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How Rooftop Tents Are Reshaping Camping20/7/2019

How Rooftop Tents Are Reshaping Camping Overlanding, an activity born generations ago in the Australian Outback that involves driving long distances over rough roads, popping a tent and reveling in nature, is growing in North America as more people look for vacations off the grid.roof tent A new category of tents — they fit on the rooftops of pickup trucks — make planning for such an adventure easier than ever, said Michael Repas, an overlander from Chesterland, Ohio.As Repas gets ready to launch into a six-month across the U.S. state, he assembled his ultimate convenience-and-economy overlanding rig: a 2017 Nissan Titan XD 4-wheel-drive, 5/8-ton four-door pickup, topped with a tent. “A rooftop tent is exactly what I need, an instant hotel that sets up in seconds anywhere, in a Walmart parking lot or a remote, dirt-road mountaintop,” Repas said.Bolted to a roof rack, rooftop tents, or RTTs, unfold from a flat rectangle to fully assembled tents in seconds, like pop-up greeting cards, and keep you away from undesirable things on the ground, like sand, snow, scorpions, snakes and lions, which explains their roots in the Outback and the African bush. Although RTTs have been available here for decades — they were a factory option on a 1949 Nash — they went under the radar until a recent rooftop renaissance ignited overland fever and began making inroads into mainstream family camping.After months of research, Repas settled on a soft-top model from Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Tepui that has a reinforced exterior and zip-out windows to facilitate his photography. Here’s a look at that product and two more unique models. Ruggedized Sky 4Tapui, an early RTT pioneer, calls this day-glow orange 210-pounder its “toughest” tent due to its heavy-gauge frame, base and hardware and “ding-proof” 360-gram rip-stop fabric that is 40 percent heavier than the fabric used in its other models. It includes a 2.5-inch high- density foam mattress, rain fly, large internal pockets, anti-condensation mat, 8-foot x 6-foot sleeping area, 8.5-foot telescoping ladder and removable “Sky” screen-panels that allow for unobstructed star-gazing.

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