Roof Top Tents and Base Camping

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 01:55
ThreadID: 75150 Views:15371 Replies:12 FollowUps:30
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It seems from previous posts these are great when travelling and constantly on the move but I am interested in how you manage when you are camped in one location for multiple days. I was thinking perhaps carry a touring tent for such times and use the bedding and mattress from the roof top tent but as I don't own one yet I was wondering how feasible this is or is it too difficult to shift the bedding. Usually travel with one other person or alone and like to tour and spend some time in one area also. I am still undecided what type to get but favour the Shipp Shape camper type. So what do you do when you have a base camp for say a week or do you just pack and unpack each day and live with this diadvantage when you want to use your vehicle..
Thanks Peter
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Reply By: Member - TonBon (NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 06:24

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 06:24
When purchasing the rooftop tent i went through all scenarios, including this one mentioned. In the end i decided to go rooftop for ease of setup and the fact it is nice and high off the ground, pleasing SWMBO. I dont carry a second ground tent as i want to keep the amount of gear down as much as possible so i simply pack up and explore if i feel the need.

However, taking your bedding and mattress out of the tent and putting it in the ground tent would be, certainly for my Eezi-Awn, no hassle at all. Assuming of course your ground tent is big enough to take the mattress.

Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 399094

Reply By: Voxson - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 08:18

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 08:18
Some rooftop tents are a disadvantage and some are a true 5minute job.
I have had both kinds,,, but if you buy the right one first then there is no disadvantage because you can even leave ALL of your bedding in there when packing up...

AnswerID: 399106

Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 13:19

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 13:19
Is the tent in your profile the type that can be erected in 5 mins and leave your bedding in place when travelling which is a must have as I had no idea that some tents require the bedding removed for pack up
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Follow Up By: Voxson - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 16:50

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 16:50
Actually,,, my tent can be erected in 2minutes with bedding in tact...
And 5 minutes to pack down again with bedding inside...

Most rooftop tents blow like crazy with flapping noise with wind,,, mine doesnt at all....

Type Autohome / Maggiolina into Google or sorts and check them out...
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Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 21:11

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 21:11
Yes wind almost is as big a problem as rain. Its of great intrest that yours doesnt flap and the set up times are attractive. The hard shell will not suffer from bird and tree sap stains and is possibky cooler although I see convienience has its price. Can I ask what size and model you chose and given your experience would you chooses a different size / model again.So seems its great for overnight stops, I assume if you have neighbours you change in the tent and what awning set up have you chosen ? It does have appeal. If you dont mind what other roof top tents have you had and which would be your second best option,Obviously you thought the Maggiolina was worth the extra cost.
Thanks Peter
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Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 21:17

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 21:17
Yes wind almost is as big a problem as rain. Its of great intrest that yours doesnt flap and the set up times are attractive. The hard shell will not suffer from bird and tree sap stains and is possibky cooler although I see convienience has its price. Can I ask what size and model you chose and given your experience would you chooses a different size / model again.So seems its great for overnight stops, I assume if you have neighbours you change in the tent and what awning set up have you chosen ? It does have appeal. If you dont mind what other roof top tents have you had and which would be your second best option,Obviously you thought the Maggiolina was worth the extra cost.
Thanks Peter
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Follow Up By: Voxson - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 09:54

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 09:54
Yes,,, rain.....Again not a problem....
We have been in many 50-75mm nights and not a drop inside at all...
Hardroof makes it hard to hear the rain sometimes....

ARB Simpson, Howling Moon, Dingo Dozer are a few i have tried,,,,, all were a struggle to keep bedding upstairs....all flapped in the wind,,, and all were hard to shut when wet because it is hard to wipe down the last part on top....

The maggi is just a simple walk around the outside with a chamois..

But remember,, these are my gripes and preferences,,, many people swear by them and probably like the flapping wind etc,,,,

You say what would i change should i have another chance??...
Well,,,, nothing really....

It has taken me years and years to be totally camping happy,,, each year i live out of my vehicle for no less than 7 weeks straight.....

The model i have *safari*, allows the side doors to be opened from the top also,, which allows warm air to be expelled fast for whatever reasons...

If i am fully set up with tables, cooker, awning etc etc,,, it is a 15minute packup with ease.....

The awning is no longer available,,,,but it is a normal pull out style with two support legs to the ground..

