As the popularity of rooftop tents soar amongst outdoor enthusiasts, many users are interested in what the best rooftop storage practices are when the camping season is over.
Fortunately for all you campers and adventurers, there are many ways to store a rooftop tent to prevent it from becoming damaged when not in use!
Let’s take a look at if you can store a rooftop tent tilted on its side and how you should be storing your rooftop tent:
Here’s The Answer To If You Can Store A Rooftop Tent Tilted On Its Side:
Most rooftop tents can be stored tilted on their side. Many campers decide to lean them against a wall in a storage area when they do not use their tent. However, precautions need to be taken to ensure rooftop tents are stored without any damage occurring over time.
How Do You Store A Rooftop Tent Correctly For The Winter?
When the winter season approaches, many rooftop tent owners often decide to store their tent.
Users might not know how to store their rooftop tent correctly to reduce the damage risks while the tent is in storage.
For most campers, a rooftop tent is an investment, so it’s vital to observe how you should store your rooftop tent correctly for the winter:
Prepare Your Rooftop Tent For Winter Storage:
Before storing your tent, it’s important to make sure that it isn’t wet or damp.
If you store a wet or damp tent, it will be at risk of mildew damage.
Most rooftop tents are specifically designed to withstand various weather conditions, but they are still susceptible to damage.
To always be on the safe side, it’s often best to clean your tent and dry it as best as possible so that your sure to have no mold or mildew when you need to use it again during the next camping season.
Make Space In Your Garage Or Storage Area:
Although you don’t have to store your tent in a garage or storage area, it is highly advisable.
One of the biggest concerns with a storage area is moisture exposure.
You don’t want to store your rooftop tent in an area like a garage if it’s exposed to wet conditions.
Should you have a large tent, you will likely need a fair bit more space – also, make sure that you don’t store heavy things on top of your rooftop tent, or store your tent on other items.
Give your tent the space that it needs, and make sure that it has its own space!
The Four Ways You Can Store Your Rooftop Tent During Winter
There are primarily four different ways that you can store your rooftop tent.
Below we will look at the various methods to determine which will suit you, your budget, and your storage area best:
1. Flat On The Ground
If you have a large enough area storing your rooftop tent flat on the ground might be the easiest option for you.
You have to store your rooftop tent in the same position as you would if it was sitting atop your car.
However, you will have to make sure that you have the tent placed on a platform slightly above the ground to prevent moisture damage.
Don’t store anything on top of it either, if you can help it.
2. Leaning Or Tilted Against A Wall
For some, leaning or tilting their rooftop tent against a wall is the most convenient way to store their rooftop tent.
This option could be ideal for those who don’t have enough space to lay their tent flat or who don’t have the budget to install a pulley system to store it on the ceiling.
Should you decide to store your tent on the side, you can get wraps and ties to secure it to a wall if you want to keep it away from moisture and the elements.
Alternatively, you can opt to lean it on a platform up against a wall.
3. On The Ceiling
Choosing to store a rooftop tent on the ceiling is probably the most complicated method and easily the most expensive.
You can store the tent on the ceiling with either a shelf, rack, or webbing, and you can use an automated or manual pulley system to lower and raise it.
This method does present risks as the tent could fall and damage or hurt whatever is underneath, so you will need to invest in a quality storage system.
4. Roof Of Your Car
If you don’t want to take off your rooftop tent for the winter, you can store it on the roof of your car year-round.
However, you should note that you can usually only do this with rooftop tents manufactured with a durable ABS fiberglass shell or one that has been made to withstand the various weather conditions.
You will want to make sure that you pick the right one.
Can It Be Damaged From Being Stored On The Side?
Your tent won’t damage itself by being stored on its side, however, if you keep it on the ground floor or near other heavy objects, moisture or falling damage can ruin your tent.
It’s best to always place it slightly above the ground when leaning the tent against a surface when you store it.
This prevents moisture damage from flooding or from having items fall on top of it.
What’s The Most Space-Efficient Way To Store It?
Ultimately this will depend on your own preferences and the type of storage space you have available to you.
For some storing it tilted against a wall would be more space-efficient, while for others, they may prefer storing it up high and out of the way.
Ideally, you will have a designated spot for your rooftop tent, such as an area in the garage away from other items and stored away from potential flooding.
Does It Have To Be Stored Horizontally?
No, a rooftop tent doesn’t have to be stored horizontally.
Should you decide to store your tent horizontally, you primarily have two options:
You can leave it atop your car year-round, or you can invest in a safe and secure pully system to store your tent up high in your garage or shed.
This keeps it out of the way during the winter months, keeps it flat, and prevents it from being flooded by potential leaks or rainfall in your garage.
Additionally, you can store the tent in netting or on a shelf on a ceiling.
What About A Hard Shell Rooftop Tent?
Regardless of whether you have a hard shell or a softshell rooftop tent, you can store it on its side or store it using any of the other methods we mentioned.
Hardshell tents are more durable, but you should always practice safe storage with them as the elements can still damage them.
A hardshell tent, for example, could endure some other items being set on top of it, as long as they aren’t too heavy.
It can be tilted on its side, or raised up high and left horizontal, or flat.
Either way, your hardshell tent will be fine.
What Are A Few Of The Easiest Rooftop Tents To Store?
Below we will briefly discuss three rooftop tents that are easy to store when the camping season ends:
Ideal for campers looking for a rooftop tent with a hard aluminum shell that can support crossbars.
This rooftop tent can sleep 2 to 3 people and has an interior length of 88 inches by a width of 58 inches.
This tent can be stored all year round on top of your car, should your car be sturdy enough!
The Falcon XL is easy to assemble and disassemble and the canvassing used is waterproof and durable.
The Thule x Tepui Explorer Ayer 2 is perfect for those on the market for an easy to store softshell tent.
This rooftop tent can sleep 2 people, and it can be used in three seasons. It is also durable with weather-resistant materials used in its production.
The floor dimensions are 84 inches long by 48 inches wide, so there is more than enough space to sleep comfortably.
One of the largest yet easy to store hard shell rooftop tents is the Skycamp 2.0 by iKamper.
This rooftop tent can sleep up to 4 people and has a swift setup time of roughly a minute.
The Skycamp 2.0 is a new and improved version and has many impressive features, including its aerodynamic lightweight design and breathable weather-resistant canvassing.
Any one of these tents is perfect if you’re looking for a rooftop tent that can be stored easily during the winter.
All of them can either be stored on their side, on shelving, flat, or slightly above the ground.
Should you want to leave the tent on your car, we would recommend the Roofnest Falcon XL as the manufacturers specifically state that it can be stored on the roof of a car year-round.
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.