Choosing the Best Rooftop Tents | Everything You Need to Know

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If you want to camp in a more comfortable and most affordable kind of way, choosing Rooftop Tents instead of campervans is a game-changer. The main advantages while using this type of tent during camping are in its way to shock you, and if you’re adventurous to drive anywhere without hassle, you might consider adding it on your purchase. So, what are the things that make Rooftop Tents so amazing?

Rooftop tents are a piece of very portable and versatile camping equipment. It makes your camping comfier, and it is so easy to set up. This gear will make your camp anywhere you want even in muddy or sandy surfaces. This thing is a must-have for all campers that will make your camping life even more exciting.

So, are you interested in buying Rooftop Tents for your car? Read on to get insights on choosing the best type of tent for you.

What Should I Know About Rooftop Tents?

“Maggiolina” and “Air-Camping” are a historical synonym for roof tents that originated in Italy in 1958. It is identified as freedom and independence for it is considered as a luxurious possession. The makers of the first rooftop tent thought of a convenient place to sleep in the car and ended up with an idea of putting it on the top of the vehicle. 

They created two tents at the same time. The first was the ancestor of the present “Maggiolina” called “Autocampeggio Stogl” in its first version, was first made between 1957 and 1958. Only a few months before “Air-Camping”, the portable fabric roof tent by Giuseppe Dionisio (an inventor and designer also known as Gidion) who achieved the relevant patent in 1959.

Roof tents conquer and gradually draw attention to the public. It finally became the key to achieve adventure and extreme camping. This unique innovation made the lives of many independent or aspiring travellers extraordinary. It became a necessity to travel and finally made a brand “Autohome” and manufactured in Italy.

The rooftop tent is a shelter extension mounted on the top of your vehicle or your rover. There are different types of rooftop tents that you can choose from, so it suits your car as well.

Why Should I Get Rooftop Tents?

  • You’re in the higher ground. If you’re scared of predators or any animals that may come inside of your tents, Rooftop Tent would be perfect for you. It’ll provide you with a more profound sense of calm and ease while chilling on your comfortable tent. 
  • It is comfortable. Most rooftop tents come with a built-in comfortable mattress that will automatically turn your upper side of the car a cosy crib, so you don’t have to carry bulky mattresses when camping. 
  • It’s portable. It saves space inside your vehicle, and you would not worry about the size of the campsite because you can easily squeeze in even if the surface is gravel, sandy, or muddy. You can pick whatever campsite you might want to visit without worrying if your camper trailer is going to fit. You will be secluded from the ground so you can always hunt for the right spot and be selective about it.
  • Quick and easy to set up. You won’t have to worry about the struggle of puzzling the poles together if it is right or wrong. The roof tent is usually easy to unzip the cover and flip over the canvas. Also, you can always set up and adjust the height for your ladder.
  • It’s cheaper. Roof tents are way less expensive than the RVs, trailers or caravans that are over thousands of AUD indifference. 
  • It’s durable and adds storage. If you can find a good quality brand of roof tents, it can make it last for a long time. The storage space of a regular roof tent can be an advantage. However, excessive weights may break down your tent.

What Are The Different Types Of Rooftop Tents?

Softshell RRTs is the primary and delicate type of rooftop tent and usually a lot lighter than the hard ones. There is a selection of softshell rooftop tents, so they are not all the same. The materials used have differences, even for the hidden details, but, there are all waterproof. The capacity of the softshell tents must never be for more than four people.

They are not as comfortable if they have additional accessories or extras that would make it more exciting. However, it is a proper camping gear for a few people and has breathable ventilation in it. But this type of tent is not highly recommended for larger families, 

Hardshell RTTs usually have a very minimal design and are made up of two outer shells that are either made from fibreglass or aluminium and has fabric in between to glue the two shells together. It has longer lifespans than soft shells and can last a lifetime. It can carry weights more than the soft ones, and it is more stabilised.

How To Mount A Rooftop Tent?

