For rooftop tent camping, SUVs have a lot to offer.
First, they have plenty of space inside for all your gear, so you won’t need a separate car to hold everything. After packing the tent on top, add the cooler or the kids’ bikes – an SUV has room for it all!
In addition, SUVs are great for getting to those hard-to-reach campsites. If you’re planning on doing some off-roading, an SUV is ideal. With its high clearance and four-wheel drive, an SUV can tackle even the most challenging terrain.
An SUV is perfect for your next camping trip if you’re looking for a vehicle that can take you anywhere and carry all your gear.
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Finding the Right Rooftop Tent for your SUV:
When choosing a rooftop tent for your SUV, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
First, consider the size of the vehicle and the tent. It’s important to ensure that the tent will fit comfortably on the roof of the SUV without blocking your view.
Second, think about the weight of the tent and the materials it’s made from. Heavier tents will be more difficult to set up and take down, and they may strain your vehicle’s roof.
Third, consider the climate you’ll be using the tent in. Depending on how hot or cold it will be, purchasing the right tent is crucial to keeping you comfortable and warm or cool.
Finally, take a look at the price tag. Rooftop tents can range in price from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, so it’s important to find one that fits your budget.
1. Honda CRV
The Honda CRV model is a classic SUV for families and campers alike.
However, because most models of CRV do not come with a roof rack or mounting system, you will have to invest in one before finding your perfect rooftop tent.
It is highly recommended that you invest in rooftop rack mounting systems from the company you are buying your tent from.
Make sure your SUV year and model are compatible with your tent and roof system before buying!
Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2:
If you are looking for a nice Thule brand tent for your Honda CRV, look no further than the Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2!
One of the cheaper models at $1,200, the Ayer 2, can accommodate two campers and weighs only 100 lbs.
It can hold up to 400 lbs when sleeping, and – according to their website – it is made for all seasons!
The Ayer 2 is made of 260g polyester cotton and has a soft canopy fabric. The exterior is a soft shell, not a hard shell, so make sure that you aren’t driving anywhere that might damage it.
Most of all, this tent is understated, affordable for its quality, and perfect for a couple of campers looking to get away from it all.
2. Hyundai Tucson
The Tucson is a compact SUV, so it doesn’t have much space inside, so camping on the roof is such a good idea.
That means you’ll need to be selective about what you bring and be prepared to do some setup outside the SUV.
Additionally, the Hyundai Tucson doesn’t have a lot of ground clearance, so you’ll want to avoid camping in areas with rough terrain.
That makes this SUV perfect for rooftop tent camping!
iKamper Skycamp 2.0:
Thanks to its folding design, you can set it up in less than 60 seconds. Additionally, the Skycamp 2.0 is made from high-quality materials built to last.
Although more expensive at $3,699, the Skycamp 2.0 is one of the most popular rooftop tents on the market.
The main structure is made from aluminum, while the canopy is made from durable ripstop nylon.
Finally, the Skycamp 2.0 has a wide range of features that make it comfortable and convenient. For example, it has a mattress that’s comfortable to sleep on and plenty of ventilation to keep you cool and comfortable in warm weather.
3. Jeep Grand Cherokee
While the Jeep Grand Cherokee model is a classic icon for roughing it in the wilderness, it isn’t necessarily the best SUV to take on vacation.
First, it’s not the most fuel-efficient vehicle on the market, so you’ll want to consider your route carefully. Second, the Grand Cherokee isn’t particularly well-suited for off-road camping, so if you’re planning to do any serious off-roading, you might want to consider a different vehicle.
However, it can be comfortable and spacious and has a wide range of features that make it fun on camping trips.
Consider strapping your rooftop tent to it and taking it to the beach or hills!
Thule Foothill 2-Person Tent:
Pairing with the Thule SquareBar Evo 135 roof rack, the Thule Foothill tent ($2,199.95) is a great option for camping off the ground and on the go!
Not only does it have a unique design that looks good with a Jeep Cherokee, but it also folds up well to make room for extra space.
That means adding bikes, kayaks, or other gear to your camping trip – if you can fit them on your Jeep!
What’s really cool about this tent is that it comes with a skylight and a “panoramic view,” meaning lots of windows and plenty of light!
Other advantages include its waterproof and breathable fabric, which will keep you dry and comfortable even in the worst weather conditions. The poles are made from strong aluminum, so they’re built to last, and the entire tent can be set up in just a few minutes.
4. Jeep Wrangler
The Jeep Wrangler’s tough build and four-wheel drive make it ideal for off-road adventures, while its spacious interior can comfortably accommodate all the gear you need for a week in the wilderness.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re planning on using a Wrangler for camping:
- While the Wrangler’s suspension can handle rough terrain, its tires are not designed for extreme mud or rock crawling.
- The Wrangler’s hardtop can make setting up a campsite or rooftop tent a bit more difficult.
- The Wrangler’s limited cargo space means you’ll have to pack light or invest in additional storage solutions.
Thule Tepui Explorer Kukenam:
It is made from high-quality materials, easy to set up and take down, and spacious enough for two people.
Perhaps most importantly, it comes with a rainfly that protects against the elements.
