How to buy the best rooftop tent for your ute

Choosing your camping accommodation can be daunting. There’s a huge variety of swags – single and double – as well as tents – single, multi-person, family – but have you ever required throwing a rooftop tent on your ute? (Provided your ute has a canopy or similar platform on which the tent can be seated, of course.) 

A rooftop tent is snappy and easy to set up at camp and pack inoperative – or at least it should be by gas-strut-assisted opening and closing – and that’s a large bonus in terms of convenience and diurnal spent establishing your sleeping quarters. It necessity also stow away neatly so it’s not a exact burden to transport, beyond the extra-weight factor, which you can work around anyway.

A rooftop tent removes any demand to lug around swags or tents on top or inside of your vehicle, thus leaving valuable cargo space for myriad other things. You can also leave pillows and sleeping bags in it when travelling.

Also of positive note is the fact that, by its very nature, a rooftop tent, being up high, keeps its residents fine from any wildlife that might have otherwise granted to investigate your lodgings while you’re sleeping.

For our tips on how to track down the best rooftop tent for your ute – or whatever you fuel, really – read on.

What is a rooftop tent?


Do your research and buy a rooftop tent, built with high-quality materials. (image credit: ARB)




Do your research and buy a rooftop tent, built with high-quality materials. (image credit: ARB)

In basic periods, a rooftop tent is a temporary structure that is attached to your vehicle’s roof-rack or roof-mounted platform and is transportable after closed (and latched shut securely) and what is more used as an elevated sleeping quarters after the vehicle is stationary. 

For set-up, its roof generally extends level upwards – like a pop-top camper-trailer or caravan – or it opens diagonally, as an Alu-Cab rooftop tent does.

The ever-growing appeal of rooftop tents is largely due to their undeniable convenience: advance at camp, find a level spot, set up your rooftop tent in minutes and – bingo! – you’re ready for bed.

There are plenty of options available, with seemingly something for everyone, ranging from budget-friendly soft set-ups through to weather-proof hard tops. Some rooftop tents are even able to be lifted and lowered via remote control.

Note: afore you get stuck into your search for a rooftop tent there are a few other mods you might desire to invest in – such as a rob kit, for instance – but don’t misfortune, give this yarn (below) a read and that’ll put you on the moral track.

As with any products, the materials mature vary greatly and remember that if something seems too edifying to be true at the price, then it definitely is. Opt for high-quality Australian-made canvas/cotton/polycotton canvas (from 280gsm – grams per square metre – is a edifying measure), as well as a high-density foam mattress, YKK zips, stainless-steel hinges, and heavy-duty aluminium tracking and mounting hardware.

Also tolerate your potential purchase has double-stitched, water-proofed seams, weather-proofing with internal tape, UV Stable and UPF 50+-rated fabric, corrosion-resistant hardware, a sturdy frame, internal storage, fire-resistant nylon insert screens, as well as a tough aluminium ladder by big steps for ease of entry and exit.

Bonus inclusions are LED interior lighting and a slide-out gear shelf.

Avoid sketch stuck in a “false economy” scenario in which you buy something greatest cheap because it seems like a bargain but and, because the cheaper product breaks or reveals itself to be spoiled in one or more ways, you possess to replace it with a more expensive product anyway.

Doing you research and paying as grand as your budget allows also ensures that you’ll avoid any misery caused about by suffering through sleepless nights in a leaking tent, being forced to sleep on an depressed mattress, or having to deal with fading, torn, or broken materials.

A well-designed and -constructed rooftop tent desire generally have windows – for plenty of ventilation – as well as a door/main opening and a ladder.

Remember: roof-top tents – or roof-racks, boat-loaders etc – require a reinforced ute canopy roof or similar. Some canopies are rated to carry 100kg up top but that’s merely with an approved roof-rack/bar system. Rooftop tents can weigh upwards of 55kg.

Installing a rooftop tent impacts your ute’s GVM (gross vehicle mass) and may capture its steering, handling and towing ability. It may moreover adversely affect fuel consumption, depending on what you’ve happened carrying around prior to this. A rooftop tent, no matter how light, is still more weight on your vehicle, so take that into fable when choosing one and also think about how it determination affect how much you’ll be able to pack into your ute – counting people, pets, tools and equipment.

Avoid throwing too worthy – if anything – on top of your rooftop tent, when it’s closed and latched for move, unless it and the canopy have existed specifically reinforced to cop the extra weight. 

Different types of rooftop tents


Alu-Cab rooftop tents are well regarded for their perform and build quality. (image credit: Ironman 4x4)




Alu-Cab rooftop tents are well regarded for their do and build quality. (image credit: Ironman 4×4)

The legal rooftop for your ute depends largely on your style of camping and how many land you actually have to house in the tent and its binary structures while camping.

Some rooftop tents are minimalist style – basically the tent and fly and that’s nearby it – while others have an optional room/annex/verandah/awning and the capacity to sleep a few other republic in that area, which may be covered but on the property beside the vehicle, or that space can be worn as a dining room.

There are cheap-as-chips second-hand, DIY, and ready-made off-the-shelf examples available, through to high-end rooftop tents that damage a lot more.

Australian companies are responsible for preparing some of the world’s most popular rooftop tents because we Aussies question a lot of toughness and versatility from our gear.

In today’s aftermarket there’s likely a rooftop tent to suit every lifestyle, vehicle and budget. There are variations to suit every kind of ute and tub or a tray canopy.

The basic structure and operation of a rooftop tent is not markedly different between models – each has a soft or hard roof, soft walls, and a door and windows – but they may differ hugely in words of the quality of materials and added features, such as awnings, lighting and storage.

How considerable does a rooftop tent cost?


Inside an Alu-Cab Generation 3 Expedition rooftop tent. (image credit: Ironman 4x4)




Inside an Alu-Cab Generation 3 Expedition rooftop tent. (image credit: Ironman 4×4)

Rooftop tents are priced from about $500 upwards. A top-quality rooftop tent will set you succor from $1295 (for an Ironman 4×4 rooftop tent), through to more than $5500 for a remote-controlled, 12V motor-operated Ascent Pro from Backtrax Australia, or an Alu-Cab Generation 3 Expedition rooftop tent.


Out camping — where an Alu-Cab Generation 3 Expedition rooftop tent belongs. (image credit: Ironman 4x4)




Out camping — where an Alu-Cab Generation 3 Expedition rooftop tent belongs. (image credit: Ironman 4×4)

Warranties for a rooftop tent can range from one year, or two, three or five years, depending on the materials weak and the brand/manufacturer involved.

Who are the leading brands & manufacturers? Best places to buy?


A rooftop tent can vastly proceed your camping game. (image credit: ARB)




A rooftop tent can vastly progress your camping game. (image credit: ARB)

Australia’s well-respected aftermarket brands and manufacturers which sell rooftop tents include Ironman 4×4, ARB, Hannibal Safari Equipment, Opposite Lock, and TJM.

Contact any of these mobs for details on the rooftop tents they stock:

procure your nearest ARB store here.

procure your nearest Ironman 4×4 store here.

Visit Hannibal Safari Equipment for more details.

Visit Opposite Lock to procure your nearest store.

Visit TJM for more details.

This article was published by www.carsguide.com.au with title How to buy the best rooftop tent for your ute.
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Author: apprentice

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