Are you considering whether you should buy a rooftop tent? A rooftop tent is ideal for camping trips. You can sleep (almost) anywhere your vehicle goes, and rooftop tents offer a lot of space and more comfort than a ground tent.
But if you don’t want to drive around with the rooftop tent on the roof of your vehicle all the time, you’re probably wondering whether you can simply remove the rooftop tent.
A rooftop tent is relatively easy to assemble and disassemble on the vehicle roof.
Of course, it always depends on the size of the rooftop tent and how easy it is to assemble and disassemble. For example, there are roof tents for 4 to 6 people that are heavier and do not make it that easy to assemble or disassemble the rooftop tent.
But if you have a garage or carport, for example, you can install a lift system on the ceiling with which you can assemble and disassemble the rooftop tent yourself.
Here is the quick answer to the question of whether rooftop tents are removable:
Yes, rooftop tents are removable! Rooftop tents can be assembled and disassembled relatively quickly on the roof of the vehicle. You only need a lift system that allows you to lift the rooftop tent onto and off the vehicle roof easily and effortlessly.
Assembling and dismantling a rooftop tent with a rooftop tent lift system takes about 30 minutes.
How is a rooftop tent attached to the vehicle roof?
All rooftop tents are mounted on the vehicle roof in the same way. Your vehicle must have roof rails and roof cross bars. The rooftop tent is bolted to the crossbars from below with four clamps. You only need an ordinary wrench for assembly.
The hardest part is actually just lifting the rooftop tent onto the roof of the vehicle. It always depends on the size of the roof tent and how heavy the rooftop tent is. But even smaller rooftop tents weigh 80 to 100 pounds. Of course, larger rooftop tents weigh a lot more.
So you see, the most difficult part of assembling the rooftop tent is lifting the rooftop tent onto the roof of the vehicle. Therefore, I would like to give you a few tips on how you can lift the rooftop tent onto the roof of the vehicle without any effort, or how you can dismantle it again.
This makes the assembly and disassembly of the rooftop tent even easier
There are also so-called “Roof Top Tent Quick Release Mounts”, which make it even easier and faster to assemble and remove the rooftop tent.
However, the disadvantage of such quick-release mounting brackets is that theft is made easier. Since no tools are required for these quick-release brackets, everyone will then loosen the rooftop tent by hand.
For this reason, I cannot recommend you use these brackets. Since assembly with normal screws or nuts does not take too long, it is not worth buying the quick-release brackets.
The tent lift system
A tent lift system makes it much easier for you to assemble the rooftop tent quickly and without any problems or to remove it from the vehicle roof again.
With the tent lift system, you can fix the rooftop tent at four points, loosen the screws and then simply pull the rooftop tent up and remove it easily.
The advantage of a tent lift system is that you can easily assemble and remove the roof tent yourself.
When buying a tent lift system that you want to mount on the ceiling of your garage or carport, you have to make sure that the lift system is able to carry the weight of the rooftop tent. You should also make sure that the rooftop tent is securely attached to the ceiling. Make sure that you use dowels and screws that are able to bear the weight.
You can find these lift systems in your local Walmart, for example, or in various online shops (Amazon, eBay, etc.). There is usually no roof lift system that is specifically designed for rooftop tents. But you can buy a lift system that is intended for rooftop boxes. (But always pay attention to the permissible load)
How long does it take to assemble or remove a rooftop tent?
Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer here. In my experience, removing or installing a rooftop tent takes about 30 minutes.
Of course, it always depends on how often you have already assembled and disassembled the rooftop tent. The more often you’ve done it, the quicker it goes since you already know exactly how to do it and the best way to get to the screws.
It also depends on which tools you use to assemble or disassemble the rooftop tent. If you are using an overhead lift system, it will likely go very quickly.
If you don’t have a ceiling lift system and you have to manually lift it onto the vehicle roof, it will likely take a little longer.
It makes sense to remove a rooftop tent when you are not using it
Normally you only go camping with your rooftop tent at the weekend. During the weekday, you will likely use your vehicle to drive to work, take your kids to school, or go shopping.
The disadvantage, if you have a rooftop tent permanently on the vehicle roof, is that the rooftop tent negatively affects the aerodynamics of the vehicle.
If you drive permanently with the rooftop tent on the vehicle roof, your fuel consumption will increase and the vehicle’s driving dynamics will deteriorate because the vehicle’s center of gravity is shifted further upwards.
For this reason, it makes sense that you remove the rooftop tent if you don’t need it!
Download Our Roof Top Tent Overview (PDF)
In this pdf file, we give you an overview of the most popular rooftop tents. You can download this PDF file for free and use it freely!