20 September 2021
By Roger Jones
Business & Entertainment News
For me, the word tent conjures up images of a cheap two-person camping tent, which I used at many scenic spots throughout Ireland in my youth. Tents were a great form of accommodation; being portable, cheap, and meant you could stay close by to whatever the event was – from a concert to a Summer beach BBQ. However, small ground tents have many disadvantages, the biggest of which is they are difficult to erect. Even if you buy a self-erecting ‘pop up’ tent you still have to peg it to the ground, and that’s no fun in the wind or rain, plus packing it away requires the brain of an Engineer. It would be nice to take things up a gear and use a Camper van or RV but it’s hard to justify the expense of a dedicated vehicle. Fortunately, there is a middle option. It’s caller a Roof Top Tent.
Camping can be a joy again
A Roof Top Tent is a 2-person tent, which goes on top of your existing vehicle, which could be a Car, SUV, or 4WD.
A Roof Top Tent does not sit on the actual roof of your car, because that would leave a dent, instead, it actually rests on crossbars. If you don’t already have those, they can be fitted by your garage quite easily, because most cars already have channels in the roof. As the crossbars are connected directly to the steel frame of the car, they can carry a heavy load of weight. The maximum roof load limit shown in your vehicle’s manual will refer to dynamic load (i.e. moving), but it actually the static load (i.e. parked). that you need to consider when you are using a Roof Tent. This will be the higher figure. Most vehicles can take upwards of 500kgs on crossbars. Given that the average weight of a male rugby player is 105kg you can rest assured that your car can handle a Roof Top Tent for 2-people, along with the weight of the tent itself, and any possessions you might bring into the tent.
The Mako56 range
Mako56 is a Cork brand Ireland’s first Roof Top Tent Brand. Their car camper product (pictured above) is an Irish design which boasts a 3-year warranty, sleeps 2-people, and has a 1-minute setup (3:2:1 !). If you subscribe to their newsletter you can save 5%, and you are in Cork you can save more by collecting the product from their Tramore Road premises, instead of shipping.
Cork businessman Greg Chlodnicki, who lives in Passage West, is the man behind the brand of Mako56. He has been in business for a number of years running Chimney Choice which supplies chimney cowls and flues to the building trade. Now, he has branched out into another rooftop product, but this time it’s for cars instead of buildings!. He says the brand name Mako56 is named after the fastest shark in the sea, the Mako. Various scientific reports have recorded Mako’s top speed at 56mph or kph. Mako’s have been tagged and observed travelling over 13,000 KMs in one season. Greg hopes customers will use their Roof Top Tents to travel far and wide, and enjoy all that the great outdoors has to offer. The range of Roof Top Tents proved popular in Summer 2021 as many Irish people chose to staycation, rather than travel abroad during the COVID19 pandemic.
Greg says the design of the Mako56 Car Roof Top Tent was inspired by his love of going to music festivals. The fact that he is now aged in his 40’s meant he was looking for something more comfortable than a traditional ground tent “I value my comfort more and more. After some research, I discovered many European and American suppliers of car Roof Top Tents but with extremely high prices. After numerous conversations with many different manufacturers, we settled on an Eastern supplier that provides a quality car roof top tent with unique features (such as a solar panel in the roof of the tent that provides lighting, battery and phone charging inside the tent) and very sensible pricing. If you love camping and getting out into the great outdoors but are seeking a little more comfort, our car roof top tent is for you.”
Advantages of using a Roof Top Tent
- More comfortable than a standard ground tent.
Ground tents are cold, can get damp and you are often forced to sleep on uneven ground.
- Quick and easy set-up and takedown.
Roof Top Tents are so easy to set up and take down the following morning. Just unhook the clips and the tent springs open. The following day when you want to take it down you just lower the roof and clip it closed to the base and ready for you to start your journey.
- Sleeping at a height is safer than on the ground.
You are less likely to be disturbed by animals.
- Hard shell Roof Top Tents can be locked when closed
Making them more secure and less prone to thieves.
- Hard shell tents are more durable.
The base and roof are constructed from either ABS plastic or fibreglass or a combination of both. This makes the tent tough and longer lasting.
- A Roof Top Tent is much cheaper to buy than a Camper van, R.V., or Motor home.
In addition, you do not need to insure, service, a special vehicle. You already have a car, so use it!
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