7 Best Minivan Tent Extension – Review And Buying Guide In 2023

best minivan tent

A minivan is an excellent camping resource for us. It has plenty of interior space and great gas mileage to give it its full value. Also, with the best minivan tent, you can turn your minivan into a makeshift camper for comfortable sleeping inside or opening the back.

Car tents were once a ridiculously expensive way for the outdoors affluent to camp in the wilderness. However, Rooftop tents now becoming a favorite tool for car camping as you can use them anywhere you want.

Today, however, car and minivan tents come in all shapes, sizes, and prices and are affordable for a wide range of campers. Unlike a traditional tent, a minivan tent attaches to the back of your minivan. They are easier to transport, assemble and disassemble.

It is enough to wake up one morning and enjoy the elevated view and you will understand why these tents are so popular. Plus, you’ll never have to deal with rocks and sticks getting stuck in your back when you lay down in your sleeping bag again, so no more terrible nights.

Experience a simpler way of camping with one of these minivan tent extensions that you will feel comfortable in.

Top Picks For Tents That Attach To Minivans With Buying Guide

Sometimes sleeping in a tent on the roof of your minivan is the most convenient way to get a good night’s sleep. On a particularly humid afternoon during a month-long bike tour in the desert of Uzbekistan.

Choosing one of the best ones will give you a comfortable and cozy place to spend the night looking at the stars. We’ve put together a range of tents for minivans to suit every camper’s needs, including hard tops, soft tops, and options specifically designed to fit some popular vehicles.

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Our Pick1
best minivan tent
Rightline Gear Universal Fit SUV Tent
  • Seasons: All Weather
  • Color: Orange
  • Installation Type: Hanging
  • Sleep Off The Ground
  • Family Sized
  • Quality Weatherproof Construction
  • Made in the USA
2
best minivan tent
ARB 813208A Awning Room Accessory
  • Seasons: Three seasons
  • Item Weight: 3 Pounds
  • Works as a Fully Enclosed Room
  • Provides Weather Protection
  • Cross-flow ventilated mesh roof
3
best minivan tent
Smittybilt Overlander Tent
  • Installation Type: Roof Top
  • Standard size tent
  • 600D heavy-duty waterproof top
  • Easy to set up
  • Mounting brackets included

Things To Consider When Buying a Minivan Camping Tent

Choosing a minivan tent isn’t much different than choosing a standard tent, but there are a few additional things to consider that are extremely important. Since you’re installing it in a car and sleeping many feet off the ground.

It’s important to be very careful and make sure you’re buying something that’s made for your car or truck and will support the weight of everyone and everything in it.

– Compatible

Minivan tents are not one size fits all, so make sure you buy one that will fit your minivan. Please measure the dimensions of your minivan first, then you can buy the tent.

These gazebos usually require little more than opening, unfolding, and fitting in some spring steel poles to set up the outdoor awnings.

– Materials

Good SUV tents use the same durable materials as the best camping tents and we encourage you to rate them the same way. For tent fabrics, you typically need a thick, strong synthetic material like polyester or nylon.

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Thickness is expressed in a measure called “denier,” which is a number followed by a “D,” and the higher the number, the more durable the fabric.

– Placement

On hatchbacks and minivans, most tents attach to the back of your vehicle, so with the trunk open, you can easily walk through the tent and into the interior of the car, instantly doubling the space.

The covers fit into the cargo area so you can also get in the car if the tent section gets too cold at night or the weather turns nasty.

– Design

The overall design matters. The best SUV tent will be well designed, but the precise qualities that it has should not be overlooked. Consider features like zippers, compartments, windows, etc.

You want to choose a tent that has a great design and one that is made by a good, reputable brand.

– Weatherproofing

In general, all SUV tents are three-season tents. If you’re considering camping with an SUV during the winter months, you’ll probably need to consider a freestanding winter tent or some serious winter gear to protect you below freezing.

However, from spring to fall, your main concerns are rain and wind. All the usual rules apply, with the added consideration of attaching the tent to your car or SUV where applicable.

Buy The Top 7 High-Quality Best Minivan Tents Right Now In 2023

Most people are unfamiliar with minivan tents, which is not a good thing as they offer a fun and practical alternative to traditional camping systems. You’ve probably seen one or the other rooftop tent version, but as good as they are, they’re not the only option.

