Roof Tent FAQ

Answers to common questions

About TentBox

Is TentBox the best roof tent brand?

We think so! We strive to offer the highest quality roof tents and the best customer service in the industry. We will never talk badly about other brands, but we are confident in the design, quality, and durability of our products. We are also proud of our dedicated customer support team, excellent reviews and the strong community we've built around our brand.

What TentBox roof tent model should I get?

The right TentBox model for you depends on your specific needs and circumstances. We have several models that cater to different preferences and requirements, and you can use our handy comparison table to compare all of our products. If you're unsure, our customer service team would love to discuss your needs and help you choose the perfect TentBox for your adventures.

How do I see a TentBox in person?

We understand the importance of seeing a product before you buy, and we have a network of approved dealers where you can see our TentBox models in person. You can find your nearest dealer on our website or contact our customer service team for assistance.

How do I contact TentBox?

You can reach us via email, phone, WhatsApp or through our social media channels. All of our contact information is available on our website. Our team of product specialsits strive to respond to all enquiries promptly and are always happy to answer any questions you may have.

What is the TentBox community?

The TentBox community is a group of like-minded adventurers who share a love for exploring and camping with their TentBox. People who have a TentBox refer to themselves as ‘TentBoxers’ and when you use your TentBox it’s called ‘TentBoxing’. We host regular meet-ups and events, and our online community is a great place to share stories, tips, and advice. When you purchase a TentBox, you're not just getting a roof tent, you're joining a community.

Can I finance my TentBox purchase?

Yes, we offer a variety of flexible finance options to help make your TentBox purchase more affordable and many of them are 0% interest. We understand that a roof tent is an investment, and we want to make it as affordable as possible for you to start your TentBox adventure.

How quickly does a TentBox get delivered?

A TentBox is typically delivered to the UK mainland within 3-7 working days. International delivery times can vary, but we always aim to get your TentBox to you as quickly as possible. You can view our delivery information here and if you have specific delivery requirements or questions, our customer service team will be happy to assist.

Is TentBox a sustainable brand?

At TentBox, we take our environmental responsibility seriously. We strive to make our products as sustainable as possible, from the materials we use to the way we package and deliver our tents. We're also committed to continuous improvement and regularly review our processes to identify areas where we can further reduce our environmental impact. In general, roof tent camping is a much more sustainable way to travel as it doesn't involve flying and you can holiday closer to home.

Where did the name TentBox come from?

It’s a tent in a box! It really is that simple. We just combined the words ‘tent’ with ‘roof box’ and created what is fast becoming an iconic brand in the outdoor space. The name was devised by the founders, Ollie and Neill whilst on a road trip in France.

How long has TentBox been around?

TentBox was founded in 2015 by brothers, Ollie and Neill, who wanted to create a high-quality, user-friendly roof tent that would make camping more accessible and enjoyable. The big focus was to build a roof tent that would work with any car and ensure that the products, customer service and community were next-level. Since then, we've grown rapidly and established ourselves as a leading brand in the roof tent industry, with a strong community of happy TentBox users around the world.

Popular roof tent questions

What is a roof tent?

A roof tent is a sleeping pod that attaches to the roof of almost any vehicle, providing a comfortable and safe sleeping space elevated from the ground. The ingenious design allows for quick and easy setup and pack-down and keeps you off the ground away from any wet or uneven surfaces, as well as wildlife.

What are the benefits of a roof tent?

Elevated sleeping area

Roof tents elevate your sleeping area off the ground, providing an extra level of comfort, safety, and convenience - this elevated position allows for epic views and great ventilation too.

Quick, easy setup

Another huge benefit is that they are quick and easy to set up and have a fitted mattress, saving you time and effort during your camping trips.

Camp where you park

Rooftop tents provide the flexibility to camp anywhere your vehicle can go, much like a campervan, which can lead to more unique and less crowded camping experiences and you don’t need to find a flat piece of grass to pitch up a ground tent.

More space in your vehicle

Finally, because they pack away neatly on your vehicle's roof, they leave more space inside your car for other camping gear. With a roof tent, you will look forward to camping!

When were roof tents invented?

Whilst the popularity of roof tents has grown in recent years, the concept isn't new. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact starting point of rooftop tents as there were several options available in Europe in the 1950s, but we do know that British inventor Victor Rosen came up with a unique roof tent concept in 1956. They've been a staple of African and Australian overlanding for decades, and recently, they've been gaining traction amongst general camping crowds in Europe and North America.

What is the best roof tent?

