Having spent four months camping in Australia with my husband, I know that having a good-quality roof vent is crucial. Unlike in my native Sweden, or the UK where my husband was born and bred, the temperature in Australia can easily hit 40°C.
Camping in Australia is an amazing experience, but I have to be honest and say that it comes with a unique set of challenges. The hot and dry climate in the interior of Australia can make camping an uncomfortable experience. Closer to the coast, humidity levels are often high.
Before my husband and I headed out, we made a list of everything we needed. On top of the list was a roof vent.
What Is A Roof Vent?
Never heard of a roof vent? A roof vent is a mechanical device that allows fresh air to circulate whether you are in a caravan, RV or tent. Unlike other countries, roof vents are a must in Australia.
Roof vents don’t only circulate the air. They prevent insects, dust and rain from entering. Most importantly, they help you to manage the intense heat you experience in Australia during the warmer parts of the year.
Let’s take a look at why a roof vent is a must when you camp in Australia.
Helps to Keep You Cool and Comfortable
It did not take me long to appreciate that spring and summer temperatures in Australia can easily hit 40°C. High temperatures make it hard for you to relax and sleep inside your tent or caravan.
A roof vent helps to lower the temperature by creating airflow drawing out hot air and bringing in cooler air from the outside. Many roof events also have fans which increase circulation.
Roof vents with fans are great for when you want to increase ventilation and the cooling effect. If you are an experienced camper, you probably know that not having any ventilation increases the risk of mildew, mould and condensation.
A Roof Vent Improves Air Quality
A roof vent is without a doubt the best way to improve air quality. Yes, you can leave doors or tent flaps open, but that is not always safe and you certainly don’t want to do that at night.
These days, pollutants are everywhere. You are just as likely to encounter them at a campsite as you are driving through a busy city centre. Pollutants to watch out for when camping include exhaust fumes, dust and smoke from people doing the cooking.
We may not think of pollen as a pollutant, but many are sensitive to pollen. Allergies to pollen can lead to serious physical symptoms.
The problem with pollutants or irritants of any kind is that they can cause irritations to your eyes and respiratory system. In a worst-case scenario, they cause asthma and allergies.
When you buy a roof vent, it is a good idea to buy one that comes with a filter that removes common pollutants and allergens from the air. Not only do filtered roof vents help to remove unwanted particles, but they also help to keep the air in your RV or tent fresher.
Protection From Insects and Water
One thing I learned during our Australian camping adventure, is that it does rain in Australia. Unpredictable weather is part of most camping experiences. It is best to be prepared.
If rain gets in, you are likely to experience loss of camping equipment, clothes and bedding. Water is often the camper’s worst enemy. You should do your utmost to avoid it.
Insects are another problem that you have to deal with as a camper. It is not a problem that is unique to Australia, but you guys certainly have interesting creepy crawlies.
Insects can give you nasty stings and contaminate your food. If you are unlucky, you can encounter disease-spreading insects. A roof vent creates an active barrier between you and the outside world.
As our climate is changing rapidly, investing in a roof vent with a cover is not a bad idea. More protection generally means a more comfortable camping experience.
Can A Roof Vent Enhance My Camping Experience?
In one word - yes. During our time travelling around Australia, we met many campers without roof vents. As their camping experience was less comfortable, they often ended up spending less time on the road. That is a shame when you have invested in camping gear.
When you have a roof vent, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. You can still listen to the soothing sounds of nature without them paying you an unwanted visit.
Things To Consider Before You Buy A Roof Vent
As always, there are some things you need to consider before you buy a roof vent.
Shape and Size of Your Camping Space
Before you buy a vent, you need to consider the dimensions of your roof opening or pre-existing vent. Many RVs come complete with a vent, but if you want to upgrade it, you need to think about the size.
Remember that you may need clearance for overhangs and trees.
Features of Your Roof Vent
Roof vents have different types of ventilation. Depending on your circumstances, you need to consider if a passive or active option is right for you. Also, you need to decide if you want an automatic or manual.
Covers vary as well. You can go for transparent or opaque. Transparent covers add light which is nice.
Personally, I think it is better to spend a bit more. Before you buy a roof vent, check out the construction and the materials. Never buy a new roof vent that does not come with a warranty.
You want your roof vent to stand the test of time and last longer than one camping trip.
I hope this information helps. Do your research and find the right camping roof vent for your needs and requirements. Spending slightly more is often better than buying a cheaper option. It is likely that the climate is going to keep on challenging us - keep that in mind when you shop for a roof vent.