How To Attach A Roof Top Tent

How to Mount a Rooftop Tent to your Campervan

Having a rooftop tent on your campervan is a smart way to maximize available space. As an alternative to upgrading your campervan and installing a bedroom inside, you might opt to have it on top of it; after all, what else would you put on top of your campervan?

What to consider before buying a rooftop tent?

Before purchasing a rooftop tent, you must determine whether or not your car or van is capable of supporting the weight of the rooftop tent by examining your vehicle’s overall load limit and the weight of the tent. You will see that your vehicle is carrying both a dynamic and a static burden on it. When your automobile is moving, you have a dynamic load, and when your car is still, you have a static load. The difference is significant because, when the automobile is moving, the braking and accelerating power have a significant influence on the weight carried by the vehicle.

When you have determined the maximum rooftop load, you can begin looking at the various rooftop tent models available.

Hard-shell vs. Soft-shell rooftop tents:

The term “hard-shell rooftop tent” refers to the sturdy shell that protects the tent from the elements. Aerodynamics of the hard shell will also result in less mileage waste than the other variants due to its lower drag coefficient. You will also be able to build up this model in a very short and simple amount of time! The soft-shell roofs, in contrast to the hard-shell rooftops, are a little more blocky when you’re transporting the tent, which has a greater impact on gas consumption than the hard-shell rooftops.

The fact that it is larger is a significant advantage for the delicate shell!

There are many different brands and kinds of hard shell and soft shell roof top tents to select from, and you can choose one that suits your needs.

Having selected the rooftop tent that best suits your vehicle and your requirements, the next step will be to install it on your campervan or automobile!

How to mount a rooftop tent on your vehicle

Rather than being particular to your rooftop tent, this simple step-by-step guide on mounting a rooftop tent on your car is intended to provide you an overview of the process so you can understand what it takes to set it up! 1.Equipment: First and foremost, preparedness is essential! Make certain that you have all of the equipment essential for your specific model, including wrenches, screwdrivers, and other tools, before you begin. Have one or two extra pairs of hands available to assist you in lifting the rooftop tent onto your car.

  1. 2.Roof rack: This is a vital step, since you must have a roof rack installed on your vehicle.
  2. Open the tent first, then open your box: Now that you have your rooftop tent, you’ll want to open your box first, and then open the tent.
  3. After you’ve finished removing everything, you can re-close the tent.
  4. 5.Locate your rooftop tent on top of your vehicle: Load your rooftop tent onto the roof of your vehicle, along with the extra pair of hands you had previously booked.
  5. 6.Connect the crossbars to the frame.

7.Tighten a couple of bolts. Finally, you may need to fasten some bolts to the rooftop tent in order to attach your ladder, and then you are ready to go camping. Have a great day!

Travelling with a rooftop tent:

With your newfound knowledge about hardshell and softshell rooftop tents, as well as how to set up a rooftop tent, you may wonder why not everyone has one, given how amazing they are. The truth is that a rooftop tent is not for everyone, as is the case with many other things. Others are concerned that when traveling to beautiful locations, you may not have access to basic services such as restrooms and showers, which some people find objectionable. In addition, it may be rather dark at night.

If none of these factors worry you, a roof top tent could be the best buy you’ve ever made for yourself.

It may be inconvenient to have to set up the tent on a regular basis, but you are not required to do it every day.

You may hire a camping car equipped with a rooftop tent through our website.

About the Autor

Daniel enjoys going on expeditions and exploring new places. He enjoys interacting with individuals and learning about their lives via their tales. “While traveling, you may gain first-hand knowledge and information from professionals,” Daniel explains. He bases every one of his messages on a distinct point of view that he encountered along the way.

Roof Top Tent Mounting Ideas (With Pictures)

Installing a roof top tent may be time-consuming, and it may take you a while to figure out just where you want it to be mounted on your car, trailer, or truck bed, depending on your preference. It was my intention to compile the material I had gathered from numerous pages of forums into a single, easily digestible post rather than wasting hours browsing through them. We’ll go through some of the numerous mounting options for your roof top tent (RTT), as well as the ideal locations to put them!

Where can you mount your roof top tent?

It should come as no surprise to you that the most frequent and straightforward method of installing an RTT is to attach it to the roof of your car. By attaching it to an aftermarket crossbar system as well as a permanent roof rack system, you may accomplish your goal. If you’re in the market for a roof rack, opting for a low-profile design will lessen the amount of wind resistance and fuel loss experienced when operating an RTT. Not only will the rack be positioned closer to the car, but so will the RTT as a whole.

By reducing drag while driving, you can enhance your fuel economy while also providing a much smoother ride for passengers.

If you have a tent that weighs 200 pounds, you will be better off investing in a permanent roof rack system that is capable of supporting that amount of weight.

Check out my post on Choosing the Right Roof Rack System if you’re seeking to purchase a roof rack or update your current set-up. There are several instances, as well as my own personal advice in it!


The next alternative for attaching an RTT is to purchase a trailer, preferably an overlanding trailer, which may be customized to your specifications. CVT overlapping trailers or FSR overlapping trailers are examples of trailers that I would suggest because they come with crossbars for the RTT already installed.

I have listed all of my favorite and must-have roof top tent essentialshereif you’re interested in shopping around!

