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.
Simple to assemble.
You don’t have to assemble a slew of poles and stake them into the ground, as you would with a ground tent.
This means that you’ll be able to spend more time exploring and less time setting up camp.
- Most roof top tents are equipped with built-in mattresses, which are more comfortable than inflatable beds (particularly if they are deflated!).
- In addition, the tent’s level floor means that you won’t have to worry about knobby stones poking you in the back at night.
- These tents keep you up and out of the mud, snow, sand, and creatures that may be lurking about.
- 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.
- 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.
- Additionally, they are capable of handling uneven terrain, making them ideal for off-road expeditions.
- Because they are bigger, they are typically less adaptable than rooftop tents in terms of design.
- What is the best way to set up a roof top tent?
- Various types of rooftop tents are available, each with its own design and installation procedure.
- Placing the tent on the roof rack of your vehicle and sliding it into position
- 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.
- Pop-up: Roof top tents with a sturdy shell are the most prevalent type.
- That is all there is to it!
- A number of people who are interested in roof top tents have inquired about this specific subject.
- 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.
- Where can you set up a roof top tent for camping?
- Camping may be permitted in specified parking spaces, campgrounds, national parks, and other locations.
- Apps such as iOverlander and Allstays can assist you in locating camping spots in your region that are permitted.
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.
- 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 Do Rooftop Tents Work? (Explained for Beginners)
When it comes to camping, rooftop tents are a terrific option to tents and recreational vehicles (RVs). Rooftop tents allow you to go camping without being restricted to the same kind of locations that you would be with a standard tent. With a rooftop tent, you can camp anyplace you can park your car, and it is far less bulky than a traditional camper or recreational vehicle.
Online Roof-Top Tent Stores:
Here are some of the most popular online retailers where you may purchase roof-top tents:
How Are Roof Top Tents Constructed?
The fact that they may be set up quickly and easily is a significant advantage of rooftop tents. In order to erect your rooftop tent, you will first need to ensure that you have the correct roof rack for the job. Here’s what you’ll be using to keep your rooftop tent in place: The rack serves as a solid and strong foundation. In the case that your tent is tied to the roof, it will prevent it from being blown away while you are traveling. Most roof racks are compatible with rooftop tents, but you should double-check with the manufacturer of your tent and the manufacturer of your car’s roof rack before purchasing one.
There are several phases involved in creating your rooftop tent, and you will want to make certain that you thoroughly read the instructions before beginning. When putting together a tent, you’ll want to consider the following:
- Obtain the necessary equipment
- Locate a spacious and well-kept workstation
- Make certain that your tent contains all of the necessary components. Make sure your roof rack is in good working order by inspecting and testing it
- Install your mounting tracks in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Make certain that the ladder is properly and safely attached. Make sure your tent and cover are secure. Inspect your roof rack to ensure that everything is securely fastened in place.
If you have any problems with your roof tent, please sure to refer to the instruction booklet for assistance. You don’t want your roof tent to collapse or become unstable. Safety should always take first.
How are Rooftop Tents Supported?
Rooftop tents may appear unstable if you are unfamiliar with them, but they may be really stable when properly installed. Your roof rack system provides the necessary stability. To make your roof rack system safe, you’ll require a sturdy roof rack with crossbars to attach to your vehicle. This will assist you in mounting your rooftop tent more securely. Some additional factors should be taken into consideration while attempting to ensure that your tent is stable. Consider how much weight your car and its roof rack are capable of supporting before making your purchase.
How Durable are Rooftop Tents?
Rooftop tents are similar in appearance to normal tents and can last for years. Depending on the material used to construct your rooftop tent, you may expect it to endure for three camping seasons at the most. However, with a heavy-duty canvas and appropriate maintenance, you could expect your tent to last for decades.
How Much Weight Can a Rooftop Tent Hold?
The majority of rooftop tents will indicate that they can support between 500 and 600 pounds. You will, however, want to make certain that your vehicle’s rack is capable of supporting that amount of weight as well. Checking your vehicle’s owner’s handbook is the quickest and most accurate way to find out how much weight your vehicle can carry. You should also evaluate the difference between how much weight your automobile can bear when driving and how much weight it can handle while stationary.
