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roof top tents



  • reduced set up and pack down time - especially the hard shell ones
  • reasonably comfortable
  • keeps you away from larger animals on the ground such as crocodiles as well as reduces risk of spiders, snakes, wombats, etc
  • keeps you off the flooded ground
  • can be good in the rain if they don't leak - especially the hard shell ones


  • very expensive
  • big and heavy and significant wind resistance when driving
    • more petrol usage
    • issue with roof capacity for your roof rack system
    • risk of it ripping off and damaging cars travelling behind
    • increases centre of gravity and risk of rollover
    • can be too heavy to constantly remove from or install onto the roof with only one person
  • you can't drive once you have it set up unless on a camper trailer - very restrictive!
    • can't have your camp site reserved and then drive to your sunset destination
    • if you do drive to sunset you need to set up tent in the dark
  • you have to climb up a ladder
  • they are harder to close down as the top is high and you do need to use a bit of muscle to close them fully
  • you may need to deflate air mattresses when folding up (hence most use a foam mattress but then there may not be room for a quilt
  • you have to level the vehicle
    • restricts location and requires leveling options
    • may require damaging environment to get a level spot
  • must sleep where you park - this can be dangerous from other traffic hitting your vehicle at night or be very dusty if vehicles use that gravel road
  • take longer to dry out
  • can be very noisy in the wind
  • catch more wind as higher up and strong winds can kick up the bottom while you try to sleep
  • may have openings large enough for mice to get through
  • sun will hit you earlier and you get less sleep ins
  • can't use a roof rack for other things unless the tent is designed to carry things as well
  • choice of site may be restricted due to height clearance issues
  • generally colder in winter than a swag or 2 man tent
  • can result in condensation UNDER your mattress

hard shell top vs soft shell top

  • hard top ones can become very hot under the sun
  • hard shell ones are easier to et up and pack down
    • soft shell ones are actually take longer to set up fully than most 2 man tents
  • hard top ones may allow mounting a solar panel
  • soft tops are generally less expensive
  • soft tops may have more head room
  • soft tops may have a ceiling mesh to allow star gazing
  • soft tops can be designed to extend sideways from the car and thus don't need to cover as much of the roof which leaves space on roof rack for other gear
australia/tents_rooftop.txt · Last modified: 2022/12/16 08:45 by gary1

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