With that in mind, we decided to put together a guide to the best car tents currently available. Below you’ll find all of our favorites across a variety of minivan tent styles, along with a detailed rundown of how to choose your next tent.

1. Rightline Gear Universal Fit SUV Tent

best minivan tent
  • Brand: Rightline Gear
  • Occupancy: 6 Person
  • Design: Vehicle Mounted Tent
  • Material: Fiberglass
  • Seasons: All Weather
  • Color: Orange
  • Installation Type: Hanging
  • Sleep Off The Ground
  • Family Sized
  • Quality Weatherproof Construction
  • Made in the USA

Offering all the luxuries of home while you’re away, the Rightline Gear SUV Tent is a popular choice for comfortable living. The canopy attaches with a lid to the rear of any size minivan or pickup truck.

It comes with screen windows and doors that have storm covers that can be closed for privacy. Plus, since it seats six, you’ll have more than enough room for your gear, even if you don’t connect it to your minivan.

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One of the highlights of this tent is the mounting hole that seals when not in use. As an independent store, this unit works both with and without a vehicle. However, we don’t rank it higher because it has some design flaws.

Inside, this tent has several conveniences, including pockets for small items, a flashlight hook so you can see at night and glow-in-the-dark zippers. Overall this is a comfortable and welcoming minivan tent.

Pros

  • Fully seam-taped construction
  • Freestanding tent model
  • Family-sized tent
  • Quality weatherproof construction
  • Universal car attachment
  • Space for 6 adults 

Cons

  • Not work well in windy conditions

2. Napier Outdoors Family Size Sportz Tent

best minivan tent
  • Brand: Napier Outdoors
  • Occupancy: 6 Person
  • Design: Vehicle Mounted Tent
  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Seasons: 3 Season
  • Color: Blue/Grey
  • Seamlessly Attach
  • Comfortable Ventilation
  • Travel with Ease
  • Sit Outside in Comfort
  • Comes with an Expandable Carrying Bag

Napier Outdoor’s premier minivan shelter, the family tent is an ideal model for adventurous families who don’t want to compromise on comfort or functionality. We love this tent for its versatility, roomy layout, added convenience features, and affordable price.

We call the Napier Family Sports versatile because it uses a hatchback design rather than relying on a roof rack or awning system like some of the other models on our list. This design requires no modification to your vehicle and will work on almost any vehicle with a similar liftgate or tailgate.

The simple design of the tent pole hub allows assembly in just 10 minutes. That’s not bad for a tent that has 100 square meters of space. This does not include the space you get by fitting the canopy to the back of your vehicle.

In addition to a screen room, the family tent has a 6ft x 6ft canopy for hanging out on sunny days. Fully taped rain covers and integrated storm flaps on the windows and doors also offer the perfect water protection when the weather just doesn’t play along.

Pros

  • Have space for 6 adults
  • Comfortable ventilation
  • Travel with ease
  • Works as a freestanding tent
  • Sit outside in comfort
  • 3 windows for ventilation

Cons

  • Takes a lot of time to install

3. KingCamp Melfi Plus SUV Car Tent

best minivan tent
  • Brand: KingCamp
  • Occupancy: 6 Person
  • Design: Camping Tent
  • Material: Polyester
  • Seasons: 3 Seasons
  • Color: Blue 2 room
  • Sport Type: Outdoor Lifestyle
  • Oversized SUV Tent
  • Multifunctional Set Up
  • Rainproof and Durable
  • Easy to Assemble

An innovative take on a minivan tent, KingCamp Melfi Plus is a solid choice for those who value livability. The Melfi Plus has a 2-bedroom layout that can easily accommodate up to 6 campers.

You get 7.5 feet of headroom throughout the tent and oversized windows that provide ample airflow for comfort. One of our favorite features is the ability to create a canopy with door canopies on the front or side.

This creates a massive 15 x 9-foot canopy that provides significant shelter and shade on hot days, as well as making a perfect picnic table spot. Plus, it’s flame retardant so you can enjoy a nearby barbecue or grill with confidence.

Ventilated with breathable polyester and with 3 mesh doors and windows, keeping fresh air circulating inside is no problem. Priced one of the highest on our list, but with a nominal size of 3000mm, sheltered room, canopy roof, HDPE floor, and many others, it’s worth it.

