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ROOF SET-UP CAN BEAT TOWING

2nd December 2015

If you want to get up off the dirt, away from wrigglies and snappers, then your best bet is a rooftop tent.

For every choice, there’s a pro and con column. Choosing whether to upgrade from a tent to a camper or caravan is a big change. The cost difference is obviously as significant as the comfort level and functionality but not everyone has the budget for a camper or the desire to tug and tow a trailer along rough tracks. Towing is harder on your vehicle and harder on the track (there are great off-road adventures where towing is simply not the best idea) and the Canning Stock Route, the  Simpson and Cape York are all possible with the right trailer but are all easier to tackle with just a well-set-up vehicle.

If you have a sedan-style fourby and want to get up out of the dirt, away from wrigglies and snappers, your best bet is a rooftop tent. There’s plenty of styles and options for a range of budgets but make sure you consider:

- Speed to set up and ease to pack down.

- Whether you can add annexe walls easily to provide a sheltered space for changing, cooking and relaxing if you’re parking for a while.

- The quality of the canvas.

- Whether you can cope with the weight: that your vehicle is rated for the weight up top, that you have the right roof racks to bolt the tent on to and how easy it is to put up into place and remove after the end of the trip.

Keep in mind, a rooftop tent is most suited if you are overnighting or planning to park and camp — once set up, your vehicle is essentially immobilised.

There are a lot of choices out there. Rooftop Camping uses all Australian canvas in a quality product backed by a five-year warranty on its rooftop tents and awnings. You’ll also find top quality rooftop tents and awnings from Howling Moon at Off Road Equipment.

To fit your tent securely to your fourby, the new release from Yakima Australia, the LockN’Load base racks, provide a 75kg load rating per bar. The aerodynamic design is purposely designed to fit 4WDs and has a new low-rise leg with wide sturdy base to lock directly to vehicle track and fixed points.

An airflow diffuser ridge creates a sleek finish that minimises noise, increases fuel efficiency and lessens load slippage. With integrated tie-down points, there’s no need to purchase additional eye bolts for tie-down straps.

Or, if you have a 4WD ute your options include a slide-on camper. Check out the locally built, innovative Quick Pitch Camper that fits single and dual-cabs with a well body or a flat tray. It pitches and packs up in under a minute, provides heaps of storage, a fold-out kitchen, built-in shower and even an inside toilet.

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