During a moving day, the average weight that a truck or SUV can carry is between 150 and 165 pounds.
Can a Rooftop Tent be Mounted on any Car or Vehicle?
The amount of weight that your automobile or vehicle can support will determine whether or not a rooftop tent may be erected on the roof of the vehicle. If your car is incapable of supporting the weight of the rooftop tent, you should avoid using that vehicle. In addition, you’ll need a car with a roof rack that’s designed for this use. Your rooftop tent will not be safe unless you have the right roof rack installed on your car, and you should avoid using that vehicle to transport a rooftop tent.
When it comes to rooftop tent camping, automobiles and other tiny vehicles are not a viable option.
How Much Time Does it Take to Set Up a Rooftop Tent?
After your tent has been affixed to your roof, setting it up is quick and simple—no more fumbling about with enormous traditional tents for hours on end. Within a few minutes of arriving at your location, you may set up your rooftop tent and be ready to go. Pop-up tents are the quickest form of tent to erect, taking only 1-5 minutes to complete the task. Canvas tents require a bit more time to set up, but the average duration is still approximately 10 minutes.
Additionally, rooftop tents are faster to set up and pack down than regular tents since you may leave some bedding in rooftop tents and they will still shut properly, but traditional tents must be packed down and down with everything.
Popular Rooftop Tent Options:
The following are some common choices if rooftop tents sound like something you would be interested in:
1. iKamper Skycamp 2.0
The Skycamp 2.0 can accommodate up to four people and is equipped with the following features:
- One-minute set-up
- Lightweight design
- Customization choices
- Breathable fabric
- Hardshell locks
- High-quality construction
- One-minute setup
- Customization options
Today, have a look at the iKamper Skycamp 2.0 by visiting this link.
2. Thule x Tepui Explorer Ayer 2
In addition to the above features, the Thule x Tepui Explorer Ayer 2 is designed for two people.
- Walls with a coating of cotton-poly — ideal for all seasons
- A special treatment has been applied to the fabric to make it both UV and mold resistant. Mattress made of high-density foam
- Airflow and a view provided by mesh panels Several large interior storage compartments
You can get more information on the Thule x Tepui Explorer Ayer 2 here.
3. 2020 Sparrow by Roofnest
The Sparrow for 2020 is designed for two people and has the following features:
- There is built-in storage for camping equipment. Area for the installation of solar panels
- More breathing room
- A total of three huge doors and windows, two of which have ladder mounts on each side
- Being able to keep bedding when traveling is a plus. Lightweight
Rooftop tents by Sparrow by Roofnest are available for purchase HERE for the 2020 season.
Rooftop tents may be a fantastic alternative to standard tents in a variety of situations. If this is something you are interested in exploring, there are several solutions available to meet your requirements! Was this article of assistance? Was the information you received incorrect, or was anything missing? We’d love to hear your opinions on the matter! (PS: We read every piece of feedback.)
How to Choose a Roof-Top Tent
With 279 customer reviews, the average rating is 4.5 stars. Given that camping has been around since Homo erectus came down from the trees, it would appear that we don’t have many new advancements in the art of sleeping beneath the stars to share with the rest of the world. As a result of their elevated positions, roof-top tents are drawing the attention of many campers who like to stay on the ground during their camping excursions. You should be aware of the following things if you are considering purchasing a roof-top tent:
- With 279 customer reviews, the average rating is 4.5 out of 5. Given that camping has been around since Homo erectus ascended from the trees, it would appear that we don’t have many new advancements in the art of sleeping beneath the stars to share with the rest of the species. As a result of their elevated positions, roof-top tents are drawing the attention of many campers who like to stay on the ground level. When it comes to purchasing a roof-top tent, there are several things you should consider.
Additionally, you’ll want to examine things like annexes, the longevity of the tent, and shipping factors before making your final decision.
