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What to know about rooftop tents

How do I choose a roof tent? How can you make sure that it fits in your car? These questions and many more are answered by us!
Roof top tents were designed for campers who are passionate about adventure. These tents are lightweight and easy to set up, making them great for camping in the wilderness.

It is time to get out of your tent and walk amongst the treetops. There are many things you need to know before you make that move. You can find the complete guide here to answer your most pressing questions.

For roof tent camping Scotland head on over to Rooftop Campers.

Why purchase a roof tent?

Rooftop tents offer many benefits:

The adventure. Rooftop tents provide a unique opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors regardless of the weather conditions. These tents can withstand the elements. They can handle bad weather better that ground tents and can also be used in difficult terrain, unlike RVs.

The view. The view from your tent is easy to see when you are higher than the ground. Roof top tents can be fitted with sky panels that allow you to drift off and gaze at the stars.

Easy to set-up. Rooftop tents can easily be set up and taken down within minutes. There is no need to tie a lot of poles together and place them in the ground as a ground tent. Just unfold the tent and you are done. This will allow you to spend more time exploring the area and less time setting up your camp.

Comfort. Comfort. Most roof-top tents come with built-in mattress which is much more comfortable than a blow-up mattress (especially one that has been deflated). Because the bedding is still inside the tent, you can easily jump in once the tent has been opened. Flat floors mean that you won’t have any knobby stones rubbing your back in the night.

Keeps you clean and dry. These tents keep you dry and safe from mud, snow and other creatures

For all weather. Rooftop tents are more resistant to extreme weather than ground tents.

Comparison of a rooftop tent and a trailer

A rooftop tent is cheaper than a trailer camper van, RV or camper van but can still be used as a mobile home. This makes them more portable and can be carried on any vehicle. These tents are also able to handle bumpy terrain, making it ideal for off-road adventures.

For those who want to live in a home-away-from-home, an RV, trailer or van is the best option. Because they are bigger, they can be less flexible than rooftop tents.

How do you use a tent on a roof?

How to set up a roof tent?

Before you can go camping, it is necessary to mount the roof tent to your vehicle. Different roof top tents have different installation methods. However, most tents can be mounted to your vehicle using the following steps:

Place the tent onto the roof rack of the car and slide it into position.
Attach the mounting hardware provided to secure your tent.

You can refer to the manual for your specific tent for further instructions.

How to use the rooftop tent

What do you do once you reach your destination? Pop-up and fold-out are both options. They are faster than traditional ground tents.

Fold-out is common with soft-shell roof tents. Simply remove the travel cover, take out the ladder and unfold your tent. Once the ladder reaches the floor, adjust it so that you can enjoy the tent.

Pop-up is most commonly used for hard-shell roof-top tents. The tent will pop-up if you unlatch all the latches. It’s so easy!

How long does it take for a rooftop tent to be opened?

This is the exact question that roof top tent enthusiasts are interested in. Rooftop tents can usually be opened and ready to use in approximately three to four minutes if they are properly timed.

It can take between 4-6 minutes to open the tent, set up the rainflyrods, and then put it back together. The process of setting up hard-shell tents is usually faster, as there are no rain fly rods or other extra features.

A roof top tent can be used anywhere you want to camp.

Your tent can be set up anywhere camping is permitted. Camping is allowed on certain campsites and in designated parking areas. You can check the guidelines for your local authorities to find out if camping with a car is allowed. Apps such as iOverlander, or Allstays can help you locate places where camping is permitted in your region.

Which kind of rooftop tent do you need?

After you have learned how to use a rooftop shelter, the next question that arises is “Which rooftop tent is best?” When choosing your new mobile home, here are some things to remember.

Hard shell roof top tent vs. soft shell roof roof top tent

Hard shell roof top tents: You can open a hardshell tent by simply releasing some latches. Because they can be set up and taken down in a fraction of the time it takes to erect a soft shell roof top tent, they are also easier than other types. Because they are usually made of strong material such as aluminum or ABS plastic, they can withstand wind and rain. They are great for overlanding or off-roading. Hard-shell tents can also be used as cargo boxes for extra storage or to be used in the off-season.

Soft shell roof top tents – These tents are the most commonly used. The one side is attached to your car’s roof rack, the other is supported by a ladder. The ladder can be pulled down to open the tent. Soft shell tents can be larger than hard shell. The largest roof top tent can accommodate four people. An annex can also be attached to soft-shell tents, which gives you extra space under the tent.

What is the best roof tent?

For families

The largest roof tents have a maximum weight of 650 lbs. It can hold up to 290kg, making it ideal as a 4-person tent. You can also add a roof top tent annex to give you more space to get your children ready for the day, or a place to sleep. Thule Tepui Autana 4 can be used in any season and offers protection in all environments.

Short trips and weekends

A compact lightweight tent for your car’s roof is perfect if you are an explorer who loves short weekend getaways or staying at a campsite. Thule Tepuifoothill is a tent that frees up space on your car’s roof. This tent is great for small cars like crossovers and wagons. You can even bring along additional equipment such as a kayak or bike.

For adventurers

Choose a tent designed to be used on long journeys out into the hinterlands. Thule Tepui Hybox rooftop tents made from hardshell material are strong enough to withstand rain and wind. This tent is great for your 4X4 or off-road vehicle.

Rooftop tent accessories and features

How does one heat a roof-top tent? Car top tents are typically warmer than ground tents for the majority of their material. There are also benefits to being elevated above the cold ground.
A roof top tent can be equipped with an annex. A few roof top tents include a removable annex. This allows you to have more space for dressing up before going out on a day exploring, or gives you extra storage space to store your gear.
Bedding: The roof top tent’s fitted mattress allows you to get a restful night’s sleep. It is already in place so all that is needed is to open it and climb in.
Anti-condensation Mat: Placed on the floor, this mat keeps the inside of your tent from getting damp and musty.
Boot bags: Keep your boots dry by hanging a bag outside your tent.

How do I know if my vehicle can use a roof-top tent?

We are aware of how crucial it is to ensure your rooftop tent is secure. Your tent should fit your car perfectly. These are some factors to consider when determining if a tent fits your vehicle.

Capacity for weight

Dynamic weight capacity is how much weight your car can transport while driving. This is the maximum weight your vehicle manufacturer specifies. It is basically the roof tent’s weight.
The static weight capability, on other hand, refers to the car’s weight when it is parked, the tent has been set up, and the ladder added. Because the ladder provides extra support, the static capacity is often three times higher than the dynamic. This indicates the total weight required to carry the tent and those sleeping inside.