Test all limits in the Nissan Navara
Test all limits in the Nissan Navara

Clam shell rooftop tents – we look at the Alu-Cab Gen 3-R Expedition Tent

When camping wild you generally want to be as protected as possible, not only against any adverse weather, but also against lurking predators that come out to play at night. That’s why many campers feel that a rooftop tent is better than a traditional ground tent because it puts some distance between you and Simba! There are various types of rooftop tents, with clamshell versions offering the most convenient set-up.

Once you have decided that a rooftop tent is for you there are a few things to consider. You’ll need to understand the key differences between softshell and hardshell versions, and ponder a few matters such as size, weight, mounting systems and location on your vehicle. We’ve done some research on the best locally made clamshells and have distilled out those features the experts believe are the most important.

Clamshell rooftop tents

Clamshell tents are defined as having a hard exoskeleton, made of aluminium or fibreglass or some form of composite, which is integral to the tent and takes the place of that often-dusty vinyl cover. The canvas section and bedding are contained within the shell, which is typically raised on gas struts in seconds once a few fasteners are released. Then all it takes is to settle a ladder on the rim of the hardshell. While these tents can be heavier and more costly, when it comes to balance, they fare better in wind and more extreme conditions, as they have less canvas that flaps about. In addition, the external shell is often more aerodynamic than a typical softshell rooftop tent.

Internal capacity

Generally, clamshell tents are best suited for one or two people, because the shell is restricted to not much wider than the vehicle itself. One can add a small child or two, but if you need more space, you will need to explore other options. A positive is that most clamshells have enough space inside to contain all your bedding. Simply close it up and go.

Alu-Cab Gen 3-R Expedition Tent

The Alu-Cab Gen 3-R Expedition Tent is the latest innovation from a long line of products designed and constructed by Alu-Cab. The current design is the third generation of this tent, which  has proven itself as a worthy overland companion. Over the years, continuous improvements have been made to it, including giving it a wider and more spacious layout, as well as a more streamlined design that is both aesthetically pleasing and far more aerodynamic. Of course, the fact that it’s a hardshell means that it will not only lasts longer than a softshell equivalent but is also easier to clean and far more resilient to rain, snow, and windy weather conditions.

New additional features include a side rain cover that comes as standard, a spec-built telescopic ladder with rungs that are broad and angled to make it far more comfortable to climb into the tent barefoot, as well as a zip-able rear awning, stainless-steel eyelets for the spring poles and a raised air vent to help reduce condensation.

A fold-up bed and worktable are optional products and are not included in the base model tent.

Apart from its updated look, the Gen 3-R Expedition Tent offers numerous other features that set it apart from other models available on the market. This includes increased rigidity,  a heater vent and solar panel input as standard feature, and a decreased weight of 76kg.

Key features of the Gen 3-R Expedition Tent include:

  • Side rain cover as a standard feature
  • Spec-built telescopic ladder with rungs that are broad and angled, making it far more comfortable to climb into the tent barefoot
  • Single zip opening doors
  • Zip-able rear awning that can be zipped up and rolled away when not in use
  • Stainless steel eyelets for the spring poles
  • Extended cargo rails creating more room and additional options for fitment to the roof
  • Raised air vent to help reduce condensation
  • 3D breathable mesh to further assist with condensation
  • Lightweight aluminium construction
  • Built-in cargo rails for the fitment of optional load bars
  • Hard-shell structure that can carry additional gear such as solar panels, a kayak, mountain bikes or a camping table
  • Streamlined aerodynamic profile
  • 3-point access with a door/window on each side
  • Gas-strut assisted pop-up design
  • Quick and easy opening and closing
  • 75mm high-density foam mattress with zip-off cover
  • Quick-release ladder that stows inside the tent when closed
  • Storage pockets
  • Internal USB power points
  • Internal 12V plug point
  • Internal lighting
  • Rear door awning to keep the entrance dry
  • Dual-layer canvas for better insulation and protection
  • Wind resistant design thanks to single-sided opening
  • Top and bottom foam insulation for class-leading insulation

Only R39,995 (On-Line and in-store) https://www.4x4megaworldonline.com/camping-accessories/tents-awnings/tents/rooftop-tents-tents/rooftop-tent-gen3-r/

The Alu-Cab Gen 3-R Expedition Tent is available from 4×4 Mega World

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