How Long Will A Roof Top Tent Last

How Long Will A Roof Top Tent Last? [Maintenance Guide]

When purchasing a new roof top tent for Overlanding, it is fair to be concerned about how long the tent will be useful. It’s a significant financial commitment, and no one wants to spend a lot of money on something that won’t survive the test of time. Roof top tents may survive for much longer periods of time than you might imagine if they are properly maintained and cared for. How long should a roof top tent be expected to last? Roof Top Tents should be able to withstand intensive use for at least 3-5 years if they are properly maintained.

Beginner or entry-level tents may have shorter lifespans as a result of the lower-quality materials used in their construction.

  • Tent quality and brand
  • Hard shell or soft shell
  • Hard shell or soft shell The frequency with which it is employed
  • Conditions under which it is used
  • Your responsibility for its upkeep

Roof top tents(RTT) are a unique method to camp that provides increased safety and cleanliness due to the fact that they are elevated above the ground. In addition to the additional amenities, the cost of a premium tent is often more than the cost of a normal tent. Maintenance and cleaning your tent on a regular basis are therefore essential to ensuring its long-term viability.

Buying a Roof Top Tent That Will Last

While proper care and maintenance of your tent will help it live longer, the first step is to get the proper tent for your personal needs and purposes. A roof top tent designed for an infrequent camper who uses it 2-5 times per year will have characteristics that are different from a roof top tent designed for someone who uses it a dozen times per year. For those who enjoy challenging adventures in harsh temperatures and wild weather, as well as traveling into the unknown, a tent that fits their adventurous attitude is required.

When researching new tents, you should pay attention to variables such as durability and user feedback.

While the price tag on a tent will often reflect the quality of the tent, you can still find some great deals on incredibly durable rooftop tents if you look hard enough.

How Do Different Styles of Roof Top Tents Stack Up?

The form of a roof top tent has a lot to do with how much upkeep it requires and how long it will last. Overlanding aficionados are frequently divided on the subject of which tent is superior. Each party based their arguments on how they examine the following characteristics: However, when it comes to determining how long the tent will endure, your objectives are critical in determining which will be the ideal option. The winner will be determined by which one best meets your camping requirements.

Hard Shell Roof Top Tents

Hard shell roof top tents are often composed of fiberglass or aluminum, depending on the model. It is common for little pieces of cloth to be used to join the shells together. In terms of weight, fiberglass is the more expensive alternative, while aluminum is a wonderful method to maintain a strong exterior shell for durability while being a little lighter. Hard Shell Roof Top Tent by iKamper Skycamp 2.0 (Skycamp 2.0 Hard Shell Roof Top Tent) However, do not be fooled by the lightweight aluminum construction.

Both fiberglass and aluminum alternatives should be incredibly durable, with the potential to last you a lifetime in the best case scenario.

However, if you put your hard shell roof top tent through the ringer and you’re out exploring difficult terrain every other weekend, it may begin to show signs of wear and tear, which may finally result in the tent being retired from service.

When used frequently and under tough situations, however, it may prove to be the most cost-effective option in the long term, since it has a greater chance of lasting longer.

Soft Shell Roof Top Tents

The fact that these tents are built of a softer material does not rule out their ability to last for an extended period of time. The developments that have come out of this business in terms of making soft shell tents more resilient against the weather have been quite remarkable to witness. The material used to construct long-lasting soft shell roof top tents is critical. It must be completely waterproof and thick enough to withstand the elements. Another item to keep an eye out for is the usage of ripstop technology to prevent tears or punctures.

You want the rainfly to be just as robust as the rest of the tent and to fulfill its function of keeping water and other types of moisture out of the tent as effectively as possible.

Those who don’t use it frequently or who don’t leave it out in adverse weather conditions may easily lengthen the time frame to accommodate them.

When it comes to softshell tents, there are several different degrees of quality to choose from.

How to Keep Your Roof Top Tent Clean

Regular cleaning of your roof top tent will be one of the most beneficial activities you can implement with it. Both hard shell and soft shell tents will be subjected to a great deal of abuse during camping trips. Roof top tents, on the other hand, are in a league of their own when it comes to the amount of dirt, soot, and other material that gets caked upon them. The cleaning procedure will vary depending on the material and design of the tent. Always refer to the owner’s handbook provided by the manufacturer.