The Appeal of a Roof-Top Tent
Although roof-top tents have grown increasingly popular in the United States in recent years, they have been around for decades, originally garnering favor in locations such as Australia, where camping beyond the reach of creepy crawlies was immediately recognized as a brilliant concept. Several roof-top tent owners have expressed how having a lofty view point resonated with them on a primitive level in recent years. Perhaps it’s a throwback to our youth and a fondness for treehouses—or even further back in our psyches, to a time when humans slept in trees so that we could monitor our surroundings from a secure vantage point before falling off to sleep in a tree.
Pros of a Roof-Top Tent
- Pitching comfort: It is designed to be simple to set up. Once you’ve arrived at camp, you just untie a few straps, pop the tent open, and set up the poles and ladder
- A sturdy construction: Generally speaking, the floor, tent fabric, and pole materials are all very durable and capable of withstanding inclement weather conditions. Most come with a super-plush foam mattress
- However, some do not. Anywhere is a good place to camp: Set up camp anywhere: at a campground, a parking lot, a rural gravel road, or somewhere else. When you camp above the ground, you can avoid rainfall runoff, crawling critters, pebbles and sticks from getting into your tent floor. Stay level when camping: Placing strategically placed bricks or boulders beneath your tires might help you maintain a level surface.
Cons of a Roof-Top Tent(yes, there are a few)
- Cost: Significantly more expensive than a camping tent (albeit less expensive than an RV)
- Driving at a high rate increases aerodynamic drag, which has an adverse effect on your gas consumption and battery life. The initial rooftop connection is time-consuming: Furthermore, you must consider whether or not you want to go to the hassle of removing it between camping excursions. Day travels become more complicated: You can’t leave it set up while driving away from your long-term camp in your automobile.
Fitting a Roof-Top Tent to Your Vehicle
Due to the fact that the majority of roof-top tents weigh more than a hundred pounds, you’ll want to be certain that your rack is equal to the work. If you don’t already have a roof rack, you’ll want to keep the weight of your tent in mind while you hunt for a rack to act as the foundation for your vehicle. Because the specifications you want are not always readily available, you may have to contact both your vehicle’s manufacturer and the rack manufacturer directly in order to obtain the information you require.
- The total weight of the tent should be included in the product specifications. The dynamic weight capacity of your car and rack assesses your vehicle’s ability to carry the weight of your tent while you’re driving. You must double-check this specification for both the car and the roof rack. When mounting the tent on a separately purchased roof rack, you must first verify the dynamic weight capacity of your vehicle’s roof as well as the dynamic weight capacity of the rack you are using to ensure that both specifications are met. Factory racks are often less capable of supporting heavier loads than racks from third-party manufacturers like as Yakima, Thule, and others. Compatibility with racks: Check your rack’s owner’s handbook to make sure it is compatible with a roof-top tent before using it. It is noted that some racks and components are “not compatible.”
- Capacity for static weight: The ability of the rack (and the car roof) to hold the required number of sleepers and their belongings is rarely a concern in these situations. The majority of automobile roofs are already designed to resist the forces associated with a rollover accident. When you combine this with the load distribution offered by the solid tent-floor platform and the additional support supplied by the ladder, you have a construction that is extremely durable. Having said that, you must still ensure that the static weight capacity of your vehicle and its rack is sufficient to hold the weight of your tent, as well as the weight of everyone within it and their sleeping gear.
Attaching the Tent to Your Roof Rack
Although the initial procedure of fastening the tent to the roof rack will take some time, after you have driven your car into camp, the rest of the process will be quite quick.
Read and carefully follow all of the installation instructions that have been supplied. A strong companion will also be required because you will require assistance in lifting the tent onto the roof rack of your vehicle.
Additional Shopping Considerations
There is one major consideration: identifying which tent types will be compatible with the weight capacity of your car rack or trailer. After that, there are a few things to think about, including:
- Awnings and annexes: Some tent types have additional living space or covered areas, and some tents allow you to install one later on. Levels of durability: While all roof-top tents are quite durable, certain manufacturers produce really tough variants that are meant for lengthy excursions in harsh environments. Some manufacturers also provide all-mesh canopies as an alternative
- However, they are more expensive. Hardtops: Fabric variants are significantly less expensive. In the car, hardtops provide greater protection for your belongings. Costs of shipping: Purchases made in-store are the most convenient option, while some models may only be available for purchase online. Because it is a large item that will be expensive to transport to your house, check for alternatives such as REI’s ability to ship to a store for no additional charge. Before you buy, give it a shot: Finding a facility that hires roof-top tents may need some investigation, but it will be worthwhile in the long run—because the most crucial aspect is determining whether this elevated form of van living is right for you.
