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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Long time lurker first time poster.

With much inspiration from these forums, I took the A out of Rav4!

Just returned from an 11 000 km (6800 mile) trip from Gatineau - Ottawa to Vancouver Island and back. We slept 2 on the roof and 2 in the back for most nights of 24 days - 14 days of driving in our 2010 Rav4 V6!


Roof Top Tent and Plywood bed in the rear. Many thanks to this post "http://www.rav4world.com/forums/98-4-3-interior/77783-has-anyone-built-car-bed-inside-their-rav4-camping.html. Used it as inspiration and added my own touches. The center piece of the interior bed was anchored to the truck, (at this point I call it a truck) with large eye-bolts with a space grinded out to the third row seat anchors. Three 2 foot by 4 foot 3 quarter plywood boards, one across the trunk space and two removable across the rear seats when setting up to sleep.


FrontRav.jpg

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mainSupport.jpg

paices.jpg

packed.jpg

sideView.jpg

FullRig.jpg
View attachment 80106
FrontRav.jpg
Better than a tent on the ground any day.
Also added a FoxWing Awning with walls to keep out the squeeters..
DSC_3777.jpg
Used fiber window screen, rare earth magnets and Tuff Tape (softer than Duct tape) to make window screens to allow the lower sleepers some air.
quickCamp.jpg

My brothers thought I was crazy, but this rig was way more fun to drive than anything pulling a trailer. Could not have made the time on the highway we did with a trailer.
 

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Welcome! You've had an interesting experience, and method for avoiding pricey motel charges . . .
 

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Extraordinary cross country trek! :thumbs_up:

Please post Canadian distributor contact info for the rooftop tent in your pictures?

Thank you.



Long time lurker first time poster.

With much inspiration from these forums, I took the A out of Rav4!

Just returned from an 11 000 km (6800 mile) trip from Gatineau - Ottawa to Vancouver Island and back. We slept 2 on the roof and 2 in the back for most nights of 24 days - 14 days of driving in our 2010 Rav4 V6!


Roof Top Tent and Plywood bed in the rear. Many thanks to the link that I cannot find at the moment, but used it as inspiration and added my own touches. The center piece of the interior bed was anchored to the truck, (at this point I call it a truck) with large eye-bolts with a space grinded out to the third row seat anchors. Three 2 foot by 4 foot 3 quarter plywood boards, one across the trunk space and two removable across the rear seats when setting up to sleep.


View attachment 80114

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Better than a tent on the ground any day.
Also added a FoxWing Awning with walls to keep out the squeeters..
View attachment 80122
 

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My kind of folks!

The platform for the bed at window height in the rear is a great idea. Not only does it give a flat sleeping surface but also allows lots of storage space underneath. I traveled thousands of miles that way with a Mitsubishi Expo years ago with my dyno business before I bought my truck & camper. The Expo was pretty much the same size as a RAV4 and I slept quite comfortably. One touch I added was a board with 12V fans that fit into a window for fresh air circulation.

Funny thing was some campgrounds wouldn't let you sleep in your car. I had to set up a tent, put some stuff in it in case someone came checking during the day when I was gone, and then sleep in my metal all-weather "tent" at night!
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
CanuckRav4: (Thought this would show up within your post, newb I am)
I actually ordered it as a "sample" from a Chinese manufacturer. Went through the whole process of shipping and importing it for the first time. A little much for one tent and awning and would make more sense for 10 or more.

There was a fair amount of interested people for the tent and awning. I wish I could find 10 or 20 people who wanted one or both, and put in a proper order. Though I have some reservations concerning intellectual property etc.. I think the tent idea is old enough that it is pretty much in the public domain, the foxwing awning on the other hand is pretty new.

I was quite happy with the service from WINCAR whom you can find on Alibaba or Made-In-China. When looking at the prices, which are in USD, basically double it to include shipping, duties, taxes, brokerage fees, terminal fees, final shipping etc.. You also have to be sure that they will sell just one. BTW, i went with the smaller one, 125cm across on the inside, the larger 145cm across seemed too large for the Rav, it would have overhung. Other thing to note is that I had four thule style bars mounted, basically everything doubled up.
 

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Awesome job! Congrats.
Did you keep track of fuel consumption?
Did you have any trouble mounting the Rockies? (Scrub that; I see the V6 badge!!!)
 

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Thank you so much for the detailed contact information. The rooftop tent and awning concept seem like such a well thought out concept without involving a pup trailer. I can envision carrying two bikes on the hitch mounted carrier and you're all set for local exploration.

Did you have any issue with the total vehicle height and low building overhang? What's the measured overall height? I'm guessing two factory cross bars will simply not bear the weight of the tent and occupants? How much did the 4 Thule styled bar and mounting feet cost you? Do the cross bars mount clamped directly to the factory rails? Does the ladder to the tent attaches securely to the rail or the tent housing itself? I'd hate to see the ladder slips and damaging the paint . . .

I apologize for so many questions. I would love to see more posted pictures if you're willing to share. Thank you.

