Roof Tents - iKamper

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TeeDee

Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
6,701
1,003
47
Exeter
Thinking of investing a fair bit of wedge into a Roof Tent for just shooting off on the odd days over the forthcoming years and enjoying low hassle camping. ( Getting old! )

I've been looking at this one , its a circa £3k investment however.


https://www.ikamper.com/


Any seasoned roof campers here or anyone with better ( sensible , UK/EUROPEAN BASED SPECIFIC ) suggestions??

Is £3k too much ? Just thinking on the return of trips divided by the cost of initial investment.


All ( sensible ) comments appreciated.
 

BillyBlade

Settler
Jul 27, 2011
748
2
Lanarkshire
Mine was £1400 including roof rack for the top of my discovery. Got it from Direct 4x4. It's been great and held up to some torrential (unscheduled!) rain. Cant fault it at all for the money and it came with mattress etc. I've put 5v led lighting in it for night time.

I'm not sure what going up to 3k would get you really over this system

Good luck.
 

TeeDee

Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
6,701
1,003
47
Exeter
Mine was £1400 including roof rack for the top of my discovery. Got it from Direct 4x4. It's been great and held up to some torrential (unscheduled!) rain. Cant fault it at all for the money and it came with mattress etc. I've put 5v led lighting in it for night time.

I'm not sure what going up to 3k would get you really over this system

Good luck.

What Tent was yours??
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,392
3,599
Mid Wales
OK, I'm going to throw in a hand grenade :)

Earlier this year I invested a largish sum of money to put a good quality roof tent on my 110 Defender for our 'around the UK coast' trek. We had used roof tents on Land Rovers in Namibia and got on really well with them but .... the UK isn't Namibia. In the UK you need somewhere to shelter from the wind, rain, sleet, and snow - and that's in summer :) . So, you get a roof tent that includes a reasonable sized awning/annex. The awning is bulky and heavy, takes an age to get on. The roof tent itself is heavy and you're carting it around all the time. You don't take it off the vehicle between trips because it's a pain to get on and off. Sleeping in a gale on the west coast felt like we were going to tip over (impossible I know but it was not a pleasant experience).

I've sold the roof tent on and lost £400 in the process that's how bad it was. Our normal trekking tent is an Oz Tent - big and bulky, has to be carried on the roof rack, but can be erected in seconds. We've used it for 12 years and it's still going strong.

So, my warning is not to say to you 'don't buy a roof tent' but to encourage you to fully analyse how you will use it and if it really fits your needs. In a country like Namibia where you can sit out and cook in the open (most of the time in the dry season) they are fantastic but for the UK of dubious value in my opinion.

Cheers,

Broch
 
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BillyBlade

Settler
Jul 27, 2011
748
2
Lanarkshire
Broch makes a good series of points.

For me the disco is a 4th car, purely a toy, and that's the only way the extra drag of the rack makes sense. It's permanently stocked with all my lad and my camping gear so we can just fire up and go.

Setting the awning up takes literally 5 minutes, less most likely, so that's maybe down to individual designs.

Wind noise has never bothered us. I actually find it soothing.

I have a solar set up that runs all the electronic stuff he likes as well as a second battery and split charge system that heats a small water tank for a shower and so we can watch a DVD at night and run our fridge for my beer and his chocolate milk.

I agree it's horses for courses and not something to just jump into.
 

Nomad64

Full Member
Nov 21, 2015
1,073
583
UK
Thinking of investing a fair bit of wedge into a Roof Tent for just shooting off on the odd days over the forthcoming years and enjoying low hassle camping. ( Getting old! )

I've been looking at this one , its a circa £3k investment however.


https://www.ikamper.com/


Any seasoned roof campers here or anyone with better ( sensible , UK/EUROPEAN BASED SPECIFIC ) suggestions??

Is £3k too much ? Just thinking on the return of trips divided by the cost of initial investment.


All ( sensible ) comments appreciated.

I've probably clocked up getting on for 1000 nights sleeping in the rooftent on my 110, mostly in Africa and the Middle East but also several hundred in the UK and I've experienced night time temps ranging from 30 degrees plus to 10 degrees minus and serious downpours.

