When purchasing a rooftop tent for the first time one of the questions many people ask is if it ok to leave your tent on your vehicle all year round? The answer to this really comes down to personal choice, for hard shell tents like the James Baroud it’s less of an issue as the interior of the tents are well protected with the fibreglass fortified polyester shell .
For canvas rooftop tent owners who permanently leave their tents on top of their tourers, they should consider changing the protective bag every few years as required in order make sure that the canvas is well protected and your bag has no holes in it.
Water can do a lot of damage to both your tent and your canvas should it make its way in, so keep your eye on it. It is also a good idea to open both your hard shell and soft top tent every couple of weeks when not in use and allow it to breath and dry out after extreme weather.
Some people choose to remove their rooftop tent when not in use for a number of other reasons and examples include the following:
There’s no doubt about it, despite improvements in aerodynamics, roof top tents will cause wind drag and as a result will cost you more on fuel. And for this reason, some people will only attach their rooftop tents when either going on a short or extended trip.
Unfortunately, if you live in a city or large urban centre and have to park on a public street, theft can be a real problem and you might feel uncomfortable about leaving the rooftop tent on their vehicles when not in use.
Protection from the elements
If you end up forking out your hard-earned cash for a top of the range rooftop tent, which can in some cases cost a couple of thousand euros, it is more than understandable that you may want to keep it in the shed and protect it from the elements when not in use. Whether you come from a humid country or a colder climate weather can lead to some issues over time especially if the tent develops a leak.
So, if you are planning on purchasing a rooftop tent, you might wonder how difficult it is to attach and remove the tent to your 4WD. With various improvements made in how tents can attach to roof racks and roof bars, the process is thankfully no longer a complicated one.
In the TURAS office we love nothing more than leaving work early on a Friday evening and heading off on a last-minute weekend camping trip. Recently we did just that and quickly attached the James Baroud Discovery Space to one of the new additions to the TURAS fleet a Land Rover Defender 110. After shutting down our office computers on a Friday evening we had the James Baroud attached to the Defender 110 in approximately 40 minutes. And with the tent secured and the weekends supplies thrown into the back of the Landy it was time to hit for the mountains and enjoy some last-minute wild winter camping.
Attaching the James Baroud hard shell is very straightforward with all of the brackets and bolts supplied with the tent. We attached the XXL Discover Space tent which is 89.5mm long, 64.5mm wide and weighs in at approximately 55Kg. It took two of us to lift this tent onto the roof rack but it is advisable to have a third person there if possible, just for any awkward lifting angles.
Let’s have a closer look at the process.
As highlighted above it is advisable to have a minimum of two people to attach the tent and three if possible. The hardest part is lifting the tent onto your roof rack but after that it is a very simple process.
Attaching to your Roof Rack
The James Baroud tent comes with 6 mounting brackets that each attach to your roof bars or your roof rack.
First thing is to do is attach the provided clamps to your tent, then lift the tent onto your roof rack, in our case it was onto 3 roof bars, then align the clamps on your roof bars and make sure the tent is evenly spread over the bars in order to distribute the weight equally.
When the tent is aligned attach the tent to your roof bars and tighten the bolts provided using a spanner or ratchet until well secured.
Open the latches from the back of the tent first and then give the tent a slight push upwards until it starts to rise. The ALKO supporting gas struts will raise the tent effortlessly.
Next, release the latches at the front of the tent, the tent should be fully erect within a second or two. Then attach the aluminium ladder to whichever side of the tent you wish to enter from, you will have 2 options here note that the ladder will have fixing points. Then climb into the tent and push forward the two ALKO supporting gas struts
Closing the tent down is just as easy – firstly pull the front of the tent down and close the two latches, then tuck any canvas that may be protruding along the sides of shell, then close the back of the tent by pulling the strap down and securing the back and then side latches and that’s it, you’re done.
The system used here with the James Baroud tent is very similar to other tent systems. So, if you are planning on purchasing a rooftop tent and are put off by the set-up time, don’t be, it’s a simple process and will have you adventure ready in order 45 minutes. Happy Camping.