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Thread: Rooftop "tents"

  1. #1
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    Rooftop "tents"

    Hi all,

    I'm after some feedback from those of you that have had experience with rooftop tents similar to those shown. A guy at work is keen on getting one, which started a "robust" discussion around the pro's, cons vs cost etc.

    Cheers in advance.

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  2. #2
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    I don’t have any experience with them but in NZ I really can’t see the point of them. They must reduce the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. In Oz they make a bit more sense to get away from all the nasties that want to eat kill you. Be better off getting a quality quick set up tent like a Oztent IMO.
    Tahr, Dreamer, Sarvo and 3 others like this.

  3. #3
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    Looked into them a few years ago and decided nah.

    Cons - Once you're set up if you want to drive anywhere you need to pack up
    If you are like me and cant go the night with out a piss then it involves a lot of climbing or a bottle
    No good if you dog sleeps with you.
    A bit scary in high winds when set up.
    Take a lot of time to dry and this can be a hassle if you pack it up wet, at some stage you are going to have to set it up to dry it out.

    Really in NZ I dont think they are needed, nothings going to come along and try and eat you while you're sleeping except a few sandflies
    planenutz likes this.

  4. #4
    northdude
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    Ive looked into them as well but came to the conclusion climbing up and down a ladder would get old pretty fast. Better idea would be mount it on a trailer?
    Sika stag and turtle like this.

  5. #5
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    Imagine getting out middle of night for a piss
    Imagine the windy nights

    Total Fad this !!
    In Aussie or parts of States etc where Bear/Coyote etc - yes maybe for safety for kids etc and family with no shooter

    And they sell for more than this

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    outdoorlad and Dreamer like this.

  6. #6
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    If 4wding, the centre of gravity will certainly shift upwards.

    Sent from my SM-G975F using Tapatalk
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    Once divided, always conquered.

  7. #7
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    @steadwah

    Five naysaying blokes responding so far, none with any experience of rooftents. How's that for an answer to your question?!

    I've used a rooftent for a cumulative 3˝years or so, ~1250 nights. 2˝years in Africa, the balance in Aus and NZ. The brand is Eeez-Awn, the original and the best. Still have it, 25 years old now.

    Pros:

    • Great for shagging. Bloody brilliant.
    • A quality high density foam mattress with no lumps and bumps is extremely comfortable. Clean, warm, dry, no rocks / mud / dust / draughts / leaks / insects.
    • All your bedding stays in the tent.
    • By far the easiest option to put up / down, period. Believe me, when you are experienced with a good setup and two people, you measure the time in seconds. The wife and I could collapse that tent, tucking in the sides as it folds over, pull the cover on and tighten the strap in around 90 secs. That's very handy when there's a storm coming.
    • An Eezi-Awn is robust - a quality tent uses heavy canvas, thick mozzie netting, quality zips, on a hardy base with a well made frame. It can take the punishment of long-term overlanding - heavy rain, high UV, the coldest frosts. Just vary the bedding according to the climate and you're comfy as. One of the main advantages of a quality tent is that you don't get that fucking annoying flap-flap-flap in the wind, as the heavy canvas pulls tight over the frame.
    • Did I say they are great for shagging?

    Cons:

    • Sadly, the original Eezi-Awn design has been ripped off by lots of cheap fakes, and several of the ones they sell in Aussie these days are just utter crap. Really flimsy and lightweight. The fabric they use is just not up to it, way too thin. Flap-flap-flap. You very much get what you pay for.
    • You have to collapse the tent every time you want to go somewhere with the vehicle during the day. The more you use them, the less of an issue this becomes, because you can collapse them so fast. We only put the tent up at the last minute anyway, just before bedtime usually.
    • They catch the wind when the vehicle is parked perpendicular to the wind, and it can be a bit noisy and rock the vehicle a bit. However, the wind issue is overstated by non-rooftenters; anyone who has witnessed the carnage after a storm in a coastal campsite full of normal tents will know what I mean. The key thing is a quality rooftent won’t break, the wind they can take is something else.
    • Rooftents don’t provide an “indoor” space in inclement weather in the same way a normal touring tent does. I hate big tents, and always end up sitting in the vehicle anyway. Horses for courses on that one.
    • Your vehicle’s efficiency will take a hit. When overlanding in remote areas, this doesn’t really matter, as the average speeds are so much lower that you don’t notice it. But if you’re touring on majority bitumen at highway speeds, you will notice it. On average, my Hilux runs at +1.5L / 100km over normal driving on the state highway, which I can see on the Scangauge. In a strong headwind, more.
    • Your vehicle’s height is not the same as it once was. Never, ever forget this. There are too many examples of new rooftenters driving into the garage / multi-storey carpark etc and instantly regretting it.
    • If you are a night time pee pee type, as I am these days, then the up and down in the middle of the night might grate somewhat. But as youngsters, it didn’t bother us at all. I’d normally just sit on the edge and wee, bit harder for the missus to master that trick.


