To mount the roof top tent on the canopy, firstly, you will need to get the tent to the top of the canopy so that it can be installed. After that, you just have to make sure that the tent is securely placed on the canopy using brackets. When the brackets are attached, you can access the tent’s interior.
However, placing the roof top tent on the canopy is difficult because there can be many issues. For example, the weight capacity of the rack may be inadequate to hold the tent, or you may face some compatibility problems.
Even if everything is fine, believe me, mounting the roof top tent on the canopy can take your whole day if you do not have appropriate information and related experience. Therefore, you should read this article thoroughly. It is not just a guide on how to mount a roof top tent on a canopy but also my personal experience in a well-documented form.
Let’s get started!
How To Mount Roof Top Tent On Canopy?
The steps below will guide you through the process of mounting the roof top tent on your canopy.
- Determine the canopy’s weight bearing capacity
- Place the roof top tent on the canopy
- Secure the roof top tent with the rack
1) Determine the canopy’s weight bearing capacity
Before doing anything, you should make sure that:
- The canopy can bear the weight of your roof top tent easily.
- Plus, do not forget to add your weight too.
You can find the canopy’s weight-bearing capacity from the vehicle’s manual.
It can be very frustrating for you if the weight capacity of the canopy is less than the RTT + your weight but do not worry. If you are passionate about your goal, you can go for many different racks and a relatively less heavy roof top tent.
Note: If the canopy’s weight capacity is way less than the weight you are going to apply to it, do not do it. The simple solution is to find a lightweight roof top tent. Also, you can go for different racks that can increase the balance and weight capacity of the canopy.
Following are the different types of roof racks you can install to increase the dynamic weight capacity of the canopy of your vehicle.
Fixed Mounting Points
The fixed mounting points are brackets that are customized to seamlessly integrate with the attachment spots on the vehicle. As they are fastened into the roof construction, they provide a substantial degree of sturdiness.
The backbone is the most robust rack system to accommodate heavy-weight roof-top tents. In my opinion, although it looks a little bulky on the vehicle canopy, it is best for most RTTs.
Many vehicles are equipped with the Gutter Mount system, which attaches to the side gutters on the vehicle’s sides. Besides providing an effective attachment method, these side gutters are also solid and durable. You should definitely go for this customized (if possible to install on your vehicle) if the roof is not very strong to bear the roof top tent weight.
If you decide to use a Track Mount system for your rooftop, there will be either a requirement for drilling or the manufacturer will provide Screw-in nut holes that will be used to secure the system to your roof.
I would suggest that you choose screw-in nut holes because then you will be able to do various experiments with the canopy in the future.
The Trackmount system is highly effective in achieving a higher load rating. Also, you can find a wide range of these systems that are custom-made to fit the roof of your vehicle and are available in various sizes.
2) Place the roof top tent on the canopy
Placing the roof top tent on the canopy can be a challenging task. You cannot do it alone, so always remember to call a friend. However, about 100-200 pounds’ roof top tent is not a joke to get on the top alone, even with two persons.
Following are the suggestions on how you can get the roof top tent on the canopy:
- First and the best way to get the roof top tent on the canopy is to find a place to park the vehicle where you don’t need a ladder to reach the canopy. More specifically, a down-land – where you just need to lift the tent and place it on the canopy.
- Secondly, you can use a rope to lift the tent. It is simple; you simply have to make sure when you lift the tent, it will not damage the vehicle.
3) Secure the roof top tent with the rack
After you place the tent on the rack, it is time to secure the tent with the rack. There are many ways to do it, but the bolt and bracket system is the best.
As you know, there is no standard method to do this because there is no one type of standard rack. So, even if your roof top tent comes with bolts or clamps, they may not fit appropriately. But, keep in mind, where there is a will, there is a way.
If nothing works, you can weld the roof top tent with the rack. However, it is not the best way because you may need to disassemble this in the future, but it is the most appropriate way after the bolt and bracket system.
Suggestions and Recommendations
Before buying any roof top tent, always determine the weight-bearing capacity of the canopy rack. Otherwise, all other solutions can be frustrating or less satisfying.
If you know later that the weight capacity of the rack is less and the roof top tent is heavy, never install it. There can be devastating consequences. Maybe it will work well in the beginning but think if a 200-pound roof top tent tears the running vehicle roof while on the road- what will happen?
The long-term plan should be in mind. For example, if you have successfully mounted the roof top tent in any way, after several months, if you want to disassemble the tent, is it easy? And can it be done without damaging the rack or vehicle roof?
Last but not least, before going on the trip, always inspect all the connections, nuts, bolts, brackets, and welding, whatever works for you. Never compromise on safety if anything is not tight or securely fitted.
I have done a lot of research for my and my friend’s projects of mounting roof top tents on the canopy, and we were successful every time. However, one thing I learned from all the experiences is that each experience is different.
Mainly it depends on the rack type that can be changed, or the most suitable custom-made rack can be installed to get rid of any mounting issue. However, there are many other aspects we need to consider. For instance, the roof top tent should look good on the canopy because it is a crucial factor because it is directly related to satisfaction.
In the end, while mounting the roof top tent on the canopy, always keep in mind three things: sturdy mounting, no damage, and a satisfactory outcome.