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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I was thinking... Has anyone thought about putting a rectangular dome tent on the roof? I would think that you couldput the ends of the poles down into carefully drilled out locations in the upper trim, and it would have the same function as a pop-up... extra sleeping space. You'll have to cut a hole in the bottom of the tent to get in through the EX hatch, and you'll have to bring your own stuff to sleep on, but it seems like a heck of a cheaper way to add two sleeping spaces to the E. I think I'll try to find a tent whose dimensions are compatible with the roof. Anyone know what the roof's length and width are???
 

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Hey guys, I was thinking... Has anyone thought about putting a rectangular dome tent on the roof? I would think that you couldput the ends of the poles down into carefully drilled out locations in the upper trim, and it would have the same function as a pop-up... extra sleeping space. You'll have to cut a hole in the bottom of the tent to get in through the EX hatch, and you'll have to bring your own stuff to sleep on, but it seems like a heck of a cheaper way to add two sleeping spaces to the E. I think I'll try to find a tent whose dimensions are compatible with the roof. Anyone know what the roof's length and width are???
about 4'x8', that's a very rough measurement. get a tape measure before you commit to any purchase though.
 

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You would need to lay a piece of something rigid on the roof of the E or it will cave in. Maybe start with a roof rack and then add a platform. Good luck with it but I think you would be much better off just setting up a tent on the ground or getting a Harbor Freight trailer (4x8) to place your tent on. I have thought about something like that for a while.
 

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I first came across rooftop tents back in the early 90's...in fact, I think one of the first prototypes was being developed that I had come across. Wanted one badly for my Jeep GC but it was too much for this college boy at the time.

I've always thought these would be an awesome accessory.
 

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Ya, Mkh, I'm sure it is not as fuel efficient as the E, but it is a completely different vehicle, so that is to be expected. The X has a great deal more power, is faster, tows 5000 lbs, and is bulkier because it is designed for significant off road use. But if you don’t need 265 hp or do a lot of major off roading then the E is a perfect fit. I’ve gotten as good as 24mpg and as bad as 13mpg in heavy city use. The 33” tires don’t help any. But I drive 3km to work, so it isn’t a huge issue.

Were it not for the suicide doors, the four person only occupancy, and the lack of towing we would have bought an E. We test drove it three times and that is how I came to join this forum. This is a great forum and the Element a great vehicle. :D
 

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I more than likely would have chosen one of the earlier model xterra's over the E. Several good friends owned them, went to Xterra camp etc. Fun economical vehicle back then. They were smaller, lighter, cheaper, more fuel efficient and less full of soccer mom crap than the current ones. They were the best bargain in off road vehicles for several years. I almost bought one in 01/02 but hung onto my truck for 5 more years when I bought my house. The new ones are pigs next to the original ones. I couldn't justify the costs vs the E. My neighbor had an 01 X and his wife had an 06 E. They were expecting twins so he was going to get a new X. He came back very disappointed...totally different vehicle so they got a Highlander instead and he has the E now. :)
 

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Wow. Way to dis my choice of vehicle so blatantly. Not cool.

I`m not sure what soccer mom crap you are speaking of. Please elaborate.

Actually the 2005+ Xterra has more power and is better on gas than the 1st gen. At least this is what is reported on the Nissan forums.
 

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I think, in the "favorite camping things" thread you will find a number of tents that link up with the open back end of your SUV. You might consider that as well. The only downside that comes to mind is egress during the night when "nature calls"...that first step is a doozy. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
On the roof...

Not to interrupt this Xterra / Element Flamewar, but...

I've been on the roof of the E before and it didn't collapse... Are we sure I need extra supports, or will the ones built in to the roof do just fine? I have an EX with the sunroof, so am I to assume there are extra crossmembers in there?

FYI, I've owned an E and an X. They're both great for what they're designed for, which incidentally, are different things.
 

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Not to interrupt this Xterra / Element Flamewar, but...


FYI, I've owned an E and an X. They're both great for what they're designed for, which incidentally, are different things.
I never ever flamed the E. It is a one sided war. I think the Element is a fantastic vehicle. I only did a quick comparison of the two, never denigrating the Element, because someone else brought it up. And I think I stated the same conclusion as you. This forum is an Element enthusiast forum and I`m not interested in pushing any other vehicle.

Mostly I am interested to see what sort of rooftop tent an E can handle. I`d really like to own one, but I`m thinking with kids on the way a RT tent isn`t the best option.
 

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Ya, Mkh, I'm sure it is not as fuel efficient as the E, but it is a completely different vehicle, so that is to be expected. The X has a great deal more power, is faster, tows 5000 lbs, and is bulkier because it is designed for significant off road use. But if you don’t need 265 hp or do a lot of major off roading then the E is a perfect fit. I’ve gotten as good as 24mpg and as bad as 13mpg in heavy city use. The 33” tires don’t help any. But I drive 3km to work, so it isn’t a huge issue.

Were it not for the suicide doors, the four person only occupancy, and the lack of towing we would have bought an E. We test drove it three times and that is how I came to join this forum. This is a great forum and the Element a great vehicle. :D
I agree, Rev - two different vehicles, and both suited for what they provide. if I needed to tow a boat or trailer, and went off-roading - the E wouldn't fit the bill as well as the the X does. I commute 60 miles a day - so needed a bit better gas mileage, and like the weekend cargo home-project cargo capabililty, along with the Honda reliablilty (not that the X isn't just as reliable - I'm coming from a previous Jeep Cheerokee that was fairly reliable - 195,000 miles - but a total gas-hog, and a MINI Cooper that was great on gas, but a roller-skate in size - way too small, and in the shop ever other month for a week). :lol: And I'm in the minority here, but I actually like the suicide doors, even in tight parking lots. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Rev, you're right...

It was a one-sided flamewar. I didn't quite get across what I wanted to in that regard, but I wanted to point out how silly it was for someone to dis your X. As for the RT tent, I'm looking for a tent that will fit nicely as we speak. Also, if anyone can address the collapse concern, please do. Again, I'm a 200lb male and I can't dent the roof of the E when I'm on top...
 

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I am not saying the entire roof will cave in but on my E I have a few small "dents" from stepping in the middle of the roof and I am only 165 pounds. They are in the middle of the raised channels. If you lay down some padding of some kind I am sure it would be enough to distribute the weight to prevent it. I am sure if you walk around on the roof long enough you will find the weak points and begin to see indentations.

I used to work for a radio station and we would constantly climb on the roof of the vans and the entire roof would cave in on those things. We would have to take a floor jack and a two by four to pop it back up.
 

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I'm glad that cars/trucks come in all shapes and sizes. :)

As for the RT tent, it would be bolted to a roof rack system, so the question would not be whether or not you dent the sheet metal when you walk on it, so much as will the mounting points of the roof rack handle the weight of the tent, sleeping gear and two+ people. Hasn't this been discussed here before? I think I remember a thread about it. Anyway, I'd like to see an E with a RT tent, because it would show the smug off road enthusiasts (LR, and Jeep and so on) that the E can do one more thing they can do, and for less money and fuel. :D
 

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i like the looks of the new element tent, ill probably pick one up when i get my tax refund. a rooftop tent would be cool but i dont have a sunroof.
 
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