Check the manufacturer’s website for extra information about the precise brand, material, and style of tent you’re interested in purchasing.

Cleaning Hard or Soft Shell Roof Top Tents

Cleaning on a regular basis using a mild cleanser will always be the finest option. You don’t want to wait until there are several layers of filth or grime that have accumulated before cleaning. Depending on the situation, you may need to either use a heavy-duty cleanser that can be harsh on the tent’s fabric or undertake deep scrubbing, which can be exhausting over time for the tent’s shell. The use of a light detergent or cleaner will be sufficient to clean a rooftop tent that has been accustomed to receiving regular cleaning services.

After each usage of the tent, it’s a good idea to clean it down with a damp cloth.

This means that when you do want to undertake a thorough cleaning of the tent, both inside and out, the tent will already be in good condition and will not require as much care.

However, a simple wipe-down with soft, clean cloths and warm water mixed with a light detergent can help to guarantee that your tent lasts longer and will make the cleaning process much more easy in the future.

Cleaning a Hard Shell Roof Top Tent

Hard shell rooftop tents may be cleaned in the same way, regardless of whether they are made of fiberglass or aluminum. Cleanup will be a breeze with the mild cleanser, water, and cloth on hand. You should keep some marine wax on hand for fiberglass models that you want to maintain looking excellent and performing at their peak performance levels. The majority of fiberglass rooftop tents will have a thin layer of gel coating applied over the fiberglass to protect it from the elements. Marine wax is the ideal solution for both types of materials.

Additionally, it helps to seal in the cleanliness, keep dirt off the surface, and even contributes to the addition of a layer of UV protection.

With each brand, there will be specific instructions on how much to apply and for how long to leave it on before wiping it down again.

However, these are some of the best products we’ve found for keeping the shell healthy: Cosmetically, marine wax will also assist to create a good gloss, brighten colors, and may occasionally even aid to eliminate dullness or mild oxidation from the surface of the water.

Cleaning a Soft Shell Rooftop Tent

Many of the same principles apply to soft shell tents, but it is even more critical to use gentle detergents and soaps while washing them. Soft shell tents are available in a variety of sizes and colors. According to the fabric of your softshell tent, you do not want to use any chemicals on it since they might potentially chip away at the fabric’s structure. Another useful advice for soft shells will be to dry them out well before using them. Hard shells that can be dried by air are less significant than soft shells that cannot be dried by air.

When softshell tents are exposed to moisture for a lengthy period of time, mold can develop.

How to Keep a Roof Top Tent in Great Condition

There are a variety of other precautions that you can take to preserve the longevity of your tent, in addition to cleaning it on a regular basis. These tents are exposed to the elements and subjected to some of the most harsh weather conditions. Consequently, although cleaning and maintaining the tent between excursions is crucial, it is also critical to ensure that you are using the tent in the appropriate manner while out on every adventure you go on.

Preventing Mold

Mold is the most dangerous enemy of a roof top tent, especially in the case of softshell tents. Mold may infiltrate a tent without you even recognizing it if you don’t maintain meticulous track of the present condition of the tent after each trip. Fortunately, one of the benefits of using a rooftop tent is that mold is less likely to develop when compared to using a standard ground tent, which is a plus. In addition, on the ground, you must contend with extra moisture rising from the earth, which may easily lead to mold growth if not treated with care and protected from the environment.

Even if the rooftop tents are elevated above the ground, there is still a considerable potential that the tent may become contaminated with mold if it is not properly maintained and cleaned. Mold may be controlled in a variety of methods.

  • Carry many absorbent rags or sponges with you at all times. Immediately following a downpour, thoroughly clean the tent. Make sure you are not in the shade if the sun comes out after a shower, and allow the tent to soak up as much sunlight as possible to aid in the drying process. In the event that anything within the tent becomes wet, it should be removed and allowed to dry outside before being returned inside the tent. To dry the interior of the tent if it has been wet, wipe everything off and open the flaps to let some sunlight and a wind to pass through for natural drying.

Immediately handle any mold that may have appeared on your property. Mold should be scrubbed away using a soft brush or toothbrush and a cleaning agent that is particularly intended to combat mold. Some excellent alternatives are as follows: Mold may shorten the life of your tent by many years if it is not prevented, and it can be stopped in its tracks if it does occur.

