Benefits and using Roof Top Tents
Before you go and buy a roof top tent you want to be sure it will be worth it, right?
I know I did – I wanted to be doubly sure it would be worth it before I parted with my hard-earned cash.
With this important question in mind, this section aims to help focus your mind and expand on topics such as, your projected usage, the money you can expect to pay to get a tent that you want, how many they can sleep, where you can use it and the advantages of roof tents.
In addressing all these, we hope that you will decide that it will be worthwhile in owning a roof tent and we hope you will buy from us.
Q. Is a roof top tent worth it?
A. Let us face it, roof top tents cost a few bob. They are much more expensive than a standard ground tent, but then, they are much more affordable than a camper van or motor home with comparable comfort levels thanks to the full-size mattress inside.
Whether a roof tent is worth it or not is completely subjective as one person’s expensive is someone else’s affordable. However, to compare a ground tent to a rooftop tent, we have compiled the following list that attempts to answer the question, is a roof top tent worth it?
Q. The amount of money you want to spend and projected usage:
A. A basic hard-shell tent will cost approximately €1500, add better waterproofing and accessories such as solar panel and battery, the price will approach €2000. Logically, to spend this considerable amount of money on a tent, ideally, you would be using it frequently or love camping so much but hate ground tents that it makes a lot of sense to have one. If you are an occasional, 2-3 times per year camper it may be wiser to spend a few hundred euro on a ground tent and get best-in-class.
On the other hand, some of our customers have deeper pockets and do not mind spending €2k on a roof tent that they will use a few times a year. Such individuals value the comfort levels, convenience of set-up and take down that such a product provides. You must work out which customer group you belong to and make your purchase choice accordingly.
Personally, I camp about 5 times a year and I would not go back to using a ground tent, but that’s just me. I do not earn a lot of money and saved for a considerable length of time to buy my first roof top tent.
What type of camping you want to do:
A. If you are into hiking through forests or across mountain ranges a roof top tent will not be for you as you are limited by the range of your vehicle and flat terrain available to you to park and sleep in a comfortable flat position.
However, if you mostly use campsites and perhaps want to expand your sleeping and pitching options to include flat terrain next to beaches, lakes, forests, and the countryside then a roof top tent is worth considering. Buy a tent with a solar panel and battery pack and you will not need to be situated near a campsite as you will have the power to use lighting a charging any devices you carry with you.
Your vehicle type:
A. If you drive a convertible or ride a motorbike, well obviously, you cannot mount a roof tent on such vehicles. Only certain vehicles are suited to these tents as they are heavy, bulky and require roof bars or a roof rack to be fitted first. If you are unsure if your car, van, or SUV is suitable and are interested in buying a car tent, check out our FAQ page to read about roof load limits and how to decide if a vehicle is suitable. If still unsure, get in touch with us.
Q. What is the purpose of a roof top tent?
A. The 2 main purposes of a roof top tent are to provide the user or occupants with more comfort and convenience.
Extra comfort comes from sleeping on a proper mattress rather than the hard uneven ground and in a level position once your vehicle is parked on even ground.
More convenience is realised during set-up and take down, which is extremely fast and easy with roof tents. With a pop-up roof tent, when the clips are unhooked, the tent will spring into position aided by hydraulic positioned at the corners. When you are finished using the tent it is simple to close the tent and clips, meaning you will be ready to drive away in under 2 minutes.
Q. How many can sleep in a roof top tent?
A. This depends on the size of the tent you have bought. A standard sized roof tent will measure approx. 125cm in width and this is sufficient for two adults to sleep comfortably. Larger pop-up or clamshell rooftop tents will measure approximately 145cm – this is almost the width of a king-size double bed and two adults and a child can fit in this size.
Bigger sleeping spaces are provided by fold-out rooftop tents, where room for 5 people can be provided. It is possible to connect a waterproof annex to the side of certain fold out tents, these annexes provide extra living space where items can be stored, or extra camp beds can be installed for sleeping.
Q. Can you use one on the ground?
A. Yes, you can put a roof top tent on the ground but why would you want to? This defeats its purpose.
What is the purpose of a roof top tent? Roof tents were designed to be used on top of a vehicle, hence the name. The very concept is to benefit or gain an advantage from sleeping at a height.
What are the benefits or advantages of sleeping at a height? There are many but sleeping at a height means you will be cooler, dryer, less prone to dangers posed by animals, insects, flooding, and thieves. Plus, modern rooftop tents enjoy quick set-up and take downs in the morning – usually less than a minute. This is the main advantage to modern day camping enthusiasts.
When sleeping outdoors, it is much better doing it at a height.
It is possible to set up a roof top tent in such a way that the space next to the vehicle is usable too. By useable, we mean covered and waterproof too. Interested in this?
There is a hybrid or fold out roof top tent with side annex that hangs to the side of the main tent and touches the ground. This annex effectively provides you with a covered, waterproof area to the side of your vehicle which is connected to the main tent which means that roof top tents can be used on the ground.
Q. Where can you use a roof top tent?
A. A roof top tent can be used wherever you can drive and park the vehicle it is attached to. And you will be limited to where your car, SUV or van can carry you to. Our blog has a number of articles written about good campsites to visit. A small two-wheel drive car will probably not get you and your roof tent to the top of a mountain using a muddy, steep, and potholed dirt track. Therefore, it is important to be cognisant of your vehicle’s capabilities and plan accordingly.