Cheers....
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Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 20:58

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 20:58
Voxon, one more question if I may did you investigate the awning for the Maggi offered by Autohome as it attaches to the roof of the tent and would offer a seamless protected entry to the tent if it is raining so be interested in your thoughts. I assume at present you have the awning on one side and enter from the other with the choice to put up the awning for a lunch stop without raising the Maggi.
Oh, ventilation I assume the side doors can be left as insect screens as the photos on the web site are not clear as to how much insect proof ventilation is available.
Yeah I had to get a second question in but your experience and thoughts is appreciated.......Peter
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Follow Up By: Voxson - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 23:55

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 23:55
I didnt actually give that awning a second thought...
Mine is setup just as you mentioned...
The screens are fully closed whether you zip up or zip down for ventilation..
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Follow Up By: Member - Timbo - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 13:37

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 13:37
I had the Howling Moon and always left the bedding inside but it never stopped me closing it up (might depend how much bedding you have - we just had two sleeping bags and two pillows, I think we left our PJ's up there too).

Wind flapping - to be honest - yes, this was a problem, and being up higher than a ground tent you're in the wind even though it doesn't seem windy! Flapping was significantly reduced by setting it all up properly (make sure the 2nd skin roof is pulled tight) and all but eliminated by taking the 2nd skin roof off altogether (some people do this but I never tried it). The 2nd skin roof is useful to keep the tent cool in hot weather and also covers the large end windows to keep the rain out (unless it's windy AND raining). I never wiped the rain off my tent before packing it up, and the bedding inside was always still dry when I set it up the next evening

I think the Howling Moon has larger windows for better ventilation, and all windows have large awnings over them to keep the rain out (side window awnings are adequate for keeping out wind-driven rain) but all these awnings etc. add to set-up and pack-up times...

We travelled with a couple who had the Maggi tent and we became quite envious of their set-up/pack-up times! They were done and we were still wrestling with that dusty/muddy vinyl cover! :-)

There are advantages and disadvantages for each type - and to some extent, once you're out there using it you'll forget how much you paid for it! If set-up and pack-up times are that important to you, it would be worth paying the extra for the Maggi than save a bit for a different tent and end up so tired of setting it up that you just don't use it.

My 2c worth... and I tried to be fair to both types of tent
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Follow Up By: Voxson - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 16:21

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 16:21
Timbo,,

Yes,, very fair comments...

I always keep 2 sleeping bags, 3 pillows, heavy quilt and a blanket up there..

I normally go via Simpson Desert on the way to Cape York etc and dont wanna take the bedding into the car at all.
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Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 23:43

Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 23:43
Apparently the mattress is only 70mm thick foam rubber in the Maggiolina. Do you find this comfortable, I mean your hip is not resting on the floor ?. or did you have to beef this up I only ask because most campers seem to use 100 or 125mm medium density foam. One of the reasons for thinking of the roof top is more comfortable bedding and of course we would want it all contained in the tent.
Thanks Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - Timbo - Monday, Jan 18, 2010 at 12:36

Monday, Jan 18, 2010 at 12:36
Peter, I can't speak for the Maggi but my Howling Moon had 65mm mattress which was certainly adequate (no hip/shoulder on the floor). From memory I think it was high density foam - perhaps if you go medium density you might need the extra thickness.

It will come down to personal preference though (I found I slept more comfortably in the roof-top tent than on my inner spring mattress at home!) - just have a lie down inside and you'll know if it's comfy enough or not!
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Follow Up By: Member - Timbo - Monday, Jan 18, 2010 at 12:39

Monday, Jan 18, 2010 at 12:39
And Peter, forgot to mention one other minor advantage for the folding type of roof-top tents (compared to Maggi) - the Maggi's take up the whole roof of a wagon while the folding ones take around 1/2 to 2/3 leaving a bit of space (usually at the front) if you wanted to store more stuff on the roof of the car (ARB make a full-llength roof rack specifically to mount the tent at the rear and still have luggage space at the front). This may or may not be important to you...
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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 08:23

