Can You Take Your Dog Into The Roof Top Tent?

I’ve always owned dogs and of course I’m an avid roof top tent camper. When I am out and about with the roof top tent, the dog cannot sleep outside or in the car, so I quickly got my dogs used to the roof top tent. Once your dog has got used to the tent on the roof of the car, it is no problem at all for the dog.

But for you as an outdoor and dog lover, I asked some dog owners online and asked how they do it so that their dog can get into the roof tent. Below you can find out about the different methods.

How does the dog get into the roof tent?

A dog can get into the roof tent in the following ways:

  • by lifting the dog into the roof top tent by the dog owner
  • over the ladder, the rungs of which are widened and non-slip
  • by the dog jumping over the owner’s back into the roof top tent
  • over the hood
  • just let it jump in without help (possible with a roof top tent on the trailer)

These are the most common ways the dog gets into the roof top tent.

Now we will look at these 5 possibilities in detail so that you can find out which is most suitable for you and your four-legged friend.

I assume that you are a responsible person and good dog owner and that you not only do what is written below, but everything that serves to ensure that you and your dog are not harmed when entering the roof tent.

So now that’s been said and we can get started.

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Lift the dog into the roof top tent

During my research, I found that the most common way people get their beloved four-legged friend into the roof top tent is to simply lift them into the roof tent.

Of course, several factors are important here: Your strength and skill, as well as the size and weight of the dog.

Most dogs that do not weigh more than 45 pounds are simply carried into the roof top tent by their dog owners. But if you are strong enough, you can of course also lift a heavier dog into the roof top tent. Of course, you have to assess for yourself whether you think you can do it. You also have to be careful not to lose your balance on the ladder.

Dog comes over the ladder into the roof top tent

I know from my own experience how well some dogs can climb. So it doesn’t surprise me that some dogs can even climb up the ladder of the roof top tent.

Of course, the ladder must also be suitable for this.

With a ladder with rungs that are too narrow and slippery, extreme caution is required, as the dog could injure itself and have a bad experience in the process.

In order to avoid such a bad experience for the dog and possibly to risk that he gets afraid of climbing the ladder into the roof top tent, you will probably make the endeavor as safe and easy as possible for your dog.

For example, if you have a telescopic ladder, you can widen the individual rungs with aluminum plates so that the dog has a decent grip when climbing into the roof top tent.

Make sure that you position the ladder as flat as possible, but that it is still steep enough to be able to carry the dog and does not bend.

So when you have positioned the ladder in this way, you can attach the aluminum plates horizontally to the rungs and glue non-slip rubber mats on them.

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With a little help, or perhaps even on their own, your dog can use a ladder modified in this way to get into and out of the roof top tent.

A ladder that has been modified in this way can also be easily pushed back together and all the aluminum plates should then lie nicely on top of one another.

For additional safety for your dog when getting on and off it is advisable to buy a good harness with wide straps.

Dog jumps over the back into the roof top tent

Yes exactly. There is also that! Dogs do that and as a dog owner you probably know that. I could well imagine that with our Border Collie (Cooper), who is effectively agile and brave enough to do so. Of course, you need the right dog for this method and it all depends on whether he enjoys it. Because if he doesn’t enjoy it, he probably won’t do it anyway.

In order to make the whole undertaking easier, in the best case you have a lower car and thus your roof top tent is also lower. I imagine jumping over the back into the roof tent is more difficult on tall off-roaders.

Dog comes over the hood into the roof top tent

Another possibility is to use your hood as an entry for your dog into the roof top tent. Whether you want to or can expect this from your car is up to you.

Depending on how your roof top tent is positioned on your car or where openings or entrances are located, the method is quite easy to implement.

With the folding roof tent you only have one entrance. So you would have to turn the tent so that it opens forward over the hood and your dog can go into the roof tent. That would be a possibility, but it strongly depends on the construction of your roof tent and your car.

With a hard shell roof tent with gas pressure springs, you will most likely also have windows on the side that you can open completely. If your dog is agile enough, he could jump over the hood into the roof top tent on his own or with your help.

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If you don’t have a jeep or other off-roader that has a sturdy bonnet, you can protect it with a rubber mat and at the same time your dog gets more support on its way into your roof top tent.

Dog comes in the roof top tent trailer

If the above options are not feasible for you and your dog, there is still the option of mounting a roof tent tent on a trailer.

A trailer is apparently lower than a car roof and it would probably not be a problem for your dog to jump into a roof tent that is only mounted the lower height of a trailer.

On the other hand, the low height of the trailer makes it easier for you to lift your dog into the roof top tent.

By the way, a roof tent trailer also offers more sleeping comfort. It is usually equipped with a slatted frame and normal mattress.

Alternatives to the dog in the roof top tent

If the idea of ​​taking your dog into the roof top tent is not possible for any reason – maybe because the roof top tent is too high or your dog does not want to be in the roof top tent at all, then there are the following alternatives:

  • leave it in the dog box in the car
  • in the car freely on a mattress
  • in the awning of the roof top tent
  • Some dogs also like to sleep under the car if the ground clearance allows it

For all those dogs who, for reasons of size and weight, or simply do not want to be in the roof top tent, there are suitable dog boxes and mattresses with which you can make your four-legged friend comfortable in the car or in the annex.

If you are concerned that your dog may be too cold in the car, you can upgrade your car with a parking heater.

The dog ramps for older or sick dogs are also practical, as they allow them to easily and comfortably climb into the trunk of the car to make themselves comfortable there.

If you have any more ideas about camping with a dog and a roof top tent, then you can write them in the comments!