Die-hard roof top tent owners rave about camping on the car roof: The proximity to nature and the elements, the view from above and in general, the attitude to life as a roof sleeper, wonderful! Anyone who has caught fire should not act too hastily in buying a roof top tents, after all, roof top tents are not exactly cheap. It starts at about 1500 dollars, and then for 8,000 dollars there is the high-end version. If you want to be on the safe side, try the roof top tent and the various models first and see what suits you and your car. Hard shell or folding roof tent? These questions need to be clarified, because who likes to buy a pig in a poke? The options for trial living are: rent a roof tent or buy a used roof rack tent.
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What should be considered in general?
When buying a sofa or a mattress, sitting or lying down to test it, is an absolute must, and this should also be the case with the roof top tent. These are generally much more comfortable than conventional ground tents (they will be a positive surprise for anyone who has “normally” camped), but it is about more than the comfort of the mattresses supplied. You should feel comfortable in and with the tent, even during the day and on rainy days. It should be compatible with the car and offer enough space for all fellow travelers. The fundamental question also needs to be clarified: does the hard-top, i.e. a hard-shell tent, suit me better, with a reasonably solid roof over my head and a more humid climate? Or do I like the airy feeling of a folding roof tent with more space to sit and lie down?
Rent a roof top tent and just try it out
As a non-insider you hardly believe it, but in the united states and in canada there are now many options for renting a roof top tent. We can highly recommend the platform Gear-Rental.com, where many people also offer roof top tents that you can rent for any period of time and thus test whether a roof top tent is right for you or whether you prefer it want to stay with your ground tent.
Browsing and comparing is definitely worthwhile, on the website of gear-rental.com you will find many different private individuals who lend a roof top tent. It is of course best if you find someone close to you who lends a roof top tent, so you can save yourself the expensive shipping and return shipping. Rental rates range from about $ 100 to $ 250 a week. But you must not forget the security fee that you have to pay to the platform. (You will of course get this security fee back immediately when you have returned the roof top tent)
Checklist (rent a roof top tent)
Things to test with a rented roof top tent:
- Can I get along well with the assembly and dismantling?
- Is there enough (sleeping) space for all fellow travelers and the equipment? Storage space?
- Hard-top or folding roof tent, i.e. roof box or tarpaulin package?
- How is the feeling of living? Do I need an awning or can I do without it?
- How do you feel asleep?
- Do I like to feel the elements (wind on the tent wall, moisture, noise) or do I prefer it a little more isolated?
- Is the assembly of the cross bars compatible with my car (roof bars)?
- Do I like the look?
Buy used roof top tent – know how
If you can answer yes to the basic question of whether you like roof top tent camping, you are already one step further and can study the classifieds and search for used roof top tents. The used roof top tent market is a good alternative to a high-priced new ground tent, especially if you only use it a few days a year.
Craigslist, Ebay and even Amazon offer second-hand used roof top tents for car roofs under the heading roof top tents. In the Facebook group “Rooftop Tents buy & sell”, used roof top tents are also sold.
What do I have to look out for when buying a used roof top tent?
The tent tarpaulin should always be checked for mold stains (especially in the corners), as well as holes and tears (especially at the seams). Hard shell tents shouldn’t have any cracks in the shell. Also important: are the attachment points intact? Is the roof top tent complete? Are the zippers working? Are the fly nets tight?
Newcomers to the roof top tent market are likely to be surprised that some of the older tents are still being sold for several hundred or just over 1,000 dollars. This is due to the mostly very good quality of the tent fabrics and poles used, which do not deteriorate in value.
Checklist (used purchase)
Things I should clarify before buying a used roof top tent:
- What is the permissible roof load of my car?
- What is the maximum permissible mass?
- Can I handle the assembly and, above all, the assembly and dismantling?
- Does my car manufacturer offer appropriate roof mountings for the cross members?
- Retractable roof or hard shell tent?
- In which regions would I mainly like to travel: warm or rather cold regions?
- How many people should be able to sleep in the tent?
Now we wish you a lot of fun looking for your new roof top tent!
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!