Your experience with Roof Top Tents?

Submitted: Friday, Apr 05, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 918 Views:17410 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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I am considering purchasing a Roof Top Tent for my LandCruiser 100 RV for overnight accommodation of 3 people while touring the Outback. I would appreciate everyones comments on these Roof Top Tents, good or bad, before I fork out a small fortune for one. Which is the best brand, material, contruction/workmanship pros/cons etc. Many thanks in advance. Cheers!
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Reply By: Rob - Saturday, Apr 06, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Apr 06, 2002 at 00:00
Peter - I have just been through this exercise.
I had been investigating Roof Top Tents for about 6 weeks prior to Easter, mainly via the Internet and 4WD magazines.
I found the following brands available in
Australia:
1 Howling Moon and Ezy Awn fold out tents
2 Maggiolina hard cover lift up tents
3 Shipshape side folding tent

I discounted the Shipshape for 3 reasons:
I couldn't find any information on the web.
It takes up the full length of the roof.
It doesn't cover the rear doors of my vehicle so
there was no protection from rain when accessing
my drawer system.

At the recent Perth Caravan and Camping Show I
managed to see first hand the Ezy Awn, Howling
Moon, and Maggiolina models, and quickly came to
the conclusion that the Maggiolina was too expensive, the sleeping space was too small, and
the whole thing took up too much roof space. The
Ezy Awn in materials and workmanship appeared to
be of an inferior quality to the Howling Moon,
especially considering there was only about $100 difference in the price.

I subsequenlty bought a 2 person Howling Moon
tent. I used it for 6 days over Easter,
travelling with my wife, each night stopping at a
different campsite, these ranged from bush camps
to a commercial caravan park.
We covered 1600k over bitumen and gravel tracks
in a GU Nissan 4.2 diesel, turbocharged and
intercooled.

Here is an itemised list of what I learnt during
the trip:
1 Fuel consumption increased from 12l/100k to
14.5l/100k due to the air brake effect of the
tent
2 There was no discernible wind noise from the
tent
3 The tent did not leak during rain
4 The mattress supplied was as comfortable as my
own bed
5 We could not fold the tent down if we left the
bedding inside (something which the suppliers
claim is possible) so we had to unload blankets
and pillows each morning
6 The tent was very warm when the internal window
flaps were zipped up.
7 We had to finish all sightseeing before lifting
the tent, because once it was up the vehicle was
stuck in position
8 We fitted the optional shower curtain to give
somewhere to cook and sit if it rained (it was
cheaper then fitting a roll out awning)
9 there were no instructions with the tent or
shower curtain, and there was one loose piece
of the curtain that I couldn't work out what to
do with
10 It took four people to lift the tent onto the
vehicle at home
11 I became very conscious of the height of the
packed down tent when travelling through bush
with low overhanging branches (I don't normally
travel with anything on the roof)
12 I have yet to work out where to store it, it
is currently sitting on my lounge room floor
while we air it. I can't get my vehicle in the
garage when the tent is on the roof
13 One night it rained and the next morning we
folded the tent up and packed it inside its
cover. The next night we had bad condensation
on the inside, and I think it was due to the
sun heating up the cover and evaporating the
water which then spread through everything.
14 Once we learned how to do it, erection took
about 3 minutes and packing about 6 minutes
15 You must park the vehicle on level ground or
the tent won't sit corretly
16 If it is raining you get wet as you climb the
ladder (Shipshape wouldn't have this problem)

Conclusion:
The tent was very successful in a dry environment,
but I withhold judgement on a sustained wet one.
It is not really suitable for anyone who wants to
stay in one spot for any length of time, it is
really for travellers who are constantly on the
move. It was fast and easy to erect and pack.
It was expensive for what it is.

If you need any more feedback just ask.
Cheers
AnswerID: 2658

Follow Up By: Jd - Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at 00:00
What's the street price of a 2 person Howling Moon roof top?
0
FollowupID: 1427

Follow Up By: Rob - Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at 00:00
I bought mine on special at the Perth Caravan and Camping show for
$2100 plus $300 for a pair of Rhino racks to carry it.
Later bought the matching shower tent which fits underneath the
main tent base $400.

All works well but I have to do a lot of travelling to cover the costs.
Cheers
0
FollowupID: 1434

Reply By: Drew - Saturday, Apr 06, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Apr 06, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Peter

I recently met a guy called John Booth whilst out camping. He was in a fully setup Landrover that he builds and rents out. He is also an agent for Ezy Awn. You could get some details from his website http://www.landwide.com.au/rooftop.html. he rents them and sells them. We have also discovered a friend that purchased oine of them for their troopy and they swear by it. I hope this helps.
AnswerID: 2659

Reply By: Peter - Saturday, Apr 06, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Apr 06, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks fellars, I appreciate your feedback. Itgh as been very helpful! Cheers and Happy TRails!
AnswerID: 2660

Reply By: Tim - Saturday, Apr 06, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Apr 06, 2002 at 00:00
You would be hard pressed to get a better roof top tent that would better the Aussie Traveller, This opens out with a side room, floor enclosed and plenty of room to eat inside in the colder evenings in the season for travelling in the outback. Bed is virtually queen sized and warm as toast with appropriate covers, ( imagine it would suit a menage a trois with little difficulty)
Have used one for four seasons, trips of around 4 weeks and haven't found anything better...room for one on the floor if the aforementioned is not the norm..!
Tim
AnswerID: 2662

Reply By: Geoff- Monday, Apr 08, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Apr 08, 2002 at 00:00
Peter-My wife and i have a Ezy Awn on our jackaroo.We used it for about 4 weeks in Vic.We could close it up with our bedding inside,we could close it up wet,for travlling it was great.We took along a small tent to put up so we could keep our tent sit while we looked around. One minute to setup and a couple to pack up.
Geoff
AnswerID: 2684

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