Other Tents That Attach to Your Vehicle
As a result of advancements in the field of tents that attach to the roof of your car, businesses are also developing alternatives that attach to other elements of a vehicle, such as the tailgate of an SUV or the bed of a pickup truck. The advantage of some of these configurations is that they allow you to put up the tent and then drive away in the car for day outings or overnight stays. Roof-Top Tents are available for purchase.
John Griffith worked as the Director of Marketing for Tepui Tents before Thule acquired the company, and he went on to develop Hitchfire Grills in the process. His roof-top tent expeditions span from weekend family camping vacations to lengthy surf trips in Baja California, among other destinations.
What Supports a Roof Top Tent?
Hitchfire Grills were created by John Griffith, who formerly worked as Director of Marketing for Tepui Tents before Thule acquired the company. Weekend camping vacations with his family to long surf expeditions in Baja California are just a few of his roof-top tent exploits.
The roof rack
RTTs are almost always fitted to vehicles that are affixed to some sort of roof rack or trailer hitch. Whether it’s an aftermarket crossbar system from manufacturers like as Yakima, Thule, or Rhino-Rack, or a permanent roof rack, there’s something for everyone. Both accomplish the same thing and serve as a means of mounting the RTT in a safe manner. Aside from the rack’s ability to support the combined weight of you and the RTT, which we shall discuss in further detail in the following section, the most crucial feature is the presence of crossbars.
- This is our permanent rack, and the black section is the Yakima crossbar system, which is what I’m referring to in this post.
- It is for this reason that crossbars on your roof rack are very essential.
- It took me hours to find the right crossbar towers to match my current roof rack as well as crossbars that were strong enough to support the weight of my RV trailer trailer trailer.
- This will greatly save your research time and will also act as a useful guide, complete with photographs and unbiased ideas!
This will allow your tent to open toward the back of the car rather than to one of the sides. Only softshell RTTs with fold-out seats will benefit from this technique; hardshell RTTs, on the other hand, will require a crossbar system.
Vehicle and rack weight limits
Following a thorough grasp of which racks should be utilized to support an RTT, it is equally necessary to be aware of some critical weight limitations that must be adhered to. First and foremost, you must determine the weight limit of your vehicle’s roof! The majority of the time, this will not be an issue. Vehicles are built to be able to support their own weight in the event that they are flipped. In the case of a fairly small automobile, I would recommend double-checking the owner’s handbook just to be on the safer side.
- Because each rack can support a varied amount of weight, this is a significantly more time-consuming and research-intensive procedure.
- If you want to know how much weight your rack can carry while your vehicle is moving, look up dynamic weight limit (DWL).
- When rack manufacturers indicate the maximum weight capacity of their racks, they nearly invariably refer to the DWL (Drop Weight Limit).
- In general, you should anticipate a crossbar system to be able to support around 700 pounds, give or take.
- RTTs are capable of supporting approximately the same amount of weight.
What else can support a RTT?
Finally, a roof rack is necessary for the proper operation of an RTT. It may, however, be installed in a variety of locations. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the bed of a vehicle, a trailer, a UTV, or anything else. The possibilities for where you can mount your RTT are virtually limitless. If you want to see all of the different possibilities for installing an RTT, you may have a look at this post, which is a lot of fun to read!
While the RTT is often supported by the vehicle’s roof, the roof rack is the most important component in terms of keeping your tent in position. The RTT is attached to your crossbar system, and the crossbar system is attached to your side rails, which are attached to your vehicle’s frame. The concept is straightforward in principle, but it is critical in reality to ensure that no weight limitations are exceeded at any time. If you found this material to be useful, I encourage you to visit our YouTube channel for further fascinating and useful information.
