It wasn’t until last year that I got my first rooftop tent – the Torro Offroad Skylux. And man, do I wish I’d done it sooner! As it turns out, I’m a rooftop tent geek. I love everything about it. I like being up off the ground. I like having the extra room around camp that isn’t occupied by a ground tent. I like the options available for adding more space, like my annex room, that allows me to have an enclosed area for cooking and relaxing apart from the tent itself. If all this sounds good to you, keep on reading, because there are many other reasons why you need a rooftop tent!
Rooftop Tents Allow You to Be More Mobile
One of the best features of a rooftop tent is that they are easy to set up and take down. This means that when it comes time to move on down the trail, you can do so in short order, rather than spending the whole morning packing up your tent or trailer. It takes me a couple of minutes to get my rooftop tent setup (shown above on top of my trailer), which is especially great when I’m camping in cold weather or when a storm is coming in. But the bigger advantage for me is on the flip side – being able to pack up and go within minutes is a huge advantage of rooftop tent camping. Besides, the less time you have to spend setting up and taking down your tent, the more time you have to do fun stuff like hiking, fishing, climbing, and biking!
Why You Need a Rooftop Tent: It Gets You Up Off the Ground
In addition to providing you with excellent mobility, rooftop tents get you up off the ground. This is an advantage for a variety of reasons. First, searching around for a prime spot to put your ground tent is a losing battle sometimes. There might be too many rocks or tree roots to find an area where one won’t be poking you in the back all night. In other words, you can have a much more restful night’s sleep up on the roof of your vehicle or trailer. Second, I like being up off the ground and away from predators. I spend a lot of time in the desert, so scorpions, snakes, and other creepy crawlies are prevalent. Being up off the ground means I’m more protected from critters. Third, rooftop tent camping means you don’t have to worry about being flooded out of your tent if a downpour rolls into camp. There have been far too many times when my ground tents have been inundated during a cloudburst, so not having to worry about that is a major advantage of camping up off the ground.
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Rooftop Tents Allow You to Keep Your Bedding Where It Is
There’s an additional convenience factor with rooftop tents – they allow you to keep your bedding right where it is! In my Torro Offroad Skylux tent, I have a king-sized mattress, sheets, blankets, and pillows that I don’t have to take out when I pack up the tent. Not only is this extremely convenient, but it also ensures that my bedding stays clean. There have been multiple occasions in my ground tent camping life where I’ve dropped my pillow in the dirt or mud. That just doesn’t happen with my rooftop tent! Additionally, since my bedding can stay in the tent, I can bring luxury items like a full-sized pillow and a king-sized mattress that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to bring. While I like roughing it as much as the next guy, sleeping on a big, comfy bed at the end of a long day sure is nice.
Why You Need a Rooftop Tent: Better Climate Control
Being up off the ground means that your rooftop tent will be up in any breeze that might be blowing, thus giving you a more comfortable sleeping experience during the warm weather months. I’ve taken my rooftop tent (which is on top of my Turtleback Expedition Trailer) to Joshua Tree at the end of the summer, and while I was still warm, being up off the ground meant I got a little bit of breeze that made the night more comfortable. In cold weather, rooftop tents are great because they are often made of rugged material. My Torro Offroad Skylux tent has a hardshell case, waterproof ripstop canvas walls with a polyurethane coating, and a waterproof rainfly, just to name a few features. I’ve camped in this tent in the blazing heat and the freezing cold, and I’ve been comfortable in both extremes. And at the end of the day, comfort, convenience, safety, and mobility is what it’s all about, and you get all that and more with a rooftop tent.