Cars are freedom. They takes us anywhere we want to go — lakes, mountains, national parks — any place that is far from the madding crowd. Camping and cars go together like pancakes and maple syrup. Carly Simon even did a song about an old flame who “bought a car with fold back seats. You’ll camp out by the lakes and forests….” Even better than fold back seats would be a rooftop tent to keep us safe from puddles and crawling things.
Vehicle manufacturers are happy to cater to customers with unique needs. The Pontiac Aztek was marketed to the camping crowd with a customized tent-like enclosure that fit over the rear liftgate. Hit repeatedly with an ugly stick by Pontiac designers, the Aztek may have been the world’s only car that looked better with a tent covering its hindquarters than it did normally.
The folks at MINI have gotten together with tent specialist Autohome to create a rooftop tent specifically crafted to fit the new Countryman. At 7 feet long and 4.2 feet wide, the tent is large enough to sleep two people comfortably and attaches directly to the car’s roof rails with no tools or modifications. Best of all, it stows in a what looks like an ordinary cargo box for low wind resistance while driving.
Once a suitable camping site is selected, releasing three safety catches allows the gas filled struts that support the tent to extend automatically — no poles, tent pegs, or guy wires needed. The tent is rain proof, of course, and has a “high density” mattress built in. It comes with an LED light, two windows with zippers, two doors and a bunch of interior storage pockets. A stainless steel ladder is provided for climbing into and out of the tent.
The MINI Countryman in John Cooper Works trim pumps out 228 horsepower — more than enough to conquer the most challenging terrain. The Countryman can be ordered with MINI’s All4 all wheel drive system or as a plug-in hybrid with a three cylinder turbocharged engine up front and an electric motor it the rear. The Autohome rooftop tent will not be available from MINI dealers in the US reports MotoringFile but can be ordered directly from Autohome.
Source: Motor Trend