Where Do You Sleep In A VW Campervan?

I always thought that where you sleep in a VW Campervan was common knowledge, but apparently it isn’t. So if you are one of the people who doesn’t know, or isn’t fully clear on it, read on, this post is for you.

How Many People Can Travel In A VW Campervan?

I started writing this post in relation to the more modern T6 VW Campervan, but as I was doing my research, I found that very little has changed over the years from the early days of the T1 to the recent T6.

So what I am writing here applies to pretty much every model of VW Campervan.

The number of people who can travel in a VW Campervan is limited only by the number of seats with seatbelts that it has.

Almost all versions of VW Campervans have 4 seats with seatbelts as standard. 2 in the front and 2 in the back. So, 4 people can travel in a VW Campervan.

Unless of course your VW Campervan has been fitted with an extra seat, such as in the image above. If that is the case, 5 People can travel in your VW Campervan, but the standard setup is 4.

How Many People Can You Sleep In A VW Campervan?

Where Do You Sleep In A VW Campervan - Rock And Roll Bed

The answer to this question is directly related to what type of conversion you have. The most people that can sleep in a VW Campervan is 4, and that is only if the Campervan has a Pop Top.

If your VW Campervan does not have a Pop Top and still has the original solid roof that it came from the manufacturer with, then your Campervan will only sleep 2.

I understand that the other 2 passengers could sleep in an awning, but they aren’t technically “In” the Campervan, which is the title of this post.

I have seen configurations in a conversation on a chat group where VW Campervans can sleep 4 and a child comfortably, so the figure would go to 5 (or 4.5).

Standard VW Seating setups have 4 seats, so the people owning those Campervans couldn’t sleep 5, as they couldn’t get the 5th person there.

If you do have a 5th seat, you could possibly sleep 5, or more likely 4 and a small child, but things would be incredibly cramped, and you would have to transport some form of camp bed, as well as finding a space to fit it into too.

When You Sleep In A VW Campervan, Where Do The Beds Come From?

If your VW Campervan has a Pop Top, 2 of the beds are located in the roof of the Campervan and 2 are converted from the rear, front facing seats known as the Rock and Roll Bed.

If your VW Campervan has a solid roof, your 2 beds (1 Double) are converted from the Rock and Roll Bed only.

Here’s an informative Video that shows how it is done:

What Is A Campervan Pop Top?

Where Do You Sleep In A VW Campervan - Pop Top

A Pop Top is an additional room added to the roof of your Campervan that is folded flat and locked when driving, and can be raised and deployed once your Campervan is parked and set up.

The Pop Top is accessed by a sliding hatch fitted to the cut away portion of your Campervan roof. The Pop Top basically gives your Campervan another Bedroom on the 1st Floor.

A Pop Top enables your Campervan to either sleep 4 people, or it allows you to sleep 2 people in it and leave the Rock and Roll bed left down as seats in the habitation area below.

The Pop Top can also simply be raised and opened to allow you to stand up in a VW Camper with more headroom.

Pop Tops also usually have ventilation flaps that can be zipped open to allow some cool air into your living or sleeping quarters.

The Pop Top must always be stowed away flat and locked into place before driving a VW Camper.

Do All VW Campervans Have Pop Tops?

No, as we alluded to before, not all VW Campers have Pop Tops. There are some absolutely stunning examples of VW Campervans that still have their flat roofs, and rightly so. It would be a shame to destroy the look of a beautiful, collectable and rare Split Screen VW T1 just for the sake of an extra bed or 2.

Sometimes things are better just left as they were meant to be.

Where Do You Sleep In A VW Campervan - No Pop Top

How Does The VW Campervan Rock And Roll Bed Work?

I found this excellent description on Base Campers Website that explains the operation of a Rock and Roll Bed far better than I ever could:

The VW Transporter rock and roll camper van bed is made from a box section and all the hinge plates are cnc laser cut. The bed sits over the wheel arch in the rear of front-engined vans and fixes through the floor with high tensile bolts and Rusty Lee’s in-vehicle tested fitting kit.

If fitted in a T5/T6 this bed has been in-vehicle (crash) tested. The bed operates on heavy duty ball bearing slides, so it pulls from seat to bed position with ease. The front legs also sit 5mm higher than your floor, so you don’t get any scuff marks on your nice new floor when pulling the bed into position.

The bed locks off into seat position with two heavy duty quick release spring-loaded pins. It sits on rubber buffers, so no rattling when you’re on the move.

The frame comes fully powder coated and operates from seat to bed mode in just a few seconds. This bed is designed to have the upholstery attached to the frame and not made with butt hinges like others out there, so your covers won’t go flying off when you have to brake hard. The gas strut will make putting the bed back to seat effortless.

Can You Get A Good Night’s Sleep In A VW Campervan?

Where Do You Sleep In A VW Campervan - Good Nights Sleep

The expression, a good night’s sleep is very subjective. It means different things to different people. When I’m in a Campervan, any sleep is welcome.

I have never found it difficult to get a good night’s sleep in a Campervan. I find the VW Campervan’s Rock and Roll Bed comfortable enough for me to get to sleep, but some people don’t.

I have to admit that I have never slept in the Pop Top of a VW Campervan, so I can’t really comment on that. However, looking on the bulletin boards and chat groups, it appears that there is no issue sleeping up there either.

Is A Mattress Topper Suitable For A VW Campervan?

If you aren’t someone like me, who can fall asleep anywhere, then you might need some form of additional comfort.

I have heard of many people who use a Memory Foam Mattress Topper when they sleep in a VW Campervan. That is all well and good. If that’s what you need then take one along and use it.

Just remember, one of the characteristics of VW Campervans is that they are limited for space. If you take a mattress topper, you have to find somewhere to store it. Probably at the detriment of something else that you used to put in that space.

Could We Sleep In The Awning And Leave The Seats Up In The Campervan?

Where Do You Sleep In A VW Campervan - Sleeping In The Awning

Yes, you can certainly sleep in an awning and leave the seats up in the Campervan. Just remember, just as with the mattress topper mentioned above. If you are going to sleep in the awning, you are probably going to want to sleep on a Camp Bed, or at least an inflatable mattress. There will be additional space eating cargo too.

Sleeping in an awning is entirely acceptable, but as the title of this post is “Where Do You Sleep In A VW Campervan”? and not “Next to a VW Campervan” it isn’t really relevant.

Where Do You Sleep In A VW Campervan? – Summary

Hopefully, this post has answered a few questions for those that weren’t aware of the sleeping options in a VW Campervan.

  • Passengers are limited by how many seatbelts a VW Campervan has, 4
  • A VW Campervan with a Pop Top can sleep 4
  • A VW Campervan with a flat roof can sleep 2
  • You can get a good night’s sleeping a VW Campervan
  • The Video shows the operation of the Pop Top and the Rock and Roll Bed
  • You can take along a Mattress Topper for more comfort, but you’ll have to store is somewhere
  • Additional people can sleep in an awning if need be, but you’ll have to store their camp beds somewhere, and numbers are still limited by seatbelts.
  • I think that just about covers everything to do with how ad where to sleep in a VW Campervan. If you think I’ve missed anything, feel free to drop me a message on the Contact page.