Am I allowed to use the sunroof of a car with Schach on it as a Sukkah when out on a family trip on Chol Hamoed Sukkos?
Can one make a sukkah by removing T tops and placing a mat on top, into a kosher albeit, temporary sukkah? Both sides of the roof would be off, but there is a .5 foot separation running down the middle.
A few introductions:
A Sukkah has to:
- be (and have walls that are) at least 32 inches tall and have width of at least 22.4 inches by 22.4 inches;
- have at least 3 walls;
- be a place where you are comfortable to eat, drink, spend time and sleep.
In this case:
- A. the Schach would have to be covering a (uninterrupted) space that is 32″ tall and 22.4″ by 22.4″ (the seats would be considered an interruption);
- B. the car (which is being used as walls) cannot be more than 9.48″ off the ground and the sides have to be directly under the Schach, and have above height;
- C. you would have to be comfortable to eat sleep and spend time there.
See also here:
In conclusion, unless you meet all the above requirements, it cannot be done.
See also the following excerpts from our Day to Day Halachic Guide:
A person who is traveling without access to a Sukkah, can create a Sukkah out of a vehicle (or two), as follows:
The spot you choose should be semi-secluded, and not on a public path where it would interfere with foot traffic. It should also be a safe, crime-free area, where you would technically be able to sleep at night. It should also fulfill the other requirements for the positioning of a Sukkah – the area above the s’chach free of tree limbs or overhangs
Use the front and back door of a single vehicle (on the same side) or open a single door on mirroring sides of two vehicles. (The interior of a convertible or roadster that fits all the dimensions below can be used as well.)
The area created by the three sides (either the two doors and the one car body, or the two car bodies and the adjacent doors) has to be at least seven tefachim long and seven tefachim wide (about 22.5 inches on each side).
The doors must reach ten tefachim (3.25 feet) in height and start no more than three tefachim (9.5 inches) off the ground. Parking near a curb and opening the door(s) over the curb will help in this regard.
The doors must be fully and firmly open, so that a gust of wind will not slam them closed.
It is preferable not to prop the s’chach directly on the car doors, but to first place wood laths or the like across and the s’chach on top of that. The s’chach should be fixed to the “roof” with jute twine or string (not zip ties) so that it will not blow away.
The above is set up in such a way that the “walls” of the Sukkah are adjacently perpendicular to the s’chach. If there is an area of four amos (six feet) of car roof on any side of the Sukkah or four tefachim (13 inches) of car roof or other unkosher covering in the middle of the Sukkah, it is unusable.115 If the mobile Sukkah is of the smallest possible size (seven by seven tefachim), any three-tefach span of car roof – whether in the middle or on the side – will invalidate it.
You must hold your food or put it down on a table or surface inside your makeshift Sukkah. You may not eat under the s’chach and use the seat in the car (outside your Sukkah) as your table.
You must stipulate that the vehicle(s) will be able to be used for (non-holy) purposes after the Sukkah is dismantled, since, as stated above, we are usually not allowed to use the parts of a Sukkah for another purpose once they were used for a mitzvah.
שו”ע או”ח סימן תרל סעיף ט, סימן תרלא סעיף י, תרלב סעיף א, תרלג סעיף ח, סימן תרלד א. לוח יומי תשפ”א עמוד יד.