We can say with confidence that TentBox offers some of the best roof tents on the market and we have played a huge role in their meteoric rise to popularity. We will never bash other brands but are happy to talk about what makes us great. Our roof tents offer an outstanding balance of quality, durability, and convenience and are backed by a 5-year warranty. We also offer excellent customer service and have an active, supportive community of TentBoxers.

Are roof tents comfortable?

Yes, roof tents offer a surprising level of comfort. They typically come with a built-in foam mattress that offers good support and a great night's sleep. The elevation also tends to provide better ventilation than a traditional tent and being off the ground, you don't have to worry about uneven, rocky or damp surfaces underneath you.

Are rooftop tents waterproof?

Yes, a well-made roof tent is completely waterproof and will provide you with a cosy space that’s protected from the elements. A TentBox is designed with British weather in mind and as we all know, that means a lot of rain! All TentBox models are made with a durable, waterproof canvas, with silicone taped seams and in some cases waterproof zips.

How do roof tents handle high winds?

Yes, good-quality roof tents have a solid frame and are designed to withstand strong winds. However, like any tent, they have limits, so always check the manufacturer's guidelines for wind ratings. In extreme wind conditions, it may be safer to take down the tent or find a more sheltered spot.

Is a roof tent easy to use?

Absolutely - one of the main advantages of roof tents is their ease of use. They can be set up and packed away quickly and easily, often in just a few minutes. Some roof tents, like the TentBox Classic, have a gas-assisted opening system and allow you to leave your duvet and pillows inside.

Can one person use a roof tent?

Yes, rooftop tents are designed to be simple enough for one person to set up and pack away. However, depending on the model and size of the tent, some people may find it easier with two people.

Are roof tents big inside?

While they may look compact from the outside, roof tents are surprisingly spacious inside. Most roof tents will comfortably sleep two people and are long enough for people up to 7ft tall. Some rooftop tents like the TentBox XL have enough space for four adults or even a small family

Is a roof tent good for families?

Roof tents can indeed be a great option for families. Some models, like the TentBox XL, are large enough to comfortably sleep two adults and two children. However, it's important to check the specific model's sleeping capacity and weight limit. For larger families, you may need to consider multiple roof tents or a combination of a roof tent and a ground tent.

Can you wild camp in a roof tent?

Yes, a rooftop tent is an excellent option for wild camping as it allows you to set up camp almost anywhere your vehicle can go. Being elevated from the ground also offers additional protection and comfort when camping in remote or uneven terrain. However, always ensure you're respecting local regulations and land ownership.

Where can I sleep in a roof tent?

You can sleep in a roof tent anywhere it's legal and safe to park your vehicle overnight. This includes designated campsites, certain public land, certain laybys, and some roadside rest areas and car parks. Always adhere to local rules and regulations, and be respectful of the environment and other people.

Are roof tents heavy?

Roof tents are heavier than ground tents due to the materials used for their construction. The exact weight can vary depending on the model and size, but on average, you can expect a roof tent to weigh between 45kg and 75kg (less than the weight of an average person). It's important to ensure your vehicle's roof load limit is greater than the weight of the tent that you are planning to buy.

Can I leave bedding, sleeping bags and pillows in a roof tent?

Almost all roof tents come with a mattress, which is stored inside the tent when it's closed. With some rooftop tents, such as the TentBox Classic, you can also leave your bedding inside when it's closed - think sleeping bags, duvets and pillows. This can save space in your vehicle and make setting up camp quicker and easier as your bed is pre-made.

Do people steal roof tents?

While it's not a common occurrence, like any valuable item, roof tents can be targeted by thieves. It is advisable to get insurance to protect your roof tent and many companies, like TentBox, offer additional security solutions to deter thieves.

Are roof tents warm?

Yes, roof tents are designed to be warm and cosy. The canvas used is usually thick and insulating as is the foam mattress and being elevated from the ground helps to retain heat better than traditional ground tents as there is an air barrier between the base of the tent and the car. However, it is always advisable to use a sleeping bag that has a suitable rating for the outside temperatures.

Where can I see a roof tent?

Roof tents can be seen out in the wild, at tradeshows, or at roof tent dealerships. At TentBox, we have a network of approved dealers across the country where you can see our tents in person. You can also check out our website for detailed images and videos of our products.

How do I get help with roof tents?

If you need help with roof tents, you can contact the TentBox team via email, phone, or social media. We're always happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have. We also have a range of online resources available, including installation guides and FAQs.

Can I finance my roof tent purchase?

Yes, a lot of roof tent brands will offer finance to help you purchase a roof tent. At TentBox, we offer a variety of flexible 0% finance options to help make your roof tent purchase more affordable. You can find more information on our website or contact our customer service team to discuss the available options.

Why are roof tents so expensive?

