Roof top tents are a great. With them you can be incomparably close to nature and still enjoy comfort. Depending on your own needs, it can also make sense to mount your roof top tent on a trailer. This not only creates space in the car and on the car roof, but also makes the car itself more flexible. How do you mount a roof top tent on a trailer?
A roof top tent is mounted on the trailer using specific fixings. These fastenings vary depending on the type and construction of the trailer and must be adapted to this.
There are therefore countless ways in which you can mount your roof top tent on your trailer. There are no limits to your creativity here.
Since I’ve been thinking about how to attach a roof top tent to the trailer, I would like to share some food for thought with you in the following lines.
I can only make general considerations here, as the project completely depends on which tent you have and which trailer you will be using.
The assembly of the roof top tent on the trailer
Let’s start with the roof top tent
I just assume that you already have a roof top tent and that for reasons – such as more space in the car or on the car roof, mobility and the like – you got the idea to mount your roof top tent on a trailer.
How big and heavy is your roof top tent? Of course, the choice of trailer depends on these two factors. There are many different trailers to buy, there are good trailers, and there are bad trailers too. In this article we assume that you own or want to buy a high quality trailer. If you have an old and unsafe trailer, you should definitely buy a new trailer that meets all safety regulations!
Most roof top tents, on the other hand, are fastened in such a way that they can be easily fastened to several cross bars.
Let’s continue with the trailer
This should ideally be at least as wide as your roof top tent (when closed). This guarantees you more stability when driving and also makes the assembly easier for you.
On which trailer can you mount the roof tent?
Actually on everyone. It should be at least a basic trailer (1650 lbs unbraked or 2900 to 3300 lbs braked). This can easily cope with your roof top tent.
In any case, make sure that the frame of the trailer is strong enough that it can withstand the construction you are building on it.
Ultimately, the whole thing has to be roadworthy and comply with the law, because you are responsible for your trailer.
The trailer supports
It is important that you mount the trailer supports right at the beginning. You absolutely need it so that you can safely set up your roof top tent. The trailer supports help the trailer to stand stable and not to tip over with you and the roof top tent.
The roof tent carrier
Last but not least, you have to assemble the most important thing and that is the brackets. Here you can get really creative. For example, you can weld them together yourself or have someone help you with it. The frame can be flush with the trailer wall or protrude vertically above it.
The higher the roof top tent is mounted above the trailer, the less stable the construction becomes. To be on the safe side, get someone who is familiar with vehicles and who has manual skills. Maybe there is someone in your circle of friends who could help you with the project.
As an alternative to the frame, you can also mount a wooden plate on the trailer and then screw the roof top tent onto it. The whole thing can then be attached to one side with a hinge. This allows you to fold up the plate including the roof top tent to access the interior of the trailer.
Otherwise you can also use roof racks that you buy or may already have at home. You then attach these to the trailer using screws, rivets or welded seams.
What tools do you need to mount the roof top tent on the trailer?
- Wrench set
- Welding machine
- Angle grinder
- Rust protection
What material do you need to mount the roof top tent on the trailer?
- Square iron
- Wooden panel
- Rust protection
Do not forget to wear suitable protective equipment at work.
You will probably need one or the other special tool and material as well. This is just an example.
Before you start assembly …
… you will probably make a plan and everything that goes with it.
The following questions can help you to design the project right from the start so that it also meets your requirements afterwards:
- Should the roof top tent be height-adjustable on the trailer?
- Should the interior of the trailer be open, closed or even waterproof?
- What do you want to transport on the trailer in addition to the roof top tent?
- Will you only be using it on normal roads or does your trailer need off-road properties
- Should the trailer then also serve as a charging station for your devices? (Possibly install a second battery?)
Offroad with a roof top tent on the trailer?
The offroad enthusiasts are of course already familiar with this possibility. But for someone who doesn’t know it, the following is probably interesting to know.
People don’t just build their own roof top tent on ordinary trailers to drive over paved roads, they build off-road trailers.
Of course, the roof top tent should not be missing on these off-road trailers. There are now some companies that offer this type of trailer ready-made. But there are also homemade ones.
The self-made off-road trailers with roof top tent are mostly converted old military trailers on which everything is screwed and welded on with a lot of creativity, what the off-road heart can desire.
What are the advantages of the roof top tent on the trailer?
Whether you just mount your roof top tent on an ordinary trailer or you are the proud owner of an off-road trailer: the fact is, there are advantages to traveling like this:
- The car roof is free for bicycles, surfboards, snowboards or transport boxes, for example
- More space in the interior of the vehicle, because if you have not mounted the roof top tent directly on the trailer floor, but have installed its bracket higher, there is an unbelievable amount of storage space directly in the trailer
- Mobility: One of the most important points is the flexibility that you gain when you put the roof top tent on the trailer. Now you can set up the camp and go shopping independently by car, for example.
the better solution for families precisely for the reasons just mentioned
- Trailer with roof top tent takes up the same space as the house garage
- the roof top tent is easier to remove from a trailer than from a car roof
What are the disadvantages of the roof top tent on the trailer?
If there are advantages, there are disadvantages. But we probably all know that. Here are a few disadvantages:
- the most obvious reason first: the trailer itself!
- difficult parking in parking lots
- can easily be stolen with all the trimmings
- lower maximum speed
- the optics may still be
- When not in use, it takes up a lot of space in the house garage
The trailer must be insured
Boring but important topic that I want to address at least here. First of all, I would like to say that this is not legal advice and only my personal opinion.
Therefore, it is best to find out exactly which regulations are to be applied in your specific case.
As far as I know, the trailer and the roof top tent must be insured separately. So of course it doesn’t matter whether the roof top tent is on it.
Furthermore, there is an obligation to register the trailer as an independent vehicle and in order to get the authorization, the trailer must have insurance.
Here we found another exciting video on the subject of roof top tent trailer construction. There you can see a good example of someone building a roof top tent trailer. Just look at it…
Also very interesting and informative:
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!