won’t the damn doors unlock?”

“F***ING CAR I F***ING HATE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Finally I got the driver’s door unlocked.”

“How am I going to get out of this car?

“OMG the back doors won’t unlock!”

“Why did I have to put all of our stuff in the front seats, now I can’t get out.”

“I can’t believe this is happening. This is so embarrassing.”

“AHHHH I’m going to have to go head first out of the car”

(I would like to say in hindsight that if I was not in a full panic to get out of the car I could have successfully gotten out of the car without falling out on to the ground head first)

“Great now I’ve scraped up my knees.”

“This car is bullshit.”

“Why won’t one of these F***ing buttons on this key fob work.”

travel mishaps
The Devil HIMSELF!

I’m not sure what combination of buttons I pushed but I finally got the alarm to stop. I picked myself up off the ground and sat in the drivers seat while my heart raced. I knew I could not stay at the rest stop. I could not deal with the shame of waking up and having my fellow car campers think “so she’s the one with the car alarm, what an asshole”.

I started the car and drove the rest of the way home. I was on an adrenaline rush for most of the way home which resulted in me not noticing that I was tired. I did however sleep for 11 hours once I got home!

I personally wish I could have witnessed this 3 to 5 minute ordeal. Specifically the falling out of the car part. I’m sure seeing me scramble out of the car like I was on a slip and slide would have been totally amusing.

Have you ever tried car camping?  Were you successful or was it a disaster?

Get Free Beer & Travel Updates from Boomer & Jovi!

Signup now and receive an email once we publish new content.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

4 replies on “Why I Will Never “Car Camp” Again”

Oh no!!! Glad you can look at it with some amusement in retrospect, but I probably would’ve reacted the exact same way you did. I’ve slept in my car a few times, and none of those experiences were particularly tolerable. Never again!

Haha! Usually just putting the key in the ignition and/or starting it tirns off the alarm. Ugh! Sounds so frustrating! Glad you made it home!

Slept a few times at rests stops on long trips. Just slept in the drivers seat with back reclined (and a pillow). Not too bad. Can only sleep for a few hours that way, but I can sleep anywhere. Wash face in sink:) Then get breakfast in morning at next exit; brush teeth in bathroom. Not really comfortable, but cheap! lol

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.