Updated: Jul 2
It's a simple FOUR step process to have stable and level bed in your rooftop tent!
There are MANY advantages of camping with a rooftop tent. You know that you will have a flat, dry, and secure sleeping area regardless of the terrain. You don't need to fear a rain storm that turns your ground tent into a waterbed. You sleep confidently above all the critters that inhabit the area. But the Number One reason campers love their rooftop tents is that your bed is soft and comfortable no matter the surface of rocks, roots, and thorns.
Mounting your rooftop tent on a trailer has even more benefits. (See also the related article that details the benefits of the "Overlanding Lite" camping trailer: Click HERE.) This article will focus on how to achieve a level bed platform regardless of the ground slope, ruts, or humps.
The main advantage of an overlanding trailer is that it is much easier to level two wheels versus the four wheels of your vehicle.
Some trailer owners use a combination of blocks and stands to level their trailers. The Great Out There "Overlanding Lite" camping trailer (shown above) includes both a tongue jack and rear stabilizer jacks. In combination, this set of jacks provides a "three point" foundation under the trailer and the rooftop tent platform.
Leveling the Overlanding Lite Camping Trailer is a simple process:
First, try to park the trailer on a surface that provides a level surface from side to side, looking at the back of the trailer from left to right. You don't want one side of the bed significantly higher causing you to roll to the downhill side.
The advantage of the Overlanding Lite camping trailer is that it is truly LIGHT! You can easily unhitch the trailer and manually swing the tongue to find the most level position. (If you are carrying a heavy load of gear you might need to unload some of the weight to aid in jockeying the trailer into position.) If you are close but still not level, you can dig a small depression and roll the higher tire into the hole. Conversely, you could roll the lower tire up on a small board.
Avoid very soft soil or sand that will not support the jacks and your weight in the rooftop tent. You must pay close attention to the following details to prevent the trailer from tipping! Follow the instructions precisely to avoid "Operator Error!"
Second, when the trailer is level from side to side, lower the tongue of the trailer to cause the bed to slope toward the foot end. You want about a two-inch downward slope to the trailer. It is not always necessary to unhitch the trailer to achieve this slope. But the tongue must be high enough to allow the jack to swing down. If the trailer is level or raised towards the tongue, you will be required to unhitch it from the ball.
Third, now that the rear of the trailer is slightly raised, lower the stabilizer jacks. These are spring-loaded. Pull the jack towards the center of the trailer to swing it down. Next, release the lever on the jack to allow the foot to reach the ground. You may find it helpful to stand on the foot of the jack to extent it as far as possible.
Fourth, with the rear stabilizers extended down to the ground, crank the tongue jack to raise the front of the trailer and stop when the bed is level.
Now the weight of the trailer is supported by the three jacks. Give the rooftop tent a shake to make sure all three jacks have a firm footing. If there any of the rear jacks slip, lower the front of the trailer and reposition the rear jacks. Then raise the tongue jack again. We include small bubble levels on the rear and side of the rooftop tent to aid in your leveling process.