The Blue Camping roof tent comes with a purpose to serve not only the off road market, but also family camping. That’s why they sent their Expedition model with a closing attachment for our evaluation.
The roof tent has all the structure and very traditional design and characteristic already known worldwide. The main objective is for the rectangular volume fixed to the car’s luggage compartment to be easily unfolded, revealing the assembled tent. The bedroom has twice the area of the “box” closed over the car and already accommodates the mattress that can even remain with the bedding, pillows and some belongings when on the move.
Our test was done just like a traditional buyer. The model was chosen via the manufacturer’s website and delivered a few days later via carrier, agreed by Blue Camping, which offers free shipping throughout Brazil. In addition to the chosen model – Expedition – the closing attachment was chosen, which transforms the tent projection area into a protected room. This one came inside the tent that also accompanied 2 pillows and covers. Our goal was to fulfill what was promised by the manufacturer: The camper himself installed the tent in his car without great difficulties.
Two volumes delivered: Large box with complete tent, installation kit, bars and attachment. Small Box with Pillows + covers. | Foto Marcos Pivari – MaCamp
The tent is heavier than we would have thought, but once installed in the car there is no need to worry. Once the cardboard is opened, the tent is already in the same condition as when the luggage rack is installed without the protective cover (which came folded in). Once the tapes are released, you can now access the accompanying items. Our goal was the installation kit and the intermediate bars in order to prepare it for installation in the luggage compartment. This initial service is more time consuming, but practically unique even if you want to remove the tent from the car after the trips. This is because there are a pair of intermediate bars to be installed in the tent. The reason they are no longer installed is because it will depend on the type of your rack. If it is of the longitudinal type, the intermediate bars must be arranged transversely. If the rack is transversal, the bars should be installed longitudinally in the tent. In addition to the type of car rack, it also depends on the position you want the tent to be arranged in the car – opening to the side of the vehicle or to the rear. In any case, the side bars must always be placed in the tent perpendicularly to the car rack.
Tent in open packaging and installation kit and accessories. Accompanied the wrenches for nuts and bolts. | Foto Marcos Pivari – MaCamp
To choose the position of the tent in relation to the car it is necessary to reflect a little. It can be opened (unfolded) both to the sides of the car and to the rear. When opened to the rear, there is that nice possibility of using the trunk as an attachment to the set serving as a support for luggage and even the kitchen. There are two questions to be evaluated for this choice: Most of the time this is only possible in cars with trunk with side opening, since the overhead doors will almost always hit the open tent, not allowing the full opening of the luggage rack . Another issue is that the roof tent has a larger dimension than the other. In the Expedition model the tent width is 1.40m, which remains when closed. The length of 2.40m is reduced to 1.20m when folded, making the width of the “box” on the car to be 1.20m at the side opening and 1.40m at the rear opening. This ends up leaving this option of the rear choice for bigger and wider cars or pickup trucks. Anyway it is a matter of proportion, since any car can receive these 1.40m in width.
Rear or side opening options – Requires reflection. | Foto Marcos Pivari – MaCamp
Having chosen the position of the tent in relation to the car, it is time to fix the intermediate bars in the tent. The base already comes with 4 holes at the bottom for this purpose. They are already arranged quadratically to receive the bars in both vector directions. There are 4 sets of screws and nuts. The screw will be passed through the inside of the tent, crossing the floor through the existing holes, being screwed in the torque nuts that will be fitted in the aluminum profile of the bar. The widest part of the bar touches the bottom of the tent. Make sure the bar is exactly centered in relation to the tent. At the end place the rubber terminals for closing and finishing.
Profile of the intermediate bar + rubber terminal. | Foto Marcos Pivari – MaCamp
Install the intermediate bar. Inverted tent (bottom up). Bar always perpendicular to the car rack. | Foto Marcos Pivari – MaCamp
Along with the installation kit comes a “male” profile that fits perfectly in the middle bar. There are 8 of them, two for each attachment point in the car rack. At each of these points there will be 2 threads that will receive the hole rule that will press the vehicle’s rack through 2 nuts (also of torque) included. It’s time to position the tent in the desired location on the roof of the car. In this stage, the help of another person was needed where we suffered a little due to the weight. Although the 50 kg of the tent is not absurd for two people to carry, the position and the need to raise the piece a lot made the work hard. If you have 4 people it would be ideal right now. In addition to the desired position and the centering of the tent in relation to the width of the car, it is good to check that the trunk (if tilting) opens perfectly. Then just place the screws and press the set with the ruler drilled in 2 different distances to suit the models of the racks. Tighten one nut and then another until you have full pressure on both. Finally, just put the protective cover on the tent, secure it well and leave for the camp.
