7 tips for camping with a roof top tent in the rain


If someone mentions roof top tenting in the rain it can sound awful, and so is it if you’re not prepared for it. These 7 quick tips make it easier to spend a rainy day with your roof top tent. Of course, you can try to avoid it, otherwise, prepare properly, you may even like the experience in the end.

1. Large waterproof tarpaulins

In almost any camping equipment store, you can easily find larger tarpaulins that aren’t very heavy and don’t take a lot of space. It is always advisable to have one large tarpaulin under which about eight people can hide from the rain. When you are caught in the rain, you will find that such items are worth every penny. Learn some knotting skills and you can set up a tarp anywhere with the help of some trees. It provides you with a dry shelter that you can easily set up and break down. We use this tarp which is very affordable but extremely durable and versatile to use.

2. Plastic bags

When packing your equipment, it is best to put all your tools and clothes in plastic bags. Keeping things dry is essential. You can also use garbage bags to keep your things dry if the situation gets worse. For example, if it is raining and you do not have a tarp, you can put your sleeping bag inside the garbage bag.

The same goes for your clothes. If it is cold, you can put your clothing in plastic bags so that they will not get wet. This way, you will be able to stay warm and comfortable while you are working. That way, the rain won’t be able to surprise you and ruin your vacation.

3. Good windproof rain jacket and pants

A good windproof rain jacket and pants are an essential part of any camping trip. Some prefer raincoats, but this is not always the best choice. A good rain jacket and pants will keep you dry even if you have to do something else like a paddle in a canoe and the like. Staying dry in a raincoat is far more difficult during activities. Don’t skimp too much on clothes, as this can ruin your vacation. When boondocking we use only Fjällraven clothes. They are mighty strong, have a great fit, and are windproof. I am very skeptical always about clothing, but the Greenland edition coats are amazing. Don’t want anything else!

4. Do not wear cotton clothes

Cotton clothes aren’t really great for camping when it’s raining. If you get wet, the clothes will become damp and ‘stick’ to your skin, which can be very uncomfortable. Wear quick-drying synthetic layers on your body, like polyester and nylon. Choose softshell or hardshell waterproof materials (with waterproof zippers) for your outer layer to protect you from wind and rain.

5. Burners

Being able to cook when it’s raining is important. You can have a gas burner or, perhaps better yet, a wood burner with you. However, you must be careful that your cooking equipment doesn’t become all soaked. If you have a soft shell roof top tent chances are high that you can cook under your tent. Keep the kitchen under a tarp if that isn’t possible. Keep an open flame always at a safe distance from your car. Only in this way will you ensure that there will be no unpleasant surprises.

6. Just enjoy

rooftop tent rain

If you’re going on a hike or canoe ride and find out along the way that it might start raining soon, don’t wait for the rain, but start your journey. Be prepared for the rain all the time, and when it catches you, don’t be surprised. Bad weather should not be the reason for the end of the adventure, it should rather become a part of it. The coldest, wettest, and most demanding trips often leave the most beautiful memories.

7. Cancellation

In the end, you can always cancel or postpone tent trips if rainy weather is forecast. After all, you want to tent and enjoy, not test your ability to survive in extreme conditions.

Are roof top tents rainproof?

The majority of roof top tents are waterproof, as the fabric is made of an impregnated poly-cotton material. In addition, roof top tents also come with a thick waterproof polyester rainfly. Given that the fabric on a roof top tent is designed to be waterproof, it should theoretically last forever. However, while the fabric itself is waterproof, over time it will start to leak.

That’s because any stitching, holes, or other openings in the tent are potential entry points for water. When it rains, water will seep through those opening and cause your roof top tent to leak. Additionally, when your roof top tent is stored away wet, mold can form and ruin the waterproofing.

How To Deal With a Wet Roof Top Tent

Traveling via tent offers a variety of benefits, especially when you’re looking to camp in beautiful locations. One downside to this form of camping is that it requires enduring the elements. When strong winds or heavy rain begin to attack your tent, it can become quite tricky to pack your roof top tent properly. In instances like these, you have to learn how to deal with a wet roof top tent properly. Doing so will allow you to get back to enjoying your trip.

What should you do if your roof top tent gets wet?

Folding up a wet roof top tent is not recommended as this may result in tearing or structural damage to the tent. After a rainy day, a roof top tent should be dried before folding. The important thing to note is that your tent can still keep you comfortable and protected from the elements. But make sure to dry off as much of it as possible because this will help maintain durability.

The first thing you want to do is to let the rain drip off the ceiling of your tent. This helps prevent any condensation from building up inside of the tent. In the event that your ceiling becomes soaked, you want to take steps to dry it out. This can be done by either opening the air vents of your tent to let air circulate through or, even better, getting the towel out and starting rubbing the ceiling dry. It may take a while, but this will help your tent dry out as much as possible.

Once you are sure that the ceiling is no longer dripping, get out of your tent to dry the rainfly. This should be done carefully so as not to rip or tear it. Make sure you dry each section of the rainfly, working your way towards the top. You want to make sure that it is thoroughly dry before you store it away to prevent any mold from building up. Sometimes it just isn’t possible to dry your roof top tent before folding it up because of heavy rains. In this case, you can fold your tent up but remember to unpack it as soon as possible to dry it.

How Long Can You Safely Keep A Wet Roof Top Tent?

Wet conditions are perfect for spores to begin to grow and this can be dangerous because it can harm your health. When conditions are conducive, mildew or mold can begin growing on your wet roof top tent immediately. This is because the fungi spores that grow into molds or mildew are always present in virtually all places. They are unavoidable. It is just a matter of when and where conditions are right for them to take root. Make sure you fold out a wet roof top tent within two days after folding it up wet to prevent heavy mildew.

In conclusion, always be prepared for bad weather when camping with a roof top tent. Make sure to bring extra supplies, including a tarpaulin, just in case the weather takes a turn for the worse. With a little bit of preparation, you can make your camping trip a success, even if the rain starts to fall. When it’s raining, it probably will also be a bit windy. Maybe you like this blog post as well: 5 things you need to know about roof top tents and (heavy) wind conditions.

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