The Bush Company Alpha Tent - Owner Impressions

MidlifecrisisLX

New member
1. What other tents did you consider? Why did the Alpha win out?
- I considered Alu-cab 3.1 and Camp King. I decided on the Alpha due to the large wrap around rain fly, the height it opens too, and general list of features and quality. I got the bush tent 20% off which helped seal the deal. I think I would personally still go with the bush at full price.

For many, the ease of the slot interfaces on the bush tent for mounting accessories is a very nice feature, but it does add substantial weight over other tents (roughly 25 lbs I would guess), as there is essentially two whole aluminum tent shells to create the slot gaps. That double tent shell to create the slot rails does make a case for the bush to be extremely durable and strong. I personally don't mind the Alu-cab solution of drilling and direct mounting accessories to save weight.

Alu-cab has nice insulated roof where as Alpha is only insulated on the floor. The Alpha light switch is on the ceiling, where Alu-cab has a switch at the head of the bed so you don't have to get up. I decided these could be easy DIY fixes (upholstered insulation foam panels to velcro to the ceiling between the cross bars, and inline switch wired up at the head of the bed). The new Alu-cab ladder is sweet with the double wide rungs. The way Alu-cab has the canvas door zipper to the mesh door such that you can open both with one zipper motion of the mesh door is a nice feature. I did not like the Alu-cab side awning interfaces. An aussie bloke posted a video showing a leading edge of the side awnings not being completely sealed to the main tent fabric. they seem a bit laborious to set up every time you open the tent. Camp king was just too expensive and nothing mind blowing features wise.


2. How has it held up to use? Any points of wear you see?
- Cant say definitively. I've had it a month but have spent 18 days in it already. nothing to note.

3. How comfortable is the tent to use and sleep in? Any improvements or enhancements you would recommend?
-tent is fantastically comfortable. The height is great for changing clothes fully standing. The mattress is actually the first RTT mattress I've laid on that seemed viable. with that said, I left the mattress behind at CVT as I put in an exped megamat duo LW+ inflatable mattress. It is very comfortable, adjustable, and deflating allows us to pack more bedding and all our clothes up in the tent to free up space in the truck.

-It did kind of irk me that a power harness is NOT included with the tent, you're on the hook to make or buy a harness that runs from the tent to your battery source.

-The elastic straps that pin the rolled up doors/windows open could stand to be tighter/shorter to really hold the rolled up doors out of the way more.

-The dual canvas doors on either side of the mesh window is fantastic for weatherproofing.

-The vent at the peak is great but I wish you could unzip the mesh from those vents as two layers of mesh on each of the tent fabrics still blocks a bit of airflow.

-As with any RTT, I cut off every single metal zipper pull and replaced with synthetic cord pull tabs so that they don't jingle in the wind.


4. Anyone have one of these on truck? Pics?
-Mine is on a GX470. I think the guys at Midguard Adventure have a customer with one on a ZR2.

View attachment 685951

5. How was your install? Did you do it yourself or pay to have it done?
-I paid to have it installed at CVT Las Vegas because shipping was going to cost more than the install. They charged $300. I had it installed the first day of a 2 week camping trip. The tent actually isn't bad, no different than installing any other RTT for the given roof platform. They had my tent on in 2 hours, mostly due to low clearances and difficulties with my super low profile cross bars. The Awning install took nearly 4 hours because they had to install it twice. They failed to test fit the first time before they cut the holes in the awning bag for the brackets and thus when they finally got the awning up the first time, it wouldn't clear the corner of the tent to wrap around. fully test fit and mark your awning bracket locations before you cut/install the awning bag!

Overall, we love the tent and awning combo. It is fantastic. It is quite heavy, and I know this sounds insane, but my truck really doesn't drive any noticeably different than my old hardshell and batwing awning, despite being an additional 75 lbs.

Hit me with any other questions you have.
 

MidlifecrisisLX

New member
Hi there. I'm considering this tent with the CVT discount currently available. The tent awning looks pretty flappable compared to the Camp King awning setup which looks very stout. Have you found the canvas flaps in the wind? Cheers.
 

NudeLobster

Member
I should have read your review first! I see that you indicate the tent awning does in fact flap. Thank you.
It does flap in stronger winds but it does include 2 straps to cinch it down in the wind which helps a lot. It's a bit of a balance cinching the rain fly down, though, because if you tighten it too much, the fly will have too much pressure pulling it down and will eventually pull through the spring poles after wiggling around in the wind, at which point you loose all the tension again.

With that said, once you get a feel for the tension balance, the canvas is so thick that it doesn't really crack and whip like the cheaper, thinner tents, with or without the tension straps. Its just so much canvas that it makes general noise as its fighting the spring poles. It's hard to describe. I'd say the straps come out when wind hits 20mph. 50mph gusts were just too much even with the tension straps, at which point I pulled the spring poles and worked the bungee up around the bottom of the folded down fly.

the fly can also be removed completely in a few mins, though I've never done so completely. Its not advertised but the front end of the fly on either side is adjustable for general tension as well where it hooks into the tent frame.
 

concretejungle

Adventurer
I'm curious what you who have the tent feel about the weight?! I have really been eyeing the Bush Company RTT lines but the weight is really intimidating! Right now I have a James Baroud and a Bush Company 270 XT Max awning and I can really feel the weight up there and thats with me having heavy duty sway bars on my 80 series. Thinking about almost 300 lbs on the roof is not appealing to me.

Just general overlanding with no off-camber situations I can see it being fine, but the minute you are on a trail and are leaning over an edge of a cliff.... been there and done that....
 

NudeLobster

Member
I'm curious what you who have the tent feel about the weight?! I have really been eyeing the Bush Company RTT lines but the weight is really intimidating! Right now I have a James Baroud and a Bush Company 270 XT Max awning and I can really feel the weight up there and thats with me having heavy duty sway bars on my 80 series. Thinking about almost 300 lbs on the roof is not appealing to me.

Just general overlanding with no off-camber situations I can see it being fine, but the minute you are on a trail and are leaning over an edge of a cliff.... been there and done that....
Honestly, and I know this sounds like BS, but I don't really notice an appreciable difference from the 200-220lb batwing/fiberglass clamshell combo we came from to the 300lb of bush alpha & 270 max.
 

concretejungle

Adventurer
Honestly, and I know this sounds like BS, but I don't really notice an appreciable difference from the 200-220lb batwing/fiberglass clamshell combo we came from to the 300lb of bush alpha & 270 max.
Really?! I have noticed a difference in just swapping out the ARB awning with the 270 max! It sure looks like an amazing tent!

I also wonder if you can get the top painted white?
 
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