Overland Camping Shelter Options Pros and Cons | EngineBiscuit

Land camping is one of the fastest growing pastimes in the world. Many outdoor enthusiasts love to explore the secluded wilderness and camp with the added comfort of their vehicle. Many off-road enthusiasts find that adding an RV setup to their 4 × 4 allows them to roam the trails for an entire weekend, if not longer. But what is the best land camping shelter option?

There are several different options for camping while landing:

  • Sleep inside your vehicle
  • Set up a tent on the ground or a hammock
  • Set up a camping tent on the roof
  • Buy an all-terrain motorhome

Each land camping shelter option has advantages and disadvantages. Read on to learn more about each option and decide for yourself.

Sleeping in your vehicle is an inexpensive land camping shelter option

Overlanders using an RV to explore Oregon. | VWPics Group / Universal Images via Getty Images

For many overlanders, sleeping in their vehicle is the obvious choice: their vehicle is comfortable, warm and dry. They fold down their rear seats to create a comfortable sleeping surface, or they can crawl into the bed of their truck. One downside to sleeping in your vehicle is moving any gear stored in it every time you set up camp.

Depending on your sleeping surface, sleeping pads or an air mattress may be essential. Most truck owners use an RV shell for weather and heat protection. When sleeping inside a vehicle, ventilation is essential, so cracking your windows and hanging up a mosquito net can be essential for a good night’s sleep.

A ground tent or hammock is a versatile land camping shelter option

On-land camping shelter options: Hipcamp campers hang out in tents in the farm fields on weekends.  (Photo by: Edwin Remsberg / VW PICS / Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Overlanders camping in a field | Edwin Remsberg / VW PICS / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Many overlanders prefer to park their vehicle and then set up a campsite nearby. Some people pitch a tent on the ground, others hang a hammock and a few prefer to sleep under the stars.

Many outdoor enthusiasts swear by their ground tents. Once you invest in a ground tent, you can use it for multiple adventures, including the overland. You’ll need to find a flat spot and take several minutes to pitch their tent, but you’re good to go. Consider that some climates require specialized winter tents. Valuable upgrades to your tent include a tarp to use as a ground sheet and extra sturdy replacement tent poles.

Camping hammocks are light and comfortable – it’s no surprise that they are exploding in popularity. Overlanders can set up a hammock between two trees or between a tree and the vehicle’s bumper and climb up to close their eyes. In many climates, you will need to hang a mosquito net or tarp over your hammock.

Advantages and disadvantages of the roof top tent

Overland Camping Shelter Options: A campground under the wonderful night sky, Helmeringhausen, Namibia.  (Photo by: Edwin Remsberg / VWPics / Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Overlanders using rooftop tents to explore Namibia | Edwin Remsberg Group / VWPics / Universal Images via Getty Images

You may have seen pretty rooftop tent setups on an increasing number of ground vehicles. On the pro side: Many rooftop tents are very comfortable, even with a thin built-in mattress. Some overlanders prefer the safety of camping at the top of their platform, away from animals. Roof tents are also very quick to set up and close.

On the downside: Rooftop tents are an expensive option, ranging from $ 800 to $ 4,000. Rooftop tents are also very heavy, heavier than most other land-based equipment, and not ideal for all cars. In addition, they need a roof rack which adds more cost and weight. This extra weight can slow your vehicle down and waste fuel. Finally, in windy conditions, the roof tents can blow back and forth and the fabric can make a lot of noise.

Softshell rooftop tent or Hardshell rooftop tent

Overland Camping Shelter Options: The Overlanders use both soft and hard shell campers on the roof while exploring Landmannalaugar.  Iceland.  (Photo by: Mikel Bilbao / VW PICS / Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Overland campers use rooftop tents to explore Iceland | Mikel Bilbao / VW PICS / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A hardtop tent is packed under a sturdy roof. This roof is either articulated at the front of the tent, or rests on four hydraulic systems; installation is as easy as lifting that roof. Hard roof tents are the fastest roof option to set up. But hardtop tents are limited to the width of your vehicle, so some models have a shorter sleeping space than softshells. The hardtop shell provides additional protection, both while driving and camping in rain or extreme sleet. Hard-shell tents are also the most expensive roof option, typically costing between $ 2,000 and $ 5,000.

A softshell tent is basically a regular tent, mounted on the roof of your vehicle. Many soft roof tents deploy up to twice the size of your roof, providing tons of sleeping space. Softshell tents usually take a few minutes longer to set up than hardshell tents, but they often cost less. You should budget between $ 1,000 and $ 2,000 for a softshell tent. You can see the 2021 Rooftop Tent reviews from Popular Mechanics.

An all-terrain motorhome is a convenient land camping shelter option

Overland Camping Shelter Options: Mike Hallmark oversaw the creation of the Auto Show. The company’s Big Wig airbags in the vehicle’s wheel arches allow this one-of-a-kind inflated pickup to ride level with maximum comfort while cruising over any terrain. Mike said: “When you think of an RV, you think of a white truck and a white RV, with a white-haired dude driving it at 45 miles per hour. We wanted to go completely the opposite way, so we made a yellow truck, a black camper van with some graphics on it to really grab your attention and make a splash in the market.” The addition of the Hellwig rear stabilizer bar provides improved control when transporting the motorhome, which includes a full sound system, TV, refrigerator, bed, full-size tub and living space. To accommodate all the extra weight, Mike and his team also added Falken Wildpeak AT3W LT 325 / 65R18 tires, which boosted the truck’s handling capabilities on and off-road. Mounted on the front bumper, Baja-designed headlights, fog lights, projection headlights and a full light bar allow the driver to be seen when traveling at night or off-road. Everything is powered by a Cummins 5.0L V8 turbo diesel engine.” class=”wp-image-1274166″ srcset=”https://www.motorbiscuit.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/GettyImages-1227932316-1024×683.jpg 1024w, https://www.motorbiscuit.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/GettyImages-1227932316-300×200.jpg 300w, https://www.motorbiscuit.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/GettyImages-1227932316-768×513.jpg 768w, https://www.motorbiscuit.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/GettyImages-1227932316-1200×801.jpg 1200w, https://www.motorbiscuit.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/GettyImages-1227932316-90×60.jpg 90w, https://www.motorbiscuit.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/GettyImages-1227932316.jpg 1500w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px” title=”Overland Camping Shelter Options Pros and Cons | MotorBiscuit 9″/>

Overlanders use RV to explore California | Brandon Hickman / Barcroft Media via Getty Image

Some overlanders take an RV with them into the wilderness. The most popular RV options include RVs with truck bed and ready-to-go RV trailers. Many campers take little or no time to get settled. But they’re also the more expensive option: often costing between $ 10,000 and $ 20,000. There’s a dizzying array of campers available: The Outdoorsy website has a great ranking of off-road-ready trailers, and Truck Camper Adventure maintains a list of lightweight off-road suitable campers.

RELATED: Are Rooftop Tents Worth the Money?

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