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 08:23
We either plan a little bit and spend a day in an area looking around, camp that night and spend the next day doing stuff locally around the camp (walking distance). When in towns replenishing, washing etc we quite often get a cabin or motel it for a couple of nights.
Otherwise we just pack up each day, it doesn't take more than 5 minutes as we don't actually get much stuff out, just close the Shippshape, put the chairs away, the rear awning and go.
Don't bother with a tent as don't have the space or want to carry the weight. Pulling the innerspring mattress out of the Shippshape isn't really a viable proposition either.
You really have to consider what type of travelling/camping you are going to do.
If you are constantly on the move with only say two or three occasions in say a month in more than one place and predominately remote bush camping then the rooftop tents work well. If on the other hand you tend to travel for a day or so then camp in one place or in a caravan park for a few days you might want to reconsider a rooftopper.
We've mostly done the constantly on the move type travelling over the years and last years we away for 3 1/2 months which was much slower travelling, sometimes only travelling for a few hours then camping for a few days. Combined with wet and windy weather we soon got sick of being outside in the wet and cold and really wished for something that we could go inside and shut the door to keep the elements out.
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Reply By: Member - Carl- Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 08:47

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 08:47
Hi Peter,

You can see from the two previous posts, there are different set ups. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Camping is a compromise as everyone says and this is certainly true. (except for my wife of course).

I have a hannibul and it has some good points and some bad as well. They are expensive but strong and well made. This counts in the middle of a wet windy night. You can add a skirt to these that will enclose the back of the vehicle. This is great for base camping when there are bugs. Not to mention in bad weather, visiting the bathroom in the middle of the night and food preparation.

Disadvantages are that you need to remove the bedding to pack up. This can be a bit of a pain. It takes longer to set up as well.

A flat roof length roof top is quicker to set up and you can leave your bedding there to pack up. Their disadvantage is that they offer less weather protection.

It is amazing what you hear sleeping in a roof top camper. Great for listening to the birds in the morning but in a caravan park you hear everything as well. Women love it because you are off the ground. We got ours for Cape York and are certain that crocs cannot climb a ladder.

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AnswerID: 399116

Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 14:04

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 14:04
Gday Carl, I just bougt the same sized setup with an awning but havent set it up yet. How long to set the complete thing up including the awning?? regards Michael.
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Follow Up By: Member - Carl- Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 16:25

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 16:25
I used to have my own industrial sewing machine and so I made some modifications to mine. The skirt is now zipped to the rooftop. This makes setting it up a good deal quicker. I have removed all but the front 2 seats in the cruiser so the remainder is storage.

So to go from stopping to set up as the above picture shows about 20 minutes. Having said that is by myself, I do not rush and after travelling a couple of hundred kilometers. If the wife "helps me" it takes about 30 minutes. They are very comfortable but everything mentioned in the reply posts is also true.

On a landcruiser it is 2.3 meters high and will not fit into undercover carparks. Some car washes either.
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Reply By: Member - Duncs - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 09:09

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 09:09
Peter,

I understand that everyone's needs are different. As some above have explained there are ways to make the roof top work, but for us it never could. That's why we tow a trailer.

We can set up as quick as most roof tops and have more room than just about every form of camping available. There are compromises on and off road but we travel just as quickly as most others, our friends never wait for us. In the bush my trailer has never stopped me going anywhere. As for fuel consumption, anecdotal evidence suggests that a roof rack costs about the same amount of fuel as a trailer.

Obviously we leave everything set up when we go exploring in a town we are visiting.

Duncs
AnswerID: 399118

Follow Up By: Gronk - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 10:51

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 10:51
I would have to agree with you Duncs.....we looked at a rooftop and while they have advantages.....they also have disadvantages........4x4 won't fit in the garage with it on......missus doesn't like backing down a ladder every night to visit the loo....nowhere to visit the loo, or get changed without putting the full skirt on...

I think the only advantage over something like a 30sec tent etc would be it's off the ground..

I'm still looking for the perfect setup, but for now it's a KK camper ..
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Follow Up By: Member - Cantiva Clay (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 14:20

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 14:20
Thats what I wonder - aren't they dangerous - you get up in the middle of the night for a visit and promptly fall 6 feet ....!
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Reply By: Member - Timbo - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 13:41

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 13:41
It's makes sense what people say about a trailer vs. roof-top tent in terms of extra fuel used and time to set up and pack up but personally I'd rather not tow anything - I prefer the extra manoeuvrability and parkability of a single vehicle.

Bedding is fairly bulky but with my Howling Moon roof-top tent the bedding is left inside when I pack it up - if you are going to be using a ground tent as well as roof top, you'll need to either open the roof top to get the bedding out or plan ahead (get it out the previous stop) and have enough space in the car to store it for the day - you'll also need some sort of mattress that you can use in the ground tent as the mattress in the roof-top tent is not as easy to remove (ie. doesn't just roll up) and will be very bulky in your car!

