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  • Writer's pictureROOZE

Top Tips for Storing Your Rooftop Tent: Keep It Dry, Mould-Free, and Adventure-Ready!

Updated: May 17

We store many different brands & models of rooftop tents - both for our rental fleet & on behalf of our clients who chose to store their tent with us for convenience. Here’s a list of tips that we follow ourselves in order to keep the fresh & free of moisture (and mould). If you’re able to store yours at home, follow some - or all - of these steps to minimise damage to your RTT…


  1. Clean & Dry Your Tent Thoroughly


Before storing your rooftop tent, it’s crucial to ensure its completely clean & dry. Here’s how to do it:


Cleaning

  • Remove Dirt & Debris: Shake out & vacuum loose dirt & sweep away any debris from the interior & exterior - including poo from birds/bats, sap from trees & dust/dirt. Mould produces tiny particles called spores to reproduce, so being meticulous about this step helps a lot so you can limit the spores you might have collected along your journey.

  • Spot Clean Stains: Use a mild soap & water solution to spot clean any stains or stubborn dirt. Avoid harsh chemicals that could damage the fabrics.

  • Rinse: Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.


Drying

  • Air Dry: Set up your tent in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors, on a dry, sunny day. Make sure all parts of the tent, including the rainfly, are fully exposed to the air - if you don’t have good sun, use a heater fo some kind (external to the tent) & a fan to blow the hot air throughout the tent (using a gas heater inside the tent actually adds more moisture through vapours)

  • Check for Moisture: Pay close attention to seams, corners, & other areas where moisture can linger. Use a microfibre towel to dry any remaining damp spots

  • Remove your ladder: If storing for a long period of time, remove your ladder if storing with a hardshell or with soft-shell leave the cover off & use a breathable cover to prevent dust (like an old cotton sheet). Ladders - like all metals in your tent - can sweat with changes in temperature, drawing moisture from the air & therefore undo-ing what you’re trying to do in the first place. Telescopic ladders can also collect water in the base from rain, dew & condensation dripping down into each section - you can sometimes remove the rubber feet to help with the drainage & airflow

  • Bring to storage temp: If you dry your RTT in the sun on a warm day & then quickly store in a cool environment, the metals can sweat (as mentioned above), so bring the RTT back to the temperature you’ll be storing it at before packing away


2. Choose the Right Storage Location


Selecting the appropriate storage location is crucial in preventing moisture buildup & mould growth. Consider the following tips:


  • Cool & Dry Place: Store your tent in a cool, dry place. Basements, garages, or attics that are not prone to moisture are ideal.

  • Avoid Direct Sunlight: Prolonged exposure to sunlight can weaken tent fabrics & cause fading - especially true for PVC soft covers

  • Elevation: If possible, store your tent off the ground to avoid potential flooding or dampness from the floor


3. Use moisture absorbers


Even when dry, it’s best to pack away with some additional insurance - activated charcoal packs or other moisture packs are a good idea.


  • Silica Gel Packs: Place silica gel packs or other desiccants inside the storage container to absorb any residual moisture.

  • Avoid Compression: Don’t store your RTT in a tightly compressed state for extended periods, as this can damage the fabric & promote mould growth. Instead, consider removing your bedding & mattress to help with this

  • Storage Bags: if you’ve got waterproof/pvc shoe bags attached to the RTT, remove these too as they’ll likely hide moisture & other dirt that mould can feast on.


4. Regular Maintenance Checks


Even in storage, it’s important to periodically check your rooftop tent to ensure it remains in good condition.


  • Inspect for Moisture: Check the tent for any signs of moisture or mould. If you find any, remove the tent from storage, clean, & dry it thoroughly before storing it again.

  • Air Out Periodically: Every few months, take the tent out of storage & let it air out. This helps to prevent mould & mildew & keeps the fabric fresh.


5. Repair & Protect


Taking care of minor repairs before storing your tent can prevent small issues from becoming big problems.


  • Patch Holes: Repair any holes or tears in the fabric using appropriate patch kits.

  • Lubricate Zippers: Apply a zipper lubricant to prevent the zippers from sticking or rusting.

  • Waterproofing: If needed, reapply a waterproof coating to the tent fabric & seams to ensure they remain water-resistant.

  • Fitting Kits: Don't ignore your fitting kits too - if you've used nyloc nuts, replace them. Check your bolts & if you have specialised fitting kits like with iKamper and James Baroud, make sure you rinse in soapy water, dry & then give them a good coat of WD40 & put them in a bag/box for safe keeping

  • Roof Racks: Take this opportunity to service your racking - check all the fittings, bolts, rubber padding etc & even consider touching up some scrapes with a good textured spray paint (as best you can pair with your racking)


Whether you store your RTT for a few weeks or an entire season, it’s definitely worthwhile putting in some extra hours work to ensure your investment lives on & you can enjoy the tent again as soon as you’re ready to hit the road. It also alleviates the anxiety you’ll feel from leaving thousands of dollars worth of kit in the corner of your garage or shed! 

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