Everything I Wish I Knew Before Buying A Roof Top Tent | Why Buy A Roof Top Tent?

One thing that will make your trip an unforgettable one is the perfect place to stay in. A home away from home indeed! 

A Roof Top Tent makes great accommodation will let you enjoy the beauty of nature and will also keep you and your family from its dangers especially when you are travelling along with your children. 

That’s why, choosing the right roof top tent is essential as it will not only make your camping experience more convenient, but it will also keep you safe from flies and creepy crawlies. 

Let me just give a walk through about the things you need to know about  roof top camper then you may go ahead and have an awesome journey!

What is a Roof Top Camper Or A Roof Top Tent?

A roof top camper is a tent or cubical like structure that either comes with a soft tent top roof or a hard top roof that can accommodate 1-4 people located on roof racks on top of a car or 4WD vehicle.

 Some models attach to the roof rack, some can be attached to the bed of a Ute some, can be mounted to the vehicle’s rain gutters, whilst some others are detachable and can be relocated to the ground.

Some manufacturers of roof top tents are ARB Touring, ShippShape, Hannibal Safari Equipment, Open Sky, Aussie Traveller, Dingo Dozer and Trailer Roof Top Tents.

Things to Consider When Purchasing Roof Top Tent or Roof Top Camper

  • Make sure that the roof of your vehicle and the roof racks are strong enough to handle the weight of the tent and occupants.
  • Purchase proper roof racks to hold the size of the tent.
  • Decide if you would want a tent with an annex/weather skirt or shower cubicle.
  • Before purchasing you might want to test the tent or hire a roof top tent first.

Some places that rent out 4WD vehicles with roof top tents are Salamanda Travel, Aussie Wandered Four Wheel Drive and the Britz Company.

Roof Top Tent – Accessories/Construction

Depending on the make and model of the roof top tent, the following are available:

  • Strong aluminum frame
  • Waterproof canvas tent
  • Waterproof cover
  • Flysheet
  • Heavy duty ladder
  • Inbuilt fly screens
  • Full size mattress
  • Annex option
  • Shower or change cubicle option


  • It is more reasonable to purchase in terms of cost compared to a motorhome, trailer or a caravan.
  • Excellent for 4WD vehicle and easier to transport
  • It consumes less fuel compared to towing an RV
  • Does not need towing thus will not require extra registration costs, unless you are planning to tow your tent.
  • Quick set-up
  • Bedding and pillows can remain inside the tent when packed or closed for travel
  • Does not need poles as internal struts support the tent
  • Your are above ground and safe from dangerous animals or creepy crawlies
  • Offers even sleeping surface
  • Some models have an annex or weather skirt for additional space and some extend providing shade underneath
  • Less space needed when storing the tent


  • Attaching it on top of your vehicle may be challenging 
  • Storage is minimized compared to motorhomes or caravans
  • For some models, you will have to pack it up first before setting off
  • You may have to remove the tent from your vehicle before storing or garaging depending on the height of your garage or shed.

What Brand Of Roof Top Tent Should I Choose?

Roof Top Tents has various brands to choose from. You can choose according to your budget or perhaps size or style. It all depends on your needs! Check out some of the brands below to figure out what you want.

ARB Touring

  • ARB Rooftop Tents integrate an modern design with new materials for better strength, rigidity and water resistance.
  • Created with high-quality poly/cotton fabric and incorporating an Oxford polyester flysheet.
  • Rooftop tents are ideally mounted to ARB’s purpose-designed roof rack but can fit most load-rated roof bars.
  • Super Strong Anodized aluminum poles that’s  1 inch thick provides strength and has corrosion resistance properties.
  • Included 2.5 inch high-density foam mattress.
  • ARB Rooftop Tents comes with screened windows and doors to prevent insects from coming in.
  • Can sleep 2 to 3 people.
  • Price is around $1,300 to $1,500

Visit their site for more info: https://www.arb.com.au


  • Founded in 1985.
  • Unique, patented design, high quality ShippShape Australian canvas.
  • Able to attach walls and rooms for a larger awning for both the front and rear of the tent.
  • New tent fitting kit will easily mount to almost any vehicle or trailer with three crossbars.
  • Lots of accessories to add to customize your tent experience.
  • Has 3 different roof top tent configurations to choose from.
  • Price starts from $1,200 to $3,600