The Kukenam is also made with waterproof and breathable fabric to keep you comfortable in all kinds of weather.
Plus, it has large windows and doors to let in plenty of light and fresh air.
5. Mazda CX-5
Dating back to 2013, the Mazda CX-5 has quickly become a popular choice for those looking for an affordable and reliable SUV.
Is it a good option for those wanting to take their camping to the next level with a rooftop tent?
This SUV has comfortable seats and a well-appointed interior, making it a great option for longer camping trips. Its fuel efficiency also means you won’t have to spend too much on gas while exploring the great outdoors.
However, this SUV is a little tricky regarding rooftop tents. For example, not all year models for the Mazda CX-5 come with a factory-installed roof rack, meaning you might have to buy one yourself.
Furthermore, not all roof racks are identical, and many are incompatible with some SUV models.
Thule Tepui Low-Pro:
If you can manage using a bare roof mount rack system on top of your SUV, the Thule Tepui Low-Pro, listed at $1,311.95, is a good option.
The Thule Tepui Low-Pro rooftop tent is designed for SUV camping and off-roading. It features a low-profile design that makes it easy to set up and take down, and it includes a rainfly for added protection from the elements.
The Thule Tepui Low-Pro also has a mattress that folds out to provide a comfortable sleeping surface, and it comes with a carrying bag for easy storage.
Additionally, the Thule Tepui Low-Pro is easy to install on most vehicles with a roof rack! That means it should be pretty simple once you have a compatible roof rack to mount it with.
6. Nissan Rogue
Most Nissan Rogue models should come with factory-installed roof racks, making it much easier to find the perfect tent for your needs. The Nissan Rogue is also a popular choice for those looking for an affordable and practical SUV.
The Rogue can be a good choice for those who want to camp with a rooftop tent. For example, it has a good amount of storage space, meaning you can bring all the gear you need for a comfortable camping trip!
So, if you’re looking for an SUV that can handle some light camping, the Nissan Rogue may be a good option for you.
Roofnest Condor Tent:
It is a hardshell rooftop tent made of ABS plastic and can hold 2-3 people. It also has a skylight and mesh and canvas doors and windows.
The mattress is made of high-density foam, so it’s comfy and supportive, and the integrated mosquito netting keeps the bugs out.
The flysheet is waterproof and UV-resistant, protecting you from the elements, and the reflective fabric keeps the interior cool in summer.
There are also internal pockets for storing your belongings, and the included ladder makes it easy to get in and out of the tent.
So, while the price is a little high, the features and spaciousness of this tent can help make up for it.
7. Subaru Crosstrek
The Crosstrek is a great SUV for camping. It’s small enough to fit into most campsites but also big enough to comfortably sleep two people.
Plus, the all-wheel drive means you can reach those remote campgrounds inaccessible by other vehicles.
If you’re looking for a little more adventure, the Crosstrek is also equipped with roof rails, making adding a rooftop tent or cargo box easy!
iKamper Skycamp 2.0 Mini:
Let’s look at a slightly smaller tent! Though still expensive at $3,600, the Ikamper Skycamp 2.0 Mini is a great option for those couples looking to add a little adventure to their life.
According to iKamper, at only 125lbs, “the Skycamp Mini is one of the lightest and smallest roof top tents on the market.”
Probably considered one of the best compact rooftop tents, this tent sets up very quickly. According to the iKamper site, it fits most cars!
The iKamper Mini is a hardshell rooftop tent, which is more durable on the road.
8. Subaru Forester
The Subaru Forester is a versatile and capable SUV that can make any camping trip a success.
It has plenty of room for all your gear, and the all-wheel drive will ease you to your campsite. The Forester also has a high clearance, making it ideal for exploring off-road trails.
Finally – and most importantly – the roof rack provides a convenient place to store rooftop tents, kayaks, or mountain bikes!
Thule Tepui Explorer Autana:
Need a little extra room or privacy on your camping trip? The Thule Tepui Explorer Autana is perfect for Forester owners who need a little more room.
This tent is only $1,873.95 and can sleep up to 3 people. It weighs about 127 lbs and, according to Thule, can hold up to 600 lbs.
Made from Polyester cotton and ripstop fabric, this water-resistant tent will keep you warm and dry, and comfortable – even in hot weather!
With an extended canopy and an annex (the tent walls that extend to the ground), the Autana is great for large groups or for those who need some privacy. Beachgoers or picnic campers will love the additional walls for storing food or changing clothes privately.
The Autana also includes a high-density foam mattress for comfort!
9. Subaru Outback
The Subaru Outback is an excellent choice for camping. It has a standard roof rack, perfect for mounting your rooftop tent.
The capacity of the standard roof rails on a Subaru Outback Crosstrek is about 700 lbs, which means you can have a lot of capacity on top when you sleep!
The Outback is built for tough roads, with plenty of ground clearance and all-wheel drive. It also has a large cargo area so you can pack everything you need, and it comes standard with features like air conditioning and power windows.
In short, the Subaru Outback is a great all-around SUV for camping trips.
