Buying a used rooftop tent – The next vacation with your loved ones is coming up, you would like to go camping and travel in a rooftop tent? Not only are you super flexible on the go, but you also have an enormously large and comfortable sleeping area on your roof, which you can open in a few seconds, anytime, anywhere.
Now the only question left is whether you should rather buy a new or used rooftop tent or a new rooftop tent.
In this article, I would like to show you what you have to look out for when buying a used rooftop tent in order to have fun with the new roof tent for a long time.
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Tips on buying a used roof tent
Between cheap and branded tents
It was noticeable that you can find many cheap rooftop tents in the usual classified portals such as Craigslist or eBay. Usually, there are also names that you can google and thus learn something about the value. The cheap roof tents don’t have to be bad and are always sufficient if you only use them from time to time.
I was a bit skeptical about very cheap hard-shell tents without a name. Most can be found on Alibaba or AliExpress. But if you add customs and freight costs, buying from Alibaba or AliExpress is not worth it. So it can be good, but hard to say. You can definitely get a bargain if you have patience.
Buy a used rooftop tent? Disadvantages & Tips
You can buy a used rooftop tent from private dealers or, for example, on eBay. Depending on the equipment, condition, and date of purchase of the roof tent, you usually pay a little less than the new price. However, you can never know how the previous owners have treated the tent and how good the condition really is. The seller could possibly hide major defects from you that are not visible at first glance. The insulation could also no longer be as optimal over time, so the tent may leak on the way. Of course, it’s annoying if you only notice it in the middle of your trip.
Disadvantages of a used roof tent
- You don’t know how the previous owners treated the roof tent
- Most defects that are not visible at first glance
- Poor insulation, broken seams, etc.
- Age-related signs of wear
- If you have any questions or problems, you have no contact person
- Usually quite a high price (make sure to buy off-season)
Experiences with buying a rooftop tent
- With used roof tents from 1000 dollars upwards, it looks different. Especially with popular rooftop tent brands (Thule, iKamper, etc.). The prices are very high and the few used ones are available for collection, which causes additional costs.
- Some of the used ones were listed at new prices if they could not be bought anywhere else or had delivery times of 8-24 weeks. It is therefore worth looking for a rooftop tent in good time.
- It is always worth looking for cheap rooftop tents outside of the camping season. Outside of the camping season, the prices for used rooftop tents are usually much lower.
You should pay attention to this if you want to buy a used rooftop tent
A rooftop tent is a great option if you want to go camping with the whole family. You can quickly and easily set up the roof tent wherever your car can go (as long as it is allowed). New rooftop tents can be quite expensive. If you are not yet sure whether a rooftop tent is really the right thing for you, you can of course buy a cheap used rooftop tent first.
But you should pay attention to a few important details so that the next camping trip does not end in drama. Here I have put together a few important tips that you should definitely pay attention to when buying.
Here is a list of the most important things to look out for when buying a used rooftop tent:
- Is the rooftop tent complete? Make sure you have all the important parts. Is the ladder there and in good condition? Are the mounting brackets included to mount the roof tent on the vehicle?
- Are there tears in the fabric? If the fabric has tears, moisture and wind can of course penetrate the rooftop tent. However, small cracks can easily be repaired.
- Is the floor ok? Especially with older rooftop tents, it can happen that the floor is damaged or has cracks. Cracks or damage to the floor of a rooftop tent should be repaired quickly.
- Are the zippers ok? If the zippers are damaged, they can quickly become expensive and repair is not that easy.
- Watch out for hardshell rooftop tents. With hardshell rooftop tents, you should look out for cracks or damage to the shells. If these are damaged or cracked, repairing them is not that easy.
- Is there a cover? Soft-shell rooftop tents usually come with a cover, which is attached when driving with the roof tent to prevent wind noise and make the rooftop tent more aerodynamic.
- Mounting brackets. For mounting the rooftop tent on the vehicle roof, the mounting brackets must be in good condition. If the mounting brackets are damaged, it can quickly become expensive to get new mounting brackets. The mounting brackets are part of the rooftop tent and are not included with the roof cross bars of your vehicle.
- Mold. Some rooftop tents also have problems with mold. Humidity builds up automatically in a rooftop tent. If the RTT is not cleaned regularly, mold can form quickly.
- Smell inside. How does the tent smell inside? Did the owner smoke in the tent? Does the tent smell moldy inside? The smell of the interior is very important and can also be an indication of mold, smoking, or bad cleaning.
- Proof of purchase. Unfortunately, rooftop tents are being stolen more and more often. If a rooftop tent is not secured, it is relatively easy to steal an RTT. So make sure the seller is the rightful owner. It is best to have them show you an invoice or proof of purchase.
When all these things have been clarified, you can also buy a used rooftop tent!
Which platforms offer used rooftop tents?
Of course, if you buy a used rooftop tent, you always have to factor in the shipping costs. Here we have a selection of the most popular platforms for buying a used rooftop tent.
eBay – Of course, you can find some roof tents here. Advantages as a buyer are certainly the ratings of the seller.
Craigslist – Here you can find rooftop tents in your area
Facebook – Roof Tents Groups for Buying and Selling – Rather few offers. You can take a look.
Facebook Marketplace – You can find new and used rooftop tents here. It’s worth checking out.
Amazon – You can also find used rooftop tents on Amazon.
Reddit – On Reddit, you will find some sub-reddits around the topic of rooftop tents. Have a look around to see if anyone is selling a rooftop tent.
With all these platforms you should of course always make sure that you don’t get scammed. Therefore, you should never transfer the money for the used rooftop tent to the seller in advance. For example you can use PayPal (NOT frieds & family) or Escrow. So fraud is almost impossible.
Should you rather buy a new rooftop tent?
With a new rooftop tent, you can be sure that your tent is in perfect condition. In addition, you can set off straight away with the tent and do not have to check it or have it checked somewhere. A new rooftop tent is not even that expensive! You can get a rooftop tent for 2 people including a mattress, ladder, and more for as little as 1500 dollars. A rooftop tent for 4 people and thus for the whole family can be yours for as little as 2500 dollars. Of course, you can also configure the right model yourself according to the equipment you want.
On our website, you will also find many tips on the most popular rooftop tents and what to look out for. Take a look around our website!
Advantages of a new roof tent
- Guaranteed perfect condition
- The seller answers questions
- If you have any problems, you can contact the sellers
- Roof top tent for couples from 1500 dollars
- Roof top tent for 4 people starting at 2,500 dollars
- Complete equipment and accessories included
- Can be configured as you wish
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!