How to Make a Roof Top Tent

Last Updated on September 24, 2021

When having trouble with space, a roof tent is a perfect solution for you. Get ideas of how to make a roof tent. 

If you want to make a roof tent, you can build one on your Jeep, SUV, and any other vehicle you have. All you need is to make a frame and attach the fabric as needed. That’s all. 

To know more ideas, check out the details of making a roof tent. Let’s dive into the description. 

Methods of Making A Roof Tent 

If you want a roof tent but you don’t know what things you exactly need to make it, then we are here to help you out. There are a lot of ways you can apply. Various types of methods are available. You just need to know them well. And then decide what you want to do. 

To give you the proper information, we bring some methods. Let’s see what these are and how you can make a good roof tent. 

Method 1: 410 Expeditions Method 

The first method is 410 Expeditions. In this method, it shows “Project Pytheas”. It is a homemade hard-shell roof tent. There is a certain way to make this type of tent. Let’s see what the method is step by step. 

Step 1: Contract A Local Fabricator 

First, you need to hire a local fabricator. He will help to cut all the fabric that the tent needs. Getting a suitable fabricator is necessary. So, finding the perfect one is the first thing you should do. 

Step 2: Work With Aluminum 

After that, you need to pre-cut the aluminum and bend it well. It should be bent for both the bottom and the top of that tent. It would be perfect if you get help from a friend. 

Step 3: Weld The Hinges And Gas Springs 

Now, take the hinges and the gas springs to weld them well onto the tent. You might need to struggle a bit if you have no experience in this. But if you practice, you can do better. 

Step 4: Create Tent Walls 

Attach the fabric and make the tent walls. And to make it, you can set a bug net. You can get it from a regular old tent. So, find a cheap tent that you can take apart to attach to your roof tent shell. Once you create the tent wall, the work is almost done. Do the finishing and the roof tent is ready. 

Method 2: Patrick Remmington Method 

Patrick Remmington’s method is easy to do. It is suitable for you if you are not experienced enough. It is like DIY. This method can give you a chance to make the roof tent the way you like. You can make your hard-shell shelter. And this can be in your car. See the steps below. 

Step 1: Create The Surface 

To create the hard surface, you need plywood. The reason is you need to make the surface hard enough. It should be protective too. So, take plywood and make the surface properly for both the top and bottom of the tent. 

Step 2: Attach Gas Springs 

Now, attach the gas springs. It allows the tent to open automatically. Not just that, it can close quickly so you don’t face any hassle when camping. So, get the gas springs and attach them patiently. 

Step 3: Attach Any Suitable Fabric 

After that, choose any suitable fabric that has the quality. Any durable or waterproof fabric will be much appreciated. Attach the fabric well and then do the finishing. And you are done with the method. All you need is plywood for stability, gas springs for support, and fabric for the walls. It is that easy. 

Method 3: Raise Them Wild Method 

In this method, you are supposed to make a rooftop tent on a Jeep Cherokee. Get the information to make it easier. 

Step 1: Make The Tent Platform 

First, you need to make a tent platform. And to do it, you need 3/4″ plywood and 1/16″ aluminum sheeting. You can also take scrap steel from an old bed frame. Make the platform well and make the right frame for the tent. 

Step 2: Install Hinges 

After that, attach the hinges to the right place. You should install them on the side of the truck. It is supposed to deploy the support beams. And it would be favorable for the underside of the platform. 

Step 3: Finishing 

Almost all the work is done. Now, set up the fabric to make the walls. Make sure you attach them well. This is the ideal method of making a roof tent with minimal trouble. Try this unique hack. 

Method 4: Tagayak TV Method

Tagayak TV’s method is simply based on Patrick Remmington’s method. This is an interesting thing. If you want to know more about this method check out the step-by-step description below. 

Step 1: Build The Frame 

The first thing you should do is to build the frame. And for that, you need plywood and 2×4 planks. Make a construction of both the bottom and too frames with proper measurements. 

Step 2: Connect The Hinges 

Now, you need to connect the hinges. You need to connect the top and the bottom frames. And connect it through a hinge at the backside of it. 

Step 3: Install The Gas Struts 

As the final step of making the frame, you need to install the gas struts. After that, coat those frames with polyurethane and polyester resin. That makes them water-resistant. 

Step 4: Sewing The Tent Body 

When you are done with making the frames, now you need to start the sewing process of the tent body. As this is the difficult part, you might not be comfortable doing that. And if that happens, you can keep practicing the sewing skill. And then start working on the main canvas. 

Step 5: Finishing 

All you need is to make the frames properly and sew the tent body with suitable materials. You can also customize the rooftop tent with your DIY ideas. Such as, you can add any reflective material to make the tent more eye-catching. Also, you can install some vents to make it breathable. 