For quick set up and packing away camping in the bush or desert with the comfort of being up away from the creepy crawlies and big beasties (though this is mostly psychological as insects, snakes and most predators are perfectly capable of climbing onto a vehicle if they really want to), you can't fault it but for use in wetter, colder climes, the benefits are less clearcut.

With your tent on the top of your vehicle, you will have to strike camp if you want to pop to the pub, shops or go out for the day and put everything back up again on your return and if you are camping on a "normal" campsite, you may risk losing your pitch if you don't leave something marking your spot.

In addition to the roof tent, you will need some kind of awning to shelter you from the searing UK sun or more probably drizzle and rain. You can improvise something with a tarp but if you are looking for low hassle camping then you will need to budget for one that fits onto the roof rack. I have a simple canvas awning which folds out from my roof rack but there are some quite fancy "bat wing" awnings available now but all add to the cost.

Many cantilever style roof tents have "skirts" which use the overhang to create a tent which can be used as a changing room, bathroom, cooking area or just somewhere to sit but this is again something else to put up and take down.

Unless you are planning to pipe in warm air from a Webasto/Eberspacher type diesel heater or use a 240v fan heater, roof tents can get pretty chilly at night and you obviously can't cook in them or have a campfire. The two nights I spent in mine in Buttermere in December in well below minus 10C were two of the most miserable in my life!

Think about storage - mine lives on top of my 110 year round which is not ideal and I have to air it regularly but several people I know have opened their out after a winter stored in a garage to find that mice have trashed the canvas.

A heavy roof tent (the MyWay that I have is comparatively lightweight but some weigh a ton) can negatively affect the stability of a vehicle and exceed the recommended loading for the roof gutters and/or roof rack. My 110 has HD but standard height suspension and a HD Brownchurch galvanised roof rack with 14 points of attachment to the vehicle and my roof tent doesn't make a great deal of difference to the stability. A heavy roof tent on raised suspension may not be as stable and some light weight roof racks with 6 points of attachment may put too much pressure on the roof gutters - I hired a 110 in South Africa with a roof tent on a flimsy roof rack and you could not open the doors if someone was in the tent!

Roof tents used to be a real rarity in the UK and most of the original ones were either from South Africa (Hannibal, EeziAwn and MyWay) or Italy (Maggioloni/Autohome) but there have been quite a few new entrants to the market and a lot of Chinese made clones.

There are two basic designs;

Cantilever tents which fold out to hang off the back or side of the roof rack and which typically have a soft waterproof cover.

and

Hardshell designs which fit entirely on the roof rack and open either straight up or are hinged at one end. These are probably easier and quicker to put up - they either just rise up on gas struts or get cranked up with a handle.

I'm not familiar with the iKamper but that seems to be a combination of both designs. Check that after sales support is available for any replacement parts you may need.

I bought my roof tent direct from the factory in SA nearly a decade ago and am not up to speed on current prices in the UK but £3k seems a lot.

http://www.mywayrooftents.co.uk/myway-roof-tents-product-information/SERENGETI-10/

You've just missed the Overland Travel show at Stratford Racecourse in September and most of the Land Rover shows are now over for the year but these will have lots of dealers displaying their wares. Even if you don't own a Landy or have plans to head off over the horizon with your roof tent, I'd strongly urge you to go to a show and look at as many as you can and ask to try putting them up and down and think carefully how it would work with your vehicle and whether you can reach everything easily. I originally had mine opening over the side and hated putting it up as I had to get onto the roof to undo the cover, hanging it off the back transformed the process and I can have it set up in around 3 minutes.

Probably more information than you want or need - I'm quite passionate about overland travel and have definitely had VFM from my roof tent but I've seen too many people (usually Landy owners) get seduced with the idea and end up wasting their hard earned on something that just doesn't suit the camping that they want to do or in more than one case having a significant other who flatly refused to climb up the ladder!

Good luck with whatever you choose. :)
 
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Countryman

Full Member
Jun 26, 2013
1,619
53
North Dorset
Just to mention also. You set up, put all your stuff in your tent ready for the night, then realise you need to drive down to the shops.

