MX2: Roof Top Tent

Posted on Posted in MX2: 2001 Ford Ranger

I have gone back to my original concept of the truck and adopted a roof top tent. I used the flippac on my truck for a short time. At first I liked the camper, but over time reality set in. I’ve never given a full account as to what I thought of the camper. Now that’s been a while I might as well spill it. The flippac falls into, what I call, a “good idea but bad execution” category. The concept is a novel one, but needs to be done right. The flippac is nowhere close to quality and support by the vendor I had worked with was shoddy at best. Leaks, crooked lid/body, inconsistent fiberglass thickness, cheap components & etc. Once any real problems happened they ignored them, then promptly turned their backs. I even got a nice little letter from their attorney. So much for their good reputation.

On my Central America trip the tent leaked massively. Even with the rain fly. A pool of water formed at the top where the bed was, including me, my laptop, my phone and my camera. I was lucky I was awake and moved them before they got soaked. The rain fly is also a pain to setup in a real world condition by yourself, and probably just as bad with 2 people. The camper was supposedly light, though was way over the weight I was told. This is one of the reasons I had many suspension problems. I couldn’t publicly address it at the time because the nice letter I got. I was also told by the vendor they had better features from the manufacturer. Turns out this vendor is notorious for blowing smoke and relabeling other companies products. No original ideas. It’s all off the shelf components, which isn’t bad in its self, though when you are getting an upgraded model you should get some better components. Not plastic parts that holds half of the bed area’s weight. I passed many suggestions onto the vendor, but nothing ever came of it.

Apart from said bad vendor, the camper from the original manufacture still has major issues. After all, the vendor didn’t upgrade anything. If you do some searching you’ll find the torsion bar used is notorious for breaking, along with leaks and bad service from the manufacturer. The manufacturer makes these as a side job, so really has no interest until their main business slows down. All in all the flippac is a good idea but poorly executed. For the money you are better off getting a proven roof top tent or step up to a Four Wheel Camper.

Onto the bed top tent… Since I’ve gotten the tent life has been a little easier on the truck. Not nearly the same amount of weight. The only problem with the tent is the cover is only held together by a couple rolls of gorilla tape. I bought it used off craigslist and the owner said he hadn’t used it in a while. The tape has held up ok, though does leak. I’m still on the fence whether I want to make a hard aluminum cover or just make a new canvas one.

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So far I’ve only used the tent mounted directly onto the bed rails, where it flips off to the rear. While this works it makes it a pain to access my gear in the bed. I mocked up the tent to flip off to the side and see how well it works. Some old ammo cans worked out to be the right height. Overall its not too bad. I would have easier access to my gear and a little extra height in the bed, but it hangs passed the tailgate since its longer width wise.

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Either way I end up going, the spare tire now sits up too high. If I keep the tent low (back flip) I’d like the tire lower so its not a big wind sail. And if I do mount the tent high (side flip) the tire’s in the way.

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So I start by cutting off the tire mount from the swing arm.

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I ended up cutting off a bit too much, so I had to add a bigger diameter tube to get an extra 1/2 inch.

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The top of the tire is now about the height of the 5lb propane tank.

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