Rooftent on a New Jimny

Rooftent on a New Jimny

I've always loved the idea of camping on the roof of a car. To get up off the wet ground, off the rocks and not have to try and bang pegs into a stoney riverbed.

So I did it.

The Benefits

Camping in a rooftent is cooler than you'd expect. Your bedding stays in the tent, you don't need to drag it through wet grass or even take it from the car to the tent, it's always dry and clean.  The same can be said for your clean clothes - keep them up top and you're sorted.

You can load your car with more gear when you get away on a mission. The Jimny doesn't have much space, so not needing to have a tent, sleeping bag, clothes and pillow inside the car is a huge benefit.

Rooftents have so much room! They look small on top of the car there, but once you're in them, lots of space. relaxing in a rooftop tent on a rainy day is great.

The Drive

The Jimny, even with heavy duty suspension, certainly notices the tent up to. Both the body roll in cornering and the wind resistance on the open road do suffer once a rooftent is added. 

There is always the argument about how much weight your roof can handle, especially when bouncing around offroad. Climbing steep slopes with a rooftent is a worry, too, you never want to roll your Jimny. It's just not made for lots of weight up there.

 

In Summary...

I love rooftents, but I don't recommend one for the Jimny if you're doing some bouncy offroad trips, nor do I recommend them if you have standard suspension.  They fit our roofracks just fine, but the roofrack is better used to carry fishing rods and things. 

I do recommend them if you've got heavy duty suspension and you're just going to camp in holiday parks and doc sites, without bouncing up rough tracks.

If you're exploring the lesser travelled path, find another solution, maybe a small tent will do the job. Your Jimny will thank you for it.

 

My Plans

I've built an offroading trailer (not the one in the above photo) to give me the best of both worlds - a rooftent on the top of a trailer, without stressing the Jimny roof, suspension or (already terrible) aero dynamics. Full details coming soon! 


Questions or Comments?