CanuckRav4: (Thought this would show up within your post, newb I am)
I actually ordered it as a "sample" from a Chinese manufacturer. Went through the whole process of shipping and importing it for the first time. A little much for one tent and awning and would make more sense for 10 or more.

There was a fair amount of interested people for the tent and awning. I wish I could find 10 or 20 people who wanted one or both, and put in a proper order. Though I have some reservations concerning intellectual property etc.. I think the tent idea is old enough that it is pretty much in the public domain, the foxwing awning on the other hand is pretty new.

I was quite happy with the service from WINCAR whom you can find on Alibaba or Made-In-China. When looking at the prices, which are in USD, basically double it to include shipping, duties, taxes, brokerage fees, terminal fees, final shipping etc.. You also have to be sure that they will sell just one. BTW, i went with the smaller one, 125cm across on the inside, the larger 145cm across seemed too large for the Rav, it would have overhung. Other thing to note is that I had four thule style bars mounted, basically everything doubled up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Reply to CanuckRav4

No issues at all with height. Not sure what it is, but would guess about 6' 6", I even parked in underground parking.
We had a hitch mount carrier with an old pickup truck box on it, made the ride back end heavy and I will install airbags for the rear shocks before the next trip. Did weigh it on a truck scale and it said I was 70kg over the GVWL on each axle, so about 300lbs total.

They claim 2 bars are enough, I just like to over build, especially with the tent AND awning. You would have to figure out the price, I happened to already own all the bars. Two were attached to the factory rails, and two more clamped to the roof. Best of both worlds! BTW; there is no clamp to the roof kit for the Rav4 out there, likely because they all seem to come with factory rails, but an old kit I had for a different car worked fine. At first I had the tent mounted too far forward. It was catching too much air on the highway and bouncing up and down! Just slid it back about a foot so that the wind was directed over it from the windshield. Back door opening sideways helped here because we could still use it despite the overhang at the back. The setup was very solid. Tested to 150 kmph!

The ladder just has two hooks that hook over the edge of the tent door. A little nerve wracking, but we did not have any slips or scratches. Definitely shoved the feet solidly into the ground.

James Baroud is one of the big names in RTTs. I don't know where you are in Canada, they have a dealer in Calgary and BC. I did find a dealer near Montreal too..

Thank you so much for the detailed contact information. The rooftop tent and awning concept seem like such a well thought out concept without involving a pup trailer. I can envision carrying two bikes on the hitch mounted carrier and you're all set for local exploration.

Did you have any issue with the total vehicle height and low building overhang? What's the measured overall height? I'm guessing two factory cross bars will simply not bear the weight of the tent and occupants? How much did the 4 Thule styled bar and mounting feet cost you? Do the cross bars mount clamped directly to the factory rails? Does the ladder to the tent attaches securely to the rail or the tent housing itself? I'd hate to see the ladder slips and damaging the paint . . .

I apologize for so many questions. I would love to see more posted pictures if you're willing to share. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
l/100km

Fuel consumption is not the greatest with the V6, and we were overloaded and travelling around 120 km/h most of the time.. dash said 11.1 l per 100 km. Still better than pulling a trailer figures.
Awesome job! Congrats.
Did you keep track of fuel consumption?
Did you have any trouble mounting the Rockies? (Scrub that; I see the V6 badge!!!)
 

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Thanks again for the great info. Located in Greater Toronto Area (GTA), by the way.

I'm like you with the over-build mentality. I tend to be cautious with things that may happen and hopefully mitigate beforehand.

Hmmm, I've to keep an eye out on bar deals as I only have the factory cross bars . . . .

To alleviate the rear sagging problem you can upgrade the existing rear coil springs with the 3rd row seat equipped version. I did the spring swap but I can't independently verified if the beefier springs help since I've never placed 300+lb tongue weight on the hitch receiver. I had the spring swap since the dealer was charging me 4 hours labour to replace a pair of rear shock absorber (one leaks). It was just the part cost to buy the beefier springs I'm incurring to get them done while everything is open. The 3rd row spring part no. is 48231-0R050 if you want to go that route. It's supposed to increase the weight carry capacity over the rear axle by a couple hundred pounds over the non-3rd row seat variations. I've noticed the rear is slightly elevated due to the strong springs as the front headlight aim is lowered. The ride is surprisingly not harsh as the springs are progressive so it's business as usual normally. You can always add airbags if that's not enough.

Can you not attach a webbing strap to the ladder hook to ensure no unintended quick-release? I'd hate to fumble with the ladder in the dark . . .

You must be really haulin' at 150 Kph with the aerodynamic testing :thumbs_up: Were you trying for the new Rav4 Flying Caravan category honour?:wink:wink

James Barouds dealer in Montreal would be closer to me than Calgary or BC . . . . but hopefully there's a Toronto area dealer too.



No issues at all with height. Not sure what it is, but would guess about 6' 6", I even parked in underground parking.
We had a hitch mount carrier with an old pickup truck box on it, made the ride back end heavy and I will install airbags for the rear shocks before the next trip. Did weigh it on a truck scale and it said I was 70kg over the GVWL on each axle, so about 300lbs total.

