How to Secure Your Roof Top Tent


One of your most camping valuables that you should secure both in the wilderness and at your garage or store is your Roof Top Camping Tent.  During your camping adventures such as hiking or mountain climbing, you need to secure your rooftop tent on a trailer or on your overland vehicle.  How you store the tent in your store or garage also determines how secure or insecure it is.  Are you wondering if Roof Top Tents do get stolen? How best can you secure your Roof Top Tent to ensure it’s not stolen by opportunistic thieves?

how to secure your roof top tents

Yes! Roof Top Tents do get stolen.  If left unsecured, your valuable investment can be a free gift for opportunist thieves! While there can be no absolute way to stop your Roof Top Tents from being stolen, your main focus should be in making it difficult for a thief to steal it. The following are some of the methods you can use to ensure that your Top Roof Tent is not stolen when camping or from your store:

  1. Using a high-quality Roof Top Tent Lock
  2. Garage Hanging Storage Technique
  3. Setting Up your camp in a secure Camping Ground
  4. Choosing a Safe Camping Location
  5. Camping with other campers
  6. Effectively securing your camping gears or valuables
  7. Equipping your Overlanding vehicle with a tracking device
  8. Securing your trailer

Imagine going for an exciting hike at a remote location but when you return to your camping site, you find your rooftop tent is gone, stolen! The same can happen if you choose to keep your tent in an unsecured store. Rather than risk losing your valuable camping kit, you must secure it now.

How You Can Ensure That That Your Roof Top Tent Is Not Stolen

There are two main options you’ve when you want to secure your rooftop tent. You can secure it when mounted on your Overlanding vehicle or at your storage facility or garage.

a. Roof Top Tents Lock – Protecting Tents From Being Stolen

When in the wilderness and you leave your car in an unsecured area, a determined thief can remove and steal your rooftop tent including other valuables.

You need to consider rooftop tent locks to ensure that your tent a thieve cannot be easily removed or stolen when you are not around.

Are There Locks For Roof Top Tents?

While you can purchase locks to secure your tents, most Roof Top Tents are purchased without locking systems. You will have to purchase suitable locks for other lock dealers or from suitable hardware stores.

It’s important to note that most Roof Tent locks especially the door locks cannot absolutely deter potential theses from accessing your tent. However, they help in making it harder for opportunistic thieves who often take advantage of unsecured property. Investing in high-security locks will, therefore, enhance your rooftop tent’s security.

Can You Use Common Security Locks?

Depending on the design and structure of your rooftop tent, you can use any suitable security lock such as those used in traveling bags, bicycles, or even lockers.

These can safely secure your rooftop tents’ zipper or simply for locking Roof Top Tents on car roof racks to reduce the chances of them being stolen.

Should Your Rooftop Locks Be Exposed?

While locking your tent will provide you with the peace of mind, exposing your rooftop tent lock is not recommended. Exposed locks may be interpreted by a potential thief that the tent has valuables.

By readily viewing your exposed tent door lock, a thief will assume that you’ll be away for a long time, and work on strategies to open the lock. Alternatively, if the tent is left unlocked, it will be an easy target.

When you plan to leave your camp briefly during the daytime, it’s recommended that you try not to expose the lock. If you have valuable items, it’s advisable that they are locked inside the vehicle but not within the tent.

What a Potential Thief Thinks about a zipped and unzipped Rooftop Tent

  1. If your tent is not zipped up, a thief may be tempted to have a look of what’s inside that’s worth stealing
  2. If you zip up your tent and lock with a small padlock, a passing thieve may not have time to quickly check what is inside to steal, and he may be discouraged
  3. When your tent is zipped up,  a potential thieve will assume that there are no people in the campsite
  4. With your tent zipped, a thief  may think that you have some valuables inside that is worm stealing
  5. When your tent is zipped up with a small padlock, a thieve may decide not to try to force it open but instead, use a knife to gain easier access from its side
  6. With a zipped up tent, a thief may assume that you’ve already removed valuable things from the tent.

Considering that the mind of an opportunistic thief may have different interpretations regarding your zipped or unzipped tent, what you ought to remember is not to leave your valuable items inside the tent when you’re planning to be away for sometimes.

