What You Need to Know About Tesla Camp Mode

By Zac Ludicrous •  Updated: 01/16/22 •  6 min read

Through software updates, Tesla has developed a handful of useful “modes” for owners—from Dog Mode to Car Wash Mode to Valet Mode and more. 

In this article, we are going to tackle another important Tesla feature not found in traditional vehicles—Camp Mode.

If you’re planning a camping trip and want to know how this mode can serve you, read on.

What Is Camp Mode?

Screengrab from Tesla Model 3 Tutorial | Keep Climate On / Dog Mode / Camp Mode

Camp Mode is a feature that turns your car into a comfortable and breathable cabin. When your Tesla is in Camp Mode, the airflow inside is maintained, as well as the lighting, the temperature, and even the music. 

Camp Mode is a new feature that was added in December 2019, just before the coronavirus pandemic hit. So if your car is manufactured earlier than this, then unfortunately, you don’t have this feature.

How Do You Enable Camp Mode?

Before enabling Camp Mode, make sure that your car is parked on a leveled ground. 

On your Tesla touch screen, click the fan icon in the options below and then click on “CAMP”. Camp Mode will stay activated until the battery reaches 20%. 

The security alarm and walk-away lock will be disabled, so you have to manually lock the car from the inside so that no one could break in.

Can You Sleep in a Tesla Overnight?

tesla camp mode
Credit to Dreamcase YouTube Channel

With the summer approaching, people will soon plan their annual vacation. With COVID-19 still an ongoing threat, it may be safe to stay indoors even in campsites.

Choosing to go on the road less traveled could be a better option now than going to populated campsites. Another advantage is that camping limits close contact with other people.

Sleeping inside your Tesla overnight is possible, and “Camp Mode” makes sleeping even more comfortable.

Camping in your Tesla is a fun experience. The back seat of your car can be folded all the way down, giving you enough space for a twin-size mattress. 

The Model S and X can even accommodate a queen-sized mattress for a couple and a child.

When your Tesla is in Camp Mode, you can, in theory, live inside your car for 24 hours and sleep comfortably.

Camp Mode, however, does not lock your car, so you have to manually lock it from the inside so no one could disturb you.

How Long Does Camp Mode Last?

Camp Mode can last up to 8 to 9 hours when your car’s battery has enough power. 

The feature cannot be activated if the battery is below 15%. Tesla put this limit so you have enough power to drive your car to the nearest charging station or return home if your house is within 40 miles.

Elon Musk, in one of his tweets, said that the company is working on optimizing battery use. This means that Camp Mode can still be activated until the battery drops at 5%. 

How Much Battery Does Camp Mode Consume?

In normal weather conditions (not too cold or not too hot), Camp Mode consumes an estimated 10% of battery for 8 to 9 hours.

In winter, however, the battery consumption greatly increases to about 14% to 15% of the total battery charge for 8 hours.

During summer, when the outside temperature is around 71.9°F, Camp Mode can consume 1% to 2% of battery per hour if the A/C is set to 69°F. 

Is Camp Mode Necessary?

As with every technology, not all Tesla owners are happy with Camp Mode. Some owners on Tesla Motors Club called it “useless” because of the following reasons:

❌ The touch screen remains on, and not everyone wants to sleep with light on their face.
❌ The rear vents are blowing cold air, even if the outside weather is cold.
❌ It consumes a lot of battery power.

People who are camping in the countryside, far from charging stations, save battery as much as they can, and losing even just 5% is already a big deal for them.

Unhappy owners, however, offer the following alternatives to remedy the above issues. You can achieve the same effect without enabling Camp Mode:

✅ Turn off the lights.
✅ Set the temperature to Keep Climate On.
✅ Turn on rear air vents.
✅ Turn off walk-away door locks.
✅ Turn off dome lights.
✅ Turn off Sentry Mode.
✅ Turn off the alarm under Safety and Security.

For the screen light issue, some owners suggest using a screen cover like this.

Pros and Cons of Camping Inside Your Tesla with Camp Mode Enabled

Camping inside your Tesla offers a lot of advantages but also has some limitations. Keep in mind that camping inside your Tesla varies from model to model. The Model 3 has limited space, but the Model S and X can be extra comfortable.

That said, here are some of the pros and cons of using Camp Mode and camping inside your Tesla.



✅ You have full security and protection inside your locked car.
✅ You have immediate access to the features of your car.
✅ Tesla Camp Mode offers heating and cooling.
✅ No need to buy an outdoor tent and pay extra dollars.
✅ Tesla’s glass roof offers a full view of the stars during a clear-sky night.

❌ You will lose 10%-15% of your battery life.
❌ You have limited space to move around, especially for three people.
❌ You have to rearrange the seats, bed, and other things to get in and out.

See it yourself! YouTuber and Model 3 owner Alex Sibila shared his full experience of sleeping inside his Model 3, which you can find in the following video. 

A great way to show the full camping experience!


Camp Mode is a really cool and useful feature for Tesla owners who want to camp in their cars.

Its biggest advantage is that it lets you sleep comfortably inside your car overnight with just a click of a button on your touch screen. No need to go through a series of manual steps.

However, if you want to save your car’s battery, camping comfortably inside your Tesla is still possible, as suggested by some Tesla owners above. Try them and let us know your experience in the comments!

Zac Ludicrous

Mechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.

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