D.I.Y roof top tent

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 17:35
ThreadID: 12225 Views:6546 Replies:9 FollowUps:6
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Howdy guys,

Although the quality looks very good, i cant seem to justify paying $2000+ for a roof top tent.

So i got thinking, if i buy some 20mm marine ply (cut it in half), hinged it with some heavy duty hinges, attached (screwed) a pop up dome tent to the ply and put an extendable ladder at one end to get in and to add support, would this work?????
The tent would stay attached to the ply permenently and once it was unfolded all that would need doing is the dome braces put in and there you have it??

Marine ply $150max
Tent $60
Hardwear $40
Total $250 give or take some

Anyone else thought of doing this or is there something else i need to know.

Cheers
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Reply By: Member -Bob & Lex (Sydney) - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 17:40

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 17:40
How do you get up to put the poles through the sleeves? & what do you tie it to stop it blowing off the roof rack in a big blow because it will tear away where attached to ply.
AnswerID: 55176

Follow Up By: Synergist - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 17:47

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 17:47
Hey Bob or Lex,

Putting poles in wouldnt be that big a drama, i would be able to reach them by standing on the tail gate, and as for the other end the side steps would help me reach. I suppose i could screw the tent to the ply with some long ally strips?
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FollowupID: 316877

Reply By: Ferret - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 19:30

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 19:30
Hmmm, novice or idiot?
AnswerID: 55190

Follow Up By: Synergist - Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 09:58

Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 09:58
Novice or idiot? Hmmm, maybe you have shares in the company who makes these things?

Firstly, there are some of us capable of constructing adequate quality devices such as this without paying the exhorbinant price tags asked by many of the commercial suppliers,

Oh, could you let me know what tone you were using with your post as I am not sure whether to be offended or not....

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FollowupID: 317040

Follow Up By: Ferret - Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 10:47

Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 10:47
No offence intended, but stop and think about how silly it sounds.....try putting a dome tent up in the wind 7 feet in the air.....without swearing.
Cheers
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FollowupID: 317053

Reply By: Member - Jeffrey - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 19:47

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 19:47
Hi Synergist,
Sounds like Monkey Cunning to meeeeeeee.
Good Luck,
Jeffrey (AKA JD)
AnswerID: 55191

Reply By: Member - Fay D Away (Vic) - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 21:03

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 21:03
I was gunna reply
but I'm not

Doh!!!!
Squashed tent
Doh!!!!
AnswerID: 55202

Reply By: Wayne - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 21:05

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 21:05
Hi Synergist, I had a fleeting thought on this a while ago. Couple of things came to mind. Maybe there are other tents more suited than the dome type? Another thought was to use a dome or whatever and throw the poles away and knock up a frame that was on the outside of the tent and then attach/hang the tent from that? Maybe a combination of outside framework and some of the poles? could also use the frame for attaching a fly. The other idea I had was to use a "Poptop"from a campervan and fix it to a base. Might be a bit big for you?
Let us know what you come up with.
Cheers,
Wayne
AnswerID: 55203

Reply By: Member - StevenL - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 21:20

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 21:20
Depending on how big the dome tent is these things can be mongrels to put up when they are on the ground let alone 6 foot in the air! I have a 6 man version and getting the poles into the clips can be awkward by ones self. You need to be able to reach all sides of it and standing on the tailgate may only let you reach half the job.

I am thinking of getting a Howling Moon onto the Prado to use for sleeping and then using the dome for living and as a base camp when staying for more tha just a sleep stop. The dome is big enough to walk around in and is good when it rains etc. The dome cost $200. Anyone know the price of a basic MH to fit a 120 Prado???

Your idea sounds good in theory and there is certainly nought to stop you trying it. Love to hear the results if you give it a go. If you have a workshop and some time then why not!

Best of British to you!!!!!

Steven
AnswerID: 55209

Follow Up By: Synergist - Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 10:46

Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 10:46
Hey StevenL,

4x4 monthly had a camping/getway special a little while ago and they fitted the Howling Moon to a Prado, The top of the range being 1400w x 2400L was $2090. It looked great, but like i said i cant justify paying that much. But if you can im sure it would be a great investment for a great 4by, hope this helps!

Cheers
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FollowupID: 317052

Follow Up By: Synergist - Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 10:55

Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 10:55
www.opensky.com.au has the Howling Moon model your after!
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FollowupID: 317055

Reply By: KiwiAngler - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 23:18

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 23:18
Why bother? Just buy this one :-)

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=4124450155&category=36120&sspagename=STRK%3AMEBWA%3AIT&rd=1
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AnswerID: 55237

Reply By: Cruisergxl - Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 13:47

Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 13:47
Hi Synergist,

I'm in the final stages of making my roof top tent. After having knocked around different ideas for a while (and posted on here too) I settled on a design that I think is the easiest as it requires the minimum amount of intricate canvas work.

I've scraped the idea of doing a full canvas tent and gone for something that is similar in design to the the LoftyShelter Columbus

http://www.loftyshelters.com/ColumbusENG.htm

Basically it is big wooden box made from plywood that hinges at the front and I've used gas struts off an old van to make it lift and hold itself open. Then all you need is a simple bit of canvas with the doors and windows in it to cover the remaing three sides. Of course there are a few more issues to sort out such as getting the two halves of the box to seal properly against the 100kmh winds on your roof. My biggest concern was weight but at the moment I can still lift the whole lot on my own, the commercial ones are about 50kg so as long as I come in under that I'm happy.

If you can wait long enough I'll keep you posted on how the final stages progress ... and then what happens when it rains on it!!

Cheers,

Chris
AnswerID: 55305

Follow Up By: Synergist - Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 15:19

Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 15:19
Hey Chris,

That looks like an great idea to look in to.

I'd love to hear about how it all goes!

Thanks!
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FollowupID: 317107

Reply By: KO2004 - Friday, Apr 23, 2004 at 14:04

Friday, Apr 23, 2004 at 14:04
Hi,

We have just ordered a howling moon tourer tent with roof rack. We're about to trek to Cape York. We thought that this was the best option for us and hope that we're right. Yes you are right that they seem pricey when compared to a normal tent but hopefully it will return in one piece and we will at least be comfortable and kept out of the wet and bulldust. Fingers crossed we've done the right thing.
AnswerID: 55649

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