I own my tent for close to 3 years now. I use it a lot by myself on 4x4 tours or with my mates, as well as on holidays with my wife. I bought my Explorer Plus at the Abenteuer Allrad show in 2012. My motives were the obvious product quality on the one hand and, even more important to me, the first impression of the sales person on the other hand. Patiently he answered all my incredulous questions and had always logical explanations on offer. I am very meticulous when it comes to that and I made a point of inspecting as many different tents before making a decision, too.
Now for the fun part. The first trial runs with the tent happened in an offroad park. 3 days of rain. All good. Then one week of touring with my mates. Again: rain, rain and even more rain. Still no problems. So I was fairly confident in the quality already, when it came to the first roof tent holiday with my wife. By then I had already bought an awning with matching tent room to complete the roof tent setup.
First off to Italy. Venice to be precise. Then a short detour to Slovenia, where the travel cover got in frequent contact with the local flora on offroad sections. Everything held together well. Next stop Carinthia. An almost empty camp ground at the Weißensee was our home for the next couple of days. Frost and heavy rains during the night, sun and wind took turns during the day. The annex provided excellent shelter for lunch and dinner. The awning gave great protection from the sun for my wife and dogs. On we went to Berchtesgaden. We spent one day at a camp ground in Waging am See, again night frost. Our equipment worked great. The ventilation inside the tent is fantastic. By then we had set up (and put back together) the tent on numerous occasions, so I was fairly confident I could have done it blindfolded after a couple of cold ones. We continued our trip to visit a friend of mine in Bad Tölz and spent the night at the Sylvensteinspeicher. After a short discussion with the local ranger, we were allowed to camp in a secluded section, right in the centre of the forest. During this particular night, the tent had to endure the ultimate test in terms of waterproofing. In all my years of camping, I have never witnessed such a downpour. It was literally bucketing down. Because I hadn't set the tent up properly, I had to make sure every hour or so that water wasn't pooling. But we weren't going to get much sleep in such weather anyway, so I didn't mind. I was just happy we didn't camp under a tarp like we used to.
At 10am in the morning, it was still raining. Heavily. The roof tent was completely saturated on the outside, but still dry as a bone inside. I noticed that the mattress was starting to draw a little bit of moisture where it touched the canvas. Had I installed the mattress sleeve that came with the tent, I could have avoided that as well. I've never packed the tent up as quickly as that morning, we jumped into the car and journeyed home. Once there, I removed the roof tent, dried it out, packed it up - ready for the next adventure.
Shortly after the turn of the year, I quickly put it back onto the car, to find out if our newest travel companion would find it comfortable to sleep in as well. I was happy, my wife was happy and our little 5 months old daughter was happy too! So we can plan our next trips already! Even the three of us have enough room inside the tent for at least another two years. By then, I will probably add a second roof tent to the setup. Thank you Gordigear for 3 years of wonderful camping. The product quality is impressive. My holiday already starts when I install the tent onto the roof of my car!
Artwork and/or text courtesy of Mario Krieg.