breakfast inside the rooftop tent

Set Up A Small Camping Kitchen In Your Rooftop Tent

Rooftop tents are very practical when camping and are also becoming increasingly popular around the world. Rooftop tents have the great advantage that you can mount the rooftop tent on almost any vehicle, turning your boring vehicle into a comfortable camper.

With a rooftop tent, you can stay overnight wherever your vehicle goes. (But please always pay attention to the current legal regulations when it comes to camping, in some regions “wild camping” is not permitted, but only allowed on special “official campsites”)

But what if you get hungry on your camping trip and there isn’t a Mcdonald’s or KFC nearby? Then you have no choice but to cook for yourself. But cooking yourself while camping is also what makes a camping trip so exciting.

You have to make something to eat at least three times a day. And sometimes it is not possible to operate the grill outside, sometimes it rains, or not practical.

If you want to make breakfast, for example, you don’t always want to turn on the charcoal or gas grill. Of course, you can also make yourself a simple sandwich in your rooftop tent, but sometimes we just feel like an extensive breakfast.

Therefore, I would like to give you a few tips and tricks on the subject of “cooking in the rooftop tent”, which I am writing here from my personal experiences.

What do you need for a small, comfortable camping kitchen in the rooftop tent?

If you are on a camping trip with your rooftop tent, you will of course need less kitchen equipment than if you want to make breakfast in your fully equipped kitchen at home.

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But you don’t have to do without the entire comfort. Therefore, I would like to show you a few practical camping kitchen gadgets that will definitely make your camping life easier.

Mini electric kitchen station: With a kitchen station you can, for example, make a great breakfast or a small dinner. This electric camping kitchen is powered by electricity, so you can also operate this camping kitchen inside the rooftop tent.

When working with gas there would always be a risk of fire and gas-powered appliances also produce dangerous carbon monoxide. Therefore, you should only ever use electrically operated devices in the rooftop tent.


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Electric hotplate: If you want to cook pasta or fry something in a pan, an electric hotplate is a must.

Here you can boil water or fry the meat in a pan. This electric heating plate does not take up much space and can be stowed away quickly and easily in the trunk of your vehicle after use.


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Camping fridge: A camping fridge is very important if you want to take meat, sausage, or cheese with you, for example. Of course, you need a fridge to keep the groceries safe. With a camping fridge, you also protect the food from animals and prevent the smell of the food from spreading and thus attracting wild animals. Likewise, fresh food must also be cooled when camping to prevent the food from spoiling.


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Can you leave the camping kitchen permanently in the rooftop tent?

It always depends on how big or long your rooftop tent is! For example, if you own a small triangle rooftop tent or sleep with several people in the roof tent, you must of course stow the camping kitchen in the trunk of your vehicle in the evening or at night to have enough space to sleep.

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With smaller rooftop tents you have to put the camping kitchen out of the tent and into your vehicle in the evening to be able to sleep comfortably.

However, if you have a very large rooftop tent, such as the “Smittybilt Overlander XL”, then you can also leave the camping kitchen in the tent overnight.

With larger rooftop tents, you can also leave the camping kitchen in the tent permanently. However, if you sleep with several people in the tent, make sure that nobody bumps into the camping station in the tent at night and that the camping kitchen is not covered by blankets or mattresses.

Of course, you have to make sure that you don’t accidentally bump into the camping kitchen at night and possibly knock over pots or other camping kitchen equipment.

You must also make sure that the devices are disconnected from the power supply in the evening or at night to prevent any accidents or fire hazards. Likewise, the devices must not be covered by your sleeping bag or camping mattress!

What is the best way to generate electricity on the campground to operate the camping kitchen?

The advantage of electrical devices is that you don’t have to take large gas bottles with you to operate devices. Likewise, electrical appliances are also safer as gas-powered appliances produce harmful and dangerous carbon monoxide.

For example, you can use the power from the car battery to operate electrical devices. You can easily connect an inverter to the car battery, which converts 12 volts into 110 or 220 volts in order to also operate larger electrical devices.


The only problem is that these devices require a lot of electricity and your car battery has relatively little capacity. It can therefore happen that the camping kitchen draws all the power from the car battery and you can no longer start your car.

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The better alternative is if you generate electricity with a power station and solar cells. You can set up solar panels anywhere and store the generated energy in the power station. Solar panels also generate electricity in bad weather or cloudy skies.


The more solar panels you set up, the more energy you generate, which you can then use to operate your electrical devices.

As a backup solution, it is always very useful to have a small diesel or petrol generator with you. If the batteries of the solar power generator should be empty or you need electricity quickly, you can fall back on this backup solution.


Rooftop Tent Annex as an alternative location for your camping kitchen

If you have the option of attaching an annex to your rooftop tent, then this additional space is also ideal for setting up a camping kitchen there.

A rooftop tent annex offers enough space to set up several devices safely and securely there. The manufacturer Thule offers the possibility of attaching an annex to the tents for many of its tents.


So you can go straight from the roof tent into the “awning” and cook there.

Another advantage of an annex is that you don’t have the camping kitchen appliances in the rooftop tent and they don’t bother you there at night. In an annex, you can also place a camping table and a camping chair to eat and rest even more comfortably.