When an RTT is mounted on a trailer, there are several advantages. First and foremost, it is simple to mount and unmount as necessary. If you want to put it on top of a vehicle’s roof, you don’t have to lift it quite as high. Next, you won’t have to be concerned about losing gas mileage or causing your car to wear out prematurely. Many RTT owners leave it turned on all year, which puts additional strain on the drive train over time. Instead of worrying about the mounting procedure, you may just unhitch the trailer and move on with your life.

Truck options

The last option is intended for commercial vehicles in general. This item may be mounted on your truck’s bed, canopy, or even the cab itself. Each has its own set of advantages and justifications. Personally, I would invest in a truck bed rack so that your RTT may be mounted flush with the cab and not create any more wind resistance. Many individuals, on the other hand, want the truck bed space and choose to get a bed rack that is extremely high in order to be able to carry a large amount of equipment into the truck bed.

With the use of a canopy rack, you may attach an RTT to it.

There are no complicated steps in the installation, and you may choose between crossbars or a more durable rack such as the Slimline II.

Positioning your roof top tent

The location of your RTT has a significant impact on the overall wear and tear of your vehicle. When putting your RTT on the roof of your car, you should strive to position the tent such that it is directly in the center of the vehicle’s interior. This contributes to the preservation of the normal weight distribution. This is by no means required, because with trucks or particular racks, this isn’t even a viable choice at all. Furthermore, some individuals just like to put the tent closer to the front so they can stow their belongings behind the RTT.

Several factors contribute to why many people prefer this configuration rather than opening it to either the passenger or driving side of the vehicle.

Mounting Systems for your roof top tent

The procedure of installing an RTT can be quite time-consuming. Not only do you require additional assistance, but ratcheting down all of the bolts is also time-consuming. By purchasing a fast release mounting system, you may reduce the setup time to a fraction of what it would otherwise be. For example, the Front Runner Slimline rapid release mechanism is an excellent illustration of this. After installing the clamps, you will never have to use any tools again to mount your RTT since they will be permanently secured in place.

This method is applicable to all RTT kinds.

Reduces the amount of bolt tightening required, and secures your tent to your rack for further security.

If you find yourself removing your RTT from your car on a regular basis, I would strongly recommend investing in a fast release device. Not only will it save you a great deal of time, but they are also extremely safe and contain locking capabilities to protect your information.

Best practices for mounting a roof top tent

When installing an RTT, there are a number of critical parameters to be aware of. When it comes to a properly secured tent, knowing things like the dynamic weight limit and the width between crossbars are critical parameters to know. That’s why I wrote a really brief essay on how to set up a roof top tent in the first place. It’s a really concise and to-the-point tutorial that walks you through the process step by step. Things to know before, during, and after the installation are all covered in this straightforward mounting guide, which includes photographs taken by me.

Wrapping up

The location and method of mounting your RTT might differ significantly. It all comes down to how much convenience you want, how much weight it can handle, how wind resistant it is, and a slew of other considerations. These are by far the most prevalent methods of mounting an RTT, and each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to determining which mounting method is the finest because it will differ from person to person depending on their own preferences.

These are the most popular and safest methods of mounting a roof top tent on a house or building.

How do rooftop tents work A complete guide

What are the benefits of purchasing a rooftop tent? There are several advantages to using a rooftop tent, including the following: The thrill of the chase. Rooftop tents provide a unique opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors, no matter what the weather conditions are like. These tents are made to last a long time. They can withstand harsh weather better than ground tents and, unlike RVs, may be utilized in difficult terrain without compromising performance. There’s a view. As a result of rising above the ground, you will have a better perspective of the breathtaking nature that surrounds you and your tent.

  1. Simple to assemble.
  2. You don’t have to assemble a slew of poles and stake them into the ground, as you would with a ground tent.
  3. This means that you’ll be able to spend more time exploring and less time setting up camp.
  4. Most roof top tents are equipped with built-in mattresses, which are more comfortable than inflatable beds (particularly if they are deflated!).
  5. In addition, the tent’s flat floor means that you won’t have to worry about knobby stones poking you in the back at night.
  6. These tents keep you up and out of the mud, snow, sand, and creatures that may be lurking about.
  7. Most of the time, the materials used to construct rooftop tents are specifically intended to survive extreme weather conditions better than those used to construct ground tents.
  8. The rooftop tent is less expensive than a trailer, camper van, or recreational vehicle (RV), but it is still considered a mobile home because it is moved by automobile.
  9. Additionally, they are capable of handling uneven terrain, making them ideal for off-road expeditions.
  10. Because they are bigger, they are typically less adaptable than rooftop tents in terms of design.
  11. What is the best way to set up a roof top tent?

Before you can go camping, you must first attach the roof top tent to the roof of your car. Various types of rooftop tents are available, each with its own design and installation procedure. However, the general approach for the majority of tents is as follows:

  1. Placing the tent on the roof rack of your vehicle and sliding it into position
  2. The tent should be secured by bolting down the mounting gear that has been provided.

Remember to always refer to the documentation that came with your individual tent if you need more detailed instructions. What is the best way to utilize the rooftop tent? Once you’ve arrived at your location, how do you go about erecting your rooftop tent? There are two types of ground tents available: fold-out and pop-up, both of which are far faster to set up than regular ground tents. Fold-out: Soft-shell roof top tents are the most prevalent type of roof top tent. Simply remove the travel cover from the tent, extend the ladder, and unfold the structure.