This is why I went for a Land Rover tent rather than a roof tent.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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garethw

Settler
Hi there
I used to have a Maggiolina Aventure on the top of my Nissan Patrol.... I used it summer and winter in France (where I live) and Spain.... I general it was a brilliant piece of kit. I pad 700€ second hand and sold it for 600€ about 3 years later when I sold my car.

foto1804388.jpg


I preferred the rigid type tent to the fold out canvas type for a number of reasons..
They are way quicker to put up and pack down... literally 30 second to erect and about 2 minutes to close up.
They don't get soaking wet in the rain.. the waterproof canvas sides are pretty well protected and seemed to not saok up water..
As said they are heavy 50kgs for mine, but the fibreglass boddy is better profiled than the square block of a folded tent.
Really comfortable bed, in which I could leave the bedding permanently

Down sides of any roof tent is that it needs to stay on the car... so I was driving round for three years like a snail...with my house on my back..
It took up pretty much all of my roof rack, only had space for a couple of jerry cans behind it.
Fuel consumption on an already greedy car increased quite a bit..
It was top heavy, naturally so care was needed off road.
And it caused not inconsiderable wind noise.

But it was great for weekends away, fishing and camping trips etc....I really enjoyed it..
I ended up getting a camper van after that... which is another topic altogether.
Cheers
Gareth
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,814
1,031
64
Florida
Just to mention also. You set up, put all your stuff in your tent ready for the night, then realise you need to drive down to the shops.

This is why I went for a Land Rover tent rather than a roof tent.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

That was my thought as well. I know a full sized (US sized) camper van isn't really a good option in the UK but this thread has started me thinking (never a good idea) Wouldn't it be possible to get a small open utility/cargo trailer about 4' x 6' ish (or whatever size will accomodate the roof tent) Something like this?
125956_700x700.jpg

And then pitch the roof tent on it? That way you'd also have a cargo trailer when not camping as well as being able to pitch at your campsite and still be able to use the car. Just a thought.
 

oldtimer

Full Member
Sep 27, 2005
2,462
1,019
79
Oxfordshire and Pyrenees-Orientales, France
You mention that you are getting older. I don't know how old you are, but I'm 76, and although still fairly fit, the thought of negotiating that ladder on nighttime excursions fills me with dread. Even when younger I hated being on the upper level on those communial bunks common in mountain refuges. I'm mostly in a camper van or in a tent these days.

I think Brok has it right.
 

KenThis

Full Member
Jun 14, 2016
825
121
Cardiff
Santaman reminded me, a long time ago (late 90s, early 2000s), before my dad became too unwell we had a trailer tent. It was a fantastic/bombproof bit of kit. Took it around the UK and even to Greece one year.
Might be an alternative to consider?
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,780
1,727
McBride, BC
How many people in your tribe? Starting over, I'd buy ground tents, several of them.
REI ships all over the planet, I've done it for OZ. Their 2-person Co-Op ground dome tent, with a rainfly, is only $200USD.
Face-to-face, you will span the common living space with a tarp.
The UK & Euro markets must have an almost exact match for this particular design and style.

Were I stuck with needing a single ground tent for 2 people, I'd buy the 4-6 person size or 6-8 person size for 3-4 people.
I intend to have a good time with lots of elbow room for everybody and for kit and cooking (Coleman petrol.).

I had a Woods 9' x 12' canvas for my family of 4, same as when I was a kid. My D2 and family camp in it now.
 
Jan 6, 2018
2
0
52
Edinburgh
I've probably clocked up getting on for 1000 nights sleeping in the rooftent on my 110, mostly in Africa and the Middle East but also several hundred in the UK and I've experienced night time temps ranging from 30 degrees plus to 10 degrees minus and serious downpours.

For quick set up and packing away camping in the bush or desert with the comfort of being up away from the creepy crawlies and big beasties (though this is mostly psychological as insects, snakes and most predators are perfectly capable of climbing onto a vehicle if they really want to), you can't fault it but for use in wetter, colder climes, the benefits are less clearcut.

