Breathtaking Views With Free Spirit Recreation's Roof Top Tents
Free Spirit Recreation, Tim Daike
MRV: The Buzz, Your RV Lifestyle Insider. Written By: Olivia Richman
A Different Perspective: Free Spirit Rooftop Tents
Designed To Give Campers Easy Access To The Most Secluded Parts Of Nature, While Inspiring Outdoor Adventures With Breathtaking Views
For some, a traditional campground isn't enough: They want more seclusion, more peace, and more nature. Free Spirit Recreation's Adventure Series tent line allows people to do just that.
“With the population ever-increasing,” said General Manager Tim Daiker, “the roof-top tents give people an opportunity to bring their vehicles where there are less people. You don't need a campground, like a big RV might. You can really be out and away from people and experience it on your own.”
The idea of truly camping alone - surrounded by trees, a stream, mountains, animals, the starry sky up above – has made the Adventure Series Free Spirit's number one selling tent line. The M49 and M55 models were such a success that Free Spirit will now be releasing a third size in February 2017, the M60, which can fit a true queen sized bed inside. For people camping with a significant other or kids, the extra room will create even more comfort and convenience.
“People love these tents,” said Daiker. “They're extremely light-weight. They're easy to install. And really, the fact that you can sit there and enjoy the view. You have a panoramic view of the world around you while sitting inside of this tent. With a traditional tent you crawl up inside and don't have a view out. You have a blocked view. You're looking down at the ground.”
According to Daiker, the rooftop tents have been a growing industry in the United States for over five years. He feels it has something to do with the trend of “downsizing” and many Americans' “minimalist mentality.” A lot of travelers have made the switch from an RV or trailer to just taking whatever they can in their vehicle.
“People are finding ways to fit camping
luxuries into their vehicles,” said Daiker, “whether it's a stove unit
that pops out the back of your ride or a built in awning. It seems to
have recently caught on in the United States because they can get into
places they can't normally fit into with a traditional RV. So they're
really investing in outfitting their vehicles – lifting them and
upgrading them in different ways. They're getting all of the accessories
that will accommodate all the different gear that's available.”
And how could one camp out of their vehicle without a tent? For people looking to take all they have in their truck and just drive into the heart of a forest, a roof-top tent is the perfect icing on the cake and is really what makes it all possible. And, said Daiker, it's just fun.
“If you remember being a kid, one of the biggest things is building a fort. This is an adult fort. It's attractive to people that are in their 20s and people in their 50s and 60s. It gives you that feeling of being in a fort,” he explained. “You have a certain sense of security from being on top of your vehicle and off the ground, away from critters and bugs. It's a unique experience that makes you feel a bit closer to the stars. It gives you a different perspective.”
And Daiker says all of that with the experience to back it up. He has two boys, age six and seven, and “to them, this was the most amazing experience of their lives.” He has gone on many adventures with them and is beyond happy to be able to share the experiences with them.
“To be able for them to be up in the tent, hanging out, whether I'm cooking dinner or getting gear ready, I'm able to talk with them and engage with them. It's a great experience. You can't do that in other tents,” said Daiker. “You can talk but you can't see them. To sit there with my wife and have a fantastic view of where we are camping and enjoy that and still be able to engage with other people we are camping with, it enhances the experience.”
Daiker has been a part of Free Spirit
Recreation since 2014 (when the company was started), back when he met
the original founders in Bend, Oregon. The thought of working at an
outdoor adventure company was a dream come true for Daiker, who said he
loves everything outdoors. Not surprising for someone who started
camping at the age of two.
“Every summer my family would take two big trips to inner Oregon, Billy Chinook. We've been doing that since I was two and I'm 45 and we still do it now,” he stated. So when it came to taking photos of the Adventure Series tents in action, there was no question that it would be at Billy Chinook. The experience of shooting the photos in the spot where his family has camped all these years was an emotional and exciting opportunity for Daiker, who has been passionate about camping all of his life.
“There's nothing about camping I don't like. It's experiencing the outdoors. I think being away from things that are man-made and experiencing places that have looked the same for thousands of years is amazing,” he said. “It's taking time out of the business of our everyday lives. We spend so much time working, but in some ways if you don't stop and take the time to actually enjoy it you kind of miss out. It gives you that opportunity to really stop and enjoy what life is all about.”
Daiker truly believes the Adventure Series is the perfect way to escape into the wilderness and immerse oneself in nature. And customers seem to agree. One customer even took their tent on a trip to Bolivia so he could travel with his family across the country, experiencing the country from the roof of their vehicle.
But customers don't have to travel all the way to another country to get benefits of the Adventure Series. Said Daiker: “Every trip you take is unique in itself. I went on a couple of hunting trips this year. The view – the sun coming up over the hills – it was just amazing. That's what we love about this series. To be able to unzip that front door and just sit there and take it all in. You can't get that experience from the other traditional other style tents.”
A graduate of East Connecticut State University in Journalism, Olivia
has written for Stonebridge Press & Antiques Marketplace among
others. She enjoys writing, running and video games.