I don't usually base camp for more than 2 or 3 days in one place so packing up each day isn't too much of a hassle (realistically, it took 10min from start to finish). On one occasion I did base camp but there were other vehicles with space for me so I just left my tent/car set up at the campground and travelled in one of the other cars for the day.

The other things you might consider:
Does it really make that much difference whether you're packing up to move on or packing up to come back to the same place?!
And, the roof top tent is not so convenient around town (undercover parking, carport/garage etc.) so it's best to remove it and then stick it back on for trips. This is okay for longer trips but if you're often taking off for a spontaneous weekend away and you don't have a ground tent (or good way of installing/removing the roof top tent - see thread 68645 for ideas) this might be enough of a hassle that you will rethink a weekend away.

Personally, I had the roof-top tent for longer and better planned trips, but used the little dome tent for weekenders and spontaneous trips but I only ever carried one or the other (and when I used the dome tent I surely (or sorely!) missed the comfort of the roof-top tent).
AnswerID: 399164

Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 00:12

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 00:12
I had planned to open up the roof top tent and transfer everything to a ground tent when stopped somewhere for a week say. I only imagine packing up each day to be a issue but of course it depends on you roof tent and how easy it is to fit table and chairs into the vehicle but hence the post to find out how others are operating their tents and how long it takes to put them up etc. I started looking at trayback campers then trailers and dinghy option, I then thought of what it would be like to turn down a track looking for a bush camp and imagine some challenges at times turning it around. the boat presentrd size restarints and I was slow to see the need, cost of brakes for the camper boat racks outboard racks collapsable trailer. Or I could tow a 14 foot boat which could still be beach launched and used for inshore coastal fishing when I return. Then I could do a touring trip or desert adventure with a roof topper only concern being when I do a trip and want to stay in a location for a week or so hence the post to see how roof toppers are being used,
It seems the tray back type camper is probably the course I should have been on.
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Follow Up By: Member - Timbo - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 13:43

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 13:43
Well kwk56pt, it might depend on your other needs. For me, I usually only travel for a few weeks a year and preferred a wagon for the rest of the time so a trayback camper wasn't really an option. I didn't want to tow (for the reasons you stated - not just bush-tracks but parking in town etc. is easier without a trailer). I'm not a fisherman so I never saw any need for a boat.

Just to throw another option into the equation - have you considered something like a Troopy that you could camp inside and put a tinny on the roof, or else a 4WD with a tinny on the roof and just take a ground tent? Although you seem to want to be off the ground...
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FollowupID: 668525

Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 22:51

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 22:51
The troopy is very popular. I guess I figured I would need a cargo barrier up front and that then means has to be accessed via the rear doors. I had thought the wagon with all rear seats removed would be a better all round option with access via the rear doors but a lot of people love troopys so it must be manageable. Ground tent is the current mode. I imagine a roof top tent to offer quick set up time as the bedding is in place along with a more comfortable mattress. I imagine it to be better for quick road side stops particularly if the ground is hard or rocky or wet.
I suppose I am after a easier all round option or best compromise for overnight and or combined touring trips. So I am just seeking ideas on how to do our thing better by learning from how other people are doing theirs.
But I have concluded that removing the bed from the roof top or more importantly putting it back is not a good option. The Maggiolina tent is something to think about and actually going out and looking at roof toppers for sale and seeing or doing for ourselves to see how long the pack up takes us and the imagined issues could well disappear
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FollowupID: 668608

Reply By: Steve63 - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 14:34

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 14:34
Depends on what sort of camp you set up. We are fairly minimalist so set up and pack up times are very short ie a 5 minutes tops. In 10 minutes camp is set up, fire lit, tea ready to go on the fire and beer in hand. So we pack up and go. If you set up a camp with 20 fold out bits and pieces with a kilometre of clothes line it is likely to take too long and it will become painful. At that point leaving some sort of set up would be better.

Steve
AnswerID: 399176

Reply By: sweetwill - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 14:35

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 14:35
hi peter.
im going up to Tamworth this weekend, as has already been said do i lower the roof top onto my ute or do i take the tent as im only going for three days, and will be driving the ute each day,I have often thought about putting racks on the trailer so it will take the roof top, cheers for now bill.
AnswerID: 399177

Reply By: Out of here - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 17:25

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 17:25
No hassel to pack it up each day and move on - or put it on a slide off camper as we did.