With your tent on the top of your vehicle, you will have to strike camp if you want to pop to the pub, shops or go out for the day and put everything back up again on your return and if you are camping on a "normal" campsite, you may risk losing your pitch if you don't leave something marking your spot.

In addition to the roof tent, you will need some kind of awning to shelter you from the searing UK sun or more probably drizzle and rain. You can improvise something with a tarp but if you are looking for low hassle camping then you will need to budget for one that fits onto the roof rack. I have a simple canvas awning which folds out from my roof rack but there are some quite fancy "bat wing" awnings available now but all add to the cost.

Many cantilever style roof tents have "skirts" which use the overhang to create a tent which can be used as a changing room, bathroom, cooking area or just somewhere to sit but this is again something else to put up and take down.

Unless you are planning to pipe in warm air from a Webasto/Eberspacher type diesel heater or use a 240v fan heater, roof tents can get pretty chilly at night and you obviously can't cook in them or have a campfire. The two nights I spent in mine in Buttermere in December in well below minus 10C were two of the most miserable in my life!

Think about storage - mine lives on top of my 110 year round which is not ideal and I have to air it regularly but several people I know have opened their out after a winter stored in a garage to find that mice have trashed the canvas.

A heavy roof tent (the MyWay that I have is comparatively lightweight but some weigh a ton) can negatively affect the stability of a vehicle and exceed the recommended loading for the roof gutters and/or roof rack. My 110 has HD but standard height suspension and a HD Brownchurch galvanised roof rack with 14 points of attachment to the vehicle and my roof tent doesn't make a great deal of difference to the stability. A heavy roof tent on raised suspension may not be as stable and some light weight roof racks with 6 points of attachment may put too much pressure on the roof gutters - I hired a 110 in South Africa with a roof tent on a flimsy roof rack and you could not open the doors if someone was in the tent!

Roof tents used to be a real rarity in the UK and most of the original ones were either from South Africa (Hannibal, EeziAwn and MyWay) or Italy (Maggioloni/Autohome) but there have been quite a few new entrants to the market and a lot of Chinese made clones.

There are two basic designs;

Cantilever tents which fold out to hang off the back or side of the roof rack and which typically have a soft waterproof cover.

and

Hardshell designs which fit entirely on the roof rack and open either straight up or are hinged at one end. These are probably easier and quicker to put up - they either just rise up on gas struts or get cranked up with a handle.

I'm not familiar with the iKamper but that seems to be a combination of both designs. Check that after sales support is available for any replacement parts you may need.

I bought my roof tent direct from the factory in SA nearly a decade ago and am not up to speed on current prices in the UK but £3k seems a lot.

http://www.mywayrooftents.co.uk/myway-roof-tents-product-information/SERENGETI-10/

You've just missed the Overland Travel show at Stratford Racecourse in September and most of the Land Rover shows are now over for the year but these will have lots of dealers displaying their wares. Even if you don't own a Landy or have plans to head off over the horizon with your roof tent, I'd strongly urge you to go to a show and look at as many as you can and ask to try putting them up and down and think carefully how it would work with your vehicle and whether you can reach everything easily. I originally had mine opening over the side and hated putting it up as I had to get onto the roof to undo the cover, hanging it off the back transformed the process and I can have it set up in around 3 minutes.

Probably more information than you want or need - I'm quite passionate about overland travel and have definitely had VFM from my roof tent but I've seen too many people (usually Landy owners) get seduced with the idea and end up wasting their hard earned on something that just doesn't suit the camping that they want to do or in more than one case having a significant other who flatly refused to climb up the ladder!

Good luck with whatever you choose. :)

Thanks Nomad64 ...

I am the UK distributor for iKamper.

The iKamper Sky4x is a little unique in that is a hardshell and expandable - its hinged at the side and folds out to accommodate 4 people. Takes less than 60seconds to open and close so no big deal. Takes a minute to close and you can drive off, can even leave your bedding inside.

Sky 4X has been used on many expeditions and in adverse weather conditions with great capability and customer satisfaction.

They can be seen at the Overland show end of this month.

Cheers
Andy
 
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Nomad64

Full Member
Nov 21, 2015
1,073
583
UK
Just to make clear to all forum members that I have have no association with iKamper, have never seen one of their products, was unaware of their existence until I saw this thread so please do not regard any of my previous comments as an endorsement for their products.

