Ventura Roof Tent
Ventura Roof Tent
A full year of testing
Just over a year ago, I looked in to the merits of a roof tent. There are quite a few makes on the market, but the Ventura model caught my interest. It has an extra large size option, which comfortably sleeps three and an "annex" room that can be attached. The annex comes with a fitted waterproof groundsheet. This gives plenty of extra room for storage, privacy or somewhere to sit and relax, or have lunch if the rain comes on.
Find out more....https://venturarooftents.com/
When I rang William at Ventura, he was helpful and able to answer all my questions. Should anything fail or you find fault, William is there to supply any back-up parts required, and all parts are available, so this isn't a faceless company that leaves you stranded. They want you to enjoy the camping experience with the idea of a complete camping holiday that fits into a neat package, out of the way, on the roof.
Check out prices and options at....https://venturarooftents.com/
So, what is a Ventura Roof Tent? To put it simply, it is obviously a tent that is permanently attached to the roof of your vehicle with clamps that bolt firmly on to the roof bars. It is a neat package, with a waterproof cover, and when required, simply remove the cover and the tent can be unfolded, working somewhat like a "pop-up" book. It takes seconds to open up and around three minutes to set up fully, ladders included. You climb up to an elevated bedroom, with comfortable high-density mattress already in situ.
A lot of tent, in a small package
Our view for a day or so
I thought I would give it a go, and ordered the extended version. The standard version works out around £750, the extended version £775. I went for the extended version with attachable annex, all coming in at £925, and anxiously waited for delivery.
For the full range....https://venturarooftents.com/
The large package arrived, and the next available dry day, had me out in the yard, tools at the ready. I say tools, in reality a socket wrench and a couple of spanners and a screwdriver was all that was required, and an extra pair of hands to lift onto the roof rack. Instructions were included but in reality, it was extremely simple to work out, and it was soon fitted and ready for a test. I must say how surprising the amount of room there is, easily sleeping three if required, with plenty of head and leg room. I could hardly wait to get out into the countryside!
Loads of sleeping room, high-density mattress comes fitted
It is very important, once the tent is constructed, to absolutely soak it with water. Get out the hose and drench it thoroughly. This swells the fibres in the material, and locks them in place, into a waterproof membrane. When I say soak, I mean totally saturate it.
Surviving gale force winds in Galway
As a dedicated angler in Ireland, I am well versed in camping and bivvying beside rivers, lakes, or on beach venues and certainly used to "roughing it". The roof tent allowed for much more room in the back of the jeep for camping and fishing kit, without having to pack a bulky angling bivvy. My first excursion was to a local beach, where we drove a few miles around the high water mark to an area few seem to venture. In the lee of the hillside, roof tent unfolded in seconds, and jeep angled such that windows were looking out over the estuary, what a view. You don't find this at camp sites!
Compare prices at ......https://venturarooftents.com/
Once settled, there was plenty of time to gather driftwood, make a small camp fire, put on some music, a bit of grub, and relax into the surroundings. I have always done this kind of thing, my whole life, but the roof tent brings a little bit of simplicity and a lot more comfort to the experience.
Easily switched over to the new wagon
Our adventure around Dundrum Bay and Silent Valley in the Mourne Mountains was a total success, the roof tent now an important fixture for further outdoor experiences and great memories to create. It was time to go further, next trip down to the stunning River Barrow in County Carlow. Being able to park beside the river, you choose the view. I could wake up in the morning to the dawn chorus, cast a lure for a couple of hours, and come back for breakfast.
The amount of people out for a stroll, that stopped, took photos and chatted about the roof tent was amazing. Most said we were definitely living the lifestyle, and they were right. Caught in one particularly bad Irish downpour, we managed to stay perfectly dry and comfy, happy to look out over the scenery. When it was time to leave, everything packs down again into a neat and tight package, ready for the road home.
A change of jeep was due, and it was a simple matter of switching the roof tent over to the new vehicle. The tent is compatible with practically all modes of transport, from jeeps to cars or vans. There is also an awning available, which will be my next addition to the set.
A few weeks later and ready to go again, we headed further south this time, to the fabulous scenery of West Cork, where rugged landscape meets golden beaches. We found a small vantage point at the foot of an estuary, with the main window looking down to the sea. Falling asleep to the sound of running water and waves crashing on the nearby beach, we were in paradise. As much as B&b's are comfortable, it's sleeping to the sounds of nature that captures my imagination and purifies my soul.
My partner and I have spent over a year now, camping out when suitable, and have used the tent exclusively and have loved every single minute of it. I have battened down the hatches for now, until this Winter season passes, and look forward to next year, with new experiences, great fishing trips, and happy memories that wait to be discovered.
Find out more at ....https://venturarooftents.com/
Disadvantages (not many)
It is permanently on the roof rack
Once set up, if you wish to drive anywhere, obviously, it has to be packed away, although this only takes a few minutes.
Takes up no extra room in the vehicle, leaving more room for other necessities.
Your stunning view is up to you, park where the scenery is.
We have saved around £3000 in B&B fees alone this year
And if you feel a bit "grubby", find a B&B for a night's break
You can get away from the crowds, and camp sites and find solitude if you are looking for it.