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BigJimny Meet 2019 (17 May 2019)

BigJimny Meet and off-road driving day



20TH OCTOBER 2019

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Camping in the Jimny. Roof Top Tent and kit tried

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02 Aug 2019 13:57 #211733 by GeordieJimny
Hi everyone,

Thought I'd pop this up for anyone thinking about an RTT for their new Jimny. Main caveat to get out of the way is, I know it's exceeding the dynamic load limit so do what you feel is best for you.

The main reason we bought the Jimny was to have something small that was capable of going off road and something we could either sleep in or on with a roof top tent. The risk initially was knowing that there's no tent on the market that would ever come close the the dynamic load limit of 30kg but I was open to at least trying it.

Sleeping in the Jimny

The first setup we tried was sleeping in the Jimny. I'm 6ft and my wife is 5.5ft. In practice this worked ok but left little room for me and felt a bit snug on the shoulders too. It's very comfortable sleeping in the Jimny when you use the thicker 10 cm inflatable mattresses. However the ones I bought fitted at a squeeze and popped up at the sides when you move around so wasn't ideal. The ones I've found that will fit the best is the SynMat 9M by Exped if you're wanting the most comfortable nights sleep. They pack down nice too.




If the tallest person is under 6ft this is a great option as you'll probably already know from people sharing pictures and videos.

Mounting a roof top tent

We decided to take the risk and order the lightest roof tent we could find. Which was the Front Runner Featherlite. It's actually an awesome tent even though it's one of the cheaper ones on the market. Coming in at 43kg, we decided to go for the Thule Squarebars to mount it, keeping the weight down compared to better racks on the market.




Initially we used 2 bars but they didn't feel strong or stable enough with 2 people in the tent so I added a 3rd bar to the rear of the Jimny to help support where the main weight seems to be distributed. We chose to mount the tent off the rear of the Jimny as this provided a small amount of shelter with the rear door open. Plus with the seats down it's actually a really nice space.



You can opt to keep the tent poles and the ladder in the back of the Jimny. This reduces the tent weight to 37.5kg. Obviously it's more setup time having to attach the ladder when you hit camp but I used to mountain bike seat post quick release bolts that work a treat. Plus it reduces the height be 2" which offers a noticeable improvement in fuel economy.



Front runner slimline 3/4 rack

I've just fitted this rack as we wanted to be able to add a small awning and benefit from using the quick release tent brackets. The rack is really nice but it's not without its problems and downsides. Ignoring the huge cost difference for now and just focussing on the suitability of the mounting. The front runner slimline rack with the quick release tent brackets raises the height of the tent by approx 2 inches. That's a fair bit! Plus I've increased the dynamic load by 20kg. Not ideal but I did want to try it.

Having fitted it today and driving around the ride doesn't feel too much different. I would typically remove the ladder too but I left it on for the test. It's windy today and there's no discernible feeling of less stability imho. However the downside... the tent whistles like a kettle, unbelievably loud, 3 times that of the Thule bars if you had nothing mounted to them. There's zero wind noise when the tent is mounted to the Thule bars so that's a disappointing result to say the least. If I can't eliminate the whistle it's game over for the front runner rack and tent brackets :(



On a plus side it's rock solid! Can not fault the quality other than a few chips in the powder coating and the wind deflector that's supposed to fit under the rack doesn't fit on the Jimny. Pretty sure that's just down to the wrong size being sent though (55mm), waiting to hear back from them. They're a good company to deal with so far.

Driving and camping experience

This supposedly cheap car isn't turning out that way haha, but I honestly can say the camping experience on the roof tent is amazing. We sleep like a log and set up is so simple. Yes it's not 60 seconds like iKamper but it's also not 3 times the price.

We've done a few overnighters in practice before we hit the NC500 and it's been worth every penny.



Driving is ok, obviously we don't blast down the motorways and we increase our stopping distance a lot. Sitting at 60 mph is about the sweet spot for longer distances, drop to 55 mph and I see a good jump in fuel economy, around 35 mpg to 40 mpg. This will be worse now though with the increased weight and recently adding slightly bigger tires. Time will tell I guess.

