A ROOFTOP TENT is the perfect option for those who are heading off around Australia on an extended 4WD trip.
More expensive than a tent but cheaper than a camper trailer a roof-top tent makes sense for intrepid travellers visiting remote locations.
They can be set up in minutes, offer excellent protection from the weather… and keep you up off the ground and well away from creepy crawlies and crocs… and our ARB Simpson certainly proved its worth in heavy rains and strong winds.
Below is our review of one of the most popular rooftop tents on the Australian market and the amazing ARB brand offered the best features for our needs!
Our home for 9 months was the ARB Simpson rooftop tent…
An additional roof rack mounted ARB awning and enclosed annex area is also available to provided storage, protection from the elements and extra sleeping space – great for families or those with lots of gear and this awning and annex is definitely something to add to your kit if you’re planning a trip like ours!
You may also want to consider purchasing the add-on to this Rooftop Tent that zips on and makes a great downstairs room that can be used as a change room, or for a portable toilet. It will definitely be an addition to our Rooftop Tent when we travel again!
For the quick overnighters we didn’t bother with the annex but if we were staying a couple of days we stretched the awning out over our sitting area, which gave us some quick and easy shelter!
The main downside of rooftop tents is that you need to pack up each time you want to use your vehicle but our humble abode was still the perfect option for us and our off-road adventures… and very quick to pack and unpack compared to many other camping options we came across on the Aussie outback tracks!
- Spacious and comfortable particularly on wet days
- Easy to set up and pack up
- Strong and sturdy – not 1 issue 9 months!
- Needs some muscle to mount on roof
PROS and CONS OF OTHER CAMPING SETUPS – the reason why we chose a rooftop tent over other camping options:
We all see advantages in what other campers have, but at the same time we all still love our own setups… and that’s what camping is all about. Adapting your camping experience to your individual needs – and for those of us who don’t want a tent permanently attached to the vehicle there are lots of other camping and travelling options to see our beautiful country.
Caravans provide the comforts of a home-away-from-home and can be left at a campsite when you want to go exploring. For us, we didn’t want to tow so we left our van at home! Towing uses more fuel and driving on corrugations on outback roads can be very hard on a van even if it is designed for off-road use.
Motorhomes, again provide the comforts of home and have minimal set-up time but like a Rooftop Tent you need to pack up each time you want to use your vehicle (unless you have a small vehicle attached) and like caravans parking in town or going off-road can be an issue.
Camper trailers are inexpensive and good for off-road but we decided against a camper trailer because they can be quite time-consuming to set-up and again you are towing so fuel costs go up!
Tenting (which we did on our 2 previous trips) is the cheapest option but pitching a tent can take some time and be a bit uncomfortable in strong winds and wet weather, or on sloping, rocky or hard ground!
So we chose a ‘Roof-Top Tent… quick and easy to set up! In just a couple of minutes it’s up and then the same goes for packing it up – very fast and much quicker than the ground tent we had previously; and a great option for us 4WD enthusiasts who want to access remote areas where sleeping high off the ground away from dangerous creatures is an advantage.
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