    All tenting options have pros and cons. The rooftent is best suited to the hardcore overlanding type trip. You don’t really want to be running your vehicle with the tent on the whole time, and putting the tent on / taking it off for short trips isn’t ideal because the good ones are quite heavy.

    Do not mount them on a trailer. Every person we came across that had done this in Aus was having a torrid time with bulldust ingress. NZ dirt roads are no different. Worse thing you can do.

    Our rooftent was a major contributor to us enjoying our long trips. Minimum hassle, maximum comfort. Wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.
    scottrods, Puffin, nzfubz and 1 others like this.
    Just...say...the...word

  8. #8
    Member Flyblown's Avatar
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    The other thing I'd add after reading Gerados comment, is take a look at how proper 4WDs are setup. Heavy duty roof racks, often carrying water / fuel and other heavy stuff. An upward shift in centre of gravity is dealt with by experience, driver skill and suspension. You do need a proper, proper roof rack, and never overloaded it.
    Ranal and XR500 like this.
    Just...say...the...word

  9. #9
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    Great for shagging. Bloody brilliant. Too old for that :-)

    A quality high density foam mattress with no lumps and bumps is extremely comfortable. --- yes V good
    Clean, warm, dry, no rocks / mud / dust / draughts / leaks / insects. -- Though I imagine it would develop over time - but so will any tent
    All your bedding stays in the tent. --- Yes V Good too

    But you cant stick it in a Hughes 500E or Jet boat :-))
    Tertle, Dreamer, planenutz and 3 others like this.

  10. #10
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    Cheers guys, reinforced both the pros and cons of our discussion. However, it looks as though he is keen to push on with getting one, so I'll report back with how things turn out. Not my cup of tea, far better options and scenarios out there in my opinion. From digging around it looks like the original innovators who developed these created and durable and reliable product, which has since been "refined" by others to reduce cost by skimping on materials, to produce a product that appears to come out of the same factory which any brand can then purchase and splash their signage over and claim as their own. I'll save the rant, as it's been done to death in many a thread and forum.
    Mohawk .308 likes this.

  11. #11
    Member Flyblown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steadwah View Post
    Not my cup of tea, far better options and scenarios out there in my opinion.
    What does your mate want to do with it, and what do you recommend as the alternative?
    Just...say...the...word

  12. #12
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    Cleaning day, Uganda, 2000.

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    Ranal, nance, planenutz and 3 others like this.
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  13. #13
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    He's looking at it as an alternative to a tent for him and his partner to see more of the country, he doesn't really know what he wants. He and his mates have got into doing up old 4WDs Patrols, Landcruisers etc. and have been throwing ridiculous cash at them, and can see him/them throwing more cash at these without much thought. All of them are double income no kids. Which is all well and good, but it really does limit you when you get somewhere, in that once you've set up you've lost your vehicle to move around. Yes, you can take bikes or walk, depending on where you are and what you are wanting to do. But for the prices, some of these crowds are asking for their rooftop options you could buy the taj mahal of tents or if you hunt around a slower spec caravan.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by steadwah View Post
    He's looking at it as an alternative to a tent for him and his partner to see more of the country, he doesn't really know what he wants. He and his mates have got into doing up old 4WDs Patrols, Landcruisers etc. and have been throwing ridiculous cash at them, and can see him/them throwing more cash at these without much thought. All of them are double income no kids. Which is all well and good, but it really does limit you when you get somewhere, in that once you've set up you've lost your vehicle to move around. Yes, you can take bikes or walk, depending on where you are and what you are wanting to do. But for the prices, some of these crowds are asking for their rooftop options you could buy the taj mahal of tents or if you hunt around a slower spec caravan.
    He’ll have to find out the hard way..
    Dreamer likes this.

  15. #15
    northdude
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    theres a place at waimakau that sell them not sure what kind tho no really my thing

 

 

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