If you’ve been following us since the beginning, you would know that we took off on our ‘Big Lap’ in February 2017. We started the trip with a brand new Jayco Dove Outback camper trailer. Three months into out trip, after much deliberating, we parked up the trailer and decided to buy a rooftop tent instead.
Although a Roof Top Tent is not ideal for everybody’s situation, I wish I had’ve spent more time researching it before choosing to spend $30k+ on a camper that really didn’t suit us. 💲😣
So, I thought I’d compile a list of the pros and cons of living fulltime in a Roof Top Tent so that it might help others to make their decision. ✏📂
✔ Nothing to tow. This is the biggest one for us. We hated having to tow something so big around half the country. Life’s just a lot easier without it!
✔ Downsizing. Living in such a small area forces you to downsize your life. I can’t believe how much ‘stuff’ we had inside the trailer that wasn’t even necessary. Now, we have a third of the crap and it’s only what we know we need.
✔ Quick. Our particular set up is crazy quick. Another big winner for us. The Jayco was great for bigger stays but we got sick of setting up and packing down every day. With our rooftop and awning, we can be set up with beers in hand in 3 minutes flat. Can’t beat that! We have a Bundutec Australia brand roof top and awning.
✔ High and Dry. Being up high can have it’s benefits. You are more likely to get a good breeze being up high. It’s also nice to know you are safe from large lizards, snakes and other creepy crawlies.
✔ Accessible. Provided you have a good 4wd to put your rooftop onto, you can now pretty much go wherever you like! There are no stressful situastions wondering if you might be able to make it somewhere whilst towing your house (something we had experienced one too many times).
✔ Convenient. One of my favourite things about having your whole house with you every single spot you go is, just that. There’s no packing day bags or picnic lunches or anything. You always have everything you need right there. Another convenience is that some rooftops allow you to keep all your gear inside when you pack down. Make sure you choose this type if you are in it fulltime. We have a blanket, 2 x sleeping bags, a 19″ TV and Milwaukee fan that stay inside all the time.
✔ Solar. Get a rooftop that you can put a solar panel on top of. This is so handy! We have a 250 watt panel on top.
🚫 Longer stays. Although this doesn’t affect us much, having a rooftop and staying somewhere for a longer amount of time means that you may have to pack up your site when you need to use the car. We have bought bikes to avoid this situation.
🚫 Fuel efficiency. Our particular rooftop tent is designed a little differently than most. It is quite large and creates a bit of wind resistance. In saying that, we still produce a much better fuel consumption than if we were towing.
🚫 Price. Some rooftops are crazy cheap these days e.g. Kings, but if you are going to be using it as your house, we’d recommend a good-quality rooftop that will be able to cope with the extremes of life on the road. These can come with a rather exxy price tag. But, they are worth every cent!
🚫 Noise factor. A rooftop tent is essentially living in a clamped up tent up high. This means you can hear the entire conversation of those backpackers chatting in their tent at 2am… Park away from them!
🚫 The Ladder. ‘Have you ever fallen down that ladder?’ The first question everybody usually asks, quickly followed by ‘I’d definitely fall down that after one too many drinks’. Well, we’ve never had an issue with the ladder, even after 15 ‘too many drinks’. But it’s understandably not for everyone, especially those with young kids or those with dodgy knees. But if you’re willing to brave it, you won’t have an issue.
These are just the pros and cons we have come across or heard mention of. I’m sure others can add to this list!
Like I mentioned, road top tent living is not for everyone but it is the perfect fit for us! 👍✔😆