Latest update December 28th, 2016 1:27 AM
Mar 02, 2016 Abel Longoria Camping, Equipment Review, Vanagon 0
One of our members, Gunther owns a Tintop Syncro and was looking for a roof top tent solution. I’m very familiar with the regular players in the market CVT and Tepui tents but they were a little out of Gunther’s price range. He found a brand named Tuff Stuff Rooftop Tents on eBay that sold for $1,225 and includes FREE SHIPPING. Wow. Knowing how heavy these tents are I was really surprised they offered free shipping.
Gunter installed a Yakima Roof Rack which supports the weight of the tent just fine but the one drawback is installing the Yakima roof rack on the gutter rails of the tintop without some sort of spacer causes the crossbars to be fairly close to the roof of the Vanagon.
If you have a Westy with a fiberglass top you may not have this problem but the remedy in Gunther’s case is to add a set of Yakima 1A HiRise Spacers or a set of Gowesty Custom Yakima LoRise Spacers in order to gain a bit more clearance above the roof line. I prefer the Gowesty LoRise kit as it is not nearly as tall as the HiRise Kit. From Left to Right in the photo: Yakima HiRise Kit, Gowesty LoRise Kit and the Stock Yakima height with no spacer.
Gowesty states that the Yakima HiRise Kit will put the bottom of the crossbar 4″ from the highest point of the Vanagon roof line (Left). They also state that their Custom LoRise Kit will place the bottom of the crossbar 2.25″ above the highest point of the Vanagon roof line (Right). I think the Custom Kit just looks better and gives the added clearance needed.
Now back to the Tent itself… I don’t have first hand experience using this tent in the field but I was present for the assembly and take down on its first outing. I wanted to document the entire process in order to help inform others if they’re in the market for a similar tent solution.
The folded up tent while in transport is covered with a Black 1000D PVC all weather cover that zips into place. The cover is very thick and helps protect the tent from harmful UV rays as well as natural elements such as rain, snow and/or dirt.
Once the tent cover is removed you now have access to the tent. Everything including the ladder, mattress and rain fly is all self contained within.
The attached ladder is what is used in order to help swing the tent open and put it into position.
The main tent material is made of a 280g Poly/Cotton Rip Stop Fabric blend with a waterproof polyurethane coating which is for maximum water resistance. The tent is breathable while remaining UV & mold resistant.
The overhang area is very easy to setup from the inside while you’re standing on the ladder. Once it’s extended you can then focus on the window openings and rain fly.
The window openings are held open by some tension rods that attach at the base of the tent frame. These rods are bent into place and attached to the eyelets on the corners of the window covering keeping it extended and taut.
A pair of guy wires and stakes are included in order to help stabilize the overhang portion of the tent.
Once the windows are opened and the rain fly is secured in place you have the choice of adding the included annex room or not. This part is totally up to you. I can see when camping overnight the annex room can be skipped since it is a bit more work in order to setup. This annex room is also stored in the folded up tent.
The Annex Room measures 7’6″ x 7’6″ at the base. The Annex Room makes for a great changing room or it can even house a queen size mattress, a cot or table and chairs.
The Annex Room slides into a slot on the bottom of the tent base, then the rest of the tent is attached by way of a heavy duty zipper around the perimeter of the tent base.
Nice netted door to help keep the bugs out. There are also two netted windows on either side of the Annex Room which also help let a good breeze flow through.
The bottom of the Annex Room is a very thick, durable PVC floor. You’ll notice the large zip up door on the backside of the Annex Room. You could slide this roof top tent forward a bit and have that door open to the inside of the van if you have the slider open. Just another option in regards to the many ways this tent can be configured depending on your needs.
The climb up to the upper bunk is nice and easy not to mention inviting!
The mattress size is 56″ wide by 96″ long. It can accommodate two full sized adults.
This roof top tent has so many screened in areas that creates such a breeze when you’re inside the tent. This will come in very handy in our hot Texas summers.
I myself have not used this tent extensively so I can not give this product a full in depth review like I have on some other products. What I can say is that after documenting the setup and making note of the construction of this roof top tent I was very impressed with it overall.
As a Westy full camper owner I would not have a use for such an item but this will be great for those tin top families that travel with kids. It’s a great way to sleep 4 people comfortably in a tin top Vanagon.
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