What are Rooftop Tents? (Take your Camping to the Next Level)

camping with a roof top tent
Camping with a Roof Top Tent

A rooftop tent is a very extreme tent because of its placement. Generally speaking, when people go camping they would find a fairly flat area of ground, clear it of debris as much as they can and pitch up their tent, in fact, the hardiest of campers would not even put up a tent, instead, they just would snuggle inside their sleeping bag and call it a night. Now, the problem with that type of tent for camping is you are the mercy of the elements, you really are. 

You really can’t do that kind of thing if it’s raining or snowing but assuming that it’s a nice and warm out and you get to enjoy the balmy summer breeze, camping out in a sleeping bag covered by the night-time sky and its stars would be the way to go. For everybody else however, who are worried about the kind of punishment Mother Nature is known to dish out, you probably are looking for something that would deliver more comfort and this is why a lot of people would pitch up a tent on flat ground.

How to Pick a Roof Top Tent

Now here’s the problem, what if you are car camping in spring and an avoidable springtime showers come? Maybe it happens during the day or maybe it happens at dawn or if you are really having a bad luck in the middle of the night. Now, keep in mind that if your tent is well designed, it’s going to be able to keep the moisture from the top and the sides. This is good news. The problem is the ground.

What if it becomes soggy? What if it starts to leak? What if the moisture somehow in some way starts to penetrate from the ground? This does happen. Now, there are many different types of tents, some are better constructed than others, others are made of waterproof material but even in that situation, at the back of your head, you still don’t feel really that comfortable because you know that the soil underneath your tent is getting soggy.

how to pick a roof top tentWhat do you do in that situation? This is why a lot of campers decide to pitch up the best truck bed tent on the bed of the pickup truck. You are at least a couple of few feet off the ground so you can kiss goodbye all issues regarding soggy soil. You don’t have to worry about moisture from the ground or the bottom of your tent seeping or spreading to other areas of the tent. Sounds awesome right? Well, the problem is you’re not out of the woods yet figuratively speaking. What about predators?

In the great outdoors of the United States wolves believe it or not are making a comeback. Now, depending on the national park you go to wolves, coyotes, raccoons and other four-legged creatures may present a safety issue. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, well, we could always fend for ourselves. If you brought along a baseball bat, you may be able to ward off some wild animals. The question is do you really want to have to go through all that hassle? Also, please understand that wild animals, even something as small as a gopher or a field rat can carry rabies. 

Do you really want to roll the dice the next time you hit the trails? Most people wouldn’t, most people don’t have the stomach for that kind of risk so to ensure maximum safety from potential predators in the wild, the rooftop tents have entered the market. As you can tell by the name, rooftop tents are specially designed tents that are intended to be pitched up on the roof of a pickup truck. Now, a typical pickup truck is well constructed enough so that its cabin roof could actually take quite a bit of weight.

Things to Look Out for When Buying

The big challenge with rooftop tents is the dimensions. The classic pickup truck only has a cab that can fit two people and as you can well imagine the flat part of the roof of the that cab is not going to accommodate much space, maybe only one person could fit or if you are both very thin, two people. Be sure to get a the best car air mattress for a good nights rest when camping. That’s pretty much it.

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Why do you do that? Well, if you are riding around in modern pickup truck that can sit four or even five to seven people, you’re in luck. Rooftop tents that are especially designed for larger cabs have a wide and long-enough dimensions to provide a fairy comfortable tent experience. The dimensions  would support enough space. Of course, there are also sorts of safety issues involved if you are going to pitch up a rooftop tent. 

You are several feet above the ground and there is a chance that you might fall off.  If you wake up in the morning and you forgot that you actually pitched up the tent at the roof of your pickup truck, you may be in for a very nasty surprise. 

Keep these considerations in mind. Rooftop tents are great for people who are just really scared of potential predators or they have a reason to suspect that there may be wild animals about that is a valid concern but you may want to weigh that consideration with the potential risk of falling off a platform that is several feet from the ground.  As you probably already know when your center of gravity is fairly high up, it is very easy to either get toppled or fall off.