7 Locking Options To Protect Your Roof Top Tent From Being Stolen.

1. Tri-Groove High-Security Nuts  Locks

Instead of relying on standard bolts that hold your rooftop tent on your vehicle’s roof rack, you need an extra security layer to keep potential tent thieves away.

roof top tent security nuts |  secure your Top Roof Tent

Standard screws are easy to unscrew and relying on them can compromise the security of your rooftop tent. That’s why you need to consider Tri-groove security nuts that suit your rooftop tent. These are special tamper-proof or anti-theft nuts that you can consider purchasing to replace the standard nuts.

Different tent manufacturers may have specific security nuts that suit their rooftop tent models. For instance, Tepui Overlanding Roof Top Tent manufactures has its unique security nuts that come with a special security spanner.

The security locking nuts are designed with slopping shapes. A thief, therefore, cannot grasp and turn them using standard spanners or pliers.

Apart from tamper-proof lock nuts, you can improvise your own locking system to ensure that your rooftop tent is well secured and not an easy pick for opportunistic thieves. Visit Amazon for more on features and prices

2. Tepui Security Nuts | Protecting Tepui Roof Top Tents from Being Stolen

If you already have Tepui Overlanding Roof Top Tent, you can go for its compatible security nuts since it will ensure that the tent is well secured on your car roof rack. Without a matching spanner, the screws are extremely difficult to remove. These nuts, therefore, will keep your Tepui Roof Top Tents safe from being stolen.

For the effective installation of these security nuts, installation bolts need to have adequate exposure of at least 0.5 inches or 6mm below each installation plate. A complete set includes 8 security locking nuts and 1 compatible Spanner Driver.

3. Tuff Stuff Security nuts | Roof Top Tent Nut Locks

Nut Locks | secure your Top Roof Tent

If you have Tuff Stuff Rooftop tents with 8mm bolts, securing them with these compatible 8mm Tuff Stuff Overland Security Nuts will help deter your investment from being stolen.

For roof-mounted awning, consider 6mm security nuts. These nuts come as a set of 8 high-security nights with one special opening key. They are compatible with Ranger, Delta, and Elite Roof Top Tents

4. Roof Rack Lock-Yakima  Timberline Tower Lock

secure your Top Roof Tent

If your roof rack is not securely locked to your car, it can be easily unscrewed by thieves using basic spanners. This is a great solution to ensure that both your Roof Top Tents and car roof rack don’t get stolen.

To deter this scenario, you can consider  Yakima Timberline Tower which comes with crossbars with SKS Lock Cores that you can order separately if you already have Yakima Lock case.

5. KanuStrap Locks

Kanu locks are special lock straps with reinforced stainless steel that are pretty difficult to cut. All you need to do is to strap and lock these round your folded Roof Top Tent or simply passing them through your car’s crossbars.

Coming in a set of 2, these convenient strap locks come with security keys. Since they are available in different sizes (8ft, 11ft, 13ft, and 18ft), it’s important you only consider the size that will better suit your particular rooftop tent. Check sizes and Prices on Amazon

6. Lock Your Tent Door with Suitable lock Lock

To ensure that unauthorized people do not access your tent, invest in a reliable top roof tent door lock. While there are several locks you can purchase from your stores, some of the best options to protect your Roof Top Tent valuables are Wire Loops and Combination Padlocks.

b. Harken Ceiling Hoist-Roof Top Tent Garage Storage

 No matter how secure your Roof Top Tent is in your vehicle’s roof rack, you need to protect it from constant exposure to the sun, snow, and other harsh weather conditions. HARKEN Cargo Ceiling Hoist will secure your rooftop tents to ensure they don’t get stolen

The 4-point hoist can be operated by one person, and comes will all the necessary installation 

ceiling storage of roof top tents | Ensuring your roof top tents are not stolen

The system is easy to install allowing you to winch your folded Overlanding Roof Top Tent easily for storage, and lowering it safely when needed.

The best location for its installation is in the middle of your store or garage where your overland vehicle can be safely packed. It’s important to select a hoist that has the capacity of lifting your specific rooftop tent. Click Here for more features and Prices on Amazon

c. Other Options To Protect Your Rooftop Tent From Being Stolen or Damages

1. Installing Adequate Security Lights | Motion-Sensor LED lights

Installing suitable standard security lights or Garage Motion-Sensor Security Lights can go along way in keeping your rooftop tent safe at its storage location. The light will scare potential thieves.

Thieves get scared by light, and this is a simple way to protect your valuable rooftop tent from being stolen.

2. Installing Store/Garage Door Access Control System:

Having a robust Store Door Access Control System such as Garage Door Keyless Opener will deter thieves from illegally accessing your store to steal your rooftop tent. Access to your door will only with authorized individuals.

