10 Best Custom Sleepers for Semi Trucks
OTR truckers spend a lot of time away from home and in their truck. Today, most cabs are designed with some sort of living and sleeping space so truckers are comfortable during long periods away from their homes. Custom sleeper cabs have become a second home for many truck drivers, and some drivers even choose to give up a traditional home completely and opt to build custom sleepers for their semi trucks.
Learn what a custom sleeper truck is, what features they include, and how to stay warm during cold winter nights when you’re on the road.
Many OTR truckers have sleeper cabs, but there is a difference between a standard sleeper and a custom sleeper for semi trucks. Custom sleeper cabs can be made to fit a variety of lifestyles and suit your individual needs while you’re living away from home. Custom sleepers can include a variety of features such as queen-sized beds, kitchen tables, cooking spaces, bathroom amenities, large fridges, and more.
Other features of custom sleeper trucks may include:
Kitchen counter space
Multiple burners for the stovetop
Full bathroom with shower and toilet
Dining room table
Expanded storage space
Storage for recreational vehicles
Custom sleepers are a second home for many drivers, and some even choose to forgo traditional homes entirely in favor of a custom sleeper and a life on the open road. Some truckers even take their families with them to experience the daily life of a trucker. For these people, a custom sleeper with more features and amenities can make a full-time life on the road more enjoyable.
While traditional sleeper cabs are around 36,” custom sleepers can be as long as 230” or even 268.” Custom semi truck sleepers this long are more like living in an RV than in the back of a commercial truck. The length of a custom sleeper cab can vary greatly and really depends on your needs and wants while you’re on the road.
If you’re a day driver and are home every night, chances are you won’t need any kind of sleeping area in your cab. However, if you are traveling for long periods of time, do team driving, or travel with your family, a custom sleeper for your semi truck may make more sense.
How much your custom sleeper will set you back really depends on whether you are building from the ground up or expanding an existing cab. If you already have a sleeper cab you can convert your current cab into a custom sleeper cab for around $10,000 to $15,000 on average. A conversion to a large 230-inch custom sleeper for semi trucks will cost you closer to $140,000 on average. A typical conversion takes between 6 weeks to three months.
If you don’t have an existing sleeper cab and are purchasing a brand new semi truck with a custom-built sleeper, you’re probably looking at a price tag closer to $200,000 or $300,000. The type of customization you do depends on your needs and what your price points are for your truck.
There are many different companies to choose from if you’re looking to purchase a custom sleeper truck. Some companies to look at include:
Custom Studio Sleepers
AA Truck Sleeper LLC
ARI Legacy Sleepers
Indiana Custom Trucks (ICT)
You may also consider purchasing a used truck with a custom sleeper cab to save yourself some money, while still getting amenities larger than a traditional sleeper cab.
Whether you decide to lease or buy your truck depends on your budget, what your long-term driving goals are, and what features you want for your custom sleeper cab. Leasing a custom semi truck sleeper will almost certainly be more expensive on a monthly basis, and you will have to decide which truck you’d like to lease from the existing inventory. You won’t be able to customize your cab very much, if at all. However, if you plan to upgrade your truck every few years so you always have a newer vehicle, leasing may be an option to consider.
If you choose to purchase a custom sleeper cab, you will have the advantage of choosing the custom features you want and need while you’re on the road. It may even cost you less in monthly payments if you purchase your own vehicle, depending on the cost of the truck and the term of your loan. Weigh your options when it comes time to choose the right vehicle for you, and don’t be afraid to shop around and see what you find. You may even find a used custom sleeper cab that works perfectly for you and costs less money overall.
Most OTR trucks these days have sleeper cabs. If you have a sleeper cab, you have some type of bed. This comes in handy when you’re spending days or even weeks on the road. However, just because sleeper cabs have beds doesn’t mean all sleeper cabs are created equal. Some beds are twin-sized, and team drivers may even have a bunk bed set-up.
Custom sleeper cabs are great because they can be customized for the type of bed you’d like. If you're a husband-wife team, you may want a queen-size bed. Getting a custom semi truck sleeper allows you to make room for a larger bed if you would like to.
Many OTR truckers spend days away from home, while day drivers can rely on getting home every night. Whether you will sleep in your truck depends on what type of truck driving job you do and who you choose to work for. Some companies provide sleeping amenities for overnight drivers. However, most OTR drivers that spend days or weeks away from home have a sleeper cab and sleep in their truck.
In fact, not only do many drivers sleep in their trucks, they cook, eat, relax, and enjoy their time off in their vehicles. Some even have bathroom amenities to make living on the road easier.
Staying in your custom sleeper cab might be convenient, but it’s not always practical to keep the engine running all night while you sleep. So how do you stay warm in colder months, or while driving in colder climates? Some drivers leave their engines on in extremely cold situations to prevent startup issues, and some trucks even have automatic engines that shut off and start up to heat the cab, but for many drivers staying warm during the night in cold weather presents a challenge.
Here are some great tips for keeping the chill away while you rest in your custom semi truck sleeper.
Get a Space Heater: A small space heater that uses an external power source won’t kill your battery and will help you stay warm during the night. Just be sure to use it safely.
Use Your Truck Heater: Before you retire for the night and shut off your engine, blast that heater and make your sleeping space as warm as you can. It will help keep your cab warmer throughout the night.
Get a Heater Mattress Pad: There’s nothing better than crawling into a warm, cozy bed when the temperature dips. A heated mattress pad can make your bed nice and warm.
Get a Sleeping Bag: When it comes down to it, one of the best ways to make sure you don’t freeze in your truck is to keep a heavy-duty sleeping bag on hand. Sleeping bags are also good in case of an emergency.
Get a Good Blanket—or Blankets: A good down comforter can help trap heat and is warmer against your skin than a sleeping bag. Adding extra blankets or keeping them on hand is never a bad idea either.
Regularly Inspect Your Vehicle: Making sure your vehicle is in good condition during your pre-trip inspections will help you avoid any engine issues that could lead to being stuck in the cold.
Custom semi truck sleepers can make life on the road easier and more enjoyable, especially if you travel with family or do team driving. Although custom sleepers for semi trucks are more expensive than standard sleeper cabs, if you take up the life of a trucker and spend your time on the road, they may be well worth the cost. Whether you get a custom sleeper truck is up to you. Consider your needs before you purchase your custom sleeper cab, then hit the road!