JEEP - 2nd STEP - THE ROOFTOP-TENT (V1 - Gordigear)
Wrangler After Rooftop-Tent Installation
Since our trip to South Africa in 2006, we liked the idea of traveling with a rooftop-tent. We liked to watch out of the tents window and having the beach in view... has been totally romantic 🙂
In SA we had the mercedes of all standard tents: an Eezy Awn, but the prices for such a tent are very high here in Germany. We had to find out, what else (and more affordable) we could get.
There are several concepts of rooftop tents, but for us it was clear to have a tent, which looks like a tent. Therefore we didn't think about a hard shell.
Another factor has been, that the tent needed to be light weight. A hard shell tent weighs easily 60/70 KG and more. Generic rooftop-tents are mostly a bit lighter (but it depends on the components).
Gordigear Rootfop-Tent -The Way To Go
After comparing several tents, we decided for one from Gordigear. Their tents are manufactured in Australia, so we thought, that they should know, what they're doing. Compared to an Eezy Awn, a Gordigear is just the third of the price, so pretty much affordable and another plus has been, that it weighs just 47 KG.
We ordered the small one (140m x 2,0m) which is still more than enough, together with a trailer tent and an awning. They shipped all the stuff with additional aluminum rails for mounting it on the roofrack. Great stuff 🙂
Gordigear Rooftop Tent
The quality is good, from my point of view... not exceptional, but totally sufficient. And after using it for a year, we can say, that it survives strong "storms", as well as it has been waterproof so far ( for 5 days in a row)
Different story though with the trailer tent, this one is anything else than waterproof. After a couple of minutes water drops from the inside. But hey... it's still ok, because we don't need to sleep in it, but it keeps most of the water away.
Surprised By The Awning
The awning seems to be a really good one, I think. We used it rarely, but when I used it after 7 months for the first time, I noticed that it is much more rigid than I thought.
In the first months, I always mounted the tent on the roof a few days before the journey began and detached it, when we got back.
Nowadays I just let it, where it belongs to... on the roof! For the harsh winter days, I ordered a simple garden plane for covering it. For me it was just too heavy and I didn't like, to always ask my friendly neigbors for help.
Full Setup At The SUMMERBREEZE Festival, 2016
We've been pretty lucky with this rooftop-tent, but we enhanced it a little bit. We attached more velcros and put some coat hooks here and there.
The mattress itself has been thick enough, but pretty strong, so we switched it against a little bit thinner and softer mattress for a few bucks. A plus is, that the new mattress is a bit smaller. We now also have some space for putting things like bottles or whatever on the floor.
Mounting The Tent To The Roofrack
Mounting the tent on the roofrack is pretty much straight forward, so with a little bit of help it's done "in a few minutes".
The only thing one needs to think about is, how to mount the tent on the car. We decided to have the ladder in the back and not on the side. In tighter environments it always has been an advantage and the trailer tent lives up its name. When raining, we also had a cover over the tailgate of the JEEP.
Unfolding the tent is also done in a few minutes and it's working better, when the bedding remains inside the car. (We always leave it inside the tent, which makes it slightly harder to fold)
The summarized work for unfolding the tent, the trailer tent and the awning take - with a little bit routine - 10 to15 min... that's ok, I think.
Inside The Gordigear
When The Weather Isn't On Your Side
The fact, that a tent is waterproof, doesn't necessarily mean, that there comes no water inside. Speaking about condensed water is sometimes a bit annoying, as the tent poles are located directly above our faces. In this cases we always take a towel with us, which we wrap around the pole... keeps much water away 🙂
But what, when it's getting really cold?
We simply couldn't imagine to stay in such a tent, when it's -3°C outside.
In Andalusia we've been very close to "cold", let's say it was 3°C and for us just too cold.
Not in the morning, but going to bed at night, when it's this cold, isn't really our thing.
Therefore we bought a small and lightweight gas oven... what a great and useful thing 🙂
10 mins. before going to bed, we hang the oven under the roof and it'll be pretty warm, after a few minutes. My greatest enhancement until now 🙂
We never ever thought about to stay in a rooftop-tent, when it's colder than 15°C, but now we don't have that much problems with it anymore)
For keeping the water away from the mattress, we put a so called 3D-Mesh under it, which lets enough air under the mattress. And it really works great... the mattress stays dry most of the times.
In the next article you can read about our interior fitting and what I did to maximize storage space and reduce weight.
And because I'm always searching for reasonable enhancements, I would appreciate, if you could guide me also to one of your installations, no matter, what car you drive. I'm a master in adaption 🙂