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Ein Dachzelt erlaubt beim Camping einen ausreichenden Komfort und eine ausgeprägte Flexibilität, Bild: mr_bom / shutterstock

New camping trend – on the road with the roof tent

Camping has been a popular form of travel not only since Corona. After all, camping is associated with the greatest possible freedom and campsites and motorhomes are booming. In addition, camping is one of the most sustainable forms of travel.

Not everyone is granted the comfort of a camper van or motorhome. A roof tent, on the other hand, is an alternative that comes with low costs and can be easily installed on any car.

What types of roof tents are recommended?

Not everyone has the financial background to invest in a motorhome. A roof tent, on the other hand, costs only a fraction of what is called for a “house on four wheels” and conveys a travel experience that can be compared to that of a camping campervan. Care should be taken to ensure that the roof load of the carrier vehicle matches the weight of the tent.

Two types of roof tents are distinguished. At this point, we provide camping enthusiasts with an overview of hard-shell roof tents and soft-top versions.

Roof tent with hard shell

Hard-shell roof tents are becoming increasingly popular among camping fans. They resemble a classic roof box and impress with their low weight and aerodynamics, especially if the material is made of carbon fibers. Hard-shell roof tents are available in two different designs.

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In the first type, the entire lid of the hard-shell box can be lifted and serves as a roof. The floor has the function of a lying surface. The walls are equipped with sturdy struts that can be used comfortably for leaning. In the second version, one side can be raised by 45°, creating exceptional headroom.

Advantages of a hard-shell roof tent

The advantages of a tent with a hardtop can be summarized as follows:

  • Quick assembly.
  • No additional support is necessary.
  • Low noise while driving.
  • Fuel consumption does not increase significantly.
  • During the journey, bedding or smaller items can be stowed in the box.
  • Very good properties in rain and damp weather.
  • Long service life.

Roof tent in the soft-top version

A soft-top roof tent is nothing more than a conventional tent that can be attached to the roof rack. A special folding technique allows the tent to be tied into a handy package. Stability during use is ensured by numerous cross bracing.

Advantages of a soft-top roof tent

  • Soft-top roof tents can be equipped with an awning, which provides extra space and ensures dry entry.
  • The lying area can be extended and is not limited by the size of the roof.
  • The low weight and compactness allow the tent to be stored in a space-saving manner.
  • A varied colour scheme that pleases the eye anew every day.

How to attach a roof tent to the car roof?

The most important prerequisite for a relaxed camping holiday is professional installation. Optimal weight distribution plays a decisive role in this. An additional external support stabilizes the tent in sufficient form.

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A sturdy roof rack is required for the attachment itself. This usually consists of two or more cross members that are screwed to the roof rails. The tents have profile rails that make fastening much easier.

It is also important to note the permissible roof load specified by the manufacturer, which is usually limited to 100 kilograms. However, this information applies to the moving vehicle. When stationary, a car roof can withstand many times as much weight.

How does the setup work?

If the roof tent is professionally mounted on the roof, setting up becomes child’s play. Depending on the version, either a mechanical crank or a gas pressure damper is available, with the help of which the tent is erected.

If the construction does not have its own mattress, all that remains is to inflate the air mattress and roll out the sleeping bag and the sleeping area is ready for occupancy. Awnings, awnings, hanging nets and inner pockets as well as LED lamps equipped with rechargeable batteries are suitable for comfortable design.

How much does a roof tent cost?

The cost of a rooftop tent depends on size and equipment. The price range for a soft-top roof tent for two people starts at around 1,500 euros. For the cheapest double hard-shell roof tent, you have to calculate with about 2,000 euros.