ROOF TENT EQUIPMENT: 4 tips against moisture and cold feet in the roof top tent

Dachzeltausrüstung
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Dachzeltausrüstung

Roof tent equipment: 4 tips against moisture and cold feet in the roof top tent

Repeatedly I am asked how to avoid moisture in the roof tent and freezing at night, especially in winter.

I have summarized my tips for you:

1. Spacer fabric | Mesh

During my first trips to Portugal I always had the situation that the tent walls were damp from the inside in the morning. Mattress and sleeping bag were clammy. Sometimes it even dripped. During winter it was especially bad. Condensation also appeared in summer when the humidity from the sea was very high. Attempting to dry the walls from the inside with a cloth helped only conditionally. In the evening everything was still wet, even in warm weather.

Winter: An attempt with a small fan heater in the tent also failed, because it blows hot air and does not extract moisture. The ventilation inside the tent doesn’t get any better either.

After some research I came across the spacer fabric, also called mesh. This is a kind of ventilation fabric that is placed under the mattress. It is flexible, durable, breathable and made of polyethylene, better known as plastic. This underlay allows moisture to escape. No waterlogging can occur. Depending on the manufacturer, the mesh is approx. 1 cm thick on average and fits into any roof tent.

From the time I started using this underlay, a damp roof tent is a past thing, even in winter. Absolutely recommendable!

Problem with the folding roof tent: The mesh always gets stuck when I open it, so I push it under the mattress before opening it and pull it back later (see video). You do not have to pay attention to anything when closing the tent.

2. Sleeping bag – the agony of choice

For sleeping I recommend a sleeping bag which is adapted to the outside temperatures.

Pay attention to the manufacturer’s comfort temperature data. As the name suggests, the comfort temperature is the area where the average person doesn’t freeze.

Before buying, it is important that you think about which temperatures will occur on your trip. If you want to go to Sweden in winter, I recommend a winter sleeping bag that can withstand at least -16C° or more.

If you are only travelling in Spain in summer, a summer sleeping bag is sufficient. Mine has a comfort temperature of +5C°. Never underestimate that it can get cool in summer even in southern countries. Wind in particular can cool the body down quickly. My tip: better warmer than too cold!

For very warm temperatures I use a travel blanket from Cocoon. The blanket dries quickly and feels very comfortable.

Why no bed linen?

In contrast to normal bed linen, sleeping bags and blankets are breathable and quick-drying. In addition, the packing size of bed linen is much higher than that of a sleeping bag.

To prevent any residual moisture from migrating from the sleeping bag into the tent, I take it out of the tent before folding it up. That sounds awkward, but I’ ve had very good experiences with it. By the way, I always leave the travel blanket in the roof tent.

3. Heating Blanket for your winter trip

Romeo and I love this one – our heating blanket. It is so cosy, warm and cuddly. I use the Beurer heating blanket, which needs a maximum of 60W at 220V. I use the 4th stage for the first 20 minutes to heat up. Later I only need the 2nd stage or even less. As a result, the power consumption drops accordingly. My warmest recommendation 🙂

However, I only use the heating blanket if a power connection is available. If not, I reach for the hot water bottle.

Grandma’s bed bottle – my alternative to the heating blanket. Fill it with hot water and put it in your sleeping bag. Do I have to explain more? 😉

P.S. As soon as I have a double battery system (for my next winter trip), I will try the blanket over the Efoy Go! Further information will follow.

4. Tent Heating

I don’t use a tent heater myself, as the previously described steps are sufficient for the moment. As a trial I had already tested it with an electric fan heater. However, since the tent has no insulation, after switching off the cold moves back into the tent in a few minutes. A main reason for me to avoid this unsustainable variant at the moment.

Nevertheless I would like to present you two possibilities of the roof tent heating, which are known to me and have already been recommended:

Petroleum heating with automatic fire extinguisher

A petroleum heater is the most inexpensive variant. Petroleum works very well at low temperatures in the minus range. This new version has an automatic extinguishing system. When the heater is tilted, the wick is pulled inwards and the flame extinguishes. The ratings on Amazon are very good. This tent heater is a recommendation of my grease monkey.

Air heating from Planar in Alubox

The roof tent is heated with an air heating system from Planar which is build into an aluminium box. There is a good blog post with all details you need on “Dachzeltnomaden”. Unfortunately only in german but Google Translater oder Deepl.com will help. 😉

I wish you wonderful dreams in the roof tent.

Yours Betty

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