Raise your hand if you’ve ever camped in a tent and woke up sore and stiff.
Been there done that. Over it.
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Raise your hand if it’s taken you an hour to mount a tent on the ground, including finding a flat spot, laying out a tarp, fighting with poles and praying the ground is soft enough to get the stakes in but not too soft that they don’t hold. And darn it if you didn’t set the tent on an ant hole!
Been there done that. Over it.
Mr. Misadventures loves to camp. I do not. Or rather, I didn’t until last fall when GMC loaned us GMC Canyon Denali and a Napier tent and we camped at Toroweap. It was my first-time car camping and while I didn’t love the tent I did love the concept. That was all Mr. Misadventures needed to start researching rooftop tents!
We had the Jeep and knew it could accommodate a hard shell rooftop tent, but we never had enough space and with as much road-tripping and driving we quickly realized it wasn't very comfortable either. We loved driving the GMC Canyon Denali so we bought our own GMC Canyon (non-Denali) and we planned on getting the tent. After doing research, (I just wrote a story for my friend Jody’s camping site on this) Mr. Misadventures selected Tepui hard shell rooftop tent. We went with an Explorer Series Kukenam 3 in grey which would be mounted on a Yakima rack system on our truck.
I reached out to Tepui who graciously provided us a discount on our tent, we got our rack installed (by an expert) and mounted our tent for the first time. It took us about 2 hours. We were meticulous and watched the how-to videos a few times.
The hardest part was lifting the tent onto the rack. Our model weighs 130 pounds. I am 5 foot and 115 pounds so it is a bit of an effort for me to share the load on 130 pounds lifting above my head. It’s one of the reasons we didn’t go for the heavier model. We absolutely would have loved to have the heavier tent material should we choose to camp in places that are extra cold, but that model is 180 pounds.
You also have to be concerned with height clearance. Our makes into our garage with a few inches to spare. We are leaving the tent on at the moment because we have a lot of trips plan, so take that into consideration when parking in public parking garages. We have full visibility in our rearview mirror because the rack system lifts the tent.
In addition to the tent, we opted to get the luxury mattress and anti-condensation mat. Because we didn't get the thicker tent material we eventually want to pick up the insulator which clips onto the internal frame to help combat the cold.
We’ve taken it on 5 camping trips (White Pocket Arizona 3 times, Alstrom Point Utah, and Monument Valley Utah) together and Mr. Misadventures has done a solo trip. On our first trip with the new tent, it took us about 7 minutes to unfurl the tent, I’d say we have it down to 3 at this point! The thing that sometimes gives us trouble is the ladder being absolutely secure. Sometimes it opens up perfectly and is stable from the outset and other times it takes a few minutes of fiddling to get it right. To put the tent down takes about 10 minutes, only because there is a bit of tucking that you want to do to be able to zip on the cover.
The only other complication we encountered was on our first trip when a bolt came loose and fell off. We added a new one, secured it completely and it never gave us trouble again.
We’ve opened it up in the dark at 11 pm and we’ve put it down in the dark at 3 am. It really is a breeze. It has made camping and road trips more fun!
We have a whole bunch of weekend camping trips planned for this fall something I would never have imagined myself doing but I am converted now, thanks to Tepui and their hard shell rooftop tents!
How about you? Have you camped using a rooftop tent? Are you interested in trying it? Do share!
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