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Cheers Tony
AnswerID: 399215

Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 19:10

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 19:10
Tony, can I ask how long it takes to set your tent up and how long does it take to pack the actual tent up. Naturally the chairs etc will take a bit more time but interested in the tent pack up to give me a realistic idea how long that part takes. The slide on camper is a great set up although removing it could have issues like fridge is left behind and then how to power it while unattended. I was keen on the trade style canopy, like the turbo landcruiser trayback I had a aspired to they were sought after on the used market and the new cost made me dizzy,
The other thought was to also carry one of those oztrail gazebos to use when staying put for a while. They can provide shade and can be enclosed to leave table and chairs and to secure my chosen camp site when I return from a outing. I think I need to understand first how long it takes to pack up your roof topper and how long it takes to unpack which is probably quicker,
I ended up with a 2002 Space Cab Rodeo 3litre diesel with ARB Canopy and roof bars and was initially keen on a camper trailer tinny set up but I am starting to think roof top tent and tow for flexibility and a small capital outlay as after all it will only be used for probably 28 days a year.
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FollowupID: 668211

Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 22:35

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 22:35
The tent only takes a couple of minutes to put up. i undo the ladder from the top, I undo the elastic strap off the clips, pull the cover forward and the tent is up. I then peg the cover out a bit which gives us our covered Kitchen. To pack it away takes just a bit longer. One push and the tent just folds down, pull the cover back up over and go around and put the straps back on the clips. Bed is always there ready to jump in too. I use the ladder while packing it away. Its an easy one person job and the off sider is packing the other gear away.

Packing it all away in the morning does not take very long at all, out last trip across Australia we did it every day for 6 weeks. Everything has its place and we have a fold away kitchen, I would be surprised if it took more than 15 minutes to pack it all away from scratch.

The slide on just has to be designed to allow for removal. I have one of my Deep cycles attached to the camper and this is fed by the solar panel also attached to the camper. After unplugging from the car we can go away and the fridge is looked after. I have a smart charger and Geni if we stay longer than 2 days. I have the crank battery and another deep cycle that stay on the car, if need be I can attach the camper to these as well.

There are other photos on my profile page.

Removable camper with the Rooftop tent and tow the boat is the way to go - That is what we do. The boat can also carry some of your load

Contact me or send me your email if you want a lot more detail. Cheers Tony
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FollowupID: 668255

Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 22:44

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 22:44
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FollowupID: 668258

Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 01:39

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 01:39
Thanks Tony yes I can see this as more workable than earlier thought. I notice you have wire cross bracing between the camper legs which should stiffen things up and make it more stable. I think the fridge could even travel in its own cage which could be put on the ute tray when travelling a couple of hours to town to get supplies or for any other means. the camper as you say could have a battery and panel to look after the fridge when its home and a water tank in the canopy and another under the tray of the ute for when a need to collect water.
Out of intrest will that ute and canopy without the boat maintain 100kph up most hills. Mine isnt common rail but had it chipped but it dissapoints on the hwy and l was wondering for travelling whu you chose a single cab instead of a space cab or maybe your ute has another role
Thanks Peter
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FollowupID: 668271

Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 20:04

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 20:04
Peter - I am at max load + maybe a wee bit more when we load up. I have no trouble cruising with mu motor - it notices the bigger hills but I can maintain speed if I wish to use the fuel.

A less powerful motor would feel the strain a little I would say.

Regards Tony
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FollowupID: 668580

Reply By: Outa Bounds - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 19:11

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 19:11
I have no experience with roof top tents, but we have had camper trailers before. However it's always on mind because we're thinking of what kind of set up we will go with when the kids leave home....hubby already has his beloved Cruiser Ute but it will be a fair while until the kids are old enough to fly the coup).

I like the idea of not having to tow a trailer. Not quite convinced on roof top tents though. What sort of vehicle do you have anyway? If it's a ute then you could cosider one of many designs of trayback campers? My father in law has one that pops up kind of like a pop top caravan, so packing up isn't as much of a hassle and it's not as high off the ground as the roof top tents are.

One problem I see with having to pack up the roof top every day (or even a tray back camper) is that it's harder to reserve your camping spot if you wanted to stay there all week, and I'd worry about theft being more likely if gear was left out with no car and no tent around.