  1. Pop-up: Roof top tents with a sturdy shell are the most prevalent type.
  2. That is all there is to it!
  3. A number of people who are interested in roof top tents have inquired about this specific subject.
  4. When setting up the tent, it can take anything from 4-6 minutes to open the tent, set up the windows, and attach the rainfly poles.
  5. Where can you set up a roof top tent for camping?
  6. Camping may be permitted in specified parking spaces, campgrounds, national parks, and other locations.
  7. Apps such as iOverlander and Allstays can assist you in locating camping spots in your region that are permitted.
See also:  How Heavy Should A Tent Be For Backpacking

As soon as you’ve worked out how to utilize a rooftop tent, the next logical inquiry is: which rooftop tent is the most appropriate for me?

Hard shell versus soft shell roof top tents are two different types of roof top tents.

It is for this reason that they are even more convenient to set up and take down than soft shell roof top tents.

All of these qualities contribute to their popularity as overlanding and off-roading vehicles.

Tents with a soft shell for the roof: Tents with a soft shell are the most frequent form.

To open it, all you have to do is pull the ladder down and the tent will unfold.

Additionally, soft-shell tents can be equipped with an annex, which provides additional room beneath the tent.

For the benefit of families The largest roof top tents typically have a maximum weight capacity of roughly 650 lbs.

A roof top tent annex also provides you with more space for getting the kids ready in the morning, or even a separate sleeping area for the kids to sleep in.

Weekends and short getaways are ideal.

A tent like theThule Tepui Foothillfrees up room on the top of your car, making it more convenient to travel.

For those who like to take risks.

TheThule Tepui Ruggedizedseries is designed to withstand the test of time.

A tent like this is ideal for towing a 4X4 trailer or off-roading with a rig.

Hard-shell rooftop tents are also suitable for use on the beds of pickup trucks and jeeps. Because of the hardness of the material, they are particularly resistant to rain and wind. Accessories and features for a roof top tent

  • What is the best way to heat a roof top tent? Make use of aquilted insulator, which is a rooftop tent insulation that is fitted to your tent and attaches to the inside frame for additional protection from the elements. Because its material is thicker than that of ground tents, vehicle top tents are often warmer than ground tents. Not to mention the additional benefit of being elevated above the freezing ground
  • What is the benefit of using a roof top tent with an annex? Some roof top tents are equipped with an annex that may be detached. This provides you with more protected room to get dressed before heading out on an adventure or additional storage space for your things. Bedding: One of the advantages of a roof top tent is the fitted mattress that helps you to get a good night’s sleep after a long day of exploring. The mattress is already set up in the tent, so all you have to do is open the tent and get in. It is important to use an anti-condensation mat while setting up a tent since it will prevent the interior from becoming musty and wet. Outside your tent, hang a boot bag to collect your muddy shoes in order to keep the interior of your tent as clean and dry as possible (a difficult task while camping).

What is the best way to determine whether a roof top tent will fit your vehicle? As a result, we understand how critical it is to ensure that your rooftop tent is secure and safe. That is why it is critical that your tent be suitably sized for your vehicle. When determining whether or not a tent will fit in your vehicle, there are several factors to consider. Capacity for carrying a lot of weight

  • The dynamic weight capacity of your vehicle is the amount of weight it can bear when driving. This is the maximum weight capacity that has been established by the car manufacturer for your vehicle. To put it simply, it is the weight capacity required to support your rooftop tent. However, when your car is parked, your tent is set up, and a ladder is installed, its static weight capacity measures how much weight it can support at that point. Because of the additional support provided by the ladder, the static weight capacity is typically three times more than the dynamic weight capacity. This informs you how much weight is required to support the tent and the individuals sleeping within it.

Requirement for travel distance

  • Aluminum bars are located at the bottom of the tent, which are used to secure the tent to the roof of your car. You can’t have bars that are too wide for your vehicle. Please double-check the suggested distance needed in the tent’s handbook to ensure that it is compatible with your specific vehicle, or use our instructions to calculate it for you.

Roof Rack Compatibility

  • You will want to get an aftermarket roof rack since they have a larger weight capability than the majority of factory fitted roof racks that come with your vehicle. In order to support the tent’s dynamic weight, your rack must be capable of supporting it. Roof top tents are compatible with the majority of Thule roof racks. It is possible to determine whether or not your rack will work with our rooftop tents by consulting our buyer’s guide.
  • Roof top tents are compatible with all roof types, with the exception of bare roofs that lack tracks or rails (as illustrated below). It is perfectly OK to drive in a car with a sunroof, but not with a glass roof

(From left to right, the following roof types: fixed-point, elevated railing, rain gutters, flush railing, and tracks.) Make the procedure easier by following our fit guide! All of the math are done for you, so you don’t have to. Simply enter your car’s make, model, and year of production into our directory, and we’ll recommend some of our rooftop tents that are compatible with your vehicle. Do you require a roof rack in order to use a roof top tent? Yes! Rooftop tents are mounted to the vehicle’s rack system, which might be a truck, an SUV, or a van.

  • Yes!
  • Mounting your roof top tent on truck and van racks that are designed to accommodate pickup trucks or truck beds is a simple and effective solution.
  • What about boats or bicycles, for example?
  • Some roof top tents provide enough space for you to additionally transport a kayak, canoe, or bicycle on the side of the tent.
  • Just make sure that the weight capacity of your roof rack and vehicle is adequate for the task at hand.

How to Install a Roof Top Tent

Roof rack tents are typically compatible with the majority of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) car roof racks. Manufacturers claim, on the other hand, that an aftermarket rack is easier to put your tent to, is more durable, and provides you with extra attachment points for additional gear than a factory rack.

