Tent for the liftgate of my minivan
August 20, 2014 12:15 PM   Subscribe

I want to make a tent that goes over the opened lift gate (hatchback?) of my minivan. The ones I've seen are expensive, and I have an old tent, plus a couple of old tent flies and some mesh screen. The tent acts as an extension of the van and allows in air. Could also be used as privacy space for the camping potty. So, ideas and suggestions for making it as good as possible? Have you ever made your own tent?

Doesn't need a rain fly, the tailgate acts as a roof. I have extra bungi-type elastic, so thinking of putting in a hem and using elastic and bungie hooks to attach to the van roof rack and wheel wells. I also have magnets. The old tent I'll use has a floor that I can use as a base. Probably use an old tent fly as the top that goes over the tailgate, then use mesh to make the old tent taller and make it fit.

If you want to get a tent, Goodwill has them at bargain prices. The ones I'm recycling were from yard sales. The tent I actually use is from GW.

Tail Veil - probably the best shape/size
SUV tent too big
connector needs to be enclosed to keep skeeters out
too small
a bunch of SUV tents
posted by theora55 to Travel & Transportation (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've thought about this before, too. My only suggestion is that if you have a sunroof/moonroof, I would make it where the netting extends over the top, so you can open it at night if it's not raining and still keep out the bugs. Maybe even hang down the sides over the windows and open them, too, to help a nice cross breeze going. I think that would keep it MUCH cooler inside the van.
posted by raisingsand at 12:19 PM on August 20, 2014

One thing to consider is that when the lift gate is up, the interior light is on, draining your battery. Even if you turn off the dome light, it will still drain. Ask me how I know.

I would get a regular Pop-Up tent, and buy some tents at Goodwill to cut up to make the 'portico' that goes from the Pop-up tent, over the lift gate, and down to the ground. Like this tent.

You could probably do this. I'd do a belt/suspenders thing and get some mosquito netting to sleep under in the truck. This might work really well.

When I was a kid we camped up and down the California coast in the hippie VW van. Not bad really, and preferable to sleeping on the ground, that's for DARN sure!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:17 PM on August 20, 2014

I ended up making it up as I sewed. The old tent and tent fly I used were old and the fabric is in poor shape, so I'll likely make a better one when this one shreds, which I hope is after my current road trip. I used a household sewing machine and regular thread, zigzag stitch because it provides kind of a 2nd line of defense if the fabric gives way. I did a number of seams twice. It's very functional, looks pretty homemade.
posted by theora55 at 1:05 PM on September 19, 2014

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