First trip with homemade rooftop tent was a success! : overlanding

Hey everyone! Y’all seemed to really like my last post about how I was nearly finished with my custom rooftop tent build and many people asked for updates once it was finished up. So, here ya go!

I just got back from the first trip with my homemade hardshell rooftop tent I designed specifically to fit my 2001 Jeep XJ, and it was perfect! I have spine issues and often sleep terrible and am uncomfortable when camping, but I got an amazing night of sleep on the 3in thick Full XL mattress in the tent. I slept with all 3 windows open with just the mesh keeping bugs out, and my 25 degree backpacking quilt from Zenbivy kept me nice and cozy, though I will definitely be buying a bigger blanket to leave in the tent full time soon. It was slightly frustrating to have so much sleeping space but only have half of it covered by blanket at one time.

I snagged the awning, a Rhino Rack Dome 1300, for a great deal on Facebook marketplace and am so happy with it. My jeep is not lifted, and if I were to mount a regular awning off of the side of the tent, I would not be able to stand up under it so the pop up aspect of this awning is literally perfect for my situation.

As a whole, I am so stoked with my jeep finally being setup for adventures. I ride bikes a ton, so am planning for most weekends this summer to follow the same game plan: Drive somewhere up in the mountains I haven’t been before, cook a tasty dinner and camp the night in my awesome tent, and then wake up after a great sleep and bang out a nice long bike ride exploring new roads.

Next up on the list is to at the very minimum install some new rear leaf springs, if not an entire new suspension system. As you can tell from the photos, the jeep is sitting suuuper low with the added weight of the tent, bike rack, and camping gear inside. These leafs are the same ones it rolled off of the assembly line with all the way back in 2001, so it definitely seems time for an upgrade.

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