Know Your Roof Rack Weight Ratings

A Dynamic Weight Capacityrating should be specified by the roof top tent manufacturerTepui Tents, which indicates the maximum amount of weight that the roof rack can support when in motion (or while stationary). Based on the use, roof top tents can weigh anywhere from 100 pounds to 220 pounds. A static weight capacity, which is the weight of the tent plus its occupants, is also specified. Most roof rack tents have a weight capacity ranging from 400 to 600 pounds or more, depending on the size.

They will know what you need.

Standard Roof Rack Installation

Installation and setup of a Tepui Kukenam tent with Yakima roof racks are demonstrated in this video.

Heavy Duty Roof Rack Installation

Check out this fantastic video that depicts the installation of a high-end aftermarket basket-styleARB roof rack, which is the most durable version available for a car of this type:

Roof Top Tent Installation

I’m not going to go into detail on how to erect a roof top tent because there are numerous excellent videos available that do it for you. This is an excellent illustration of what is required in constructing a roof top tent:

Single Person Roof Rack Installation

When there are no other choices for more assistance, here is a fantastic how-to for constructing a roof rack tent by yourself (with caution!).

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The date is October 21, 2020. Numerous campers and overlanders are already aware with the iKamper roof top tents, which are well-known for their creative designs and functionality. But how does one go about getting a roof top tent up and running, and how do they function? If you are thinking about purchasing a roof top tent for your outdoor excursions, there are a few things you should consider before making your purchase. This tutorial will assist you in learning the fundamentals of roof top tents, such as vehicle requirements, installing a roof top tent, opening and shutting a roof top tent, the advantages and disadvantages of roof top tents, and helpful accessories.

  • Roof top tents are mounted to your car using crossbars or a roof rack, and it’s critical that these bars and racks be capable of supporting the weight of the tent and the contents inside it.
  • iKamper owners opt for aftermarket crossbars or roof racks, such as those manufactured by Front Runner, Thule, or Rhino Rack, which are significantly stronger and can support significantly more weight.
  • When you talk about dynamic weight, you’re talking about the weight that your vehicle can hold while it is moving.
  • Even though the Skycamp 2.0 weighs 160 lbs (73 kg), it has a dynamic weight load requirement of 165 lbs (75 kg), which takes into account the mounting brackets and any locking mechanisms.
  • As a result, the static weight limit of your vehicle is substantially larger than its dynamic weight limit, owing to the weight being more uniformly distributed over the vehicle’s whole structure.
  • Along with weight restrictions, the crossbars must be at least 30 inches in length “In order to uniformly support the weight of a roof top tent and its inhabitants, the beams must be spaced 76 cm away from one another.
  • The revised High Comfort Ladder from iKamper includes angled steps for a more pleasant experience, and it is capable of supporting up to 330 lbs / 150 kg of weight.

Please keep in mind that certain roof racks have higher outer perimeter rails, which might make it difficult to properly attach a roof top tent.

When it comes to installation, iKamper employs the newMounting Brackets, which are included with the purchase of every tent.

You only need to push the hardshell a little amount when it has been opened; the gas struts will take care of the rest, elevating the tent to its full height.

Only the tension poles for supporting the tent’s fabric need to be installed, and you’ll be finished with your project!

Instead of a hardshell with latches, the X-Cover includes a zipper that can be opened and closed.

In a manner similar to how hardshell roof top tents are opened, you may use the ladder to expand the panel by stepping on it.

ROOF TOP TENT CLOSURE INSTRUCTIONS The iKamper hardshell roof top tents close in the same amount of time as they open.

The next step is to fasten and lock the hardshell latches, after which the operation is complete.

It’s important to tuck the canvas inside the cover so that you can zip it all the way up.

This is demonstrated in the video below: You may learn more about setting up a roof top tent as well as how to open and close it by visiting this link.

What do you think about going camping alone, with a friend, or with your whole family?

The Skycamp 2X and the Skycamp Mini are excellent choices for campers traveling alone or in couples.

Despite the fact that it performs similarly to classic clamshell roof top tents, the Skycamp 2X offers significantly greater storage space when its hardshell is closed.

1.8 inch (4.5 cm) thick foam mattress for the Skycamp 2X is 51 by 77.5 inches (129 by 197 cm), while the Skycamp Mini’s 1.6 inch (4.5 cm) thick foam mattress measures 80.7 by 50.4″ (205 by 128 cm).

Both of these variants have a higher capacity, allowing them to seat three adults or two adults and two children respectively.

Neither of these tents has a king-size mattress, but both have foam mattresses that are roughly equivalent to one.


Are you seeking for a tent that can be set up and taken down in minutes?

What if you’re going camping with a group of individuals who will all be sleeping in the same tent as you?

When the tent is closed, do you want to have a place to store your bedding inside the tent?

Hardshell roof top tents are the quickest to set up and take down of any roof top tent on the market.

Soft shell roof top tents, like conventional ground tents, require more time to put up and take down than hard shell roof top tents.

Soft shell roof top tents are not available from this company.

This is especially crucial when organizing camping vacations with other people, especially if they aren’t providing their own tents.

If you are camping alone or with only one other person, the Skycamp 2X and Skycamp Mini are the best options because they are designed to accommodate two people.

Tents with lower footprints are required in these situations, and the Skycamp Mini’s compact footprint is the ideal option for this.

It is the best option for your requirements.

