Camping is about being prepared and staying prepared. You never want to arrive at your site only to have something go wrong or malfunction without the proper equipment to salvage the problem. And that’s why we’re here to help you.
First up on the list is shelter. You want to ensure the shelter you’ve decided on is suitable and can withstand the trip you have planned, which is why it will require the proper setup. Here are seven tools you need for installing a rooftop tent.
If you are a frequent camper, then a full roof rack is the best option for you. The roof rack is not something that necessarily comes with the rooftop tent, but it is an item you need to consider purchasing. Also, it’s more of a tool to make things easier for your setup and travel.
The full roof rack allows you to evenly distribute the weight when the vehicle is stopped and is very strong when the vehicle is in motion. If you plan to travel on the highway with your rooftop tent, this rack is highly recommended. More so, you’ll need it if you plan to travel to multiple sites on your trip.
You won’t always want to dismount the rooftop tent, so keeping it strapped to the roof rack makes things easier for you. And there might be a lot of uneven ground, so the security is even better.
The crossbars, also known as longitudinal bars, are useful tools to keep close by. They work better for lightweight tents and campers who don’t plan to keep their tents mounted for an extended period.
But because they differ from a full roof rack, they are not as secure or stable. Use these bars for an occasional camping trip—one you take about once or twice out the year. Even though they work well with lightweight rooftop tents almost, crossbars can carry the weight of any rooftop tent. They are just not built for longevity.
You can install these cross bars before you’re set to travel. When you get to the site, it’ll be one less thing to install and prepare while setting up camp. Make sure they’re secure, so you deal with fewer problems later.
A box cutter may seem like an inconsequential tool, but it’s not. Use the box cutter the open the rooftop tent box. Remove the tent and then lay it on a flat surface. You can choose to install the rooftop tent before you head out, but it’s better to set it up once you reach your destination.
For starters, you’ll need to level the tent for the site. You also don’t want to travel too far on the highway with the tent attached. It can withstand a great speed can be secure if installed properly, but sometimes waiting is better.
Along with taking the tent out of the box, you never know what you might need to box cutter for. There will be additional things you need to open and cut, and having the cutter close by makes things easier for you.
The ladder and the ladder brackets are two different things. First, you’ll need to secure the ladder near the vehicle so you can reach the rooftop tent. Make sure the vehicle is parked on a relatively flat surface, so it’s easier to level the tent and keep things even.
Place the elevated park of the ladder uphill and keep the leveled park downhill. Plant the legs firmly into the ground, so you don’t go off balance or lose your footing. Now you want to take your ladder brackets and set them up. Remove the bolts from the brackets and then align them with the pre-drilled holes along the tent’s edge. Don’t tighten anything just yet.
After you’ve laid out the tent, you’ll need the ratcheting wrench for the remaining items inside the box. There are bolts, nuts, channel sliders, ladder brackets, steel mounting plates, and bolts with washers. There is also a cover, but that doesn’t have much to do with the ratcheting wrench.
This particular tool tightens and loosens nuts and bolts more efficiently than most wrenches. They attach to different-sized sockets and are versatile. Mount the channel slides parallel to the tent hinge. Align the track with the pre-drilled holes in the base of the tent.
Now you’ll want to use the ratcheting wrench to slide the bolts with washers between the mattress and the tent base. Use the wrench to tighten the bolts and ensure everything is secure.
An Allen wrench set, also known as an Allen key or hex key, is a small hand tool used to fasten screws or bolts with the hexagonal socket. You’ll need this set for this next part because it deals with a lot of tightening. Here is where you make sure everything is fastened and secure. The small tool is perfect for this task because it gets in those tight spaces where you will encounter difficulty.
Now you’ll want to set up the mounting rails. Attach the mounting rails to your tent, so you can install them on your roof rack. If you’re going the crossbar route, you’ll want to place the two-channel sliders and bolts into the mounting tracks.
Slide the channel sliders to your crossbar, lift the tent and move one slide/bolt combo, so you have one on each side of the crossbar.
Last on the list is a metal file. This is not a tool you’ll need all the time, but it’s good to keep on hand. A metal file is mainly used to remove fine amounts of material from a workplace. But their structure makes them more versatile than that.
Once you’ve secured your wedge rooftop tent and set up the mounting rails, attach the mounting rails to the roof rack. Attach the cover to the tent with the provided instructions, and then attach the tent to the roof rack and move it to the center. Remember to secure the ladder first.
Here at Super Pacific Inc., our rooftop tents will need all seven tools to ensure installation and security for your camping trip. For more information, visit our website.