Roof top tents

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 18, 2004 at 21:11
ThreadID: 12168 Views:10071 Replies:6 FollowUps:4
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We saw at the Sydney Show today 3 or 4 brands of roof top tents - Howling Moon, Eezi Awn, Aussie Traveller, Maggliolina and Columbus. We drive a Pajero NP. We are 60 and 55 and not sure whether one would really suit us. Has anybody had any experience with any of these? We are interested in their stability, ease of use, comfort and whether they cause a lot of noise when you are travelling. We would be very grateful for any advice.

Many thanks in anticipation

Lionel and Jan
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Reply By: Crackles - Sunday, Apr 18, 2004 at 21:51

Sunday, Apr 18, 2004 at 21:51
Check out PostID: 10860. Has some good points both for and against. Best advice is to set each of them up yourself, then both get in & out . You'll soon see if climbing a ladder & which brand is best for you . Cheers Craig................
AnswerID: 54888

Reply By: Willem - Sunday, Apr 18, 2004 at 22:16

Sunday, Apr 18, 2004 at 22:16
A regular contributer to this forum has one and he just loves it. It think it is a Shipp-shape and it is attached to a Landcruiser TD100. The camper folds out in a matter of minutes and is ready for habitation. Unfortunately he is on the Wallaby at the moment and will only be back after Anzac weekend. He is in the same age bracket as you mention.

I thought about a rooftop camper but having some mobility problems opted out for a fold up bed inside my truck. It works well.

AnswerID: 54894

Reply By: Member - Bob L - Sunday, Apr 18, 2004 at 22:26

Sunday, Apr 18, 2004 at 22:26
Hi Lionel and Jan
We purchased a 2nd hand Shipshape several years ago and have kept it even though we now have a Tvan.

On the plus side
- they are quick to put up,very comfortable.
- No need to find a perfectly level spot ie a rock or a bit of spade work soon levels vehicle.
- Bedding stays up top leaving more room in vehicle.

- Need 2 strong people to lift onto racks (a pully system would make it easy).
- Base camps are difficult. We use a small dome tent to save repacking vehicle and to reserve camp site.
- Increased wind resistance in high winds (usually not a problem).
- Need to dry out at home if packed up wet. Plastic sheet over mattress keeps bedding dry.(No worse than a tent)

We have thoroughly enjoyed our experiences with a roof top tent and still keep it for high country trips where use of the Tvan would be inadvisable.
Shipshapes and Aussie Travellers are similar and use a full size mattress, I cant speak for the fold in half types.

Stabilty- Weighs 55kg - no problems on GU Patrol.
Ease of use - Easier and quicker than a tent.
Comfort - Bed on wheels - great
Noise - No Noise at all, Head wind feels like the brakes still on.

Hope this helps

Bob L

AnswerID: 54897

Reply By: Graham - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 13:06

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 13:06
Rooftop tents are great for the reason that you do not have to tow anything, but we find that the biggest disadvantage is that once you have setup camp you cannot use your vehicle. After using our setup for the last 2 years, we are now looking at moving to a trailer for this very reason.
AnswerID: 54955

Follow Up By: johnsie - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 20:31

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 20:31
Graham are you putting your roof top on a trailer?
FollowupID: 316724

Follow Up By: Graham - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 13:38

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 13:38
Hi Johnsie,
Our camper was custom built to fit on top of our Hilux canopy, therefore the geometry and annexe drop suits the height of the canopy. (approx 1.9m above ground level to the mattress) We will keep this camper and sell it along with the vehicle when the time comes. I rigged up a boat winch pulley system in our garage for the camper, so it takes up no space.
FollowupID: 316825

Follow Up By: johnsie - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 18:59

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 18:59
Graham mine was also designed for a landcruzer but ive rigged it to suit a trailer. started with a standard steel box made a full length chasis a frame and fitted long springs to stop the jarring on this i added a frame and 50mm mesh to a hight of 5ft above the floor of the box and the ship shape telescopes up from this using a exhaust tinnie sits above the tent to travel.

maybe you could do some thing like this for your self my hilton has a all up cost of $2k roughly.
FollowupID: 316892

Reply By: TonyT - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 15:05

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 15:05
For what it's worth we have a Maggiolina on the Jackaroo- for the 2 of us it's perfect- cook out the back of vehicle, or preferably usually over a fire- always have a very comfortable dry bed waiting at the end of the ladder- just wind up/down- not for everyone, but after a lifetime of tents, sleeping mats, folding up/down, rain etc- this is the best compromise for us. Dear though. Cheers TonyT
AnswerID: 54974

Follow Up By: Member - Errol (York WA) - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 17:37

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 17:37
I,m with you Tony ! We reckon our Maggiolina is the bee,s knees . Even through we brough ourself,s a small van , we use the maggi 90% the time . Just for the record , we,re geting up there age wise , and we still think its the best .
FollowupID: 316687

Reply By: Billy - Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 17:42

Monday, Apr 19, 2004 at 17:42
As you can see, we have a Howling Moon on the GU. We had it on a trailer before that for an extended trip that included some base camping.

I agree with what has already been said, but would re-inforce that you need to be mobile to be able top get up and down with confidence.

They are definitely NOT suited to base camping and we only use it for touring where camps are pretty much eat/sleep/move affairs. We use an OZtent for base camp trips.

The HM has sail tracks on the base so you an rig a pretty quick lean-too off the side for more shelter if it rains.

We have foiund the HM to be excellent quality.

One thing that has not been mentioned, it is very quiet sleeping up top, warmer in winter and cooler in summer. At ground level, you hear every noise in the night, are down with the cool air in winter, and out of any breeze that may be about in summer.

AnswerID: 54989

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