THE ACCESSORIES FOR ROOF TOP TENTSFor campers who are wanting to enhance their roof top tents and achieve an even more pleasant camping experience, iKamper provides a wide range of handy accessories for purchase.

See also:  How Much Is A 20X20 Tent Rental

There are additional devices that provide security, like as mounting bracketlocks, that prevent anyone from tampering with your tent when it is unattended while you are away from home.

All of these iKamper accessories, as well as many more, may be found on this website.

We hope you have found this post to be useful and instructive. Our customer service team is here to answer any queries you may have. Please let us know how we can be of assistance. Contact us at [email protected], and have a look at theiKamper Community for further information.

Roof Top Tent Mounts

Bolt thread caps are presently out of stock and will no longer be available. At this time, we do not know when or if we will be refilling these again. We have all sizes in stock and can mail them out within 1-2 business days if you order before noon. Other sizes will be available in March or April, according to our estimates. This does not imply that they will ship on the first of the month. We will keep clients informed as we complete the machining of their orders! You are looking for a way to attach a roof top tent to your roof rack or bed rack; we have what you need!

  • The days of using a low-cost stamped washer that bends and breaks and does not adequately secure your pricey investment are over.
  • Send us an email ([email protected]) and we’ll see what we can do to assist you!
  • In order to accommodate a range of racks.
  • It is your responsibility to pay for postage back to us if you purchase the incorrect size.
  • We haven’t included specifications since some roof rack manufacturers use various sizes of tubing for different brands and models of roof racks.
  • As a result, it is your responsibility to ensure you know what size you have!
  • They have a 0.015-inch oversize “in order to accommodate the thickness of the powder coating When working with thicker coating, you may need to sand or file your tubing and/or the mount aperture to get a smooth finish.

Other tracks may be compatible as long as they utilize the same size hex head bolt as the one being used.

Choosing the appropriate quantity is entirely up to you to decide.

Also, keep in mind that the number of racks you have and the rails beneath your tent may have an impact on how many you can fit on your vehicle.

The installation process will be significantly faster if you have previously completed it and are merely replacing out bent plates for our mounts.

We created our mounts with a 0.100 inch clearance “a space between the top of your tube and the top of our mounting bracket Due to the different tolerances of powder coating and tubing thicknesses, some compression can be accommodated.

If the mounts get cockeyed, they will not perform as well as before.

If you go any farther, you risk bending the mounts and perhaps bottoming them out.

And, as is always the case before any lengthy journeys, double-check your documents.

Anodizing is susceptible to fading over time.

A flawless finish is achieved by tumbling and deburring to eliminate machine markings.

We don’t decorate them with gaudy logos or stickers.

hex heads, washers, and nylock nuts.

The product is designed and manufactured in the United States.

When purchasing this item, you will be presented with the following options during the checkout process.

If you have a tracking number, it implies that your package was delivered that day.

If you want a faster delivery option that is not currently available, please contact us and we will do all we can to assist you in upgrading your shipment!

Normal travel times range from 5 to 15 days, depending on your location in relation to the Cleveland, Ohio distribution center where we ship our packages.

-USPS Priority Mail ($10.00): Transit times are typically 2-5 days in most cases, depending on how far you are from our shipping headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio.

Customers from outside the United States:-USPS First Class ($13.00 – $15.00): This service is only offered for small or light products.

It is not uncommon for it to be held up in US Customs for an extended period of time.

Standard transit times are 5-20 days, depending on how quickly USA Customs processes the order.

Additionally, UPS (for certain countries) offers a speedier, although more expensive, option.

We have no way of predicting how much it will cost in the end. Please keep in mind that we will not be able to deliver a new parcel or issue any reimbursements until at least the sixth week after the item was marked as sent due to the pandemic and backlogs we have experienced with USPS.

How To Install a Rooftop Tent

In the field of vehicle-based camping, there is some justification for considering rooftop tents to be a paradigm-shifting innovation. Rooftop tents, which were once popularized by outdoorsy types in South Africa and Australia, have recently gained traction in North America as a result of their versatility. It appears that more individuals desire access to the outdoors but are uncomfortable with the thought of sleeping on the ground directly. Rooftop tents are attractive because they minimize the amount of time it takes to put up and take down camp, with some structures being able to be raised or lowered in less than five minutes.

  • If you have a large groundtent, you will be the first and last person to set up your campsite.
  • This type of driving is extremely expensive and requires specialized cars and equipment.
  • Before choosing a rooftop tent, take into consideration the size of the box.
  • Let’s get this party started!

Pros of Rooftop Tents

Making the decision to purchase a rooftop tent is not an easy one. Take into account both the advantages and disadvantages, as well as your financial situation, to determine if this is the best course of action.

  • Convenience. The installation of the rooftop tent is simple, and the process of setting it up and getting it ready for usage is quick and painless. The ability to quickly set up camp is especially beneficial when you get late to the campsite and it is already dark outside, or when you are racing to go out to the trails. Sleeping on a mattress raised above the ground. It is understandable that some individuals are uncomfortable with the thought of sleeping on the ground. When you sleep in this tent, you’re on top of dirt and bugs. Depending on the environment, it might have a major impact on your sleeping temperature. Also, it’s more accessible to wildlife
  • Even the most inaccessible bugs and woodland creatures, such as raccoons, may still find their way up ladders and into your rooftop tent
  • It’s very cool. When was the last time you saw someone with a tent on their rooftop? Exactly. Because these sorts of tents are rather uncommon, they are considered to be quite cool due to their uniqueness. Apart from that, if you’re serious about upgrading your rig for overlanding, it significantly improves the whole visual package
  • Tent protection and durability are also much improved. One of the most advantageous qualities of a rooftop tent is that it never comes into contact with the ground, so avoiding all of the wear and tear caused by dirt, pebbles, sand, sticks, and bugs. The item is usually housed in a soft or hard case as well.

