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Old 1st July 2021, 16:55   #16
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

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Originally Posted by vox_alienus View Post
Because of Covid and also cost issues, I have been thinking of sleeping in my Polo during my travels.
Not at all recommended due to all the reasons fellow BHPians have mentioned. Our human anatomy is designed such a way that we sleep horizontal. A power nap is OK - I too have taken power naps during my journeys but definitely not the whole night. Normally I plan in advance and get a booking done in some normal hotel. During these COVID time, staying in normal hotel is definitely posing a challenge. So nowadays I do scout for good deals and get my accommodation booked in advance. Peace of mind, sanitized environment and above all good rest is definitely assured though a bit expensive.
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Old 1st July 2021, 17:32   #17
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

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Originally Posted by roy_libran View Post
By the way, which would be the best car, say within a 25 lakh on road bracket, for 2 people to sleep in with max. possible comfort?
Having slept in cars several times over the past, it is pretty simple just three major criteria that need to be met.

Firstly, you need a well insulated car. This will mean less stress on the aircon to maintain cabin temperature especially on hot days, and it will also allow you to switch off the aircon at night and comfortably maintain a cooler temperature inside for a decent amount of time. A car that isn't well insulated will succumb to whatever the temperatures are in your surroundings.

Secondly you need a car that offers good lumbar support as that can make all the difference in comfort when trying to sit and sleep. A car with lumbar adjustable front seats will have you fiddling with the recline angle much less and allow you to relax way easier.

Last of all, as another bhpian pointed out, we cannot get good sleep by being in a sitting posture the whole time, as a result it would be wise to go for a car with wide seats. Anything that has been developed for the US market generally tends to have this feature. Wide seats will allow you to curl up and give your body the room to change your posture during sleep so as not to be restricted in one pose which could lead to muscle aches.

If one follows these 3 criteria then it is as good as it gets at the end of the day if you want more, then you will have to buy and modify a van I suppose.

Last edited by IshaanIan : 1st July 2021 at 17:35.
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Old 1st July 2021, 17:40   #18
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

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Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
If one follows these 3 criteria then it is as good as it gets at the end of the day if you want more, then you will have to buy and modify a van I suppose.
Have done so too and agree with the factors. I was curious to know from people's experiences which stock cars in the market today come closest to providing these. This is one thing that would be hard to test in the showroom, especially the two people bit..
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Old 1st July 2021, 18:02   #19
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

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Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
Having slept in cars several times over the past, it is pretty simple just three major criteria that need to be met.
=====
If one follows these 3 criteria then it is as good as it gets at the end of the day if you want more, then you will have to buy and modify a van I suppose.

Thank you for the tips. Will be useful for making the final decision.
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Old 1st July 2021, 20:02   #20
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

I've slept in cars with the A/C running all night. This is during my post graduate days when I'd be on duty for 72 hrs on the trot. Hospital duty doctor's rooms were not comfortable and full of mosquitoes, cockroaches, etc.

Usually slept in the old Fiesta and sometimes in the Getz. Overnight about 3-4 Mts of fuel would be consumed. But fuel was much cheaper back then. Also we would have to get out at least 3-4 times between 0200 and 0600 for attending patient calls.

Keep the car in recirculating mode, Recline front seats rather than the back bench. Also don't use a petrol car which will overheat due to absence of wind flow.
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Old 1st July 2021, 20:07   #21
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

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Originally Posted by vox_alienus View Post
...I have been thinking of sleeping in my Polo during my travels.
...the aircon does not turn on when the engine is off.
...
Is there a workaround? Will appreciate help with this.
You can sleep in your car without running the engine in three easy steps.

Step 1: Sell the Polo.

Step 2: Buy an EV. The Nexon EV, MG ZS and Hyundai Kona are all worth the buy, unless you'd prefer a Tesla.

Step 3: Turn on the AC without turning on the engine. To be able to sleep in peace all night while retaining the option to be able to drive in the morning, plug the car into a charger.

You're all set.
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Old 1st July 2021, 20:35   #22
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

This brings back memories of uncomfortable nights in the car.
Once in Black Forest in a cold November night having lost our way in the forest, and once somewhere between Nanded and Ambajogai having had a double puncture.
I certainly would not do that if hotel options are available.

Also with AC, I agree keeping the engine on is the best option, but I typically wake up every 30 min worried about CO poisoning etc. Have done that only a couple of times in emergencies; and never since marriage.
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Old 2nd July 2021, 00:06   #23
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

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Originally Posted by roy_libran View Post
By the way, which would be the best car, say within a 25 lakh on road bracket, for 2 people to sleep in with max. possible comfort?
One can get the Tata Winger which is something like a 15 seater and costs around 12 or 14 lakhs on road and comes with a 2.2 L DICOR engine. Get those seats in the back removed and install a bed like the ones found in a vanity van. Install a split A/C and put a portable generator on the roof. Can easily manage within 20 lakhs if given to caravan/vanity van makers.

