Tested: Alu-Cab Expedition III RTT

The Alu-Cab Expedition III tent is an aluminum hard shell roof top tent, they are built in South Africa and are one of the most durable tents on the market. So far I have about 14 nights in the tent, and have driven about 2,000 miles since I mounted it.

One of the first things you will notice about this tent is the mounting system, it's not like any other. It's a bit hard to explain, but the tent uses 4 L shaped brackets that attach to the bottom, and the sides. This gives you the ability to mount it in a bunch of different variations. Because the tent is made out of Aluminum you actually don't even need a roof rack, the tent itself is a roof rack. I have mine mounted to 6 feet that attach to the stock rack points on my FJ Cruiser.

One huge benefit to this tent is the ability to add the Alu-Cab crossbars onto it, this gives the user back some of the space that the tent takes on the roof. Alu-Cab says that the tent can support up to 80lbs of weight on the cross bars, but i'm sure you can add more, the gas struts that open the tent will just begin to struggle.

My first night of sleeping in the tent was a big rough, the mattress that comes with it is pretty stiff. This is just a personal preference, but I woke up in the morning with sore hips and shoulders. I purchased a cheap 1” thick foam topper off of amazon and it did the trick, it's as comfortable as my bed at home now.

The the tent comes with several awesome features on the inside. First off it comes with 2 USB plugs and 2 LED reading lights, you plug these into a 12v port, via an anderson plug on the bottom outside corner of the tent. The USB ports are awesome, but the LED lighting is really only good for reading a book, they don't do a good job of lighting the interior of the tent. I had to throw in a small Goal Zero lantern in to fix that. Interior storage is good, it comes with 9 pouches attached to the ceiling of the tent. They work well but lack in some ways, they are really only good for storing small items, in my old James Baroud tent there was a large net on the ceiling, which was great for storing clothing or blankets you're not using that night. I’m thinking about adding a net onto the ceiling of the Alu-Cab.

One major issue I have with the tent is the ladder, it's massive. I believe it's 6’2” long and it does not collapse, it's a total pain to get in and out of the tent and its protective cover. I resolved this by purchasing a collapsible ladder off of amazon which fits nicely inside the tent. A smaller issue is the windows/doors, when open they fold down, which brings up the problem of what do you do with the fabric when you're getting in and out. It either hangs on the outside blocking some of the ladder, or it lays inside and you have to climb on it to get in, this is also a issue in bad weather, it lets plenty of rain/dirt in. On the flip side of it it does allow you to open the top of the window for ventilation, and it creates a square opening at the bottom, which provides a ton of space to climb in and out. I just wish they made a simple way to organize the fabric when it's zipped down.

Overall the tent has been great, i've enjoyed every night in it. I’m looking forward to spending more time in it and hopefully will be able to take it on a major trip like I did with my James Baroud tent. Ill be updating this post as I use the tent more! 

 

 

Basil Lynch2 Comments