100% Aluminium Construction - Great Strength & Low Weight
Premium Hand Build Quality, 380g Rip Stop Canvas
Any of 3 large openings can be used as the door
Mosquito netting on all 3 openings - can be closed from inside without letting any insects in
A 75mm high density mattress (with zip off cover for washing) is supplied
A small Awning is present on 3x sides of the roof tent, giving additional shade & cover
Heavy duty free standing ladder supplied; can be used for rear or side access
Unique Optional Lower Annex Rooms (Rear mount or Side mount to work with Wing Awnings)
We have now been using our "Overland Series" roof tent travelling from the UK to Mongolia and back, a trip of over 24000 miles and 200 days on the road most of which were spent in the tent.
We experienced high winds with storms at the start of the trip before we even left the UK, torrential rain in Europe and Mongolia, high temperatures in Uzbekistan and freezing temperatures with snow in Kazakhstan and Russia.
During the Big Trip 2017 we used a Hannibal Soft Shell fold out tent. We loved this tent with its extra space and comfort but after 8 months on the road the down sides were the time it took packing away often daily, especially in the rain and it was noisy in windy conditions.
So once we knew Mongolia Raid 2018 was going to be happening we decided to make a few changes to our set up and this included looking at a hard shell tent. After a lot of thought and consideration of other hard shell roof tents we went with the Tuff Trek “Overland Series: aluminium tent. There were a number of reasons for this from Dara’s excellent reputation to the fact at the time it was the only hard shell that offered an annexe.
So on returning from our Big Trip 2017 we visited Dara on our way back up to Scotland so we could take a look at the tent. We found it to be well made, robust and solid, made to take the punishment a long trip over poor roads. We looked at and discussed a number of other hard shell tents with Dara but decided on the Overland Series. We ordered the tent from Dara @ Tuff Trek in December 2017 with a delivery expected in Feb 2018. The tent is shipped without the gas struts fitted and we would recommend you fit the gas struts before mounting the tent. This just makes everything easier. Mounting is totally down to your roof rack and involves marking up and drilling the base to suit. In our case we used clamps (minimum 6 places) as our rack is tubular. If the edges of the RTT sit on the rack as with ours we used 25mm aluminium box section to support the centre floor and these are bolted in position with the clamps. This ensures the floor does not sag.
The supplied Gas Struts are 550nm that is fine for the roof alone. We however fitted 2 x 120W Solar Panels and Maxtrax Sand Ladders on the top of the tent. Whilst the supplied gas struts can cope with this there is a little bit of sag and the roof could easily lower in high wind or rain. Dara can supply Uprated gas struts to cope with this that we have now ordered. In the meantime we have used 2 x telescopic washing line poles in each corner as a back up to the gas struts and this has worked perfectly.
We have not been disappointed and found it to be strong and robust, stable in high winds with the exception of the rain skirt that in some cases popped off in high wind gusts with the spring loaded rods firing off like missiles. Because of this we have removed the rain skirt and not really used it which makes set up and take down even quicker and to be honest it has not really been missed even in rain.
In torrential rain it remained watertight inside and with a little thought to ventilation condensation is negligible. The fitted carpet certainly helps with condensation that is always an issue in any single skin tent. Last year our Hannibal Tent suffered terribly from condensation particularly under the mattress so to try and resolve this we also added a Dry Mat layer between the mattress and the carpet / base. This resolved the issue completely and we had no issues of having to dry out the bottom of the mattress due to condensation. This is especially impressive when you consider throughout the Mongolia Raid 2018 Trip we were camping in temps into the 30’s and as low as -10 at night on my drive back without Angela.
Packing away is simple just lower the elastic to help pull in the sides and carefully lower and 2 x catches lock the lid down. Inside are D Rings at the foot and head of the tent. WE also added bungy chords to these to again help with tucking everything in. We also found closing the tent with the rear access open gave protection to the bedding from the ladder and also stopped everything billowing out as the air is squeezed out.
There are a few niggles, such as the plastic clips for tying down the doors. They tend to continually get trapped in the seal when closing the tent without taking additional extra care or having a second person tuck them in. As a result some broke and we also removed some purposely to make life a little easier and top holes.
Due to the location and type of fixing tucking them out of the way is difficult and can in some instances even after only 1 day of rough driving rub small holes into the canvas (See Above).
The standard ladder is too short on a Land Rover over the rear as the spare wheel gets in the way. We also have a 2 inch lift so this was an issue on the sides too. But in true Tuff Trek excellent customer style an extension was supplied free of charge. Additionally the ladder is quite big and heavy. With care we could fit everything in the tent when packed away including our bedding / pillows etc. I think a telescopic ladder would be a better choice and this would also resolve the need for the extension in some cases.
If you are tall this tent might be too short for you. Dave is 5’9” and is probably about as tall as you can be to be comfortable as any taller and your head will be against the canvas at one end and feet lard against the V at the other end. So as with any new tent I would recommend you go and physically climb inside to make sure you fit and are happy with the space offered.
The annexe option as stated was one of the reasons we chose the tent. In our case we wanted a totally enclosed rear annexe so we had the standard 3 sided annexe with no floor modified to include 4 sides and a floor. This means we are wind tight, there are 2 doors in the internal wall giving access to the rear of the Land Rover and if required the rear access to the tent. It is reasonably easy to install but as we only planned to use it on long stays in bad weather we were happy with how it works.
It does however take up quite a lot of space with it being made from the same material as the tent. We got a bag made for ours and a rack on the rear to carry it.
In summary we have been very happy with this purchase. The few niggles listed are easily overcome and I understand from Dara a new upgraded version is now available although I have not seen the full details.
For more information including pricing and much more visit:- Tuff Trek