Not an Eco-home…

Today I built a roof tent.

The reasons for this are many and varied, and almost all stem from my last visit to Africa, when I coaxed my old Porsche from England to Cape town – that was a few years back now!  So what made the hassle of fitting a roof tent to the Porsche so completely worthwhile on that trip?  In a word, comfort.  Wherever we found ourselves at the end of the day, be it a rocky desert, a closed border, a ferry port or some festering jungle, we were always guaranteed a good night’s sleep, without having to lay on the rough ground, sleep in the car or worry about whether those headlights which appear to be baring down on your tent will be the last thing you see…

Fast forward to the planning stage for our Morocco trip, and it was a given that the Rover was going to acquire a roof tent of some description.  However, as the car is basically a time capsule from the age of brown paint, 8-tracks and vinyl roofs, I felt a modern tent would look rather out of place perched on its roof – unlike a period one, of course, which would of course look completely natural atop the car…

With this in mind, I utilized the power of the internet to track down a suitable tent which was the same age of the Rover.  It turned out that a friend of a friend had just what I was looking for in his attic, and so it was with great pleasure that I handed over an ample pile of beer in exchange for a late 1970s 2-man ridge tent – thanks Chris and Laramie!

So with the tent sorted, it was time to build the plywood platform on which to put it.  This was actually a pretty straightforward process, as the Rover’s roof is considerably bigger than the Porsche’s, meaning the design could be kept relatively simple.  A basic framework was made, with batons being used to reinforce the plywood and support the extra panels which fold out to either side of the car.  After several hours of sawing and drilling, I offered up the tent, drilled holes to accept its poles and fitted hooks to the platform in strategic places, alleviating the need to hammer pegs into the roof of the Rover.  The platform was then positioned on the roof and I pitched the tent properly for the first time.

The roof tent platform is now basically finished; it just needs varnishing and mounting securely to the roof of the car.  Hopefully we’ll be able to test it out this weekend to make sure it works before our trip to Morocco…


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