Tent fixed on the rack. | Foto Marcos Pivari – MaCamp
Install the cover securely. | Foto Marcos Pivari – MaCamp
The operation of the roof tent is very simple. First, the car must be positioned in the desired location and orientation, keeping the vehicle well level. Now it’s time to release and remove the protective cover. Loosen all bonds and open the child. For this, the ladder must be opened to serve as a lever in the opening. Open, the ladder is supported on the floor until it finds the ideal leveling. The rest is adjustment: window awnings, openings and other perfumeries.
Upon opening the tent, a large, well-ventilated bedroom is revealed. The 1.40m wide and 2.40m long bed leaves space either on the foot or at the head for some belongings or luggage. The entrance door has a closing element and a mosquito net, both with double zipper. In the same configuration, there is another opening on the back side that allows a lot of lighting and ventilation. On the sides more openings. Also in two elements, you can open everything with zippers. Outside the openings have “awnings” that protect from the sun and rain. For this task, it is necessary to place the 6 included rods by inserting them in existing holes in the base and attaching the eyelets on the hook tip, leaving them slightly bent.
Tent accompanied 2 pillows + covers + mattress cover | Photo Paula / Marcos Pivari – MaCamp
Great ventilation openings | Photo Paula / Marcos Pivari – MaCamp
Rear “outlet” with panoramic view | Photo Paula / Marcos Pivari – MaCamp
House assembled our way | Photo Paula / Marcos Pivari – MaCamp
In the specific model of our Review – The Expedition – there is a cover in front of the entrance door that serves to protect the access, in addition to being prepared for the closing annex of the lower room. Even without the attachment, which is optional, this “balcony” makes life easier for the camper on rainy days. For this differential there is one more step in the assembly, which is the fitting of another arch of the structure. It is collected in the tent box and is fitted at specific points.
Setting the balcony. | Photo Paula / Marcos Pivari – MaCamp
Placement of extra rod for models with balcony and preparation for attachment. | Photo Paula / Marcos Pivari – MaCamp
Some indoor treats complement the Blue Camping tent. There are screen pockets to accommodate belongings, upper vents independent of the windows that seek to avoid condensation.
Total interior. | Photo: Sergio Friso
Articulated system for opening and closing together with the cover. | Photo Paula / Marcos Pivari – MaCamp
When closing, there are no secrets. The awning rods are removed and the “box” is folded with the ladder itself. Accompanying the product are 4 rubber bands with hooks and specific anchoring to assist the collection of cloths to the center of the tent. Attached all the straps that fix the “box”, just replace the protective cover and continue traveling.
Rubber bands help to keep the cloths inside the tent at the time of closing. | Photo: Sergio Friso
The tent behaved very well in our initial tests, but since we didn’t get rain, we still haven’t considered the test completely. We will still complement this review. On the road, the tent proved to be very quiet in terms of aerodynamics. We feared noises or some change in handling, which did not happen. We even got rain on the way, but the cover proved to be efficient in watertightness. It is necessary to pay attention when fixing the cover, pulling and tightening the elastic well. For greater security we tie it to the rack.
In the camping the assembly took place in a very practical way. The “lever” system for opening with the ladder is very light. At the premiere, the tent heated up very quickly under the midday sun and was very cool as soon as we opened the windows. As it is extensive, in addition to the sleeping area, there is still a beautiful space left for some junk in our “foot”. We slept in three people (couple + 2 year old child) very well. With children it is very important not to leave them alone without supervision, as mosquito nets also open through a zipper leaving the fall at risk. On a mild night, no condensation occurred. On a cooler night it condensed, but we cannot be a reference, as we sleep with the tent absolutely closed.
A striking difference of this tent in relation to the traditional ones of the market is the ladder, which even generates many positive comments from other experienced campers in Barraca de Teto. However, this difference results in a higher height of the closed tent, which even has a “top hat” in high relief on the cover.
For the analysis and steps of installing and using the tent attachment and the side awning, see a new review soon.
NOTE: This tent was sent by BLUE CAMPING for our analysis. Meet this and other products.
UPDATE !!!: The review of the 2nd generation of the Expedition Blue Camping Tent was published on 11/2017 with improvements to the model of this review. At this moment the company is already selling the 3rd generation.