The cost of roof tents reflects the cost of manufacturing; they are large heavy items that use quality materials, a lot of metal and take a long time to assemble by hand. They are a durable and long-lasting product, designed to withstand various weather conditions and provide a comfortable and safe sleeping environment. While the initial investment may be higher than a traditional tent, many users find the benefits and convenience to be worth the cost in the long run.

Is a roof tent better than a ground tent?

Rooftop tents offer several advantages over ground tents. They elevate you off the ground, providing a comfortable and dry sleeping area regardless of the terrain or weather conditions. They also allow you to camp almost anywhere your vehicle can go, providing a lot of flexibility. Additionally, roof tents are often quicker and easier to set up and pack away than traditional tents. However, whether a roof tent is 'better' will depend on individual preferences and camping needs.

Is a roof tent a good campervan alternative?

Roof tents can be a great alternative to a campervan. They are significantly cheaper, easier to store when not in use, and allow you to utilise your existing vehicle. They also provide a similar benefit of being able to camp wherever your vehicle can go, and like a campervan, your sleeping area is off the ground and secure. However, unlike a campervan, a roof tent does not have a built-in kitchen or living area, but you can use various camping accessories to achieve this.

Will I fit inside a roof tent if I’m tall and over 6ft?

Most roof tents can accommodate people up to and over 6ft tall comfortably. However, it's always a good idea to check the specific dimensions of the tent model you're considering. At TentBox, we list the interior dimensions of our tents to help you make an informed decision and our largest model, the TentBox XL is almost 8ft long.

How do I get my dog inside a roof tent?

This really depends on the size of your dog and whether you are capable of carrying them up the ladder. If not, people will often use a dog ramp on the front of their car to allow them to climb into a side window. Always ensure that any dog in a roof tent is supervised and secure to prevent them from jumping or falling out.

How many people fit in a roof tent?

The number of people a roof tent can accommodate depends on the model. Some are designed for two people, while larger models like the TentBox XL can fit up to four people comfortably. Always check the specific capacity and weight limit of the roof tent model you're considering.

Does a rooftop tent have a mattress inside?

Yes, most roof tents come with a built-in mattress that lives inside the roof tent at all times. These are typically made from high-density foam and offer a comfortable sleeping surface. The thickness and quality of the mattress can vary between manufacturers and models. At TentBox we list all of our mattress specifications on our website.

Does the ladder come with a roof tent?

Yes, roof tents typically come with a ladder included. In some roof tent models the ladder serves a dual purpose: it allows you to access the tent, and it also provides the necessary means to open the tent. Some ladders, like those included with TentBox tents, are telescopic, meaning they can be adjusted to different heights to suit your vehicle.

Are roof tents good for road trips?

Absolutely! Roof tents are perfect for road trips. They allow you to set up camp quickly and easily, giving you more time to explore and enjoy your trip. Plus, they're attached to your vehicle, so you always have a comfortable and secure place to sleep, wherever your adventure takes you.

Using a roof tent

Will a roof tent affect my car insurance?

It's important to check with your car insurance provider to understand how a roof tent may affect your policy. While a roof tent shouldn't significantly impact your insurance, some insurers may consider it a modification to your vehicle. Always disclose any changes to your vehicle to your insurance provider to ensure you're properly covered. If the insurance company are struggling to understand the concept, the best way to describe it is a 'roof box' or 'cargo carrier'.

Do roof tents get condensation?

Condensation can occur in any tent or enclosed space, including roof tents, due to temperature differences inside and outside the tent and moisture build-up from your breath. The key to minimising condensation is good ventilation. Most good rooftop tents will have some kind of built-in vents, but you should also open the windows slightly to promote airflow. Some higher-end models, like TentBox, are made with breathable fabrics to further reduce condensation. We have a full condensation guide if you would like more information.

Do campsites allow roof tents?

Most campsites do allow roof tents, but policies can vary. It's always a good idea to check with the campsite directly before you arrive. In terms of whether you book as a ‘tent’ or a ‘campervan’ will also depend on the campsite policy.

How do I heat my roof tent?

Roof tents are generally well-insulated, but in colder weather, you may want to take extra measures, such as a winter sleeping bag, thermal clothing or a hot water bottle. TentBox offer insulation kits to add a further layer of insulation to the inside of your roof tent. Some people use a portable electric heater designed for use in tents, but always prioritize safety and definitely never use a gas heater inside a tent due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

How do you get in to a roof tent?

Roof tents are typically accessed using a ladder that hooks onto the edge of the tent and extends down to the ground, allowing you to climb up into the tent. The ladder usually comes included with the tent and stores away inside / on top.