And what about hiking tents, they don't take up much space at all and they are really light, most brands relatively quick to set up as well, it could be an option if you want to carry a secondary tent for two people, just get a 3 man hiking tent. But if you're going to go for a touring tent then I would think there wouldn't be much point to having a roof top tent as well...maybe just an awning off your vehicle instead.

AnswerID: 399238

Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 23:44

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 23:44
I was thinking roof top tent quick set up good for overnight stops and provides comfortable bedding and somewhere to store it. The 10 x 10 tour tent I have, stands wind and rain and was thinking of taking bed and linnen from roof top when stopped for a week somewhere being able to secure a camp site and somwhere to leave table and chairs. Its not perfect but I was wondering how other campers are operating their roof top tents when they are in the same location for 3 or 4 days
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FollowupID: 668431

Reply By: Best Off Road - Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 20:28

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at 20:28
Peter,

Here's an option.

http://www.bestoffroad.net.au/camper.html

We have developed a rooftop tent/camper unit with awning. It is designed for Motor Cycle Travellers but is also an excellent for people who travel in cars/4wds who want to travel light and not have a big set up time.

Jim.
AnswerID: 399246

Follow Up By: The Landy - Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 16:37

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 16:37
Jim

I like this set-up...and may actually do it with the Roof-top tent we had on 'The Landy' ....

Are you making trailers??

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Best Off Road - Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 17:43

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 17:43
Yes we are, but the ones for the motorbikes (small) are very expensive.

If you like, give me a call 03 9706 6527 BH and I'll give you a simple tip on how to do it.

Jim.

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FollowupID: 668917

Follow Up By: The Landy - Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 21:27

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 21:27
Thanks Jim....
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Reply By: The Landy - Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 16:33

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 16:33
We used a roof-top tent on top of ‘The Landy’ for a while, but recently took it off as we had outgrown it as a family and I didn’t necessarily want to go to the trouble of adding awnings etc.

A couple of our observations….

Other half always preferred the touring tent (single pole Southern Cross) as she didn’t like the climb up/down especially if it was the middle of the night..

If you don’t add awnings it will be a bed only..Nowhere to stand and dress (can be an issue for some),

Can be a weight/stability issue in some applications,

On the plus side it is very simple and effective if touring every day or every other day,

Not usually too much trouble to pack/unpack, although we always carried the touring tent for extended stays..

Having had a camper trailer, roof-top tent, and touring tent, I would say that each has its application and each will outperform the others depending on what the application is. Something worth considering for those leaning towards roof-top tents and camper trailers is to build a simple off-road trailer that is capable of taking the roof-top tent. This way you can have both a camper trailer and roof-top tent, so you cover two different applications…..and this should come in cheaper than purpose made off-road campers.

I actually had the roof-top tent for sale, but withdrew it as I might actually do something along these lines at some stage.....

For us..It is the Southern Cross Touring tent for now, and must say that we don’t notice the additional set-up time….

Good luck with your choice……and travels!

The Landy
AnswerID: 399875

Follow Up By: kwk56pt - Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 20:01

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 20:01
Landy you raised some valid issues especially the need at times for somwhere to change or shelter before going to bed. The roof top tent that can be transfered to a trailer isnt a bad idea either. You sound happy with the Southern Cross Tent, can I ask what you are using for a mattress and what set up you use when shade is needed ?
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 21:56

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 21:56
Hi Peter

The single-pole tent is an easy to erect and stable tent. The Southern Cross version is the standard, however I think there are others available.

To answer your question; we use two Therma-rest mats (large version) and place a double size doona over the top and then use sleeping bags on top of this. We have the advantage that we don’t ‘roll’ the mats up, but simply put them back in ‘The Landy’ along with the sleeping bags and doona. We use ‘dry sacks’ for this purpose. But there are many bedding alternatives available providing you have to space to carry it. We designed ‘The Landy’ with this type of requirement in mind and storage space is not an issue..and I must add we find this sleeping arrangement quite comfortable…..

In terms of shelter; we put up a tarp first, and then erect the tent underneath. If we are ‘on-the-move’ we don’t usually use a tarp unless it is likely to rain.

Most roof top tents will have awnings and drop down sides as accessories that address the issue of ‘standing-room’, however the more you add to a roof-top tent, the less flexible its application becomes.


Good luck ….

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