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Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

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4wd Roof Top Tents

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Offline LandCruisers4Life

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4wd Roof Top Tents
« on: February 05, 2008, 11:57:04 AM »
Being in bear and mountain lion territory, I suggest those who have the means to go with a roof top tent for their 4wd vehicle to keep themselves off the ground. Also helps with snakes and scorpions ya know....
 :willynilly:


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Offline homerboy2u

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Re: 4wd Roof Top Tents
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2008, 12:20:26 PM »
Being in bear and mountain lion territory, I suggest those who have the means to go with a roof top tent for their 4wd vehicle to keep themselves off the ground. Also helps with snakes and scorpions ya know....
 :willynilly:

 ABSOLUTELY...nothin g could be further from the truth land Cruiser4life.....I have been
 doing 4x4 trails around Bear and Lion country for so many years, and not even a pinch on my butt have i recieved from them. Snakes and scorpions will not enter your tent, if you leave the zipper ends on top as well.

 So let's not be paranoid about this, RESPECT your surroundings, get informed about the areas where there is wildlife presence and learn to deal with them....also a gun won't help either. REMEMBER: you are the one who is tresspassing the wildlife habitats, not the other way around.

Homero
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 01:12:22 PM by homerboy2u2 »
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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oldfatman

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Re: 4wd Roof Top Tents
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2008, 02:56:36 PM »
I have used the tents that set up in the bed of your truck for years, because fire ants will get in if you are on the ground.  As Homero said I am the intruder.

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Offline TheWildWestGuy

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Re: 4wd Roof Top Tents
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2008, 09:01:51 PM »
Some of the members don't even sleep in tents - just out on the bare ground totally exposed to whatever comes crawling, slithering, or stalking it's way up to you.   Why?  to save 5-10 lbs of tent weight, to see the stars all night, or to prove they can do it.  Me I always bring my tent, it gives me a sense of security and privacy as well as some weather protection... TWWG

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Offline Doc Savage

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Re: 4wd Roof Top Tents
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2008, 08:38:30 AM »
I've looked at lots of those over the years. Personally I like the Kimberly Kamper trailers from Austrailia best. However after looking at the Safari trailer designs from South Africia, and having a M416 trailer myself, I came up with the following:



This was from my last trip to our property to Terlingua Ranch. I found a kids dome tent that just fits on top of the trailer. I have a wood top that's hinged on top of the trailer and just put the tent on top of that. The EZup was for shade (it was July). All packed well in the trailer and weathered a good rain and wind with just the stakes for the tarps pulling out.

I just like being off the ground, and the trailer top gives me a good level smooth surface to sleep on, no rocks poking thru my pad. I've gotten a little comfort oriented in my old age, would have liked to take the RV, but gas is a killer right now.

Robert
Enjoying the Texas life!

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Offline LandCruisers4Life

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Re: 4wd Roof Top Tents
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2008, 11:51:54 AM »
Homero:

Roof top tents started off in foreign parts like South Africa because people wanted to be off the ground away from wild animals. Also it gives you a great view of the surroundings.

Doc Savage:

The M416 is a popular platform for 4x4 expeditions. Some use the canadian version as well. I have thought about going with the trailer with a pintle hitch.



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Offline RichardM

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Re: 4wd Roof Top Tents
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2008, 01:13:38 PM »
Once upon a time someone here had a cool converted M416 for sale.  The topic is gone, but the pics remain:










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Offline MJ

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Re: 4wd Roof Top Tents
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2008, 02:05:18 PM »
Being in bear and mountain lion territory, I suggest those who have the means to go with a roof top tent for their 4wd vehicle to keep themselves off the ground. Also helps with snakes and scorpions ya know....
 :willynilly:



please tell me you are not seriously so worried about creepy crawlies and the rarely seen bigger animals that you want to camp on top of your car - what are you so scared of?

I don't even use a tent when I camp in BBNP

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oldfatman

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Re: 4wd Roof Top Tents
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2008, 02:07:41 PM »
Imagine trying to sleep in that rig in a good open country windstorm.  I went through 5 yes 5 different popup campers trying to find one that would work in the strong winds of the west.  They are great in the trees, but in the wind they are like a balloon on a string.  I had trouble in winds that did not even faze my tents. Even  with that detriment I still have a fond spot for 3 of the popups I tried.  You can get them into the most unbelieveable places.  None of mine were setup for ground clearance like R2D2.  Now I use a hard side trailer designed for offroad so the wind is not as troublesome and the bathroom is ready as soon as you stop on the side of the road.

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Offline presidio

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Re: 4wd Roof Top Tents
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2008, 07:11:54 PM »
please tell me you are not seriously so worried about creepy crawlies and the rarely seen bigger animals that you want to camp on top of your car - what are you so scared of?