Tepui Tents HyBox Tent:
The Tepui HyBox tent is a hybrid rooftop tent perfect for a smaller vehicle like the Subaru Outback. Hybrid means that it can be used both as a rooftop tent and as a cargo holder for your gear.
The Hybox tent is a hardshell tent, meaning that its compact outer shell is aerodynamic when atop your car. That makes for a fuel-efficient ride without too much wind resistance.
It can sleep 2 people and weighs only 155 lbs. The HyBox tent also comes with two doors, is made of coated cotton and polyester, and has an interior of about 28 square feet (about 5 feet).
10. Toyota 4Runner
The Toyota 4Runner is a great SUV for camping.
The 4Runner Roof rack Full is a modular, adjustable, and completely bolt-together full-length roof rack. It also has plenty of room for all your camping gear and can handle off-road driving.
If you’re looking for an SUV that can make your camping trips more enjoyable, the Toyota 4Runner is a great choice.
Thule Tepui Ruggedized Kukenam:
Paired with the factory-installed crossbar and the Thule Wingbar Evo 135, the Thule Tepui Ruggedized Kukenam rooftop tent is a good choice for your Toyota 4Runner.
It costs roughly $1,798.95 and can sleep 3 people comfortably. You could also sleep only 2 and bring your dog along or add some extra gear to the tent.
It can hold about 600 lbs and weighs only 162 lbs on top of your car during transit. It is also supposedly fit for all-season camping!
According to Thule, the Ruggedized Kukenam is “built for rugged off-road adventures… ideal for 4X4 trailers or off-road rigs.”
11. Toyota FJ Cruiser
The Toyota FJ Cruiser is a popular choice for camping trips thanks to its rugged design and off-road capabilities.
The FJ Cruiser’s four-wheel drive system provides excellent traction on unpaved roads, making it easy to get to your campsite.
Most importantly, they have standard roof racks! It would help if you didn’t have to buy a roof rack base when you have the FJ Cruiser.
Ensure you buy the right mounting equipment to partner with your roof rack when you get your tent.
Plus, if you want to do some serious hiking, the FJ Cruiser’s generous ground clearance means you won’t have to worry about getting stuck on rocks or roots.
Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2:
According to Thule and a few other camping sites, the Thule Tepui Explorer Ayer 2 is also compatible with the 2014 and earlier models of the Toyota FJ Cruiser.
It is most compatible with the installed roof railing and the Thule SquareBar Evo 135 roof rack mounting system.
As we mentioned, the Ayer 2 is a great option for withstanding the elements and camping year-round. Although it is a smaller tent, it is just as sturdy and of good quality.
Able to hold about 400 lbs and with a weight of only 100 lbs during transit, the Ayer 2 tent is a quick-and-easy setup for your camping needs!
12. Toyota Highlander
The Toyota Highlander is a great SUV for tough terrain and hauling up to 5,000 lbs of equipment.
So, even if you take a rooftop tent camping with the Toyota Highlander, you can still haul other vehicles like jet skis, 4-wheelers, or dirt bikes.
While new highlander models don’t necessarily come standard with roof racks, you can be sure to find some that are compatible to accommodate your rooftop tent.
If you buy compatible roof rack mounting systems, your Highlander can work well with any tent that doesn’t exceed 165 lbs across the bars during transit. Therefore, a smaller rooftop tent might be the option you’re looking for.
Both are good for sleeping 2 people and would fit well on top of your Highlander. Make sure you find the right roof rack and mounting system to go with your vehicle!
13. Toyota RAV4
Toyota RAV4s are often lauded for their versatility, making them a great choice for camping.
One of the main advantages of the RAV4 is its ample storage space. The vehicle has a large trunk that can easily fit all the gear you need for a successful camping trip.
Additionally, the RAV4’s seats can be folded down to create even more space for storing camping equipment.
The RAV4 is also known for its excellent fuel economy. This means that you can save money on gas while still enjoying all of the features that the RAV4 offers.
Thule Tent Options:
Paired well with the preexisting roof railing and the Thule SquareBar Evo 135, the Thule Foothill rooftop tent is also compatible with the Toyota Rav4 2010-2012 models.
If you have a 2020 or newer RAV4, you can find several Thule tents that are compatible with it, including their Wingbar Evo 127 system, such as the Thule Foothill, Basin Wedge, and Tepui Low-Pro 2.
The Foothill is a great 2-person camping system with excellent folding for more room. That means you can add your bikes or other cargo along with it.
The Basin Wedge, on the other hand, is a hybrid system that can be both a sleeping tent and a cargo carrier all at once!
The Low-Pro is lightweight and great for quick and easy setup camping. If you need something fast and light, this one is for you!
While most rooftop tents can be compatible with most vehicles, it is important to research and ensure that the crossbars, factory-installed bars, or flat top of your roof can hold a mounting system and, therefore, a rooftop tent.
You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a rooftop tent only to find out that it can’t fit on top of your SUV.
Make sure you use checks like the “Does it Fit My Car” chart on the Thule website or read the owner’s manual of your SUV.
Even better, call the company that made your car and ask for a recommendation on which system for your roof is best for you!
No matter what you do, stay safe and have fun on your next camping adventure.
Peter Jones, Founder of Motorandwheels.com