Roof Top Tent Camping At Night

One of the most significant things to look forward when camping is the excitement of sleeping inside a tent. It is not as comfortable as your bedroom, but it is nothing short of a thrill. You will never feel as close to nature as you do in the middle of the wilderness surrounded by trees. However, nature can sometimes be a spoiler; you might wake up in the middle of the night to a rainstorm and a damp mattress. This is among the reasons why you must consider placing your canvas up at an elevation through roof top tent camping at night.

Being on the top of your vehicle offers security like no other. For one, it saves you from an unexpected evacuation at midnight and also keeps you from preying animals while you are unconscious. Roof top tent camping also keeps you safe from constant restroom runs due to cold feet. To enjoy these conveniences though, you have to prepare yourself with a couple of camping gear. These include proper lighting, leveling blocks, and pee aids. You should likewise pack on proper sleeping apparatus like sleeping bags, sheets, blankets, and a hammock to make your roof top camping at night experience more desirable.

As a bonus to a relaxing slumber, roof top tent camping at night offers a couple of amusements. You can light up a fire and cook your meal the primitive way with fellow campers over nostalgic stories while stargazing.

Normally, the sunset offers a promise of a tranquil rest after most people’s nine-to-five jobs but in a park or reserve, the sunset offers more promises than that. Preparedness will come a long way; that’s why you have to learn what Over landing is at twilight.

Pros of Roof Top Tent Camping at Night

Rooftop canvases emerged around the world war era as people ventured on long haul exploits. Over time, roof top tent camping became a fun recreational activity for families.

Roof top tent camping is often categorized with ground and RV camping but people have to understand that each has its favorable qualities and downsides. RV camping began as a method to bring home closer to the natural environment. On the other hand, ground camping has been a great option for those who prefer its compactness and portability. Roof top camping is now a hot topic among overlanders for the mobility and convenience it offers.

You are safe from an unexpected evacuation in the dark

Nature, at times, is a funny player. No matter how much you trust a weather forecast, a rain shower could still potentially surprise you. It becomes worse if it happens in the dark as you will be quite visually impaired in it.

With roof top tent camping, you never have to worry about unpredictable weather patterns. By default, your canvas is already at a height off of the ground so whether it rains or storms, you are automatically saved from the cold and potential flooding.

Animals will not prey on you while you sleep

Rooftop tents offer top-notch safety and security that is better than the ordinary ground tents. Because the shelter requires climbing a couple of ladder steps, it means that animals will have limited access to you as compared to when you are just on land where snakes and creepy crawlies can easily get to you. Above ground, bigger animals like bears cannot simply stomp on you.

You can have an uninterrupted slumber by staying warm

The nighttime breeze is typically colder than that of the daytime. You must therefore equip yourself with warming or heating gear, especially while you doze off. You have to bundle up more when you are literally on earth as the bare floor is especially cool but if you are roof top tent camping at night, you may skip all the blankets. 

Furthermore, most camping vehicles come with an awning. It is a tarp that you attach to the roof and opens up. It functions by persisting amidst rainy evenings to provide you consistent comfort.

What to Prepare for Roof Top Tent Camping at Night

As much as setting your tent up over the car grants you benefits, it too has its cons. For one, it requires effort such that you will have to keep climbing a ladder up and down. Besides that, functioning well is harder after sunset such that the inside of the canvas is typically darker. They are made with fairly thicker and heavier duty materials compared to the ordinary ground-mounted ones. And attending to nature’s call when you are at the car top is a different type of urgent. Imagine having to hold your pee until you reach the bottom of a flight of stairs.

However, there is not a concern that preparedness cannot fix. The following are what you must equip yourself with before hitting the road to your booked campground.


Good lighting makes a significant difference in any setup. As mentioned, you can anticipate a darker interior when roof top tent camping at night. Therefore, you must prepare yourself with a lantern. It should likewise be a perfect one for the eating area. Apart from a lantern, you may further enhance the mood of your sublime arrangement. You can install LED strips or fairy lights for leveled-up visibility.

Moreover, you must not miss a handy flashlight that you hang on the tent pocket near the ladder. This will make your nighttime sprees to the bathroom way easier.

Sleeping Bag

A sleeping bag is a campsite necessity. Yes, rooftop tent floors are relatively warmer than bare grounds. However, you still ought to warm yourself up against the after-sunset breeze. With that, you can last until the next sunrise comfortably and toasty. Besides, aren’t you tired of feeling like you have to pee all the time because of cold feet?

There is a range of sleeping bags to choose from, though. They vary depending on your specific needs. If you are out in colder climates, some products are specifically designed for the conditions. And it is similar for when you need to lodge in hotter climates.

Sheets and Blankets

Usually, rooftop tents already come with default or built-in mattresses. They vary in thickness, but a decent one is normally at least two inches thick. For this reason, you may opt to skip the sleeping bag. To make your arrangement not too far like home, you can bring you sheets and blankets, or even a duvet. That way, your nights will surely be home level comfortable.

A bonus for opting with sheets and blankets is that they will reduce the amount of time needed for packing up. When we need to go home after our weekend or holiday outing, we can just fold them away with the canvas. Yes, most Overlanding tents allow a room that is adequate for these things, even when folded.


People conduct encampments for various reasons. It includes being a getaway from the daily hustle of the weeks, a form of bonding, or a method for training. Yet, on top of all that, people treat it generally as a recreational activity. This means that it should be characteristically calm and relaxing. Thus, to aid these intentions, you may add a hammock in your packing checklist.