There you can find some unbiased evaluations of the camping gear I have tried and tested over the course of a year’s worth of camping adventures.
On the whole, RTTs are straightforward provided you understand all of the many components and weight restrictions that are involved. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope I was able to address all of your concerns about how RTTs are supported!
Will My Car Work For A Roof Top Tent
This is an excellent and very relevant question. We want you to understand that roof top tents can and will function on any vehicle; however, this does not imply that your vehicle is suitable for one. There are some amusing anecdotes, for example, Evan, the creator of Tepui Tent, can tell you about how he observed a group of cars with RTTs on top of them while on a vacation to Venezuela (Read HERE for an interview with Tepui), and not all of them were 4x4s or even SUVs. However, if you drive a sedan or a vehicle that is really tiny, such as a hatchback, bear in mind that these tents will have a different influence on your car.
For the simple reason that roof top tents have a significant additional weight on top of your roof, and they are not particularly aerodynamic.
If your car is smaller and has less power, the extra weight will be felt more, resulting in a significant decrease in power, speed, and acceleration.
If you don’t care about any of the other characteristics and simply want a comfortable place to sleep at night while driving cross-country in your Corolla, you may go ahead and get a sleeper car.
Will My Racks Work With The Roof Top Tents?
They will, without a doubt. Roof racks are available from a variety of manufacturers, including Yakima, Thule, and Rhino Rack, but any of them will do the job. Roof Top Tents can be mounted on flat racks, crossbars, or a canopy, among other things. Simply ensure that your racks have a Dynamic Weight Capacity (DWC) that is at least equal to the weight of the tent before proceeding. In other words, if the tent weighs 130 lbs, the racks must have a DWC of at least that same amount. You may easily find out by contacting your manufacturer or by looking at the specifications of your racks.
- The weight of the tent and its passengers is efficiently disseminated across the whole structure of the vehicle when the tent is in use.
- This is referred to as the Static Weight Capacity in some circles (SWC).
- However, even with all of this in mind, you do not want to just place your RTT on the top of any rack.
- Therefore, when purchasing an RTT, be certain that your rack system is capable of accommodating them before making the purchase.
- Because it is one of the safest and most durable rack systems available, the Rhino-Rack Backbone system is one of our top recommendations.
Another thing to keep in mind is that standard mounting hardware will often accommodate rack bars with a cross-section of 3.25″ width x 2″ height on average. Don’t forget to space your racks 32-48 inches apart on your car!
How About The Weight Capacity Of The Tents?
The majority of the tents that we sell here at Off Road Tents have a weight that ranges between 100 lbs and 220 lbs, thus the type of tent you choose will be determined by how much weight your roof rack is capable of supporting. The good news is that, because we have tents from a variety of different brands and types, your rack will most likely be able to accommodate at least one of the models in our collection. Systems from Yakima and Thule are designed particularly for most vehicle makes and models, and their Dynamic Weight Capacity is typically more than that of most factory racks.
The overall weight capacity for a two-person vehicle would be 400 lbs.
The fact that the ladders have an average weight capability of 320 lbs is also noteworthy.
*** For the final note, if you would want to share any information, images, or anything else relating to roof top tents or overlanding, please do so by joining our Facebook group HERE.
Are Rooftop Tents Worth It?
Perhaps this is the first time you’ve heard of a rooftop tent if you’re from the United States. This is comprehensible given the fact that they initially gained popularity in the country of Australia. When it comes to creepy crawlies, Australia is famous for them, and a rooftop tent will keep you off the ground and far away from any four-legged visitors to your campsite. The use of these products has risen in popularity in other nations with high insect populations over the past couple of decades, and they’re finally making an appearance in the United States as well.
We’re going to speak about the advantages of owning a rooftop tent in a moment.
Where Are You Camping?
