Project 4Runner Backcountry is progressing nicely, and after the first round of mods, we now have greater ability to "get there." While getting there is half the battle, we felt it was time to figure out what to do once we are there. This month's buildup will focus on the installation of the ARB Touring Style Roof Rack and Series III Simpson Rooftop Tent, which will provide us with shelter for those extended backcountry expeditions.
The foundation for this installment is ARB's Touring Style Roof Rack. The Touring rack has a basket in the front and is flat in the rear to accommodate the mounting of ARB's rooftop tent. These racks utilize steel construction and are shot-blasted and coated in a zinc-rich primer, while the mounting legs are zinc-plated. Both are then coated in ARB's own millennium grey polyester powdercoat. These processes have been tested to withstand 1,000 hours of salt spray resistance.
As with the entire line of ARB roof racks, the 87x49-inch Touring model is engineered to support the full rated load capacity of the roof of the vehicle it is being installed on. ARB's universal racks can be mounted on a number of vehicles, thanks to ARB's wide selection of fitting kits. These engineered kits provide vehicle-specific weight distributing rails that support the load along the entire length of the roof channel for maximum load capacity.
Utilizing the Touring rack is the ARB Simpson III Rooftop Tent. The tent can be unfolded in just a few minutes and provides sleeping quarters off the ground, protected from the elements and critters. With a size of 55x94x52 inches when deployed (55x47x15 when closed), the interior of the tent is spacious and comfortable. As a bonus, all of the bedding can remain inside the tent when folded, freeing up valuable interior storage space in the vehicle, and allowing the tent to be put away quickly. Because of the way the tent is designed, it can be mounted to open up to either side, or even off the back of the vehicle.
The Series III tent is manufactured from high-quality cotton and poly Ripstop fabric that is breathable, waterproof, and mold-resistant. All of the aluminum components feature an anodized finish for improved corrosion resistance and appearance. When deployed, users can enjoy insect-screened doors and windows, condensation-reducing air vents, and awnings that allow the windows to be open, even in a rainstorm. The base is insulated to prevent cold from seeping through the floor, and the raised flysheet keeps the tent cooler in the sun. Included with the tent is a 2.5-inch high-density foam mattress with removable cover and a retractable aluminum ladder that also aids in the unfolding of the tent.
Installation was fairly easy, if not a bit time-consuming, but the professionals at Off Road Evolution in Fullerton, California, got the job done in just a few hours. Documented here is the overview of the installation.