So, you’ve chosen to spend some quality time away from civilization on a safari in the wild, and you’re making plans to choose between a 4×4 with a ground tent that must be constructed next to the vehicle and one with tents fixed on the roof. A few things to think about so you can make an informed decision. Let’s use some of the categories below to compare the ground and rooftop tents.
If the speed of erecting a tent is important to you, and it should be, whether it’s the danger of being late at the specified site or being struck by a sudden downpour when you’ve just arrived, a rooftop tent is clearly an advantage. It will fold open in seconds, which is useful when battling a ground tent in the half-light at the end of the day or being thoroughly wet.
The fact that tent interiors such as blankets, pillows, and beds may stay within the rooftop tent while it folds up saves room inside the car, and additional space is always welcome! Depending on your personality and the people you’re with, the rooftop tent’s height might give an additional sense of security. The potential of lizards and ground insects creeping in is nil, however with a ground tent the danger is always there.
If you’re settling in a sandy or dirt-covered location, the rooftop tent will keep those from spreading in since your shoes will lose it as you mount the ladder. Ground tents tend to accumulate a lot of ground material (one can ask whether this is the actual reason for their name). Watery areas provide a comparable danger, and ground tent floods are not uncommon.
A rooftop tent makes it tough to easily follow animals early in the morning or to just start moving for whatever reason. It takes time to fold it before you can go, however with a ground tent, you can simply grab your vehicle and go. Folding down the rooftop tent correctly takes a long time, owing to the normal issues with fastening and tightening the tent. That alone may be laborious and frustrating, ruining your trip. There are no such issues with a ground tent.
Comfort in Uneven Grounds
When the road is uneven (as it usually is), the weight of the rooftop tent might easily cause your 4×4 to waver by raising its center of gravity significantly higher. As a general rule, the less equipment on your roof, the greater your safety. Another downside of rooftop tents is the lack of privacy since they are open and close to one another. You should anticipate a slew of issues in that way, with your neighbor’s snoring being the least of them.
As you’ve undoubtedly guessed, getting up at night and going to the bathroom is more difficult in a rooftop tent than in a ground tent. When the gathering is larger, the rooftop tents physically link you all together, making it impossible for someone to do anything else, such as remain behind in camp with the protection of a tent.
Imagine going to the bathroom in the middle of the night in a tent like the one in the video below:
Before venturing out into the uncertainty of the wide world, consider your options for a tent.