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jalalski Profile
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Date Registered: 02-2004
Location: SUTHERLAND, SYDNEY
TOTAL POSTS: 29092
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Vehicle Roof Top Tents


Hi Guys,

As promised in the Sydney Motor Show thread, here are the details of the newly available rooftop tents range which Rich and myself have seen at the show.

This seems to be the popular choice by most camping lovers and offers an easy and practical option compared to the hassles involved in setting-up a tent on the ground emoticon

The first range is offered by an Italian Manufacturer AUTOHOME.

We found the design to be practical and it looked durable. But the prices were a bit on the expensive side, ranging from $2,500 all the way to around $4000.

You can browse the above web site for the full range.

The distributor is in Sydney:

Fasfit
Ph (02) 9564 5646
601 Parramatta Rd. Leichhardt
email: sales@fastfitbullbars.com.au

The 2nd range was offered by 3 Dog Camping

Again, the design was nice, but the 12inch sheet for a wooden base, makes it just too heavy for the exy to carry on the roof racks (we were assured that it was fitted to an X-Trail before)

Prices are included in the above web site.

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The distributor is in Sydney:

MRT Offroad

Finally we saw what ARB had to offer and this seemed to be the top of the line, everything looked cool about the set-up (including price, light weight, sexy design an annexe- which was not available with the other range) and can be fitted to the factory roof racks or any roof racks you may have without any modifications.

The space inside was large and can fit 2 adults and a baby comfortably.

A preview is available on the ARB WEB SITE and I have taken the following pics.

The price ranged between $2,675 (for a basic PILBARA model without an annexe) to $2,795 (for the SIMPSON model without an annexe but larger)

The annexe itself can be purchased for $785.

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26/Jun/2005, 8:38 pm Link to this post Send Private Message MSN Blog
 
GeoffM Profile
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X-TRAIL ENTHUSIAST
 


Date Registered: 07-2004
Location: Sydney
TOTAL POSTS: 258
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Re: Vehicle Roof Top Tents



Those things are really popular in Africa, because they have the obvious benefit of being out of the way of lions, crocodiles, etc.

But isnt it a bit of a disadvantage that you have to pack up your "house" if you want to go for a drive somewhere during the day ?



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http://www.toydepot.com.au
27/Jun/2005, 1:27 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
jalalski Profile
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Date Registered: 02-2004
Location: SUTHERLAND, SYDNEY
TOTAL POSTS: 29092
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Re: Vehicle Roof Top Tents


quote:

GeoffM wrote:
Those things are really popular in Africa, because they have the obvious benefit of being out of the way of lions, crocodiles, etc.



Depends where you camp in Australia, you could face a bit of that as well LOL emoticon

quote:

But isn’t it a bit of a disadvantage that you have to pack up your "house" if you want to go for a drive somewhere during the day?



I actually see this as an advantage over leaving your "house" exposed while you're not there!

Also, it gives you a peace of mind that should things go wrong while you're exploring other areas, you know that you will have a roof above your head during the night.

The other obvious advantage of roof-top tents is they're high-up and you wont need to go through painful process of packing a tent that is full of mud and other stuff when you decide to pack in a hurry.

I believe it provides an excellent alternative to the conventional tent and even some camper trailers.



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27/Jun/2005, 2:24 pm Link to this post Send Private Message MSN Blog
 
David M Profile
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X-TRAIL FANATIC
 


Date Registered: 02-2005
Location: Taylor's Hill (Melbourne)
TOTAL POSTS: 466
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Re: Vehicle Roof Top Tents


I've always preferred a trailer to any extraweight up top. But I can see that the advantage of these is you don't have to make up and unmake the whole bed when you stop. Camper trailers (mostly) have the extra advantage of keeping the kitchen set up.
David M.

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David M (X095)

ST Auto (series 1) 180,000 kms
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27/Jun/2005, 3:37 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message
 
big ted Profile
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Date Registered: 07-2005
TOTAL POSTS: 12
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posticon Re: Vehicle Roof Top Tents


We got our first roof top tent in 93 and did a three month touring trip around Australia. I sold it in 98 (for more than I bought it) and then designed and made my own.

Roof top tents are perfect for touring, they are quick to put up and down, stronger than a standard tent, more waterproof and wind resistant plus you can sleep on a proper mattress. They are the best compromise between comfort (a good nights sleep)and off-road ability. They don't compromise the vehicles capability as they only weigh about 60 kgs, whilst your average camper trailer weighs more than 500 kgs.

Like any campervan or motorhome, once you have setup, it is a pain if you run out of milk, or you want takeaway food. You have to pack it all up, and then reassemble your camp once you return.

