J’adore Tepui Hard Shell Rooftop Tent

Tepui Hard Shell Rooftop Tent at Sunset in White Pocket Arizona

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Raise your hand if you’ve ever camped in a tent and woke up sore and stiff.

Been there done that. Over it.

Raise your hand if it’s taken you an hour to mount a tent on the ground, including finding a flat spot, laying out a tarp, fighting with poles and praying the ground is soft enough to get the stakes in but not too soft that they don’t hold. And darn it if you didn’t set the tent on an ant hole!

Been there done that. Over it.

Mr. Misadventures loves to camp. I do not. Or rather, I didn’t until last fall when GMC loaned us GMC Canyon Denali and a Napier tent and we camped at Toroweap. It was my first time car camping and while I didn’t love the tent I did love the concept. That was all Mr. Misadventures needed to start researching rooftop tents!

Tepui Hard Shell Rooftop Tent and Truck at White Pocket Arizona

We had the Jeep and knew it could accommodate a hard shell rooftop tent, but we never had enough space and with as much road-tripping and driving we quickly realized it wasn’t very comfortable either. We loved driving the GMC Canyon Denali so we bought our own GMC Canyon (non-Denali) and we planned on getting the tent. After doing research, (I just wrote a story for my friend Jody’s camping site on this) Mr. Misadventures selected Tepui hard shell rooftop tent. We went with an Explorer Series Kukenam 3 in grey which would be mounted on a Yakima rack system on our truck.

I reached out to Tepui who graciously provided us a discount on our tent, we got our rack installed (by an expert) and mounted our tent for the first time. It took us about 2 hours. We were meticulous and watched the how-to videos a few times.

Tepui Rooftop Tent Set-up

The hardest part was lifting the tent onto the rack. Our model weighs 130 pounds. I am 5 foot and 115 pounds so it is a bit of an effort for me to share the load on 130 pounds lifting above my head. It’s one of the reasons we didn’t go for the heavier model. We absolutely would have loved to have the heavier tent material should we choose to camp in places that are extra cold, but that model is 180 pounds.

Ready to unfold the Hard Shell Rooftop Tent for the First Time

You also have to be concerned with height clearance. Our makes into our garage with a few inches to spare. We are leaving the tent on at the moment because we have a lot of trips plan, so take that into consideration when parking in public parking garages. We have full visibility in our rearview mirror because the rack system lifts the tent.

Testing our garage clearance for the Rooftop Tent
We made it with a few inches to spare!

In addition to the tent, we opted to get the luxury mattress and anti-condensation mat. Because we didn’t get the thicker tent material we eventually want to pick up the insulator which clips onto the internal frame to help combat the cold.

Successful First Test of Tepui Rooftop Tent
Me smiling but tired after our successful 1st test installing the tent.

We’ve taken it on 5 camping trips (White Pocket Arizona 3 times, Alstrom Point Utah, and Monument Valley Utah) together and Mr. Misadventures has done a solo trip. On our first trip with the new tent, it took us about 7 minutes to unfurl the tent, I’d say we have it down to 3 at this point! The thing that sometimes gives us trouble is the ladder being absolutely secure. Sometimes it opens up perfectly and is stable from the outset and other times it takes a few minutes of fiddling to get it right. To put the tent down takes about 10 minutes, only because there is a bit of tucking that you want to do to be able to zip on the cover.

Tepui Hard Shell Rooftop Tent at Alstrom Point

The only other complication we encountered was on our first trip when a bolt came loose and fell off. We added a new one, secured it completely and it never gave us trouble again.

We’ve opened it up in the dark at 11 pm and we’ve put it down in the dark at 3 am. It really is a breeze. It has made camping and road trips more fun!

Andi inside the Tepui Hard Shell Rooftop Tent at Alstrom Point overlooking Lake Powell

We have a whole bunch of weekend camping trips planned for this fall something I would never have imagined myself doing but I am converted now, thanks to Tepui and their hard shell rooftop tents!

