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Suggestions for SUV tents

Good morning ~ first time on here.... I have a 2017 Nissan Murano and seriously thinking of getting a tent that "attaches" to it. I see several brands of tents out there. Does anyone else with the same/similar SUV have one of these types of tents? Your thoughts? Any suggestions?

Thank you, in advance, for your comments.

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5 Replies

@crtac37 

Welcome to the community and thanks for the question!

Can you give us some more detail on the type of tent you are looking for? When you say 'attaches' to your car, are to speaking about a 'roof top' tent that sits on top of your car, attached to the racking system on the roof? Or are you asking about the kind of tent that pitches like a camping tent but also connects to the back of your car, allowing you to open the back of your car inside the tent? Here are a couple of examples:

Thanks for joining our community and hopefully we can get you some insight into your tent options!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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I'm looking at the type of tent that pitches like a camping tent but also connects to the back of your vehicle. Thank you for the tent suggestion.

Have you ever used one of these? Just wondering pros and cons of them. Thank you in advance.

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@crtac37 

Thanks for the clarification! I have not used an 'SUV tent' like this, however, I do have a Tepui Roof Top Tent that I have done a lot of camping with my family in Alaska. I have also camped with folks who use SUV tents like the one I linked above. The pros and cons of these tents are somewhat similar, so I can provide a little insight:

The pros to the SUV tents (and roof-top tents as well) is that they get you up off the ground (if you choose to sleep in your car with the SUV tent) and can provide good head room (in the actual SUV tent or the vestibule of a roof-top tent). Personally, I felt safer sleeping in my roof-top tent when camping in bear country in Alaska, however, that was likely more psychological than reality. Additionally, if it's just two folks sleeping in the car set up, it can be luxurious to have all that space to spread out outside your vehicle.

The drawback to an SUV tent (or a roof top tent) is that once your tent is pitched your vehicle is stuck in place. Given the straps and buckles, the SUV tent seems a bit more complicated to get set up as well, at least initially. A roof-top tent is challenging to install at first (often requiring multiple people to help), but once it is on your vehicle it is a pretty fast set-up and take-down process at the campsite. While I haven't experienced an issue with this, you also need to consider that you will want your car to be level if you plan on sleeping in it. Typically this won't be an issue if you're sticking to developed campgrounds, however, if you're thinking about overlanding or boondocking in rough terrain it is something to think about. 

Hopefully this helps provide some more insight, thanks!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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Thank you for all your input. I greatly appreciate it and it has been most helpful.

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I had looked at those, too, @crtac37 - we have a Kia Sedona

Every month or so, our kids spend the weekend with grandma and grandpa (after a self-quarantine period on both sides, of course). So last year my wife expressed interest in getting a pop-up to go away for the weekend. BUT, like most outdoor gear last year, the quality stuff couldn't be found and the stuff that could be found wasn't quality.

So... I bought a set of heavy duty plastic utility shelves (you know those black, four-shelf snap together kits). With the last row seats stowed and the middle seats flipped up and pushed forward, I put the legs on the bottom of each shelf and then set them inside the van. It covers the back almost wall to wall (about 3" of space on each side and about 4" of space at the front and back of the shelves) to make a platform capable of holding about 1000 pounds. We can set a comfortable queen sized mattress on top with about 2' of space above the mattress and plenty of storage space under the shelves.

It take about 5 minutes to set up, nothing to attach to the vehicle, no reduction in gas mileage because I'm not towing anything, and we can be ready to head out the door in under 30 minutes from the time we decide to go to the time we pack and load.

The shelves cost me $60 at one of the big box home improvement stores and the mattress... well, they vary but a few years ago I found a Coleman mattress at a second hand store (new, still in the box) for $10. But even a full price mattress at under $100 and you have a great, inexpensive set up.

Added benefit - if inclement weather forces you to abort your plans, there's no take-down time. Just slide into the drivers seat, start the car, and drive off. 

Right now, because it's winter, it's all in my basement otherwise I'd set it up and take some pictures

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