...you disregard the docs saying 'this requires at least two people' and you figure out a hacky way to make it possibly all by your lonesome - even though you do have a friend or two who could have helped you. *sigh*

i like camping trips. i dislike snakes, goannas and other critters that might want to share my ground tent, or shoes or the like.

consequentially i upgraded my glamping kit for my most recent trip (more on that in a few days) by buying a roof top tent, for the canopy of my car. oh the luxury!

my sisters have already remarked that travelling with a fridge and an rtt is Not In The True Spirit of camping. see me not care too much ;-)

however: the tent weighs 49 kg and has a somewhat awkward shape for solo handling (120x140x40 cm). how do you get that onto your car's roof racks without banging the car to pieces and without another person to help with the lifting?

my original answer to this loner quandary involved two wooden ramps and some temporary support bars. like this:

 one tent mounting rail tent mounting rails, corner tent mounting rails, support

idea: lift the tent onto the angled rails, push it up and over the corner then shove it forward into position and bolt it down. the supports should keep it from banging onto the canopy roof on the way.

well, it didn't quite work out that way.

lugging the tent over was doable *huff*puff* but pushing the thing up by hand was a no-go. so i used the car's winch! i see no reason why a 5.5 ton winch should only be good for car recoveries, i just needed the 49 kg tent moved. the (synthetic) winch rope looped nicely over the bull bar and the roof racks, nicely rounded corners all the way, and it didn't touch the car body anywhere. so far, so good.

at that point the second problem with my original idea became apparent: the rails supported the tent fine but i hadn't put in anything to stop the rails themselves from moving forward and up.

the friction between wood and tent bottom meant that the winch pulled the rails forward and up and made them steeper, instead of the tent sliding up the rails...which clearly made a total mess at the crucial top corner. (i also had been stupid enough to install some of the mounting hardware on the tent bottom before getting it into place, which then stuck out from the bottom and Did Not Help At All.)

with a bit of frantic tugging and shoving and swearing eventually i got the tent up and in place, at the cost of one new scratch on the canopy.

this is how it looked when ready to go, and how it looked ready for me spending my first night in it. it is indeed pretty luxurious.

 roof tent mounted overnight at richmond range np
Update (Sat 13.04.2019 14:35):

ha, all is not lost :-)

i improved the rail setup a little, and today it's worked just fine. now the rails and top support bars are fixed to each other and also fixed to the roof rack, and i glued carpet onto the surfaces where stuff should slide.

[ published on Wed 27.03.2019 17:37 | filed in interests/tinkering | tagged tinkering, loner, camping, car | ]
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