If You Have to Store the Roof Top Tent

Typically, a roof top tent will remain on top of your vehicle until you are ready to put it away for the winter months. Once the choice has been taken to remove and store the tent, please sure you follow all of the directions for removing and disassembling the tent carefully. Before putting everything away, give everything a thorough cleaning and make sure everything is clean and dry. Keep your roof top tent kept in an enclosed space where it will be protected from moisture and harsh temperatures, allowing it to rest for an extended period of time without requiring further care.

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While Driving

When compared to the typical ground tent, the roof top tent offers several significant advantages, the most significant of which is that roof top tents remain built on top of the vehicle even when driving. This implies that you will be subject to additional regulations and limitations as a result of your situation. Always check with the manufacturer for recommendations on driving safety and security before you go behind the wheel. This may involve setting speed limitations that should not be exceeded, adding additional straps and connectors to further secure the tent, and doing final inspections to ensure that it is properly secured before to driving.

Allowing it to not be completely fastened can result in additional wear and tear, which can reduce the lifespan of these tents by several years.

Some Additional Helpful Maintenance Tips:

  • When compared to the typical ground tent, the roof top tent offers several significant advantages, the most significant of which is that roof top tents remain built on top of the car even when driving. This implies that you will be subject to extra regulations and limitations as a result of this decision. If you have any questions about driving safety and security, always consult the manufacturer. This may involve setting speed limitations that should not be exceeded, adding additional straps and connectors to further secure the tent, and doing final inspections to ensure that it is properly secured before leaving the house or car. There are a variety of consequences if it is not properly connected, including the more catastrophic one of it coming off, as well as more minor ones. The failure to adequately fasten the tent might result in additional wear and tear, shortening the lifespan of the tent by several years.

Roof Top Tent Warranties

The most significant distinction between a standard ground tent and a roof top tent is that roof top tents remain constructed on top of the vehicle even when it is in motion (driving). This implies that you will be subject to extra regulations and limitations as a result of this. Always consult the manufacturer for information on driving safety and security precautions. This may involve setting speed limitations that should not be exceeded, adding extra straps and connectors to further secure the tent, and doing final inspections to ensure that it is properly secured before driving.

Allowing it to not be completely fastened can result in additional wear and strain, which can shorten the lifespan of these tents by several years.

The Longevity of Roof Top Tents

Even if you have a different style of tent, a lot of the fundamentals of excellent tent care are the same for every type of tent. Cleaning the tent on a regular basis, preserving the integrity of all of its components, and ensuring that the tent is dried out after being exposed to damp weather are all important considerations.

If you take good care of your rooftop tent and buy the suitable type for your purposes, you should be able to use it for at least 3-5 years, and most likely for much longer than that.

r/overlanding – Rooftop tent life expectancy?

What is the typical useful life expectancy of a rooftop tent, for those of you who may be in possession of one? Considering purchasing a 4Runner with one already installed, but don’t want to have to spend an additional 1-2k every five years to keep it up to date. Is there a difference between some brands/materials and others in terms of durability and resistance to the elements? To make a comment, you must first log in or create an account. level 1Do you intend to leave it turned on all of the time?

  • a second-grade education Almost certainly.
  • And, given how brutal Texas summers can be, the sun is certainly a key consideration for me when making a decision.
  • Due to sun damage, I’ve had to change the cover on one occasion.
  • level 1Do you have enough headroom above your truck in the garage to park it?
  • First, most come with a protective travel cover that should be quite inexpensive to replace if necessary.
  • In order to assist prolong the life of the tent/covers, I read somewhere that you need use some type of marine UV protectant or anything similar to the environment.
  • What about a hard shell like an Autohome?
  • level 1I know of a couple of hard shell rtt owners who have had their tents covered – this would help to extend the life of the tent significantly.
  • When my truck was going to be parked for an extended period of time, I covered the tent with an old canvas tarp.
  • There are no signs of wear or tear on this item.
  • However, in general, the acquisition of a rtt was a game changer, and I would highly suggest one to everyone.

Rooftop Tent Buying Guide: Pick the Right Car Camper for You

Before it was deemed necessary to maintain social distance, many of us often tried to go away from society. Overlanding and off-grid camping, two methods of accomplishing this, have seen tremendous growth in popularity over the last decade. While it’s good to be away from home for a while, going off-grid doesn’t have to entail giving up all of the pleasures that come with it.