@Andy Warder - assuming that you have a direct involvement in iKamper, good luck with your venture and I hope you have a successful show but suggest that you contact the forum admin team to check whether they cross the line into advertising and if so whether any fees would be due.

As per my earlier posts, I urge anyone thinking of investing a significant amount of cash in what after all is just a tent, to goto one of the Land Rover or other shows (I have no association with the Overland Adventure Show at Stratford but have been a couple of times) and crawl all over the various designs on offer.

Make the dealers put them up and take them down, think how it would fit on your vehicle, where would you store it in winter.

Have a close look at the design and quality of construction and decide for yourself whether it will last the number of nights or years that you will need to make it a worthwhile investment - what’s the aftermarket support likely to be in 5 years time - can zips, struts, covers (both hard and soft covers can be damaged if off-reading) etc. be replaced if they wear out or break.

Above all, make an honest and objective decision based on the camping you are likely to be doing (see @Broch comments above) as to whether a rooftent really works both for you and anyone else you are hoping to take with you - if your significant other does not like camping on the ground, buying a roof tent is an expensive way of finding out that they don’t like camping 6’ up in the air either!

I hope all is well with the OP but given his absence from the thread, I fear that he is too embarrassed to ‘fess up to having bought a caravan! ;)
 
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Nomad64

Full Member
Nov 21, 2015
1,073
583
UK
Santaman reminded me, a long time ago (late 90s, early 2000s), before my dad became too unwell we had a trailer tent. It was a fantastic/bombproof bit of kit. Took it around the UK and even to Greece one year.
Might be an alternative to consider?

DIY fitting of rooftents to ex-MOD Sankey trailers is popular amongst the Land Rover crowd and a number of South African and Australian companies make hardcore bush/outback camping trailers.

http://conqueror.co.za/courage.php
 
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C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,253
1,251
Bedfordshire
Andy,
Usually this sort of thing is all done via private message out of site of the other members, but you ignored a message back in January, so, here we are.

You had a post deleted from this thread in January due to it contravening the advertising policy. That post was so commercial that it was nearly classed as spam which would have earned you an automatic ban. You were contacted by one of the moderators and asked to contact the site owner if you wanted to promote your products. As far as I know you have not done so. You do not show as being a Trader. You have since made three more posts in this thread (no posts anywhere else). One of those posts appeared to be an error, but in every one of them you have posted a link to your website and told people to visit your site.

Following your debut in January, the report on your post was closed with a statement that if you made further posts advertising your business to simply ban you as a spammer.

Moderators do have some discretion and in the distant past we have permitted people who are not paid Traders to post once, with a link, just to let people know that they exist. Since anyone with Google can find your site I have edited your last post to say everything I think that people need to know. If you want to answer questions about the products, please continue. If the posts read like an advert, if you post any more links to your site, suggest people contact you, or mention where they can go to see your product, and you have not paid for Trader status, you will be banned and all your posts deleted. Anyone new joining in the future who mentions your product will garner close scrutiny.


https://bushcraftuk.com/community/index.php?threads/general-community-rules-and-guidelines.45/
8 - Advertising:
Guidelines for Commercial companies, Distributors, craftsmen, retailers, schools and website owners:


Advertising is not permitted on the Bushcraft UK forum, outside the makers market and the commercial sales areas (these areas are governed by their own set of rules and guidelines.)

Overtly commercial language pertaining to products in which you have a vested commercial interest is not acceptable.

Members should not post links to their own commercial ventures, websites or forums.
Links to such websites in signatures are permissible (at the discretion of BCUK admin) as long as this is not abused and a clearly visible reciprocal link to Bushcraft UK is placed on the website to which the link points.

We do like to see genuine resources made available to our members, if you are a new company/website or have a new product/service which you think would be of interest to the membership of Bushcraft UK, please contact the administration via info@bushcraftuk.comwho will (at there discretion) make an announcement on your behalf.

Moderators will use their judgement as necessary to help the forum run smoothly and to avoid any confusion.
 

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