Roof top tents give economic camping options


I have long  been a fan of roof top tents. Maybe it is a throw back to my adolescent days of climbing into my backyard tree house.

Whatever the reason, I think these soft-sided abodes are a neat economical option for those who still want to tent camp, but “sleep safely above the rocks, the mud and the critters.”

On an August 2013 RV trip, we camped at Bonaparte Lake just south of the Canadian boarder. Walking through the campground I spotted a nifty roof top tent. The owners were not in their campsite, so I did not have an opportunity to find out the manufacturer.

Today  I went online and checked out a few brands and was reminded that these tents are popular around the globe:

– A two-person tent from Car Top Camper of Irvine, Ca., starts at $856 and go up from there. Lots of extras can be added.

– Skydome Cartop Tent of Canada “unfolds in seconds to become your base camp” and sells for around $1,000.

Photo: Roof top tent taken at Bonaparte Lake, Aug. 17, 2013 . (Julianne G. Crane)

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  • I wouldn’t feel very safe in “Grizzly Country” in one of these. Even a moderate-sized bear could reach high enough to rip open the fabric and get inside. At least it would probably be high enough to keep smaller critters like raccons, etc. outside.

  • I’ve seen winds when camping so strong they just about rip a tents tie down stakes out of the ground. I wonder how a tent on top of a vehicle would handle those conditions.


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