Rooftop tents are a popular choice for campers because they are compact to carry but can expand to a spacious size, and they offer many options for mobility and camping spaces.
They can also usually be installed with the addition of roof racks, so campers won’t need to make big changes to their vehicle.
However, having an elevated tent perched on top of a tall vehicle can sometimes cause problems with wind or weather, so campers may wonder, just how good is a rooftop tent in the wind?
Rooftop Tents in the Wind
How well a rooftop tent will do in the wind depends largely on the type of tent and how it’s secured.
In general, rooftop tents are a bit more stable than ground tents, and they can often be made to be tauter.
Both of these factors will help to cut down on the movement and noise that can occur when camping in the wind.
If the tent is secured and taut and there are no loose pieces, the flapping noise created by the wind is lessened.
This doesn’t mean, however, that a rooftop tent will be completely steady or silent in the wind. These tents are still made of fabric, and fabric will rustle in the wind, even when pulled very taut.
In addition, if the vehicle is rocked by the wind, the tent will also rock slightly, and because it’s elevated, the rocking may feel more extreme.
Unless campers have parked in an area surrounded by tall trees, because the tent is elevated on top of the vehicle, there will also be less ground cover, which means fewer obstacles to break up the direct path of the wind.
Rooftop tents do tend to be very durable. A well-made rooftop tent should be able to stand up to even severe weather conditions as long as it has been properly cared for and set up.
Due to how they unpack and expand, rooftop tents can also be much easier to set up during windy conditions.
When it comes to camping in different weather conditions, many campers prefer the stability of a rooftop tent to that of a ground tent.
Shell-Type Rooftop Tents
Rooftop tents are available in many different styles, but the two main style options are soft shell and hard shell.
Soft shell rooftop tents are a bit less expensive and can be easier to set up, but when it comes to camping in the wind or other inclement weather situations, a hard shell tent can be a true benefit.
These tents are more durable and more stable, and because they feature stiffer materials, any noise caused by wind is reduced.
Prep the Tent
If you’re planning to do some camping in the wind, rain, or snow, you may want to consider prepping your rooftop tent before heading out.
Coating the tent in a sealant, such as Scotchguard, can help to weatherproof the material, which can mean more durability in windy situations.
It’s also a good idea to carry a few extra pieces, such as zippers or netting, which can be easily damaged by wind. Being able to replace pieces as you go can save the tent from greater wear and tear.
Wind can blow precipitation sideways, which means that damp can often find its way into even the most secure tents.
Lining the top of the tent with absorbent sheets can help to soak up any excess moisture. These sheets can be taken out when the weather is good and laid in the sun to dry.
Moisture that gets trapped in a rooftop tent can quickly damage the tent, so being able to catch that moisture can make the camping experience more comfortable while also extending the life of the tent.
You will also want to keep your ladders and zippers well-lubricated. Making sure that everything is working well and as efficiently as possible makes it much easier to set up a tent in windy weather.
Remove the Awnings in Good Weather
When it comes to tent pieces flapping in the wind, the most likely culprits are the loose awnings that protect the occupants of the tent from rain.
These pieces can make noise in even a slight breeze. If the weather is windy but clear, consider either strapping down or removing these pieces and only reattaching them when they’re needed for blocking precipitation.
You can also weigh down loose awnings by placing a small rock on them to hold them steady in the wind.
Make the Wind Work for You
When you’re setting up your rooftop tent, make sure that you park in a flat, level area. If the ground isn’t level, you can carry along a few wood blocks to level out the vehicle.
Having a level base will make the tent itself more level and secure, which can help when it comes to windy conditions.
Because of how they are secured to the vehicle, rooftop tents can be simpler than ground tents to set up in the wind, but that doesn’t always mean that the wind will make things easy.
If you find yourself fighting against the wind when setting up the tent, pull up your ladders and move your vehicle, turning until the wind is working for you, not against you.
You can even leave the tent open or partially open until you find an angle that works well with the wind.