Trippin' with TEPUI!
Posted by Will & Elaine
Trippin’ with TEPUI!
Will, one of our Chaletans, enjoyed a few days on the road testing a new addition to Mountain Chalet’s rental fleet - Tepui’s Explorer Ayer 2 Roof Top Tent. We also have the tent for sale.
We were eager to hear more about his experience…
Hey Will, please tell us a little bit about where you went on your road trip.
We’ve actually taken the tent out twice.
First trip was an overnighter at Eleven Mile in February. Temps were down into the teens, and a snow squall blew in around 1 AM. The tent was 100% wind and weatherproof.
Our second trip was to the Twin Lakes area, close to Parry Peak campground, where the weather was in the low 80s and we woke up to a brief rainstorm. Once again, the tent was perfect. We had all of the windows open and it was incredibly comfortable. When the rain came, we zipped up the windows facing the incoming rain, but the vestibules nicely cover so much we didn’t have to zip them up all the way.
Overall, we experienced a variety of weather on our trips, and this tent is an absolute tank in bad weather.
How was installing it? How did you know it would fit on your car? Did you need anything extra to secure it to your vehicle?
The assembly and installation instructions are straightforward and easy to follow. The tent isn’t overly heavy, however, the size of the tent does make it necessary to have two people lift it on and off of a vehicle safely. Of course, Mountain Chalet will help you with this.
And Tepui’s website offers a super helpful FAQ section on vehicle stats and roof rack information to fit their tents to vehicles with roof racks. (NOTE: Vehicles must, at the least, have factory raised rails that run parallel to the length of the car. Mountain Chalet will have a few sets of cross bars to complete the installation process.)
What was it like to travel with the tent on your car?
Driving with the tent on top of a vehicle is very similar to driving with a rooftop box or with a kayak strapped on top. Any increase in wind/road noise is negligible. Gas mileage was knocked down, not a crazy amount, but a noticeable bit.
Once you arrived at your destination, how was the set up?
One of the advantages of a rooftop tent is the easy set-up process.
For most ‘soft shell’ tents, basic set up consists of 3 steps once it’s on top of the car: remove the vinyl covering, extend the ladder, and unfold the tent (like a Hallmark card).
The tent pops up easily. And the remaining steps of setting up can be done from inside or outside depending upon personal preference or weather.
My favorite features are the openable mesh panels on the tent’s roof. These, along with the large mesh windows on each wall, give close to a 180-degree view around and above the tent.
How was it to use the tent?
Being 6’4,” it is pretty rare for me to find a 2-person tent that doesn’t feel somewhat snug. Overall, the Tepui has plenty of horizontal and vertical space. For me to freely sit up, I do have to be in the middle of the tent where the roof is at its highest.
The door is on the head or foot end of the tent, so there is minimal crawling over or waking up your tent buddy when you get in or out of the tent.
The most unexpected part is just how comfortable the built-in mattress pad is. Some say it is too firm, but I didn’t experience this. The mattress was impressively warm in winter and breathable on warmer nights.
What do you see as benefits of a roof top tent?
Having the ability to camp anywhere you can park opens up new possibilities when planning outdoor pursuits. Why plan your next trip around getting up before the sun to drive to your destination when you could get the drive out of the way and easily sleep at the jumping off point of your upcoming adventure.
What did you appreciate the most?
So long as you are parked on level ground, it gives you the personal confidence that you are essentially guaranteed to have a great night sleep - rain, snow or shine - safely away from any curious critters. (Note: Tepui does make ramps for your vehicles wheels in order to help level the car.)
Shop by any time; we would love to share our knowledge and experiences with you if you’re thinking about adding a roof top tent to your outdoor provisions.