Buying a roof tent for the car – how to find the right one

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roof tent car

Buy roof tent ( hard shell ) car Ragna GT, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons



Here you can buy your tent for the car roof



Which roof tent should you choose?

Most people are familiar with the models. But there are differences between the types of roof tents. These are a few basic points to consider before purchasing your new rooftop tent.

What equipment do you need?

A good type of roof tent should have a high durability so that it works long enough. It is by no means necessary to buy a new roof tent for the car every year. Instead, you should always go a few steps further and make sure that your roof tent type is currently the best. This is how you use your roof tent over a long period of time and sustainably.

How much money do you want to invest?

Most people don't like spending money. But if you buy a good roof tent for the car, it can quickly become a success. Here you will find a great deal of information that can help you figure out what type of rooftop tent you need.

You should know this before buying your roof tent for the car

A roof tent on the car offers you several advantages compared to buying a mobile home. With a car roof tent you are more flexible on the road than with a mobile home. You can mount a car tent on the roof of a Bulli or van. Do you need a roof tent in the hard shell or a roof tent for 3 people? Here you can find it.

Advantages that a car tent has

  • You can easily spend the night with a car roof tent in any car park, as long as you don't set up camping chairs and your roof tent doesn't increase the dimensions of the vehicle. A roof tent in the hard shell is perfect for this. If you sleep in the roof tent, this serves to restore your ability to drive. After the night you should drive on. Multi-day stays are similar to the Caravan not allowed in Germany.
  • While an RV doesn't fit under every bridge because of its height, you don't have this problem with a rooftop tent. Hard-shell roof tents in particular are packed so compactly that they do not cause any problems.
  • In cities you are more flexible with a car with a roof tent. You can find parking spaces wherever cars are allowed to park. With a mobile home this is difficult. You are often dependent on parking spaces and parking spaces outside the city center. Long walks into the city are not uncommon.
  • Another advantage of a roof tent is that you sleep above the ground. This avoids sleeping on uneven ground. Stones, bugs and dirt do not affect your sleep. If it rains, no water gets into the tent.

What is the best rooftop tent for the car?

The magazine ComputerBild carried out a test of roof tents in 2022.

All three roof tents received the rating very good.

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A roof tent for the car is cheap

A big difference to the mobile home is the price. Buying an RV is a big investment. If you want to buy a roof tent for the car, you can get it - depending on the size and equipment - at prices between 1000 and 6500 euros. Particularly good car roof tents cost up to 8000 euros. You can even buy a roof tent for pickups, which you set up on the loading area of ​​the vehicle, for less than 200 euros. Whether cheap roof tents are worthwhile, however, must be considered carefully. The cheapest models are not automatically the best.

Roof structures car - what you need to know

There are a few things you need to know about car roof structures. Here you can find them in detail:

For which car is a roof tent suitable?

A roof tent can be mounted on almost any car. It is a misconception that this is only possible with SUVs or vans. The roof load of the vehicle is decisive for the construction of a roof tent.

Roof load on a car for a car roof tent

The permissible roof load must be observed. The information can be found in the manufacturer's manual for the vehicle. It's not on the vehicle registration document. Depending on the vehicle, this is between 50 and 75 kilograms, sometimes even higher. This means the load weight that may be transported during the journey. In the case of a car roof tent, this load is the weight of the closed tent. Tent and roof rack should not exceed the specified roof load.

If the car is stationary, it can withstand a higher weight. Tent manufacturers state the maximum load of the roof when stationary at around 200 kilograms. The lower the weight of the roof tent and the user, the more people can sleep in it. Here you should make sure that Tent, the roof rack, the people and the luggage under the total mass of the vehicle lie.

Roof rack for car roof tent

When it comes to car roof structures, there are a few things you have to consider. It is important that the roof rack can withstand the weight of the roof tent including people. Roof rack with a load capacity of 200 kg * are best suited for this. You should also make sure that the luggage rack fits your own car, e.g. for one citroen*, a Volkswagen* , or renault*. There's a selection for different car brands, for example VDP*. In addition, roof racks must match your vehicle type. Some cars already have a railing or mounting points to which you can attach the cross members. The TÜV advises only buying tested luggage racks. Although there are no legal regulations, there is the DIN 75302 standard, which specifies the requirements and test methods for luggage racks. It therefore makes sense to use tested luggage racks. The best thing to do is to ask your car manufacturer about suitable roof racks. Then you can't go wrong.

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Is a car roof tent waterproof?

The fabric of a rooftop tent is usually waterproof. However, weak points are seams, fly screens, windows, zippers and places where the fabric overlaps.

Where can I stay overnight with a car roof tent?

  • At campsites
  • Scandinavia allows wild camping (see "Everyman's Right"). This does not apply to mobile homes.
  • In Scotland you can camp wild.
  • In Germany in nature where it is not forbidden (fines are rare)

It is forbidden to stay overnight in a roof tent

  • In nature, wildlife and water protection areas
  • In public squares and streets
  • In the wilderness, especially in southern Europe (there are often high penalties)
  • On private property (be sure to ask in advance!)


Questions and answers about buying a roof tent for a car

How many people fit in a roof tent?

There are different roof tent types that offer space for 1-5 people. Hard-shell roof tents are enough for two adults. There are folding roof tents. These offer more space and are suitable for camping trips for up to five people. Finally, there are hybrid rooftop tents. These have space for two to three adults.

How much does a roof tent cost?

The price depends on the size and quality of the roof tent. Fabric roof tents for two people are available from €1500. You can find hard-shell roof tents from €2500. Basically, the larger and better equipped the roof tent, the more expensive it is.

Why a roof tent?

The biggest advantage of a roof tent is that the tent is off the ground. This avoids bugs, stones and dirt in the tent. In addition, there is no risk of the tent filling up with water when it rains.

When is a roof tent worth it?

If a motorhome is too expensive or there is no space for the motorhome, a roof tent is a good idea. Anyone who likes to travel with a tent will appreciate a roof tent. Because with such a tent you no longer have to pay attention to the ground on which you set up your tent. In a roof tent you sleep like in a bed. This means that you can easily use your everyday car as a leisure vehicle.

How fast can you drive with a roof tent?

This depends on the type of roof tent. With a closed folding roof tent with a cover you should not drive faster than 90 - 100 km/h. However, with a hard-shell roof tent without any additional roof load, you can travel up to 130 km/h.

How comfortable is a roof tent?

In contrast to normal tents, you definitely sleep on smooth ground in a roof tent. Therefore, you sleep on the mattress in the roof tent like you would in a normal bed.

What do you need for camping in the car?

You should also have these camping accessories with you:

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Roof tents for the car
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Source Buying a roof tent for the car: own research. In any case, our opinion remains our own.

Text Buying a roof tent for the car: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos : © Copyright Wikimedia (see caption) and Amazon product photos

Buying a roof tent for the car – how to find the right one

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Slow Travel and Enjoyment travel blog TravelWorldOnline Traveller. You have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Your topics are Trips to Savor and wine tourism worldwide and Slow Travel. During her studies, Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she traveled to the USA and Canada - sometimes together with Petar Fuchs - and spent a research year in British Columbia. This strengthened her thirst for knowledge, which she pursued for 6 years Adventure Guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as Study tour guide for Studiosus Reisen tried to breastfeed all over the world. She constantly expanded her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: “What is beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do you eat in this region?” These are the questions she is now trying to answer as a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), among others. travel writer and travel blogger answers in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is below Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021 Other Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs. Recommendations on LinkedIn from tourism experts Further recommendations from cooperation partners and tourism experts Professional experience Monika on LinkedIn