My breeder suggested I crate my girl and also told me that she was a climber and had climbed over fences, etc. I never crated my girl and she never climbed once. She has her little bed next to ours and will take herself off to bed around 6 (almost to the minute) which is up a flight of stairs - by herself. Around 12 midnight or 1 she'll hop into bed with us usually because the blankets have come off and she's a bit cold. It's lovely sleeping with her. Just remember Julie, don't wake them up suddenly because they get a fright and might nip. I just call my girl's name a few times and she comes around. She usually wakes me by poking me if she needs to pee during the night but that's probably once a month. She just waits until walk time in the morning.
I've never crated in a car, just put her bed in the back seat and in she hops and goes to sleep. But the breeders on this site advise crating and that might be good advice for you. If I have to go away overnight and my daughter can't come and baby sit (!) then she stays at the vets (four houses away) and they crate her at night. And she's fine (usually because there's a resident cat who loves playing with my dog). I've even walked past and seen her sleeping peacefully and safe in the crate.
There is much good advice in these posts Julie, try them and see if they work for you, and, more importantly, if they work for your basenji - listen to them. It sounds like you do. Persevere, and keep coming back to this forum if you need further help.