How about you? Have you camped using a rooftop tent? Are you interested in trying it? Do share!

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39 Comments

  1. Catherine @ To & Fro Fam
    September 4, 2019

    I see these rooftop tents every so often and am always so intrigued! Thanks so much for giving me a real behind the scenes peek into using one. I’d ABSOLUTELY try this out, although the ladder makes me a little nervous for our two kids. Also, I don’t think our dog could get up there!

    Reply
  2. Annemarie LeBlanc
    September 4, 2019

    I have seen advertisements for rooftop tents and I think they are totally amazing! I will ask my son if they would be interested to have one. They are the ones who go out on adventures almost every week!

    Reply
  3. Aparna Verma
    September 4, 2019

    This is the first time that I am seeing this car roof top tent, I have never seen or heard about it before, It is looking quit cool. Thanks for sharing something which was completely new for me. Just a question, Is this roof top tent comfortable?

    Reply
  4. julie
    September 5, 2019

    Oh wow, this is SO cool! My husband would totally flip out over it!

    Reply
    1. Kevin Perry
      September 5, 2019

      Hi, Andi! I’ve never felt the need for a rooftop tent, being content with either sleeping inside the Land Cruiser (or, previously, Range Rover) or just plopping our oversized REI Hobitat on the ground, and throwing the queen-sized Aerobed inside.

      If it’s just me, a hammock is perfectly adequate…

      All “roughing it” aka “glamping” aside…. Isn’t Toroweap a great spot to welcome the Day Star? So beautiful.
      -Kevin

      Reply
  5. Disha Smith
    September 5, 2019

    I’ve never been camping, but this rooftop tent seems so fun! You make it look so cozy. I’m adding this to my traveler’s wishlist.

    Reply
  6. Shayla Marie
    September 5, 2019

    I’ve never seen this! It looks like a nice idea especially if you are camping where there could be snakes. We are hoping to go camping next summer, I hope we can make it happen!

    Reply
  7. Nabiha Khan
    September 5, 2019

    I have never been for camping (I know its a shame) but would love to someday. This sounds like a perfect tent

    Reply
  8. jenna
    September 5, 2019

    This looks really awesome! My husband and I used to go camping every fall but we haven’t in awhile. Maybe this year…

    Reply
  9. Heather
    September 5, 2019

    I’ve never seen a tent up that high before! That is such a great idea!

    Reply
  10. Juliann
    September 5, 2019

    This looks really cool. I’ve never seen anything like it. I think the assembly and the struggle of lifting it up to put it on might be a deterrent for me unless I were traveling with a nice, strong man. But it looks so comfy and I love that you’re off the ground. Definitely a better way to camp!

    Reply
  11. Neely Moldovan
    September 5, 2019

    Oh wow this looks so cool! I don’t even like camping and I want to try this!

    Reply
  12. Vanessa Shields
    September 5, 2019

    Wow, I never knew there were rooftop tents, never seen them before! That’s such a great idea especially for people that camp a lot. Great post and review of it! 🙂

    Reply
  13. Sarah
    September 5, 2019

    I’ve never heads about these kinds of tents before but it looks super cool! I would totally invest into something like if we have a long road trip 🙂

    Reply
  14. Ashley Hubbard
    September 5, 2019

    I’ve camped a lot but never this way! I’ve camped in a truck bed but it was not this fancy haha. More like a mattress. I’d definitely consider something like this though if I had the vehicle to equip it.

    Reply
  15. Leigh
    September 5, 2019

    So jealous! You guys have the ultimate adventure vehicle now! When they make one with a lift for the dog, I’ll be the first in line 🙂

    Reply
  16. Rachel Loza
    September 5, 2019

    This. looks. iNCREDIBLE! I need one!

    Reply
  17. Marina
    September 6, 2019

    Never seen this tent before, it looks comfy and I really like it x

    Reply
  18. Marisa
    September 6, 2019

    NOw this is super cool. I’ve never been camping but I would like to try this out! I love how you are high up instead of on the ground! What a great product!!

