It was time for another trip in the Jimny! This time Kielder Water was on the itinerary, Elf Kirk view point to be specific. I had no idea what to expect but you can’t go wrong with Kielder.
As with most camping trips I wanted to test something to improve the set up. On this trip it was the fuel economy differences when storing the roof tent ladder in the car or attached to the tent. As the height of the tent would decrease a few inches I assumed it would help, but will it be worth the extra hassle of having the ladder stored inside and fixing it to the tent upon arrival?
I tried to use a quick release style bolt for the ladder but the first attempt didn’t work. I’ll have to come up with a better solution as the bolts I bought weren’t strong enough. Some sort of split pin bolt maybe (if that’s what they’re called).
MPG Test 1
Here are the early test MPG results with a roof tent on the Jimny.
Without ladder = 39.1 mpg
With ladder = 31.9 mpg
Without the ladder fixed onto the top of the tent I was getting 39.1 mpg isn’t too bad I don’t think. With the ladder attached to the tent it dropped to 31.9 mpg, hmm seems promising. I need to do more testing and have ideas to make the entire tent more streamlined too, but it’s safe to say there’s some mpg gains to be had.
More on optimising for fuel economy in a future post.
MPG Test 2
This time I tested without ladder at different top speeds.
3000 revs, 63-65 mph = 35.7 mpg
2700 revs, 55-59 mph = 41.2 mpg
UPDATE: I get nowhere near this anymore. The car has undergone many changes and is 4 years old now pulling in about 30 mpg.
Setting up camp
Talk about being lucky. I arrived at Elf Kirk view point and I had the entire place to myself. The view point has a circular car parking area that has plenty of room for a number of vehicles, with a short path up to the main view point. Giving you 360 views of Kielder Water and it’s surrounding areas. The views are stunning.
Being able to set up in minutes is amazing. I’m still surprised by the convenience of the front runner roof tent. Everything fits so perfectly, even the tent cover neatly slots under between the Jimny roof and the bottom of the tent. The height of the tent is also not too crazy so it’s easy to get in and out.
Choosing to mount the tent off the rear of the car allows for a small amount of overhead coverage while accessing the rear of the Jimny. I’m 6ft and just fit under with a slight stoop, without bashing my head… would be perfect with a 50mm lift.
The icing on the cake with this set up is being able to quickly convert the Jimny into somewhere you can chill out. It’s so well thought out by Suzuki allowing you to make the most of the car to feel quite spacious!
As it was just me on a solo (billy no mates) adventure I decided to use the half set up (see the full set up here) and I took the reindeer skin for a bit extra comfort.
Us northerners are well known for being a friendly bunch and you’ll quickly experience that for yourself when visiting Kielder. Elf Kirk view point has a fair amount of people coming and going throughout the day and I met some lovely people. It’s funny how many were unaware roof tents existed. Several asked if they could have a look in the tent, which of course I didn’t mind.
The view point, which is about 50 yards up a small pathway has a handy guide that shows what constellations you’ll see at different times of the year. Cool idea.
It was eerily quiet as the day come to an end and the views didn’t disappoint.
As the sun was setting the midges came out in force, munching on my face and getting right on my tits, so it was time to hit the tent. Not too worry though I managed to get the best bits of the day in, some nice food and a few beers necked, before calling it a night at around 11pm. Elf Kirk view point is a cracking place camp to go if you ever get the chance I’d throughly recommend it.