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Camper Top Tent from DAC, Inc.

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My wife and I discovered the Camper Top Tent by chance a few years ago as we were looking for an alternative to buying another family tent. We had lost quality tents each of the previous two years while camping on Ocracoke Island, NC. After losing our tent last year, we retreated to the back of the truck with two more weeks still to go in our vacation. A blow the night before had laid the tent down all night, ripping the tents tie-downs and bending all the poles beyond repair. Fortunately, we had our futon mattress in the bed of the truck which we used for relaxing at the beach. It now made a comfortable bed as the back of the truck became our shelter for the remainder of the camping trip.

The 1998 camping season found us without a tent and we decided we weren't going to invest in another one just to have it destroyed on Ocracoke, so we searched the Web for alternatives. That's when we found the Camper Top Tent at Campmor and ordered one. When it arrived we ran through a trial setup in our driveway; it didn't take but 5 minutes. This tent accessory easily attaches to the rear of a truck (with cap), SUV, or minivan using shock cords and plastic coated bungee cords. In our case it was a full-size Dodge Ram, and we again used the futon mattress for our bed, which still left three feet of extra space at the foot of the bed for storage. The outer panels of the tent door can be rolled up and tied, and the inner insect screen has two-way zippers to allow easy entry. The material is also treated to be flame retardant and mildew resistant. The Camper Top Tent was even easier to take down, and it comes with a carrying bag which is small enough to stuff behind the truck seat.

We've had the Camper Top Tent for several years now and it has been a worthwhile investment for $100. The only precaution is for those who have truck caps that have sharp corners when open; you may need to pad the corners before attaching the Camper Top Tent. If you're interested, you can buy them online from Cabela's, Campmor, and DAC, Inc.

Don't have a cap on your truck? Another solution for those without a truck cap is to get one of those pickup bed tents like the Sportz Truck Tent from Napier which even comes with a floor. Friends of mine have one of these and they really like it. They can set it up in under 10 minutes, and they too use a futon mattress for their bed. Costs about $180, plus $15 shipping.

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