Rooftop tents are tents that can be set up on an elevated surface as opposed to the traditional method of setting up a tent on the ground. This is meant to offer the campers more safety than their ground-based counterparts. But are rooftop tents safe?
Usually, rooftop tents are the safest of options at the campers’ disposal. They offer them safety from various poisonous insects, venomous snakes, and other harmful animals like bears. But the real issue is whether rooftop tents are entirely safe for a person. That’s what I will look into today.
So, let us take a look at if rooftop tents are safe and how safer they are than ground-based tents.
How Safe Is A Rooftop Tent?
The reason rooftop tents have taken the market by storm is that they provide the users with greater safety measures than ground tents. But safety isn’t something that can be described abstractly. There have to be some parameters for this. The following are the parameters that determine the safety of a rooftop tent.
1. Risk of Falling
The biggest fear of the campers who choose to set up a rooftop tent is falling out of their tents in the middle of their sleep. This happens due to people’s instincts as well because they have been used to sleeping in soft-sided tents. But rooftop tents don’t have soft sides, rather their edges are well protected and heavy. Also, you will only be sleeping inside your tent, not flopping about like a fish.
2. Withstanding the Weather
Another big concern of people who go camping is whether their tent will withstand rough weather should the need ever arise. Usually, the rooftop tents protect the campers from floods, snow, and other adverse weather conditions. But there is a downside of being positioned at an elevated position as well. I will discuss this a little later.
The ideal way to set up a rooftop tent is to park your car in such a place that has a bit of cover, so your tent doesn’t get damaged when push comes to shove. But this also presents a problem in itself. Because the storm rages too powerfully, there is a high chance that a tree will fall on the tent, not only damaging it but also being potentially fatal to the people inside.
3. Equipment Failing
No matter how high-end and efficient something is, there is always the chance of its equipment suffering from failure. But most equipment failures happen due to the negligence of the people using said equipment. If you set up your rooftop tents properly by following the instructions to the point, you can reduce the chance of equipment malfunctioning significantly.
Factors Affecting the Safety of A Rooftop Tent
Apart from the three above parameters of safety, there are a few factors that affect the safety of a rooftop tent. Getting these right is paramount for a camper. These factors are :
1. The Type of Car
The safety of the rooftop tents will largely depend on the car the campers are driving. Since these tents are set up on the top of a car, the type of car becomes a very important factor. Since the tents are heavy and take up a lot of space, you will need a car that can handle that much weight and bulk. For this reason, larger cars are a better fit for carrying rooftop tents than smaller ones.
2. The Size of the Tent
Another factor that affects the safety of the tent is its size of it. If the tent is larger than the capacity of the car, then the tent will not be safe at all.
3. The Kind of Racking
The third factor affecting the rooftop tent’s safety is the racking of the car it has been attached to. If your car or truck has standard racking or crossbars, then chances are it won’t be able to handle the weight and size of the tent. In that case, you will have to install a new, specialized racking. If you don’t, then the weaker racking will break under the pressure and damage both the tent and the car.
4. Number of People
The next factor of tent safety is the number of people that are going to stay in it. If you are planning to have more people in the tent, you need to buy a heavier tent and install the racking accordingly.
5. The Material of the Tent
The last factor of the safety of a rooftop tent is the material it’s made of. If the wrong materials are used, the tent will break apart, leaving you nowhere to go in the middle of, well, nowhere.
Are Our Rooftop Tents Safe From Bears?
Bears are the most common animal threat to the campers and their tents. These animals tend to snoop around a camping site in search of free food and sometimes things end up being very fatal. So, it’s better to use rooftop tents to be safer. Yes, bears can climb small ladders, but if you store your food inside the car instead of the tent, you will be fine.
Are Rooftops Tents Safe in Thunderstorms?
This is the aspect of weather resistance of a tent that I was talking about before. These tents, as sturdy as they are, do not protect from thunderstorms. They can handle regular storms, but thunderstorms are something else entirely. The rooftop tents are not designed to withstand the continuous thrashing of the wind, hail, etc of a thunderstorm. If anything, you will be at more risk of getting hit by lightning because of your elevation. If unfortunately, you do come across a thunderstorm, leave the tent and get inside your car.
So, are rooftop tents safe? In most cases, they most certainly are. But if you are facing a thunderstorm, this will not be the best choice for finding shelter. So go camping keeping this aspect of rooftop tents in mind.
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