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 Roof tent

Of course, it's not about the special form of vacation in the former GDR, but about modern travel mobility, perhaps not just on vacation, but also in harmony with professional life. This is probably the most extreme form of dropout in the middle of our everyday world. The fascinating thing about it, in contrast to the picture above, is how inconspicuous it is. From a purely external perspective, someone has strapped a fairly compact roof tent onto a large, modern station wagon and is living in it.

Roof tent: Italian patent from 1958

If the buildup wasn't so wide, you could mistake it for a normal roof box and a vehicle on the way to the ski resorts in winter. From the outside, only two folded hard shells are visible, often surprisingly thin and preferably made of glass fiber reinforced plastic. However, other plastic or even carbon is also possible, although the latter only comes at a considerable surcharge.

Perhaps the basic vehicle should not only have enough space, but also a higher roof load, although at least 50 kg is generally common while driving and is usually sufficient for roof tents that are not so large. The upper hard shell can be extended with a crank or can even moved up after a slight push.

This happened parallel to the substructure or only at the front or back. If the other side remains completely down, this space is not even enough for the feet and is lost. What's crazy is that a relatively low car doesn't even require a ladder. If necessary, it can also be pulled in at the top, which means you could theoretically spend the night in any parking space that comes along.

We leave out what the road traffic regulations or the police say about this. In any case, there are clear rules for mobile homes in this regard, but roof campers in urban areas are apparently (still) very rare. It's crazy anyway when you're tired and sleepy in the middle of the night and choose a parking space that turns out to be a market the next morning.

Not so favorable for this type of camping, in addition to a variety of special solutions, the large folding tents are, in addition to possible use on station wagons, very popular on big off-road vehicles, and often on an already very tall Land Rover Defender. Here the normally unproblematic folding tents have to share the space with roof racks and awnings attached to the sides.

It's a good thing that these are often square in their base area, so they can be at least doubled by folding them out to the side or backwards. While in a normal car the ladder is so helpful that you can do this from below, in a Landy you have to go over the hood to the roof. Folding even with the pop-up roof is very uncomplicated, if there weren't a tarpaulin that keeps the whole structure waterproof.

Speaking of rain, hard shells mean less intercalated moisture when you have to pack up in bad weather. You may even be able to wipe over the tent-like sides. With folding tents you literally bring the moisture into your living room. Ventilation is important as soon as possible, otherwise there will be mold.

In the sleeping chamber itself, such a danger is low. Not entirely unimportant is the underlay under the remaining mattress(es), which keeps any moisture that may form underneath away from it and prevents it through ventilation. Basically, there are at least two windows opposite each other with adjustable openings and mosquito nets. The pillows are sometimes included or generally remain in the bedroom.

The space is usually sufficient, including in length, or a longer version can be selected. There are extremely large apartments with awnings or roofing that can be accessed from below via the ladder. Here you could also get rid of the shoes that are annoying for the bedroom. If the walls of these roofs are extended downwards, awnings are created that are comparable to those of caravans.

Production after ordering is also possible, something that has previously been more common with expensive tents. Numerous special requests are still possible. But you've noticed that we're slowly moving away from the smart overnight stay with a transition to onward travel in a few minutes, but then without breakfast. The question also remains where in the places in Europe that can be reached overland you need such a vehicle that takes getting used to like the Land Rover Defender.

The loading capacity remains unaffected.

So let's stay with car-like vehicles for a moment. What can be easily integrated here is an electric car. Why? Well, if you're traveling through Europe, for example, and really want to see something, you shouldn't set out on long daily journeys of, say, 500 km, otherwise you'll get through it relatively quickly and miss well over half of it. The range of electric cars and the ability to charge via a socket for more than 12 hours are just right.

Of course, your enthusiasm for camping in this way is really tested in winter. You can certainly meet at suitable campsites and enjoy warm showers or even outdoor baths with punch in your hand. But at some point the inevitable moment comes when you have to go into your roof tent. If necessary, blankets can be borrowed from reception.

By the way, the behavior when sleeping in a tent in sub-zero temperatures is different than what we generally imagine. Under no circumstances should you keep on your street clothes or something similar that keeps you warm. We actually got these tips from the Icelandic Rescue Team. These are people who sometimes have to spend the night on a thick layer of ice.

So, wear nothing or almost nothing at all and then use the onion principle. The bedtick, sleeping bag and other coverings help, as well as the mini tent, which is quite close to the body. Of course, everything is also sealed at the bottom. What is often forgotten is that people lose an incredible amount of heat through their head area. So it would have to be protected somehow too.

Some also have additional heating extended upwards.

So if you ever find yourself in the situation of having to spend the night on ice, now you know what to do. So it's actually no problem to give up your apartment over the winter and move your office and laptop into a station wagon. However, there are a few quirks that stand out, such as the constant lack of water. Whether there is always enough to wash your hands before preparing food and, for example, eating fruit? And what does the rinsing process look like?

Many things that are taken for granted in the household and at the campsite become relatively difficult here. We don't even want to point out the fact that many people immediately think of, namely the risk of attacks. Rather, it is the little things of everyday life that hinder the enormous increase in mobility.

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