A car roof tent is a camping modality widely used by offroad lovers in the United States and lately gained more and more followers in Europe.
Many novice users believe that they are complicated to install, or that the fixing system will vary depending on the model of the car and the brand of the store, but nothing is further from reality. They are very simple to install, and in this article, we will explain how to do them in simple steps.
1. Place the roof tent on the roof racks of the car
Two adults of medium build and strength can lift the chest to place it on top of the car since the weight of these tents usually ranges between 50 and 90 kg. Another option is to use the Thule pulley, which is as practical to install the roof tent as it is to store it. You will not have to find a space in your garage, just leave it hanging from the pulley while not in use, next to the ceiling.
In order to place a roof tent on your car, the vehicle and the luggage racks must meet minimum conditions.
Minimum conditions of the vehicle: The roof of the vehicle must be at least 110 cm long and 95 cm wide, and its angle of inclination must be less than 10º. You must install luggage racks to be able to tie the roof tent. Never place a roof tent directly on the roof of the vehicle.
Minimum conditions for roof racks: The roof rack must support a dynamic load greater than the weight of the roof tent (most bars support a dynamic load of 75 kg). Keep in mind that this is the load that the moving vehicle supports. When stationary, a vehicle has a static load much higher than the dynamics (more details in the next section). We recommend that you consult the manual of the vehicle and the manufacturer of the roof bars for the maximum dynamic load of the roof bars.
|In short: The maximum dynamic load of the roof bars must be greater than the weight of the roof tent you are going to place on top.|
Static charge vs. dynamic load
First of all, it is important to remember that a roof tent is placed on the crossbars, which are fixed to the steel frame of your vehicle. The roof tent is not placed at any time on the actual roof of your car.
Secondly, the maximum load limit shown in the manual of your roof bars refers to dynamic loads, as opposed to static loads.
Dynamic load refers to the maximum weight allowed while your vehicle is in motion, and static load is when your vehicle is stationary. The weight capacity of the tent in use with the car stationary and people inside the tent (static weight) may exceed the dynamic weight capacity of the roof bar. As a guideline, it can be used in static mode (roof bar and tent included) three times the indicated capacity of the roof bar.
2. Attach the roof tent to the roof rack
Once the luggage rack is properly installed, the tent will be fixed to it by four anchor points, for which we will use a plate and 2 or 4 screws adjustable by nuts, with a simple wrench (these tools are usually included in the kit of the roof tent).
To do this, follow these 3 simple steps:
First step: Before you start tightening the nuts, make sure the base is located in the center of the vehicle’s roof while installing the tent.
Second step: With the tent centered on the ceiling, place the top fixing plates on the rails with the screws in place.
Third step: Overcome the roof rack bars with the fixing screws that you have previously inserted and fix the second plate to the lower face of the screws with the nuts.
3. Unfold the roof tent and check that everything is in place
Deploying the roof tent will depend on each model, manufacturer, and type of store. The canvas tents open like a book by a central hinge. The rigid shells open upwards like an accordion.
Check that your store is in good condition and that you have all the material ready, and you are ready for your getaway!