Like any hardshell RTT, the Alu Cab roof top tent takes no time to set up for the night. Unlock the two latches at the back, push the roof up, and pull the bungee cord down around the base of the canvas walls. You can also put up the side and back awnings, but this step is optional and only necessary if you expect rain or snow.
The pack-up process is equally simple. You push the bungee cord up to gather the canvas walls, pull on the strap to lower the roof, and fix the latches. As always, you need to keep an eye out for any pieces sticking out between the bottom and the top halves, or you’ll be inviting water and dirt inside the tent in travel mode.
Size & Weight
Whether you’re a solo traveler or a half of an adventurous couple, the Alu Cab tent has plenty of space to offer. The outside dimensions measure 230 cm by 140 cm, while the inside is a comfy 210 cm by 130 cm. In transit mode, the tent is only 21 cm high at the front and 28 cm at the back, making it one of the most aerodynamic RTTs on the market. Once you set the tent up, it stands tall at 200 cm (exterior) and provides plenty of headroom inside (160 cm).
Thanks to the clever design solutions and the generous use of aluminium alloy, the Expedition 3.1 weighs only 78 kilos. Though you’ll need help with lifting and mounting, it is still much lighter than the cheaper models that exceed 90 kg.
|Size (close/open), cm
|2300L x 1400W x 2000H
2100L x 1300W x 1600H
|Ease of Installation
|75 mm high-density foam mattress, reading light, USB charging ports, 12V power socket, storage pockets
With Alu Cab, we are 100% sure that every dollar we pay goes towards making the tent better than ever. Take the bottom and roof. Both are heavy-duty, durable aluminium, not crack-prone ABS plastic. And the load-bearing parts (hinges, latches, gas struts) are all made of stainless steel, which will last years, if not decades, with no sign of rust or breakage.
The canvas is a super-sturdy, heavy-duty ripstop. It keeps the water out and traps the heat inside if you close the flaps. The YKK zippers are nearly indestructible, and the only part that’s a bit more prone to wear and tear is the mesh. Based on our experience with the previous model, it can rip after a few years of extensive use, so it will be the first thing you might need to replace. Keep in mind that the latest version of the Expedition combines the canvas flaps with mesh covers, so repairs and replacements could be trickier, though the everyday use is much improved.
If you’ve had trouble with your RTT leaking, Alu Cab will be a pleasant surprise. The roof, walls, and flooring are 100% waterproof, even in heavy rain. And the thick 25 mm layer of insulation on the lid keeps the temperature comfy inside the tent throughout the scorching summer days despite the matte black powder coating.
There’s also a thinner (10 mm) insulation layer under the mattress that’s designed to keep you toasty even on freezing nights. We haven’t had any issues with condensation either, all thanks to the vent near the top of the tent that keeps the airflow steady even with all the flaps zipped up. And the 10 mm layer of 3D mesh between the mattress and the floor insulation keeps the bedding dry.
If you ignore everything else about our Alu Cab roof top tent review, trust that the ladder that comes with the RTT is a work of art. Finally, you can go up and down comfortably barefoot and without praying for your life if you weigh over 90 kg. The sturdy design relies on wider rungs that stay horizontal once you hook the ladder to the tent. And it’s included in the price!
The rain covers have also been improved, much to our delight. The side awning can be attached on either side to cover the ladder, and the back awning now comes with two zippers. We prefer to keep it rolled up and out of the way, as it makes the setup and pack-up even faster.
The cargo rails have finally been extended to the front of the roof. Now we have enough space to store a surfboard or a kayak, all without sacrificing the space for a solar panel. We prefer keeping the panel closer to the back, as it’s light enough not to hinder the tent set-up.
We also love the Alu Cab tent because it’s so well-thought-out. There are plenty of pockets to store the gear and 12V and USB sockets for charging. And the light switch for the top light is at the mattress level, so you won’t have to budge from your comfy sleeping bag to turn it off.
Whether you plan on using Alu Cab in Australia, South Africa, or the US, it will be a delight. Sure, the RTT is a pricey investment with a $4,000 price tag, but it’s well worth the extra expense. The high-quality materials and smart design decisions make this model tough, durable, invincible in any conditions. All the while, it remains comfortable and safe with plenty of storage space, great aerodynamics in transit mode, and electric lines for charging and lighting. Don’t think of Alu Cab as a luxury; consider it a long-term investment in your overlanding lifestyle that’ll stay true for a lifetime.