Tent verse Roof top camper for trip to Cape York

Submitted: Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 01:13
ThreadID: 105148 Views:4524 Replies:8 FollowUps:3
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My wife initially refused to think about using our tent to sleep in when we travel to the Cape in 2014 and insisted we look at roof top campers. Is it necessary to sleep off the ground due to crocs? Can someone provide some feedback to help me comfort my wife?
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Reply By: BUSH CAMPER - Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 06:40

Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 06:40
We did the cape in 2007 with a camper and 5 other couples travelled with us and most tented.
No problem in a tent and they slept on air mattresses. Just camp back from river banks.
My wife would never get into a roof topper as getting out at night for the call of nature is difficult.
It's not the crocs' you have to worry about on the trip it is the other 10,000 vehicals that travel the road.
some people want to do the trip in a couple of days and travel like idiots.
Check last years statistics, by memory, crocs' O, road accidents many, deaths on cape about 5 or 6.
Enjoy your trip and take your time and smell the roses.
We will be back again in 2015 and will be tenting.
Regards Hugh
AnswerID: 521536

Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 08:24

Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 08:24

For comfort and setting up the roof top is the better option. With all the great tents around now I would imagine that you can be just as comfortable with a tent. But the set up takes longer and it fits neatly on the roof.

However a roof top has one big disadvantage. You can't set up a base camp and then go for a drive and come back to it. The roof top tent has a habit of coming with the car. They are very attached. Sick joke I know.

So we now take both.

We both prefer the roof top tent for touring trips like the Canning next year and the Simpson last year. But for the Cape we found the tent very adaquate. It's a bit of horses for courses mate.

Why rush?? Just imagine only having four weeks annual leave. You are then obligated to use a bunch of it for the non public holidays at Christmas when the business closes shop. You then have to take another bunch just to get to and from the start of the "trek' or "adventure". We had only 16 days, including weekends,for the Cape trip after the days for Christmas were taken and 6 days were needed just to Cairns and home leaving just 10 days!! If we rush for the Canning it will take 5 days just to get to Billiluna and another 6 days to get home from Wiluna. Not enough days left for my wife to come unless she takes leave without pay. Ouch that hurts the budget.

May not even have time to stop and see the son and grand kids in Adelaide on the way home. Talk about smelling the roses. At least we smelt most of the roses just on the Cape.
AnswerID: 521537

Reply By: Member - Chris_K - Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 09:13

Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 09:13

We did the Cape last year - and (obviously) depending where you choose to camp - the chance of meeting a croc is pretty low if you choose the camping spot sensibly (i.e far enough away from water). Most of the places we camped, there were people with tents - and no issues at all. Having said that, you can always pick up a roof top tent either second hand or new, then sell it when you get back...if you burn a couple of hundred dollars doing that, it's probably worth it for the peace of mind?

AnswerID: 521540

Reply By: RUK - Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 12:24

Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 12:24
Thanks to all who provided knowledge. This at least will provide some help in making the debate rational. We will have around 3 weeks to do the trip, some time at least to smell a few roses, so point taken on the driving skills of the masses.
AnswerID: 521545

Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 18:00

Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 18:00
Roof top tents are off the ground, no dirt, take your shoes off at the top of the ladder and hang them inside , cooler in summer , a little higher than the ground, very snug in winter, not on the freezing ground, most RTTs have 40 mm of insulation between two layers of aluminum ! Need only car space and a spot to set the ladder and it's off the ground! What more could you ask for ? 1400mm wide by 2400mm long! But you need to be a little agile to pack and unpack the tent! Michael
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FollowupID: 802258

Reply By: Member - Kiwibound eventually - Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 19:05

Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 19:05
We are a couple now 61 and 62. We left our caravan in Port Douglas and travelled via the Bloomfield Track, Cooktown, Lakefield NP, Musgrove, Chilli Beach, Bramwell Station, OTT and on to Punsand and Cape York and returned via Captain Billy Landing, Weipa, Laura and eventually back to Port Douglas. A roof top camper was not an option for us due to restrictions following a knee replacement. We used our Black Wolf Turbo 300 and found this very quick to erect, comfortable and we had no problems with crocs or any other wildlife. We use camp stretchers and sleeping bags rather than an air bed. We travelled for close to four weeks in the Cape and can totally recommend the use of a tent. We are very pleased we never considered taking our caravan.
AnswerID: 521557

Follow Up By: RUK - Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 20:34

Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 20:34
Thanks for the feedback. We have a RV4 and camp strecthers we are planning to use so it goes up and down quickly. My wife is a little bit more comforted by the feedback received so far. Thanks
FollowupID: 802267

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 19:16

Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 19:16
I have seen croc tracks within 3m of our MH and within 1m of a tent with 2 adults and 2 little kids in it, both at Kalumburu. The second of those went 50m into the scrub past the tent, and back again. The parents were not impressed.

Problem is, you have no idea what previous campers did at a spot and what silly goose left a fish carcass out somewhere the day before you arrived. In that case, probably the croc will take the fish carcass, unless you happen to be an easier target along the way.

I would go for the rooftop tent every day.

OKA196 Motorhome.
AnswerID: 521559

Reply By: Tim - Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 19:48

Saturday, Nov 16, 2013 at 19:48
We did the cape for 10 weeks Ina RTT, they are great, quick setup, all ur bedding except pillows stay in situ and at night you can leave all the windows open and breath easily when it's warm and you tend to get a slight breeze being 2m above ground level. Downside is u have to pack it up to move your chariot and you have to park on level ground.
AnswerID: 521561

Reply By: sweetwill - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 18:20

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 18:20
Hello Ruk.
I have both rtt, and tents of all descriptions, firstly the roof top tent is warm in winter, cool in summer, But climbing up and down the ladder can be a little tricky I'm 66 but its not an age thing its a 6 pack thing, then their is the tent, what can I say its a tent they are just as practical if they are easy to put up, as for the crocs of a night around camping areas well when you come out of a tent or a rtt of a night to pee you are still going to end up on the ground, hope you enjoy your trip.cheers bill.
AnswerID: 521680

Follow Up By: sweetwill - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 18:28

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 18:28
And if you go with the rtt I always carry two large timber wedge's to level up my ute,or if I'm free camping I just dig two holes and drive the ute in till its level and yes when I leave they get filled in.
FollowupID: 802420

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