Camco 51373 Rooftop Tent With Annex Review
- MANUFACTURER: CAMCO
- MODEL NO: 51373
- OPENED DIMENSIONS: 56″ X 122″ X 49″
- SLEEPING DIMENSIONS: 56″ X 94″
- PACKAGED DIMENSIONS: 59″ X 49″ X 12″
- ITEM WEIGHT: 130 POUNDS
- SHIPPING WEIGHT: 167 POUNDS
- NO OF PERSONS: 3 MAXIMUM
- MATERIAL: WATERPROOF NYLON
- PRICE: UNDER $1500
- OUR RATING: FOUR STARS OUT OF FIVE
I AM SLEEPING ON TOP OF MY CAR – AM I READING THIS RIGHT?
Yeah, we know. It’s kind of strange isn’t it? I mean, there may have been once or twice that this Beach Baby baby has found herself sleeping in a car, that is to say, actually, someone else’s car… or back seat…And it wasn’t like we had to pay to do it, either. (Nor were we paid to either, but now we’re veering hopelessly off topic here).
The fact is, most of the time, one would expect to occasionally have to pitch up on the back seat of a vehicle, but not usually on the roof. Unless you are a cat.
BACK PAIN-FREE CAMPING
But yes, Beach Baby can state that this is correct. This is a tent that makes use of the roof of your vehicle, thereby providing a flat, smooth and nicely waterproof base.
Better still, this comes with its own mattress built in, thus eliminating the need for pesky ground sheets, and the crippling bursts of sciatica associated with actual proper camping on the hard, rocky ground.
Seriously, you will begin to wonder just why anyone actually bothers pitching a tent on the ground, once you have got used to the comfort that this can afford.
SO, SHOULD I CANCEL MY HOTEL RESERVATION, EVEN IN STORMY WEATHER?
Yes, most definitely. This is a fine, sturdy creation that was designed precisely to withstand all that Mother Nature can throw at it.
The rain fly is there to ensure that the tent is kept nice and cool in the summer months, by shielding the unit from excess sun, and also, it helps prevent excessive moisture (and therefore condensation build up) from rain.
There is also an air vent within the tent, to help with better airflow as well.
CAMCO ROOFTOP TENT – MORE FEATURES
All the windows and doors have a mesh screen on them, to help keep out the creepy crawlies as well. On top of being a sort of upstairs tent, which means that they’re possibly less likely to invade your sleeping space, than perhaps they would be if you were on the floor, in a ground tent.
This is surely good news for anyone not overly keen on the spiders and other assorted insects that do not make for such great bedfellows, which sadly is a fact of life in most camping experiences.
Also, this is snug and cozy, and there have been no unfavorable reports of anyone being cold, wet or blown away in a storm.
One of the reasons these tents are so popular, is because they are actually attached to your car. Generally, your car is not going to get blown over with the next gust of wind (actual hurricanes not withstanding), so this is going to help.
You do not need to worry about getting it to fit a certain type of car, as it is universal, as long as you have a roof rack to fasten it to.
HOW IS THIS BETTER THAN HAVING A ‘REGULAR’ TENT?
This is a better idea in a number of ways. For starters, having a roof top vehicle tent means you can pitch it in places where perhaps, you couldn’t easily hammer in tent pegs. i.e. on a road side or rocky terrain……. even a beach!
Also, these things take literally minutes to erect, and not much longer to pack up again, especially once you have got into the practice of using them.
You will not need to lug groundsheets around with you, and there is the additional help of having another ‘room’ in the annex, down below. This can be pretty much used to do with as you wish, room for a very small bed or cot, perhaps, somewhere to eat, get changed or just have a bit of personal space.
This is the nearest thing, made of canvas, to a regular house, having both an upstairs and a downstairs!
The number one concern is the ladder. In short, you might want to be careful, because this metal ladder may become slippery when it rains.
On the whole, there aren’t any really solid complaints that Beach Baby can find about this tent. It is well made, and all the real gripes seem to be about shoddy delivery methods, rather than the actual construction of the product.
Lastly, there is the question of the all important price tag. This is not the most expensive roof top tent out there, which can be seen as a good thing. Indeed, some of them cost a lot more than this, but, generally speaking, there is nothing stopping you from fully enjoying this one.
If you can’t afford a motor home, but still want the convenience that a tent offers, but without the cost, then this is definitely for you. If you want to be set free from the constraint of having to plan your trip in advance, around motel accommodation, then you need one of these things. If you don’t want to have to be tied into finding a camping site, or field to pitch it up, this is for you.
Finally, if well cared for, it should last many seasons, and once installed on the roof top of your car, you will be ready for the adventure to begin! We give it 4 STARS!