ARB rooftop tent

Can anyone provide user feedback on the current ARB touring rooftop tent? We have to make a decision in the next week or so and the combo offer (tent+annexe+awning) looks good, but only if the tent itself is up to scratch. I understand ARB has tried to iron out some problems with earlier versions of its Chinese-made product but would like to hear from anyone who's tested the latest version on the road.

Apart from quality issues, would like any comment on how easy (or not) it is to pack up.

Thanks all.
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Reply By: Member - Nick (TAS) - Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 18:13

Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 18:13
Carnt comment on what its like to sleep in or how its gunna last as we only purchased one a couple of months ago.
It looks good, quality also looks good.One thing I didnt like in both the tent and awning was they(ours) was full of aluminium swarf from holes drilled and rivited.I blew it all out with compressed air but if left it would wear holes in the tent material.
Packing up, well Ive only set it up once and packed it up the same.Took maybe 5mins bymyself so not to bad first time round.Im not impressed with the plastic welded(corners) PVC cover as I think with a little force it will tear easily(time will tell) but easily fixed with a custom cover.
So, we're happy with what we got for the price, bring on summer to try it out.
AnswerID: 419951

Reply By: carlsp - Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 18:32

Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 18:32
JD

In this months 4WD Action mag there is a story on roof tops tents. I have the mag but have not read the article. It looks like it's worth reading, certainly if you are looking at getting one. They do not seem to directly mention ARB but from memory Open Sky are very similar and they do cover this brand in the story. Also mention Hannibul, which is what I had for a year before selling the truck and the roof top. I loved it. Very strong and well made, good after sales service and they have a great matching roof rack.

Maggiolina I descovered after I bought the Hannibul and love their ideas. Made for the Land of the free and home of the brave, so not really Aussie tough. You can keep your bedding set up in one of these and this is a great bonus after a long days travel. They are expensive to buy but more aerodynamic.

Iron Man are also mentioned.

If you look on You Tube under roof top tents, you will see setup and pull down for many different models. This is very handy as well. Good luck
AnswerID: 419952

Reply By: Willow66 - Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 21:22

Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 21:22
Hey Joe,

I checked out a lot of different roof tops and ultimately chose a Gordigear brand setup. Good price and good quality through out, plus local which was surprising. The top 5 brands at the end of the day probably come out of the same factory overseas, all very similar in manufacturing wise.
Packing up is pretty east from whoa to go, just came back from camping with all the gear out and we were gone in a hour, if you have a higher 4wd take a milk crate to stand on lol
AnswerID: 419976

Follow Up By: Joe D- Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 12:19

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 12:19
Thanks everyone - really helpful comments. Have just discovered the ARB combo is no longer on offer as a package. Will prob go with Gordigear (I like the look of the utility tent option, since leaving a campsite vacant is one issue with RTTs) - or something off the web - but I'll check out the 4WDAction article first.
cheers.
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 20:49

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 20:49
I just purchased one from Austrack campers in Queensland www.austrackcampers.com Have set it all up and will try it out this weekend. As others have said I think a lot of them are from the same factory anyway but quality seems good and they were great people to deal with.
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FollowupID: 690261

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 20:52

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 20:52
What I forgot to say, as a point of difference there additional room enclosure that you can add on has a built in floor as well which was what interested me as with a family of four we want to be able to sleep in this section as well.

Price was reasonable for the package.
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FollowupID: 690263

Reply By:- Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 14:22

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 14:22
Joe check ebay Arco Design has the whole package made in south africa for about$1500 im happy with mine allan
AnswerID: 420058

Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 20:14

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 20:14
My tent is from ARCO design in Melbourne,(Ebay seller) Made in South Africa, the quality is as good as you will buy. We have only had a few night in our tent but it is comfortable and surprisingly warm on a cold night. I have had the tent mounted on my Patrol for the past 3 months here in Sydney and i opened it up on the weekend to see if it was wet at all. With the huge amount of rain we have had recently, we expected some seepage of water, but found it perfectly dry.. Half the price of the ARB but probably made to similar quality. Michael
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

Retired 2016 and now Out and About!

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Follow Up By: camper1963 - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 19:51

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 19:51
had a tent from arco for a couple of months now. they are not made in south africa but in china. performance in the rain is ordinary at best. just wanted to check out their ebay store again, but couldn't find them anymore. turns out they are no longer trading under arco but under arbshop. found out they (had to?) change trading name 5(!) times since 2004 (excerpt from their ebay history):

User ID:--------------------------Effective Date--------------End Date
arbshop----------------------------18-Feb-10-----------------Present
arco.design------------------------01-Oct-07---------------18-Feb-10
arco.desing.interior---------------31-Aug-07--------------01-Oct-07
better.choice.for.you.2007------30-Jul-07----------------- 31-Aug-07
sgt2007----------------------------15-Dec-06--------------30-Jul-07
iu68--------------------------------02-Jun-04----------------15-Dec-06

all in all i would say it's not quite to arb standard but consider mine an ok purchase for the price.
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 20:15

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 20:15
I picked mine up from his unit outside of Melbourne, It said on mine,, made in SAfrica,, so i assume it was... and he said it was... Mine does look pretty good and as i said it hasnt had much use yet.so who knows. Fortunately its not a big money so if it lasts a few years, im happy.. I was aware he changed to ARBshop,,, a bit risky i would think,,, The changing of names is a little concerning,,, Michael
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

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Reply By: Member - Nigel M (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 09, 2010 at 22:42

Wednesday, Jun 09, 2010 at 22:42
Joe D,
Having owned a ARB simpson 3 roof top tent for about 6 mths,we have found it an excellent addition to our touring GU Patrol wagon.If camping with the kids we tend to take our camper trailer,but i find ourselves using the RTT more and more.It is so simple and easy to use,although we haven't used the awning at all we have used the ladder extension from time to time.....need to make sure you pick a mostly flat area to park,this will help you get a good night sleep.With the vehicle level in both directions you will avoid the blood rush to the head as well as rolling into your partner all night if parked on a slight slope.We have found the mattress to be a bit on the thin side though,have just purchased two air/foam single mattress's to go on top of the existing mattress to aid in a more padded rest.Looking forward to trailing this on the week-end at the 4wd gathering at Pomona.Apart from proving a bit challenging to climb the ladder after a few rums or in the wife's case a few wines it has been one of the best purchases we have ever made.

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Nige'
AnswerID: 420222

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