When it comes to sleeping arrangements out on the tracks, the options are vast. Camper trailers, camper vans, caravans, swags, ground tents, rooftop tents, the list goes on. Choosing which option is right for you can be a task and each option has its pros and cons.
For many off-roaders heading off the blacktop and onto some of the tougher tracks, the idea of towing can become a bit daunting as you’re going to need a serious off-road trailer or van, purpose built for tight and rough terrain.
Here is where swags and tents can really come into their own. ARB offers a range of swags and rooftop tents and what we like about these two options is that they are an all-in-one solution where you can literally roll or fold up your bedding (mattresses, sleeping bags) into one simple package. Set-up and pack-down is also super quick and painless.
ARB’s rooftop tents have always been a popular choice, commonly mounted either onto wagon or canopy roofs as well as pick-up hard lids and the odd custom kit-out on a camping trailer.
The new ARB Flinders Rooftop Tent, which takes its name from one of Australia’s most popular touring destinations, brings with it a host of new features and updates not previously offered within the ARB range.
When packed, the new ARB Flinders Rooftop Tent has a lower profile by 100 millimetres in comparison to ARB’s current and popular ARB Simpson Rooftop Tent. A lower packed height means less wind drag and less overall height to your vehicle.
The removable ladder means you can choose to either keep the ladder on the roof or stow it away elsewhere when touring. Without the ladder affixed, the overall height of the tent when packed is just 200 millimetres. The ladder adds an additional 100 millimetres.
The overall compact size of the ARB Flinders tent when packed down allows for improved aerodynamics as well as improved access to low roof areas and tracks with low canopies.
Occupants will enjoy a total of five zipper windows, including an ARB SkyDome Swag-like stargazing window on the roof. Each window features a dual, solid and midge-proof mesh screen. Both side windows and the tent entrance are equipped with rain and sun awning shelters that require no ropes or ground poles. The head-end and roof windows feature roll-up solid screens, which can be accessed from inside the tent when set up. Additionally, a specially designed vent is incorporated to ensure maximum airflow and reduced condensation.
The revolutionary design of the PVC cover has some new and handy features including a pullover clip lock similar to a traditional tonneau cover as well as a sturdy zip.
The PVC cover also remains permanently attached during set-up, which improves set-up and pack-down time while also saving the bother of storing it and reducing the chances of you getting dirty.
SMALLER ON THE ROOF, SPACIOUS AT CAMP
Despite the space saving when the ARB Flinders Rooftop Tent is packed down, when it’s time to pop the top, you will enjoy a larger overall internal space over the Simpson Rooftop Tent. Set-up is a breeze; after releasing the cover and leveraging open the tent with the ladder, all the internal poles sequentially fan out into place. It is then as simple as sliding the extendable poles into their final position.
The curved roof poles provide improved head height and also the removal of flat surfaces that can occur with the use of straight poles. This prevents water from pooling and provides an improved curve on the roof for water runoff, reducing potential damage from water. The bed space is 2,400 millimetres long by 1,400 millimetres wide with a maximum head space of 1,200 millimetres in the centre.
THE LITTLE LUXURIES
The ARB Flinders Rooftop Tent is equipped with an internal light and USB charging port that can be easily connected to your vehicle’s 12-volt outlet.
Packing up is made easy with two internal bungee lines that help pull the sides of the tent in as you fold it down to keep the wall materials away from the moving parts for a hassle-free and more compact closure.
Mounting a rooftop tent on a vehicle simply requires either a compatible roof rack without side guardrails in the area the rooftop tent sits or a simple set of cross bars. ARB has a range of solutions available for mounting a rooftop tent including the ARB BASE Rack, the ARB Classic Tubular Roof Rack, most Thule or Rhino-Rack roof bars and more.
Mattress: 50mm | 1.96” chip foam mattress with a polycotton cover
Outer: 300gsm ripstop canvas
Cover: Heavy-duty PVC 1000D
Base: Aluminium frame with ABS laminated base
Packed Dimensions: 1,400mm | 55.12” (L) x 1,200mm | 47.24” (W) x 200mm | 7.87” (H), 300mm | 11.81” (H with ladder)
Open Dimensions: 1,400mm | 55.12” (L) x 2,200mm | 86.61” (W) x 1,400mm | 55.12” (H)
Ladder: Rated to 120kg
Weight: 56kg | 123.46lbs
The Flinders Rooftop Tent is named after the Ikara-Flinders Ranges in South Australia, five hours north of Adelaide. The Ikara-Flinders Ranges spans over 400 kilometres.
The area has some incredibly rich history; in fact, this landscape was created hundreds of millions of years ago when it was below sea level. The Ikara-Flinders Ranges we know today consists of rock and debris remnants left by raging seas as well as millions of fossils from the former sea life.
Today, the area is a 4WD mecca with so much to offer. Exploring the popular camping and hiking of Wilpena Pound will conjure up images of meteor strikes, and while the formation was more specifically a result of the sea, a few hours north you can visit one of the country’s most famous astronomy centres in Arkaroola Wilderness Village. If exploring the raised sea beds of the historical area and spotting planets through telescopes isn’t enough for you, a trip to the Blinman Mine will give you the opportunity to take a peek underground at an 1800s copper mine and potentially even indulge in a ghost tour to reconnect with the working men of years past.
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