Pros

  • 3 awnings for relaxation
  • Includes a screen porch
  • Extra-large interior
  • Multifunctional setup
  • Rainproof and durable
  • Large front screen room

Cons

  • Its construction is not up to the mark

4. DAC Explorer 2 SUV and Minivan Tent

best minivan tent
  • Brand: DAC
  • Occupancy: 2 Person
  • Design: Vehicle Mounted Tent
  • Recommended Uses: Camping & Hiking
  • Installation Type: Easy Setup
  • Closure Type: Zipper
  • Easy To Setup
  • No-see-um insect screen
  • It Fits SUVs and minivans
  • 2-way zippers for ease

An easy way to turn your minivan into an adventure rover, the DAC Explorer 2 is a conversion-style SUV tent that takes just minutes to set up. Simply unpack the Explorer 2 from the included carrying case and place it on the back of your SUV.

After tightening the integrated straps you have a fully equipped tent for 2 adults who value sleep and relaxation. A simple setup using bungee cords that attach to the tire wells.

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A slightly different method than other models and maybe not the tightest, but for the price it works well. Features include hinged door panels that allow for easier access and better ventilation.

There’s also a screen with a fine mesh to repel insects and provide a degree of privacy. With fully waterproof construction, it is one of the most reliable minivans tents out there.

Pros

  • Comes with foldable door panels
  • Lots of ventilation
  • Fully waterproof construction
  • Affordable
  • 2-way zippers for ease

Cons

  • Not compatible with vehicles that have a rear-mounted spare tire

5. ARB 813208A Awning Room Accessory

best minivan tent
  • Material: Polyester
  • Color: Black
  • Size: 2000 x 2500 mm
  • Brand: ARB
  • Rooms: 1
  • Shape: Square
  • Seasons: Three seasons
  • Item Weight: 3 Pounds
  • Works as a Fully Enclosed Room
  • Provides Weather Protection
  • Cross-flow ventilated mesh roof

ARB Awning Room is a unique option for campers who require a minivan tent that can be pitched to the side instead of the back of their vehicle. Made to reduce your launch process to a minimum.

ARB Awning Room mounts directly to the roof rack of your vehicle for quick deployment when you arrive at camp. The ARB Awning Room Deluxe is one of the fastest and easiest SUV tent options on the market, while also being surprisingly affordable.

Essentially, ARB Awning Room Deluxe turns the space under an existing awning into a four-walled room with a waterproof floor. We love that each of the four walls can be rolled up as needed for maximum ventilation.

As secondary layers of mosquito netting underneath if all you want is an open sunshade. This new awning accessory has been designed to meet the needs of everyone, from the recreational 4×4 owner to the adventurer embarking on an overland expedition.

Once you arrive at your destination, the ARB awning is extended and the awning room easily attaches to the awning frame.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Highly versatile
  • Provides full weather protection
  • Waterproof and windproof

Cons

  • Its size is smaller for a large family

6. Smittybilt Overlander Tent

best minivan tent
  • Brand: Smittybilt
  • Occupancy: 3 Person
  • Material: Polyester
  • Seasons: 4 Season
  • Color: Tan
  • Sport Type: Camping & Hiking
  • Installation Type: Roof Top
  • Standard size tent
  • 600D heavy-duty waterproof top
  • Easy to set up
  • Mounting brackets included

For drivers who demand their vehicles be able to handle rough terrain without breaking a sweat, there’s the Smittybilt Overland Rooftop Tent. It is designed to withstand abuse and repeated use.

And it was designed with the idea of ​​protecting users from the elements, insects, mud, and airflow. With a durable 600D ripstop shell, strong frame, and extended rain cover, the rooftop tent is serious business.

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As far as waterproofing goes, the 600D polyurethane raincoat just mentioned is rock solid. While the window awnings attached to the canopy reliably keep out the rain in all but the wildest storms with the windows open.

Comfort is top-notch, too, thanks to Overlander’s included high-density foam mattress. However, nothing beats the convenience of having a tent on the roof of your vehicle. So if you’re willing to spend the money, this tent will change the way you camp forever.

