How Long Do Roof Top Tents Really Last?

There are hundreds of different rooftop tents available from many different brands.

Yet, it can be challenging to determine which brand you should choose. One of the frequent questions many campers ask themselves when deciding which rooftop tent to purchase is how long it will last.

The answer to this question is relatively complex and will depend on many different factors.

Here’s How Long A Rooftop Tent Lasts:

Depending on the brand, the conditions you use it in, maintenance, and softshell vs. hardshell, tents will last longer or shorter durations. Most hardshell rooftop tents last on average between 10 to 15 years. In contrast, most softshell rooftop tents last 5 to 10 years.

What Lifespan Does Roof Top Tent Manufacturers List For Their Tents?

As can be expected, not many rooftop tent brands specify the lifespan of their tents.

Many offer varying warranty coverage, but not many tell you how long their rooftop tents last. We came across one brand that stipulated how long their rooftop tents would last from our research.

SMRT Tents stated on their website that their rooftop tents last more than five years depending on the conditions you subject them to and if you frequently maintain them.

Which Roof Top Tent Brands Last Longer Than Others?

In the camping world, some brands are more superior to others.

That’s why it’s unsurprising that a few brands make rooftop tents that last longer. Yet, it can be reasonably challenging to determine which brands sell rooftop tents that last longer.

It’s no secret that you can purchase a rooftop tent at a fraction of the price of a motorhome. In recent years rooftop tents have become more popular than ordinary tents.

They are the perfect solution for those who don’t want to commit to a motorhome but want to camp at an elevated level while being comfortable.

James Baroud

If you want to purchase a rooftop tent from a brand that is widely considered one of the best, if not the best, rooftop tent manufacturers, you should look no further than James Baroud.

This rooftop tent manufacturer is widely accepted as making some of the most luxurious rooftop tents on the market, but this luxury comes at a price.

Although their rooftop tents are not as affordable as a few other brands, you receive what you pay for.

James Baroud is particularly well known for its incredibly high-quality hardshell rooftop tents and a generous warranty. Two of their best sellers include the Evasion and the Discovery because they are rugged yet comfortable and luxurious and easy to set up.

Thule Tepui

A decade ago, rooftop tents were not as popular because they were expensive and lacked features.

So in 2010, when the brand Tepui began to develop a range of rooftop tents, many campers quickly noticed. Tepui was one of the first US-based rooftop tent manufacturers for the masses.

According to many, this rooftop tent brand polarized rooftop tents in America and quickly became the go-to brand many prefer.

It wasn’t long before Tepui sold to a bigger brand and was rebranded. Thule purchased Tepui, so their rooftop tents are called Thule Tepui. Two of the brand’s most popular long-lasting rooftop tents are the Explorer Kukenam 3 and the Low-Pro 2.

People enjoy these two types because they are widely available, customizable with a range of add-on accessory options, and incredibly user-friendly.

Which Factors Impact The Longevity Of My Roof Top Tent?

Below we have briefly listed a few of the factors that impact the longevity of your rooftop tent.

If you know about the factors that affect how long your rooftop tent will last, you will be better prepared to do something about it:

How Often it is Used:

The more often you use your rooftop tent, the faster it deteriorates.

If you are an avid camper, know that there will be a lot of wear and tear that is unavoidable due to frequent use.

If it is Maintained:

If your rooftop tent isn’t maintained, it won’t last very long.

For example, you need to make sure that your tent is always put up dry and stowed away properly and that you address any tears or rips immediately when they occur.

The Conditions it is Used in:

If you’re going to frequently use your rooftop tent in rainy or windy conditions or during extreme cold or extreme heat, your tent is not going to last as long as it would have if you were using it in more favorable climates.

Essentially if you want it to last long, you shouldn’t subject your rooftop tent to extreme conditions frequently.

How Long Do Roof Top Tents Stay Waterproof?

Interestingly, nearly all rooftop tents are waterproof because they are durable poly-cotton material.

Additionally, most of them also have a thick waterproof polyester rainfly. You probably already know that rooftop tents are waterproof, as it’s likely one of the reasons why you are interested in owning one.

How long a rooftop tent stays waterproof will depend on how frequently you use it and in which conditions you often camp.

That’s right! Unfortunately, the waterproofing on rooftop tents will not last a lifetime unless you take additional steps to ensure it does.

Some rooftop tent owners have stated that the waterproofing only lasts around one and a half years if not maintained, while others have said it can last up to five years or more when taken care of properly.

Fortunately, you can get this fixed if the waterproofing has worn off.

As they say, prevention is better than a cure which is why we have provided a few convenient tips surrounding how to ensure your rooftop tent stays waterproof for as long as possible:

Spray it with Water Before Using it:

Before you use your tent for the first time, you need to spray it with water.

This will help stitch and bond the fabric together to handle future rainy conditions better.

Use Fabric Guard:

It might not seem believable at first, but using a fabric guard can restore and enhance your rooftop tent’s water repellency.

Buy a Waterproof Cover:

Occasionally, a rainfly isn’t enough to guard against a heavy downpour.

If you are going to frequent areas that experience a lot of rain, you need to consider purchasing a waterproof cover to go over your rooftop tent.

A waterproof cover will ensure your tent’s waterproofing lasts longer.

How Can I Make Sure My Tent Lasts As Long As Possible?

Taking care of a rooftop tent isn’t as hard as you might think.

Although their upkeep is a little more complicated than regular ground tents, if you’re armed with the information you need, you won’t have any issues looking after your rooftop tent.

If you want your rooftop tent to last as long as possible, you need to make sure that you follow these three basic tips we have listed below:

  • Set your rooftop tent up out of extreme conditions whenever possible: It will become damaged more easily when you set it up in extreme cold or extreme heat. Additionally, you shouldn’t set your rooftop tent up in the direct path of severe rain or snow or during a storm or gale-force winds.
  • Don’t handle your tent roughly: Although rooftop tents are durable and resistant to damage, you should still handle them with care. By taking care when you set up and dismantle your tent, you are less likely to damage it by breaking the zips, causing tears, or breaking vital components.
  • Don’t leave condensation unattended: Many rooftop tents also experience condensation like traditional ground tents. If you leave the condensation, you allow mold and mildew to occur. Luckily, all you have to do is wipe away condensation and ensure your rooftop tent stays dry on the inside when using it or storing it.

When Should I Replace My Tent?

Ultimately, when you choose to replace your rooftop tent is up to you.

However, most people choose to replace their rooftop tent when it becomes damaged to the point where it is not safe or comfortable to stay in when camping.

If your rooftop tent has severe tears, has mildew or mold growth, or is structurally damaged, it might be time to consider replacing it.

Additionally, many also choose to replace their rooftop tents when they own are too small. So if your one is not big enough, you might want to consider the many larger options available.

Many of them can now sleep up to four people.


SMRT Tent Lifespan

Waterproofing Your Roof Top Tent

Was this article helpful? Like Dislike

Click to share...

Did you find wrong information or was something missing?
We would love to hear your thoughts! (PS: We read ALL feedback)