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How to Choose a Roof-Top Tent

Since camping has been all over the world since Homo erectus first emerged from in the forest, it doesn’t appear that there are many advancements left regarding the practice of camping under the stars. However, tents with roofs that are set on their high perches, are receiving lots of double-takes from camping enthusiasts who live in the ground.

If you’re considering buying an open-air tent Here’s the information you’ll have to be aware of.

The pros and cons to tents with roofs Fast setup vs. higher costs are the main factors.

What do you know about what tent is compatible with your vehicle: Review the your tent, vehicle and rack specifications carefully prior to purchasing.

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

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

The appeal of a roof-top Tent

Although roof-top tents have become an instant hit within the U.S. in recent years but they’ve been in use for a long time, and have gained more acceptance in countries like Australia in which camping above the area of creepy crawlies was immediately recognized as a brilliant concept.

A lot of roof-top tent owners discuss how a high view resonates with them at a fundamental level. Maybe it’s an ode to childhood and the fascination with trees and treehouses, or perhaps deeper within our minds that we used to sleep in the trees to observe our surroundings from a secure position before drifting off into dreamland.

The advantages of a Roof-Top Tent

Pitching is easy: It’s designed to be quick-setup. After you’ve set up camp, take off a few straps, unzip it and then deploy the ladder and poles.

The construction of a beefy structure is generally the tent fabric, floor and pole material are more sturdy and can withstand the elements of stormy weather.

The comfort: Many have a luxurious foam mattress.

Camp wherever: Set up in a park, parking lot, dirt track in remote locations or wherever.

The tent should be elevated above the ground. Make sure your tent’s floor is free of runoff from rainwater as well as crawling creatures, sticks and rocks.

Make sure you are on the same level as your surroundings: strategically placed rocks or blocks under your tires can help keep your camp on a level foot.

The cons of a Roof-Top Tent (yes, there are some)

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

Aerodynamic drag: The more you speed the more drag you will experience (and the impact it has on the gas mileage or battery use).

The initial roof attachment is an exercise in itself. You must decide if would like to take on the hassle of removing it during camping trips.

Day trips can be complicated: It’s impossible to set it up while you drive away from your camp for the long haul.

Installing a Roof-Top Tent on your vehicle

The majority of roof-top tents weigh more than 100 pounds, therefore you must be certain that the rack you choose can handle the load. If you do not have a roof rack in place, you’ll have to think about the weight of your tent when you are looking for a rack that will serve as the foundation. The specifications you require aren’t always readily available and you may have to reach out to your car manufacturer and the manufacturer of your rack directly to obtain the data you require.

To determine if a roof-top tent is compatible with your vehicle, search the following info:

The total weight of the tent: This should be stated in the specifications of the tent’s manufacturer.

Dynamic capacity for weight: This is the capacity to support the tent weight when you’re driving. It is important to confirm this spec on both your vehicle and the roof rack. If you’re placing the tent on a separate bought roof rack, you need to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual to determine the roof’s capacity for dynamic weight and the owner’s manual of your rack for the same specification. Racks made by brands such as Yakima, Thule and others generally have higher capacities for load than the factory racks.

Rack compatibility: Refer to the manual of the owner to make certain that the rack is compatible with a tent that is roof-top. (Some racks and components are marked in the manual as “not suitable.”)

Static capacity for weight: The capacity to the rack (and the roof of your vehicle) to hold its specified number of sleepers as well as their equipment is rarely an issue. The majority of car roofs are designed to stand up to the rigors of loads related to a rollover. Combine that with the load distribution offered by the solid tent-floor platform and the additional support offered by the ladder, and you’ve got an extremely sturdy structure. However, you must confirm that the weight capacity on your vehicle as well as your rack can support the weight of your tent as well as everyone else in it, and their sleeping equipment.

Connecting the Tent to Your Roof Rack

Although setup is easy after you have driven your vehicle to camp, the initial procedure of attaching the camper to the rack is going to take a bit of time. Follow the instructions for installation carefully. You’ll also require at least one sturdy partner close by since you’ll require assistance to raise the tent onto the roof rack.

Additional Shopping Tips

The most important thing to consider is determining which tents can work with the load capacity of your rack for vehicles. Then, there are several factors to think about:

Annexes, awnings or annexes Certain models have extra living spaces or covered areas. Some tents allow the possibility of adding an awning later.

Levels of durability: While the majority of roof-top tents are robust, a few brands also offer ultra-rugged models that are designed to last for long-term use in harsh conditions. Certain brands also provide all-mesh canopies for those who want them.

Hardtops: Fabric versions are cheaper; they also keep items more secure as you drive.

Cost of shipping: Shopping in store is a good option however some models may be only available on the internet. Since it’s a large product that is expensive to ship to your house Find alternatives such as REI’s choice to ship to stores for free.

Test before buying Find a rental company which rents roof-top tents require some investigation however, it could pay dividends, as your primary goal is deciding whether this higher version of life in a van is right for you.

Other Tents that attach to your vehicle

The latest innovations in tents that attach to top of your vehicle have led to the creation of alternative tents that can be attached to other components of a vehicle, such as the tailgate of an SUV, or the bed of the pickup truck. The benefit of some of these configurations is that they permit you to put up the tent, and then drive the vehicle away on short trips.