Family of Four Experience With the iKamper Skycamp After Two Seasons of Use
Roof-top tents are like owning your own tree-house on wheels. We have owned our iKamper Skycamp 4 person roof top tent for two years and have used it extensively during Canada’s spring, summer and autumn. It works great for our family but we have made adjustments to make it work better for us and these hacks might make your life a little easier too. These tips may work with other types of roof-top tents as well
We are not sponsored or compensated by iKamper
We find the iKamper set up pretty straight forward but be aware of fold down floor attached to the ladder and make sure it is not resting on your cross beams and that the weight of the tent is on the ladder only.
We like to have the black out windows down while we sleep but want more airflow so we use long plastic twist ties to prop open the bottom of the window covering. Stops the window from flapping and lets air in while keeping the inside dark.
Storing sleeping bags in the iKamper was a huge reason we got it in the first place. I do not enjoy tearing down a tent, packing away the mats and sleeping bags. We store 4 adult size down filled sleeping bags, all with a temperature rating of at least -7C . 3 MEC brand and 1 Mountain Hardwear. If you have blankets or bulky sleeping bags that don’t stuff down into a small stuff sacks they will likely not work in the iKamper. Our down bags lose a huge amount of bulk once the air is squeeze out of them.
All sleeping bags need to be pushed to the back left side/corner of the iKamper. This allows the extra leg section to fold back (not on the sleeping bags) and close the iKamper. The back of the iKamper has more room. This is KEY to closing the lid with sleeping bags inside. We cannot close the lid with the sleeping bags at the front of the iKamper. We literally shove them into the back left corner quickly, no folding or carefully placing. Just don’t leave them how you sleep in them.
We store the insulation layer and 4 sleeping bags in the iKamper when we close it
I hate to admit it but my husband is stronger than me. Don’t get me wrong, I am confident in my strength and can even beat my husband in certain activities but his grip strength to close the iKamper is likely better than the average person. Rock climbing has it’s perks in life, closing the iKamper is one of them.
When my human clamp isn’t available I get creative with closing the iKamper. I have had friends help me and I’ve used actual clamps. That’s right, we pack them as a backup. Our iKamper is fully loaded with sleeping bags, extra mats and the extra iKamper insulation layer. It is a very very tight close but we have ALWAYS been able to close it.
I close it as you normally would, close the ladder one rung at a time and get it up. I grab the black strap, pull the top down and wrap it around part of a cross bar to help hold the lid down. Then I place a wood clamp on the iKamper usually close to the black strap since I’m already standing there. Then take off the black strap and tuck it into the iKamper so it isn’t sticking out. I then go to the front lock first and lock it in. DO NOT push up on the little black strap on the iKamper lock to get it in the latch. This pushes the rubber piece up and then you won’t get the latch to hook. Make sure the little rubber piece is down and push/pull the latch in. The clamp you attached will fall off because you will have squeezed the iKamper down. Then proceed to the back latch. Once you get one latch you will get the other.
The tent portion of the iKamper will stick out a little as you close the lid. Our vehicle is high off the ground so we use a stick or a hiking pole to tuck in the material on the front and back.
Tents build up condensation. Hot humid people inside hits the cool tent fabric and bam you got moisture. We live in the dry Rocky Mountains so our usually dries very quickly in the morning but we wanted to mitigate it from happening as much as possible.
Our first condensation issue was under the mattress, it was only happening under the main iKamper body, not the section that the ladder is attached too. We read that people put thin camping mats under to fix this. So we bought cheap blue foam mats and vola problem solved.
This video about the iKamper Insulation Layer shows the blue mats I’m talking about:
In the mornings condensation was sometimes building on top of the iKamper tent and under the tent fly. The plastic skylight material holds the most moisture and is the slowest to try. To stop this from happening we rolled up a rag a put it on the tent bar above the door between the tent and fly. Problem fixed with the extra airflow.
As the weather started to cool and evenings got closer to zero we found our first consistent issues with interior tent condensation. We read that the iKamper Inner Insulation Tent add-on you can purchase assisted with condensation, we tried it out and the interior stayed dry. Though you really need to keep the space between the tent and the fly open as mentioned above. You can find more about this add-on here.
The iKamper Skycamp is blackout and when it is dark out you do not get a hint of light even from the brightest full moon. We always have headlamps and flashlights with us. We simply attach one to the bar or a loop and keep it their overnight to easily turn on in the middle of the night as needed.
Nobody likes a sandy dirty tent. We do a few simple things to keep it clean.
Hope all of you Roof-Top tent campers out there found a new idea to make your lives easier. Happy camping!