    Reply
  19. Rachel
    September 6, 2019

    This tent would be awesome. I am going to see how it will fit with our car.

    Reply
  20. Jaz
    September 7, 2019

    Andi, I love the idea of this rooftop tent! So handy to really get out and explore on the road! Great idea to have on the roof to avoid any ground creepy crawleys too!
    Jaz

    Reply
  21. Ciara
    September 7, 2019

    Wow, I have not seen this before and it looks so cool! I am also not a fan of conventional camping but this I could do. Your photoss are stunning too!

    Reply
  22. Amanda
    September 7, 2019

    Oh wow! I’ve seen those before and always wondered what it’s like, it looks really amazing! I loved living vanlife so this might actually be something for me and my partner!

    Reply
  23. Diana
    September 7, 2019

    I have always wanted to travel with a rooftop tent! It looks like a fun experience making it home wherever you are!

    Reply
  24. Patrice
    September 7, 2019

    I haven’t been camping in years, but this looks like a lot of fun. Enjoy your weekend misadventures this fall!

    Reply
  25. Lucy
    September 8, 2019

    This is a dream of mine!!!

    Reply
  26. Laura
    September 8, 2019

    Never heard about this type of cars!! Now I want one!! It sounds like a much funnier way of traveling!!!

    Reply
  27. Falke
    September 8, 2019

    So cool! I really wanna try it some day! I’m hoping I get the chance soon!

    Reply
  28. Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad
    September 8, 2019

    Okay I love this haha. We did an American road trip last year and spent many nights sleeping in the car! And I’m quite happy camping, but this looks like the perfect medium!

    Reply
  29. Christine
    September 8, 2019

    I love this setup! We have been looking at getting something like this for our Jeep. Seems like such a fun way to travel and camp, two things I love!

    Reply
  30. Ann
    September 8, 2019

    I’ve never seen this before! Looks like a great idea and a way to get around ground issues. A major plus for me is it protects you more from bears!

    Reply
  31. Leah
    September 8, 2019

    How awesome! I keep seeing these rooftop tents everywhere, and I’m so intrigued! We saw hundreds in the Scottish Highlands recently. Such a neat way to travel! I would struggle with the weight too, so it’s good to know that they are heavy. How a fun way to adventure!

    Reply
  32. Kelsey
    September 8, 2019

    Wow this is so cool! I’ve camped a bajillion times but never in a rooftop tent! Love the concept. And so jealous that you went to White Pocket – I found out about it when researching things to do in northern AZ but didn’t end up going. It looks out of this world – I hope you enjoyed it!

    Reply
  33. Katie
    September 8, 2019

    My husband wants to try one of these out so bad! I will have to pass these tips along to him. It looks like a really interesting way to camp!

    Reply
  34. Josefine
    September 9, 2019

    This is perfect for camping! I would definitely get one of these if I didn’t have a van I could sleep in. I’d feel so much more comfortable (and safe) having a tent on my roof rather than on the cold ground! 🙂

    Reply
  35. Pauline
    September 9, 2019

    I hadn’t even realised you could buy that! It’s amazing, I’d love to try that one day and it’s really high up so the views are stunning. Lovely pictures

    Reply
  36. Jen
    September 11, 2019

    This is such a cool idea! I avoid camping because it’s so uncomfortable but this looks perfect! I need this on my next road trip.

    Reply
  37. […] Tepui (read my review!) […]

    Reply
  38. Jenn and Ed Coleman
    September 21, 2019

    We have a car top camper. It’s super easy and convenient and so much better than sleeping on the ground. Jenn gets up to wee during the night, which is a bit of an issue. Since it’s on top of our roof, it doesn’t fit in some garages and it doesn’t work well with other car top toys like kayaks and paddleboards. We don’t use it as much as we normally would, because it’s just so heavy to install, but if we get a second car we’ll install it on one for sure. I think it’s absolutely worth it to put in some memory foam and good pillows too.

    Reply

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