Complete Guide to Hammocks and Vehicles

Hammocks used to be mainly popular in holiday destinations like beaches and resorts.

These comfy fabric slings are suspended between two points and allow you to comfortably sleep or rest while being rocked back and forth by a light breeze.

But lately, hammocks have also become very popular in camping and hiking sectors.  Hammock designs have improved a great deal and today you can shop from a much greater variety of styles and designs suite for greater many purposes.

Hammocks are now being used by travelers because they are lighter, more portable and hammocks allow you to sleep much more comfortable since you don’t have to lie down on the ground to get some rest.

Why Everyone Is So Obsessed With Hammocks?

More and more adventure lovers are switching over to hammocks for camping.  This camping method isn’t just preferred because of the popularity of hammocks.  It offers campers and adventure lovers many benefits like the following;

Reduces Travel Weight

A single or even hammock tent combo is much lighter than your average dome tent.  These bedding solutions can also fold up in a much more compact size and as such is much lighter and more portable for backpacking adventures.

Easier To Set Up

Hammocks are pretty easy to set up, especially if you can find two trees to use for anchors.  You can get your hammock bed set up in ten minutes or less which reduces your camp prep time significantly.

Better For The Environment

When you set up a tent, you first need to clear the floor area.  De-rooting and clearing forest grounds isn’t too good for the environment, especially if you are a large camping party.  With hammocks, you don’t need to de-forest any part of the wilderness because your hammock can simply hang over plants and vegetation.

 

Much More Comfortable

Sleeping in a cozy hammock cocoon is much more comfortable than sleeping on the hard ground.  To enjoy the same level of comfort on the ground you will need to use a stretcher or a very thick air mattress which can take up a lot of space in your truck and tent.

 

Safer Sleeping

Hammock sleeping is safer than sleeping by a tent or sleeping bag because you are alleviated from the ground.  Crawling insects and reptiles cannot reach you quite as easily which increases your personal safety a great deal. 

 

Are Hammocks Dangerous?

The thought of sleeping in a hammock is quite daunting for many, especially for those with a fear of heights.  The truth is that hammocks can be dangerous if you don’t assemble it correctly and if your hammock is made of cheap fabrics.  Here is a quick look at the main risks associated with hammocks;

Hammocks That Is Too High From The Ground

The greatest hammock danger is the risk of getting injured when you fall out of the hammock.  Hammocks just don’t need to be hung at such great heights.  You should never hang it higher than you are willing to fall.  As long as you assemble your hammock relatively low, you shouldn’t have a risk of getting injured in case you fall out.

Getting Stuck In Your Hammock

Netted hammocks with too many holes and materials can be annoying to get into and small children do run a risk of getting stuck in these hammocks.  The safest hammocks are full fabric hammocks.

The Hammocks Condition

It is best to always invest in a good quality hammock and to investigate your old hammocks for tears, holes, fraying, UV fading or other weakness before you use it. Poor quality and damaged hammocks can snap and break if you climb onto them.

The Setup Risks

It is incredibly important to secure your hammock firmly before climbing into it.  Your hammock should be set up correctly using the right knotting and tying techniques.

Correct Usage

Hammocks can wobble and turn if you don’t climb into it correctly in the same way a cannot can topple if you apply your weight incorrectly.  Check out some YouTube videos on the right ways to get in and out of your hammock if you are worried about toppling out of it.   Hammocks that connect to three or more points are the safest since they are very unlikely to flip over when you climb into them.

The Weather Factor

Hammocks are superb for summer use but they can be a bit drafty in winter.  It is very important to acquire the right insulating and quilting to keep you from catching a chill in winter.  Some hammocks, like hammock tents, also come with rainfly’s and mosquito netting to protect you from other elements like rain, wind, and insects. 

As long as you stick to the correct safety protocol, install your hammock correctly and invest in a quality product, you should be safe and sound while using your hammock.

Can You Use Your Vehicle To Support A Hammock?

Most campers purchase hammocks with the intention to mount it to trees.  But it often happens that there are no trees or structures in the area that you can use to set up your hammock. But the good news is that there is still a way to set up your hammock and sleep comfortably even if you don’t have any trees in the area.  You can do this by assembling your hammock on your vehicle’s roof.

 

Hammock On Car Roof

There are two main ways to assemble your hammock on a car’s roof.  If your vehicle is fitted with a roof rack, you can attach one of the sides of the hammock to the roof rack and the other to another tree, structure or the roof rack of a second vehicle.  The hammock will then dangle between your vehicles or between the structure and your vehicle.

 

To do this you need to create a sling with the webbing strap and loop it around the roof rack.

The hammocks carabineer is then attached to the sling loop which fastens one side of the hammock to your vehicle’s roof.

