If you are in the market for a Roof Top Tent (RTT), here is my official review of the Cascadia Vehicle Tents model Mt. Hood. Let's start off with the particulars; most all the RTTs on the market today are virtually copies of each other, all made in China and shipped to the USA with slight variances in the rip stop materials, ladder, and of course each branded logo. The Cascadia Vehicle Tent version of these wonderful products offer up a few upgraded features from their competition:
- Now both the rainfly and tent are made from the same 420g poly/cotton rip stop material
- Telescoping ladder
- All tents include the annex room in the price
- Awning rooms now come in both 'No See-um" mesh and hard rip stop walls with windows
Per the official Cascadia Vehicle Tents (CVT) web page here are the specs of the Mt. Hood model:
- Size: 72"W x 96"L x 50"Ht. (Open)
- Size: 72"W x 48"L x 14" Ht. (Closed)
- Weight: 140lbs
- Mattress: 2.5" zip covered foam pad
- MSRP: $1395.00 USD + Shipping (if required)
OK, OK, how does this help you in your decision making process? Well, I am sure, like me, you too had several questions that may not have been able to be answered from online pictures, devoted forum threads, or you just didn't know where to start in finding out. Read on to get my perspective on the CVT - Mt. Hood RTT...
The Set Up
Having picked-up my tent locally from CVT offices, it came ready to attach to my rack system. Having reviewed the layout, this is quite a simple process. Using the provided two bolt brackets, slide the bolts through each hole and then slide the completed 'set' through the T-track slots. Repeat this process for each set of attaching brackets (4 should be included). Next you will want to align your four (4) new attachment points with your desired connection points over your rack solution. Next, reaching your hands from the underside of your rack, attach the other provided brackets through the bolts hanging down from the 'sets' now attached to the tent bottom. With one hand, hold the bracket in place, with your other hand secure the provided nylon locking nuts to each bolt. You may repeat this step for each of the remaining 4 sets of brackets. Lastly, you'll need to cinch down each nut to securely tighten the RTT to your rack.
Tips & Tricks
You will need a 11mm open end box wrench to perform the tightening of the nuts; if you have a ratcheting box wrench this will save you about 5+ minutes of time
These do not need to be tightened with all your power, just tight enough so there are no gaps between the lower brackets and the nuts on each side of your rack
Be sure to keep the same or near the same lengths of bolt coming through the lock nuts on each side; this will ensure you have the same amount of pull from each side of the bracket
Depending on your application, you may want to get shorter bolts as the provided hardware are rendered for several application
Here is a video showing the set-up process from another consumer online.
Once your tent is fully secured to your rack, it should look something like this:
Once you have your RTT securely fastened to your rack; it's time for the big to do; opening up the tent for the first time! This process proved quite easy and very intuitive numbered steps below:
- Unstrap the 2 velcro straps from the short side of the tent, these will be located near the center of the tent by the ladder
- Undo the velcro straps on the outer corners of the tent
- Unzip the heavy PVC cover and flip over the folding end of the tent (you may remove the cover by sliding it out of the rail - this is only required if you are going to attach the provided annex room)
- Undo the 2 velcro straps holding down the tent from the outside corners
- Pull the ladder out until it is fully opened and pull the tent to it's open position
- Lock the ladder's steps so that it is at approximately 70 degree angle and all the positions are locked (preventing the tent from sliding up and down upon entry)
- Adhere the 8 provided metal holds (2 for each opening) - this will ensure each door (2) and window (2) cover stay taught whilst it's open
- Climb into your tent and fold over the mattress pad
Having gone through the steps above with no prior training and in the dark, I can tell you first hand, this is a very easy process. On my second attempt at set-up, I ran a timed trial to see how long it actually took. Taking my time and still not a professional, I was able to record the following times:
Set-Up = 13.55.87 minutes
Tear-Down = 13.00.75 minutes
As you can see almost the same time to break down as it took to set-up, and since this time, I have performed the tasks in almost half that! Once you have your tent fully opened, it should look something like this:
During my reviews of several models of RTTs, I was always curious as to how big was the listed dimensions in reality? I can picture what 70"W x 96"L x 50"H is, but is that big enough for my family of four? Well to put this into perspective, this is the same length as and nearly 20" wider than my king size bed! OK, so you are still sleeping on your twin mattress from college so how does it look from the inside?
Measuring the Height
Measuring the Length
Measuring the Width
Measuring the Thickness
I am not sure if four adults would want to sleep together in this space, but it could certainly accommodate; however for my wife and I, plus two kids this is a great size offering plenty of space for all and probably will for several years to come. I have noted as well if you are short (like me - under 5'6") then you could easily sleep 5 perpendicularly to the doors!