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.