Everyone loves the idea of camping in a rooftop tent. However, they have been a challenge for two important reasons: weight and size.
I've complained before about the extreme problems with rooftop tents. The short version: Your roof is the worst place to add weight and height. Your vehicle is designed to carry weight in the body or cabin, not on the roof. Attaching heavy loads to your car or truck this high raises the center of gravity, which affects handling, performance and outright safety. The roof is not designed to carry a lot of weight, so securing heavy objects there can also cause damage. By increasing the overall height of the vehicle, you will also reduce its fuel economy and increase wind noise.
All of these problems stack up against each other. The weight makes it difficult to lift your rig up or down from a traditional rooftop tent, and the size makes them difficult to store. When you're not using the tent, you may not be able or willing to take it down, which means you're sacrificing fuel economy, noise and driving dynamics every day.
Does all of this add up to a product you're willing to spend thousands of dollars on? Because these things are traditionally very expensive.
PP Honeycomb Shell Roof Top Tent(2 people)
Despite my skepticism, I get the appeal because I also camp from one. The rooftop tent on my Ford doubled the safe storage space in the bed while reducing the amount of stuff I had to bring back there and creating a cohesive indoor-outdoor living area that made camping outside the truck feel like staying inside the cabin. It allowed me to take off wet or muddy shoes and clothes in the weatherproof space before climbing into the sleeping area, made setting up or taking down camp take less than five minutes, and allowed me to do everything in favor of ground tents (mud, rocks, sidewalks) on surfaces that didn't fit.
You will need a lot of accessories. The cost, plus the need for a truck to set it up, makes sense in my life because I enjoy camping so much that I make a career out of it. Most people don't take the importance of sleeping outdoors to such an extreme degree that a popular rooftop tent needs to be cheaper, lighter, simpler, easier to set up and available on more vehicles.
Sunday Campers rooftop tents offer all the benefits of a rooftop tent, with virtually no drawbacks.
Most passenger car and SUV roofs are dynamically rated at approximately 150 pounds. On vehicles with complex removable roofs, it may be less.
PP Honeycomb Shell Roof Top Tent (2 people), a hardshell roof tent light enough to fit safely on a truck like this, its weight also means that a strong person or two normal people will be able to take it on and off easily. (A hardshell tent is a tent that is enclosed into a rigid protective structure. Compared to bag tents that fold into unsightly piles of canvas, hardshell tents tend to be thinner and more aerodynamic. They are sleeker, more thoroughly developed products resulting in a product that usually costs more money.)
When you don't need a roof tent, not only is it important for fuel economy and wind noise to take it down, but it also lasts longer. UV degradation will eventually bleach and wear out almost any fabric or rigid material used in tent construction. The ability to easily store the PP Honeycomb Shell Roof Top Tent in your garage when not in use is a major advantage. And because of its footprint, it shouldn't take up any more space than a card table, since the tent is only six inches thick when closed.
Sunday Campers was able to produce such a slim tent because it uses a new frameless hardshell design that houses the plastic roof and floor inside the tent body, thereby reducing the number of parts used. The fabric part that houses the roof and floor is a very strong ripstop polyester made from fabric dyed before weaving to improve UV resistance. The body of the tent features a honeycomb ripstop pattern and includes full-length doors on the sides and rear of the tent for panoramic views and maximum ventilation potential, with a zippered insect screen. The interior of the tent is 50 inches wide, 90 inches long and 40 inches high.
I was impressed with the quality and overall performance of the Sunday Campers tent. Just being able to move it up and down by itself, let alone store it flush with the walls of the garage, is a real innovation, and the fabric and construction of the tent is almost futuristic. Setting it up is as easy as opening it. Putting it away is as easy as closing it. Either action takes as long to complete as it takes to read this sentence.