Visit their site for more info: http://www.shippshape.com.au/

Hannibal Safari Equipment

  • Hand built in Australia, have absolute control over the build quality of the products.
  • Features durable materials including Australian made canvas.
  • Famed for being fast to set up and pack away.
  • Insect mesh on every opening; all unzip separately.
  • 75mm high-density foam mattress.
  • External tie down straps on roof tent cover prevent ballooning whilst driving; lowers wind resistance; saves fuel
  • LED lights are available for internal and external lighting of the tent.
  • Has 5 different roof top tents styles to choose from.
  • Price ranges from $2,700 to $3,600

Visit their site for more info: https://www.hannibalsafari.com.au/

Aussie Traveller

  • Manufactured from Australian made canvas to give a waterproof finish.
  • Includes a double mattress, integrated annexe with a removable vinyl floor.
  • Large windows and screened doorways offers plenty of cross-ventilation.
  • High peaked roof provides plenty of head room.
  • Heavy duty folding aluminium ladder which is stored in the MRRT during travel.
  • Vinyl travel cover which can be reversed and used as an awning over tailgate.
  • Has 2 Options available Mobile Room Roof Top Tent and the Mobile Room Roof Top Tent Family version.
  • Price ranges from $2,750 to $3,600.

Visit their site for more info: https://aussietraveller.com.au/

Dingo Doza

  • Proudly Australian manufactured and proven since 1969.
  • Can be mounted on any tradesman quality roof bar or rack.
  • A 75mm high-density foam mattress is included.
  • Bedding including pillows can remain in tent when closed and it remains water and dust proof.
  • Has a 12mm plywood base.
  • Includes all-weather igloo entrance can open to the rear or side.
  • Can sleep 2 people.
  • Has mesh screens & windows on all sides
  • Price is around $2,400.

Visit their site for more info: http://dingodoza.com.au/


  • Four season tents built to endure the elements of any season and climate.
  • High-quality 600D rip stop and a 260 g poly-cotton blend fabric protect from the heaviest rain and winds.
  • Tent fabric is both UV and mold resistant.
  • Mesh panels offer plenty of ventilation and can open for more airflow
  • Internal pockets for storing gear and camping accessories.
  • Includes a high-density foam mattress.
  • Can add a privacy annex to add additional space and protection (Annex sold separately)
  • Can accommodate up to 3 people.
  • Has 10 different text styles.
  • Price ranges from $1,400 to $2,900.

Visit their site for more info: https://tepui.com/collections/tents

Related Questions

Can A Roof Top Tent Be Used On The Ground?

 Of course. There are some models of Roof Top Tents that can be detached from the vehicle and used on the ground for you to be able to have a permanent tent site and be able to drive your vehicle away without carrying your tent everywhere.

Can A Tent Be Fitted To The Rear of a 4WD, Truck, Ute or Sedan?

Some tents are designed for crew cab trucks, Utes, trailers, pick-up trucks or ‘well backed’ vehicles, SUV’s and tray back vehicles that can be attached to the rear of the vehicle. The edges of the tent slide over the vehicle’s side rails to prevent water getting into the bed of the truck.

There are also tents for campervans and station wagons that are also called hatch tents that clip over the tailgate or cargo areas of the rear of vehicles like station wagons, 4WD’s, SUVs and campervans turning it into a sleeping quarter.

Other designs are made to wrap around the cargo area but will still remain on site if you want to drive the vehicle away.

You may also visit Jiffy Outdoors who makes RVT 4×4 and 4x4L tents made from heavyweight Rip Stop Poly Cotton that can be attached to the rear of your 4WD that you can ‘put up in a jiffy’ at Doncaster East, Victoria Australia. 

The Jiffy Outdoors tents have dual entry doors with awnings fitted for a left or right hand opening doors on the rear of your 4WD which gives you access to the back of your 4WD without being exposed to the weather. It also has a heavy duty tub which keeps the water out and keeps the inside of the tent dry.

Some of the manufacturer’s that offer varieties of Roof Top Tents to choose from are Jiffy Outdoors, Cabela, Napier, DAC Inc., Conestoga Truck Tent and Safari Softshell Inc.

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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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