I purchased my CVT Mt Shasta Stargazer roof top tent in the spring of 2019 after doing some research for about six months. Part of the decision to go with CVT was that they had been around for a long time and their products seem to hold up to a lot of treacherous weather conditions and have a lot of confidence by individuals that have been using their products for overlanding.
The Tent Acquisition
I drove to Chattanooga, TN where CVT has a sales office and installation center not knowing what to expect other than the purchase of the rooftop tent. I left Atlanta with my Tacoma which at the time had the Diamondback bedcover and the KB VooDoo crossbars for the tent to live on and my tools. I was fully expecting to spend some time in the parking lot assembling and installing the tent before I drove back to Atlanta as I knew I wouldn’t have the space to haul the tent in the box. I have to say that I was really impressed with the service and they offered to install the tent for me free of charge. I just backed the truck up into the bay and within about 15 minutes my new tent was on and ready to rock
was really excited to get home and plan the next camping trip to run this tent through it’s paces and see how comfortable it would be. Since then I have 130 plus nights in this tent and I will say i has added a level of comfort and luxuriousness to my camping and overland adventures. After spending all my life in ground tents or hammocks I soon came to realize why people would spend the money and carry the wight of a sleep system such as a rooftop tent.
First, I like sleeping up in the air. I like to call it my “sky condo” as it does give you a big sense of security knowing that not every little critter, spider, bug, snake or bear can easily just roll up into your crib while you’re sleeping. Though I’ve never had an encounter with some of these animals in my tent it’s a nice peace of mind. Secondly I like that there is a 3 inch foam mattress. This means I can sleep on a comfortable bed without using an air mattress or using cots. This is important in the winter time because so much body heat is sucked out of you when you’re sleeping close to the ground in January. Thirdly the protection from the elements is the next big factor of why I wanted to be elevated. I have had a few occasions of sleeping in a ground tent only to eventually be infiltrated by water from rain storms and trying to prepare for an invasion of H20 into my domicile. No more of that. The CVT rooftop tent has a nice big footprint with the extended overhang over the ladder to keep you very dry and it has done so for the past three years with rain and snow.
Now these sky condos do come at a cost and I would not advocate for anyone to get one for only a few nights a year of camping unless you have the means and money is not an issue. I would only suggest a mobile habitat like this one if you are spending at least 20-30 nights a year or more out camping and especially if you are overlanding to sparse camp sites that may be on the side of hills or on uneven ground where a ground tent would either be too rocky or not level enough to enjoy.