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Whether exploring the world’s top off-road hotspots or going off the beaten track at a lesser-known destination, investing in a rooftop tent is one of the ways to up your camping game.

When compared with ground tents, roof tents come out on top pretty much every time, whether you choose to purchase a hard- or soft-shell design. As well as being versatile, easy to set up, space-saving and protective, they’re also a sure-fire route to a better night’s sleep wherever you pitch up as Made for Travellers explains:

“For me, this was probably the biggest plus when we decided to buy a rooftop tent. Most rooftop tents have a normal mattress. Okay, not as luxurious as at home, but way better than an inflatable mattress! If there’s something important, it’s a good night of sleep. So time to ditch that inflatable mattress and choose a rooftop tent. You’ll sleep like a baby again!”

Another advantage that every rooftop tent owner will appreciate is its low maintenance. While it’s not zero maintenance, there are very few steps you have to take to keep it in tip top condition. Read on to discover how to take care of your rooftop tent.

Understand the importance of maintenance

Like any 4×4 accessory or component, your roof tent needs to be maintained correctly to continue to deliver the performance you deserve when travelling on and off road.

Without the right care, your roof tent will quickly become smelly, damp and mouldy, making it an unpleasant place to stay. Regular maintenance will also reduce the risk of failure, keeping your roof tent safe, secure, comfortable and damage free for the long term.

Inspect and test on a regular basis

Make sure your roof tent is up to the job every time you use it by inspecting it regularly for damage, leaks and tears. The seams, zips and canvas are all vulnerable to these issues. The mounting points of your tent should also be examined to ensure they are in good working order.

Keep it clean both inside and out

Don’t delay cleaning until you use your tent. While we wouldn’t recommend washing the inside of the tent – as it will introduce moisture unnecessarily – or using a waterproofing spray on any of the roof tents we sell, it takes no time at all and zero specialist products to clean the inside and outside of your tent.

Simply, set it up as usual (it’s great practice for when you do go off-roading!) before removing the mattress and cleaning the inside of the tent. Avoid cleaning the outside of the tent with a sponge or cloth. The abrasive nature of a sponge or cloth could damage and compromise the tent’s waterproof coating.

Make sure it’s dry before stowing away

After cleaning, give your tent time to dry thoroughly before packing it down and placing into storage.

It can take up to 48 hours to air dry but, trust us, it’s worth the wait! Mildew can form quickly in a packed roof tent and once there, can prove impossible to shift, with the smell alone making your roof tent difficult to use.

Not invested in a roof tent yet or looking to trade yours in for a newer model? Check out our range of rooftop tents for inspiration.