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The super-fast car tent

Sleep comfortably in the car thanks to the flexible tent
Author: Stefan Troitzsch, Stuttgart, Germany
Online since: 27/07/2008, Number of visits: 687381
When you sleep in the car (here: a Renault Kangoo), it can get a little stuffy, especially in warm weather. You want to open the hatch, but you would be sleeping out in the open. Awkward. The solution: A tent over the open hatch. That sounds great, but how do you attach a car tent? With strong magnets of course!
View from the side
View from the side

Required materials

  • 26 block magnets
  • 9 m fabric at 3 euros each
  • 4 m continuous zipper
  • a lot of sewing thread (there are almost 100 m of seams to sew!)
  • sewing machine
  • pins
  • scissors
The materials for this car tent only cost 50 Euros.

Instructions for a magnetic car tent

  1. Buy some fabric that is not too heavy. In my case the fabric weighs 275 g per running metre at a width of 1,40 m)
  2. Measure the hatch and the height of the car, then plan the size of your tent
  3. Sew some zippers onto the back
  4. Sew a fly-screen onto the inside
  5. Add hemstitch seams
  6. Insert magnets
  7. Secure the magnets by closing the seams at the appropriate spots.

Details on attaching the magnets

Add a protruding hemline to the hemstitch seam, making it easier to pull the fabric and the magnets away from the car. After inserting the magnets into the hemstitch seam, secure them with a seam in the desired position.
For this DIY auto tent, I used 26 block magnets 20x10x5 mm with 3,8 kg adhesive force each.
That's what the sewn-in magnet looks like when you pull it off. Because the magnet is protected by the fabric, it can’t scratch the car paint.

Version 2.0: Car tent with waterproof magnets

Caused by moisture, regular neodymium magnets can start to rust and leave unattractive stains on the hatchback tent. They also lose their adhesive force and need to be replaced. You won’t have this problem with our sew-in magnets, because they are protected from moisture by a PVC cover. With these, the magnetic hatchback tent can get wet and stay damp for a while without any issues. And thanks to the sew-in magnets, it can also be washed in the washing machine without problems.
Please note, the sew-in magnets do not have the same adhesive force as the above-mentioned block magnets. We, therefore, believe that you will need more sew-in magnets.

Notes from the supermagnete team