This 12 months I spent my summer season vacation sleeping on the roof of a automotive in a subject in Norfolk. This is best than it sounds, I ought to add, although I’m unsure I’ll ever be absolutely transformed to the reason for marketing campaign, and even glamping. Maybe they need to name this sort of factor, staying in a tent on high of a Jeep Wrangler “Jamping” or “Wrangling”. Anyway, it was a very nice shock. My take a look at Jeep Wrangler in “Rubicon” off-road-focused spec and attention-grabbing “HellaYella” paintwork was provided with a roof rack and – hurrah! – a TentBox pop-up two-person tent. It was the nearest factor to a vacation I used to be going to get this 12 months, and it was a wonderful set-up. You can purchase a TentBox for about £2,000 (which admittedly would pay for fairly a few nights in a resort) and match it to most automobiles, however there it was on high of a Jeep and it quite suited it, particularly as a result of the TentBox comes with a collapsible ladder for entry. It was revelatory.
Unlike a standard tent, the TentBox is rectangular, has a correct plastic roof, a reminiscence flat foam mattress and intensive insulation in addition to 4 openings and, atop of the Jeep in its caravan park in Heacham, magnificent views of West Norfolk. There are a lot of nets and baggage round the inside the tent, pegs to hold lights on and that type of factor, and it’s all effectively thought-through. It’s extraordinarily comfortable and you will get a completely good night time’s sleep in there, up and much away from any undesirable intruding wildflower, and the solely disadvantage was that the numerous spare straps made a little bit of noise. Easily fastened I ought to assume. Popping the tent up is the work of seconds, as you merely launch a couple of buckles and the suspension struts (like on the boot of your automotive) lever the entire factor up immediately. Getting it down is quite extra laborious and requires a little bit of brute pressure, whereas the sheer peak of the Jeep made get the straps all buckled down much more fiddly.
The TentBox definitely was the discuss of the campsite, and was admired even by these in the poshest of lengthy wheelbase camper vans, the sort with a built-in bathe and a three-piece suite, so I think the TentBox will turn into a extra acquainted web site.
As for the Wrangler, effectively it was what you would possibly count on, solely extra so. It’s greater than it seems, feels cumbersome on the highway, doesn’t deal with too effectively, is a bit sluggish, and it’s actually a boy’s toy, a Tonka truck for the middle-aged. Given that I used to be in East Anglia it wasn’t going to get subjected to a lot hill work and mountain climbing, however what little tough terrain it was confronted with, it took in its stride, and off-reloading traditionalists can be reassured that the Jeep has all the mechanical package wanted to cross continents, not to mention Norfolk. In regular highway use you may simply depart it in two-wheel drive, which helps with gasoline financial system, although the readout on the digital sprint indicated consumption of round 27mpg from the 2-litre petrol engine, and the CO2 emissions, although a lot improved on earlier variations, are so what regarding. The Wrangler additionally characteristic a “freedom roof” which suggests you may flip it into a Targa high semi-convertible, however that for me would have meant eradicating the tent field and roof rack, and the solar didn’t come out sufficient to make that faff worthwhile.
The Jeep Wrangler and the TentBox, then, are a marriage made in heaven for enthusiastic campers, however there have been three of us on this relationship, and I felt a little bit of a gooseberry. I’d favor a Dacia Duster and a B&B, frankly, as a result of I don’t must lock my differentials. If you do, then be my visitor.