Coming back to the topic of normal cars (hatchback/sedan/suv), it would be better to follow what BHP-ian Lalvaz has stated. Get the car parked in a public place like a petrol pump or somewhere where there is security or sufficient human activity. In situations where one has to sleep that is a safer bet. However the activity of running the A/C while sleeping is not advisable.
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Old 2nd July 2021, 00:23   #24
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

Though sleeping in the car for long durations is not advisable for the reasons already listed, I did sleep in the car with AC on for a couple of hours at Vizag railway station around 1 am. This as way back in 2002 or so.

I had to pick up my Mom-in-law who was arriving from Bilaspur at 1 am. And I was residing 30 kms away in the Vizag Steel Township. Back then, it was difficult to track delays in trains. So I reached the station a few minutes early, but got to know that the train was late by 2 hours! Staying awake till 3 am was a daunting task!

Driving back 30 kms was not an option, nor was it advisable to knock on any relative's house at such an odd hour. So the only option was to turn the car engine on in the parking lot, keep a one inch gap on both front windows, turn the AC on, and make a horizontal bed on the front passenger seat.

If you are wondering how I did that, it was possible in the 1st gen WagonR to make a flat bed by reclining the front seat fully, and also the rear seat. Overall, it was comfortable, and I'd have got around half an hour's sleep amid the din and bustle of that busy station. The announcements were the biggest hurdle for a restful sleep.

Long story short, this is not something I'd do regularly, except in emergencies like the one above.

Last edited by vnabhi : 2nd July 2021 at 00:25.
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Old 2nd July 2021, 00:42   #25
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

Slightly OT - which is the best car for this job? My choices would be - Omni, Eeco (remove rear seat and plonk a nice mattress), may be an Ertiga. The best of all - Skoda Laura or the Octavia. Unless you are habituated to sleeping on your back through the night I doubt any hatchback or sedan could do a good job, you definitely need space to turn.
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Old 2nd July 2021, 00:52   #26
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

From a safety aspect of sleeping, What I had not done in the past when I was feeling an immense feeling of drowsiness was to just park in front of a police station at night and slept by reclining the front seats. About 10 minutes of parking, a policeman approached me and I politely told him that I was just too tired to drive and would be sleeping here for a couple of hours.

Getting an AC running without the engine is not possible unless you get something used by truckers in the US OR a battery-powered air conditioner - https://www.zerobreeze.com/ https://www.arcticbreeze-truckac.com/index.html

Last edited by navin : 2nd July 2021 at 13:12. Reason: typos
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Old 2nd July 2021, 12:13   #27
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

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Originally Posted by vox_alienus View Post
Because of Covid and also cost issues, I have been thinking of sleeping in my Polo during my travels. For several months of the year, this will be impossible without the aircon running. .
I guess it’s not safe sleeping with air condition on without car being idle. There have been instances / news where things went bad with air con on and sleeping in closed area like a basement due to poisonous gas. Not worth taking risk even if there is 0.1% possibility too.
In addition I have seen the car developing odour when drivers sleep inside. Classic example being these early morning cab ride when the driver would have been sleeping until his trip.
Not to forget the other safety issues as GTO mentioned.
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Old 2nd July 2021, 13:16   #28
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

I did it in a rented Polo for 10 days in Norway and in a Suzuki Grand Vitara in Iceland for a similar duration. We took a tent with us to camp, but found the hassle of putting up a tent at the end of a strenuous day of travelling and sightseeing a bit too much.

Grand Vitara was pretty comfy. Polo was not the best experience. I always used to sleep in the driver's seat pushed and reclined all the way back and my better half would take the back seat. With the Vitara, I never really got stiff where as with the Polo I would have to wiggle around to find different positions as it was too cramped.

Also, we always were in camping grounds, so never far away from toilets and showers. I would never do it in India though considering the safety and convenience aspects.
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Old 2nd July 2021, 13:43   #29
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

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Originally Posted by Maverick1977 View Post
Slightly OT - which is the best car for this job? My choices would be - Omni, Eeco (remove rear seat and plonk a nice mattress), may be an Ertiga. The best of all - Skoda Laura or the Octavia. Unless you are habituated to sleeping on your back through the night I doubt any hatchback or sedan could do a good job, you definitely need space to turn.
1st gen WagonR and Xylo---both have a feature where you can make a flat bed by joining the front and rear seat by reclining both.

See below for the Waggie:-

How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car-img_20190420_134110.jpg

Last edited by vnabhi : 2nd July 2021 at 13:49.
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Old 2nd July 2021, 16:51   #30
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Default Re: How to run the aircon when engine is off? I want to sleep in my car

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Originally Posted by vox_alienus View Post
Because of Covid and also cost issues, I have been thinking of sleeping in my Polo during my travels.
I can understand the Covid scenario for this thought process. I have also contemplated the same but ended up postponing my (last month's) Ladakh trip.

I would not suggest sleeping in a car just because of cost issues. There won't be much savings (even if we ignore other issues with sleeping in cars as highlighted by our esteemed members).

Ours is beautiful country and it has everything for everyone. For budget travelers like us, there are clean and comfortable budget hotels available for < 1000 INRs. Their location might not be scenic but they serve as a good night halt. During my Dec 20 trip to Rajasthan, I was able to find a hotel on the highway for INR 800/- per night with single occupancy. The city was Udaipur.
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