The roof top tent

The first night in the Crows Nest


The plan for first night in the roof top tent

Head up to Parakari Beach Motor Camp – where some longtime friends of ours work. Pack up the kids and spend the night up there with them in the new Feldon Shelter Crows Nest Roof top Tent.

We figured it was an easy test – it’s a motor camp, and the people we were going up to see have a well-established caravan setup there – so we didn’t really need to worry about much, other than the sleeping situation.

As it turns out, we actually spent a night up there, headed back home for a couple of days, then headed back up for another night again.

The Good

The roof top tent. It worked perfectly, set up fast, and happily sat through the rain of one night. Drying out by mid-morning, ready to be folded up again.

For this night, I basically just slept in a bivvy on the ground – under the roof top tent – which is kinda the plan in the short term anyhow. It’s not the first time I have done it and provided it’s not raining, I am also known to just sleep on top of the bivvy and enjoy the view. However, I may look at a ‘camp-cot’ – as weight isn’t really the issue with the truck – so I can afford something a little heavier and a little more comfortable in regards to a mattress.

The kids (once asleep) and my partner enjoyed the sleep – the honeycomb mattress is great – not spongy, comfortable but firm enough for us, as we would normally sleep on a futon style bed.

I had a chance to have a play with the roof top tent setup as well as a couple of other camping related things – so walked away with a better understanding of how everything was going to work and a list of things to add/change with the setup on the whole.

Sweep the legs Johnny!

Well, more correctly, your feet. First thing on the agenda to sort was a brush for cleaning off the feet before heading into the tent – this was highlighted of course, because we were staying at a motor camp next to the beach, so there was plenty of sand to be had. We grabbed a brush on the way up, and I put together a simple lanyard to connect the brush to the roof top tent – this means if you drop the brush, you don’t have to climb back down to get it. Simple, already proved useful.

The, not so good.

Doors on the truck – batteries

I am now well aware of the fact that the lights on the truck will turn themselves on whenever you open the doors or boot. If you leave them open, the lights will remain on – which, doesn’t seem like an issue, until you start also noticing how much you leave the doors open when loading/unloading and generally ‘living’ around the truck.

I can turn this all off via a switch – that also turns the dashboard lights off, makes sure the main lights don’t come on if I lock and unlock the truck and so on – but I just need to make sure I remember to do this when we park up.

The long term plan is a dual battery system anyhow – because at the end of the day, not being able to start up the truck while in a remote location is going to be a fairly large fail!

The Kids

And the big one.

Nothing to do the with setup, mind you.

But, as was expecting, the biggest challenge was getting the girls to sleep. New environment, lots of noise around them, they wanted to be part of the party, and as such, didn’t get to sleep until a couple of hours after their normal bedtime, which resulted in ‘drunk toddler’ syndrome. I.e. a lot of screaming and crying.

Not unexpected, and we are sure as they get used to it, it will be less of an issue – also, once we head out a bit more remote and their isn’t as many people around, then there won’t be the distractions either.

On the whole though…

The trip(s) were a success. The roof top tent itself worked perfectly,




Founder of The Bloke, borderline Hipster, confirmed caffeine addict and sometime weekend warrior.

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