Tepui Tents is one of the rooftop tent lines that provide a wide variety of tent models. Generally, their tent models are roomy and comfortable to provide us ample space for us and our camping stuff. Their basics involve a waterproof, ripstop polyester and cotton material, zippered multi-windows with a mesh layer, and more. With even just that, we can guarantee a secure campsite from the elements. But before anything, there is a need to know about the installation of the Tepui roof top tent.
The installation of the Tepui roof top tent is the same for most of their models. Only slight variations are present between specific models. But the general steps include the following:
- Deciding about the tent orientation on the vehicle – side or rear-mounted orientation
- Installing the mounting tracks
- Securing the mounting tracks
- Installing the ladder brackets
- Zipping the tent travel cover on
- Getting the tent onto the vehicle and onto the roof rack
- Attaching the tent to the roof rack
- Setting the tent up or popping it open
Primarily, we will have to lay down our tent ideally on a cardboard box if we want to be cautious with scratches. From the package, we may then remove the ladder and the hardware that the tent comes with. We may have to find the door first, unzip it, lift the tent up, and get our arms in to pull out the stuff. Then, we can start with the real installation of the Tepui roof top tent.
Deciding about the tent orientation on the vehicle
There are two ways by which we can orient our tents over our vehicles. First, we can make our tent extend to the side of our car, basically perpendicularly. Otherwise, we can opt for rear orientation, parallel with our car, and extending toward the tailgate.
The advantage of using this orientation is that it allows for our other gears to be installed without disrupting tent operation. Gears may either be bicycle racks and other hitch or bar accessories. Also, the orientation allows for the closed tent width to fit in most car and SUV roof dimensions. In other words, the tent base is not to extend beyond the car roofline when the tent is closed. And lastly, this orientation typically does not find it necessary to cut off the mounting tracks.
The best thing about this kind of orientation is that it allows our setup to fit into narrow camping spaces. Also, for the tents that come with annexes, the car trunk or tailgate is easily accessible in them. Thus, the annex will serve as an extension into the inside of both our tent as well as our vehicle.
Installing the mounting tracks
The bottom of a tent has pre-drilled holes for the tracks, which are located in the center area. Usually, the holes are four in number and six for the extra-large series tents. To start the installation of the Tepui roof top tent, we may have to take the 10mm bolt with a washer. Also, we will have to find the hole from the tent’s inside. Then, we can place the 10mm nut into the groove of the track, aligning it with the hole. Finally, we will need to secure the track by tightening the bolt for all four or six holes.
It is important to take note though that mounting tracks perpendicular to the hinge side may extend beyond base edges. For this, we may have to mark every channel and cut it using a hacksaw. That way, it will fit within the base of our tent.
Securing the mounting tracks
This step of installation of the Tepui roof top tent is crucial in keeping our tent secured on our vehicle. We do not want our tent to come flying out of our setup, do we? So, we should use the 10mm socket wrench to tighten the bolts and the mounting tracks down. We may not want to tighten over as well as it may be our own trouble later on.
Installing the ladder brackets
Before the ladder brackets, we will have to flip our tent over so that we can see its top side. Then, we should attach the ladder brackets to the pre-drilled holes at the tent base edge. We will be using the bolts for this, sliding them between the mattress and the base. Each one should pass through a steel washer, the tent base hole, and the ladder bracket. A nylock nut should follow then. Finally, after attaching the ladder, we have to rate it several times on the brackets. Also, we should tighten all the bolts to secure the ladder well.
Zipping the tent travel cover on
First, we will have to attach the travel cover by sliding its rounded fabric end into the rounded C-channel. The C-channel should be at the hinge side of the base of the tent. We should make sure that the cover is oriented so that its exterior is facing up when pulled. Then, we will have to fasten the Velcro straps on the tent side to keep the canopy in place.
Finally, we can now zip the cover to the base along the other three edges. We should watch out for the fabric, though, so that it does not get caught in the zipper. Also, we should secure the two long Velcro straps on top of the tent travel cover.
Getting the tent onto the vehicle
By this time, we will have to lift our tent to get it on top of our car roof. The good thing about the Tepui Tents is that they can work with almost any rack system. However, it would be nice to invest in aftermarket roof racks as they are sturdier and easier to mount. In fact, Tepui partners with various rack brands to help campers determine the best-suited rack for our rigs. Remember, the rack plays a big role in the installation of the Tepui roof top tent up to its operation.
Attaching the tent to the roof rack
We should make sure that the mounting tracks are placed perpendicular to the bars they will mount to. This is the first thing we have to watch out for when attaching the tent to the roof rack. Also, we have to position the hinge so that the tent is open to the side we want. Then, we can now slide the 13mm bolts and channel sliders through the mounting tracks. We may have to lift a tent side to position one set of bolts and channel sliders on the inner roof rack bar. An additional set should be present on the opposite side as well for all four corners.
The steel mounting plate and nylock nuts should be used to secure the bolts on the sides of the bar. Finally, we then insert rubber end caps to the mounting tracks’ ends, through lift taps using a hammer.
Setting the tent up
This is not a necessary step in installing our roof top tent onto our vehicle. However, it should serve our curiosity while allowing us to study what we are getting into our camping.
How do we clean our Tepui roof top tents or any tent in general?
First, we will have to open our tent fully. And with a stiff-bristled brush, we should brush all the dirt from the tent’s inside. We may also use a vacuum if we can. We will then have to use one cup of mild detergent mixed into a gallon of warm water. This mixture will be used to clean the entire tent fabric. After, we will have to rinse the fabric off all detergent using similarly warm or cool water. Then it is ready for drying.
To dry the tent, we should place it under the sun with all its windows open. It is important that we let it completely dry before we store it back. Otherwise, it may develop mildew or mold, especially when we are camping in rain or wet conditions. Then, we can clean the zippers with a small brush and with a silicone spray to lubricate them. For the tent mattress, it usually comes with a washable cover, so we would not need an air mattress.
How do we deal with mold and mildew?
Mold and mildew are caused by the trapped moisture in the canvas material for a long time. If uncared for, they may start adding an unpleasant odor to our tent. Thus, to care for it, we have to open our tent up and clean the affected area using a hard bristled brush. This will get the loose dirt off the canvas. Then, with one cup of mild detergent and one gallon of water solution, we have to keep brushing or sponging. After, we will need, of course, to rinse the tent off using another solution. This solution includes a cup of lemon juice, a cup of sea salt, and a gallon of hot water. Once the detergent solution has been totally rinsed off, then we can dry the tent for a couple of hours.