The other side then needs to be fastened to a tree or other structure using the usual technique.

Car Hammock Stand

If you don’t have a fear of heights and are certain that your hammock is made of good quality materials, then you can also assemble the hammock on top of the roof of your car.  The best vehicles for this type of modification are SUV style vehicles with a larger roof area and a strong roof structure.

You will need to buy a hammock stand to assemble your hammock on your car’s rooftop.  Any hammock stand that is compatible with your car’s roof rack will suffice for this type of solution.  Simply buy a demountable hammock stand and mount it to your roof rack.  Once your hammock stand is assembled, you can attach your hammock bed and enjoy comfy sleeping on top of your car. 

Here is a quick look at a few great hammock stands or car hammock stands that you can consider for your vehicle;

The Vivere Double Hammock with Space Saving Steel Stand

This portable hammock stand is made of quality materials and comes as a set complete with hammock bed.  It is light and easy to assemble.  You won’t need any tools to set up this hammock and it can bear a weight of up to 450lbs.

The Sunnydaze Steel Hammock Stand

This is a very sturdy hammock stand.  It is made of tough steel material and can handle a weight of up to 550lbs.  The hammock stand can be used indoors or outdoors and is compatible with most types of hammock bed styles including Mayan, Brazilian and spreader bar hammocks.  It is one of the most flexible hammock stands to get for your car.

 

CHULIM Double Camping Hammock 

Vivere Double Cotton Hammock

The Best Choice Products 2-Person Hammock Bed With Steel Stand

This is another good pick if you need an affordable hammock stand with a bed.  The stand is made of strong steel and it is very quick and easy to assemble.  It is a perfect budget solution since the portable hammock stand comes with a carry bag and hammock bed.

These hammock stands are designed for ground use but can easily be attached to your car’s roof rack so you can sleep comfortably and safely away from crawling insects.  If you do choose to use these hammocks on your vehicle’s rooftop then it is, however, essential to get it fitted securely to your roof rack before you attempt to use it for sleeping.

Hammock On Truck Roof

Hammocks can also be attached to a truck roof.  There are two main ways to do this.  You can either hang the hammock from the truck using the roof rack, or you can assemble the hammock on top of the truck using a hammock stand.

How Do You Hang A Hammock From A Truck?

As with a car roof, you can attach one side of any type of hammock to the roof rack.  The other end will need to be attached to another vehicle or another structure such as a tree. 

Just about all hammock types are suited for this technique.  You can even attach a hammock combination tent your trucks roof rack if you have sufficient additional supports that you can use in addition to your vehicle. 

Here is a quick look at a few superb hammock types that can easily be mounted to your trucks’ roof rack;

 Just about all Tensile Tree Hammocks are perfect for attaching to your trucks roof rack.  You can definitely have a look at hammock tent combos like the Tentsile UNA, The Tentsile Flite or the Tentsile Stingray.

Single and double fabric style hammocks are all good picks for use along with your trucks roof rack.  We especially recommend the following;

 

ENO Hammocks

All hammocks by Eagles Nest Outfitters are great picks for use on your trucks roof rack because they are super light, very easy to attach and made of high quality materials.

Kootek hammocks

We also love many hammock designs by Kootek.  They offer a wide range to choose from including single and double hammocks that will also be very easy to attach to your trucks roof rack.

How Do You Hang A Hammock From Posts?

If there are no trees or structures nearby that you can use as a hang point then you can also use a post.  A hammock post can be any steel or wood pole that you can find or that you can take along as you journey.  You can attach one end of the hammock to your truck’s roof rack and set up the post to the side of your vehicle so you can anchor the hammock to the post.

How Tall Should Hammock Posts Be?

If you are hanging a hammock from two posts, the height isn’t very important.  Your hammock posts should just be tall enough to offer a 30-degree hanging angle between the post and the ridgeline of the hammock. 

If you are hanging your hammock between a post and the trucks roof rack, the hang point on the post should be the same height as the height of the roof rack.  If your hang point on your post is too low, your hammock will be askew which can result in a very uncomfortable night’s rest.  This means that the hammock post should be much taller than your truck’s height especially considering that you still need to plant the post. 

How Do You Hang a Hammock from a Truck Hammock Stand?

The only problem with using your truck’s roof rack to support a hammock is that you will need a second structure to attach the other side/s of the hammock to.  This can be troublesome if you are traveling through desert and mountain terrains.  If you want to avoid the chances of having to sleep on the hard ground at all cost then you can also invest in a truck hammock stand or hammock posts that can be attached to the roof rack. 

These stands can either be attached on top of your trucks roof rack, they can be assembled on the back of your truck or they can be fitted on top of a truck rack. 

