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How to Store Your Roofnest Rooftop Tent

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Feb 22, 2024

One of the best parts of owning a Roofnest roof top tent is the incredible convenience it offers to go camping anywhere, anytime, even in winter. Not everyone is keen on camping in the cold weather, though. So, for those folks who want to swap their roof top tent for a ski rack during the winter months, here are some tips on how to properly care for and store your Roofnest. If you really want to keep your tent mounted, but still want to mount a ski rack, don’t forget that Roofnest offers multiple tents like our Falcons, Condor Overland, and Sparrow Adventure that come with crossbars so you can have the best of both worlds.

Prep and Care

The first step to storing your Roofnest for any length of time requires some care and maintenance. Moisture is the enemy for any tent, so make sure before storing your Roofnest that it’s totally dry. You should be opening your tent when you get home from every trip to make sure it’s clean and dry, but we still recommend popping it open for a couple of hours before long-term storage. While you have it open, check for any signs of moisture, clean any dirt and dust off the tent walls, and ensure you don’t have any bugs hiding. This is a great time to pull your mattress cover off and clean it as well. This is doubly important if you camp with pets. You may think your mattress smells fine, but a few months of storage can really make that parfum de Labrador really stand out the next time you open your tent. Finally, if you live somewhere particularly humid, it can also be a good idea to pull the mattress from the tent and store it inside your home.

Storage methods

Roofnest tents are durable and can store in almost any way you see fit. Hang it from the ceiling, lay it flat, or even tip it on its side. There are just a few things to be careful of to maximize the longevity of your tent. First, regardless of your preferred storage method, we recommend heading to your local moving and storage company to grab a large mattress bag. Putting your rooftop tent inside a mattress bag before storage provides an extra layer of protection against moisture and bugs. It also keeps it dust free, so you don’t have to clean it come next season. Once you have your Roofnest bag-protected, it’s time to actually store it. The most involved storage method is a hanging system. Many folks prefer this because it keeps garage space open, and it makes re-installation at the start of the season even easier. Just make sure that your tent is fully supported underneath and that all your pulleys and straps are securely mounted. You can build a pulley storage system yourself by using a few sets of bike pulleys and some extra webbing.
  1. Place each pulley from one set across from each other horizontally on the ceiling of your garage, spaced approximately 51”-59” apart (depending on the size of your Roofnest).
  2. Mount the second set of pulleys 40″ away from the first in the same fashion (51″-59″ apart), so that when you hoist your Roofnest, there is approximately 20” on either side of the pulleys.
  3. Create a basic webbing loop from hook to hook that can slide under your Roofnest and hoist it up to your garage roof.
Next up, flat storage.  If you have extra garage space, this is a great option. Just make sure to never set your Roofnest directly on the ground or concrete. If you are storing it flat, lay down some 2x4 lumber every 18 inches or so, keeping your Roofnest off the ground and allowing good airflow underneath, reducing the risk of condensation. If you want to store your Roofnest on its side, many of the same rules apply as before. Bag that thing to keep it as clean and dry as you can, and make sure the area you are leaning it against is stable and secure. Just like with flat storage, you want to set up a series of 2x4s to keep the tent from touching the ground. For extra protection, set a moving blanket or thick cardboard under the tent to keep the edges from resting directly against the wood. NOTE: Never rest your tent on its latches or hinges. Doing so may cause damage making them difficult or impossible to operate. Once you have successfully stored your Roofnest, don’t forget to check on it periodically. Once every few weeks be sure to inspect the storage bag for any signs of condensation buildup or cuts and tears that could indicate a pest issue.

Tips for year-round RTT mounters

Of course, another great storage option is on top of your vehicle! Leaving your tent mounted all year long is a great option if you can swing it. All of our hard-sided tents are waterproof rated and can withstand heavy amounts of snowfall. With a little due diligence, your Roofnest will easily survive a winter mounted on your rig. Just like with storage and use, our biggest enemy and concern is moisture buildup. While Roofnests are waterproof, they are not airtight. Rapid freezing and thawing cycles can cause condensation issues. Every couple of weeks, be sure to open and set up your tent to ensure it stays dry throughout winter. If something does happen and you find your Roofnest has a bit of mildew or mold on the walls, make sure to clean it fast. A quick scrub with a damp rag and white vinegar or a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution will take care of most issues. If you have some particularly stubborn mildew spots, you can use a dilution of bleach and water, just make sure you keep that bleach content to an absolute minimum to prevent damaging or discoloring your tent. For seasonal campers, one of the biggest challenges that comes with roof top tents is figuring out a storage solution during the off-season.  Keep these tips in mind so you can safely ensure your tent is in tip-top shape when spring rolls around. and adventure calls!

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