An appropriate rooftop tent allows you to have access to a pleasant, portable sleeping place that is virtually as comfy as your own home’s bedroom while on the road. You should be aware of the following points prior to committing to a rooftop tent experience:

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Pros and Cons of Rooftop Tents

Every drool-worthy overlanding rig you see on YouTube appears to include an expensive rooftop tent, no matter how long you spend watching videos. Because of their widespread use, they appear to be a need for anyone who is serious about overlanding. If you’re looking for one, it’s critical to grasp their advantages and disadvantages in order to assess if they’re a good fit for you. Stefan Widua is a writer and musician from the Czech Republic. The simplicity and comfort of a rooftop tent are the two most compelling reasons for most vehicle campers to choose this type of shelter.

  1. Finding a decently level parking area, unlocking or latching a few straps or latches, and raising the roof are usually all that’s necessary in most circumstances (literally).
  2. The majority of versions are resilient and robust enough to withstand even the most intense storms, making them far more weather-resistant than standard tents of the same size.
  3. Rooftop tents, on the other hand, have two major disadvantages.
  4. It will cost you roughly a thousand dollars to get even the most basic model.
  5. Even after factoring in the vehicle or SUV to which you’ll be connecting the tent, the overall cost is likely to be less than that of an RV.
  6. There isn’t much that can be done to get around this difficulty.
  7. Just be aware that the added weight will have a negative impact on your fuel efficiency.

Pros:

If you’ve concluded that a rooftop tent is the best option for you, the next step is determining which type is most suited to your vehicle. The first step is to consult your vehicle’s owner’s handbook (if it came with a factory-installed roof rack) or the owner’s manual for an aftermarket roof rack. The majority of them will expressly state whether or not they are compatible with a rooftop tent. Each roof rack is capable of supporting a maximum static and a maximum dynamic load at the same time, respectively.

This is rarely a problem because most automobile roofs are built to withstand the forces of a rollover accident.

courtesy of simonapilolla/Getty Images The weight that the rack can sustain when the vehicle is in motion is referred to as dynamic weight.

If the tent turns into a fatal missile while traveling down the highway, finding out that it can’t is not a pleasant discovery.

Roof racks purchased aftermarket are often stronger than those purchased from the manufacturer. If you discover that you want something more durable, there are several solutions available from Thule and Yakima.

Installing a Rooftop Tent

Typically, setting up a rooftop tent is a basic process. The fact that they are so heavy makes having a strong companion to assist with the installation absolutely necessary. It should just take a few bolts, clips, latches, and the like to secure your new tent to your old roof rack arrangement, assuming you’ve double-checked its compatibility with your existing roof rack configuration. From the time the box is opened to the time the installation is completed, it should take no more than 20 to 30 minutes.

Other Things to Consider

When looking for a new rooftop tent, it may seem apparent to double-check delivery prices, but it is important to do so. Because their clients are already paying a premium for their items, several high-end manufacturers provide “free” delivery on their products. However, because most tents weigh between 100 and 200 pounds on average, shipping expenses might be prohibitively expensive in many instances. Perhaps it is more cost effective to purchase your tent in-store. It’s also important to choose whether you want a hardtop tent or a softtop tent.

Maintaining and caring for fabric models is more difficult, since they need to be allowed to dry properly.

Some high-end versions have luxurious extras like as built-in awnings and separate covered living areas, which are a great touch.

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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:

  • Roof-top tents have their advantages and disadvantages. The trade-off between a quick setup and a higher cost is critical
  • How to determine which tent is compatible with your vehicle: Before you buy a tent, vehicle, or rack, double-check the specifications. They are attached to your car in the following ways: Because the floor is bolted to your roof rack, make sure you have a sturdy mounting system.

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.
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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 check 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

Extensions and awnings: Some versions have additional living space or covered areas, and some tents let you to install one later if you so want; Levels of Durability: While all roof-top tents are quite durable, certain manufacturers produce really tough variants that are built for lengthy travels in harsh environments like the Arctic. Canopies made entirely of mesh are also available from some manufacturers. Hardtops: Fabric versions are significantly less expensive than vinyl variants. With hardtops, you can secure your belongings even more completely when driving; Costs of delivery: Purchases made in-store are the most convenient option, while some models may only be available for purchase on the internet.

