rooftop tent purchase

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 28, 2004 at 00:29
ThreadID: 10860 Views:24688 Replies:7 FollowUps:5
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purchasing rooftop tent and need some advice so as not to make a big mistake. did a search and read everything twice. looking at the howling moon, ezy awn and the dingo doza. was at the adelaide show this weekend and saw them all. every seller tells you his unit is the best. first the dinga doza, total canvas including cover, floor made of canvas and total velcro canvas top. looks very rustic at best. secondly the howling moon, fiberglass type floor and ripspot canvas with a cover on top,as they saw to make it warmer in cold and cooler in hot. they say the top keeps out condensation. they say also you can keep bedding in when closed. [ an archive says can't keep beding in and after a rain had bad condensation problems the next night. says he does'nt believe performance in wet enviroments. thirdly the ezy awn. no negative feedback. but has a marine plywood bed and has all the canvas riveted[ bad for repair] unlike the howling moon which has a rope removal system. my question does anyone have any real long term experience in wet weather? is the pvc type top the best evev after a rain, then the sun heating everything up? which is the best unit? can't use an aussie explorer or ship shape as they take too much roof space. please tell me all your ideas. give me the good, bad, and the ugly. cheers, robert
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Reply By: Phil G - Saturday, Feb 28, 2004 at 00:49

Saturday, Feb 28, 2004 at 00:49
Hi Robert,

I was also looking at them at the Adelaide CC&OR show.

I have a couple of friends who have owned them, and say they are great, but tend to sell them after a couple of years. I think they get sick of packing up every morning because if you go for a drive, then tent has to go with you. And you have to climb up and down that ladder.

In my opinion, they are very pricey for a small tent on a vehicle roof. I've had a Breezeway Tent from Halls Canvas Goods at Hackham for the past 12 years, and its got heaps of room, and takes only a few minutes to put up. My wife likes the space, and it cost less than $800.

But everyone has different needs..

AnswerID: 48486

Follow Up By: Crackles - Saturday, Feb 28, 2004 at 13:58

Saturday, Feb 28, 2004 at 13:58
I've found the same thing Phil. Everyone I know who bought one were very happy with them to start with but soon got tired of climbing the ladder. They've all since bought minute style canvas tents. When our group based camped they would have to pack up each day or wouldn't come on the day trips because they couldn't be bothered packing and resetting up.
As it was a bit of a job to fit it on & off they found they would often leave it on for extended periods around town adding 2 MPG to all their driving. A boat winch & pulley system in the garage would be a good idea to make that job easier.
FollowupID: 310347

Reply By: RLNOMAD - Saturday, Feb 28, 2004 at 08:42

Saturday, Feb 28, 2004 at 08:42
We have had our "Howling Moon " now for over a year , done several trips including "Cape York" and followed the Darling down through Menindee to South Australia ,and lots of nights just out at the beach for overnighters....We are no spring chickens being in our late 40's so think we have given it a fair users testing...found it to be ants pants , no creepy crawlies get in , picks up every little breeze on those hot still nights , easy and quick to unpack and pack..Think best was a 6 minute pack up from getting up to driving off...have had it through some pretty heavy rain and wind and came through unscaved and dry.....only drawback has been you have to be carefull when you play "Rumpy Pumpy" in any campgrounds ,vehicle gets a bit of a sway up and lets all know what is happening....otherwise top product and even better after sales service...had a small problem with unit when first picked up...they completely changed the tent for a new one after a month of use...
AnswerID: 48496

Follow Up By: Willem - Sunday, Feb 29, 2004 at 11:25

Sunday, Feb 29, 2004 at 11:25
Rumpy Pumpy?????????? Half your luck mate SWMBO says RP is definitely a no-no on camp trips no matter how deperate you are....hahahahahaWillem
Little Dip Cons Park S.A.
FollowupID: 310448

Reply By: Yo Sam - Saturday, Feb 28, 2004 at 12:07

Saturday, Feb 28, 2004 at 12:07
I too have had great experiences with my howling moon roof top tent.. I live in the NT so have experienced tones of weather changes, from bucketing down rain to hot 40 days afterwards, -6 mornings, etc.. Like the last person said great after sales service, the tent always catches a great breeze, is completely waterproof.. I always carry my dona/sleeping bag and pillows in the tent when travelling and they have never been wet even after packing up in terential rain.. Best money I ever spent, the misus loves to go camping now..
Yo Sam
AnswerID: 48510