There is no perfect system, it just depends on what is the best compromise for you and your situation.
2/Jul/2005, 3:27 pm Link to this post  
 
NPC73 Profile
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Date Registered: 12-2004
Location: Mount Isa, QLD
TOTAL POSTS: 1247
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Re: Vehicle Roof Top Tents


Hi Big Ted,

And Welcome to the forums.

Thanks for the info and comments. Just a few questions for you:

What sort of vehicle did you have your tent installed on?

What was the base made from, ie, Timber, Plastic?

And lastly where are you from? Please feel free to visit the introductions section of the forum and let us know more about youself. If you have any photos to add, please do.

Kind Regards

Last edited by NPC73, 2/Jul/2005, 3:55 pm


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Noel...
Member ID: X-072 (Retired Administrator)
2003 X-trail, TI, Manual, (Series 1) - (with the works)
2013 Toyota Prado, Manual, Turbo Diesel - (Snorkel-K&N-Full Exhaust, 20" Low Profiles, Chrome Bullbar, HID Spots, + All the Bling!)
2/Jul/2005, 3:54 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message MSN Blog
 
big ted Profile
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Date Registered: 07-2005
TOTAL POSTS: 12
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Re: Vehicle Roof Top Tents


The roof top tent was on my GQ Nissan Patrol which I sold about 12 months ago and replaced with a shiny new X trail.

Both of my roof top tents had a timber ply base - provides good insulation, is warm to touch and flexes with the car. My second roof top tent was a very simple design that opened over the back of the car. It did not need any poles or pegs for the most basic overnight stop and took less than 5 minutes to put up or down.

The roof top tent opened over the back of the Patrol, and I built a small kitchette with a slide out fridge, a small slide out table and a small frame for plastic crates in the back of the Patrol. The Patrols barn doors at the back made accessing everything pretty simple. This system was very good for touring.

I'm from Brisbane and have toured around much of mainland Australia. I have already done two trips in the X Trail, Brisbane to Eden and Brisbane to Carnarvon Gorge. Took a tent for both trips, as I have not yet worked out a system for attaching my roof top tent (gutter mount) to the x trail, plus I'm not sure it is strong enough to support two adults on the roof. I seem to recall that the X trail roof bars are only designed to support 70 kgs and this will be marginal for two adults to sleep on the roof of the X trail.

This is a great website - very content rich.
Regards
Big Ted
2/Jul/2005, 4:35 pm Link to this post  
 
jalalski Profile
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Date Registered: 02-2004
Location: SUTHERLAND, SYDNEY
TOTAL POSTS: 29092
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Re: Vehicle Roof Top Tents


Hi Big Ted and welcome a board.

Thanks for those tips and it always good to get first hand knowledge from people who actually used this type of set-up.

Rich and myself have actually inquired about the same point regarding the max weight which our roof rails can support and the answer we received at the show suggested that these are only factory guidelines which are sometime short of the true value.

In addition to that we were told that the weight distribution would be spread across the base of the tent when mounted on the roof racks, instead of being concentrated on one point.

I was not entirely convinced by the above explanation, given the roof racks are actually supported on 4 fixed points on the roof rails and they'll be the points to take all of the weight as well.

Have you still got any photos of your previous set-up with the GQ? It would be interesting to see it.

Thanks for your comments about our forum, we’re trying our best to make it as helpful and informative (and entertaining) as possible and it is only through contributions such as yours it would grow bigger and better.


Last edited by jalalski, 2/Jul/2005, 6:54 pm


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2/Jul/2005, 6:36 pm Link to this post Send Private Message MSN Blog
 
big ted Profile
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Date Registered: 07-2005
TOTAL POSTS: 12
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Re: Vehicle Roof Top Tents


Roof top tents weigh about 60 kg, plus two adults would weigh another 150 kg, giving a total of around 210 kg. Most roof tents have 3 or even 4 bars to spread the load over the car roof. In reality, when getting into a roof top tent, you enter near one corner , which would briefly put most of your weight onto the nearest roof support. Once you are lying in the tent, your weight should be more evenly carried by all of the bars. I checked the Nissan web site, but I could not find the load capacity of the standard roof bars. This would be pretty useful information to know before contemplating using a roof top tent on an xtrail.
3/Jul/2005, 10:23 pm Link to this post  
 
jalalski Profile
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Date Registered: 02-2004
Location: SUTHERLAND, SYDNEY
TOTAL POSTS: 29092
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Re: Vehicle Roof Top Tents


Hi Ted,

I use Rhino roof racks and I just checked the specs on the RHINO RACK web site and the load limit for my type of racks is 70kg.

I suspect the nissan racks will have the same load rating.

Last edited by jalalski, 3/Jul/2005, 11:26 pm


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3/Jul/2005, 11:23 pm Link to this post Send Private Message MSN Blog
 


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