Roof Tent - big trip - the landy - guide - roof tent


Take off the cover...

...pull down the ladder...

...and miraculously appear somewhere else!

The rooftent is a great piece of kit. Stop anywhere and in 60 seconds we can have the tent ready. It doesn't matter what the ground is like, as long as the landy is more or less level we can camp on rocks, mud, cactuses, rivers of alligators etc..

Looks comfy

With the 'shower skirt' set up

Having the tent opening over the back door makes a handy shelter for cooking at the back door out of the rain. There's space inside for two and if the width could be a little more for normal lads its very roomy when cuddled up with a latin american doris!

Having the tent high up on the roof is good when the weather is hot, both doors and the big side windows can be left open with the fly mesh keeping the larger insects out and letting the breeze in. If there are small mozzies about we put a fine mosquito net (double bed size) up inside as the normal mesh isn't fine enough to stop everything.

When its windy and cold, like in Patagonia, the roof tent is not really at home. The high position catches the wind and the tent flaps and rocks about. We needed to really search hard for a building or trees to shelter behind. Horizontal rain wets the cotton sides (only the top and doors have the flysheet covering them) and when we fold the tent up the matress and contents (we leave the pillows and sleeping bags inside too) get wet. Happened once, won't make the same mistake again!

When its really bad we have a 'shower skirt' which is a kind of curtain which attaches to the bottom of the tent and allows cooking in good shelter. We used it once in the US and never could be bothered since.

Spare tyre, jack and waffles. Padding is for surf boards


Sharing the roof space are the two fibreglass waffles, the high-lift jack and a spare tyre. The roof rack is covered with a riveted 9mm sheet of plywood which was only varnished once. It survived the whole trip though despite warping a bit. The wood doesn't go all the way to the front of the roofrack in an attempt to improve aerodynamics by allowing the air coming up from the windscreen less restriction. The tent comes with four bolts to bolt to the wood and we since added two blind bolts for more security.

When we get in and out of the tent we always climb up the front of the landy, over the bonnet, and up onto the front of the roofrack. Then we can stand on the waffles to take off our shoes which are then stored under the tent cover folded beside the spare tyre. The tent ladder, for us, is only used as support.

The mountings for the waffles and jack were screwed into the plywood base. After about 9 months the screw holes had grown bigger so the mounts were moved over a tad and redone. 6 months later the same thing happened and so proper nuts and bolts with big washers were used and lasted better but still the holes grew a touch due to vibrations on bad roads.


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