During the last couple of years, I have traveled mostly in the western US and back home to my much beloved Florida beaches and the Florida Keys, I have seen and witnessed many forms and types of camping, but the new phenomena is the roof-top tent. I have viewed thousands of Youtube videos about roof-top tents mostly in connection with the Overland travel community.
There are well over two dozen manufacturers of roof-top tents with pricing starting in the hundreds of dollars for canvass sided tents to well over $5000.00 for hard shell types.
In may I attended the Overland Expo in Flagg Staff AZ to see up close the various name brand roof-top tents on display, and I made my decision to buy a 2-person Tupui tent.
However, a recent “REI,” Recreational Equipment Incorporated sale before the 4th of July holiday in the US, took 30% off the original price of the Yakimas Skyline tent. I was eagerly encouraged to take advantage of the low cost to become a roof-top tent owner.
During my research of the Tupui and Yakima tents, I discovered they both share the same dimensions and weight with them both offering an annex accessory that can be attached below the overhang of the platform providing a changing room, a place to eat and of course a place for me to write this blog post. The Yakima Skyrise annex is shown in the stock photos below.
So I returned my Yakima Slim Shady awning I purchased two months prior, to make room for my purchase and because it has no bug screen attachment to keep those pesky insects away.
I made the purchase at the REI Framingham MA store, and although they were booked with installation, they allowed me to assemble the Skyrise tent inside their store.
After about two hours of work, I completed the assembly and members of the staff including the manager helped me placed my new Yakima rooftop tent atop my adventure vehicle aka “White Blaze.” I secured it to my Yakima Roof rack Timberline Rails, then I stood like the conquering hero marveling at my accomplishment.
I drove towards Grand Isle State Park in the middle of Lake Champlain VT.
Upon my arrival, I nestled into campsite #31, and I opened for the first time my rooftop tent to marvel at my accomplishment feeling like a kid on Christmas morning with his new toy.
Once I climbed inside and looked out the screen windows, I felt like a kid in a treehouse looking out onto my campground kingdom.
My first couple of nights of rooftop camping was further accentuated by the beautiful wooded scenery of Grand Isle and Mt. Philo state parks in Vermont.
I have a new toy and now its time to play. 🙂