Can You Use a Roof Top Tent On a Trailer?

Want to use your existing roof top tent on your trailer? The short answer is yes, that is completely possible… but there are a few factors to consider:

Size, Space & Storage

The most important consideration is whether your tent can actually fit on your trailer. A larger rooftop tent can easily fit on top of your car’s roof, but your trailer’s dimensions may be too small, not just in terms of size, but also bearing the weight.

One of the major advantages of roop top tents is all the space it frees up to store your gear. However, this does present a problem when using your rooftop tent on a trailer. Before assembly, you have to ensure everything you need has been taken out of the trailer, or it will be quite arduous to get anything you need later when there is a tent sitting on top of it.

Many rooftop tents have expansions that you can purchase separately to expand the room even further. If you already own one of those, then it may be rendered useless on a trailer tent because the hight is too low.


If you need to use your vehicle during your trip, it can be a royal pain to pack everything up whenever you need to take a quick drive. In this case, a trailer top tent can be a godsend. All you have to do is unhitch your trailer and off you go. Your trailer can serve as a base camp while you are out exploring and you can even use your tent as a temporary storage area if you need to free up some room in your vehicle for passengers or extra firewood.

Getting in and out of a tent on your trailer is also significantly easier than the roof of your car.

Accessibility & Mobility

Depending on your destination, towing a trailer can severely limit you. Good luck getting to that mountain cottage with a trailer. True, there are some seriously rugged off-road trailers out there that can cross rivers and climb hills, but they can still be a liability when you have dozens of tight bends to navigate around or some seriously harsh terrain.


Towing a trailer and a tent on top of it may affect mileage. There differing reports and your real-life experience may vary, but generally, you are looking at a more or less 15% decrease in mileage per gallon with a tent on top of your roof compared to 10% when it is on your trailer due to the increased drag. Of course, this is not a major issue on the trail, but it can be a consideration if you hit the open road and have to travel hundreds (or even thousands) of miles to get to your destination. Your trips may also be longer simple because, towing a trailer, you have to go around, not through.

Final thoughts

There are pros and cons to having a tent on your trailer, depending on your usage. If you plan to stick to mild tracks or just use it for some standard fare camping holidays they are great investments, especially if you already own a trailer. But if you consider yourself a serious explorer who doesn’t take prisoners during his adventures, you may have to think twice.

Regardless of your choice, you really can’t go too wrong either way. a Rooftop tent is a fantastic investment that will bring you years of pleasure. If you are feeling the lure of the open road, don’t forget to check our list of recommended roof top tents for 2020.

Image Credit: Tony Vink.

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