A rooftop tent gives you more flexibility in terms of placement than a standard tent. You may use it in places where a standard set would be problematic or simply prohibited due to the fact that it is mounted on your automobile. For example, a Walmart parking lot, an RV parking lot, or a highway rest stop are all examples of parking lots. After all, why pay to stay at a campground when you can sleep anywhere you want, whenever you want? Rooftop tents, on the other hand, are quite heavy.
All but the smallest alternatives weigh roughly 100 pounds, which is almost 90 pounds more than even the heaviest camping tents on the market. With one of these beasts on your back, you’re not going to be trekking the Appalachian Trail, or even walking a mile, for the rest of time.
What Kind of Camping Are You Doing?
A rooftop tent may be either a marvelous convenience or a dreadful pain in the neck, depending on what you’re doing with it. The reason for this is the way they are put together. In order to support a rooftop tent, a roof rack is required. As soon as the roof rack is placed, the tent is secured to the top of it and will remain there for the duration of the trip to your destination. You fold the tent while traveling, and then you unzip it when you get at your location to set up your gear. Imagine having a tent that takes a large amount of work to place on your car but that can be opened in less than a minute when you need to use it.
If, on the other hand, you’re planning on staying at the same campsite for a number of nights, you might want to consider driving.
You’ll also need to leave something – or someone – behind to ensure that no one else takes over your campground.
What Kind of Vehicle Do You Own?
Rooftop tents of varying sizes and shapes will be accepted by different sorts of vehicles. For example, a large SUV or pickup truck with a bed lid may easily store a very large tent in the trunk. When traveling by vehicle, the carrying capacity is likely to be reduced, yet even a tiny car can often accommodate a two-person tent. There are also some interesting solutions available for pickup truck beds, some of which may even make use of the space above the cab to serve as a loft. Another significant factor to consider is the weight capacity of your vehicle’s roof.
That being said, it is essential to be safe, so check your vehicle’s cargo capacity and ensure that it is sufficient to handle the rack system, the tent, however many people will be sleeping inside, and all of your camping gear.
More information may be found by clicking on the image.
What’s Your Budget?
Rooftop tents of varying sizes and shapes will be accepted by various vehicles. For example, a large SUV or pickup truck with a bed cover may easily hold a very large tent on its roof. Although even a tiny vehicle can normally accommodate a two-person tent, the carrying capacity of a car will be lower. Some innovative pickup truck bed designs are also available, some of which may even make use of the space above the cab as a storage space. Another factor to consider is the weight capacity of your vehicle’s roof.
To be on the safe side, double-check your vehicle’s cargo capacity and ensure that it is sufficient to handle the rack system, the tent (regardless of how many people will be sleeping inside), and all of your camping gear.
Some years ago, Yakima entered the rooftop tent market, and their products are rather good. More information may be found by clicking on the image below.
So, are rooftop tents a good investment? It all depends on what you’re searching for in the first place. There are better choices available if you want to camp in the woods or keep your tent set up while you travel about in your car to other destinations. They’re also not a good fit for automobiles that aren’t capable of supporting a roof rack. The contrary is true in that rooftop tents are less difficult to set up than regular tents. They keep you off the ground and away from pests, and they let you to camp in unusual places without being bothered by them.
We included one in our gift recommendations a few years ago, and we have to tell, the response was overwhelmingly positive.
More information may be found by clicking on the image.
iKamper – The All-You-Need-To-Know Roof Top Tent Guide
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.
HOW DO I MAKE MY SELECTION FOR A ROOF TOP TENT?
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.
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.
What’s the Deal With Rooftop Tents?
“Seriously, though, these things are a little silly, don’t you think? Are there any genuine advantages to sleeping on a mattress instead on the ground?” It was I who did this. A few years back, I remarked this out loud to a Yakima representative while standing in front of a rooftop tent (RTT) fastened on a pickup truck that was studded with overlanding gear and parked next to a lovely faux camp setup. To be quite honest, I don’t even remember his answer, other than a bewildered chuckle in my direction.
- I was completely mistaken.
- Not too long after that embarrassing encounter with the Yakima representative, I was camping with a buddy in Big Sur, and my perspective began to alter dramatically.
- I immediately went to investigate.
- She then got back into her car and nodded with pleasure.
