Five Things To Consider When Shopping For A Rooftop Tent

Five Things To Consider When Shopping For A Rooftop Tent

Rooftop Tents are a popular and convenient way for people to travel around Australia with minimal gear, but they don’t come cheap and you don’t want to get the wrong one for you.

If you’re considering purchasing your first Rooftop tent, here are five things you need to consider to make sure your Rooftop Camping experience is enjoyable and stress-free.


The Logistics

Before you go diving headfirst into the world of rooftop tents, the first thing you’ll need to consider is the logistics – Will a rooftop tent actually be suitable for your travels?

Unlike caravans, campervans and even tents, Rooftop Tents (RTT’s) come with some unique features that you’ll have to consider when travelling with them.

Firstly, most rooftop tents are designed to be fairly lightweight and minimal. This means you won’t (typically) be able to store much stuff in your tent, and anything you do want to bring with you will have to fit inside your car with you.

Furthermore, rooftop tents are designed to sit on the roof of a car or the bed of a ute rather than on the ground, meaning you’ll have to be physically able to climb into them each night. While you typically don’t have to climb higher than a metre or two (we’re not climbing into a treehouse), it is important that you consider your ability to climb up and down spaces when shopping for a Rooftop Tent, to make sure that you don’t run into any issues on the road.


Vehicle Roof Weight Capacity

We all know that vehicles have a Towing Weight Capacity, and you have to abide by that when choosing a caravan. But did you know that your Vehicle Roof will also have a weight capacity that you need to consider when buying a RTT?

Some RTT’s are heavier than others (such as our new Penthouse Rooftop Tent), so when you first start shopping around for a tent it’s important to evaluate how much your roof can safely hold, and how you’ll spread the weight of the tent around to ensure you don’t damage your car.

For people with smaller or more compact cars, installing a RTT can be trickier as there’s less overall roof space but for those with 4WD’s or Ute’s, the most popular way to do this is by installing a set of mounting racks to distribute the weight of the RTT evenly, then sliding the tent on and bolting it down.

Rooftop Tents can come in a range of weights and sizes ranging from beginners with our Baby Shack to heavy-duty with our Penthouse, so if you’re considering getting a Rooftop Tent but you’re not sure if your car could hold it or how to install it, speak to our team to find out how we can help.


Preferred Model (Fold vs Pop Up)

When it comes to RTT’s, there are two typical varieties you can choose from – Soft or Hardshell. And no, we don’t mean tacos.

Soft and Hard-Shell Tents can both come with pro’s and con’s, so let’s break down each type below and why you’d choose one over the other.

Soft Shell Rooftop Tent

Similar to a regular tent, Soft Shell Rooftop Tents are made from a soft canvas or polyester material, and essentially look like a miniature version of a normal tent perched on top of your car.

These RTT’s are great for people looking for a tent with a larger floor size or looking to get something more affordable, but keep in mind that (just like with normal tents), manual assembly is required, so you’ll need to set up and pack down your Soft Shell Tent each morning and night before you can sleep in it or travel.

Hard Shell RooftopTent

As the name implies, Hard Shell Tents come with the entire rooftop structure encased in a hard plastic, aluminium or fibreglass casing that sits on top of your car.

Here at Bushwakka all of our Rooftop Tents are Hard Shell Tents, and while they’re often pricier than the Soft Shell alternative, they come with several advantages:

  • Simple to pack up and down. All Bushwakka RTT’s include a simple self-opening mechanism that means you can undo the latches and the Rooftop Tent will slowly unfold itself.
  • Lower profile on the car when packed up to keep your overall rig looking sleek
  • Sturdier design and ability to enjoy built-in features such as charging ports and lighting

Everyone will have different opinions on which style of Rooftop Tent is more beneficial for them, but if you’re considering a Hard Shell Tent and want to see one in person, you can make an appointment to come by Bushwakka HQ and check them out.


Weather Factors

Australia can have some pretty rough weather when it wants to, and one of the last things you’ll want when camping is to get woken up at 2AM, drenched by a thunderstorm because your Rooftop Tent started leaking.

While most Rooftop Tents will offer a decent amount of weather-proofing, there are a few things you’ll want to consider when shopping around to make sure your camping trips are as comfortable as possible.

Firstly, you’ll want to ensure your Rooftop Tent has excellent ventilation, 

A few things that you’ll typically want your tent to have with it are excellent ventilation, and a large enough window flap to ensure you can get the breeze while you sleep without water coming in.

The Bushwakka  Rooftop Tents also come with a couple of extra luxuries to make sure your new outdoor adventure is comfortable, including built-in charging ports and a Rechargeable Roof Mounted Fan to help keep you cool in summer!



Let’s be real here, no Rooftop camping experience is complete without all the cool accessories that you can bring along with you.

Because a Rooftop Tent is so compact you don’t have the typical amenities available that you do in a tent or Caravan such as storage, bathroom, shower, kitchen amenities or undercover sitting areas, so you’ll want to grab some cool accessories before heading out on your first trip to make sure your inaugural adventure is a good one.

A couple of accessories that we’d recommend investing in before you head out on your first Rooftop Adventure are an attachable Ensuite, Extreme Awning and comfortable Moon Chair to keep you comfortable during dinners and nights under the stars.

If you’re ready to enter into the world of Rooftop Tents, the team at Bushwakka are ready to answer any and every question you have – Get in touch today for a chat and to book in time to see our Rooftop Tent range!


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