Make a test run before making a purchase.

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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.

Dear Wirecutter: Should I Buy a Rooftop Tent?

This summer, I’m planning to go camping a lot, and I’ve been seeing photographs of rooftop tents on social media that have piqued my interest. They appear to be of high quality, but they are also somewhat pricey. Is it worthwhile to purchase one? When it comes to structure and function, rooftop tents are similar in appearance to regular tents, but that’s where the similarities end. Roof tents, which have become more popular on social media, have prompted big outdoor firms such as Yakima to begin extending their product lines into the roof-tent market in response to the demand.

  • In general, soft-top tents open out to the side, whereas hard-shell tents pop up like the top of an old Volkswagen camper.
  • When we first started looking for a rooftop tent guide, we ran into a few problems straight from the bat: Typically, rooftop tents are excessively costly for the majority of individuals, costing anything from $1,000 to $5,000 per tent.
  • The conclusion we reached was that rooftop tents have minimal advantages over conventional tents when it comes to improving your car-camping experience, and we recommend that you avoid them if possible.
  • A rooftop tent’s historical roots may be traced back to the African wilderness and the Australian Outback, where they provided people with a secure haven in which to sleep in order to escape encounters with a variety of predators, from lions and tigers to deadly snakes and spiders.
  • Most national parks in the United States have few large predators, and if you’re a frequent camper, you’re undoubtedly familiar with how to keep yourself safe from bears.
  • Soft-top roof tents are more similar in appearance to a standard tent, having an interior pole system and a triangular form, but they are often constructed of a considerably thicker canvas than standard tents.
  • These tents are manufactured by firms such as ARB, Cascadia Vehicle Tents, Eezi-Awn, and Tepui, among others.

Hard-shell roof tents, which are largely supplied by AutoHome and James Baroud, are typically constructed of fiberglass and covered with synthetic material.

All of the models we looked at featured shredded memory-foam mattresses on the interior as well.

First and foremost, most rooftop tents are too costly.

The expense of getting started with an inexpensive soft-shell tent and a simple roof-rack system, on the other hand, is likely to be at least $1,500.

For example, a less costly hard-top tent with a roof rack will set you back around $2,800 upfront.

Alternatively, you might spend some substantial money on some very great camping equipment.

For the second time, in order to effectively utilize a rooftop tent, you must have a third party roof-rack system installed on your vehicle (some popular ones include models from Rhino-Rack, Thule, or Yakima).

For example, roof tents weigh around 150 pounds, and most preinstalled roof bars are rated to support exactly 150 pounds, not more.

Even if you have a solid third-party rack put on your car, the weight of the tent can have a variety of negative consequences, the most obvious of which is a significant reduction in mileage (because of the added weight and increased drag).

Finally, a roof tent will boost the center of gravity of your vehicle, making it less safe and more susceptible to potentially toppling over.

You’ll also want to take into consideration the time it will take to install the system.

According to the model, clips and bolts are required for both installation and removal of a rooftop tent; as a result, once the tent is mounted to your vehicle, you probably won’t want to take it off for several months.

Driving your closed-up roof tent all around town on a daily basis, aside from making you look ridiculous, might also reduce your overall mileage.

Before you begin setting up camp, you must park your car on a fully level area, since driving on uneven terrain might result in a terrible night’s sleep for you and your family.

Aside from that, folks who own pets have told us that getting their dogs inside the tent can be difficult, especially if the dog is not used to climbing ladders or other obstacles.

Yes, that is true for some people: Rooftop tents allow you to sleep anywhere you want—in parking lots and on the side of the road, for example—while functioning more like RVs than tents in terms of functionality.

However, we recommend that you contact a reputable vendor in your region who can assist you in customizing your setup and providing some suggestions on an acceptable tent.

If you’re not an overlander but would like to experiment with a rooftop tent, we recommend spending a bit less than the list price on Yakima’s newest roof tentmodel, which is available for less than list price.

Although we haven’t heard many positive reviews for this one yet, it is the most cheap and entry-level rooftop tent choice available right now.

For the time being, heed Wes Siler’s words of wisdom: Instead of a rooftop tent, save money by purchasing a big tent that includes a luxurious air mattress.