- It took her only a few steps to hop onto the car’s floor, reach up for the RTT’s ladder, step down, and walk back around 10 feet until the tent was triumphantly unfurled and ready to be transported.
- With her feet dangling six feet above the ground and a cool drink in her palm, she was ready to go in five minutes.
- The next morning, as I shook out my groundcloth and turned my tent upside down to shake the dirt and little sticks out of it, I observed her pack up her tent with the same ease and drive away from the campsite.
Suddenly, everything made sense, and I was desperate for a copy.
In the intervening years, I’ve experimented with two different brands: one from Yakima and one from Thule (Thule bought Tepui tents a couple years ago, and their RTT division is now Thule Tepui, confusingly).
Both tents have proven to be excellent investments, and I’ve become a convert to RTT camping.
They’re nearly identical in terms of functionality.
The ladder serves as the unfolding mechanism for both tents, and once the ladder is in the proper position, the tents are effectively erected.
When the tent is closed up for driving, it is protected by a weatherproof cover, and both the Yakima and Thule covers operate in the same way, using a zipper and velcro system.
Yakima Skyrise HD 3 is a high-definition camera.
The Yakima’s is slightly thicker, at 2.5 inches compared with the Thule’s 2-inch pad.
And that’s really what you’re getting with an RTT.
You just can’t beat the comfort factor of one of these RTTs when compared with ground camping.
Provided you leave your shoes off, you don’t track dirt into the tent, which feels terrific after a few days of camping.
These poles are what support the roof.
I leave my sleeping bag or blankets in the RTT if I’m gonna travel around a little bit and they fold right up with the tent when it’s closed.
Plus, campsite availability changes dramatically.
If your vehicle fits on a patch of ground, boom, you have a lovely campsite, regardless of it being rocky, not level, or swarming with bugs.
There’s just something too about sitting way up off the ground, your legs swinging free, with an RTT.
Now then, there are downsides.
The Yakima Skyrise HD weighs about 115 pounds, and the Thule is 120 pounds.
I don’t keep mine mounted unless I’m camping, which means a big area in my storage shed is devoted to my RTT most of the time.
They can wreak havoc on your gas mileage.
Figure between $1,500 and $2,500 for most good RTTs out there, depending on style.
If you like to set up a tent, then drive off somewhere leaving your tent at a campsite, an RTT isn’t quite conducive to that.
To me, however, that expense is worth it for the ease, comfort, and sheer enjoyment of an RTT.
Those two factors are crucial.
Also, it’s a must that you determine whether or not your car can safely support an RTT.
Well, judging by the looks of mountain towns across the west, they’re for anyone with a Tacoma or a 4Runner, as part of the “off-road look” accessory package.
That, I think makes sense.
They work great for that.
But that they can turn even suburban commuter wagons into little adventure rigs is pretty cool.
I run the Thule Tepui Low-Pro 3.
The ceiling height is 3.5 feet, which is excellent.
(The Yakima is a 16.5 inches tall, further reducing mpg performance).
Even in a heavy wind, you feel solid as a rock up there.
The Thule does require using nuts and bolts to attach it to crossbars, which is a little more of a pain than the Yakima system, which clamps on with no tools required, but that’s the only place where the Yakima stands out over the Thule in terms of ease.
Other than using a fancy cot and a massive 4-person standup tent, I can’t imagine ground camping ever feeling even remotely as comfortable as RTT camping does. I never imagined I’d fall in love with RTTs, and now I can’t imagine going back. BUYThule Tepui Low-Pro 3 Yakima Skyrise HD 3
Other RTTs and accessories
“On the other hand, these things are a little absurd, don’t you think? ” Are there any significant advantages to sleeping on a mattress on the ground?” It was I who did this! A few years ago, I said this out loud to a Yakima representative while standing in front of a rooftop tent (RTT) mounted to a pickup truck, festooned with overlanding accessories, and parked next to a delightful pretend camp setup at Outdoor Retailer. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t recall his response other than a bemused chuckle.
My initial impression was that RTTs were overly fiddly, difficult to install and remove from a roof, and far, far too expensive to be considered a worthwhile investment at the time.
