What is a Rooftop Tent?
A Roof Top Tent, or RTT, is simply a type of tent designed to mount to either the bed rack of a pickup truck or the roof of any other vehicle.
RTT’s are not a new design, and in fact have been around all the way back since the 1930s. Back then, they weren’t much more than a pole tent concept mounted to the top of a vehicle with marine plywood serving as the floor.
Today, RTT’s have advanced considerably in terms of design, with the more modern designs like we see today first appearing in the late 1950s.
One of the most popular brands of Roof Top Tents in today’s world is the Tepui Tent. Tepui is a word from the language of an indigenous tribe in Venezuela called the Pemon, which means “House of the Gods’ when translated. The word was later adopted for the name of an RTT company based out of southern California, which later grew into the large and prominent Tepui company that we know about today.
First and foremost, you need to know that these are expensive tents at more than a thousand dollars a piece, but you will also definitely get what you pay for thanks to their high quality. For example, Tepui tents come installed with an insulated fiberglass base, an aluminum ladder, and a skeleton system for the canopy that can pop up with minimal effort.
There are three basic kinds of Tepui tents on the market today:
Each of the major tent types are nearly identical, with the primary differences being their overall size and materials for different weather situations. The Autana 4 being designed to fit four people, is naturally the largest tent that Tepui offers.
That being said, there are still a few differences between the different tent types aside from size. For example, in the Autana model, the entrance to the tent and the ladder are located beneath the tent. In contrast to this, in the Kukenam model the entrance and the ladder are located on the side of the tent.
This essentially means that all of the length of the tent is usable in the Kukenam, but not in the Autana. So why go with the Autana over the Kukenam? The primary reason would be because, since the ladder is located beneath the tent in the Autana, you have both privacy and protection from the weather when entering and exiting the tent. Furthermore, you can store extra gear, clothing, and food with protection from the outside weather and elements as well.
In addition to the basic kinds of tents, you also have options when it comes to material of the tents as well:
- Baja: Lightweight and designed for summer or warmer conditions. 70D Nylon.
- Explorer: Medium weight and designed for a variety of different weather conditions. 600D Ripstop 260G poly cotton fabric.
- Ruggedized: Heavy weight and designed for colder weather. Also utilizes heavy duty hinges and diamond plating instead of aluminum. 600D ripstop and 360g poly cotton fabric.
Overall, if you’re looking for a new roof top tent for your vehicle and if you have the money to spend, any of the Tepui Tents will be a great way to go.
Using a Tepui Roof Top Tent in a Bugout Situation
You might be wondering, why would you spend the extra money to invest in a Tepui tent over any other kind of tent?
The answer is that, besides the high quality you’ll get with a Tepui tent, it’s much more convenient to set up than other kinds of tents on the market. As we discussed previously, whereas other kinds of tents are designed to be staked into the ground, Tepui tents are designed to be mounted directly to the top of your vehicle.
This is convenient for more reasons than one. For one thing, if you should ever need to evacuate your home in the midst of a natural disaster (such as a hurricane or wildfire), a Tepui tent would be an excellent addition to your bug out vehicle.
On a less dramatic note, if you ever like to just go on camping trips, a Tepui tent (or any other high quality RTT for that matter) is much quicker to set up, enables you to be off the ground, and would take up less space at your campsite.