They claim 2 bars are enough, I just like to over build, especially with the tent AND awning. You would have to figure out the price, I happened to already own all the bars. Two were attached to the factory rails, and two more clamped to the roof. Best of both worlds! BTW; there is no clamp to the roof kit for the Rav4 out there, likely because they all seem to come with factory rails, but an old kit I had for a different car worked fine. At first I had the tent mounted too far forward. It was catching too much air on the highway and bouncing up and down! Just slid it back about a foot so that the wind was directed over it from the windshield. Back door opening sideways helped here because we could still use it despite the overhang at the back. The setup was very solid. Tested to 150 kmph!

The ladder just has two hooks that hook over the edge of the tent door. A little nerve wracking, but we did not have any slips or scratches. Definitely shoved the feet solidly into the ground.

James Baroud is one of the big names in RTTs. I don't know where you are in Canada, they have a dealer in Calgary and BC. I did find a dealer near Montreal too..
 

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Fuel consumption is not the greatest with the V6, and we were overloaded and travelling around 120 km/h most of the time.. dash said 11.1 l per 100 km. Still better than pulling a trailer figures.
11.1 l per 100km is great.
My i4 uses 17 l per 100km, city driving in freezing cold conditions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
springs

Already have the third row springs and third row. That is why I did not add the airbags this trip. Never bottomed out, but I like the idea of airbags in the future to level the beast.

Thanks again for the great info. Located in Greater Toronto Area (GTA), by the way.

I'm like you with the over-build mentality. I tend to be cautious with things that may happen and hopefully mitigate beforehand.

Hmmm, I've to keep an eye out on bar deals as I only have the factory cross bars . . . .

To alleviate the rear sagging problem you can upgrade the existing rear coil springs with the 3rd row seat equipped version. I did the spring swap but I can't independently verified if the beefier springs help since I've never placed 300+lb tongue weight on the hitch receiver. I had the spring swap since the dealer was charging me 4 hours labour to replace a pair of rear shock absorber (one leaks). It was just the part cost to buy the beefier springs I'm incurring to get them done while everything is open. The 3rd row spring part no. is 48231-0R050 if you want to go that route. It's supposed to increase the weight carry capacity over the rear axle by a couple hundred pounds over the non-3rd row seat variations. I've noticed the rear is slightly elevated due to the strong springs as the front headlight aim is lowered. The ride is surprisingly not harsh as the springs are progressive so it's business as usual normally. You can always add airbags if that's not enough.

Can you not attach a webbing strap to the ladder hook to ensure no unintended quick-release? I'd hate to fumble with the ladder in the dark . . .

You must be really haulin' at 150 Kph with the aerodynamic testing :thumbs_up: Were you trying for the new Rav4 Flying Caravan category honour?:wink:wink

James Barouds dealer in Montreal would be closer to me than Calgary or BC . . . . but hopefully there's a Toronto area dealer too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Already have the third row springs and third row. That is why I did not add the airbags this trip. Never bottomed out, but I like the idea of airbags in the future to level the beast.
No flying caravans please. Just passing 5 cars on the TransCanada!
 

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Thank you for adding picture #11 to show the ladder setup and hitch mounted platform. Where do you stow the ladder while underway, inside the rooftop pod?

I was originally puzzled to the strange setup in picture #4 but that turned out to the the 3rd row seat that I've never seen in the wild :confused: That's quite a sturdy bulkhead to support the interior sleeping deck :thumbs_up:

I would imagine the real MPG math of kilometers divided by liters used is really around 12.5L/100Km. That sure beats pulling a trailer while doing a steady 120Kph speed. Is that with AC uses or fresh air motoring?

<Disregard - you said 4 Thule styled bars in your original post> From the pictures it appeared you were using two factory cross bars and two re-purposed Thule styled cross bars for additional support. Am I correct in interpreting? If yes, I'll just keep an eye out for a pair of bars instead of four.

Thank you & Cheer! :cheers:


Already have the third row springs and third row. That is why I did not add the airbags this trip. Never bottomed out, but I like the idea of airbags in the future to level the beast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Bars

As far as AC etc, I was on Vacation. Lots of AC and sometimes the windows open at the same time!
I did leave the factory cross bars, but the tent was never in contact with them, just thought it may help keep the factory rails srtaight / stiff.
Here is a photo of the bars (on the awning side there are four L brackets which I drilled and screwd to the bars):
fourBar.jpg
 

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Thanks and much appreciated!

Over-engineering is an understatement here>:D You're fortunate the two rail mounted Thule styled bars actually leveled with the real Thule bars. Real solid underpinning for the tent pod. By the look of it, I think my sunroof would actually works in the tilted up position without interfering with the tent pod and may even provides aerodynamic fairing duty.

Brilliant idea of the speedy standalone cross-country camping Rav4 instead of going the RV or camp trailer route.:thumbs_up:

As far as AC etc, I was on Vacation. Lots of AC and sometimes the windows open at the same time!
I did leave the factory cross bars, but the tent was never in contact with them, just thought it may help keep the factory rails srtaight / stiff.
Here is a photo of the bars (on the awning side there are four L brackets which I drilled and screwd to the bars):
View attachment 80769
 
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