I was fairly skeptical the first time I saw a rooftop tent. At first glance, my brain immediately started sifting through the many reasons throwing a tent on the top of my truck was a bad idea. But then I had the opportunity to actually try one. It wasn’t long before I became a convert. These days, I prefer a rooftop tent whenever camping is part of the travel plan.
Rooftop tents aren’t for everyone. I get it. First of all, you need to have a vehicle capable of supporting the weight. And second, there are people who just don’t like being up high. But other than that, I cannot see a reason to avoid a rooftop tent if you do a lot of camping.
At least give the idea some thought. If you are like me, one experience with a rooftop tent will sell you forever. To get you thinking in that direction, here are four reasons you just might discover you love rooftop tents after trying one:
1. Easy Setup and Tear Down
The first thing I noticed about my own experience was how easy a rooftop tent is to set up. Obviously, different models are deployed in different ways. My particular tent was built right into the platform mounted to the top of the truck. I simply unfolded the platform, attached the ladder, and inserted two poles. That was it. If set up took five minutes, I would be surprised.
Tearing down was just as easy. It was the same process in reverse. The only real difference was that I had to be careful to make sure all the tent material was laying inside the frame before I folded the platform back up.
2. Easy Attachment
It is certainly possible to drill holes and bolt a rooftop tent platform to the top of your truck. If you don’t want to get so serious though, you don’t have to. My tent was attached to the top of the truck with a set of tie-down straps. If my memory is correct, they were cam straps made by Rollercam. Regardless, the straps held everything firmly in place. The friend who loaned me the tent helped me attach it to my truck. It was pretty easy.
3. Staying Off the Ground
I appreciated the easy set-up, tear down, and process for attaching it to my truck. But the one thing that impressed me most was staying off the ground when it came time to go to bed. I remember camping as a kid, especially the fact that sleeping on the ground could suck the heat right out of me. I was never all that comfortable on the ground.
Being on top of my truck made all the difference in the world. I was a lot more comfortable. I stayed a lot warmer. And with a rain fly and four more tie down straps, I was able to keep the rain out, too.
4. An Incredible View
The icing on the cake was the incredible view I enjoyed every morning. I woke just before sunrise and unzipped the window flaps. Then I watched the sun come up as it woke the rest of the world with it. I couldn’t have asked for better.
I am sold on the rooftop tent. I get that it’s not the right piece of kit for every camper. But for me, I see no reason to ever go back to a tent on the ground. Perhaps I’ll change my tune when I get too old to climb the ladder. Let’s hope not.