10 tips on camping in a roof top tent
Traveling around Iceland and the Icelandic highlands while staying in a roof top tent is an experience like no other! Plan your trip with useful ideas and tips in your back pocket.
10 tips on staying in a roof tent.
It may take less than a minute to prepare your hard-shell roof top tent for sleeping and less than a minute to back it all together, close it and be on your way to your next destination, but there are still a few things to keep in mind when traveling with a roof top tent.
Park into the wind.
When you find a nice area to end the day and set up camp be sure to follow tips 1-3 to make the most of your experience.
Parking into the wind is of course dependent on there being wind, but nevertheless, a good thing to keep in mind. If the wind hits the more aerodynamic front of the rooftop tent, the rooftop tent and car may move less while you are resting.
Park at a level surface.
A very important tip when parking your vehicle is to park the car at a level surface, this can in some places be quite difficult as some camping areas have uneven ground in some places.
If the car is parked at a slight incline you and your significant other may find yourself cramped in one corner of the tent when waking up. If there is no option but to park in an uneven area make sure to park so that the incline favors you, in other words, make sure that your head is elevated otherwise you will risk waking up with a massive headache.
Choose the perfect view.
Find a great view! You are in Iceland…...this step is easy. Almost all the camping areas in Iceland have in common that they are usually very well located, traditionally surrounded by beautiful mountains and trees (yes, we have those in Iceland to contrary to what many people think)—so, finding a nice view to wake up to shouldn’t be hard but still always an enjoyable thing to have in mind.
Place the ladder correctly.
The extendable ladder that comes included with the tent is very strong and sturdy and is rated for 150kg (330lbs) so climbing up and down should be an easy task for anyone. The ladder can be placed on either side of the tent at your convenience. Be sure to place the ladder with enough incline so that the ladder is not too close to the car so that when you walk up or down your shoes won't damage the vehicle. This will also make climbing easier as it will be less steep.
Don’t drive too fast.
This tip always applies, whether you have a rooftop tent or not. The roads are regularly patrolled by law enforcement, so speeding can end up costing substantial speeding fines.
The tent is very well secured to the car, but just like an elevator, everything has a limit, so speeding can risk the tent will fly off the vehicle.
Keep the tent dry.
Water and too much moisture can be unpleasant things to have inside the tent, so try your best to keep the tent dry and follow tips 6-8 as much as possible. Moisture can build up in the bottom half of the roof top tent over time from the moisture in the air and perspiration that you expel while you sleep, which condenses in the cold air and collects to the bottom of the tent.
A good thing to have in mind is to air the tent out as much as possible. You can also place the ladder under the mattress so air can flow under it and remove any moisture from it.
Keep your shoes in a plastic bag.
Keeping dirt, sand, and gravel out of the tent is just as important as keeping moisture out of it.
A good idea is to keep a plastic bag inside the tent to place your shoes in or any wet clothing you may have or even hang to outside on the ladder.
Try to avoid closing the rooftop tent when it’s wet.
Although rain can be hard to predict and avoid, there are still steps you can take to ensure you don’t close the tent covered in the rain. Give the tent a slight shake and slap the sides of the tent slightly from the inside to get most of the water droplets of the tent before closing it. Any water left on the tent can end up as moisture inside the tent if closed wet, which is why tip nr.6 is always important.
Choose the appropriate optional extra equipment.
Travelling around Iceland in a roof tent is an experience like no other, so make the most of it and sculpt it to your needs. A nice chair to sit down on and a table to eat on is something that, for most people, is a must-have. Other options, like a kitchen box with all the cooking equipment, can elevate your camping experience.
Work as a team.
Although travelling with a friend or a significant other is completely optional and up to you, setting up the hard shell rooftop tent and closing it will be done much faster if both of you work together. While one person pulls down the tent to close it, the other one tucks the material of the tent inside. The whole process does not take more than a minute, but “teamwork makes the dream work.”