Method 5: Nomad Design House Method 

Nomad design is another way to create a roof tent in unique ways. You can get an idea of how you can extend the roof rack and create a rooftop tent on the top of the truck. The design is simple. All you need to do is follow the process of making it. Let’s see what the method is. 

Step 1: Hire A Local Welder 

The first thing you need to do is find a local welder to do the work properly. You might not be able to do all the work by yourself. So, hire a welder to help you out. 

Step 2: Make The Frame 

Now, create a suitable frame for your tent. Take two pieces of plywood. Mount them together in the right way. You need to create the construction of the frame properly to make a good tent. 

Step 3: Attach The Fabric 

Now, you need to select a suitable fabric. It would be better if you use any water-resistant one. Attach it to make the tent wall. And that’s it. It is a simple way to make use of your vehicle and create a tent. 

Method 6: Apocalypse Auto Method 

This apocalypse auto method is a quick process that you can easily follow. If you want to make a good rooftop tent, you should check the procedure well. So, let’s check it out. 

Step 1: Create A Platform 

First, you need to start with the platform-making procedure. And for that, you need a 2x4s particleboard. Mount it to the roof rack. And that will be enough to make a platform for the tent. 

Step 2: Create A Solid Frame 

After that, create the frame. And to do that, use 1x1s and 2x6s frames. Make the frame the way you want. 

Step 3: Make A Lid 

Now, make a lid to cover the entire area. You need to use another piece of particle board to make the lid of the roof tent. Also, use the barn door hinges to complete the process. Besides, use metal bars to keep the top part of the tent upright. 

Step 4: Finishing 

To finish the whole thing, you need to cover it well. Use a regular camping tent. Drapes down the fabric to the tailgate of that vehicle. It looks pretty amazing. With the Apocalypse method, you can customize your roof tent easily. 

Method 7: Jeremy Adventures Method 

Jeremey Adventures is the one with some simple DIY facts about making a roof tent. If you have a roof rack mounted on the vehicle, it will be easier to make a tent. See the steps to know more. 

Step 1: Find A Way To Mount 

First, you have to find a way to mount the tent. You need to do it well on the top of your vehicle. 

Step 2: Fabrication 

After that, you should find the perfect fabric to cover all the area. Find good quality materials and make walls of them. And that is enough to make a wonderful tent. 

Method 8: Camping Colorado Method 

If you are under budget, you can use Camping Colorado’s guide. It explains how to make a clamshell hardtop roof tent with a small amount of money. So, let’s start with the description. 

Step 1: Making The Base 

To make the base of the tent, you need plywood and gas struts. So, collect these two things first and make a good base by mounting the entire rig of the vehicle. 

Step 2: Fabrication 

Now, you need to cut the tarp and mount it. You can find any regular tarp in a hardware store. Take this and drape it well on the top of the clamshell. It makes the tent a waterproof one

Step 3: Finishing 

Now, set up the whole thing to finish it properly. This is a simple technique and it’s under budget. So, you can make this attractive tent if you apply the steps as instructed. 

Method 9: Nick K’s Method 

In the videos of Nick K, you can get a guide on how to create a hard-shell rooftop tent all by yourself. Let’s see the method in detail. 

Step 1: Find The Plywood 

You need 3/4″ plywood and corrugated plastic. You can also add a full materials list to have a better idea while working on it. 

Step 2: Make The Frame 

Now, it’s time to make the frame. And for that, you need to mount plywood and plastic. Use gas struts to make it easier to open and close too. 

Step 3: Making The Canvas 

To make the canvas, you need to be concerned about some things. Make sure the body of the tent is made from 600 deniers. So, it will be waterproof.  And you can mount it to the tent frame. Do it well and you are done making the tent. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

1. Can you make your own rooftop tent? 

Yes, you can make your own rooftop tent. You just need a proper guideline and practice. 

2. How much does it cost to make a rooftop tent? 

Generally, the cost of making a rooftop tent is from $1,600 to $3,900. It depends on how many things you want to make your tent and what quality of materials you use. 

3. What are rooftop tents made of? 

Rooftop tents are made of true 400g poly-cotton ripstop canvas. 

4. Are roof top tents safe? 

The answer is yes. Roof top tents are safe enough. You just need to build them properly after seeing the instructions well. 

Last Words

To sum up, what we want to say is, take proper instructions first and then go with the execution. Do not rush out of anything. You should focus on the guidelines to make a good base. The reason is, a base or a good frame is the key to a perfect tent. 

Check out all the details of how to make a roof tent. Build one well and enjoy every moment of camping. 

Author: Euell Gibbons

Outdoorsman and proponent of natural diets. He loves camping, hiking and exploring the great outdoors. Camping is a way of life for him - as soon as he can get away from work, he's out there!

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