Home » The Appeal of a Roof-Top Tent

The Appeal of a Roof-Top Tent

In light of the fact that camping has been all over the world since Homo erectus first emerged from treetops, it doesn’t appear that there are many advancements left when it comes to sleeping in the night. That said, roof-top tents that are set on their high perches, are drawing double-takes from a lot of camping enthusiasts who live in the ground.

If you’re considering purchasing a tent with a roof then here’s what you’ll need to know.

Pros and cons of tents with roofs: Quick setup vs. more expensive prices are major aspects to consider.

How do you determine which tent matches your vehicle: Review the car, tent and rack specs carefully before you buy.

How do they connect to your vehicle The floor bolts onto your roof rack, so be sure that you have the proper setup.

Other considerations include Annexes, the durability of tents and shipping issues are just a few of the things you’ll need to consider prior to purchasing.

The appeal of a roof-top Tent

While roof-top tents have been popular across the U.S. in recent years however, they’ve been around for a long time, and have gained more popularity in areas like Australia and Australia, where camping over the realm of creepy crawlies was immediately recognized as a brilliant idea.

A lot of roof-top tent owners speak about how a top perch resonates with their on a deeper level. Maybe it’s an ode to childhood and the fascination with trees and treehouses, or perhaps deeper within our minds where we would sleep in trees so we could look out over our surroundings from an secured perch before drifting off to a dreamland.

Pros of a Roof-Top Tent

Pitching is easy: It’s designed for speedy setup. Once you’ve arrived at camp, undo a few straps, unzip it and then deploy the poles and ladder.

Beefy construction: Generally, the floor, tent fabric and pole materials are extra robust and are able to endure stormy weather.

Comfort: Most come with a soft foam mattress.

Camping anywhere: Set up at a camp site, in a parking lot, distant dirt track, wherever.

Camping above the ground Make sure the floor of your tent is clear of water runoff as well as crawling creatures, rocks and sticks.

Camp on the level: Strategically placed blocks or rocks under the tires can help keep things on an even keel.

Pros and Cons of a Roof-Top Tent (yes there are some)

Cost: Much more expensive than a tent for camping (cheaper that an RV however)

Aerodynamic drag: The more you speed, the greater the drag (and the effect on the gas mileage or battery usage).

The initial roof attachment is an undertaking: You have to decide if want to go to the trouble of removing it during camping trips.

It can be a hassle to make day trips. You shouldn’t be able to leave it set up while you drive your car away from your long-term camp.

The installation of a roof-top tent to Your Car

The majority of roof-top tents weigh more than a hundred pounds, so you need to be certain that the rack is able to handle the job. If you don’t have a roof rack yet, then you’ll need to take into account the weight of your tent when looking for a rack that can serve as its base. The specs you need aren’t always easily accessible So you might have to reach out to your car manufacturer and rack manufacturer directly to find the info you require.

To determine if a roof tent will fit on your vehicle, search the following information:

Total weight of the tent: This is required to be listed in the specifications of the tent’s manufacturer.

Dynamic capacity of weight: This measure the capacity to support that tent weight while you’re driving. You need to verify this spec for both the vehicle and the roof rack. In case you’re mounting the tent on an independently bought roof rack, it is necessary examine your vehicle’s owner’s manual regarding the roof’s weight capacity dynamically and the manual of the owner of the rack for that same spec. Racks made by brands such as Yakima, Thule and others typically have greater load capacities over factory racks.

Rack compatibility: Check the owner’s manual to make sure your rack can work with a roof-top tent. (Some racks and components are marked by the word “not compatibility.”)

Static capacity for weight: The capability for the roof rack (and the vehicle roof) to hold its specified number of sleepers and their equipment is rarely an issue. Most car roofs are already engineered to withstand loads relating to a rollover accident. Combine that with the load distribution offered by the sturdy platform for your tent and the extra support provided by the ladder and you’ve got one very robust structure. Still, you need to confirm that the static weight capacity in your vehicle and your rack is sufficient to support the weight of your tent plus everyone in it and their sleeping gear.

Attaching the Tent To Your Roof Rack

Although setup is easy after you have driven your vehicle into the camp site, the initial process of attaching your structure to the rooftop rack will require some time. Follow the installation instructions carefully. It is recommended that you have at least one solid partner close to you in order to lift the tent up onto the roof rack.

Additional Shopping Tips

The most important thing to consider is determining which tents can work with the load capacity of your rack for vehicles. After that, you have several points to take into consideration:

Annexes, awnings or annexes Some models have extra living spaces or covered areas; some tents allow the possibility of a later addition.

Durability levels: Though most roof-top tents are robust, a few brands also offer super rugged models designed for long-distance trips in extreme temperatures. Some brands also have all-mesh canopies to choose from.

Hardtops Fabric models are much cheaper; they also keep things safer when you drive.

Cost of shipping: Shopping in store is a good option but some models may only be sold on the internet. Since it’s a large item, and expensive to ship to your house Look for alternatives like REI’s choice to ship to a store for free.

Check before you purchase Find a rental company that rents roof-top tents will require some effort, but it can pay dividends since your main goal is to decide if this elevated version of van life is the right choice for you.

Other Tents Attached to the vehicle

Innovations in the realm of tents that attach to top of your car has led to manufacturers creating alternative tents that can be attached to other parts of a vehicle, for instance the tailgate of an SUV, or the bed of the pickup truck. The benefit of some these setups is that they allow you to set up the tent, and then drive the vehicle away for days of trips.