On the winding roads again, much like everything Jimny, we don't drive it like a nutter. Taking corners at a sensible pace etc. Off road wise all we've done is some usual rutted tracks leading into the woods and some muddy fields. Even with the tent on and a decent amount if kit in the back it felt absolutely fine to us. A more experienced off-roader will likely disagree, but it gets us where we want to go.

I hope this is of interest and help to some of you. I put it here instead of on my blog as I get a silly amount of DMs on instagram about the Jimny and Roof Top Tents so they'll be more likely to stumble across this here. Not sure if it's possible to update this later as I might find solutions to my recent rack problems without needing to sell the 3/4 rack and go back to the Thule bars :( but I'll do so if I can.

Cheers
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02 Aug 2019 19:23 #211748 by Bill Portland
Great review, thanks.
Where has the "30kg dynamic load limit" come from? I can find no limit mentioned anywhere by suzuki or aftermarket suppliers, except the limitation of suzuki's own brand roofbars.
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02 Aug 2019 19:50 #211749 by Scimike
That looks spot on, well done.
Get out in the world and enjoy.

Bill - It's a can of worms you are about to open with no real answer. 30 /35kg it is the max load on the bars, or is it the roof to stop the vehicle falling over, or is it just copied from the Original 410 manual. Who knows????

What we do know is the tent looks cool and it's not fallen over. :laugh:
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02 Aug 2019 19:56 #211750 by GeordieJimny
I’ve seen it listed online and the guy from Suzuki said his system showed 30-35kg iirc. There’s nothing in the owners manual. I guess 30kg must be officially rated somewhere for the website reviews to latch onto it. God knows mate.

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02 Aug 2019 19:58 #211751 by GeordieJimny

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02 Aug 2019 20:43 - 02 Aug 2019 20:48 #211758 by Scimike
Actually there is an answer.
I've just looked at my manual (it's a GEN3).

It states under the section "Other Control and Equipment - Roof Rails" (if Equipped) can be used to fit your Suzuki roof rack. The gross capacity of the roof rack plus it's cargo must no exceed 30kg. As it is in the section Roof Rails it's instruction is directed at that item. It is the limit on the plastic roof rails which is 30kg. It also states that gross vehicle weight (fully loaded) Inc driver, passengers, cargo, roof load and trailer must not exceed the GVWR listed in the specifications, that's 1420kg for a G3.

In the section Vehicle Loading and towing no reference is made on roof load other than confirm of the GVWR.

So this 30kg limit is a carry over from the plastic roof rails on the G3. The fact nothing is mentioned in the G4 manual (no plastic rails) confirms the limit was for the rails and is not a vehicle loading requirement. All that is required is not to exceed the GVWR or overload your roof rack of choice. Thule etc are typically rated at 100kg.

Of course common sense needs to come into play as an unstable load or loaded vehicle may contravene UK traffic law, but the 30kg limit that gets quoted has nothing to do with dynamic loading. It's just to stop the plastic rails snapping.

Of course this is just my interpretation of my manual, that's the supplied operating instructions from Suzuki for a 2009 G3.
Last edit: 02 Aug 2019 20:48 by Scimike.
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03 Aug 2019 06:30 #211765 by Digger1
The tent looks good, I have been toying with the idea of fitting a rear awning but have yet to decide how. Could you tell me how you got round the problem of the aerial being so close to the back of the roof. I thing to fit an awning I would require a rack to get right to the back of the roof.

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03 Aug 2019 06:52 #211766 by GeordieJimny
Can't figure out how to edit the post :silly:

Thule Roof Bars For Jimny

For easy reference these are the Thule Squarebars and Feet that fit on the Jimny. Hope it's ok to post product links I'm not trying to sell stuff or anything underhanded :)

https://www.thule.com/en-gb/gb/roof-rack/roof-rack-components-and-accessories/thule-raingutter-foot---low-_-951000Thule Raingutter Foot - Low. Model number: 951

https://www.thule.com/en-gb/gb/roof-rack/roof-rack-components-and-accessories/thule-squarebar-135-_-712400Thule SquareBar 135cm. Model number: 712400

