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After months of patient waiting, I finally pre-ordered a Luno Life car camping mattress for my 2020 crosstrek. Haven't done much car camping/sleeping before, but really excited since I bought my crosstrek.


I am seeking some general advice around car camping hacks or other accessories I might want/need to make the experience of sleeping in my car more pleasant. Thanks!

(I know there are a few older threads related to luno-life and car camping which I have already reviewed).
 

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After months of patient waiting, I finally pre-ordered a Luno Life car camping mattress for my 2020 crosstrek. Haven't done much car camping/sleeping before, but really excited since I bought my crosstrek.


I am seeking some general advice around car camping hacks or other accessories I might want/need to make the experience of sleeping in my car more pleasant. Thanks!

(I know there are a few older threads related to luno-life and car camping which I have already reviewed).
We take a couple of these with us. One to power tech and one to start the car if the battery gets drained (have helped out other folks, too):

 

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I bought the original Luno Life a little over a year ago, and I really like the thing. Very well made, and a great fit for the vehicle.

I agree with @AstroKats that a power station of some sort is a great thing to have along. Also in the tech category, a couple of those Luci solar lights are great to have, as well as a decent Bluetooth speaker. This year, I also think I'll get a couple of those screens that can cover a partially open car window to keep the bugs out.

In broader terms, my main advice would be to practice minimalism and extreme organization. The Crosstrek is plenty big to sleep in (especially if there's just one of you), but with the mattress deployed there's very little storage space for gear. Organize everything you're bringing by category, and pack in small, seal-able containers that can fit on the passenger's seat, the floor behind the front seats with the rear seats down, and so on. I don't use the inflatable Luno spacers that are designed to fill the gap behind the front seats, since that's a great place for soft-sided gear.

Find a small organizer of some sort that you can keep on the mattress next to you, too -- a place to keep water bottle, keys, flashlight, cell phone, and so on. Fumbling in the dark for that stuff in a confined space is really maddening.

Hope you have some great trips in store!
 

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We take a couple of these with us. One to power tech and one to start the car if the battery gets drained (have helped out other folks, too):

Nice. @AstroKats I like the idea of having two power banks. One for the car and one for electronics. I will definitely do that.
 

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@AstroKats How do you like those stanley power stations? The reviews on web were surprisingly low. Don't want to just trust that though...
We love them but haven't used anything else similar, to make a side-by-side comparison. Years ago, a friend was using one to power an iPod and some speakers at a pool party, rather than run a power cable around the pool, which is never a good idea, LOL! I thought it was a great idea, plus jump starting a car, a tire pump, a 110V outlet, etc. We got one for camping trips then later got the newer model so we could keep one in each car (for emergencies) and take two on camping trips. One to blow up the air mattress, power devices, etc. and one still left charged for emergencies. They have both worked flawlessly for many years. I've used them for all kinds of things such as keeping a car battery powered while switching the battery, and running experiments on various tech devices (I tend to do that). So, very happy with them.

They're powered by sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries and I've seen others that use lithium-ion batteries. Pros and cons for both. The Stanleys (as we refer to them) are bulky and heavy but it's not like we carry them on hikes. The batteries they use are cheap security system batteries, so easy and inexpensive to replace when they no longer hold a charge.
 

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We love them but haven't used anything else similar, to make a side-by-side comparison. Years ago, a friend was using one to power an iPod and some speakers at a pool party, rather than run a power cable around the pool, which is never a good idea, LOL! I thought it was a great idea, plus jump starting a car, a tire pump, a 110V outlet, etc. We got one for camping trips then later got the newer model so we could keep one in each car (for emergencies) and take two on camping trips. One to blow up the air mattress, power devices, etc. and one still left charged for emergencies. They have both worked flawlessly for many years. I've used them for all kinds of things such as keeping a car battery powered while switching the battery, and running experiments on various tech devices (I tend to do that). So, very happy with them.

They're powered by sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries and I've seen others that use lithium-ion batteries. Pros and cons for both. The Stanleys (as we refer to them) are bulky and heavy but it's not like we carry them on hikes. The batteries they use are cheap security system batteries, so easy and inexpensive to replace when they no longer hold a charge.
Thanks for the review!
 

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Never did in-car camping, always packed a tent. But regarding power, if you want to invest in lithium, my favorites are the NOCO boost (available on Amazon, recommend the GB50) as they use reliable lithium batteries for emergency jumping or topping off a phone and epauto makes a super compact pump. Used a NOCO GB150 version to even jump big aircraft engines whose batteries were run down, and never failed. Just be careful during the super hot summers about leaving the batteries in the car, as it can shorten their life, and after about 3 years expect to toss it in recycling as just like laptop batteries the lithiums don't last forever left at 100% charge. Aside from all the usual first-aid, lighter, knife, bugspray, tarp, string, ducktape bla bla, we use cooler shock ice bags (gets colder than real ice) along with a couple frozen gallon water containers (obviously empty a little beforehand) and that way there's no ice mess wetness to deal with and you can drink the gallon containers as they melt, especially since we use AO Coolers soft coolers since they are lighter and easier to pack.
 
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