You can look for hammock stands that are specifically designed for use on your truck.  But it is much easier to simply use a casual portable hammock stand and to attach this stand to your roof rack or your truck rack.  There are quite a few wonderful hammock stands available on the market like the Giantex Multi-Use Universal Hammock stand, the SunnyDaze 550-Pound universal hammock stand or hammock stands designed by Best Choice Products.

When you choose to use one of these or similar hammock stands then it is important to firmly secure your hammock stand on top of your vehicles roof rack or truck rack so it won’t slide off from your truck while you sleep. 

Once the hammock and bed are firmly attached to your trucks, you can sleep comfortably and safely without the risk of being bitten by crawling creatures and without having to struggle to stay dry on a muddy and wet camp terrain. 

Truck Hammock Chair – (link to another article)

Many travelers love to stop at scenic destinations and enjoy a quick barbecue session before moving on.  A hammock chair is a perfect solution for these types of scenarios because you can instantly create a cozy place to sit no matter how soggy and wet your surroundings might be.

Truck hammock chairs function the same way as any other hammock.  They come in various designs such as air hammocks chairs, Brazilian hammock chairs and more.  These hammock chairs can easily be set up by simply attaching it to a structure like a tree branch.

If there are no structures in your area, you can also mount it to your vehicle.  To do this you will need to first set up a trailer hitch stand like the Hammaka Trailer Hitch Stand before you can hang your hammock chairs.  The hammock chairs can then be attached and you will be able to sit comfortably behind your truck even if there are no trees to be found for miles. 

If you are going to use this method then it is ideal to invest in a hammock chair that is very light and portable.  Air chairs like the Best Choice Products Hammock Air Chair or the ENO Lounge Hanging Chair are good options because they fold down to a compact size, they are very easy to hang and use and they offer you comfortable seating no matter where you might find yourself. 

 

Hammock by Vehicle

Not all vehicles are compatible with hammocks or other camping gear like rooftop tents.

Vehicles like Jeep or the Toyota 4Runner are ideal roof-mounted hammocks, roof hammock stands, and even roof tents because these vehicles are designed to carry a great weight capacity on the roof of the vehicle.  Many of these vehicles are even sold with roof racks in place to encourage outdoor activities and because a stylish roof rack can enhance the aesthetics of these adventure vehicles a great deal.

 

The rooftops of some vehicles are not strong enough to handle a roof-mounted hammock stand.

Some roofs and roof racks might be strong enough to carry part of the hammock’s weight but might not be able to handle the full weight of one or more people, the roof rack and the hammock stand as a whole and you could cause severe damage to these vehicles.

 

It is important to always do proper research on your vehicle brand and make to ensure that the roof structure is strong enough to handle the excess weight. 

Can My Ceiling Support A Hammock?

If you enjoyed sleeping in your hammock on your travels then you might be tempted to assemble it inside your home.  Most hammock types are perfectly suitable for indoor and outdoor use.  The only issue is finding a place to hang your hammock inside the house.

The ceiling seems to be the most practical solution for hanging your hammock indoors. But can your ceiling support your hammock? Most ceilings can support the weight of a hammock and your weight – if you hang it correctly.

For ceiling mounting, you will need to buy ceiling hardware.  The hardware and the hammock you want to use should be able to support your weight.  It is important to take note that normal wall-mounting will not work for a ceiling-mounted hammock.  You need specific hardware for your hammock.

Another important factor is the location of your hammock.  Ceiling boards, in general, are very thin and not suitable for handling weight at all.  You have to hang your hammock from the ceiling joints and not on the ceiling boards.

To find the ceiling joints you can simply look for ceiling studs.  You can drill holes in the same locations as the studs and add your anchors to these holes.

From these points, you can then mount your hammock from the ceiling. 

If you are unsure if the ceiling joints are strong enough to handle your weight then it is probably best to consult with an expert.  The risk of collapsing your ceiling just isn’t worth the excitement you get from using your hammock indoors.

 

The Takeaway

Hammocks are terrific sleeping solutions for those who travel long distances.  These bedding solutions won’t take up much space in your vehicle at all and can be assembled in many different ways.  Hammocks are very easy to hang, whether you are hanging them by a tree, from your roof rack or via a hammock stand.  With these three hanging solutions, you should be able to position your hammock at any given spot.  

 

We are quite sure that you will fall in love with hammock sleeping the moment you give this exciting method a try.  Using a hammock is much easier than other camping solutions and offers you plenty of great benefits. 

 

If you love hammocks and sleeping under the stars as much as we do then we are quite certain that you will want to learn more about other exciting hammock and camping gear. If you want to find out more about other great hammock sleeping concepts then we welcome you to check out some of the other articles found on our site.  Our site is packed with lots of product reviews and buying guides where you can learn more about the best products to help you enjoy your thrilling adventures to the fullest. 

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