Cons of Rooftop Tents

  • It is necessary to have a proper car. Not every vehicle will have the suitable form, size, or be equipped with the appropriate equipment to accommodate rooftop tents
  • Nevertheless, most will be. It is necessary to have a roof rack and/or cross bars that are appropriate for the vehicle. Depending on whether or not you currently have the appropriate roof rack or crossbars, you may need to purchase them. Price. There’s no doubting that most roofs are pricey, especially when compared to a standard ground tent
  • But, there are some exceptions. Increases the height of the vehicle. Adding a rooftop tent increases the overall size and height of your vehicle, making it less suitable for maneuvering through tight spots. Weight has been added. Depending on the size of the tent, it may significantly increase the amount of weight that your vehicle must transport. If the vehicle is undersized or underpowered, this might have an impact on its performance, as well as. Fuel mileage is subject to a penalty. It will also have a negative impact on your fuel economy. Only campsites that are easily accessible by automobile are permitted. There are some of the greatest campsites that are inaccessible by automobile and require you to backpack or carry all of your camping equipment to the location. That is impossible to accomplish with a rooftop tent.

Crossbars or Roof Racks?

Before you can begin installing your new rooftop tent, you’ll need to be certain that you have the right foundation in place. Moreover, guess what? For this, you will need a solid pair of crossbars or a full-on roof rack, as opposed to merely using your vehicle’s roof. You’ll need to examine the weight capacities and capabilities of any crossbars that are already installed on your car if it has them. Remember to examine the load capabilities for both static (parked) and dynamic (moving) loads.

It may be necessary to replace the old crossbars with new ones, or to install a roof rack that is completely caged, if yours does not have adequate strength.

The Job: How To Install a Rooftop Tent

Make use of these advice and recommendations to ensure that your new rooftop tent is installed safely and correctly. In this particular scenario, we’re talking about mounting the tent on the roof of a car using crossbars to hold it up.

The Safety Brief

If you want to build your rooftop tent safely, Car Bibles recommends that you do it in a safe manner. It is recommended that you use safety glasses and gloves to ensure that no stray metal spikes graze your skin or shoot into your eyes. Apart from that, when using an awrench, be careful not to slap a knuckle on something. If you are placing your tent inside a garage, double-check that your car will be able to depart the garage while the tent is still attached to the vehicle before proceeding.

Each tent will have somewhat different requirements for the specific components you will need to assemble it.

The majority of tent manufacturers provide all of the necessary equipment for the installation process. Tool kits are included with structures manufactured by Tepui, Cascadia Vehicle Tents, and Free Spirit Recreation, to name a few.


  • An allen wrench set, a ratchetingwrench, and a metalfile are all useful tools to have.


An allen wrench set, a ratchetingwrench, and a metalfile are all necessary tools.

Step-By-Step Installation

Although setting up your tent is not difficult, it is important not to hurry the process. Correct installation ensures that your tent will not be blown off the top of your car while it is in motion. Caution should be exercised.

  1. Open the box containing your rooftop tent using a box cutter, remove the tent, and set it level on a flat surface. Mounting hardware, a ladder, a tent cover, ladder brackets, channel sliders with bolts and nuts, steel mounting plates, and bolts with washers are all included with your tent. Install the channel slides in a manner that is parallel to the tent hinge. Make sure the track is aligned with the pre-drilled holes in the tent’s foundation
  2. Otherwise, the tent may collapse. The bolts with washers should be able to slide between the mattress and the tent foundation. These bolts should be screwed into the nuts on the channel slides. This holds the mounting tracks to the tent in place. To assemble the ladder brackets, flip the tent over and attach them on the other side. This is identical to installing the mounting tracks, except that the bolts go between the mattress and the tent foundation instead of through the mattress. Use the nuts to hold the bolts in place, but do not tighten them yet. The ladder should be attached to the ladder brackets using the appropriate hardware. Make sure you read and follow the directions that came with your tent. Once the ladder and brackets are all in place, tighten the bolts according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The next step is to attach the tent cover to the C-channel that the cover slips into, as described in the manufacturer’s instructions. This is the point at which metal spurs on the end of the C-channel may cause harm. Make use of the metal file if there are spurs
  3. Zip the tent cover closed
  4. You will want assistance with this step. Lifting your tent onto the roof of your car should be done by two individuals. Make certain that the mounting tracks are perpendicular to the crossbars of your roof-rack system. Place the tent in such a way that it will open in the direction that you want it to. The majority of people like to have them open to the passenger side, however you may choose which way to open them. Insert the channel sliders and bolts into the mounting tracks using the channel sliders as guides. Slide them across until they are straddling a crossbar on a roof rack. In order to move one bolt to the opposite side of the crossbar, you’ll have to elevate the entire tent. This procedure should be repeated for each of the four mounting tracks. Attach the steel mounting plates to the underside of each mounting track by screwing them on from the bottom. They should be secured using the bolts provided and tightened with a tool. Install the plastic end caps into the ends of the mounting tracks to complete the installation. Fill up the gas tank, pack up the car, check your tire pressures, and head off camping.