Assembling the tent

  • Find a good flat surface where you can do all the assembly. 
  • Locate the mounting points under the tent floor and lay the tent down upwards, then take the four securing straps off and open the tent enough to access the mounting rails, setting up the kit, and a ladder that is found inside the tent.
  • Make sure to mount in the right angles to the rooftop bars on the vehicle. Please make sure that mounting rails fit perfectly across the tent from the hinge. Take note of the position where you want to cut it so that you can get the perfect length.
  • Slide the nyloc nuts in the mounting rails and align them with mounting holes. Make sure that it is secure enough under the mattress then attach the mounting rails to the tent floor using the bolts, so make sure to tighten it correctly the secure it with drilling screws. Also, you should check if everything is right, including the ladder and all the accessories.

Mounting the tent

  • Undo the straps, unzip the cover and unhook all the cords form the base of the tent.
  • Unscrew the ladder, slide it up and lock all the pins into place, then remove the support and pull the tent, push the bow and insert to the tight ends.
  • Use the pegs to protect the tent from windy conditions.

Setting up the annex 

  • Slightly raise the ladder then slide the material of the annex and attach it to the base to secure.
  • Connect the annex to the floor, place a mat to secure the ladder and to prevent damaging the floor.
  • Take note that if your car is too tall for a ladder, an annex extension will be necessary. 

How Should I Know Which Tent Works With My Vehicle?

  • Make sure to know your car’s maximum load and the tent’s weight.
  • Rack compatibility
  • Know how they attach your vehicle
  • Make sure it is comfortable and suits your needs.
  • Make sure it stays on your car’s roof.
  • Shop for additional accessories if necessary.
  • Try before buying it.

Are Rooftop Tents Safe?

Rooftop tents are durable and assure you have a good sleep as it is in the roof of your vehicle. It is safe; however, you have to secure the screws and consider the weight and the limited capacity of your rooftop tent. Always pay attention to your car’s cargo and make sure that it is enough to support your rooftop tent.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Rooftop Tents?

If you’re still undecided on whether you should get a rooftop tent, here are some pros and cons to help you get a better idea:


  • Safety
  • Comfort
  • Durable
  • Aesthetics
  • View
  • Convenience
  • Proofed
  • Space saver


  • Weight
  • Storage
  • Mounting
  • Closing
  • Decrease MPG
  • Size

Related Questions

Can You Put A Roof Tent On Any Car?

Yes, you can. Rooftop tents can be installed on the flat racks on your car, so just make sure that your racks have dynamic weight capacity (DWC). 

Are All Roof Top Tents The Same?

No, not all roof tents are the same. There are two types of rooftop tent, the hard shell and softshell and both types are very dynamic. Also, these two are very distinct, especially in terms of capacity and durability. 

Our Roof Top Rents Any Good?

Rooftop Tents are excellent and spacious. It is easy to set up and always on-the-go. It is so convenient that you will not have to be selective in your camp spot because it can squeeze in a regular size site.

How Much Weight Can I Put On My Car Roof?

Weight capacity of your car roof depends on your vehicle. You must understand your car’s dynamic rating to avoid accidents due to overloading and your cargo box, or roof rack can properly distribute weight across your vehicle. 

What Is The Point Of Rooftop Tents?

Rooftop tents help you to free up your storage in your car and make a portable, comfy bed. It is off gourd, so it is not easily accessible for people and animals during camping.

Do You Need A Roof Rack for An Awning?

Mounting solar panels to a rack makes it much simpler to remove/replace them if needed (and they’re way less evident if you care about stealth). Roof racks also give you a comfortable place to mount a road shower, or a roof storage box, or any number of other things. Most awnings are meant to be installed on a roof rack.

James Mitchell

Hi, I’m Jimmy Mitchell and I love exploring this great country with my wife and two boys. I have a 2015 Sterling LX that is the Mitchell Family camping machine. Lets Getaway is the website where I share things about my trailer as I learn them, and help other camper owners to enjoy their RV even more.

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