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Can I Put a Roof Top Tent on a Camper Shell?

Can I Put a Roof Top Tent on a Camper Shell?

A camper shell is going to provide you with more robust sleeping space than a roof top tent. However, a lot of people still wonder whether they can connect a rooftop tent to their camper shell. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Yes. You can put a roof top tent on a camper shell. This is assuming that you have roof rack bars that the tent can connect up to. It also assumes that the camping shell does not need to be moved in any way to allow people to get into it and sleep.

Let’s go into a bit more depth about how everything works, shall we? This way you will be able to work out whether a rooftop tent on a camping shell is right for you.

How to Put a Rooftop Tent On a Camper Shell

You just need to have a camper shell with a roof rack attached. The roof rack doesn’t need to be anything too special. It will be exactly the same roof rack that you would normally use for storage, etc.

Connect the rooftop tent to the roof rack as per the instructions (normally requires a few bolts holding the rooftop tent into place) and you are ready to go.

Whenever you want to use the rooftop tent, you fold it out, also per the instructions. You then use the ladder to climb in and out. It is pretty simple stuff.

Any roof track will work with a rooftop tent. Chances are that your camper shell will already have a roof rack in place. If it doesn’t, then you can easily install one. If you do have the stock roof rack, then we suggest that you upgrade it. It isn’t necessary, but we find that aftermarket roof racks tend to offer a whole lot more in the way of stability.

Can You Put a Rooftop Tent On All Camper Shells?

If you can attach a roof rack to your camper shell, then you will probably be able to put a rooftop tent on it.

The one time that we have seen a little bit of difficulty attaching a rooftop tent has been on the camper shells that require parts to be folded out when they are being used. If you cannot lay the top of the camper shell completely flat, then you won’t be able to use a rooftop tent with it.

Thankfully, as long as you can get the top of the shell completely flat, while at the same time ensuring the inside of the camper shell is usable, then you will be able to attach a rooftop tent to it. We don’t think we have seen a single camper shell that can’t.

Do You Need To Purchase a Specific Rooftop Tent For a Camper Shell?


Rooftop tents tend to be universal. They are built for the roof racks and that is it. If the rooftop tent says that it will fit the roof rack on your camper shell, then you can use that rooftop tent

It doesn’t matter too much about the type of tent that you are using. This means that you can use any tent that you want. Make sure to think about your space requirements and, if you plan on sleeping in the tent, whether it is going to be able to deal with the weather that you normally deal with.

For example, if you like to travel during the colder months, then you will want a rooftop tent that supports four seasons sleeping. If it doesn’t, then you are probably going to get quite cold.

how much weight can you put on top of a camper shell


Pictured above, you can see a Roofnest brand tent mounted on top of a truck camper shell.

Advantages Of Placing a Rooftop Tent On a Camper Shell

To be honest, the vast majority of people that opt to have a roof top tent on a camper shell do so not because they want an extra place to sleep, but because they want some extra storage space.

A lot of people that head out on the road tend to cram all of their equipment, gear, etc. into the camper shell. This is all well and good when you are driving. However, when you are sleeping, it can be a bit of a tight squeeze. If you opt for a rooftop tent, then you can move all of the extra stuff into the tent before you head to bed.

Of course, the whole purpose of a rooftop tent is to sleep. This means that with a rooftop tent, you may find that you can bring a lot more people along on your camping trips. We find that the combination of a camper shell and a rooftop tent is a great choice for families.


There aren’t that many disadvantages to putting a rooftop tent on a camper shell.

The main disadvantage is that you will not be able to use that roof rack for much else. This means that if you do require the use of a roof rack for storage (e.g. bikes), then the rooftop tent is going to get in the way. Although, that being said, there are many rooftop tents on the market that can still leave enough space for additional storage next to them.

In addition to this, you may not be able to get the full features of your camping shell e.g. some camper shells have parts that ‘push up’ to increase the amount of space. You won’t be able to do that.


Closing Thoughts

You can use a roof top tent on a camper shell. As long as you can place a roof rack on your camper shell, then you will be able to use a rooftop tent.

It may be worth getting a roof top tent if you want a bit more storage space in your camper shell or, perhaps, you have a lot more people traveling with you than the camper shell normally supports.


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