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  #1  
Old 29 Mar 2007
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Question Roof Tent vs sleeping in vehicle - Pros and Cons

We are planning to travel from Eastern Russia to London via India.

One of our dillemas is deciding on what the best option re sleeping arrangments would be. We still need to buy our vehicle, so we can still be flexible with that. The two vehicles of choice would be Toyota Troopcarrier or a Landcruiser. The troopy will be big enough to kit out with a nice bed inside, where the Landcruiser won't be. If we decide on the Landcruiser, then we'll have to use a rooftent.

It would be great to hear of different experiences people have had with their different set-ups and why they chose those particular setups.

To me, the main pros and cons between the two would be 1.)The extra cost for a rooftent, 2) Obviously a bit safer sleeping inside the troopy and 3)Probably (or rather hopefully) easier to use each day. Need to try and keep things as simple as possible.

Performance wise, I would prefer the Landcruiser and I think it might be a bit more economical and a little bit lighter. I know the troopy is known for its reliability though. Decisions decisions...
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Old 29 Mar 2007
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Not quite the same but ...

I can only speak about our Land rover denfender 110, which has a roof tent, but is also set up to (just) allow two people sleep inside. This wasn't done by us, but the previous owners. We slept inside for the frist time a couple of weekends ago, and it was definitely warmer and more cosy, which was good as it was close to zero outside. I think you can easily do this (sub zero temps) in a rooftent, but it is nice to have the choice. To sleep inside we have to move all our kit into the cab, or around us, but this only took about the same time as setting up the rooftent.

I am really glad we have this option, even if we do only use it a couple of times on our trip.

I would also guess that in very hot or humid conditions the back of the vehicle may get quite claustraphobic and sweaty.

BTW I am 6"1' and 16st+. My wife is 5"10' but a much more managable weight (I'm not allowed to know the exact dimension)
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Old 29 Mar 2007
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We met a couple on our trip who had a troopy with a bed that slung from the roof when not in use and lowered to just below window level for sleeping. It worked but ceiling height was a bit low IMO.

We had a platform for sleeping in in our landy that we never used as the tent was so much better.
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Old 30 Mar 2007
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Canopy on a Landcruiser

Jacques,

Here is a site with some photos of our Landcruiser. Sorry if I have sent you these previously as I do recall your name.

Members Rig/Profile @ ExplorOz

If you would like to discuss let me know.

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Old 30 Mar 2007
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Roof tents can be too high for shipping containers

Jacques,

Be aware of the overall height of the vehicle if you are going for a roof tent. The shipping containers cause a problem for some shipping with roof tents.
See Mark and Amy's story in Hectors adventure, they have a roof tent on their Landrover at the tyres needed to be let down to allow the roof tent to go into the container when travelling towards Australia.

Hector's Adventures

Photos of our 79 series with canopy. The best compromise we could come up with.

Members Rig/Profile @ ExplorOz

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Old 30 Mar 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris D (Newcastle NSW) View Post
Be aware of the overall height of the vehicle if you are going for a roof tent. The shipping containers cause a problem for some shipping with roof tents.
See Mark and Amy's story in Hectors adventure, they have a roof tent on their Landrover at the tyres needed to be let down to allow the roof tent to go into the container when travelling towards Australia.
Good point. We have a 2 inch lift and had to deflate the tyres and remove the rooftent for shipping, but it's a quick job and the bother was worth the comfort of a rooftent for 7 months.
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Old 30 Mar 2007
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I would definately look at a solution where you can do both - inside and in a tent. In the desert with mostly cold windy nights, in Europe or in places like Mongolia, Northern India etc sleeping inside is essential to having a quiet relaxing sleep. You need to make sure you find a way of keeping dust out though! Seal up your back door well etc

But in hotter countries, or if the inside gets coated in dust its great to have any sort of tent that is clean inside and cool.

On my most recent trip I slept inside in Morocco and Western Sahara, but by the time I reached Nouakchott where the mossies start I was always sleeping in the tent which continued into Mali and Guinea - it was lovely and cool and clean and I always slept well - better than friends who were staying in the best hotels in each city as they had mozzie problems etc
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Old 30 Mar 2007
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hi yes i agree its better to have both options we sold our 110 and aquired a 6x4 carmicheal commando so that for single night stops inside and for longer ones we have an oztent
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Old 31 Mar 2007
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Steve, didn't that rooftent have a resident snorrer called Derek?
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Old 31 Mar 2007
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I have a roof tent which is great but there are times when you just need to curl up in the back so I have all my stuff under a board which just allows us to get a comfortable/ quick/ secure nights sleep
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Old 1 Apr 2007
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I picked up a 1992 HZJ75RV Troopcarrier late last year complete with a camper conversion for $7500.00 AUD. It took 2 weekends to clean out the bull dust and left over hay. It has travelled to the moon and back with over 400000k on the clock and has had an engine rebuild on the 1HZ diesel motor somewhere in it's life. It is a genuine two owner vehicle. After several shake down trips I find the fold out bedding arrangement, pop up fibre glass roof, sink and other goodies to be spot on. One the last trip it poured rain overnight and for once I was not attempting to dry out gear from inside a leaky tent. Other fellow campers were not so fortunate.
I suppose what I am trying to say is that you don't need to spend a fortune to get something reliable. I have probably spent another 3-4 thousand on rubber and suspension, but it is now capable of doing any long trip. Similar vehicles regularly fetch around 17-18k.

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Old 3 Apr 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris D (Newcastle NSW) View Post
Jacques,

Be aware of the overall height of the vehicle if you are going for a roof tent. The shipping containers cause a problem for some shipping with roof tents.
See Mark and Amy's story in Hectors adventure, they have a roof tent on their Landrover at the tyres needed to be let down to allow the roof tent to go into the container when travelling towards Australia.

Hector's Adventures

Photos of our 79 series with canopy. The best compromise we could come up with.

Members Rig/Profile @ ExplorOz

Chris
Yes, that is a good point re the vehicle height. The troopy is a bit higher as some of the other makes/models as it is, so will definitely have to keep that in mind. Will also limit option for possible lift kit...

I saw the pics of your rig a while ago, yes. Looks like a good set-up. Nice and cosy for those cold nights.
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Old 3 Apr 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roamingyak.org View Post
I would definately look at a solution where you can do both - inside and in a tent. In the desert with mostly cold windy nights, in Europe or in places like Mongolia, Northern India etc sleeping inside is essential to having a quiet relaxing sleep. You need to make sure you find a way of keeping dust out though! Seal up your back door well etc

But in hotter countries, or if the inside gets coated in dust its great to have any sort of tent that is clean inside and cool.
Good point re keeping the curios lot out. I'm sure they can become a handfull wanting to get some conversation going when you are trying to sleep.

I'm sure though it will be a lot cooler being able to sleep in a tent on those hot nights - with a nice breeze coming through.

I think though that we will probably go with sleeping inside the car. We still have quite a bit of time to get the setup right and make and to test it out. I think we will however take our freestanding tent with us. We used it for a 3 month trip in Oz and it was no real probelm putting the tent up every other night. Not sure if it will be feasible for us to spend the money on a rooftent for 'just in case' we want to use it. From what I can see, they look quite expensive.
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Old 7 Apr 2007
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Wink Shipping containers

Jacques,I have read that the standard shipping container door height is 2292mm. Chris
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Old 7 Apr 2007
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snorer

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Steve, didn't that rooftent have a resident snorrer called Derek?
yes you are spot on chris
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