Autohome Columbus roof top tent

Autohome Columbus Roof Top Tent Review

Back in 2009 Karen bought a short wheel base Pajero and an Autohome Columbus Roof top tent.

It was her goal to travel solo across the Simpson Desert (now Munga-Thirri) and travel remotely for 3 months.

She left in June 2010 and on that journey crossed the Simpson. She also travelled the Strzelecki and Birdsville tracks, visited Uluru and Kakadu and was invited to live on an First Nations homeland in Arnhem land.  Eventually she returned via the Savannah Way across the Gulf and up through Cape York.

Given the remote nature of the trip though Croc country, she didn’t want to be sleeping on the ground!

And with a bad shoulder she didn’t want to struggling trying to pack away a high roof top tent on her own.

So there were definitely some criteria to meet!

But after overhearing a conversation in a 4 wheel drive shop, she decided to spend her limited funds on an Autohome Columbus roof top tent.

At the time there were very few roof top tents available. It was a toss up between the Autohome Columbus (from Italy) and another brand from South Africa.

What she overheard was a man who had just done the Cape with a mate. His mate had the South African model and it filled up with bull dust making for an uncomfortable trip.

The Autohome Columbus roof top tent however was worth the extra coin. Because it was lighter, more streamlined saving fuel and more air tight due to the high quality build, it was a better choice. It was also super easy to open and close.

We have since done many trips in her SWB “Snowflake’ including to Goshen Station , Cape Melville and the notorious CREB track.

Autohome were the original inventers of roof top tents back in the 1950’s.

The original and the best as they say! Autohome has such an interesting history.  Due to the quality build and good name, they have been leaders in the roof top tent game for many years. Especially in Europe.

Here in Australia they are only imported by one company. A budding duo of intrepid travellers called The Overlanders

You can take a look at the current range > The Overlanders range here

If they have stock (like they did with our new one), it will be here in less than a week.

The tent has barely aged since 2009 despite such extensive use!

The canvas is of such high quality it is still as good as the day we bought it.

We have painted the outside fibreglass from white to black recently as the black was unavailable when she bought the original tent way back when.

But it was not a necessary paint job. The fibreglass was in great condition although we do polish our cars and tents regularly.

Overall we would say without doubt the Autohome Columbus Roof Top Tent is a high quality purchase that will last you for decades.

For a peak inside the tent and some of the features, check out our review video below.

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Roof top tents camping

The freedom you get from a roof top tent. Glamping!

Autohome Columbus Roof top tents

The little shorty dwarfed by the chopped and stretched Cruiser. Both sporting their Autohome Columbus roof top tents. The one on the shorty was purchased in 2009 and is still going strong. The only thing we did was paint it black so the two cars would be matching.

Crossing the Simpson Desert dunes

Back in 2010 during her solo trip across the country. Karen lived in her car for over 3 months and loved the simplicity of the Autohome Columbus. This was the original white tent she called "the Penthouse" before she painted it black last year. Still going strong. With limited use of her left arm, it was the perfect set up due to the absolute ease of set up and pull down.

Travelling the CREB track

After a decade of use on the shorty, it was a no-brainer to get one for the Cruiser. Nowadays you can order them in black which looks great on the Cruiser.

The benefits of an Autohome Roof Top Tent are many and varied.

  • Safety
  • Bedding stored away
  • You can travel to more remote areas or tow a boat
  • Great protection from the elements - mozzies, rain, wind etc.
  • High quality and long lifespan. Ours is over a decade old and still going strong.
Crossing the Daintree River

The benefits of a root top tent are many. One is you can camp beside croc infested rivers like the Daintree and be up out of harms way. You also don't have to tow your sleeping quarters so you can head to more remote locations.

Autohome Columbus roof top tent

The cart might get wet and dirty but your bedding won't! Camping doesn't have to be uncomfortable when you're in the "penthouse". We ripped the ladder bracket off on an overhanging tree but the tent was unscathed.

Quality... Stuff you only need to buy once.

canvas on autohome columbus roof top tent

The quality of the German made, super light but durable, waterproof and quiet fabric - is second to none. It breaths so there is no condensation and the double stitching and plastic overhang ensures a watertight sleep even in the biggest storms.

Mounting brackets for Autohome Columbus roof top tent

Easy to install on standard roof racks. There is a slider under the tent so you can align it in the right spot. Do check your weight requirements for the type of roof racks you'll need. Although the tent itself is not that heavy, don't forget they will be subject to 100km hour winds when travelling on the highway. They are a bit awkward due to their size so we got a person on each corner to lift up onto the car.

Lifting a roof top tent onto a car

The Super Cruiser is so tall we needed a forklift but a normal 2" lift 4x4 like Snowflake can be fitted with a person on each corner of the tent. Simply slide the attaching bolts up or down where needed and tighten up the nuts. OR - i have taken it off the shorty before simply by leaving it on the roof racks and removing them as access is easier to the side of the car. They are not that heavy just awkward.

 

Erecting a roof top tent

Erecting both roof top tents took only 18 seconds!

Distribution in Australia

Autohome Columbus tents and their sister ship the Maggiolina (they open in a more rectangular fashion than the triangular clam shell Columbus) are imported from Europe by the lovely guys at The Overlanders. So be sure and jump on over to their website and take a look.

We honestly could not be happier with our two models. They have been such a brilliant investment for comfortable, safe and easy camping!

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About The Author

Karen Rudkin

Karen Rudkin-Moody became hooked on fishing after being introduced to the sport in 1989. Karen is a marine biologist specializing in estuarine marine protected areas, finishing her successful career in Queensland Marine Parks as Ranger In Charge of the Wet Tropics region within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Karen now works with her husband, accomplished fishing guide Ryan Moody, encouraging people to get away from their computers and into the great outdoors.

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