I’ve been contemplating buying a roof top tent (RTT) for quite some time.
Never completely satisfied with what I was seeing, but liking the concept, I thought I’d see if anyone is selling any used in my area (currently Edmonton Alberta). Two showed up – a lightly used green roof top tent and the Tepui Kekenam “Siberian Camo” tent.
Well, the black Jeep needs a tent to match and it was pretty much a done deal on this one!
If you’re from Alberta, be sure to check out Cochrane Toyota – from what I can tell, they do off road well because their parts manager is someone with a passion for this as well. I asked them to hold the tent (new in box) and I picked it up on Saturday while driving towards my excursion at Dinosaur Provincial Park.
I’d say it took about two hours from box to assembled and mounted on the roof. But with only a few basic tools and the tight confines of the Gobi roof rack kept me from rushing.
It only took about 10 minutes to deploy the tent and install the awning & fly support rods.
It’s a great tent, and I’d recommend Tepui to anyone interested – just not the Siberian Camo… that’s mine!
I originally published the above back in May, 2014 and since then have a few more comments.
It is still a great tent. I always receive compliments and positive comments about it.
At the end of 2014, I’ve got about 25 nights in the tent (I started tracking part way through the year) and therefore my current cost per night spent in the tent is the equivalent of about $72, for 2015 that will continue to drop drastically. Roof top tent’s are certainly a ‘cool factor’ item, but you really need to stop and think if it’s of going to be use to you to justify the cost.
For me, it is a worthy investment since I’m using it almost every weekend.
You’ll also want to consider the new height of your vehicle. If you’re 4×4’ing, keep in mind you have less clearance than before. Some trail runs I’ve done required an assistant to push and hold up branches out of the way for clearance.
Finally, if you’re camping in cold or chilly weather, get the anti-condensation mat. Yes, it’s an expensive addition, but it’ll keep the foam mattress dry, and when temperatures dip to close to (or below) freezing, you’ll get a lot of condensation on the floor panel.
Finally, if you’re out camping in windy conditions, I suggest getting a few small bungee cords. I’ve been keeping the windows and storm fly closed in windy conditions and the tie downs on the tent are fabric. Using the bungee cords allows for more movement in the wind and I don’t have to worry about ripping the tent material.
The photo below was from my Waterton trip in October 2014. It was cold, it was windy and lightly raining when I first setup camp for the night. the bungee’s kept things closed firmly, but allowed movement in the gusts.
For the 2015 season, I have a few upgrades planned, interior LED lighting and under overhang LED lighting, that will be powered off the vehicle’s 12 volt supply. Also, I’ll have an interior light switch that will interface to the outside lighting of the Jeep, to override the Jeep controls and activate all lights-on in the unlikely event I have night-time visitors I want to scare off.