Roof Top Tents are great for “serious “overland travelers, but is it the right setup for you?
Roof top tents have become increasingly popular in recent years, mainly due to becoming substantially more affordable. From the bargain CVT units, to the super high-end Maggiolina’s, you can see them on a wide variety of overland vehicles. Yet a large segment of the market still strays away from owning them, here’s why I haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet.
First I’m going to have to out myself, I still sleep in a ground tent on a ground pad. Yes my “ground tent” is a OzTent, and yes I sleep on a Nemo ground pad, but I still sleep on the ground none the less.
I haven’t bought a roof top tent because I live in an a condo, frequently utilize parking garages, and I’m not a fan of the higher center of gravity. Yet if these factors weren’t and issue for me I most likely would have bought one by now. Here’s a quick breakdown of my perceived pros and cons:
High off the ground – Higher is always better, it’ll keep you out of range of
peasants bears, drunk friends that can’t climb ladders, and out of the mud.
Quick setup time – They only take a few minutes to setup, and they pack up just as quickly. All you have to do is park the truck and open up your tent.
Always ready to deploy – Having a comfortable place to sleep wherever you take your truck is a pretty convenient. Imagine the next time you’re too drunk to drive home, pop this bad boy up in the bar parking lot and watch the ladies line up.
Increased vehicle height – When you’ve got a 3″ lift or more, adding another foot onto your roof has you pushing 8′ in height.
Higher center of gravity – Try not to roll your rig, any roof top tent owner will tell you that it makes the truck a little more top heavy.
Difficult to take on and off (Unless you have a hoist, I hope your friends don’t mind dragging this thing on and off the truck.) – Your roof is already 7ft off the ground, have fun lifting it up to the top of the truck.
Right now, a ground tent just makes more sense for me, but if you’re willing to live with a few compromises, a roof top tent makes a pretty sweet addition to any rig.