In this section, we try to cover most of the topics concerning roof tent installation. Whenever we speak to someone for the first time about purchasing a roof tent, the broad subject of installation always crops up without fail. It seems to be what most people are unclear about.
Because of this lack of clarity, we have attempted to address all installation concerns below by trying to provide answers to the most popular questions. They include whether our most popular roof tent can be used with any vehicle, how easy is it to install and what one needs to securely do so. We make a list of items/tools that you must have before you try to install it on your car or another vehicle. We finish by explaining why you must put on a roof rack first.
This list of frequently asked questions is not exhaustive, however, we do hope they will help with 90% of people’s queries. If after reading them, you are still not clear, just give us a call, we will be delighted to help.
A. Thank you for your interest in our roof top tents. Car Camper was our first roof tent and initially was offered in white fibreglass and green canvas. Subsequently, it was sold in a black / grey combination in addition to the white/green option.
Yes, a roof tent such as Car Camper can be fitted to most vehicles. It is important to check two things:
First, please check that your vehicles roof load limit is greater than 65 kilograms – this is the weight of our roof top tent; Car Camper. This figure or roof load limit will be found in your vehicle’s manual. If the limit is less than the weight of our tent, it will be unsafe to drive with the tent attached.
Secondly, please check that you can securely mount a roof rack/roof bars to your vehicle. If you can’t, it will be unsafe to mount a roof tent to your car, SUV or van and subsequently drive with it attached.
A. It is quite easy to install a roof tent on a car, SUV, or van. However, be prepared to organise having someone to help you lift the tent onto the roof of your vehicle. Roof top tents, especially the hard-shell variety are much heavier than soft shell tents and you will need two plus people to lift them into position. Roof top tents are usually over 2m in length and over 1m in width, therefore, they are too awkward to lift by themselves. Once in the correct position on your roof, the mounting brackets must be securely fastened using a hand tool, such as a spanner.
A. Below we will provide a list of items you will need to mount a rooftop tent to your vehicle. It is wise to think about this before you make your purchase as you will need to be able to mount and remove the tent from your vehicle at least once if not more every camping season. Obviously, some people permanently leave their roof tents on their vehicles, but most want to remove them off-season.
What you will need:
1. A roof tent, sorry for stating the obvious. We suggest you purchase a hard shell; these are heavier than soft shell tents but are more durable and warmer to sleep in.
2. A roof rack, must be strong enough to take the weight of the tent and occupants. We recommend the rack or bars should be constructed from steel rather than aluminium as steel is tougher and they should have a load rating of at least 100 kilograms or 50 kilograms per bar. If you are unsure about how to choose the correct roof rack system, we can source and purchase it for you. To do this, we will need the make and model of your vehicle, year of registration and a picture of your vehicle including the roof. If we install a Mako56 roof top tent on your vehicle with a roof rack or bar system of your choice, this is done at your own risk as we cannot be responsible for your roof rack purchase.
3. A method of lifting the tent onto your vehicle. The easiest method will be to have 2 people lift it up. However, if mounting onto a tall van, for example, it may be necessary to use ladders or some other way. When we install rooftop tents for clients who arrive at our warehouse with a very tall vehicle, we use a forklift to lift the tent to the appropriate height. Before lifting it onto the roof, remove everything inside it, this will lighten the load.
4. A hand tool such as a spanner and perhaps a multi-tool with various Allen Keys. Every roof tent has different mounting bracket’s; therefore, you will not know what you need until you buy the tent. You can contact the vendor about this before you purchase.
A. The short answer to this question is yes, the slightly longer answer is, well yes, almost any car.
Rooftop tents can be a great addition to any car. They allow you to comfortably sleep anywhere you can drive to, with minimal set-up and take-down fuss.
Without a doubt, you can install any roof tent on any car. However, will you be able to safely drive your car with the roof tent attached? This is a more important question. You should find the answer to this question before you buy a rooftop tent.
To be able to safely drive your car with a rooftop tent attached you need to first ascertain what is the dynamic roof load weight limit of your vehicle. This figure can be found in your car driver’s manual. If your roof top tent weighs more than this dynamic weight limit stated in the manual, you should not install this tent model on your car as it will be unsafe to drive with it attached.
What should I do if my tent weighs more than what is stated in my car driver’s manual?
You only have two options now:
1. Choose a tent that is lighter than what is stated as your roof load limit.
2. Buy a car with a greater roof load limit.
A. Most definitely yes. A rooftop tent must be mounted securely to the roof of your vehicle and the only way of doing this is with a roof rack. Think of a roof rack as an intermediary or link between the vehicle and tent. Most vehicles will have either fixing points or rails on their roofs and the tent cannot be mounted directly to these fixing points or rails. This is where the roof rack comes in. You can purchase a roof rack that will suit the fixing points or rails on the roof of your vehicle. Some cars’ use the door jam method, but this is less popular and slightly less secure but there are roof racks to suit this too.
Once the roof rack is attached to your car, SUV, or van, you can then mount the tent to the roof rack. If required, we can install your roof tent for you.