tent back yard figurine
Image from this store.

If you are new to the world of T@Bs and possibly other small RVs, you may not be familiar with this experience. But the fact is, one of the first things I read about any kind of teardrop purchase was to driveway camp. Backyard camp. Sleep out in your teardrop and figure out–most importantly–how to make your bed so comfortable, you never want to sleep in a motel room or hotel room again.

And yes, it can be done! Those with full-time beds can even put a custom mattress inside. Those, like us, who make our beds up in the morning find other ways to sleep. You may find your upholstered seats [that form the mattress at night] are perfectly comfy. The easiest way by far to make bed is just unroll a sleeping bag on that foundation and sleep!

back yard view T@B
View of the back yard wilderness!

We knew we were going to be more difficult to accommodate than that. Remember, we gave up tent camping after thirty years of it. Our joints did that partially in order to find a much better bed to sleep on every night!

So we did what so many do–we use a memory foam mattress topper. When we broke up my mother’s house, I took the memory foam topper off her bed. She swore by that topper, and how comfortable it made her bed. She’d had it a few years. We tried it in our T@B the first time we backyarded it. At first it felt glorious. But then, it had been well-used, and before the night was over I realized we needed a new one of our own. We made a big mistake then. We threw it away. Looking back, we wish we’d cut it into small pieces to use for our dogs’ beds! The would have loved it!

We ordered one from Amazon [link to come]. It came in a box, very compacted, very heavy. I left it in the box for weeks, thinking we might change our mind and send it back, but finally bit the bullet, opened it, spread it out, and let it rest for a couple of days. Then we put it in the T@B, made up the bed, and that night? We slept on it.

Oh my. Now THAT is comfortable. [No, not everyone agrees. Each person has to find their own comfort. But memory foam toppers rank high among RVers, and we are among those who hold them in high esteem!]

lights on T@B
Yes, I even put lights on the T@B in the back yard!

We still had a problem, though. We needed to figure out whether to sleep with our heads toward the front of the T@B [the galley and wetbath] or the back of the T@B [which in our case, means under the cabinets!]. Seems obvious, right?  Who wants to sit up and hit their head on birch cabinets–even if those cabinets are made by Amish craftsman?

Well, a couple of nights experimenting proved us wrong. We found it very awkward getting in and out of bed when our heads were toward the front. Plus, it meant that if we watched a bit of television [we were in our own backyard, after all] when we were ready to go to bed, we had to stow the telly against the wall, spin around in the other direction, and punch pillows and such until we settled in.

We eventually found ourselves much happier when we turned around and slept with the cabinets overhead. You figure it out pretty quickly, and when I do roll over in the night and my arm bumps the cabinet, it’s never hard. I just shift and keep going and am right back asleep in no time.

This means now when we settle in for the night, our dogs are under the bed [under the dinette table that collapses to form part of the bed, but has a nice little cave under there for them to snuggle in. Yes, we provide blankies or other soft things for them to sleep on, and if it’s cold, they are in the warmest spot because there is an outlet for the Alde heater under there].

roxy sleeping in T@B
Roxy thinks we are being divas about this sleeping thing.

We, on the other hand, usually will be sitting up in bed, with the back dinette seat still raised. [Yes, it has to be flat to make the bed, but once we make the bed, we raise it for reading, watching telly, chatting.] And when we’re ready to sleep, we lower it and… sink back and do just that!

Now, it’s a lot easier [and a lot of fun] to figure this very vital part of T@B sleeping when you’re at home. If you need something, you run inside and get it. There’s no pressure.

Because once you’re on the road for possibly the first time? You’ll be coping with so many new things if you’ve never RVed before, having a bad night’s sleep might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.  Whereas, if you pull into a campground for the first time, find yourself struggling a bit to figure everything out, and then snuggle into the best bed you can create, knowing the drill?

Everything is so much lovelier when you wake up in the morning! You’ll realize, you know what? If you can create this awesome bed and sleep like a baby all night, the rest will fall into place, too. It just takes a bit of actual camping to do the rest.


backyard company
We’ve earned our badge! Have you?

I have personally tested backyard camping beyond the bed. I’ve cooked three meals a day outside, and invited Mr Sam’sChick into T@B to eat. We’ve watched football games there on the weekend. We’ve had fun in our backyard, using the T@B.

But I do believe working out the bed situation is the most valuable thing you can do.

And then there are days like this one, where it’s stormy all around. The worst of the storms–the hail, lightning, etc.–are passing west of here. But we’re getting some lovely cool breezes and rain.

And the dogs and I are in the T@B with all the windows open, watching the rain and soaking in the glorious fresh air.

I hope your day is going as well!