The first two points have been addressed; the final point will be addressed shortly.
A woman with an RTT on her wagon pulled up to a nearby spot as I was setting up my ground tent and sitting in it, contemplating the trees.
It took her a few minutes to get out of her car and place a leveling block on the ground, then drive up onto it.
She’d unzipped the RTT cover and rolled it to one side in less than 30 seconds, she estimated.
She completed the task by locking the rungs into place.
My first impression was that it appeared to be a simple task.
Oh, I get what you’re talking about now.
Suddenly, everything made sense, and I was desperate for a copy of it.
As of now, I’ve tested two different brands: one from Yakima and another one from Thule (Thule bought Tepui tents a couple years ago, and their RTT division is now Thule Tepui, confusingly).
Both tents have proven to be excellent investments, and I have become an RTT camper convert.
They’re almost identical in terms of functionality.
The ladder serves as the unfolding mechanism for both tents, and once the ladder is in place, the tents are considered to be fully built and ready for use.
In order to drive, a waterproof cover wraps over the entire tent.
Although it appears to be tough when you initially set up the tent, it is in fact a piece of cake to get it back into its cover.
In both tents, there are foam pads that are constantly present in the tent; they fold up with the tent when the system is closed, so there is no need to fiddle with the pad every time you set up the tent.
When compared to a conventional sleeping mat for ground camping, both of these items feel unbelievably wonderful.
The foam pad has the same feel as your bed at home and does not move about, allowing it to cover the full floor of the tent.
The fact that you don’t have to stoop and bend to get into and out of the tent, as you would on the ground, is really beneficial to your back and knees.
When the tent is unfurled, they automatically construct themselves.
When it’s hot, I’m in the Zenbivy Bed 23; when it’s cooler to chilly, or when I’m with my wife, I’m in the Sierra Designs Frontcountry Duo.
While camping on the ground, you won’t be able to level the ground beneath you, but if you’re in a vehicle, you may do so by taking leveling stones with you.
If you can park your RTT, you’ve got yourself a campground.
It’s impossible to defeat.
According to my observations, they follow this procedure.
They are hefty and require the assistance of two persons to put on and remove.
In the event that you live alone and do not have the means to create some sort of pulley system in your garage that will allow you to lift the RTT from above, you should expect to have the RTT installed practically all of the time.
I don’t keep mine mounted until I’m camping, which means a large portion of my storage shed is devoted to my RTT the majority of the time, which is convenient.
They might have a negative impact on your gas mileage.
Most decent RTTs are priced between $1,500 and $2,500, depending on the style and materials used.
For those who want to put up a tent and then drive away, leaving their tent at a campsite, an RTT isn’t the best vehicle for them.
To me, though, the investment is justified by the convenience, comfort, and simple delight that an RTT provides.
Those are the two most important considerations.
Additionally, you must evaluate whether or not your vehicle is capable of securely supporting an RTT.
According to the appearance of mountain communities across the western United States, they’re for everyone who owns a Toyota Tacoma or a Toyota 4Runner, as part of the “off-road look” accessory package.
That makes a lot of sense to me.
They are excellent for this purpose.
However, the fact that they can transform even suburban commuter wagons into mini-adventure vehicles is really remarkable.
The Thule Tepui Low-Pro 3 is what I’m now using.
The ceiling height is 3.5 feet, which is a good height for this room.
(Because the Yakima is 16.5 inches tall, its mpg efficiency is reduced even further.) With a weight capacity of 600 pounds and a heavy-duty crossbar system, the tent is secure and sturdy for all types of camping activities.
When you use an RTT, you will have unrivaled visibility.
But that is the one area where the Yakima system outperforms the Thule in terms of simplicity of installation.
I can’t picture ground camping ever feeling even nearly as comfortable as RTT camping, barring the use of a luxurious cot and a huge 4-person standup tent.
I never expected that I would fall in love with RTTs, and now I can’t image ever wanting to be without them. BUYThule Tepui Low-Pro 3 Yakima Skyrise HD 3 Thule Tepui Low-Pro 3