Orson roof top tent with annex

Is my vehicle ok for a roof top tent? Are roof top tents easy to use? How do roof top tents work? ... Check out our answers here to commonly asked questions about roof top tents.

A roof top tent is perfect for a weekend away or an extended road trip. You’ll discover freedom, comfort, convenience, and you’ll be able to focus on the fun and adventure.


  • What makes Orson roof top tents different to others on the market?

Orson roof top tents have been tested in NZ conditions and customised and improved to create a top quality product different from standard tents available in the market. We have been working closely with the suppliers and spent many days at the factory to develop the product we want.

We have the only roof top tents available in NZ with a tough aluminium tread plate base for long lasting durability to protect your tent from damage. We have made sure that Orson roof top tents use high quality, durable high spec materials like 280gsm Ripstop Poly Cotton Canvas and 420D Oxford Polyester PU3000mm rainfly, heavy duty durable PVC travel cover and YKK zips and loads of extra accessories.     


  • Is my vehicle suitable for a roof top tent?

Roof top tents can be fitted to most vehicles (check the roof weight limits to be sure). There are rental companies hiring them out on top of 1600cc station wagons. Well suited to SUVs, 4x4s, utes and adapted trailers.


  • How high does the vehicle have to be?

Any height is fine for a standard roof top tent – an adjustable telescopic ladder included that can reach a maximum height of 2.3m. If purchasing a roof top tent with an annex, the annex is designed to suit heights of 180cm to 205cm. For vehicles lower than this, the annex is still usable but there will be some loose sagging in the walls.     


  • Does a roof top tent affect driving performance?

Having a roof top tent up top will alter your vehicle's center of gravity so you'll have to be a bit more careful driving around corners, but apart from that there are no major differences. I've been driving around with a roof top tent for a year and pretty much forget that it's even there.   


  • How easy is it to get a roof top tent on and off a vehicle?

Roof top tents typically weigh between 50-60kg so will require 2 people to lift it over the roof of your vehicle and onto the roof racks. Once on the roof it’ll you’ll need to secure the bolts the tent to the roof racks.


  • What do I need to fit a roof top tent to my vehicle roof?

You will need suitable roof racks on your vehicle. Orson roof top tents come with base mounting tracks affixed and hardware needed to secure the tent to the racks. Mounting plates and bolts are included to fit 4-8cm width roof rack bars at four points.


  • What kind of roof racks are needed?

Most heavy duty and commercial roof racks are fine. The roof top tents with ladder weigh about 60-65kg and a roof top tent can be fitted to cross bars that use fixed point, vehicle specific track, or gutter mount legs. A dynamic (in motion) load rating of at least 75kg is recommended when driving. If driving off road, a 30% reduction should be applied to the rating. In a static (stationary) mode, the total weight limit is much higher – check on your vehicle and rack recommendations.


  • What set up do I need for the roof racks?

Orson roof top tents are set to open to the side of the vehicle as this allows free access to the boot or rear of your vehicle. Generally your racks should be approx. 80-100cm apart and the rack mounting points approx. 80-100cm apart as well. We also have mounting tracks that can enable the roof top tent to be opened towards the rear is required.


  • Is there a warranty?

All purchases are covered by a 12 month warranty and the Consumer Guarantees Act against defects in manufacturing or materials. As is common practice with most camping goods retailers in NZ there is no warranty for storm or wind damage, normal wear and tear, UV degradation, accident or misuse.


  • Are Orson roof top tents waterproof? How do they handle wind?

Orson roof top tents have been designed to handle NZ’s changeable weather. A 3000mm waterproof rainfly over the top and 280gsm Polycotton canvas with taped seams will keep rain out. To handle winds we have added an optional stabiliser bar and guy ropes and pegs are included to stop the tent from flapping in the wind.


  • Do roof top tents get condensation?

In the ‘right’ combination of cold, still, humid conditions all tents can suffer from condensation – to prevent and minimise condensation maintaining good airflow and ventilation is key.  


  • How long does it take to set up and pack away an Orson roof top tent?

Setting up the roof top tent takes a few minutes – unzip the travel cover, roll and secure, unfold the tent base, set the ladder and secure the entrance awning spreader bar, set window covers and that’s about it. Packing away takes a few minutes longer.    


  • Are they comfortable? Can I leave bedding in the tent when packing it away?

Orson roof top tents have plenty of room inside the tent for 2 people measuring 2.4m long x 1.4m wide x 1.15m. There’s a comfy 6.5cm high density foam mattress with plush top and tough polyester base cover and bedding can be left in the tent when packing away. Also comes with storage pockets and handy gear loft to keep clothing and bits and pieces out of the way.


  • Can I pack the tent away when wet?

It is not recommended to pack any tent away when wet but on rainy days you may have no choice. The tent can be packed away when wet but it should be opened up and dried out as soon as possible to prevent mould and damage.


  • What if I need replacement parts?

Most of the roof top tent parts can be pretty easily replaced and we have a full range of replacement parts available should the need arise.


  • Can the roof top tents be shipped? Or picked up?

We can ship Orson roof top tents around NZ. Check with us for the rates which depend on the delivery location. No problem to pick up one of the roof top tents and we can help out with a demonstration and installation if required.


  • Got any other questions? Need more info?

If you’d like to know more about Orson roof top tents then just flick us a quick message here or give us a call at (+61) 0210 405991 Cheers!



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