We are so happy you've decided to join the SMRT Tent family!

We are confident you'll get many years of service out of your new travel companion!

After using many roof top tents ourselves over the years, there are a couple of critical care techniques we've discovered which apply to all rooftop tents regardless of brand or style. Please take the time to read through these tips to ensure you get the best out of your new tent.

'Softshell' specific tips

When opening up your Softshell tent, it's important to make sure the mattress cover doesn't get 'pinched' in the hinged base.  This can not only cause the base to not open to a completely flat position, but over time can the mattress cover can become damaged. You can double check there is no fabric in the hinge just prior to the tent being in its fully open position. If there is any fabric in there we recommend using the round end of your window awning poles to poke it out of the way before continuing to fully open the tent.  We recommend you check the mattress is floating freely on on the base every setup to ensure that nothing has been caught in the hinged base mechanism.

General tips for all tent models

Telescopic Ladder tips

The correct method for setting the length on the telescopic ladder is as follows:

1. Extend the ladder to it's full length making sure every section is in it's locked position.

2. If length reduction is required, start by collapsing the top section of the ladder first. If further height reduction is required collapse the next top section, and so on.

3. Ensure that all lower sections of the ladder are locked in their fully open position.

Zipper Care

Your zippers will be exposed to all kinds of elements. We highly recommend regularly lubricating them to keep them operating smoothly! 

Using a lubricant such as Bee’s Wax is a great way to protect the longevity of your zipper.

Just buy a small block and rub it on for smooth zippers!


Generally speaking though, the most critical aspect of caring for your tent is to ensure that you don't leave it closed up for extended periods of time without checking for condensation or damp inside the tent. 


Rain + Your Tent: Packing up your tent when it's wet

You wake up to head home after a great weekend, but it rained all night and there is water all over the outside of your tent.

Don't panic! You can pack up your tent when it’s wet.

We suggest leaving your windows zipped up because that will help keep the moisture on the outside.

Give it a good shake and get as much water off as you can before pack-up.

Once you’ve arrived home, it is important that you don’t forget to open your tent back up and let it dry out completely!

Try not to leave it more than 36 hours – as soon as you can is best.

Once your tent is completely dry, you can pack it back up.


Check on the health of your tent regularly

We know this sounds a little odd, but it's an important part of caring for your tent.

We all live busy lives and sometimes recreational activities aren't our priority. If you find its been a few weeks since you've used your tent, it's a great idea to pop it open quickly to make sure you have no moisture inside. Depending on the time of year, and where you live, it is possible for condensation to form inside your tent, even if you're confident you dried everything out properly before you packed everything up on your last trip.

We recommend regularly opening your tent and checking for any signs of moisture on the walls, around the brackets and especially under the mattress.


Off-Season / Winter Storage

Although you are welcome to leave your tent on your vehicle for the off-season, a lot of our customers decide to remove their tent until Spring when camping season starts up again.

If you are going to leave your tent on your vehicle for the winter but don’t plan on using it, we strongly suggest taking the mattress out and storing it inside somewhere.  Choose somewhere warm and dry with good airflow around the entire mattress.  We also recommend you pop your tent open every few weeks to check for any condensation build up.   Left unchecked it is possible for mould and water damage to occur.

We advise against storing your tent outdoors when it's not fitted to you car. The NZ sun is brutal and can cause premature wear on your tent if its left unnecessarily exposed. We also want to avoid the opportunity for damp or condensation to build up.  Left unchecked it is possible for mould and water damage to occur.

Tents do best when stored in a building with a consistent temperature – (Most customers store their tents in their garage).

Even if your tent is stored inside somewhere warm and dry, please check in on it every month or so to be certain there is no damp inside.


You don't want to open your tent up for the first time in spring to find a damp mouldy mess!


Now you know how to care for your tent with regards to the elements, here are our recommendations for the best ways to store your tent safely when it's not on your car.

Option 1 - Storing the tent upright against a wall

You can store your tent by leaning it against a wall but please put two blocks of wood underneath the tent before you lean it. You need to make sure you aren’t putting pressure on your gas struts (if your tent has them), hinges or latches.
To avoid injury or damage to valuables you should strap your tent to the wall.

Option 2 - Storing the tent with a hoist system

If you have an overhead hoist or an at home strap system, you can hoist your tent up to the roof of your garage and have it sit above your vehicle.
To do this, you can simply drive in to your garage, lower the hoist, secure the straps, and unmount it from your car. Now you just pull it up! Make sure you have a secure, legitimate system, a falling tent from above could cause serious injury or death and SMRT Tent is not liable.
Some customers find this to be a handy system because to re-install the tent they simply need to lower it back onto the vehicle instead of lifting it from the ground! Great for those who need to take their tent on and off often.

Option 3 - Storing the tent on the ground or on a shelf

You might have the floorspace or shelf space to store your tent in it’s normal, bottom down position.
Make sure to set the tent on some blocks of wood to airflow under your tent. This also prevents any water from creeping into the tent from the floor, as well as creepy crawlies.

Now you have all the tips to properly take care of your Tent, it's time to get out there and start exploring!