Send us an email at [email protected], or connect with us on social media sites like as Twitter and Facebook. Questions that have been published have been modified for space and clarity. Continuation of Reading

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Rooftop Tents and the Love-Hate Paradox

Sleeping on top of your automobile can seem a little ridiculous at first. Rooftop tents, on the other hand, continue to rise in favor. The toy progressed from being a strange oddity to becoming an essential part of every adventure toy collection in a matter of years. Is the rooftop tent deserving of all of this attention? The rooftop tent (RTT) has been existing for more than half a century, despite the fact that it appears to be a relatively new invention. It was only lately that it began to gain traction in North America, where wall tents and teardrop trailers met the demands of the vast majority of automobile campers.

What’s to Love?

There are a few advantages to the RTT over ground shelters, even for those of us who aren’t concerned about getting abducted by baboons. Roof sleepers do not require a level piece of ground, as would be required for a regular tent. Instead, they merely require a level parking place. It doesn’t matter if the terrain is rocky, muddy, or infested with roots; the goal is to get the job done. You may set up tent on paved surfaces, on mushy snow, or in bodies of water. The setup speed of an RTT is swift — and it is frequently the basis of marketers’ blatant falsehoods because of its speedy setup.

  • However, my own experience with dozens of RTTs suggests otherwise.
  • And quite a number of them go much above the call of duty.
  • That’s a good thing for tourists who are always on the road on a daily basis.
  • The wonderful relaxation and beautiful peace that may be found within the thick fabric walls of an RTT is a less evident advantage.
  • A rooftop shelter is more like a bedroom than a tent in terms of comfort.
  • You may move around and spread out without worrying about falling off a small sleeping mat.
Rooftop Tents: A Primer

Construct a makeshift tent on the roof of your personal adventure-mobile. These pointers will get you started and assist you in selecting the most appropriate rooftop tent or pop-up configuration for your requirements. More information may be found here. The RTT van, if you lost out on the opportunity to acquire a Westfalia van, provides some of the same conveniences and creature comforts.

It is possible to have the identical pop-up sleeping quarters installed in practically any vehicle. However, it is not all sweetness and light. There are certain disadvantages.

Reasons to Break Up With Your RTT

Lie down in your very own adventure-mobile and set up camp. You may get started with these suggestions, which will assist you in selecting the most appropriate rooftop tent or pop-up structure for your requirements. More information may be found by clicking here. If you didn’t have a chance to purchase a Westfalia van, the RTT provides some of the same conveniences and creature comforts as the Westfalia van. Almost any vehicle may be outfitted with the same pop-up sleeping quarters. The situation, however, is not without its difficulties.

A Car-Top Tent Changed The Way I Camp

Rooftop tents, which are mounted on the roof of your car or truck, are a hybrid of tent camping and RV camping that is completely wonderful. More information may be found here. Some disadvantages of living in a rooftop tent include that it is difficult to move around in it. With the exception of those who believe in the use of the pee bottle (yuck! ), your nightly forays into the woods will entail a round-trip climb up and down the ladder. Furthermore, because most RTTs do not have vestibules, camping in inclement weather has the additional challenge of figuring out where to store muddy shoes and damp clothing.

RTTs, on the other hand, aren’t much bigger than a standard hiking shelter.

Try Dating First

Going to bed on the top of your automobile has its advantages and disadvantages, just like everything else. When you don’t have an RTT and really desire one, it appears to be the greatest invention since sliced bread. After using one for a long, though, you begin to see the disadvantages gradually creeping in. Many users will find it to be an excellent option, but not all will. I propose that you give one a go before making a long-term commitment. It’s possible that you’ll enjoy it. It’s possible that you’ll dislike it.

— Christophe Noel is a freelance journalist, photographer, and all-around wanderer who lives in Paris.

He is the founder of Clean Drink Adventures, and he believes in the power of the traveler as well as the need of doing good while traveling.

Finally, a Rooftop Tent That Won’t Ruin Your Car

When you join up for Outside+ today, you’ll receive a $50 discount off an eligible $100 purchase at the Outside Shop, where you’ll discover a variety of brand-name goods handpicked by our gear editors. Everyone is enthralled by the prospect of sleeping in a rooftop tent. However, there are two major reasons why they have always been difficult to work with: their weight and their size. And it is for this reason that the new Go Fast Campers SuperLite 50s are so remarkable. It will be the first hard-shell rooftop tent that can be safely mounted to off-road vehicles, weighing only 80 pounds and having a packed height of only six inches when not in use.

