I recently spent a weekend at a 24 Hours of Lemons race event. You can read about that here. Today though, I’m taking some time to talk about how I slept at the event. The year prior, I first attempted to sleep inside my Montero. The next night I smartened up and set up a tent inside the garage we rented. This time though, I have a rooftop tent from GoFastCampers on top of my truck. And I wanted to see what all the hype is about.
The tent model is the Superlite V1. It’s actually been discontinued as GFC wants to refine the concept and eventually emerge with a second version. This V1, however, is excellent for my needs. It only weighs 85 pounds. In fact, I got it on the roof of the truck by myself and then bolted it in place. From there, GFC was kind enough to send over a sleeping pad and also reached out to their friends at a company called Aeronaut.
Initially, I was shocked at the idea of a blanket costing $500. And I still think it’s a bit steep. However, after sleeping with the Aeronaut Hoverquilt, I’m incredibly impressed. It never felt too hot, was supremely light, and is far more comfortable to use than any sleeping bag. In cold weather, it should prove to be quite warm, too, as it’s filled with plenty of goose down. Aeronaut says it’s totally comfortable down to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. It packs up small, and it’s super soft. The folks behind this brand have total faith in their product, too, as they offer a 110-day, 110% guarantee. If you use it for 110 days and don’t love it, they’ll refund your money, including shipping. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s also very good at being an easy-to-pack, super comfortable blanket.
Back to the tent, though, and the overall setup of my Montero. It was easy enough to climb up and into the tent using my rear-mounted spare tire. But I brought along the ladder to make life a bit easier. And it was useful considering, at 42, I definitely have to get up to go the bathroom since I’ll likely have a few beers before bed when camping. But once up and inside the sleeping area, it was the most comfortable I’ve been while tent camping. The pad is excellent, I had a full-size pillow from home, and the Aeronaut blanket, and I was snoring away. The truck didn’t rock much when I would roll over, and if I needed it more level, I have a set of GoTreads stored in the rear cargo area.
During the day, the Montero proved a great home base at the track since I have my Dometic CFX35 powered cooler. Paired with the Dometic PLB40 portable battery and the HardKorr solar panels, I have power to spare. This means nice cold cuts not swimming in cooler water, beers frosty and ready to go, and plenty of Gatorade, water, and energy drinks on hand. Still, I brought my larger Pelican cooler, too, so we had even more water and food. I was responsible for feeding everyone all weekend long. If I were by myself, the Dometic alone would be plenty.
Still, I’m not done yet with this truck in terms of adding a bit more to it. I would still like a better storage system for the rear, along with a hard deck to anchor the fridge in place. It’s literally just sitting back there, which is fine for general driving around but not so great when I actually go off-road. Additionally, the Montero will get front and rear lockers, and I think I’ll re-gear the rear too. I’ve heard very good things about jumping to the 5.29 setup for the rear diff. And then my dream modification would be to swap in the Cummins R28 engine, but that would mean the truck is no longer CA legal, and it would be hideously expensive. Still, I’m thinking about it…