Open your rooftop tent box using a box cutter, then take the tent out and place it on a level surface. Mounting hardware, a ladder, a tent cover, ladder brackets, channel sliders with bolts and nuts, steel mounting plates, and bolts with washers are all included with your tent purchase. Parallel to the tent hinge, mount the channel slides. In order for it to work properly, it must be aligned with the pre-drilled holes in the tent’s foundation. Slide the bolts with washers between the mattress and the tent’s ground frame to secure the mattress.

  • The mounting tracks are secured to the tent with this method.
  • Because the bolts run between the mattress and tent foundation, it is comparable to installing the mounting tracks.
  • Make use of the appropriate hardware to secure the ladder to its ladder brackets.
  • Once the ladder and brackets are all in place, tighten the bolts according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • During this process, metal spikes on the end of the C-channel may cause harm.
  • Lifting your tent onto the roof of your car should be done by two individuals at least.
  • Place the tent in such a way that it will open in the direction in which you want it to open.
  • Incorporate the channel sliders and bolts into the mounting tracks by sliding them into place.
  • In order to get one bolt to the opposite side of the crossbar, you will have to hoist the tent up.
  • Each mounting track should have a steel mounting plate attached to the bottom.
  • Fill up the gas tank, pack up the car, check your tire pressures, and head off camping —
See also:  How To Make Your Own Grow Tent

TheCar BiblesQuestionnaire

All of your burning questions will be answered by the Car Bible!

Q:Can you mount a tent to an aftermarket roof rack?

A:This question is a little more difficult to answer. The short answer is yes, but you should double-check with the tent manufacturer before making your final decision on which tent to purchase. Some racks will require minor adjustments in order to accommodate specific tents, so double-check with the tent or rack maker before making a final decision on which to purchase. Return shipping is quite expensive, and getting these tents to you is even more expensive.

Q:Can you mount a tent without crossbars?

As a result, we do not encourage it because there aren’t many manufacturers who recommend or provide that form of installation. It is possible to sandwich the side rails of your roof rack between the mounting tracks and steel mounting plates. But proceed with caution. If there isn’t a track lock on the rails, the tent may roll about on them. The crossbars guarantee that the tent does not move forward and backward while being transported in your car.

Q:Can you mount a tent on a trailer?

The answer is yes, as long as the trailer is equipped with the proper sort of crossbars. Because the tent will not be supported by crossbars, some custom fabrication will be required to attach it. There are a variety of crossbars that are designed expressly for use with trailers and are available for purchase.

Video Tutorials on Installing Your Rooftop Tent

Certainly, provided that the trailer is equipped with the proper sort of crossbars. A: It will be necessary to fabricate crossbars in order to mount the tent due to the lack of crossbars. Many different types of crossbars are available for use with trailers, many of which were created for this exact purpose only!

Do I Need a Roof Rack for a Roof Top Tent?

The popularity of roof top tents (RTTs) has skyrocketed in recent years, mostly because they allow you to camp anywhere your car can go while being warm and safe above the ground. But you can’t just buy an RTT and put it on the roof of your car and hope for the best – there are a number of factors to consider, including the sort of vehicle that is most suited for an RTT and the style of roof rack that will safely support your tent. So, do you require a roof rack in order to use a roof top tent?

Aftermarket cross bars put on OEM roof rails are a simple solution, but a heavy-duty, permanently fitted custom rack is a more complicated solution.

What Kind of Roof Rack Do You Need For a Roof Top Tent?

The most important criteria for a roof rack is that it has a Dynamic Weight Capacity (DWC) that is equal to or more than the weight of the tent. A vehicle’s DWC is a measure of how much weight the rack can physically hold while the vehicle is in motion without causing damage to either the rack or the roof of the vehicle in question. Consequently, it’s typically advisable to purchase your RTT first so that you know exactly how much it weighs, and then choose a roof rack that can support at least that weight plus the weight of anything more that you want to add to the tent before purchasing your roof rack (solar panels, storage boxes, etc.).

For the purpose of determining whether or not your roof rack is strong enough to support your tent, total the weight of the tent, your weight and the weight of anybody else who will be sleeping in the tent, as well as the weight of any stuff that you intend to have in or on the tent.

Aside from that, you have entire control over the elements and design of the rack.

Depending on your needs, there are racks that are readily detachable and do not require any drilling into your car, and racks that are intended to be more permanent and are more difficult and impractical to remove on a frequent basis.

Keep in mind that if you want to park your car in your garage when it is not in use, the height of your roof rack should be taken into consideration; if your vehicle is already on the taller side, you may want to consider a removable roof rack.

5 Popular Roof Racks for Roof Top Tents

In order to be effective, a roof rack’s dynamic weight capacity (DWC) must be more than or equal to the weight of the tent being transported. It is the amount of weight that the rack can physically hold while the vehicle is in motion without causing harm to either the rack or your vehicle’s roof that is indicated by the DWC. Consequently, it’s typically advisable to purchase your RTT first so that you know exactly how much it weighs, and then choose a roof rack that can support at least that weight plus the weight of anything else that you want to add to the tent before making your final selection (solar panels, storage boxes, etc.).

You should calculate the total weight of the tent, as well as the weight of you and anybody else who will be sleeping in the tent, as well as the weight of any goods that you want to bring into or place on the tent, to ensure that your roof rack will be sturdy enough to support your tent.

Apart from that, you have entire control over the design and style of the rack.

