I have a confession to make: I HATE camping. I haven’t slept outdoors voluntarily since the Boy Scouts over 20 years ago — but I’m hoping my newly purchased roof tent mansion changes things. Keeping to the Boy Scout motto of always being prepared, I did a little practice run in my home driveway — and then I went shopping for supplies. Things didn’t go well.
I purchased this tent for $1,300, which is fairly expensive considering a similarly sized tent that sits on the ground costs only few hundred dollars. Still, I like the idea of being elevated so I’m not sharing my sleeping space with bugs or snakes — and as high as my modified Land Cruiser is, I should also be safe from other dangerous predators. I know the risk is very low that I’ll be eaten by a bear — but I feel like sleeping on the ground would make me easier to feast upon than peeling off the wrapper on a TV dinner.
The real risk comes with what I’ve attached my tent to: my 1999 Lexus LX470. I purchased this luxury version of the 100-series Land Cruiser for only $2,100 with 350,000 miles on it — and I’ve since spent over $7,000 fixing things, as well as modifying it to be the ultimate expedition rig. I’m confident that it’s fully sorted — but given its ridiculously high mileage, there’s a much higher chance for a mechanical failure as I drive this rig from Kansas to Colorado.
Before hitting the road, I wanted to practice setting up my campsite in my driveway for the first time — and while I did struggle with simple tasks in my usual moronic fashion, it wasn’t too challenging. The tent neatly unfolds when the weather-proof cover is removed, and zipping up the attached room was fairly simple as well. Other than the mattress for the upstairs bedroom, the tent came with zero furniture — and since I was leaving the following day for Colorado, I didn’t have time to buy the supplies that I needed online. So I went to one of those giant outdoor adventure stores to stock up — and I couldn’t believe the prices of things.
I had grandiose plans of having a lavish rooftop mansion with electricity, furniture, running water — but the sticker shock sent me reeling. A simple portable toilet was $100, which is only slightly cheaper than a normal toilet you can install in your home. Every item I looked at seemed to be in this $100 to $200 range, which I couldn’t justify spending, as each item equals the cost of a night in a hotel room. Totaling up all the supplies I wanted, along with the cost of my giant roof top tent, I could stay in a really nice hotel for a month — and then I wouldn’t have to worry about getting eaten.
So I ended up spending only $300 on a basic sleeping bag, a cooktop stove, a lantern that’s supposed to repel bugs, along with some food. Even with my meager supplies, I’m trying to go into this with a positive attitude. Maybe it will be fun, or maybe you’ll be seeing a lightly used rooftop tent listed for sale soon. But either way, I’m going to give this a try …
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