Does a roof tent affect fuel efficiency?

It totally depends on your vehicle - but as a general rule, it will reduce your fuel efficiency from anywhere between 2% and 5%. The main cause of this is the added weight and change in aerodynamics, although a roof tent generally weighs less than a person, so it’s no different to having an extra passenger inside the car from a weight perspective. The impact is often considered a worthwhile trade-off for the convenience and comfort of a roof tent.

Can I put my TentBox away wet?

It is better to let your TentBox dry completely before packing it away, but sometimes the weather won’t permit this. If you have to pack it away wet due to weather conditions, bash as much of the water off the fabric before closing it and make sure you open it up again to air it out within 24 hours to prevent mould and mildew.

Can I use a roof tent on my own?

Absolutely! One of the great things about roof tents is that they are designed to be user-friendly and can often be set up and packed away by one person. It might take a bit of practice at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll find it's quite easy.

Can short people use roof tents?

Yes, height is generally not an issue when it comes to using a roof tent. It may be slightly more challenging for shorter people to set up and pack away the tent, but with a bit of practice, it's entirely doable. Many people will take a collapsible step ladder in their car to help them reach, or you can also use the ladder that comes with your TentBox.

Can I leave a roof tent on my car all year round? 

A well-made roof tent can be left on your car all year round. One of the benefits of a rooftop tent is that it allows for spontaneous adventure, so having it on and ready to go is part of the fun. Some people will take them off for winter though and store them.

Caring for a roof tent

Can I store my TentBox roof tent on its side?

You can store your roof tent on its side as long as it is properly supported and protected from damage. We recommend putting something down on the floor to stop scratching such as a piece of cardboard. Remember, whenever you store your TentBox, you should make sure it is completely dry beforehand.

How do you store a roof tent?

When not in use, a roof tent should be stored in a dry, protected location to prevent damage from moisture or pests. It's important to ensure the tent is completely dry before storing it to prevent mould and mildew. Some people choose to leave the tent mounted on their vehicle, while others prefer to remove it and store it indoors, particularly over winter.

How do I insure my roof tent?

You should first check whether your existing car or home insurance policy covers your roof tent from damage or theft. If it doesn’t, there are a few insurers for outdoor camping gear and we recommend Shield camping insurance. It is always best to call them to double-check that the cover is suitable before purchasing. 

Do roof tents get mouldy?

If not cared for properly, roof tents, like any tent, can potentially develop mould. To prevent this, ensure your tent is completely dry before closing it down or storing it. If it gets wet during a trip, open it to air out as soon as you can, ideally within 24hrs. Regular cleaning and maintenance can also help prevent mould growth.

How do I care for my roof tent?

Regular cleaning and maintenance will ensure your roof tent stays in top condition. This includes airing it out after use, cleaning it with mild soap and water, and checking for any wear or tear. Always ensure the tent is completely dry before storing it to prevent mould and mildew. We also recommend using a reproofing treatment on the fabric once a year to ensure it remains completely waterproof, brands like Fabsil or Nikwax are our favourite.

Roof tent installation

How do vehicle roof load limits work?

Each vehicle has a specific roof load limit set by the manufacturer, which includes the weight of the roof bars and any load on them, including a roof tent. You can find this limit in the vehicle manual or by doing a Google search. This limit should not be exceeded for safety reasons and the roof tent should always weigh less than the roof load limit. It's important to know that there are two types of load limits: static (when the vehicle is parked) and dynamic (when the vehicle is moving). The static limit is often much higher than the dynamic one, allowing for the added weight of the roof tent occupants when the car is parked.

What about the weight of people inside a roof tent?

People often wonder how a car can take the added weight of people inside a roof tent, as it puts them over their vehicle roof load limit. The key thing to know is that the roof load limit listed by vehicle manufacturers is for when the vehicle is driving, and is known as a dynamic roof load limit. The static roof load limit is at least 5x as much as the dynamic roof load limit, and this is what counts when you are parked up and people are inside.

How do I find roof bars for my car and roof tent?

You can get roof bars for any car, but they are often vehicle-specific, so you will need to get a set of bars that are compatible with your car. There are lots of online and physical retailers who have easy tools to help you find the right ones. All good roof tent companies will be able to help you find bars, at TentBox you can ask one of our product specialists.

Can I put a roof tent on any car?

Roof tents can be installed on a wide variety of vehicles, including small cars, SUVs, and trucks; all you need are a set of roof bars, which you can get for any car. Always check your vehicle's manual to make sure your car can take the weight of the roof tent you intend to purchase.

Can I put a roof tent on a small car?

