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Sleeping in a truck bed with a cap can be a convenient way to travel long distances or just be somewhere to sleep if you’re between homes. One problem we often forget to consider is ventilation. Whether you have considered sleeping in the bed of your truck or have done it before, it’s normal to wonder whether ventilation will be necessary.
You need to ventilate a truck bed for sleeping if you don’t want to wake in the middle of the night in a sweat. It’s especially necessary if it won’t just be you sleeping in the bed of the truck.
Let’s go into some more detail about ventilation, why it’s important, and how you can make it work in your truck bed.
Why You Need To Ventilate a Truck Bed for Sleeping
Proper ventilation is good for your health, keeps you cool while sleeping, helps get rid of germs and smells, and reduces the impact of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) while you’re sleeping. Let’s take a closer look at these reasons.
Health Benefits of Proper Ventilation
Living areas that aren’t ventilated can be a breeding ground for airborne allergens. Things like dust mites and dander can thrive in a non-ventilated space. So, it’s important not to let that happen.
Sleeping in your truck bed is convenient, but it can pose the same risks as a bedroom that’s not ventilated. If you’re prone to allergies or asthma, then your living or sleeping space needs to be properly ventilated to prevent any flare-ups. So, consider ventilating your space to protect your health.
Ventilation Regulates Temperature
Without proper ventilation, humidity can raise indoor temperatures. So, on a hot day, it’ll be hotter in your truck bed without proper ventilation. This will cause you to sweat during the night, and the air will feel stuffy. This is common for areas with no ventilation.
If you want to remain comfortable while you sleep, it’s important to ventilate your truck bed. Even leaving a window cracked open can make a huge difference when it comes to the inside temperature. So, ventilate your truck bed to get a more comfortable sleep by not allowing the air to become stale and make you too warm.
Ventilation Helps Get Rid of Germs and Bad Smells
An important part of ventilation is getting rid of unwanted germs. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, ventilation can greatly reduce airborne and surface contaminants. So, lack of ventilation in your truck bed can be a breeding ground for germs that have no escape.
Not only is it important to clean the space that you sleep in, but keep it ventilated to reduce the risk of germs spreading. Remember that germs can cause several issues. So, viruses and other contaminants can spread more easily without ventilation. This increases the chance of getting sick or contracting airborne viruses.
Keep in mind that bad smells happen too. Whether it’s caused by our bodies or even our pets, they happen often. One night of sweating in your truck bed can leave your bedding smelling not so fresh. Sure, you should keep up with washing your bedding, but it’s not always possible to wash it every night or even every week.
So, the alternative to constantly washing that helps keep your bedding nice is to make sure the truck bed is ventilated. This will keep away germs and those pesky smells that come from living and sleeping in a small space.
VOCs Can Be Dangerous
Different from germs, Volatile Organic Compounds are gasses that can have some serious adverse health effects if left to fester. These can come from a wide array of sources somewhere in the thousands, and they’re often easy to miss.
Things like paint, adhesives, and permanent markers are some of the most common household VOCs that can be dangerous for you, but there are other VOCs that you may not know as well as those. Stored automotive products are a major VOC group that can make your truck bed sleeping a little riskier.
Stored automotive products and fuel can pose a huge risk for your health if you don’t properly ventilate your truck bed. So, keep in mind what you have around you and consider the health risks of not venting your sleeping area that may contain VOCs.
The health risks involved with VOCs vary depending on what the compound is. For example, nausea, headaches, and allergic reactions are some of the most popular side effects of VOCs, but there are more. Long-term exposure to VOCs can cause damage to your liver or kidneys, dizziness, fatigue, and breathing discomfort.
The best way to avoid VOCs is to know what you have around you that may pose a risk and ensure you’re keeping the area ventilated properly.
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How Can I Ventilate My Truck Bed?
You can ventilate your truck bed by opening a small window or installing a ventilation fan in the truck bed. Most truck beds come with windows for ventilation, but it may not be safe to keep the windows open all night. So, consider a fan if that isn’t possible.
Most truck bed caps have windows for ventilation. In fact, some even have smaller windows that allow ventilation without risking an animal or stranger having access to your truck while you sleep. However, if your truck bed doesn’t have this option or you just want to ensure maximum safety, you can consider a ventilation fan for your truck bed.
A ventilation fan allows constant airflow through the top of your truck bed without allowing full open access to the inside of your truck. This can be a lifesaver for those sleeping in areas that are often inhabited by people or wild animals. Take away that risk of an uninvited guest with a ventilation fan instead.
Consider having your ventilation fan professionally installed, or check out some DIY options if you prefer to do it alone. Just make sure that you have all the right tools and are ready to cut a hole in your truck safely.
Ventilation is very important, especially for a truck bed since it’s a small enclosed space. Remember that it’ll help you regulate your body temperature and get rid of VOCs, germs, and all those pesky smells that come along with sleeping in a tight space.
Here are some of my favorite van build tools:
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful as you build your own campervan. Here are some tools that I use daily while living on the road that made my life easier. I hope you’ll also find them as useful as me. These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to purchase any of them, I’ll earn a commission.
But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I use and recommend to everyone, even my closest friends and family.
Electricity: When I first started my van life journey, I was using the Renogy 200W RV Kit, and I’ve recently upgraded my setup to the Renogy 400W RV Kit. I’m fully autonomous regarding power now, thanks to this upgrade. I don’t know why I didn’t choose this option from the beginning.
Quick Fixes: Whenever I need to fix something inside my van, I use my multitool from Victorinox. It’s compact and comes with a leather pouch that lets you store it wherever you want. Whenever I need more tools, I get my Cartmann toolset out.
Power tools: If you’re converting a van, you’ll need some serious tools for the building process. I can assure you, good power tools can make a huge difference. You’ll save time and avoid a lot of frustration while having some professional-looking final results. I personally went big with the full combo set from Dewalt.
To see all of my most up-to-date recommendations about van build, check out this resource that I made for you!