The SuperLite will be the most cheap hard-shell rooftop tent available, and it will be one of the only ones built in the United States, which is quite a feat considering its $1,199 price tag.

The Trouble with Rooftop Tents

In the past, I’ve expressed concern about the exceedingly problematic nature of rooftop tents. The short explanation is that adding weight and height to your roof is the very worst thing you can do. Your vehicle is built to carry weight inside its body or bed, rather than on its roof, as opposed to other modes of transportation. Attaching large objects to your automobile or truck at such a high point elevates the center of gravity, resulting in poor handling, performance, and overall safety for the vehicle.

  1. Furthermore, by raising the overall height of your car, you will diminish its fuel economy as well as increase the amount of wind noise it produces.
  2. Traditional rooftop tents are extremely difficult to hoist onto or off of your rig due to their weight, and their size makes them quite difficult to store.
  3. Is this a product you’d be willing to spend hundreds of dollars on based on all of this information?
  4. In comparison to the SuperLite 50, traditional rooftop tents such as this one all appear to be based on the same design, weigh around twice as much as the SuperLite 50, and fold up into a very tall and unattractive canvas bundle.
  5. (Photo courtesy of Jinlee Outdoor Supplies Co.)

Why We Want Rooftop Tents

Despite my cynicism, I understand the appeal, as I also live in a tent when camping. In my Ford Ranger, the GFC Platform camper increases secure storage space in the bed while reducing the amount of stuff I have to carry back there. It also creates a cohesive indoor-outdoor living area that makes camping out of the truck feel like staying in a cabana, which is exactly what I was looking for. When I’m setting up or taking down camp, it takes less than five minutes, and it allows me to do it on surfaces that aren’t favorable to ground tents.

All of this, however, comes at a tremendous expense.

That expense, as well as the requirement for a truck on which it may be mounted, is justified in my life since I enjoy camping so much that I’ve turned it into a profession.

This is where the SuperLite 50 comes in.

Because the new Bronco will not be available for purchase until next spring, this image is clearly a rendering. However, the overall dimensions depicted above should be true, and the SuperLite 50 will be the only hardshell rooftop tent that can be securely transported on the vehicle’s roof. (GFC)

A Rooftop Tent for Everyone

The SuperLite was particularly designed by the GFC team to address the issues that existed inside the traditional rooftop tent area. It provides all of the benefits of rooftop tents while eliminating practically all of the drawbacks. On the majority of passenger vehicles and SUVs, the roofs have a dynamic load rating of around 150 pounds. For cars with sophisticated detachable roofs, such as the new Ford Bronco, which is rated to carry 100 pounds on the roof, the penalty could be lower. The SuperLite 50 is the only hard-shell rooftop tent that is light enough to be safely mounted on a vehicle of that size, and its 80-pound weight will allow one strong person, or two regular persons, to easily put it on and take it off.

Hard shell tents are often thinner and more aerodynamic as compared to bag tents, which collapse into ugly mounds of canvas when folded.

Having the ability to remove a rooftop tent when not in use is not only beneficial for fuel efficiency and wind noise, but it also extends the life of the roof structure itself.

When not in use, the SuperLite may be conveniently stored in your garage.

Even when closed, the tent is only six inches thick, so it shouldn’t take up much more room than a card table, due to its small footprint.

In order to increase UV protection, the roof and floor are constructed of a 600-denier ripstop polyester fabric.

With a honeycomb ripstop pattern on the 300-denier tent body, and full-length doors on the sides and back of the tent for panoramic views and maximum ventilation possibilities, the tent is also equipped with a zip-open insect netting.

It has a tarpaulin roof.

Considering that some purchasers would be seasoned campers with established bedding preferences and equipment, GFC does not want to offer you anything it does not believe you will use or benefit from.

It comes with fitted bedding, and the entire set is tailored to suit the SuperLite 50 mattress perfectly.

Deliveries will begin in November, and you may start putting down a deposit right away.

Being able to move it on and off my own, much alone stow it flat against the wall of a garage, is an impressive feat of engineering.

It is as simple to set up as it is to take it apart.

Either action will take approximately the same amount of time to finish as it did to read this line.

The GFC intends to find out.

The company’s NORRA racing truck is equipped with a SuperLite 50 lighting system. (GFC)

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