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Posted on Mar 15, 2019 by Karsten Koberg
When deciding on buying a roof top tent or not, many look at the obvious:
And so on and so forth.
However, many tend to forget about one of the features that turn out to be a big necessity: the annex room.
Well, we will explain why an annex can be one of the most comfortable add-ons on any roof rack tent, but we will also give you some handy uses for them, as well as recommend some RTTs that already include the annex!
The first and most obvious use is the changing room.
How many times have you gone camping and struggled with changing clothes, underwear, etc comfortably and in privacy? Probably many many times.
With an annex, that comes to an end.
If your annex is tall and wide enough (and most are since they tend to be 80” x 80” or more with a height close to “75” or more), you can easily hang your clothes from the ladder or place them on the tent, and easily take off all your clothes without a hurry.
Many annexes have a removable floor, which will also help you avoid getting dirt, mud, dust or water on your feet, socks or shoes. The annex will be dry and clean, perfect for you to get changed.
If you want privacy, it’s as easy as closing all the windows from the annex and no one will be able to see anything from the outside.
As said above, most annex rooms are for the traditional roof top tent with an overhang, those are by far the most comfortable (please see image below).
TJM Yulara Roof Top Tent Annex
However, there are other options, such as annex rooms for other rooftop tent models. The images below show an annex for an FSR High Country Series, a huge annex for an FSR Adventure Series, a huge annex for a Skycamp, and a smaller annex for a Guana Equipment Nosara 55" RTT.
Nosara 55" Annex FSR High Country Annex
FSR Adventure Series Annex iKamper Skycamp Annex
The bigger the annex room is, the more uses you’ll find for it, not only as a changing room.
The smaller it is, and we’re talking about the High Country Series and for all the tents shaped as the Nosara 55, and which have no canvas overhang, they won’t be as comfortable.
The space in these two models is smaller, and you can’t put momentarily your things on top of the ladder or inside the tent. Therefore, the use is strictly as a changing room or a storage room.
Another obvious use, any annex room, add-on room or private room (these are some of the many names given to annexes), will be able to store bags, gear and things inside of them.
Sure, there are definitely better models than others. Personally, we prefer annexes that have a removable floor, simply because they can guarantee that things will be dry the whole time.
That said, the removable room isn’t as easy to setup as expected, you need to learn how to quickly open or close the zipper or Velcro strips, and that takes some practice. On top of that, not all annexes have a removable floor as they do cost a bit more.
Plus, if you’re set up in the right place, and during a dry season, then even without a floor you shouldn’t have much trouble with things getting wet or at risk of doing so.
The comfort of the add-on room is that instead of having to store everything inside your car, or taking space away from you inside the tent, you can still safely keep them inside the annex, being at your reach at all times in case you need to get something quickly.
You read it right, the annex can be the ideal space for your pets to safely, quietly and comfortably sleep in. Especially if the annex room has a floor, then you know they won’t get dirty or muddy, they’ll sleep in a dry and even warm place.
Many people love taking their dogs or other pets with them during their overlanding trips, often they like to sleep with their pets. However, if you’re traveling with your family, our couple, there won’t always be space for your pet inside the tent.
That’s why the annex room works perfectly fine, your beasts will be sleeping right below you, and you’ll have enough space and comfort to stretch your arms and legs inside the tent. Plus, you won’t have your sleeping bag or blankets full of fur!
This is our personal favorite: using your car top tent’s annex room as an additional sleeping area.
Some of the bigger tents, such as the Tepui Autana 4, the Tuff Stuff Overland Elite and the Guana Equipment Wanaka, all have huge annex rooms, all of them are more or less 100” x 100”. That’s enough space to comfortably sleep an adult or two children, as well as giving you space to still store bags.
These models all have a removable floor, meaning they can allow you to actually sleep people inside of them, just like a regular ground tent would!
This use for an annex room is targeted to people who travel in larger groups, for big families, and for those who look for a full set up and functionality in their tent.
We talked before about how big the annexes from the FSR Adventure Series or the Skycamp are. These are truly huge annexes that become like a covered camping room.
They are big enough to fit tables and chairs inside of them, allowing you to even have a covered space to sit down, relax, and not be sunburnt or covered in rain.
Want to enjoy a meal? You can inside them.
Another great annex is the one of the Wanaka Roof Top Tent, not only is it an XL annex, but it also ahs 3 awning doors, which when opened up create a huge coverage area.
Guana Equipment Wanaka Roof Top Tent Setup
This is another advantage of having a large and versatile annex.
We understand that not everyone wants a softshell with an annex, not anyone can afford one, or simply your priorities lay on other features.
Nevertheless, we highly encourage you to purchase an RTT with an annex, or to acquire an annex for yours.
They are useful, handy and a great asset to any camping setup. Sure, they have their downsides, meaning extra storage space needed when on the road, more weight, and they take longer to install.
But if you manage to overcome these “nuisances”, you’ll start enjoying the great benefits from owning an annex room for your roof top tent.
***If you're not sure whether your vehicle has the right roof rack, please take a look at our roof rack collection, most of which will be able to support any roof top tent.***
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