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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Today I decided to setup my Napier Tent onto the 2019 Outback. This is the tent that connects to the SUV only and not the ground. I'm glad I did a dry run as it took some time to read and understand the directions. For example, they say to slip the sleeve of the tent over the rear hatch. I could not see a sleeve so I just threw the top portion, indicated on the tent itself, over the hatch. In order to keep it from falling off I clipped the web straps to my roof rack (out of sequence of the instructions). This allowed me to start placing the cover over the hatch to see where everything lines up. After securing the bottom straps I looked up and saw how we Outback owners have an issue with this tent. Our hatch has one very sharp angle that will tear the tent if we do nothing about it. I tried to loosen the bottom straps to see if that fixed the issue but it really didn't. Infact, the bottom straps have to be tight to keep the tent in place. I quickly ran to my workshop to see what I could use as a cushion. I found 2 stiff sponges and slipped them under the nylon fabric to the sharp areas of the hatch. This seemed to soften the bend and the sponges were held in place by the tension of the tent.

If you can come up with a simple alternative let everyone know.

Next was to insert the fiberglass pole to keep the overhang taunt. There is a pocket, secured with Velcro, on either bottom corner, a nylon sleeve top center and about 3 Velcro tabs on each side between the bottom pocket and the top sleeve. This pole will be a challenge and must be handled with care. If you try to bend it too much you will hear it complain (not a good thing). Even inserting it exactly as they describe it will be VERY tight. The one time I did get it in I slipped the very last segment out of its aluminum colar and inserted it into the Velcro sleeve. Then I gently re-inserted the last pole segment back into the adjacent aluminum sleeve. Even that was a tight fit. Perhaps with subsequent use the nylon fabric will be a little more forgiving and I will try to push the pole farther into all the sleeves.

I did notice that with the contours of the body of the Outback there were 2 or 3 areas that the fabric does not touch the car. This could be problematic with regards to mosquitoes but with moving the tent around I was able to minimize these gaps. I also added a couple of strong magnets (LeeValley.ca LeeValley.com).

After unzipping the door I looked up and saw what they were referring to as a sleeve. It's located right next to a triangular mesh area. I proceeded to slide the tent further forward so the bottom rounded corners were nestled into the pocket of this sleeve. Even while sliding the tent forward 5 to 6 inches, the sponges stayed in place.

When all was done I was very impressed with how it worked out. The stitching is not the best so be very gentle with it. I would even go so far as to recommend you not set up in the rain when your judgment is off. You can definitely do this yourself if you are 6' tall. My height was an advantage for sure.

Having seen the space this creates I think I will be sleeping with my head to the rear of the car when I use this tent. It gives you the impression of openness. I will definitely not use this if I'm just crashing for the night, especially at a Casino, Walmart or a rest area. This is strictly in areas where camping is an accepted practice.

I hope to take my Subie-Do out for a camping trip in November so I will keep you posted as to how it performs out in the wild
 

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Wilbour,

Had no idea that they even came out with a pop up. I too have used my OBs for car camping many times. They make a nice base camp to hike or bike from. A question then suggestion.

How does this compare to camping with just the seats down and hatch closed?

On those sharp corners where you used sponges you asked for suggestions.
Right now you can find a $1 solution that should work a little better. You might be concerned about those sponges falling out when the cloth flaps in the wind and tearing your expensive tent. Try a kids pool toy called a Pool Noodle." They should be clearanced now for one dollar each. They are durable closed cell foam hollow tubes around 3-4" diameter. They can be slit with a blade and ruler and custom shaped if necessary. They tend to lightly grab to stay in place. If you need a light removable adhesive, Lowes or any hardware store has the same thing for insulating water pipes. Look for pre split with tape. Just cut to length, peel the plastic off of the tape at the camp and it won't go anywhere. One 10' length will last a year or two . Customized perfect solution.

Kryptek
 

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One more solution from your neighbor in WV.

You mentioned skeeters. They will definitely find every crack and disturb your sleep worse than a herd of deer. Here's a real expensive $3 solution to turn your Ru into a propper mini pop up camper.

Customize the tent with a needle, thread, (at least button weight), and the netting (no seeum). Depending on the exact location of the gaps, you'll only need to sew the tent side then drape the excess where needed. Next use the pool noodle to crimp it in place to the rear body panels. Office file clips will also work well.

Let me know how it works out.

$5 and an hour of work should take care of the engineering problems that SOA left its paying customers.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How does this compare to camping with just the seats down and hatch closed?
I will let you know in a few weeks. I will be both sleeping in the car with and without the tent. I will assume that if I use the tent and sleep with my head to the tailgate there is the illusion of more space. Plus the tent can open with a screen so lots of ventilation. Add to that if you open the tent fully in the rain you can sit comfortably with a large canopy overhead.

Thanks for your suggestions regarding the skeeters and sharp corners.
 

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That just seems like it’s going to leak like a sieve not to mention becoming a sail when wind picks up.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That just seems like it’s going to leak like a sieve not to mention becoming a sail when wind picks up.
Well aren't we a Debbie Downer 😉
I'll let you know if I end up in OZ. While I'm there, can I get you something from the Wizard?
 
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Wilbour
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