Yes, you can install a roof tent on a small car. It's important to check the weight of the tent and compare it with the vehicle's roof load limit to ensure it is compatible, most reputable roof tent manufacturers will be able to provide assistance with this. Some smaller or lightweight roof tents are specifically designed for use with smaller cars.

How do you attach a roof tent to a car?

Installing a roof tent typically involves mounting it to your vehicle's roof rack or bars using the supplied brackets and hardware. It's usually a straightforward process and should take less than an hour, even if you are inexperienced. One person alone can do most of the process, but you will need a second pair of hands to help lift it on as roof tents are large items.

Can you install a roof tent to the rear cab of a truck?

Yes, roof tents can be installed on the rear cab of a truck using a suitable, good-quality, truck bed rack. This can be a great option for truck owners as it allows you to use the bed of your truck for storage while providing a comfortable and elevated sleeping space. It is also possible, and often easier, to install it onto the front cab, by getting a set of standard roof bars for your vehicle.

Do roof tents work with a sunroof?

Generally, you can use a roof tent with a sunroof, but the sunroof will likely be obstructed by the tent when it's installed. The tent will be installed onto the roof bars which are not usually affected by the sunroof, however, always consult with the tent and/or vehicle manufacturers to ensure compatibility.

Can you install a roof tent onto a roof rack?

Yes, roof tents can be installed onto roof racks, but the easiest and cheapest way to install a roof tent is onto a pair of cross bars. There are a few more things to consider with roof racks, such as whether it has raised edges or whether there’s enough space to mount the fixing brackets. We have written a full guide on roof racks to help.

Can you install a roof tent onto a trailer?

Yes, roof tents can be installed onto a trailer, many people do this. This can be a great option for those who want the flexibility of a detachable camping setup or who want to avoid the additional weight on their vehicle's roof. You will need to ensure that you source suitable, strong cross bars for your trailer before you attempt to mount a roof tent.

Will a roof tent work with my car?

Whether a roof tent will work with your car depends on a few factors, including the roof load limit and whether or not you can install roof bars on it. Almost every car can have roof bars installed, and most cars can take a small lightweight roof tent, such as the TentBox Lite as a minimum. It's always best to check these details and consult with the tent manufacturer to ensure compatibility. Our quick guide is a great place to learn the basics.

Can I install a roof tent on my own?

Technically you could, but you will need the help of another person, or lifting equipment, to get it on top of your roof bars. We would recommend finding someone to help you lift it on, and the rest can easily be done by one person.

Can I use 3 cross bars instead of 2?

Most roof tents are designed to be used with 2 roof bars, whilst it is possible to add an extra bar it is usually not necessary. Some people prefer the peace of mind of having three bars, particularly if they plan to do some heavy off roading.

Do roof tents work with convertibles?

Convertibles are generally not suitable for roof tents as they are not able to accommodate roof bars. However, some convertibles with hard tops may be able to accommodate a lightweight roof tent. Always consult with the vehicle and tent manufacturers before installing a roof tent on a convertible.

Roof Tent Safety

Is it safe to put the weight of a roof tent on top of my car?

Yes, it's safe to put a roof tent on your car as long as you do not exceed the vehicle's roof load limit whilst driving and it is installed correctly. Our guide on vehicle road limits has more information on this.

Is it safe to sleep in a roof tent?

Roof tents are designed to be a safe and comfortable sleeping space. They are securely attached to the roof rack and have a sturdy construction with a solid base. Plus, sleeping off the ground can provide added security and protection from wildlife. Remember though, you are sleeping outside, so you should always be aware of your surroundings and any potential dangers. Some people prefer to sleep at a campsite for peace of mind.

Is the overhang safe in a roof tent?

In a good-quality fold-out roof tent, the overhang is perfectly safe. Usually, the overhang is supported by a large interlocking steel hinge and a ladder. Most manufacturers will list the internal weight limits on their websites.

What’s to stop someone from opening a roof tent while it’s on my car?

Technically, nothing, but it is not a common occurrence; we don't recommend keeping anything valuable inside your roof tent though. There are ways to lock a roof tent, such as a lockable ratchet strap, or the TentBox Cargo closing buckles have the option to add a padlock.

Will a rooftop tent damage my car?

A properly installed roof tent will not damage your car. It's crucial to ensure that the tent and roof rack are securely attached and that they do not exceed the vehicle's roof load limit. Our roof tent quick guide is a great place to learn more about how roof tents work.

What speed can I drive with a roof tent?

Most roof tent manufacturers will list the maximum recommended driving speed in the user guide, which is often 70mph. Always follow the tent manufacturer's recommendations and any local laws, regulations and speed limits.