HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST ROOF TOP TENT
Roof top tents are one of the most popular aftermarket systems for wheelers. Deciding what you require, how much you need to spend, and what designs are available are just some of the questions we’re commonly asked. So, we provided those answers and more to help you choose the best model for your off-road adventures.
K nown to have originated in Western Europe as far back as the 1930s, roof top tents (RTTs) have evolved over the decades into one of the most popular and convenient aftermarket products in off-roading. In addition to providing added comfort, they are easy to transport, aerodynamic-friendly, can accommodate a variety of off-road vehicles, and are available with many features to expand off-road adventures with function and style.
It’s no secret that all this convenience comes at a price. Whether you’re looking at a soft or hard shell RTT, both start in the $1,000 range, and can go as high as $3,000 to $4,000, depending on the make, model, and options. Nonetheless, the many benefits of an RTT make for a good investment, especially if you find yourself off the grid more often than not.
“The RTT has to deliver in every aspect for the type of off-roading you do,” says
Corey Johnson, owner of Torro Offroad of in Annandale, VA., the manufacturer of its Hard Shell SkyLux RTT. “You need to be very thoughtful in your research and it’s about getting the best value right up front for what you need.”
With the many makes and models available, the following points will offer the all-important criteria you need to get the best RTT for your next trip in the wilderness.
First Consideration: Weight Capacities of Your Vehicle
Understanding the weight capacities of what your rig and roof racks can handle is pertinent to safety and function. Generally, off-road roof racks can handle approximately 90 -135 kg (200-300 lb) of dynamic weight (when the vehicle is in motion) and accommodate two or three times that amount in static weight (when the vehicle is stationary). It's also always best to resort to your owner's manual, or consult with your local dealer (or automotive expert) to determine your vehicle's capacity. Understanding and not exceeding these capacities is essential to avoid your vehicle from being top heavy or worse, having your roof get damaged at a remote destination.
Whether you have a stock model or want the latest and greatest, all roof racks for RTTs must indicate dynamic and static weight capacities to safely accommodate the overall RTT load (whether the vehicle is stationary or traveling). Most RTTs weigh from 41 to 91 kg (90 to 200 lb) and while the general rule of thumb is to have a rack with a capacity of at least the weight of the RTT, always opt for more. It will provide a greater element of safety and security, and allow you to upgrade to a larger unit or accommodate additional passengers.
It’s also important to ensure the dynamic weight is high enough to prevent the RTT from
It’s important to know the weight capacities of your roof rack and rig when using an RTT.
RTTS are easy to transport and set up.