Alright, so I just got back from my first trip with the Superlite. It was a long round trip from TX to WA. The tent was amazing to use save for one issue, the straps are constantly loosening during driving and eventually unfasten from the tent entirely. Sometimes they would stay on for a long time, but others they wouldn’t even stay tight for five miles! Needless to say it was quite the hassle needing to stop more times to tighten down my straps than I did for gas. Here is a pic of how I strapped them down (it’s pretty much the same was they were strapped when shipped to me). I would tighten them as much as possible, and then run the loops down the strap as far as I could to keep the straps flush as possible. What am I missing and/or doing wrong?
Try adding a twist in the strap. The wind might be causing it to loose up.
That’s definitely worth a shot. It seems that the wind is causing the entire tent to “inflate” and it’s loosening up all the straps save for the two in the rear. They stayed pretty tight relative to the others which would be loosening entirely.
I had seen the elastic fix and was wondering if it would also helped in keeping the straps tightened. The shock cord seems like a good solution for keeping the straps in place and from banging against the car, at least. Doesn’t seem like it would do much in way of keeping the straps from loosening though. Which I suppose isn’t a huge deal.
But what I’m gathering is this is just a defect in the design of the product and not that I’m using it incorrectly. Seems like GFC should be providing a solution for us with that being the case. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect the straps to stay tight. At the least in the off chance they don’t stay tight that they at least remain in the loops. Having just gotten my SL, I wasn’t here when the product first came out. I’m curious if GFC has made any sort of statement on this or if there was much fuss risen by the first edition owners. To me, this seems like a pretty glaring oversight in the product design. Which unfortunately are not covered under the warranty, it seems.
The elastic fix is what keeps the straps from loosening. The wind basically pushes the front and side straps to loosen as you would by hand and the velcro holds the straps down and taut. The shock cord keeps the buckles from ejecting and hitting your windows (learned all of this the hard way on our first 2K mile summer road trip two years ago). It’s worked great since Fall of 2021 and over many trips since.
Thanks for the info. That’s great to hear that it’s an easy solution.
I chalk it up to a V1 and why it was ultimately discontinued. The strap system could definitely be better, and from using it, I’m not sure all the straps are necessary for actual closure — they serve to tighten the tent down depending on how much you have in it. When we’ve had it with the mattress fully inflated and some bedding inside, the zipper alone does the trick. But when there’s no bedding or the mattress is deflated, they’re obviously useful.
I never adjust the front ones, but the side and rear ones get adjusted the most. The front ones could ultimately just be a fixed length or some other design to act as a reinforced fabric hinge.
I brought this up with GFC in an email as feedback, and they did offer a fix for some of the issues some others saw with the straps pulling through and other things (in the mega “Superlite is here” thread). Overall, it fits my wife and I’s primary needs, and as a first gen product I accept that there are some potential quirks and design flaws, but since they’re improved simply on my own (thankfully) I can live with it.
I trust and hope that a V2 will improve on all the shortcomings of this version.
I appreciate how the straps allow you to adjust the final size depending on what you have in the tent. It’s a great feature, especially for those with low garages. I just think with any issue caused by a design oversight, any solution should be addressed by the company or at the least explicitly expressed prior to purchase. It’s great that this case has a simple and cheap solution. The tent has been great otherwise.
Another question that perhaps you can answer. Some pictures I’ve seen show the rear door of the tent opening and rolling to the side. Mine seems to open and roll upward. Is the tent designed to do both? Or was this a change in product design at some point?
The door rolling to the side/bottom right corner is the initial design (what I have). This was changed to the version you have at some later date, which I was surprised to see in photos when I saw them.
I’ve contemplated which I prefer, but with the way we vent the top to allow air in, and rolling the door to the side for full access, I’m happy with it. Some prefer it the other way!