which site should the rooftop tent open

What Side Should Your Rooftop Tent Open?

You can mount most rooftop tents on the roof of your vehicle in any way you like. If you are now wondering which side is the best side to enter the rooftop tent, I can tell you that this mostly depends on your personal taste.

I often go rooftop camping with a few friends. We each have our own vehicle. Some have trucks, some jeeps and some have regular cars with a rooftop tents.

So far we haven’t been able to agree on a common statement on the “right” side to enter the RTT… 😉

It doesn’t matter whether the rooftop tent’s entrance is on the driver’s, passenger, or rear. All entry positions have their pros (and cons).

In this post, I would like to show you the individual “pros” and describe them in more detail. Of course, you can decide for yourself how you mount the rooftop tent on the vehicle roof. This list is intended as a suggestion only, in case you’re not sure. I only compiled this list after talking to other rooftop tent campers and referring to the various statements made by the rooftop tent owners.

Entry on the driver’s side:

Entry on the drivers side
  • If your tent has an annex or awning, it can make sense to have the entrance on the driver’s side, so you can go directly from the annex into the interior of the vehicle or driver’s seat.
  • If you have to orient the truck in such a way that makes getting to it funky, say a ditch or hill, or you have to level the truck a lot so one side is a lot higher than the other you can position things such that the side that is up in the air isn’t the one where you have to get in & out of the truck.
  • If you have a trailer, the driver’s side is probably a better choice. So you don’t have to uncouple the trailer to get into the tent.

Entry on the passenger side:

Entry on the passenger side
  • For example, if you have to stop on the highway or the side of the street and have to go inside the rooftop tent, you can safely extend the ladder (street parked vehicle).
  • Offset the gas tank weight.
  • If your awning is on the driver’s side, it can make sense to have the entrance on the passenger side.
  • Some campgrounds are designed for RVs and the industry standard is for entry on the passenger side.
  • A vehicle can accumulate a slight lean on the front driver’s side if primarily always driven with no one in the cab.

Pros for rear entry:

rear entry
  • The rear of the vehicle makes space for a nice awning on both sites.
  • Rear entry would clear the barn doors if your vehicle has these.

Disadvantages of once at the rear:

  • If you need frequent access to the rear compartment of your vehicle.


As you can see, there are many advantages and disadvantages for each direction in which the rooftop tent opens. So it always depends on your personal taste or whether you have an annex that has to be attached to a certain side.

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But maybe the list will help you to make a better decision or to point out aspects that you haven’t thought of yet.