Rooftop tents can fit in almost all modern cars but there are few cars that are designed for Overlanding and using rooftop tents on those vehicles have a lot of extra benefits than others.
So, What are the Best Cars for Rooftop tents in 2023?
Some of the best cars for rooftop tents are,
- Subaru Outback.
- Toyota Tacoma.
- Toyota 4Runner.
- Jeep Wrangler.
- FJ Cruiser.
Let’s discuss why I have chosen these vehicles as a great fit for rooftop tent below with more details.
Let’s get started.
1. Subaru Outback
The first thing I would like to mention about Subaru Outback is its roof rack.
The Subaru Outback Roof Rack limit is 176 LBS at max in a dynamic condition and when it is parked, you can load up to 700 LBS which is good enough to load a rooftop tent on it and have a good time camping with your family.
With a ground clearance of 8.7 inches, you can easily travel on this powerful vehicle anywhere without having to worry about anything especially crossing areas where the roads are pretty bad.
2. Toyota Tacoma
Toyota’s Tacoma isn’t a new name when it comes to offroading vehicles as it is loved by many people for the same reason. Tacoma can load up to 650 LBS in a static condition and using a rooftop tent on that won’t be an issue.
Tacoma could be your perfect companion with its huge ground clearance of 9.4 inches. If you own this amazing vehicle, you can definitely take it for a long trip without any second thoughts.
With 60 inches long and 41.5 inches wide, you can have a good sleep inside the Toyota Tacoma If you are bored with rooftop tents.
3. Toyota 4Runner
With 760 LBS Roof Rack weight capacity, you can easily install a rooftop tent on the Toyota 4Runner.
Apart from its static weight capacity, the 4Runner is among the top car with heavy roof rack ability in dynamic conditions. According to many users, it can easily accommodate luggage with 300 LBS which is pretty huge in my opinion.
If you don’t like Toyota Tacoma for some reason, you can surely give it a try to the 4Runner for your next camp and I’m sure it’ll be your good companion during that time.
4. Jeep Wrangler
I don’t think I need to introduce you to this powerful vehicle which is quite popular and a top choice for many people when it comes to camping.
The Jeep Wrangler can easily carry around 800 LBS in a static condition which is more than enough to hold a large-size rooftop tent like the Smittybilt Overlander. While driving, Wrangler can hold up to 100 LBS of your luggage.
You can load the rooftop tent luggage on the cargo of this vehicle and after installing the rooftop tent, you can load all of your stuff on it without any issues.
Apart from being a good camping vehicle, Jeep Wrangler can be a good offroading vehicle with 9.7 inches of ground clearance and it’ll assist you on patchy roads or in big humps.
5. FJ Cruiser
The last option on this list is again from Toyota and the reason why I’m recommending Toyota so much for rooftop tent camping is, their reliability over the years.
The FJ Cruiser has the ability to hold around 700 lbs when it is parked and in a dynamic condition, it can hold up to 165 LBS. If you have been thinking to use this vehicle for camping with rooftop tents, you definitely can go for it.
With 9 inches of ground clearance, the FJ Cruiser is the perfect option for both offroading and camping.
3 Important Things to look for in a car for Roof Top Tent (RTT) Camping
Some of the important things to look for in a car for RTT camping are,
- Solid Roof Racks.
- Ease of use.
- Ground clearance of the car.
1. Solid Roof Racks
The first you should check on your car If you are leaving for a rooftop tent camping is a solid roof rack.
It doesn’t matter If you have installed a used or a newly purchased roof rack, if it seems fine and in working condition, you can go ahead and plan your trip.
If your car doesn’t have good roof racks, you must replace it with a new one and get a decent roof rack like Arksen Universal Roof Rack. It is worth spending some extra money on a good roof rack for the safety of you, your luggage, and the car.
2. Ease of use
The next thing you should look for in a car for RTT camping is the ease of using roof racks.
Modern cars are being offered the ability to use install and use rooftop tents in cars and you should make sure that your car has this ability.
If you have a car that I have discussed above, you’ll not have any issues while using a rooftop tent in your car.
3. Ground clearance of the car
The last thing you need to check for a good RTT camping experience is, you need to ensure you have a car with good ground clearance.
A car with 8 inches of ground clearance will make sure you don’t get into any kind of trouble while traveling as well as your camp anywhere. More than 8 inches would be even better for you.
Cars with poor ground clearance will cause issues while driving on a bad road and your camping experience won’t be as good as you may expect.
Helpful Tips for Rooftop Camping in a car
Keep your essentials ready:
You should always keep the essentials stuff like a GPS device, Knife, First Aid Kit, etc in your car while camping because you may not know when you may need those stuff urgently.
Without having essential stuff in your camp, you won’t be having a great time camping and I would highly recommend you do not ignore this important at any cost.
Park in the right spot:
Parking is one of the most important parts while camping and you should know where to park your vehicle legally.
If you have no idea where to find such spots, don’t worry. AllStays is an online service that shows you the spots where you can legally park for both free and paid.
If you own an iOS device, you can install the AllStays app and locate the right place to park your vehicle.
Install the rooftop with some help:
If you are a beginner who is trying rooftop tent camping for the first time, I would suggest you take some help from your friends while installing it, or else you may break the tent in some way.
Have some food in the car:
Imagine you have parked your vehicle in an isolated area and you are very hungry and to buy food, you have to travel a long distance.
In this situation, you can’t travel for long and you’ll hard time for survival. For the same reason, always have some food while camping so that you don’t get into such situations.
Get a portable rooftop tent:
This isn’t a surprise tip for anyone but I just want to remind you that you should always get rooftop tents that are easily portable.
Get a portable shower:
A portable shower will make you forget the need for an actual bathroom while camping. For those who are on a budget, you can go with Nemo Helio Portable Pressure Camp Shower, or else YAKIMA, RoadShower 4G will serve you well.
Best rooftop tents for your car
Some of the best rooftop tents are,
- Smittybilt Overlander: With a price tag of a little over $1100, this rooftop tent can easily accommodate 3 persons in all 4 seasons and it is one of the most highly rated rooftop tents by over 600 consumers.
- Thule Tepui Low-Pro: This rooftop tent is on the expensive side but it justifies its pricing with the premium quality it offers. This tent comes with two options i.e 2-person and 3-persons.
- Napier Backroadz: The Napier Backroadz is one of the most affordable rooftop tents that you can get under $300 and it can accommodate 2 people easily in 3 seasons i.e Summer, fall, and spring.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Can a Toyota Rav4 support a rooftop tent?
Yes, Toyota RAV4 does support rooftop tents easily.
With the roof rack weight limit of 176 lbs, you can easily install a rooftop tent on a Toyota RAV4 without any issues.
2. Is a rooftop tent worth it?
Rooftop tents are totally worth it for those who go camping regularly.
If you are someone who travels a lot and plans for camping with your family and friends on regular basis, investing in a good rooftop tent is worth it.
3. Does a rooftop tent affect gas mileage?
Yes, a rooftop tent does affect your gas mileage by 10%-20%.
4. How fast can you drive with a rooftop tent?
With a rooftop tent, you can drive your car maximum at 100-120 KMPH.
Don’t cross this speed limit or else you will be in real danger and the chances of meeting an accident are quite high.
There are several cars on the market today that can easily a rooftop tents but when you get a car that is built for camping, you’ll have a whole lot different experience than a generic car.
These are my top choices for the best Cars for Rooftop tents you can try these days If you have any other car in your mind, do let me know in the comments. Cheers!