Staying Warm In A Roof Top Tent: 10 Ways To Stay Warm In Your Rooftop Tent

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Written By Jay Clatworthy

Off Grid Camping contributor.

Staying Warm In A Roof Top Tent: 10 Ways To Stay Warm In Your Rooftop Tent

Winter camping can expose you to some very low temperatures, so it is only natural that you would want to find a way to be as warm as possible in your rooftop tent.

Whether its just you, or you also have your dog or other pet in your rooftop tent, there will be certain times when you need some extra heat in your rooftop tent.

There are many ways to heat your Rooftop Tent during the colder months of the year. In this article, we will get into the different ways to supply heat inside your tent during the winter season.

We will group the ways to heat your Rooftop Tent by whether or not you need electricity to get them working.

Heating Your Roof Top Tent With Electricity

Electric Fan Heaters

Electric fan heaters produce hot air relatively quickly from the moment you turn them on.

While it could warm your Roof Top Tent quickly, these fans turn themselves off and on at night, which could be annoying when you’re sleeping. 

These are a good investment because they are relatively cheap, heat up a tent quickly, are lightweight and portable, and helps reduce condensation inside the rooftop tent.

However, some of the drawbacks to this type of heater are they can make the air dry and stuffy and could be annoying with the frequent turning on and off during use.

Portable Electric Radiators

These tiny electric radiators are a good choice for heating up your Roof Top Tent. The warming up process is not instant and could take a while. But once your tent is heated, it provides constant warmth through the night.

To speed things up, you can use an electric fan heater to help spread the heat much faster, and then turn the fan off when you’ve reached the desired temperature inside your Roof Top Tent.

Diesel-Powered Heat Exchangers (Diesel Heater)

This device takes air from outside the tent, and as the air goes through the combustion chambers, they get heated up, thus blowing warm air into your Roof Top Tent.

The heat exchanger is placed outside of the tent and channels warm air into the tent by using an accompanying ducting attachment. Although these run on diesel power, they would still require a 12v power source to get them started.

These are much safer than the Propane-fueled heaters since there is no risk of carbon monoxide getting in the tent, and since it is placed outside the tent at night, there is no chance of it ever catching fire. There is also no risk of condensation forming inside your tent.

One major drawback and area of concern is that it produces an open flame, which could only mean a high-risk fire hazard. Another major concern is the carbon monoxide that this type of heater gives out.

If there is a scarce supply of oxygen in your tent. Instead of carbon dioxide, this propane heater will produce carbon monoxide, which could potentially kill you in your sleep.

12-Volt Heated Blankets

These blankets are a good way to stay warm while sleeping in your Roof Top Tent. These heated blankets work well in conjunction with your sleeping bag. They connect to a car’s charging port to power them up.

This is the most portable option when it comes to heating, plus they can be stored inside the tent while you’re in transit to your next camping destination.

In order to use this, you need to have an ‘inverter’ to convert your car’s 12v power into 240v, which is needed to run these electric heated blankets.

Heating Your Roof Top Tent Without Electricity

Use an Insulating Sleeping Mattres

An insulating bed pad/mat is an extra layer of bedding material that is placed under your sleeping bag to provide heat while you are in your sleeping bag. Aside from providing heat, they also increase your comfort level as these also provide extra cushioning from the tent’s hard base flooring.

An insulating bed pad is a good value for your money and provides enough warmth for chilly nights, but it may not be enough to get you through a cold winter night.

They are more like having an extra sheet to use inside your sleeping bag to add another layer of protection from the cold. In its simplest form, this can be achieved by placing a warm blanket underneath your sleeping area.

Get a Good Sleeping Bag

A good sleeping bag helps keep your own body heat trapped, inside thus keeping you warm at night. This sleeping bag should provide good insulation to keep warm air in and cold air out. There are also some other accessories that come with modern sleeping bags, such as a built-in hoodie to keep your head covered.

Wear Thermal Clothing

Wearing thermal clothing helps keep the body warm by trapping the heat in the material of the clothing. This should be the first layer of clothing that you put on before you go to sleep at night in a Roof Top Tent.

Then add more layers of clothing like a t-shirt, and a thermal hoodie, and of course, wear nice thick gloves on your hands, and equally thick thermal socks on your feet.

This should keep you warm for the rest of the night. Using a beanie on your head could also keep warmth trapped so, you don’t feel cold at night.

Propane Heaters (Extreme Caution Required)

A propane-powered heater uses propane tanks to produce radiant heat that disperses inside your Roof Top Tent. While it is good at producing heat, one side effect is that it can produce condensation inside the tent, which is bad news for you.

If you use the regular propane canisters, each usually lasts about 2 hours, so you will need 3 or 4 of these when it’s cold at night. A major drawback is that it releases carbon dioxide inside the tent, which is a health hazard.

Worse, it could produce lethal carbon monoxide, when the oxygen level is very low. Inhaling carbon monoxide could lead to death, so leaving your propane heaters on while you are sleeping is a great risk to your health and even your life.

Hot Water Bottle

One of the oldest methods for producing heat inside a tent is by using a hot water bottle. While this method does not heat the entire tent inside, having a hot water bottle inside your sleeping bag can give you extra heating for the night.

This should help keep you warm and toasty while you’re sleeping at night. The good thing about this method is that there are no side effects that could potentially harm your health.

There are many other ways to heat up your Roof Top Tent aside from what has been mentioned here. These are just the most common or traditional ways to produce heat to keep you warm while you’re camping.

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