A hammock can serve you different functions. It can be additional storage so that you can save space inside your sleeping quarters. And of course, as it is made for, you can lie down on it outside just to feel like you are one with the earth. This especially offers transcendent effects at the gloom, under the stars, over an ignited campfire.

Leveling Blocks

You might think that it is magic when you wake up to the opposite end of your sleeping space in the morning. It is not a result of witchcraft or wizardry. It can be that you just sleep like you have your party. Otherwise, you simply rolled over from the other end because of how you parked your vehicle.

This tells you as a tip to always find a spot where there is an even soil if the campsite permits it. Otherwise, you should utilize plastic leveling blocks or a bunch of blocks of wood. This stuff is not optional. You must have them in your travel gear anytime, as you never know when you will need them.

Pee Aids

Yes, you can always run to the restroom in case you need the break at midnight. Still, it is not the best to hold your pee down for a long time. You just cannot always tell how far the toilets will be from your site. Thus, as a solution, you can keep a designated pee bottle or container inside your station. Or else, you can attach a funnel to an extended hose. The hose should run out of your station into a bottle placed on the ground outside. Finally, make sure you or anyone for that matter clamps the hose. You will learn how it is not exactly a desirable thing to do once you try.

What to Do in the Camp at Night

It is a waste to only spend your camping nights lying down inactive. You will not always get the chance to be directly under the tranquil dark sky once you set off home. Thus, you should make it a point to fill your itinerary beyond your daytime schedules.

Light a bonfire or a campfire

Is it truly an encampment if it is missing ignited firewood and flying embers? Even little scouts will, without a doubt, look for it. Therefore, you should check in with your campground authority whether they permit campfires. Most campfires permit the activity, but with a few reservations. For one, they may only allow it in the designated areas, sometimes, only in grilled pits. Also, they would normally disallow firewood that is not from their park or reserve.

The latter officially is under the movement “Don’t Move the Firewood” in the US. It operates under the principle of protecting the native species from the invasive ones. If you bring firewood that you have from your house, chances are you are bringing insects with you as well. Thus, most parks and reserves recommend that campers gather firewood from their forests. Additionally, it comes with a set of rules in turn. For instance, you should not cut down any standing tree despite it looking lifeless.

Cook barbecue and s’ mores

Of course, it is not necessarily optional to cook your meals when you go roof top camping. You are not amongst fast foods anymore. You are in the forest or the beach taking your time away from the city. This means that there is no instant food any longer and no microwave for a minute meal heating. Still, if the campground allows for it, you may bring a portable stove if you may.

However, trust in the experience of cooking your meal the primitive way – over a lighted bundle of firewood. Fulfillment after grilling the fish you catch from the river, lake, or ocean is a top-notch level. It tells you that you can survive the apocalypse. Other than that, you can have fun with an atypical desert with s’ mores. It is seemingly a custom to always make a sandwich of graham, chocolate, and marshmallows over a bonfire. Custom dictates as well that you eat with friends over talks and stories of nostalgia.

Gaze at the stars

If stargazing from your house’s rooftop gives you goosebumps, try doing it in the wild. Look at constellations from in between trees with the scented breeze all around. Who knows, you might catch a stray comet if you look hard enough. Moreover, if you have kids with you, the evening is a good time for some educational activity. It will be more like an immersion that is way better than going into museums. You can teach them about astronomy using the actual objects from above you. Now you are hitting two birds with one stone. Aside from being able to relax, you are also giving your kids a practical science experience off of school.

As mentioned previously, you can watch the stars from your hammock setup if you have one. Then you can doze off comfortably if the weather condition permits it. Otherwise, you can watch from inside your actual sleeping quarter. Sometimes, Overlanding tents come with skylight windows. Primarily, their purpose is to aid the airflow or ventilation. But they likewise function by supplying natural light from morning through the night. And for the latter, you can utilize it to gaze at the lit-up sky.

Related Questions

How do you handle emergencies during a campfire?

First of all, know all the local rules about burning firewood. Then, upon lighting, make sure to only build a fire that is just enough for your needs. Build one that’s big enough so that you can cook a fish over it or some s’ mores. In line with this, make certain that it does not catch anything like the foot of your canvas or your bench nearby. You should never leave your campfire unattended and in case of emergency, always place water close to you. While roof top camping at night, you might suddenly need to put out the fire due to unanticipated dramatic weather changes.

Other than water, know that you can also put out the fire using sand and dirt. However, you should not simply kick sand or dirt on it as doing so can sometimes insulate the coals. You have to spread the coals out using poker and then constantly stir sand and dirt among the coals. And if you accidentally catch fire in your clothing, remember to “stop, drop, and roll.” If things go out of hand, immediately call 911 or your nearest campground host or park ranger.

Are there any restrictions for propane use?

Propane is the usual fuel of choice for outdoor quests. In particular, campers use it for portable camping stoves, heaters, as well as lanterns. A pound of propane cylinders is normally compact, durable, and user-friendly. You should not refill single-use ones as their production intends one-time use only. If you attempt to do so, you may suffer from potential propane gas leak. It may then cause an extremely dangerous circumstance that may lead, in turn, to serious injuries.

For the refillable cylinders, you should tap on a qualified refiller to determine how to do the task properly. These cylinders are efficient such that you would not have to worry about disposal. At the same time, you can help eliminate hazardous waste in the environment.

Eni Gordove

is an outdoor enthusiast. She loves the thrill of the challenges that nature brings.

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