I also tried the Canyon XT Roof Basket. It's a lovely piece of kit if you're sleeping in the Jimny and need some storage space. Note, the bars on their own with nothing mounted don't whistle when driving but they do introduce a bit of wind noise. Interestingly with the basket on it was lessened to a level that really didn't bother me, so it's a great option imho. Even better with music on :P

https://www.thule.com/en-gb/gb/cargo-carrier/roof-baskets/thule-canyon-xt-_-859002Thule Canyon XT. Model number: 859XT








There's also a nice https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0797P739Cwaterproof bag that fits great into the basket and even has a streamlined profile to match the front of the basket. You can tuck the front under the baskets wind deflector. Shame I had to sell these but they'd have sat in storage. If you want the basket keep an eye on Amazon as they do random discounts, I got it for £240 down from ~£300, then the price went back up.



More experiments with sleeping in the Jimny.

Forgot I also tried a few different sleeping mattresses. Aim for 170-183cm in length. You can tuck in the 183cm under the glove box and steering wheel and the cargo netting helps stop them from sliding out.


These were fine to sleep on but as I'm a side sleeper the thicker mattresses do make for a far better nights sleep.


That's where the MegaMat or any 10cm mattress really comes into it's own. It's also worth noting that you really need to keep the front windows open an inch or two for ventilation so an insulated mattress with a decent R rating is going to make your nights more comfortable. Nothing worse than waking up to a load of condensation pouring down the windows. What I didn't mention trumps about sleeping in the Jimny over sleeping in the Roof Top Tent is noise. The wind noise and yappy birds are drowned out rather well in the Jimny compared to the tent. A nice bonus.

Hope this helps!
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03 Aug 2019 15:13 #211776 by Bill Portland

Scimike wrote: Actually there is an answer.
I've just looked at my manual (it's a GEN3).

It states under the section "Other Control and Equipment - Roof Rails" (if Equipped) can be used to fit your Suzuki roof rack. The gross capacity of the roof rack plus it's cargo must no exceed 30kg. As it is in the section Roof Rails it's instruction is directed at that item. It is the limit on the plastic roof rails which is 30kg. It also states that gross vehicle weight (fully loaded) Inc driver, passengers, cargo, roof load and trailer must not exceed the GVWR listed in the specifications, that's 1420kg for a G3.

In the section Vehicle Loading and towing no reference is made on roof load other than confirm of the GVWR.

So this 30kg limit is a carry over from the plastic roof rails on the G3. The fact nothing is mentioned in the G4 manual (no plastic rails) confirms the limit was for the rails and is not a vehicle loading requirement. All that is required is not to exceed the GVWR or overload your roof rack of choice. Thule etc are typically rated at 100kg.

Of course common sense needs to come into play as an unstable load or loaded vehicle may contravene UK traffic law, but the 30kg limit that gets quoted has nothing to do with dynamic loading. It's just to stop the plastic rails snapping.

Of course this is just my interpretation of my manual, that's the supplied operating instructions from Suzuki for a 2009 G3.


100% agree and confirms my findings. That's why I asked where the 30kg dynamic load limit came from cos it's certainly not applicable to the g4

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03 Aug 2019 16:05 #211777 by GeordieJimny
Hey mate, the aerial just bends down when the tent is out and easily clears when it’s away. It’s a bit better with the slimline rack than the Thule bars clearance wise. although you could get the longer Thule feet but that would increase the height of the tent.

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03 Aug 2019 16:07 #211778 by GeordieJimny
I’ve got the awning on the other side of the car too but it would be ok on the drivers side if that’s where you wanted it.

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03 Aug 2019 17:10 - 03 Aug 2019 17:11 #211780 by Digger1
I would like to put the awning over the rear door, I have got used to the overhead door opening on my Skoda Yeti and get changed out of my wet weather or dirty clothes under it. I would like to do the same with the Jimny and I would like to sit on a seat at the back under a awning. This is a nice to have scenario and something I can look at in the long term. Maybe some Thule bars with a basket attached, I could remove an area of the basket around the aerial and get the basket to the back of the roof.
Last edit: 03 Aug 2019 17:11 by Digger1.

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