Reply By: KiwiAngler - Saturday, Feb 28, 2004 at 13:53

Saturday, Feb 28, 2004 at 13:53
I have a Toyo 100 series and have had an Ezy-Awn and rollout awning for over 2 years now. I use it ever third weekend and have been in rain, wind, snow, frost, heat and cannot fault it. I too leave my double sleeping bag and 2 pillows in the tent all the time. Takes about 3min to erect and about 6 mins to pack up. The service and assistance you get from Hans and the team at Opensky is top. If you spoke with Hans at the show and he showed you the folder of pics that he has then you would have seen a couple of pics of my rig. As you can tell, I am a convert. If you want ease of seting up, quality product, up off the ground, comfortable nights sleep then Ezy-Awn or Howling Moon is the go. I am 6'2", 53 years young. I chose the Ezy-Awn over the Howling Moon because I beleive the plywood base will last longer over time than the composite floor of the HM. Insulation differences are negligble and the EA was cheaper. There ya go :-)
AnswerID: 48519

Reply By: Mark - Saturday, Feb 28, 2004 at 16:58

Saturday, Feb 28, 2004 at 16:58
Bought a Howling Moon to tour Tassie 2 years ago, great for touring as quick to put up on any type of ground. Main disadvantages are storage as quite heavy & bulky (we leave ours on roof so more fuel) also the fact you cannot use vehicle is the main disadvantage. We take dome tent for the longer stays. Great for beaches as no issues with fixing down to soft sand. No problems with rain & drys out pretty quick being so high. Cheers
AnswerID: 48539

Follow Up By: robert4615 - Saturday, Feb 28, 2004 at 21:37

Saturday, Feb 28, 2004 at 21:37
thanks to everyone for all comments and ideas. again today i went to the show in adelaide. the open sky people sell both the howling moon and the ezy awn rooftops. while everyone here is given me their personal experience with their rooftops, i can only give you the great experience that i've had with the open sky people. got a chance to speak with the owner hans, and as most people have expressed a great representative of the product. these people took over 2 hours with me and many others to show all the features, including opening and closing the tents. as others have said i truly believe that if you purchased one of these rooftops they would be here for aftermarket service after the sale. now i only need to decide which tent is for me. cheers, robert
FollowupID: 310391

Reply By: Member - Des Lexik(SA) - Saturday, Feb 28, 2004 at 22:09

Saturday, Feb 28, 2004 at 22:09
Robert, just to throw a cat amongst the pigeons, after about 5 years of going away with a couple of friends who have Shippshape's, (they have web site and sometimes 2nd hand) we got sick of packing up our centre pole tent and makeing and packing up bedding every day we moved on, we also bought one. It is just so easy to erect and pack up that we wonder why we waited so long. One coule have had theirs for over 10 years and the others over 5. Both couples are in early 60's and frequently do trips of several months a year. Sometimes 2 trips a year and they wouldn't do it any other way. Another couple have a dingo doza and they are very happy with theirs. My SWMBO finds the Dingo Doza too Claustraphobic. The Shippshapes are very airy and with good ventilation, hot nights are not a problem.
I run a PVC strip about 250mm high around the inside perimeter so you don't touch the canvas if it is raining. Another club member had a howling moon but sold it after only little use.I'd rather have my bum on a beach in Broome
Than be stuck here in this damn room.
AnswerID: 48582

Follow Up By: Willem - Sunday, Feb 29, 2004 at 11:22

Sunday, Feb 29, 2004 at 11:22
Are you camping on the roof at LD or booking in to an o'nite room in the CP at Dimboola??? :-)

Me?......I sleep in my trruck.....only have to roll up the sleeping bag in the morning..always dry....always airy....needs to be sometimes......hahaha

Little Dip Cons Park S.A.
FollowupID: 310447

Follow Up By: Member - Des Lexik(SA) - Sunday, Feb 29, 2004 at 22:15

Sunday, Feb 29, 2004 at 22:15
Yep, up in the Penthouse. Plenty of fresh air up there and only rocks if the wind is blowing. hahahahahaI'd rather have my bum on a beach in Broome
Than be stuck here in this damn room.
FollowupID: 310494

Reply By: Big Trev - Sunday, Feb 29, 2004 at 08:17

Sunday, Feb 29, 2004 at 08:17
Aussie Traveller make a real good roof top tent. They have an agent in Adelaide, details are:

Maytow Caravan Accessories
57 Beckman Avenue, Highbury, S.A. 5089
Phone (08) 8263 0515 - Fax (08) 8396 2726
email :

link to their website
AnswerID: 48614

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