3. CCTV Cameras

Installing Day and Night CCTV cameras at strategic locations within or outside your store will help in protecting your rooftop tent from being stolen. Opportunistic thieves will get scared by your installed cameras.

Should your rooftop tent get stolen, you can be able to extract video images to assist in investigation and recovery. CCTV cameras are also of great benefit when you plan to buy insurance for your home properties including rooftop tents.

4. Consider Buying Insurance Cover

The unexpected happens! Apart from theft, your valuable rooftop tent can be damaged by fire or through an accident when driving outdoor. You can consult your home insurance service provider to ensure that your Overlanding tent is covered accordingly

d. Precautions At Campsite- Ensuring Your Roof Top Tent & Valuables Are Not Stolen

To ensure that your overland Roof Top Tent is secure during your camping in the wilderness, there are a number of measures you need to undertake. These include:

#1. Choosing a Secure Campsite

Selecting a secure campsite is an effective measure for campers to ensure that their Roof Top Tents don’t get stolen by wandering thieves. A location that is completely covered with trees or thick vegetation can provide safe grounds for thieves.

For your safety and that of your camping valuables, selecting a campsite that is not isolated but closer to other campers is highly recommended.

#2 Camping With People You Trust

Camping in an area with either no people or strangers can expose your Roof Top tents and other valuables to the risk of being stolen.

It’s highly recommended that you camp with other individuals that you know and can trust.  On your arrival at a campsite, take time to introduce yourself to other campers as a way of building trust. This will ensure that when you leave to take a walk in the wild, other campers can always look over your rooftop tent and other valuables.

Should they notice any suspicious activities, they’ll be ready to respond accordingly

 When potential thieves realize that you’re not alone, they will be discouraged from targeting your Roof Top Tent. The risk of your other valuables getting stolen from inside the roof top tents is also reduced since other campers will be watchful of their neighbors’ tents.

#3 Choosing a Campground

Unlike other isolated campsites, campgrounds are often well protected with patrolling security personnel.  Since many people will always be present, potential thieves will be scared. This will ensure your Rooftop tent remains safe.

#4 Store Your Valuables Away From Roof Top Tents

The move valuables you leave inside your tent when taking a walk, the more it can be a target for potential thieves who may have been spying to make a kill.

You can either lock your camping gear inside your car or inside a strong locked box. It’s highly recommended that you leave you valuable items such as jewelry at home. When potential thieves realize that you have no valuable items that they can easily steal and sell, they may be discouraged from targeting your rooftop tent.

# 5 Having GPS/GSM Vehicle Tracking device

In a situation when you may fall, a victim of car theft together with your rooftop tent, the tracking device will significantly help in trying to relocate and recover your vehicle with your camping valuables.

You must configure your mobile phone with your vehicle’s Tracking System for convenient monitoring of the vehicle in case the vehicle gets stolen.

Tips on How To Avoid Worrying About Your Camping Gears Getting Stolen

  1. When going to take a shower or simply moving at someplace away from your campsite, ensure that your valuables are within your eyesight. Don’t leave your stuff scattered or at exposed locations where passerby can easily pick them up.
  2. Always ensure that your personal items that are of value are locked inside your vehicle. Don’t leave them inside your tent.
  3. Avoid camping very close to a busy road or pathways. This will limit the chances of potential thieves assessing your Roof Top Tent and your other camping gear before they plan to strike.
  4. If you’re camping near a road, ensure that valuable items that you haven’t locked in the vehicle are not exposed for anyone passing to notice.
  5. When leaving your camp, ask your neighbors at the campsite to watch over your Roof Top Tent. When it’s their turn to leave, assure them that you’ll look over their stuff as well.

Actions to Take If Your Top Roof Tent Is Stolen

If you take all the necessary precautions, you can drastically reduce the possibility of your rooftop tents being stolen. However, in the unfortunate situation where you lose your tent:

  • Check with your closest campers if they could have witnessed any irregular activity or in case they too are victims of theft.
  • Report the matter to the campsite management
  • Seek assistance on how you can report the incident to the police for further investigation
  • Refer to your home insurance policies so as to find out if it covers outdoor thefts.

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Meshack Sewe

MESHACK IS A VERSATILE WRITER, BLOGGER, AND POET WHO ENJOYS HIKING AT HIS FREE TIME.

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