Rooftop Tent: The Ute Accessory You Never Knew You Needed

Imagine waking up in a forest surrounded by beautiful trees. Or perhaps to a view of a glistening lake. How about to an early morning with the sun rising on a sandy beach? There are so many beautiful places in New Zealand where you can go wild camping.

Having a versatile vehicle like a ute has evolved from being a tradie’s go-to vehicle to being an offroading family’s top pick. With a rooftop tent, those weekend adventures can become even more attainable.

Rooftop tents are durable tents that can withstand varying weather conditions. You get a comfortable bed with a roomy tent that unfolds in minutes. The latest models are lightweight and have user-friendly designs that are easy to erect and operate.

A good example would be ARB Rooftop Tents. These are made with high quality poly/cotton fabric and incorporates an Oxford polyester flysheet – a combination that offer strength, rigidity and water resistance.

One of the most important things to remember when you’re buying a rooftop tent is that these require a specialized roof rack system – ARB has a purpose designed roof rack for its rooftop tents. It can also be mounted to suitably load-rated Thule or Rhino roof bars. Installing it and mounting it is fairly easy, but is a two-person job.

Still not convinced that this is a must-have accessory for adventurous ute owners? Check out top benefits of having a rooftop tent:

  • Being off the ground – This is one of the major benefits of having a roof top tent over a regular tent. Depending on where you’re going and what season it is, the ground can have snow, be muddy or just be wet from rain. Being off the ground means having a cleaner tent overall (and a happy camping experience)
  • Set up is a breeze - Set up for a roof top tent is generally easier than a regular tent since you don’t need a level ground (you can level your ute instead) or to clear rocks before you pop out your tent.
  • Pack down is easy – Packing away a normal tent can be quite difficult, especially if you’re out in the wild where there’s debris and mud that can get around and into regular ground tents. It gets even worse when it rains. Since roof top tents are off the ground, folding it up doesn’t have the same problems.
  • Protection from insects and wildlife – Creepy crawlers and other curious critters can easily get into a ground tent, but not so for roof top ones. Rooftop tents even come with insect screened windows and doors for even more protection.
  • Wind resistance – Have you ever tried setting up a ground tent in a windy area? It is nearly impossible to put one up! When winds pump through your campsite, a roof top tent is a much easier solution for overnight shelter even when you’re out in the open.
  • Comfortable – Ultimately the best argument for buying a rooftop tent versus a ground type one. These come with a foam mattress that are much better to sleep on that on the ground or on a sleep pad.

If you love being outdoors, then a rooftop tent is definitely the ute accessory you need to consider. It will change the way you camp.