Roof top tent cover

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 10:38
ThreadID: 119290 Views:1474 Replies:5 FollowUps:8
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I have one of the ARB style RTT's and the most annoying part of packing it up is zipping the cover back on particularly at the corners where the zipper teeth do not sit flat so it often jams up etc, In cold weather it is even worse

I was thinking of getting a new cover made up that had a drawstring type arrangement or similar instead of the zipper

My concern is to how weather and dust proof it would be

Has anyone had any experience or suggestions on a better way to go

Thanks
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Reply By: vk1dx - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 12:38

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 12:38
Go and get a spray can of Selleys Eziglide and spray it on the zipper. I spray our RTT every time I unzip it. And sometimes when closing if it has been set up for a few days. Makes it easier but not perfect. The zipper on ours is huge and the corners are always an issue. But the spray helps heaps.

Phil
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 12:40

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 12:40
I meant to add - Don't saturate it. Just follow the directions on the can. I have never had any issue with dust build up because of the spray.

As I said, just follow the instructions and you should be fine.
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 12:49

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 12:49
I do that already but not as frequently as you
It definitely helps but was just looking for a better method altogether
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 13:26

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 13:26
Well sorry to say this but maybe it is the quality of the tent and zipper. Chris (below) and I paid quite a bit more for ours and maybe this time the extra is vindicated.

Do you over load the tent cover by adding more bedding or a ladder or flooring. I add extra bedding, a step ladder and a few door mats to the package but still get it to close relatively easily but still use the spray. Maybe don't add the extra bedding etc.

Can't think of anything else mate.

Best of luck.

Phil

PS Hi Chris. Had to put departure back again, to the 29th. The damned hospital keep shuffling her and we wont leave until she is safe and able at home.
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 17:52

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 17:52
Phil mine is not an eBay cheapy
The quality of the zip does not appear to be the issue but more the awkward way the zip sits as it goes around the corners which is part of the design, I havnt looked at a Hannibal one up close but they may well have a better design

We leave our bedding in the tent as well but that does not appear to add to the problem
Cold weather makes it worse as the fabric cover becomes less pliable which doesn't help either

I might show a local motor trimmer to see what they think
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 18:11

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 18:11
That's not such a bad idea Alby to show it to a motor trimmer. I would also visit any place that makes things out of canvas.

On a club trip a bloke with a "cheapie" had no end of trouble. He was blaming the snow but it was the zipper. Lots of sharp edges on the "teeth" which would grab, even on the straight sides.

Phil
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 13:06

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 13:06
I have the same make of RTT as Phil, but I replaced the original cover with one that is much bigger. I also use a teflon spray (same as ezy-glide only cheaper) every several weeks. The other advantage of a very big cover you can leave more bedding in the folded tent and you can put mats and poles etc on top of the folded tent before you throw the cover over. I have a Hannibal RTT and it is 29cm tall at the corners. My RTT has not been off the vehicle in 7 years and been up and down over 750 times so this cover is about stuffed. Will be getting a new big one when I go through Brisbane later in the year on my way home.
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 13:10

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 13:10
Also being bigger means after I fold the tent over I do not have to do any tucking in, just zip it up very easy. Anything other than a zip is likely to let the dust in IMHO.
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Reply By: Member - ACD 1 - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 13:19

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 13:19
Hi Alby

If you dont already have them, try attaching big loops of paracord to the zip. It makes it easier to negotiate the corners. this made a big difference in mine. I also had a long cord so i didnt have to climb up on to the vehicle to do it up.

Anyway, I managed to get a hole in the top of mine so rather than repair the hole I had a new cover made - same as you water/dust proof concerns. I asked them to add 25 mm to the length and i didnt need the loops anymore - I did put them back purely because i was used to it.

Cheers

Anthony
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Follow Up By: Member - Young Nomads - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 19:50

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 19:50
We have had an ARB RTT since 2006. It is a Howling Moon brand, re badged to ARB.The suggestion to use a thin piece of bungy cord to the zip tag is a good idea. Ours came with that as standard...makes it much easier to ease the zip tag around the corners and helps even out tension on the zip.
Just wondering what your technique for zipping it up..We have found that by actually kneeling on the top/ centre of the folded tent, helps compress it, taking the load off the zip as you bring the two strips together.
Our zip has never caused any issues as it has large chunky teeth.
The tent itself has never leaked water or dust inside the cover.I think you would have issues with dust & water ingress if you used anything else.
It's also easier to zip it up when its warm as the vinyl is softer..I know what you mean about cold fingers though.
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Reply By: 1533rl - Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 20:16

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015 at 20:16
Alby, apart from the info already given to you, two more suggestions to help
1. There is usually a skirt of material , fixed at the base, which is designed to be pushed up inside the cover to separate the tent material from the cover and the zip. Mine is approx 70mm high and the same material as the tent. This keeps threads and folds out of the zip, which can jam it up.
2. The top vinyl cover comes down over the zip. That is the zip on the top cover is fitted approx 50mm up inside the edge. When you come to the corners, fold the top cover up to expose the two parts of the zip. This usually lifts the zip outwards and "smoothes out" the corner and allows the zip to go around easier. When all zipped up, fold the top cover corners down to provide the dust cover to the zip.

If none of all this helps, you might consider having a new , larger type of zip fitted. If that is the way you do go, the bottome zip is usually only fitted to the base as a sail track and can be easily removed. This means you only have to take the top cover and the sail track to the place of repair, and not the whole tent.
Good luck.
AnswerID: 556339

Reply By: Member - kyle46 - Sunday, Jun 28, 2015 at 20:58

Sunday, Jun 28, 2015 at 20:58
the hire ones use a bag with tie down ratchet instead of zip, pulls the bag under the base. I did have one too but forgot to tighten it up and it parachuted away lol
AnswerID: 556467

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Sunday, Jun 28, 2015 at 22:07

Sunday, Jun 28, 2015 at 22:07
Thanks for that, was thinking along a similar line

Hopefully will get time to see a motor trimmer this week for some advice and suggestions
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