Roof Top Tent Safety Guide – What You Need To Know

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of rooftop tents it’s common to ask if they’re safe! They are approximately eight feet high up in the air, are on top of a car as well as require an elevated ladder for entry into.

Top-of-the-line tents for roofs are safe so they are properly erected the tent and you don’t go over the weight limits for the rating.

There are some important aspects to consider when considering safety. A roof rack the weight limit as well as the ladder and the way you set up your tent are all vital. We’ll talk about each one and the experience I experienced when I first got started!

Understanding RTT weight limits

It doesn’t require a huge amount of knowledge to understand how to keep track of the correct weight limit of the roof-top tent (RTT) and the rack on which it rests.

But, when I first bought my crossbar I would spend hours checking it over to ensure it would match my vehicle’s rails and also be able to support the load that came with my RTT.

I can easily envision the scenario in which I’m traveling on the highway, and my RTT is flying off my roof. Weights for RTTs can range from 100-200 pounds! However, once I had actually put up my roof rack and put it with the RTT upon it, it realized the strength of it.

In the beginning, you require a roof rack. It is possible to choose the crossbar rack or a permanent one however, whichever you select, it has to include crossbars that go across the sides. If you do not have a roof rack or are looking for some examples, check out our guide on Choosing the Right Roof Rack System for Your RTT.

When you are looking at a roof rack it is imperative that the dynamic weight limit (DWL) must be greater than that of the tent. It is the DWL is the amount of weight that the rack can support when the vehicle is moving. Therefore, when my roof rack has an DWL of 160 pounds, then my RTT should weigh less than.

Don’t get misunderstood with static weight limitation (SWL) that is much more extensive because it’s the weight that the vehicle and the rack are able to carry when they are not in motion.

The SWL is usually 700 pounds or more for a typical crossbar system. It is also important to be aware of the weight limit for the roof of your car.

The RTT itself is capable of handling some weight, too. The standard norm for their weight limitations is 200 pounds per person and the tent is built to sleep.

If you’re using a tent that can accommodate three people and you have three people, the maximum weight is probably 600 pounds. There are certain exceptions, however, if they exist some, the tent maker will mention it within the specifications of their tent.

Just by looking through the descriptions of products and manuals for owners You can be sure you’ll never exceed weight limit.

Safety of the roof top tent ladder

Another security concern that one could face could be the ladder. Like any other ladder it is recommended to implement the three-point contact rule while using the ladder. You can learn more about the safety of ladders as well as the three-point contact rules and the best practices on OHSA.gov.

RTT ladders must be set at an angle of around 80 degrees. It may appear a little too steep, but you do not need the ladder to be flat.

If you’re worried about weight restrictions while using the ladder, don’t be worried about it. The typical RTT ladder is capable of holding around 250 pounds, whereas some have a capacity of over 300 pounds!

There are two kinds of ladders on RTTs. The first is an incline ladder that moves back and forth on track. It is then necessary to place a knob inside the hole that you have already drilled to lock the ladder. This is, I’ll admit it, somewhat difficult to use and I’m not sure whether it’s secured in its place.

Another option can be a ladder that telescopically extends,, which is much better. They are much easier to put together they are more robust, durable and you don’t have to be concerned about locking it in position.

The top-end tents typically include this ladder however If you’re planning to upgrade your tent then you can make some modifications on your RTT and put in the telescoping ladder with about a hundred dollars!

If you’re using the ladder in the way it’s intended to be, I don’t think you should be concerned about this. If you have children, I suggest aiding them in climbing and then watching them climb as they climb into the tent.

Inside the tent on top of the roof

As I recall my experience at our RTT I was somewhat scared of getting up there and climbing in. Once you’re around eight feet high, you’ll feel higher than you really are.

It’s also a bit odd to realize there’s no ground under your feet. In addition it is true that the RTT feels secure however, it does have some shaking or wiggle. If you consider it, you could drive around inside your vehicle and shake your entire vehicle which is why the same thing happens to the RTT too!

You’ll be surprised, after a few days of use it will be easy to adjust to this. It’s a the matter of becoming comfortable with the new concept and setting!

It is crucial to ensure your vehicle is level as it can be before you put the tent. So that you don’t slide about inside the tent.

Proper roof top tents for roofs

Installation for RTTs is easy. It is simply secured using the four brackets for mounting. Each bracket comes with 2 bolts and nuts and washers, which you can put in place.

This method is truly 100% foolproof. The most difficult part of this installation process is lifting your RTT into position. Once that’s done you’re all set.

After you’ve completed all the steps necessary to make sure you’re not over the weight limit, all that’s left is to tighten it in place.

Information for Beginners

For those who are new at RTT camping and are looking for more details on how they function, what they cost, and other fascinating details about them, make sure to check out our YouTube channel!

In addition, you can browse the beginner section by clicking the blog dropdown option on the menu bar on our website. Being a novice I would like to have all of these resources to help me learn and gain knowledge much faster!

Roundup of Staying Safe In A Roof Top Tent

Concerning about the safety of an RTT is a valid issue! I was asked questions concerning the safety of my RTT at the time I received it, too. However, one thing to be aware of is that these tents are built to be used off the road and used in harsh weather conditions.

As with all products that you purchase, it is essential to make sure you use it properly, and if you follow the rules, everything will go smoothly. Be sure to study the weight limit and all the rest is common sense.

Den Kyle

Den Kyle

I'm the founder of Dens Camp Guide. After many years of hiking and trekking worldwide, I decided to share my experiences by making my guide website! Former science teacher, Ohio State graduate, and now full-time adventurer!

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