In addition, there are some racks that are readily detachable and don’t require any drilling into your car, as well as those racks that are intended to be permanent but are more difficult and inconvenient to remove on a frequent basis.

1. Yakima SkyLine System

(Photo courtesy of Starting at $486, this product is a good value. Vehicle-specific landing pads and a range of cross bar choices are included with the Yakima SkyLine System, which is intended for cars with fixed points or tracks on their roofs, among other features. With the provided tool, this is one of the most straightforward roof rack systems to use and install. Due to its maximum load rating of 135 pounds, it is an excellent choice for those who have lesser RTTs.

Yakima also provides a locking system that can be purchased separately so that you may leave your rack on your car in any scenario with confidence.

It will be less secure, however, because it is a cross bar kit rather than a permanently fitted roof rack system, because of the nature of the product. For those who only use their RTT sometimes and do not wish to have a permanent rack installed on their car, this might be a fantastic solution.

2. Thule TracRac SR System

(Photo courtesy of Price ranges from $1,099.90 to $1,099.90. Many individuals prefer to put RTTs on a truck bed rack, which allows them to use the area below the vehicle to store other items. Thule’s TracRac SR System makes it possible for you to do just that. It has a rapid installation process that does not involve drilling into the vehicle, allowing the adjustable racks to be readily removed or modified to carry other items in addition to an RTT if needed, if desired.

Some RTTs are capable of supporting gear racks on top of them with large weight limitations (less when they are opened), but you will need to consider the overall weight of the tent plus the gear on top – unless you choose this rack with an absurd weight rating – when making your decision.

3. Front Runner Outfitters Slimline II Roof Rack

(Image courtesy of Price ranges from $1,465 to $2,465 There are several various models of Slimline II Roof Rack available for a variety of different cars, and it is one of the most popular permanently fitted roof racks on the market. Installing it on the Toyota 4Runner is simple, as it uses eight factory mounting points, however drilling is necessary to secure the foot rails in place. Front Runner Outfitters has set the SWC as 660 pounds, despite the fact that they do not supply a DWC, citing the fact that there are other elements at play, such as load location, road conditions, and so on.

This rack is equipped with a wind deflector to provide a peaceful ride, as well as a set of foot rails to make installation simple.

It does, however, give enough clearance to permit 4Runners with sunroofs, if necessary.

Lastly, all Front Runner racks come with an industry-leading lifetime guarantee, which gives you piece of mind while making such a significant purchase.

4. Gobi Stealth Rack

(Photo courtesy of Price ranges from $1,595 to $2,495 Another extremely popular alternative for transporting an RTT is the Stealth Rack from Gobi. Each piece is finished in a black powder coating with an anti-rust base layer. It has a DWC of 300 pounds and a SWC of 800 pounds, and it weighs a total of 300 pounds. A rear ladder is also included for convenient access, and neither the ladder nor the rack require drilling into your car. This rack is available in two configurations: with a sunroof (which has an open space so you can clearly see out) and without a skylight (which has a greater rack surface area).

They are totally welded together, and the only screws used are to attach the rack to the vehicle’s existing mounting points, which are concealed by the welded construction.

With its sturdy structure, you can walk on it without worrying about it bending, and the basket design makes it ideal for hauling both RTTs and other items. It also works with Yakima and Thule attachments, as well as Gobi’s own range of attachments, which is a helpful feature.

5. Rhino-Rack Pioneer SX Platform has a photograph of this. $1,595 is the starting point for the price. Another highly popular alternative for transporting an RTT is the Stealth Rack from Gobi. It has a DWC of 300 pounds and a SWC of 800 pounds, and it has a black powder coating with an anti-rust base layer. The rack also comes with a back ladder for convenient access, and neither the ladder nor the rack require drilling into your car. It is available with a sunroof (which has an open space so that you can see out) or without a sunroof (which has a greater rack surface area) as an option.

All of the components of these racks are welded together, with the only screws required for attachment to the vehicle’s existing mounting points.

You can walk on the rack bed without worrying about it bending, and the basket structure makes it ideal for hauling an RTT as well as other stuff.

Q A With Roof Top Tent Owner Tiffany

During my conversation with Tiffany (@4xploration) regarding her roof rack configuration for her RTT, she shared the following information: For your RTT, what kind of rooftop storage do you have available? “I have Gobi’s Ranger rack on my back.” Apart from the standard rack, this is the only rack that I’ve ever had.” (Photo courtesy of @4xploration) What factors went into your decision? “We chose Gobi because we like the basket design over the flat slats, which we did not like. “We chose the Ranger over the Stealth since the basket is larger,” says the author.

We also purchased the larger basket since we remove our RTT when we get at our destination.

The only disadvantage is that it significantly enhances our public profile.

(Photo courtesy of @4xploration) A 2016 Toyota 4Runner with the CVTMt Shasta extended RTT is available for purchase.

Consider the maximum height of your car, both with and without the roof top tent, as well as if the tent will be left on the truck or will be taken off.

One thing to keep in mind is that racks have a rather significant wait time, with Gobi having the largest lead time because they are created to order.” (Featured image at the top of the post courtesy of @4xploration.) Roof Top Tents: What is the CHEAPEST HARD SHELL Roof Top Tent?

Next up in the Roof Top Tents series: (5 Budget-Friendly Picks) Roof Top Tents at the Lowest Prices? (8 Favorite Budget-Friendly Options) What is the largest roof top tent that has ever been built? Which are the best hard shell roof top tents? (10 People’s Favorite Songs)

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