Pros

  • Extremely durable materials
  • Standard size tent
  • Easy to set up
  • Top-notch weatherproofing
  • Comfortable mattress included

Cons

  • It does not have a proper roof rack
  • Expensive

7. North East Harbor Universal Camping Tent

best minivan tent
  • Brand: North East Harbor
  • Occupancy: 6 Person
  • Design: Vehicle Mounted Tent
  • Material: Fabric
  • Seasons: 3 Season
  • Color: Gray / Blue
  • Sport Type: Camping & Hiking
  • Sleep Off The Ground
  • Offer Extra Cargo Sleeping Space
  • Free Standing Tent
  • Universal Fitment

If you’re wary of putting a tent on your minivan, we can understand why the North East Harbor Universal SUV Tent exists. It is available in several sizes, including models with enough space for up to eight people.

Unlike other tents, this one attaches to the back of your vehicle, giving you extra space and the added convenience of being able to sleep in your car if you choose.

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Luckily, this North East Harbor tailgate tent is the perfect way to sleep under the stars with the family. It’s much more affordable than most of the other models on this list, and you don’t have to sacrifice much in terms of quality.

Overall, this tent offers good protection from the elements, although the bottom seams may not be as durable as the rest of the frame. Therefore, you must be careful when setting up this model.

Pros

  • Freestanding tent model
  • More affordable
  • Sleep off the ground
  • Offer extra cargo sleeping space
  • Universal compatibility

Cons

  • Bottom seams are not durable

FAQs About Tents That Attach To Minivans

What is a minivan tent?

A minivan tent is a type of camping shelter that, once set up, can be attached to the trunk or side of your car. Allows you to sleep on the floor or in the trunk of your minivan or another mid-size vehicle. 

It offers a new camping experience and allows you to use the space and protection of your vehicle during your camping. That means you’ll stay warm and dry all night long, even if you left your down jacket in your vehicle.

Do a tent for minivan leaks?

Technically these tents don’t leak any more than a regular tent as they are made from the same materials. The only area you need to worry about is the mounting hole, as rain can get inside. 

We like models that offer some sort of RCA housing so you can make a tight seal. If not, you can use elastic strings to create a similar effect.

What’s the point of a minivan tent?

The purpose of a minivan tent is to make your in-car camping experience more convenient. By connecting the tent and vehicle, you get easier access to your gear, more storage space, and plenty of room to stretch out and relax. 

Because these tents are attached to your car, they can provide more structure and durability in the wind when installed properly.

What are free-standing minivan tents?

Detached or Freestanding refers to the fact that you can detach the minivan tent from your vehicle and have the ability to “stand-alone and transport like a normal tent.” 

This is mainly for convenience since occasionally one has to split up into groups for one reason or another. This way you can leave the base camp as it is.

Are tents for car camping warmer than normal tents?

Yes, car tents tend to be warmer than regular tents. Because they are set up to attach to your vehicle, there is a natural windbreak that reduces heat dissipation from the tent. 

Ground clearance means that the cold ground does not draw heat away from the tent. In addition, the tent is smaller in some cases. The smaller space is easier to get in and stay warm.

How much is a minivan tent?

Starting at just $80 for a small, tester-style model that tightens with bungee cords that can hang loose. Tents up to $350 with capacity for 5 people, 6×6 canopies, and rooms with mosquito nets, fully waterproof and with plenty of storage space. 

An OEM part can cost up to $400, as they are specifically designed for certain minivan models like the Honda Odyssey.

Final Thought

In short, minivan tents are a great idea if you are the proud owner of one of these vehicles. They offer a different camping experience that has its advantages over a traditional tent. 

The interaction of vehicle and tent allows for more comfort and advantages. We hope you enjoyed it and leave a comment or share if you found it useful.


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Henry William

Henry William is an automotive enthusiast and experienced blogger with a passion for all things related to automobiles. With a deep knowledge of the industry and a keen eye for detail, Henry provides insightful and engaging content for automotive enthusiasts and casual readers alike. From car reviews and industry news to practical tips and advice, his articles cover a wide range of topics to cater to every reader's interest. With years of experience in the automotive field, Henry brings a unique perspective and a wealth of information to his writing. Whether you're a car aficionado or simply looking for reliable information, Henry's expertise and engaging writing style will keep you coming back for more.

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