The rooftop tent industry is big business. Having gained popularity in Australia, these roof-mounted living quarters are now popping up across the world, as travellers embrace the upstairs and outdoors life.
While a rooftop tent is certainly cheaper than a motorhome or a caravan, it’s not an inexpensive purchase. A recent post on Outside showcased four tents, with prices ranging from $2,895 (£2,285) to $6,450 (£5,095). Strewth.
You can understand the appeal. While rooftop tents have their roots in the Australian Outback – where elevated sleeping keeps you safe from dangerous critters – climbing ‘upstairs’ to bed has a unique appeal.
It’s also easier than lugging a caravan around with you or spending a small fortune on a motorhome.
There are, of course, pros and cons associated with rooftop camping: this Popular Mechanics article provides a good summary. But whether you opt for a hard or soft shell, or spend a few hundred bucks or a small fortune, there’s one thing every rooftop tent requires: a roof rack.
Up on the roof
Which is where the German firm Rameder comes in. The company, which is famous for selling towbars and bike carriers, also offers a comprehensive range of roof racks.
It says you should check the associated manufacturer’s recommendations before choosing a roof rack for your rooftop tent. To achieve good weight distribution, the roof bars should be as far apart as possible and the tent wight should be placed on it evenly, it says.
As for the maximum roof load: the figure is only relevant while the vehicle is in motion, the company advises. The weight could be multiplied when cornering or braking, meaning an overloaded rack could compromise the safety of the vehicle.
Living in a box
You’ll have to excuse us, because we’ve disappeared down a rooftop tent rabbit hole and we might be gone some time. You could lose an hour of your time browsing the various options on the Autohome website.