I don't even use a tent when I camp in BBNP

Other than the wind issue noted in one post, and which plagues popup campers anywhere there is insufficient windbreaks (try using one on the east side of the Guadalupe Mountains as the wind roars full blast....about 60 mph...down the canyons and buffets you all night long, what is wrong with sleeping on top of your vehicle?

While I wouldn't have anything with fabric sides at this point, not even the 12" or so sides of a pickup slip-in camper that lets you raise the hard roof for more headroom, it clearly is an interesting design and obviously meets the needs of many. You don't have to be afraid of anything to use it.

As to fabric sides, I had a pop up for 6 years, used the heck out of it and liked it. That was me described above near the Guads and got almost no sleep with the incessant whop whop whop of the fabric billowing in the wind. I moved on to a full size travel trailer that is just spiffy, and gets me off the ground. When it is too rough to go somewhere with it, I camp in my truck or on the ground.

I remember many years ago proclaiming that I'd never camp any way other than in a truck or van. I was wrong and the travel trailer is very nice. If I had the money I'd have an EarthRoamer in a heartbeat, though I'd have to reconcile my total revulsion at having a Ford again to do it.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline homerboy2u

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Re: 4wd Roof Top Tents
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2008, 07:45:11 PM »
Homero:

Roof top tents started off in foreign parts like South Africa because people wanted to be off the ground away from wild animals. Also it gives you a great view of the surroundings.

 I'm not saying that it doesn't , but unfortunately for everybody...we are not in Africa buddy. No, for all practical purposes the Rooftops tents are very nice......
If I had the money I'd have an EarthRoamer in a heartbeat.
.....Oh wouldn't you want that with a cherry on top ,my friend?
« Last Edit: March 03, 2008, 08:12:10 PM by homerboy2u2 »
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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Offline TheWildWestGuy

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Re: 4wd Roof Top Tents
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2008, 09:30:18 PM »
I actually saw a European woman using a car-top tent up in The Basin Campground a couple of years ago.  It was some wierd European design that I have never seen before or since.  Later I commented to the campground host about it and he said the woman had been complaining about everyone looking at her.   It was quite a spectacle to see and attracted a lot of gawkers (myself included).  I should have taken a picture of it but the woman seemed pissed off at all the "attention" she was getting from other campers... TWWG

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Offline presidio

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Re: 4wd Roof Top Tents
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2008, 10:59:08 PM »
how the heck do you expect me to get off that ladder all dizzy and all and still pee?...he said , :eusa_think: maybe next time...Yeap. :icon_wink:

Relief tube. Problem solved.

Quote
If I had the money I'd have an EarthRoamer in a heartbeat.
.....Oh wouldn't you want that with a cherry on top ,my friend?

Nah. Whenever I look at those rigs I just wish Toyota had something in that chassis range. That would be muy suave.
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<  presidio  >
_____________
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline Doc Savage

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Re: 4wd Roof Top Tents
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2008, 09:00:02 AM »
Richard,

I've seen some conversions like that, it isn't far from what the South Africian setups are like (there's even a place that imports them to the US). My biggest gripe with them is that I'm a cheapscape. Those modular type tent setups are typically close to or over $1K. I spent about $50 to build the wood top for the trailer and $20 for the tent. Actually saw a Bubba setup like that at a jeep event in TN before I ever saw the custom built jobs.

As to the wind issues. If you notice, I've got the awning strapped down to the trailer, it ain't going anywhere. It did get pretty gusty during a rain storm during that trip, but everything held nicely. I did have a setup kinda like R2D2 before they ever mass produced something like that. I found an old Apache tent top popup for $200. I put another $300 into it and replaced the floor, put a nylon cabin tent on top, and added bigger wheels and a lift. Hauled it down the River Road on our honeymoon. Never had an issue with that and weathered a couple of thunder storms on top of Monteagle mountain in TN with it. Graduated to a hardsided hybrid trailer after that, and now have the motorhome. Only time I've ever had a wind issue with tents was in Death Valley over Memorial Day once. We had the large dome tent (6' height) and the smaller one (4' height). It got so windy that night that the 6' tent basically laid down on my wife and son (daughter had thought she wanted to be in the small tent by herself until it got dark, then I had to go over there with her). Nothing broke and everything popped back up after the wind calmed. We never had an issue with the smaller tent.

Robert
Enjoying the Texas life!

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Offline LandCruisers4Life

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Re: 4wd Roof Top Tents
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2008, 11:55:06 AM »

please tell me you are not seriously so worried about creepy crawlies and the rarely seen bigger animals that you want to camp on top of your car - what are you so scared of?

I don't even use a tent when I camp in BBNP

How about Personal Choice? I slept on the ground for months sometimes while in the Marine Corps, I sure don't have to now.

 


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